Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Fall Vacation Trip


I would be already packed for weeks prior to my trip. This would be my first fishing vacation this year due to my divorce, and remember I was planning on a weeklong smallmouth trip all over the Lake Erie tributaries.

I would head out on Friday the 16th and spend the next two days fishing with Andrew. He and I had not had an opportunity to fish together in a season. He and Vicky were nice enough to allow this fishing vagabond to stay at their home. Without folks like these I would be in a bad place. These friends like others that have opened their homes and extended an open invitation to stay at home is truly a blessing. Mr. Andrew and I would head east. We would fish I would say one of the largest Lake Erie tributaries. We had a relaxed low stress arrival time stream side. The river was in great shape greyer than deep emerald green but it was still a welcomed sight. I was on a mission this vacation. I would fish for four days. I would swing flies the entire time. I would use amongst other flies my A.I variants  the pattern originated from the following website www.steelheadalleyflytying.blogspot.com

I strung up my two rods. I brought my CPx 13'-9" 9wt Spey, and my TFO 11' 8wt Switch rod. I put an 11' section of T17 on the full Spey, but on the switch rod I went with 5.5' of T17.

We fished a section of creek that was well above the lake. I know we would run into less fish and less anglers. I will trade every time for less fish to be fishing around less people. Some of my fly fishing brethren forget really why they are out their fishing. I won't go into a tirade of why we fly fish, but it's been said before “it’s not the fish I'm after" It rings so true for me.



Photo by Andrew G.

Photo by Andrew G.




Andrew and I ate at the Rail www.therailburger.com  Great place and a great small menu.  I recommend it if your in Akron, Ohio.










Have you ever been on a piece of water and thought to yourself how nice this feels? Have you ever been casting and hear the birds and the trains in the far off distance and think how tranquil this all feels? Have you ever just sat down on the water’s edge to listen to the sounds that go unheard in a person’s daily routine? I do this all the time when I fish and in life. This simple act keeps me focused and makes me reflect on what is important.

As the first day would wind down Andrew would land the only steelhead of the day. A buck steelhead in about 26" long and sporting her pre winter colors. I would lose a few flies but hey if you’re not losing flies you’re not going to catch fish!

Day two we would stay in Ohio and fish an Eastern Ohio Great Lakes Tributary. She was in great shape. The river had 26" of visibility and had great potential. We picked a section of the river that was in her top half. The river here has a riffle plunge pool that's about 150 yards long and the width of the river is about 90 feet. This day I was only armed with my TFO Switch rod 8wt. I kept the 5.5' section of T17 on her and swung for the fences. I may have had a tug in the pool but really could not tell. I swung flies through this section two times. I used what I call the trib step down method.







    Andrew G. Photo

    Andrew G. Photo

    Andrew G. Photo

    Andrew G. Photo

Andrew G. Photo

I was somewhat surprised at the difference in water conditions. The first tributary was good flow and level but was more grey than green. This grey comes from the mineral deposits from the shale or clay in the river.

The other river we fished had amazing water clarity for the amount of fine dirt particles that was in the water column. The flow rate was such that you could cross the river at will but needed to make sure you looked before you leaped!  I did manage to score some great food at the Brickyard in Lewiston, NY http://www.brickyardpub.com
I miss it!


Oatmeal Stout!

Shaved prime rib sandwich!
Side note and observation: When people plan to fish a river what types of questions do you ask yourself? Do you look at a map of the area you plan to fish? Do you take the time and find out if the river is fishable? Do you try and find out just how far the river is from the access point? I saw two young men walking to the river on Sunday. They looked like they should have known what they were doing. While walking up the tributary that leads to the river that asked me if this was the river. I almost wanted to laugh at them, but I refrained from it. They obviously have never been to this river and did not look at the park map prior to walking down the path. I told them nope this is not the river you need to keep on walking and you will find it. I felt like these two young men should not even be on the river. We have all done it before you know not being prepared for something out of the ordinary “it happens". You have to know your surroundings, and what you may be getting into. Never assume you know enough.

The next river I would fish would have some issues. I have never seen her have 40 feet of clarity. I have never seen so many boats. The charter captains were having a great time catching fish. I was humbled to say the least. I spent 3.5 hours trying to figure it out, but after about a dozen flies and 40" of tippet I decided it was time to leave. I did not even mention the 40 plus boats I was dealing with lol. I had lunch at “insert link" and had the great shaved prime rib sandwich again, and a double chocolate stout. I headed back to Ohio.

A really good friend of mine was trying to convince me to stay for the next day because he had it all figured out. He did but the mental picture that was in my head from the previous day was too much to take. I passed on the opportunity to go back to Ohio. I'm sure he caught fish he's a good angler.

I'm a rehabilitated bobber fly fisherman. I started using a bobber for our pellet head fishery back in the mid 1990's. I have never enjoyed fishing in low and clear water conditions. I see now more than ever that I choose not to fish when I think the water is to low and far to clear. For some folks they don't mind it. I have no desire to watch fish run for their lives as my fly crosses their feeding lie. Water level and water clarity run hand in hand. If you can see the fish the fish most defiantly can see you. This to me is not a good combination. The fish I think would want to feed the more if cover and concealment was more readily available. A predacious instinct resides in all andronomous fish. The low and clear water conditions ended my trip early.

The other thing that I know stops keeping people from hooking into fish is that they do not have their fly in the feeding lies of the fish. No matter if you bought the fly or made the fly your fly’s location vs. the fish will make you or break you!

I'm done rambling on folks. So enjoy the holiday season that's upon us. Be safe and be well.


Cheers,

Tom



The start of the Niagara power grid!
the picture does not do this justice!


The food was great the beer for me at least was not! I'm not a huge fan of imperial stout!

Shes flat!