I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.
It has been an odd few weeks with the early winter blast putting the crimp on my stream walking but there are a few other options out there.
I'm hoping for an active Spring on the water as there were a lot of fish that stayed in the lake due to the low water Fall season.
Thanks for stopping in and I value our time on the water for those I fish with. In addition I would like to thank those of you who have authored their own blogs. Your piscatorial accounts both keep my passion for fishing fueled and keep me thoroughly entertained on the cold fishless days of winter.
I found some greenish water this morning on my morning walk. The water had a little murk to it and it seems we have gone from early November into January conditions. All the fish I caught today were smaller males and the were sluggish in their fight.
The water was almost coming into form this morning. Its color more of a green/brown than a brown/green.
I more around alot not falling in love with one spot for too long.
The water was very cold with the snow melt. Two females I had on were sluggish on the take just slowly shaking there heads like dead wood on a rubber band both came unbuttoned before I brought them to shore.
The last fish of the three was a little feisty male who inhaled my offering in some fast water.
I got up at 5 am this morning and checked the hydro graphs. There was a bump from the 2am front that moved through bringing sideways rain and gusty winds. I geared up hoping the water would be somewhat fishable.
I shuffled my turkey laden body down the path in the half light only to see roiling chocolate. The creek was pushing some heavy silt and it wasn't even worth a cast.
Well better to live down the street than over the border and be disappointed upon arrival.
This Turkey day was rated PG for Perfect Green. The water had the best color of the Fall season and it did not disappoint. All of my victims were fresh silver fish with a lot of spunk.
I had an opportunity to fish all the spots I wanted to hit and I felt guilty I called it quits at noon. If I did not have to go to dinner later ; I would have gone on a forced march from top to bottom.
The PG was accompanied by a little drizzle which turned into a rain shower by noon. I don't think the water will hold its color with more anticipated rain and the possibility of 6-12 inches of snow tomorrow night.
I thank God today for my friends,family and a decent job to go to every morning.
And of course I am thankful for theses silver ghosts we chase.
I got home tonight and there was a big box on the steps from Orvis. My replacement pair of waders have come back 4 weeks and 1 day since return at the local shop.
I would like to thank Donna Jarman in their repair department for her excellent customer service and for making it happen. Evidently there may have been a snafu with the return from the local store to home office repair dept which extended the delay but Donna got it done.
My first impression is the bootie is a size 9-11 and I take a wide 11 to 11 1/2 at times. I threw them on tonight with a pair of wool socks over sweat socks and they appear to be a snugger fit than the previous pair in the neoprene bootie.
The bootie might be a different design than the last years version. Either way thank you Orvis for coming through.
We all know that steelheading is a competitive game that consumes us all. In addition it grows in popularity every year with fisherman traveling far and wide to enjoy the fruits of this sport.
This morning I smiled as I got to the access spot and there was not a car in sight . I made my way to my chosen spot with my head lamp on only to see see two or three head lamps glowing in the distance like fireflies.
My next option was to move to a pool below my chosen spot and reassess my situation after I thoroughly worked spot B. As I made my way to pool, one of the three head lamps sprinted to pool B ahead of me and set up at the head of the pool.
I released a few grumbled curse words from my mouth and worked my way down stream. As I was 20 yards from spot C and thinking I was finally alone in my solitude, I saw two kids sliding down a steep cliff to get a jump on me. MF'ers, I was not going to get blocked a third time this morning so I sprinted in the first light through brush, boulder , and burr with lungs burning to get to my spot.
F... them I say.
Yes it's a little juvenile to sprint to a hole but its gets tough out there sometimes. I wont low hole people nor will I jump into their pool and crowd them out.
But I do want room to play and room to play alone.
The two kids Heckle & Jeckle to their credit left me to my own devices and made their way down stream. I then tried to relax and calmed my self down.
I did not hit fish right a way but in my journeys I got into some good fish and lost a fine 12 lbs buck who wanted nothing to do with me today . And later I got my revenge on those first two spots that I did not get a chance to fish at first light. Though I was probably fishing third water as they say, the fish were buying what I was selling and I wacked them.
I guess competition keeps us strong but I remember days in the early nineties when you might run into three people all day on the water.....I am getting old.
This morning I got out with the Commander at first light. The morning weather was cloudy and 47 degrees.
We hit our first spot at sun up and were amazed we had no other company around. For a Sunday it was a virtual ghost town in comparison to Friday and Saturday.
There was another one of those anomaly spikes in the graph last night that no one can explain and a little rain was expected at 3 pm.
We could find no takers at our initial pool. While the water was still lower than normal it was in better shape than the day before and had a better green tinge to her color. On our way we went skipping some occupied water. It is always better form to walk by an occupied pool or run instead of barging in on someones business on the water. There is allot of fishable water so we kept moving.
The Commander struck first today on his Mr. Pink. He pulled in a fine 10 lber. The beautiful fish must have been camera shy as she decided to dash back into the green as she was lifted for a picture. Tom was never the less a happy man. He got to see her and as he put it she can go on her way and make babies this spring.
I hit a feisty male that gave me a good fight and we both hit a few skippers to boot. Most of the day was cloud covered with a light drizzle here or there that I think was the key to our success. The water looked fishy today and we commented from time to time that there has to be a fish sitting there.
We made our way back to the truck and on our way we passed a few locals. I over heard them say are we going to put in the gill nets yet???
Ooooh that's a touchy subject to many a steelheader so I wont get into today.
Today I fished alone and concentrated on the lower sections. I was looking for stacking or staging fish ready to make their run upstream.
After a cold morning it warmed up nicely and I was afflicted by the blue bird skies once again. It felt like picnic weather not steelheading weather.
The water had dropped quite a bit and is starting to clear. More rain is needed to get things going again.
I wasn't feeling the the Mojo down stream and Big Ed said nothing was going on upstream so I reverted to a common theme for me lately. I lounged on big log and stared at the sky just listening to the water. I thought of a conversation I had yesterday with Bill and Frank about a fly guy named Jim who is still at it almost everyday and is into his 80th decade on this earth. Bill commented that he hopes he is still that healthy to walk the stream like a young man when he hits his 80's and I agreed with him too.
I also thought to myself that when my time comes hopefully when I am walking this very water and in my eighties that this is where I want to die. Peaceful on a bank in the domain of the steel. It would be almost as good as a viking funeral.
Today I had another opportunity to take a day off and sneak away to meet Bill, Frank, and Gabe. We met up at sun up with the temps in the 30's and the water temperatures hovering around 39 degrees. Frank caught a few and I had one that came unbuttoned on a size 10 hook but I guess that's part of the game.
After putting our time in at one stretch of the river, we moved on to the next area which was populated by a number of fisherman. We decided to put our time in and explore a little outside of our usual spots. So as the gang comfortably started the death march in their breathable waders, I tagged and lagged along in my back up neoprene's feeling restricted, constricted, and wobbling down the stream like a humptydumpty like stuffed sausage. The Orvis waders are still in for repair. I was told two weeks and this Sunday it will be my three week anniversary of their non-return for repair.
So of course Bill and Frank took the lead. Older , wiser , and definitely in better shape than most men their age and men half their age; we went on a search for our special fish. The pickings were slim today with temps expected to hit 62 by noon and blue bird baby blue skies.
I hate sunny blue skies while I fish. If it was my choice everyday on the water would be cloudy,dark,drizzly and in the mid 40's but a day on the water with special friends is exactly that....special.
I did luck into one nice fish on our walk back up that made my day and gave me some fodder for the blog.
Bill hooked into a few brutes and lost them on his extended journey too. We all hoofed back to the trucks for a little lunch at which time I surrendered to the neoprene fueled heat stroke and and aching muscles and left the guys before they tried one more spot.
My old bones weren't coming back into form until about 8pm after a few Molson's to end the day at a local watering hole.
As Bill puts it: "it is always good to meet up on the water and keep up our friendship/torture/fraternity" and it is always good to see Frank aka the Premier ply his trade so well on the water. And for Gabe who ended the day a little frustrated and lamenting his performance in front of the old guys. We have all put our time in on that river learning not only from our successes but also from our fishless skunked out days too. You will have your glory days on that water trust me.
I took a solo run in the darkness of early morning. The air was crisp and there was a light dusting of snow on the ground that added to this November Sunday. There was no wind just cold.
So as I walked down the path into the darkness , my hot breath held in the air like a small fog in the light of the head lamp as I huffed and puffed like an old steam engine.
I chugged, waded and stumbled my way to the run I wanted to hit at first light. As the light came up, the snow started to come down steadily and mixed itself with a little freezing rain.
My presentation was perfect and I was overly confident about the morning. Well my first two spots did not produce and the only thing I caught was myself as I some how hooked the back of my jacket as I fumbled through my vest. WTF!!!
At spot number two I filled myself with second guessing/ I questioned my bait, my hook size, my floro lengths, the poor runs of the early season etc...
As I was lost in thought I heard an ungodly sound of breaking bushes ,branches and grunting. Twenty yards below me three does and two bucks came charging across the creek and made way back into the brush. In fast pursuit behind them were two bigger bucks trying to chase down the pack. I refocused myself on the water for a few minutes until the herd of deer came flying down the path just off the bank plowing over everything in site. Then about 20 seconds behind them came the two big bucks separately. One of them did not even notice me and came within 15 feet of me. He looked at me and froze as I kept still as I looked at him. hHe then just started grunting and tore ass down the path toward the herd. At that point, I said to my self,well there probably will be no fish today but to see those deer was worth the price of admission.
I worked my way up stream as the morning went on and struck gold in a few spots. This season has been all about the fish being spread out far and wide. To get your fish you were walking a lot and hitting many spots. But today I lucked into a pod or two. Today's fish were mixed in size but it appeared finally some bigger fish were mixed in the pods finally.
A good morning to wash Saturday's skunk off my mind.
The Commander and I got out at the crack of light this morning in hopes of setting out world right with a few fish. We stopped at a few tributaries and all of them were various shades of brown this morning.
We did our best to find some action but it wasn't to be. We worked hard a number of sections thoroughly. If they were there even in off colored water they would have taken our our offerings.
A double skunk stripe today for both of us.
Our bad luck has motivated me to such an extent that I have decided to go into the office for a few hours and forget about this morning.
Well I knew Bill was going fishing this morning and as always hope springs eternal for him on the waters. Yesterday evening as I smelled the damp cool air, I had a psychic vision that Bill would catch 17 fish today. The conditions yesterday and today were very similar to a magic day we had on the water and my gut told me he would repeat that day today.
So I sent Mr. Bill a text message recounting my clairvoyant vision of his would be steelhead greatness today. Unfortunately when I returned from meetings today at work , He sent me word of quite a different reality which he encountered today on the water.
Sir, I apologize for fanning the fires of optimism but I would have bet the bank that today would have been the day.
I took a much needed vacation day on short notice today. The local forecast called for some rain over the next few days and I didn't want to risk getting mudded out later in the the week.
So I met Bill and Gabe on a couple of our favorite sections of the creek. I gotta say the water was a beautiful green and after a morning in the low 30's the sun warmed my scruffy old face quite nicely.
We had some success today. I use the word success based on this years outings and environment not days of yore.
We all caught a few fish and all were silver. But..... but....but....they continued for the most part to be small to middling size steelhead. The bigger fish we have not seen yet. Now I know there are a few people that have hit a pod here or there with a few bigger fish in it but it has not happened to anyone close to me yet.
It was nice to meet Gabe for the first time and from his picture above he could look like my brother from far away! LOL. In addition to being a good guy , he makes a great mortadellasandwich. Mmmm.....can you say MORTADELLA?
And of course I cherish my time on the water with Bill as if it were gold. Over the last couple years we have had some good days on the water and we share our special obsession with these damn fish.
I could have sat on that big rock sunning my self for the rest of the day. There is something special about flowing green water that is good for the soul.
Amen to that and good luck on the water.............................
Got out at the crack of dawn this morning for a 4 hour tour. The weather was nice and crisp and I got to a few spots before the late risers. I ended up with a few today but still had to work for them. One fisherman even caught a Chinook.....Go figure.....
As the morning came to the end the water dropped a little more and started to clear. Another good rain would be nice to keep the fish moving. Happy Halloween and have a safe evening.........
Nothing like getting up to the Dirty at what you think is an early time and you are the 35th car into the lot.
A little more of the same at Burt this morning. The first hour of the morning showed a little action and then as the hydro flow reduced and so did the action. I was out of there by 9:45 am with a Steelhead and a Brown to show for my efforts.
On the way to work this morning the winds were howling down the length of lake. There were powerful waves hammering the lake shore with intensity and pushing up water levels. It was hard walking in a straight line downtown this morning.
I am hoping the medium shot of rain we had the other day which brought up stream levels a little but not as much as I had hoped coupled with the intense gusts of wind do the trick.
It should bring in some fresh runs to the lower reaches of medium and smaller streams and I don't worry about the big girl as she is on her own time table.
Just a few thought s from the home office before I down a Tim Hortons...........
I took back my waders yesterday to where I bought them . Since they were a little over a year old I was hoping they would tell me to just take another box off the shelf and send me on my way.
I was using my warranty issue as a moment of truth with the company in question. They instead told me they would ship them back for repair for $30 bucks which isn't bad but we are getting into prime time and going without or wearing sub par back ups is frustrating for a period of 2 weeks or longer. I do have back ups but what a pain.
I told the guy that there was faulty taping on both neoprene footies that were leaking. He questioned me "do you use them a lot?" Should that be the issue? Should you have to buy a product and use it less or not at all for it not to fail in one year?
So let me know what you think.
Is the universalism that all waders fail after one year acceptable to consumers?
Are we a civilization that puts men into space and rescues miners below the earth unable to create a wader that lasts for more than one year?
Am I to upgrade from $300 plus dollar waders to $600 dollar plus waders to find satisfaction with a product?
Is this done by the manufacturer on purpose so we come back every year to blow more money?
Is there any pride left in manufacturing a good quality product?
Have a great week and catch some fish......................
This morning I decided to go try a Lake Ontario trib which is infamous in the minds of many. I was hoping for a female chinook to replenish my roe supplies but for the second time this year I couldn't buy a female Chinook.
The people were not that bad today and for the most part everyone was friendly and had manners.
I fished a combination of roe and beads today with some success but not a blockbuster day.
I did get the Lake Ontario Grand Slam today and I should be happy about that.
The slam included a Chinook,Brown,Steelhead, and an Atlantic.
I stayed from sun up to sun down . The one year old waders are leaking in both footies and I'm not happy about that. So the waders are turned inside out drying out and I plan on kicking back on the couch tonight. I wish I had Bill's fountain of youth and super powers to get me through a long day.