Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Catch and Release

Over the past few months I have caught and released this fish on four seperate occasions.  She has always been caught in the same spot despite the fact that she has been released several pools down stream from where she is originally hooked.  She always does the same thing, a few quick bursts up stream than an about face and a mad rush down stream that requires you to beat feet after her or she's gone baby gone!  The fish has a damaged mandible from a former battle and and a very recognizable spot pattern on the cheek.  The picture above is from our most recent encounter this weekend, when she took a big golden stone nymph (more on that in a future post).

The first time we met it was late winter and it was far too cold to be messing around with a camera so she was quickly sent on her way but I made a note of the water she was in and that damaged jaw.  On that occasion she was tricked by a green rockworm imitation.

Our next meeting took place right before the season opener.  This time a pink san juan worm with a gold bead did the trick.  I saw this take as she rose up from her spot in front of a log and picked off the fly mid current.

Our third encounter took place a few weeks ago during a high water event.  She was in the same spot as always.  She is never visable but you just know she is down there somewhere.  This time a heavy cased caddis imitation fooled her.

I am going to bid her farewell for the rest of the season and leave her be.  Four times in one season is more than enough...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cabela's 11' Czech Nymph Rod

I recently purchased a 4wt  11' CZN fly rod from Cabela's.  I had to wait a while for it since it was on back order, but its in my hands now and its time to give it a quick review.  First off I should mention the price point.  At $200.00 it is probably one of the cheaper fly rods on the market today.  The rod is manufactured in Korea and the fit and finish on the rod is just as good as rods costing 3 times as much.

I have fished this rod since the begining of the season and have been thrilled with it.  The extra foot of reach over my ten foot rods has allowed me a little extra stand off distance for some of the more tricky spots on the river.  On some smaller streams I can cover the water bank to bank without even getting my feet wet.  This is a special purpose nymhing rod, ideally suited for Euro nymphing techniques.

The rod has a supple tip and a bit of power in the butt section.  It presents a cast of nymphs well and the light tip protects fine tippets but the rod's more powerful butt section allows you to quickly bring fish to hand.  I won't comment on the castability of this rod because quite frankly there is no traditional casting involved with many of these techniques.  Recently I had the opportunity to fish the rod with traditional indicator techiques and it is well suited for that purpose as well.  The added length makes mending a breeze but more importantly eleven feet of rod often allows you to keep the line of the water entirely making mending unnecessary.

If your looking for a reasonably prized Czech Nymphing rod you may want to check this one out.  The rod is available in 3-5wt and lengths from 9'-6" to 11'.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fishing in the Rain...

This spring has been a very cool wet one for us here in the northeast.  Great for the trout, not so great for those of us that chase them with a fly rod.  I am not adverse to fishing in the rain, but all this rain has kept our streams at or near flood stage for long periods of time.  When water levels and clarity drop down to fishable levels its time to drop what your doing and head to the water regardless what the weather is.  In between all of this rain we have had some breaks with a beautiful day or two but usually the rivers are blown out or running with the consistency of chocolate milk.  I have been glued to the computer, studying water stream gauges on my local waters and dashing out when there looks like there is an opportunity to fish.  On days when the streams are just not an option I've been able to slip my kayak into a local pond and chase warm-water species.

This Monday there looked like there was going to be a opportunity to hit the trout streams.  Water levels were dropping to fishable levels and hopefully there would be enough clarity to fish.  After work I slipped out for a few hours and was not disappointed.  There were plenty of fish in the margins and the softer water along the banks.  The low light and off colored water made some of the stream's larger browns a little more approachable but landing these fish in high water was next to impossible.  Once they headed off down stream chasing them was not an option, so your only option was to snub up on the reel and bid them farewell.

The positive side to this spring's tough conditions will be that there should be plenty of water and fishable temperatures well into June.  It was also good to see that the bugs don't seem to have any issues with the high flows.  Our sulfurs are coming off like crazy and are getting a break from the fish as they ride rapids unmolested, at least on the surface.  So there was no delicate presentation of light colored mayflies to these fish.  It was big heavy nymphs, the kind that will put your eye out with an errant cast.

Longing for soft warm evenings presenting delicate dry flies to rising fish...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Piece of Fly Fishing History

A few months back I picked up a Thompson Wet Fly Wing Forming Tool. This tool was popular back in the days when wet fly fishing was the standard method of presenting a fly to a trout.  When I purchased the tool it came with only three combs  I was fortunate to find three additional combs of different sizes on eBay a few days back. I have not used it yet since up to a few days ago I did not have the appropriate sized comb for the size flies I was looking to tie. I'll put up another post with the finished product and the steps taken to get there.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

'Gill Time...

nuff said...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Backwater Paddle Company Piranha Paddle

Last year I picked up a Piranha Paddle from the Backwater Paddle Company.  This multipurpose hand paddle has changed the way I fish from a kayak. It is designed to be used in one hand.  This small paddle does not replace your standard kayak paddle but  supplements it instead.

This is how it works for me.  Once I get in the boat, I use my 7' kayak paddle to navigate to my fishing area.  Once I am in place and ready to start casting the Piranha paddle comes into play.  With one hand I can correct the orientation of the boat for the optimum casting position. Once the fishing begins, I can slowly quietly and effortlessly work my way down the shoreline casting away and making minor course adjustments with the Piranha Paddle.  Simply put it works like a charm.

In addition the paddle has multiple specialized surfaces that come in handy while fishing.  The angled serrated forward edge of the paddle is useful for pushing off objects and assists me while launching the craft allowing to push off a shallow bottom until I reach a suitable depth for my regular paddle. It also sees a lot of use pushing off shoreline cover that I happen to get to close to. The hooked portion of the paddle comes in handy for grabbing branches that are holding that inevitable fly that a errant cast caused it to land in a shoreline tree.  The hook also comes in handy for grabbing items that inadvertently fall overboard as well as grabbing on to a piece of shore line cover for exiting the boat or holding the boat fast to another boat or floating object.

Now for the best part...it cost me twenty bucks.  It is by far the best twenty dollars I have ever spent on a piece of fishing or boating equipment!