From Baja to Idaho - here’s a few photos to remember from this great fishing month!
November 17, 2009
There will be many days on this blog where you will not be informed of the location where the story took place. Sorry folks, but that’s the way the real anglers work and today is one of those days. Even though fishing wasn’t that great, I still can’t tell you where I was.
I fished with friends Ed and Lucas. They picked me up at my house about 8:30am and we headed on out. Later we were doing what I do a lot lately, chucking streamers. On this river, because of its size, I tossed only two flies and on a shorter than normal leader. My usual streamer leader is a 15-20ft long piece of 0X Rio Fluoro-Flex Plus tippet material. To most streamer fishers this sounds absurd because they use short stout tapered leaders. Short and stout makes sense for turning over big flies. I used such a formula for years. But trust me; fish the long 0X leader for a couple trips and you will be amazed! Once you develop the casting stroke it turns over just fine. It also sinks efficiently and helps give you direct contact from you to the fly. You rarely miss a strike. And to top it off, 0x Rio Fluoro-Flex Plus is 14lb test so you can land a big fish fast or rip down a tree branch when you miss that target!
All that talk and unfortunately I must tell you again, fishing was slow. In total we landed seven fish. Four of the fish were decent with one large brown of about 20-inches. It was a gorgeous fish that Lucas caught while dredging a deep pool. One of today’s highlights was a moose that was very annoyed to see anglers floating this late in the season. With her ears back, she stood her ground as we drifted on by.
You couldn’t ask for nicer weather for mid November. It reached a high of about 45, there was no wind and it was partly sunny. Perhaps that’s why fishing wasn’t as good as yesterday, and remember, we didn’t try too hard yesterday but still caught fish.
The first run from the Husky boat ramp to the rapid was nearly dead. I always boat a few fish here. In fact, yesterday we caught five fish in this run. However, today the one fish we did catch was unique for this river - a lake trout. Yes a lake trout! In all my years on the South Fork that was only the second one I’ve seen there.
This was my treat to Ken for all his hard work on my website so I chose to row most of the day. Although Rob would have been happy to share the rowing duty, I only had him relieve me for about an hour towards the end. All I wanted was few casts and a fish. Overall we landed about eight fish. Seven of them were cutthroat and one rainbow.
Despite the slow fishing it was a great day to get out. Any day your guides don’t freeze in November is a treat. Our days are numbered now as we all know the ground will soon be snow covered, high temps will be below freezing and the rivers will be close to frozen.
Whenever I’m on the road I always try to wet a line if I have time. I don’t know why more traveling folks whether it business or pleasure don’t try to do the same. It takes little to pack a rod and reel. I guess most people just assume there’s not much to fish for. Like me down here in Southern CA today, what in the world would I bring a fly rod here for? Duh! How about the ocean?
On October 30th, I ventured out with an old friend, Rich Garrett, who generously took time from work to take me fishing. Rich and his gal Mary Lou hooked us up with their friend, Mike Allen, a pro for Hobie Cat, and we sea kayaked outside Newport Beach.
Mike Allen is an expert in kayak fishing to say the least and he kindly took the day and time not only to join us fishing but also teach us how to use a sea kayak. Kayak’s are great fly fishing tools and within five minutes I was sold on the Hobie. We had the option of paddling and/or pedaling for moving in these kayaks. I loved this option because pedaling freed my hands so I could cast to fish with ease.
Today was a gorgeous 85 degree day with no wind. I quickly found myself two miles out to sea rolling in huge Pacific waves while chasing a school of bonito. I’d of chased bonito all day but somehow I’d ventured a long way away from Mike and the gang. I knew as a total rookie that wasn’t such a good idea and didn’t want to worry everyone. Also, it occurred to me that a kayak could resemble a seal to a big shark! I’ve fly fished for blue and mako sharks in the nearby waters off San Diego and recently friend Jeff Patterson actually caught a great white on the fly down there! So as fast as my legs could pedal I hauled ass back near shore. There I met up with Rich, Mary Lou and Mike and dredged Clouser Minnows along the kelp beds. I have fished the surf in Southern California several times and learned the good fly’s should have some orange and gold. Therefore, the Clouser I used was orange and white with some gold on the body. Throughout the afternoon we landed a handful of handsome little calico bass and mackerel. A fantastic day!
The Clouser Minnow was originally designed by Bob Clouser to be a freshwater fly, but tied in bigger sizes, it is deadly in the brine as well. A great prospecting pattern, you can cover alot of water with this one on those rare occasions when you might not know exactly where the fish are hanging out. On the retrieve it darts like a wounded baitfish just begging to be swallowed by something higher on the food chain. This fly should be tied sparse to imitate the long, narrow silhouette of most baitfish. Since the weighted eyes are on the bottom of the fly, it rides with the point up, so you can drag the bottom with it and not get many snags.