Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Well maybe a little hardcore.....

Yesterday after lunch I had a conversation with myself that I could not go out with a whimper . I geared up and hit the middle section of the creek at about 1pm. The water was slightly better in this section but the visibility was shot. The color here had more grays and dark greens mixed into the browns.

I hit a few spots in this section that under normal circumstances would produce. I double bagged my presentation(2 sacks) and crossed my fingers. As a waded in I noticed under toe that some areas had a soft spongy gravel feel where there was no gravel before. The high waters laid waste to most of the brush near the river and flattened out the shoreline. I looked around and commented to myself that at least I was enjoying the scenery.

The middle section produce no fish after 2 hours. I decided to go back toward the lake and end the the last 2 hours of the day where I started this morning. Of course there was a guy there who told me someone caught 2 fish out there this afternoon.
Of course I couldn't have done this morning!
I put my time in near the bridge with no luck either continually cleaning ice from the guides. I packed in about 4:15pm rationalizing that the fish were probably off because of the high water, mud, timber, and general stress that hit them the day before.

I get these moments of crisis when I have off days and I end up talking to every float fisherman I run into to look at their floats,shot patterns, and lead lengths. I purchased my first centerpin in 1992 and I still have these crisis of confidence from time to time.

This will be on my mind for the next few days as it is 19 degrees this morning and I don't want to deal with the ice. The weekend temps might reach near 30.

Back to the coffee...........................

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I am not hardcore today................

The creek was still receding this morning. She was a brown color today. I hate brown water. I have no confidence what so ever in fishing it.
Especially after the epic high water we had the other day.
I stopped yesterday and picked up 2 dozen egg sacks from the local bait shop as I was out of the good stuff. Dave said the he had talked to an old timer who lives on the creek and the latest water was the angriest he has seen it in 55 years. There was only one other time it came close he said.
I started out confident that i would pull at least one out this morning to end the year right. I drove down the street at first light with the waders already on with only one other vehicle parked at the lowest section by the lake. I rationalized in my head that this would be where the fresh fish would be. The dimebrights that came in as the water receded. Well they could have been there but I was up against Nestle's Quick not emerald green flows.
The temp was about 28 degrees this morning with gusts into the 30 mph range from the west. The high today was expected to be 34 degrees. This is tropical compared to tomorrow's predictions which are a high of 19 and a low of 10 degrees. This had to be the day.
Well I fruitlessly drifted the area from about 7:30am to 10:30am with sacks and pink worms. The water was crap and the wind was kicking my butt. The gusts were howling directly into my face and pushing my float to shore and back up stream.
I dealt with the conditions back shotting and bulk shotting to slow down my presentations with size 6 shot stacked in a set of 1,2,3, and 4 6's not including anchor shot then bulk shotting the load 15 inches from the bait.
The steelhead gods were just not with me this morning. At least that is what my gut was telling me. In addition to the wind that cut through my multiple fleeces and neoprene waders. I did not feel hardcore today. I thought more about my icing guides and the dirty flow then just accepting the circumstances and tuffing it out. So I called it quits short like a Nancy girl just after 3 hours.
After I dumped the equipment off at the domicile, I shot out for a coffee. As I drove past the gorge and looked at the water in the middle and upper stretches my mind kept telling me "well it looks a little more green down there...mmm...." What do i know? that could just be the reflection off the pine trees onto the water. I have a feeling I will be out this afternoon for a few hours to give it one more attempt. If I dont I will hear from someone or read the web that someone was out and slaying them somewhere else on the creek . Maybe The right call would have been to fish the smaller streams in Chautauqua county? Oh well back to the coffee...............................

Monday, December 29, 2008

Where will the fish be?

The creek this morning has started to recede from the angry flood waters and winds that ravaged her over the last few days. The water is still chocolate but she is pushing out a more realistic and manageable flow. She may be fishable by tomorrow. God knows I would like one more chrome fish before the new year and the next cold snap. The question is....How many fish have come in through the flood waters and where will they be in the system?
I am out of roe at this time so if I go tomorrow it will be yarn and pinkies. I would like to get Commander Tom out tomorrow as he is the king of the Irish Jig. He loves the 1/32 ounce jig in pink and white as you can see in his pictures. I am slowly working on my friend and luring him to the dark side of the centerpin world. I have an old St. Croix wild river float rod sitting in storage which I could give to him but we must work on his wife to get the green light for a new reel purchase.
On another note I walked into a bar last night to meet Commander Tom for a drink and a pizza pie. While waiting for him an off duty employee asked me if I steelhead fish with a fly rod. I told him no with a centerpin. Sitting next to him was another friend of mine's girlfriend. She busts out and states that her boyfriend(a fly guy and also a friend of mine) told her that centerpinning is cheating and not fair. WTF.
I proclaim that the split between fly guys and pinners is the Arab/Israeli conflict of steelheading. Cant we all just get along? There is a beauty to be found in both techniques.
I personally think spey casting is beautiful and I love the sight of tube flies but there is something about the centerpin slowly paying out the line as your float drifts gracefully down a pool that I love. It is truly is the beautiful game as they say is the Brazilian soccer world.
I honestly probably fish with egg and yarn flies more than with roe ( along with the pink worm which was on fire for me all fall). so tell me how that is cheating if we are both using flies. I am not chumming which is illegal in NY anyway and something I never did nor promoted. So where is my unfair advantage?
I think the key to peace and good will on any stream is courtesy. If someone is fishing a pool or run you want to fish; just keep walking and don't even bother the guy. There will be other days to fish those spots. No body likes another fisherman regardless of his technique that jumps into your hole with out even asking for permission out of courtesy. When you do that you look like a hack.
I especially dislike other pinners who hop into your hole without even a hello and drift their floats in front of you and past you... Rude MF's. I have a word for those pinners.... Pin Donkeys. Let me know your thoughts on where you think the fish will be holding post flood. There will probably be a lot of new stream changes due to mother nature. Also let me know what you think of the Arab/Israeli conflict of steelheading. We all need to get along!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Fine Brown Trout

Prior to our last feeze up I caught this fine Lake Erie Brown.

Heavy Flow

Took a drive by the creek this morning on my way to get a cup of coffee . The temps are in the 50's this morning and the creek is very high and angry.