Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Old acquaintances, familiar waters, and old friends

This past Christmas was nice.  The new families members all got together and played like all children do that are under the age of two!  It was nice to be home, but I could not stop thinking about how wonderful it will be to go fish some of the Lake Erie tributaries on the Monday after the holiday.  I kissed my wife good bye and she headed home.  I got all my stuff together.  On this outing I took my TFO 11’ 8wt (rated for 400-600 grains) to the river.  I would string up the large arbor Battenkill number five with the Scientific Angler Supra Skagit 500 grains.  This line has a head of 27 feet.  I ran a 5’9” section of T14. This set up for the flows I was dealing with today would be the sweet spot in my humble opinion.  The total grain weight of this exact set up is 580.50 grains.  I would wade down to the lowest possible area at day break to swing for any steelhead that might be hanging out.  I swung my Sculpinzilla.  The pattern looks awesome wet better than I had planned for it.  It’s defiantly made for sinking! I did not have any takers.  The T14 tip was good for the flows all day.  The area has had no snow, and everything I saw did not have any frost on it.  The ground is saturated with water.  I waded out from my first section, and proceeded to watch an angler walk right across the river.  He never said “hey do you mind if I cross here” or anything.  I reeled up my line and proceeded to choke him with it “allegedly”.   No, I did not do anything I just walked on by him praying someday he would lose his stupidity.  I don’t like fishing around people I don’t know and that one be just another reason I hate fishing around people.  So I got a call from a friend and he said they would be at access X on the river.  I thought cool I will go swing some flies laugh and see him.  I walked up stream and saw him, and said “hey is this where the cool kids hang out”?  He laughed and said how you been?  I said the holidays have been great but it’s good to see you.  He had a young lad with him Mario from all indications for being only 14 I believe can swing a mean switch rod.   I proceeded to walk up stream with my friend to yet another gentleman he was fishing with.   I watched the accomplished fly fisherman cast with an effortless stroke.  That’s what I enjoy about two hander fishing.  The less effort you put into it the better your cast is.  He later offered some great advice to help me with my casting stroke.  I took it all in and he was right jus ta little tweek made my cast go from 35 feet to 45 feet!  I thanked him cause I have never had a reel idea what I'm doing, and have never been critiqued.  I shook my friends hand and he went on fishing.  I walked up about 400 yards and began to swing through some nice pockets, runs and riffles.  I would lose quite a few flies here!  I did not tie on my Sculpinzilla.  I fished intruders purple over black, blue over black, and black over purple.  Not one grabs or nibbles.  I did not care I was on vacation up here for three days of this so I was bound to at least hook up once or so I thought.   We fished along the same stretch of water for about an hour.  They left before me and proceeded up stream.  I went to knock on a door of an old friend and ask him if I could fish behind in house in the valley.  He granted me access and seemed to be really happy I still ask after all these years.  I walked down into the 300 foot gorge.   I saw no traces of anyone else being here.  That’s one thing about this place it’s a haul to get in and out.  I saw remnants of the Bald Eagle nests.  I was surprised not to see them this year.  I normally see one of them when I snap a branch of two on purpose.  They normally peek out of their nests and look at me!  Well no fish where hooked in this section but once again it was all about being alone with hopes of possibly hooking a fish. Well enjoy the pictures!














Thursday, December 22, 2011

Steelhead Nerds!

Here is a website you folks may not know of. http://weatherspark.com/#!dashboard;ws=29769 its a great site for weather.

Ramblings, Mumblings of the Great Lakes Steelheader

Sometimes I wonder how people make it through the day.  I miss the rivers I used to fish.  I miss the fish and the rawness of the Great Lakes. 
This past fishing trip was the best prescription a doctor could write.  I know my wife said I could fish over Christmas holiday.  I may fish and I may not.  I like winter steelhead fishing to a point. 

Here in the Great Lakes we have brutal temperatures.  The water cools and holds the colder temperatures coupled with any wind makes slush.  This slush creates a problem for winter steelheaders.  Slush creates side ice along the rivers and creeks.  This will eventually cause sheets of ice to form all over the rivers.  The ice will lock up rivers and creeks.  The fishing leading up to these events can be great but the timing can be very difficult.  The air temps are so cold and coupled with the cold water temps makes casting fly very difficult. Radial ice forms around fly line and the leader material. This after awhile turns into cable? The longer you cast it the bigger the diameter of the radial ice gets.   Now in saying this we have had a bizarre warm beginning to winter over the last two weeks.  I’m going to pack up my pellet head fishing gear and head to the shores of Lake Erie next week.

My lovely wife has given me a three day fishing pass.  Compounded by the fact there is zero snow on the ground and no ice in the rivers I will be fishing.  I’m taking my custom Feathercast 10’6” 6wt switch and my TFO 8wt 11’ switch rods!  I will take my full spey just in case the Grand is fishable!  Well folks have a safe and happy holiday!


Cheers,


Tom

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grain Weight, Rod Weight who is confused!

Well to tell you the truth the entire two handed rod industry could not have made us more confused.  Why do they sell switch rods with a line rating on them?  Does anyone own a switch rod that is a 6wt that is strapped with a 6 weight line?  I really doubt it due to the fact a switch rod or a two hander needs to be rated in grain weight only.  For those even more confused by this let me explain. I own two TFO switch rods one 5wt rated from 250-450 grains, and an 8wt that’s rated for a grain weight window of 400-600 grains.  I don’t have a grain scale yet, but I do know it takes a SA Mater Series steelhead Taper in a 7 weight (for the 5wt) and a 10 weight (for the 8wt) to load the rod correctly.  So how in the hell can you load a rod correctly with a 5 weight or 8 weight lines?  You simply can’t load the rods correctly by line weight alone.  I just feel the industry has missed the bus again and has a lot of us confused, and some people are just afraid it’s too difficult to line a rod properly.  Sorry for the rant, but I just wanted to help someone!


Tom