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I am just a guy who uses fishing and playing guitar to keep myself sane...or at least try to.

Friday, December 29, 2006

'Thats a Wrap!' :o(

Today the river was on the 'stingy' side.
I had made plans to fish with 'Wallacio' and provide him with a tour of my backyard river....basically returning the favour from a previous fishing outing where he was the host.
I was glad to do it.
We caught some fish.....a few really nice ones...but it wasn't the stellar day that I had hoped for.
I spent most of the day walking Dave from pool to unproductive pool describing how wonderfully this river fished over the past two months.
"Should've been here yesterday".....ugh
Oh well,
Dave was a good sport about it and it gave me a great opportunity to think back over a season beyond compare realize just how fortunate that my friend Brian and I have been.
I will certainly cherish the memories of this Steelhead fall season for the rest of my life.
The water was low and clear....and smashed from all the holiday pressure....at least that is the excuse I am going with. :o)
The day had a nice pace and Dave was good company.
I believe I can safely add his name to the list of guys I'll fish with......its a 'very' short list! lol
Welcome aboard....we'll do it again soon.
I wish all the fish in the river well and I hope they knock boots silly this spring!
Who knows...maybe I'll see some of them again.
Time to shift gears....
BTW- Happy New Year ....nerds.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Dose of Humility

I got "tuned" yesterday.
The season is winding down and I was desperate to get out a few more times before the 31st. Looks like yesterday and Friday will be it...and that is heartbreaking.
I will still fish....I mean lets get serious....but I will miss the favoured river trips not so much for their convenience but for the intimacy. The hikes through the bush are as much a part of what I get from the river as its silver gifts.
It is very enjoyable watching the bush make its annual changes in Autumn/Winter. I have no favourite stage. Everybody digs the colours of early fall and I am no exception. I remember a moment fishing a particularly fine section of river with Brian early this season. It was unseasonably warm and the rain that had been threatening all day finally fullfilled its promise. The sky opened up and we got pounded with those big cold drops you can get in the fall. Great fishing weather! Behind us on this stretch of the river were these enormous cedar trees and when the rain drops started hitting them ,for some reason the scent that these trees are famous for became that much stronger.What a great smell and sound that created!
On the other hand, as much as I bitched and complained about the snow in a previous post ,I have to say that if I couldn't appreciate the stark beauty of the valley covered in it I would be missing something important. There is a sound right on the edge of hearing that comes with a soft snowfall along the river. I've read this described as a "hiss" as the snow touches the water and although I like the sound of that description I don't know if I can run with it comfortably. To me it is almost like an absence of sound that all that snow creates that allows you to hear something that you normally couldn't. Regardless,..chestpain and leg cramps be damned.... I wouldn't miss that for the world.
Yesterday I didn't know what to expect.
The water was on the low side and more clear than I would've liked but I am becoming spoiled. The Christmas Holidays were great for the Norlands and the festivities had left me feeling a little fuzzy. I was hoping to saunter around the river at an easy pace and use the opportunity to say goodbye until next year. Maybe I didn't bring the right mindset for fishing?.....or maybe it was exactly the right one.
I didn't have any trouble hooking fish but had a terrible time landing them.
I am as vain as the next guy....(at least! :o))....and the extra eyes the holidays had brought to the river made blowing big fish particularly annoying. I didn't feel like I was fishing wrong but who knows, maybe I was a little distracted. As I am sure all fisherman have done, I kept summoning all the 'crap cliches' that we dredge up to assuage the unique pain that accompanies a sudden slack line but I experienced too many heartbreakers in a row and suddenly I found myself in a sulk....and desperate for a 'good' fish.(Shame on me for implying that there are 'bad' fish)
It was a long time coming....and although I am not sure why, it seems fitting that it turned out to be big old wintering buck that had possibly been in the river since the first push. I have probably walked by him 20 times this year.
It was nothing compared to Brians 10+ double striper from his last blog post but it was perfect for me. I hope he lives to see the next winter....the fish I mean, and I like to think that I have educated him just to enough to maybe save his skin.
If this is my last fish of the year I would have no problem with that but this Friday has offered me one last kick at the cat and the laws of probability dictate that I should have a good to great day.
...But since when can we say that this particularly unreliable 'Law' applies to this nutty sport that consumes us Steelheaders?
Bring it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My day of rest..

Brian and I hit the river today.
He had mentioned to me earlier in the week that he was going and although I generally hate fishing weekends I decided to tag along.
Considering his recent display of piscine uselessness I thought that, in the spirit of Christmas, I could at least let him play a few of the fish that I hooked.
What are friends for?....eh Pepe?
Turns out my concern was unwarranted as Christmas came early for the both of us today.
The weather was awesome, and the crowds were 'relatively' thin combining to make a very enjoyable trip to the river.
I was glad to see Brian nail one early just to take the pressure off....but considering he outfished me again...I could've appreciated the humour in a back to back skunking!
It had been a while since the two of us fished together and quite obviously he had missed my guidance.
One thing about fishing with a partner is the ability to get some decent quick photos.
Brian and I have a kind of unspoken agreement to stop fishing when the other hooks into one and prepare for the obligatory photo op. I love my fish photo's almost as much as I love these crazy fish and it is nice to document the moment of catching one guilt free with the help of a friend. In truth it is fun to watch friends fight fish anyway.
I won't say anything as ridiculous as 'Its as fun watching as catching them yourself'.....but it is pretty close at times.
Brian had one take him into the fast deep stuff today and I remember chasing along after him, on shore with my camera, actively praying for his dunking. Now that would've made for a great photo op. :o)
No such luck. The old fella can move pretty good when he has to.
Besides the 'stunning' photos I take of my friends fish ,I also pride myself on my ability to offer advice during the tussle on how to best land them.
In Brians case, the advice is usually something to the effect of "just hand me the rod for Christ's sake" or the ever present "listen, just break it off,...you've got no chance in landing that fish."
Like I say...always helpful.
Just coming off a stint of midnights and my brain feels like mush. My body always feels funny for a few days after.
Not sure what I should be eating, when I should be sleeping and I just feel tired all the time. I love my job and the crew I work with but people just shouldn't be up in the middle of the night ...period.
Unless of course you are driving to NY to go fishing. :o)
Rounding the corner on Christmas and there is a strong possibility that I won't get out again until after the holiday. If that is the case then today could'nt have been more perfect. The fish were beautiful, the pace was good,and it felt like spring out. 'Twas' a nice treat ...and that river doesn't owe me anything.
Ho, ho, holy I am tired.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Flying solo

'Tuned 'em',
That thing has legs.It may well be my new go to descriptive phrase. I use this kind of language from time to time...crushed 'em, whacked 'em, beat 'em up....HAMMERED 'em!!
Childish ?....Maybe. However, I am hoping that fishing will keep me young at heart and it is my most sincere hope that I never start to take it too seriously. It has great value in my life and value in the lives of my friends so by that token the conservation aspect of our little 'pastime' should be taken very seriously in order to maintain the quality of the experience.
That being said I believe that it is possible to be a good hearted practicing conservationist/environmentalist/ethical sportsman and still chase down these fish with a light heart and sense of humour. Nobody loves these fish more than me or the areas in which they live,...particularly the more isolated spots....which is where I fished yesterday.
The following quote is from a short story entitled 'Unfounded Opinions' written by Thomas McGuane. It is great little read alongside numerous other little gems in the collection 'The Longest Silence'.

'"I stepped into the water" a flyfisherman was recently heard to say, "and proceeded to empty the pool." We, his listeners, were bowled over. The trout stream as a modern toilet. Now I understand that this sort of hyperbole is part of the fun, but it's humor is based on a crackpot idea.'

It should be noted that one of the other little stories in this collection bears the title " Twenty Fish Days ".....sounds like he crushed'em to me. ;O)
Bottom line for me is, avoid the 'highhorse' at all costs. It is a useless lonely perch that only serves the ridiculous. I can speak from experience that the climb up is easy and effortless but the climb down ....if possible ...is awkward and ardous. I have found that if you feel it start to pucker a good long look in the mirror and a little more bran in your diet can work wonders.
Life is heavy enough....if we can't have fun on a trout stream we are really and truly screwed.

The hike in yesterday damn nearly killed me .. but I feel good today because of it. I happened across that big Buck again that makes this place home. We have come to terms with one another obviosly because he doesn't even bolt anymore.....just snorts a bit. I love him and wish him well but I wish he would stop pissing on the ATV trail...Christ that stuff stinks. We get it big fella!! Its your world boss!!,'You the man'!!
The water was on the murky side and went out from under me at about noonish. I beat the dead horse 'til around two then made the turn back towards the car.I had a beautiful brain fart about half way out. I had removed my fogged up glasses during one of my many breathers that had to be taken, and set them on the log that my tired ass was resting on. I didn't realize that I had left them there until I was in the car backing out of the parking spot a good hour away. I almost cried. If they weren't so new I probably would've left them.
I fished alone yesterday.
I enjoy fishing alone most days but I hadn't chosen to today. I had extended an invite to all my fishy friends but no takers. Brian, who herein after shall be referred to as 'Pepe la Pew', had to work and since the law has yet to be passed that prevents people from fishing while there friends work I decided to fly solo.
That law should be passed btw.
I hooked half the fish I managed on pink worms. I know these things work but I only fish them as a last resort. Whenever I reach for them I get this unsettling feeling that if I am not careful I will soon be covered in sponsorship and towing a $75,000 Ranger with a 300hp motor on the back,... chewing tobacco and Nascar.
Understand that most of what I write is tongue in cheek. I actually have a lot of respect for the bass guys. Most of those guys can really fish and were releasing fish back when most of us were dragging limits off to the smoke house.
Thankfully I caught a few fish on roe....like a gentleman.lol
All in all it was another great winter steelhead day. It was fun to watch the river unlock and come apart.
It was a little disconcerting that even in the dead of winter I had to haul out some shitrats empty beer cans but what-are-ya-gonna-do?. The image of this jackass buzzed out on that monkey-piss huddled around a bloodied dying steelhead that is worth a hundred of him in my book makes my skin crawl.Takes a special kind of dirt bag to leave garbage in a place that beautiful.'Sigh'.
Don't worry maggot! ... I got it.
The bush can be a very dangerous place and unfortunate accidents happen all the time. Here is hoping. :o)
I left the high-end stuff at home this trip and fished with some old friends that should never be allowed to collect dust too long.
My Islander is the best runner I own, but admittedly ,I have noticed it spins way better than other Islanders I have held. It is currently paired with my 13ft Rainshadow. I love that blank. This rod was the second rod that I'd built and I spined it to the soft side to make it less nasty. I have fished this combo a lot and it brought back some very pleasant memories.
Back to work tomorrow.
I am actually looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Now that was Brutal!!!

Went fishing today and probably shouldn't have.
I read the weather reports, ...why ?..I don't know if I am not going to heed their warnings.
Ah well, I am home safe and sound after driving through the worst conditions I have ever seen in my life.White-outs the whole way back home. My eyes are still sore. That was the only time I have ever been scared in an automobile.....I mean other than when Brian is driving.
It was COLD!
I got to the river relatively late. I slept in and needed it. I am an early riser normally and I like to be on the water for first light but I was wiped out from this past week and just said to hell with it.Besides, it is the second deer season where I fish and after what I experienced the last time around I thought that walking through the bush before sun up might be bordering on a deathwish. I 'borrowed' my raincoat from work and wore a red appleton rum ball cap in the hopes of not getting my head blown off. My raincoat is a violent chartruese colour that would give even a blind person a headache. I looked like a giant tennis ball.
Turns out I didn't miss much.The river was a slush fest early on and it was impossible to get a decent drift. I wanted to fish some runs way up so I exercised some rare self discipline and walked past fishy water to get there. That is a tough thing to do but the weather was getting worse by the minute and I wasn't sure how much time I was going to have. I have been thinking of this water for weeks now and have not fished it since back before I wounded myself and I was itchin' to test out my "girly" wrist against some big fish.
It failed miserably.
Unfortunately it will be a while before I am 'back'.. :o/
Ah well,...still was a great day. I caught some fish until the pain became unbearable.... mostly the cold. The wrist doesn't really hurt ...it just doesn't have the strength it needs.
On the first fish I managed to drop the camera in the water.....nice one gimp.
Took only about two seconds for it to freeze solid. I got one decent picture of a fish and one of one of the numerous spiders I saw on the snow????????/
Very weird.
Good thing Brian wasn't with me. He would've stared at the spiders for hours.
On the way out I bumped into a local pothead fisherman with a wild 30+ incher on a stringer.I guess he gets the munchies after fishing stoned.
Might have to kill that guy.
Gotta go.
Having dinner at the Curling Club tonight...
Whooo spread out!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Frustration and the 'Noggin o' Grande'

On November 22nd I did a dumb thing.
I tried to step down off Mobile Vacis unit I am assigned to at work and forget to let go of the railing. Gave my wrist a nice tug with all 190 lbs of me hanging there and managed to break my wrist....broken in the sense that it is not working anymore.
The pain wasn't and isn't too bad for most things but I decided , particularly after being lectured by my mother hen teamates ( I love you guys) to go to the hospital.
I have no faith in our local charlatan heath care sages. The facilities in this city are third world and I figure half these nit-wits are on the run from something.
Long story short, after numerous x-rays and a bone scan I still am not sure what is wrong with my wrist but I do know for certain that it is feeling better now.
I can type .....and I can fish,...albeit with a great deal of athletic tape and a wee bit of discomfort. Season ends in about three weeks....my wrist can go to hell.
I have another visit to the 'doctor' on Wednesday morning and I can only assume that the bone scan results are negative by the way this thing feels.We'll see.
Regardless...I will fish Thursday.
Sunday was a fun day.
I needed to get away so I decided to fish.
Brian and I were forced out of our comfort zone due to dangerously high water and pointed the windshield north towards a river with an enormous cranium.
Judging by the watergraph and thanks to a friendly tip we guessed that this river would probably be fishable and might be the only fishable water in the entire province after the deluge of last week....and it was.
We certainly didn't drill them. Brian narrowly avoided a skunking.
I don't know what I am going to do with him.
The man is useless and might be the worst fisherman I have ever seen.
He is also insane.
At one point he spent the better part of an hour staring at an impaled rodent that had ben stuck to a thorn bush by some kind of a bird. Hey David Suzuki!,there are fish to be caught!True story. I wish I had made it up,....I had a 3 hr ride home with the guy.....without my pepperspray.Freak.
I love it up there, although the last time I was there the apple orchards were in full bloom....on this trip it was a blooming snowstorm.
I love fishing in that weather. The fish aren't as fiesty ...although the ones we caught fought well considering the temps and were kind enough in retrospect not to punish my wrist too much.
I got to meet a good friend for the first time on Sunday. That is a strange comment but an accurate one.
I read an article recently in MacLeans entitled "The Internet Sucks".
I agreed with most of it. The worshiping of technology is a symptom....but the complete bashing of it is just as bad if not worse.
I am a fishing nerd and up until just recently I was a regular on numerous fishing websites where fellow fish nerds got to know one another and shared ideas. Through this medium I have gotten to know quite a few people.
Some I have become familiar with and see eye to eye with and some I would like to step on their necks.
Of the former a fellow Steelheader that runs with the moniker "Wallacio" I have been trying to get together with to share a run for years (?).
I suppose the bad weather finally forced our hands and I am very glad it did.
It was great to meet finally a guy I have communicated with on a number of occasions and see what he is all about.
This class act .. a very trusting and generous soul, put us on some water that was if not overly productive, lovely to fish....and I will return the favour.It takes a special type of person ,particularly a sportsman, to trust 'strangers' to some of his
favourite fishing holes. I look forward to fishing with him again. This time the tours on us.:o)
This aspect of the net certainly doesn't 'suck'.
Very good to meet you and fish with you Wallacio!
Unfortunately just when I was starting to like him he managed to catch the nicest fish of the day and quite possibly the coolest looking buck I have seen this season.
I hope they don't find the body.
Nice fish though.
Good day fellas......thx ...I needed it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Break out the Neoprene...

Yesterday I fished,
Surprise surprise.
The river was on the drop and judging by the realtime waterflow graph site that all my fish-nerd friends go by it should've had optimum clarity.....and it did.
We hammered them.
Between the advent of all the information available on the internet and all the really cool gear we have to fish for Steelhead these poor little fish really don't stand a chance.I may start fishing with no hook just to even things up a bit.
It was cold yesterday.
I was on the fence about whether or not to go with my breathable waders or my neoprenes. Just as Brian pulled into the driveway to pick me up I went with the breathables.
These are way more comfortable to fish and hike in so I decided at the last minute to just toughen up.
Turns out I am not as tough as I'd thought.
I wonder if I'll die on the river?
At one point in the morning I was shivering so badly that I wasn't sure if the picture I was taking (of yet another one of Brian's trophy fish!) was going to be clear because my hands were shaking so violently.
....Or it could've been the rage.
Funny thing..
I don't envy the guy with all the dough......fast car, nice house, trips to Europe.
All that would be cool ....but no.
I don't envy the athlete's with the 40 inch verticle leap.....it would've been cool to dunk one ...but I can still shoot the lights out.
Don't envy people of 'importance'......don't want the responsibility and things are screwed up beyond repair anyway....'steer clear of the shit and stay happy' is my current philosophy. I don't suffer from ambition......just ask my Wife.
Good looks are a soul stealing curse that only the most austere temperament can survive.......God knows I don't suffer from that affliction ....and I don't care to.
My buddy Brian is a fishing machine.....and I am going to kill him.
I have no choice.
I hit the water yesterday with my 'A' game.
I was on and so was the river.
At one point I hit 5 fish in 6 drifts....STEELHEAD...not bluegill.
Point is.....there are not many things in life that I am good at.....almost nothing now that I think of it......but I can fish....particularly floatfish for Steelhead.
This Jackass that I fish with....well he has taken it to another level.
It can be fun to watch.....but I am still going to kill him.
I have no choice.
I had a banner day yesterday and that prick still doubled me up. It was like watching a fishing show without the editing. I am pretty sure he could find a Steelie in a mudpuddle.
In all seriousness,
I can't fish with most people and I choose not to fish with almost everyone. It is a pretty strong testament to what a good guy Brian is that I actually look forward to fishing with him and getting my ass kicked.
Here's to you buddy....whatever your doin' ....keep doin'er.
I got to watch him land 4 fish in the 10 pound range and one colourful male that had to be the fish of a lifetime for most....it was perfect.
31.5 inches...
That is a tank!
If that big fella hooks up with that hen I got a few weeks back.....heres hoping for some big babies.
Here is how that went down.
We were crossing the river at one point and numbnuts decides, as an after thought, to just toss his line over his shoulder at a piece of water that I have walked past no less than a thousand times because according to him "that water just looks good"....
Bang ...fish on...
I am going to kill him.
I have no choice but to.
Another awesome day on the river. I lost count for myself and I can't count high enough to record Brian's. Great pictures , great fun and frostbite.
What more could you want from a day off work.
Just nicely getting my feeling back in my toes.
I lost a beast of a fish that neither of us even got a look at....did everything right but it just wasn't meant to be. Stung for sure...I am human...but even that just added to the days perfection.
I will have to wait a week at least to see my float go under......

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I was given a wonderful gift today.
I got to the river this morning about an hour before sun up , which is my usual play, ...teetering on the brink of a psychotic episode. I had spent the entire previous day looking after both of my kids who were both sick and I had finished off a week of work that had grated on my nerves so bad that the help wanted sign at the local Tim Hortons had me raising my eyebrows. The stress was consuming me. I needed a break badly and compassion aside, nursing sick youngens isn't exactly what I would call a soothing experience. In the middle of the day yesterday I had to deal with a diaper change that quite literally challenged my domestic convictions.....I kept looking over my shoulder at the door to the outside world...it was classic fight or flight....I chose to fight...and what a fight!
How something that foul can come from something that cute I will never understand.
....we were all glad to see mommy when she got home from work
Kimi must have sensed that I was hurtin' because she gave me the green light to fish today with out even so much as a perfunctory token guilt-trip. She will never realize what fishing means to me or what a wonderful gesture that was.
By the time the sun came up on my little stretch of heaven I was already laughing inside at the things that were weighing down on me. Christ....we are all going to die some day ....shame on me for letting things that shouldn't matter at all get to me. It is very strange that it is so much easier to slide into this mindset on the river than anywhere else.
I have tried to explain to my Wife what fishing provides for me .....how it is essential to my 'sane' existence ,but even though she tolerates my passion with a mixture of amusement and fear it is doubtful that she'll ever understand truly how much I rely on it to maintain my spirit and mental health.
I can only imagine that I get from a day on the river what most people of faith get from Church.
Todays fishing was a benediction.
The river was 'Low and Clear'... two ugly words if you are a Steelheader.
This was fine by me......I have fished it this way before and can approach these conditions with some confidence.
It was a perfect November day.
Slightly overcast ...a little nippy in the morning and damp.....and the best part was I didn't see a soul the entire time I was fishing.
I did see two skunks...closer than I would've liked....a fox,hawk and another giant Buck whitetail that obviously was a little faster than the inbred militia from last week.
Lost a huge fish right off the hop but quickly made up for it by landing the next ten.
Man the fish look so healthy this year ....very encouraging.
Shut 'er down at about 3'ish and began my hike out. On the way out I realized two things,....I missed my kids and I was looking forward to work.
I was regrouped and reloaded.....
I feel bad for people who don't have this as an option.I suppose the world would be a better place if everyone fished.This is an over-simplification but it sounds good.
...just so long as they don't fish my river.
At the spot where I parked I bumped into a local ''fisherman''.....complete with beer in hand.
He was kind enough to inform me that "all the 'bows' people think they bin catchin' are actually 'Coho's'.....just look at the gums dude".
I told him that sadly,I hadn't seen a Coho for a long time and wished him luck.
I also fantasised about punching him right in the throat.
Thanks be to the river.
Off to NY tomorrow.......

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oh 'Deer'! ...My Rivers Clear!!!!

I fished today.
Wasn't to overly productive ...other than the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I did manage to tie into some world class fish.
I guess thats the whole point.
The river I fish has dropped and cleared and I knew this going in. This means that the fishing will be difficult usually ....and today was no exception. I get a particular thrill from catching fish in conditions such as the ones I faced today. I am generally not a big 'numbers' guy anyway, and when you can sneak a few out of the water when you shouldn't be able to ...well I find that kinda satisfying in a "ha!...so there!" kind of way.
These types of conditions usually means that you'll have the river to yourself......most of the time. :o(
Todays crowd however wasn't fishermen.
I learned a valuable lesson today....one that may save my life one day.
DEER SEASON....it snuck up on me this year.
I have fished this river for the past four years now and I have fished it a ton. This is the first year that I have ever run into any hunters.
So I get to the river an hour or so before sun up with the idea of fishing way up the river a daybreak. This means I'll be hiking through the bush in the dark which is no problem.....the moon is up and I kinda dig that stuff anyway. About a half hour into my walk I come around a bend in the river and spook a great big Buck whitetail and it scares me half out of my wits. We have seen a few deer on the river lately and to see a big one like that was kind of cool. At the time I thought to myself how excited my father in law would be to have a shot at one like that as he is an avid deer hunter.
I get to the spot I plan on fishing about 15 minutes before sun up and start to prepare my gear.
Thats when the shooting starts.....
I thought there was a war breaking out for Christs sake!
Now I don't know much about hunting but I was under the impression that when you are deer hunting that a shot at one is pretty rare. Well apparently there are as many deer along the river as there are fish in it.
It sounded like I was surrounded by these 'Yin Yangs', and because I didn't think that hiking through the bush in my drab brown colours seemed like a very good idea ..I did the only thing I could do....fish.
The river was stingy but I still managed a good one and lost 3 others that were on long enough to enjoy .....not bad considering.
After the gun-play started to die down I decided to begin my walk out...AS LOUDLY AS POSSIBLE.
5 mins in I run into the guys from deliverence who are tracking the blood trail of "one we winged".....nice. An old feller with "summer-teeth" (you know summer here-summer there) offers me a scornfull look and some advice.
"If yer gonna be in here durin deer season ya best be gettin' some colours on!"
Sound advice.
Maybe some Kevlar as well....
Here is an idea...
How about not hunting for deer on a world class steelhead river that is open to the public 300 yards down from a trailer park?
Just me?
Just to be safe I think I'll fish somewhere else next week.
South of the Border?
Stay tuned.
With any luck we'll put some fish of a different colour up next time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Back to the grind....

Yesterday was yet another remarkable day on the river for me and my fishing freak companion. I don't know how lucky I can be really, but each trip just keeps getting better and better for us.
Once again, however I was a little perturbed at the amount of people that I ran across. It used to be that going fishing midweek would gaurantee solitude but this is quickly becoming a thing of the past and I suppose I might as well get used to it. I shudder to think what it would be like on the weekend. Heres hoping that the colder temps will keep these knuckleheads at home where they belong....I mean my god ...don't these people work!
I guess on a positive note I should mention that I didn't see a single fish harvested this trip. In reality I didn't see a single fish hooked ...by anyone else that is.
Toot toot....that is me tooting our own horn.
I don't want to get too cocky. I have been around this sport long enough to know that the minute you think you've got it down the fish can deal you up a day that would have the most stable of men curled up in a corner somewhere speaking in tongues....and Christ knows we are overdue!
The river we fish can be a tough old bird at the best of times and the high waters this unusually wet fall have provided have forced us to think outside the box strategically and tactically. For the most part we have been finding fish in spots that we wouldn't have even considered before ...and this is pretty cool....adds a whole new dimension to a place we thought we had nailed down. Another thing I have been finding is that landing a early fall Steelie in high water can become a hopeless endeavour in a hurry and of the few that I did manage to land yesterday I would have to say were, in all probability, more the result of devine intervention than any skill I may 'claim' to possess.
Whatever... I would rather be lucky than good any day.
The first fish of the day was a long time coming. We chose to fish a run at first light that had been white hot on our previous trip. After an hour without a touch I started to get that sinking feeling.
I have noticed that it doesn't take much to shake my confidence on a river....
I could go 50 for 50 and still start second guessing myself after an hour with no 'takes'....I am an odd duck for sure.
Good things come to those who wait and at the next run I hooked a fish that upon first breach actually scared me a little. I felt like chief Brodie in Jaws when he says "were gonna need a bigger boat".
I never really had control over this fish and after wrapping me around rocks and doing numerous cartwheels it finally headed into the fast water beneath us and back towards the Lake at about mach nine. I have learned the hard way why a centre-pin is nick-named a knucklebuster. At this point even though I had lost all hope I chased it as fast as I could into the white water I suppose in the hopes of drowning myself in despair after the inevitable snapping of my line....besides a day on the river just wouldn't be complete without me going for a 'swim'.
To make a long story short, it all gets kinda blurry buts ends beautifully with me holding a picture perfect 30 inch hen that I had no business landing.
A 30 inch fish is nothing to sneeze at on any river but on ours it is a true trophy.... and I was very fortunate. I can count on my right hand how many fish this size I have landed over the years and this one was by far the prettiest.I tried to look cool in the picture but I guess the look of shock and disbelief is appropriate.
My day could've have ended right and there and I would've been satisfied ,but it didn't....in fact in got even better. Together we beat 'em up pretty good and got some great photo's of some great fish on a great day to be away from work and on the river.
Brian outfished me once again........but I think I am getting used to it.
I can't wait to do it again.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Six day stretch...

Off for six!
Thank Christ...I am exhausted.
I fullfilled a promise to take my father in law fishing on Friday. He is a great fella and the fish-gods smiled on him that day. Between the 3 of us we must have hooked more fish than any reasonable fisherman has any right to expect. Even my fishing commando freak friend seemed satisfied with the days produce....although he has become so spoiled I fear he may have to start fishing trout ponds soon.
One of the main reasons I took my current job was that the shift work would afford me the opportunity to fish midweek when the 'fishing pressure' is at its lowest . This is a rather odd term that conjures up images of my favourite flow pinched between the jaws of a vice being cranked closed by a myriad of hill-billie filth with murder in thier eyes and bibs on......dinner bells a'ringin' and quarts of tarter sauce at the ready. KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!
My fishing friends are all hard core catch and release guys......they would probably find it easier to kill their own mothers than a wild fish from their favourite rivers. It is probably an impossible task to try and explain the catch and release ethic to someone on the outside.....you know ...a rational thinking normal person. I know there is more to it but the simplest way to put it is..'the less fish you kill, the more you can catch later'.
My father in law had a tough time with this one I believe, but to his credit he followed suit with the romans on his guided adventure....all fish released ,...unscathed.....nothing hurt but their pride.....even the ones that made the poor old boy salivate. Growling stomach be damned.
We arrived at about an hour before sun up in order to get first crack at 'em. Our plan was to fish the easy access point first....smack them around a bit there then walk at our leisure to the tougher to get to spots.
We had to shift gears in a hurry.
First light brought about a 'bank maggot hatch' the likes of which I have never seen on our little river......especially for a Friday. It was like opening day.
This better not be a recurring theme.
I don't play well with others anymore ....not sure I ever did..and after seeing 2 or 3 world class fish placed on stringers we hit the trail early.
As I said earlier...turned into a brilliant day with great friends and great fishing.....and that is a true blessing.
Whenever I hook and land one of these fish I feel truly fortunate and if I can manage to do this away from the scrutiny of the wake and bake pothead meathunters ...we'll ....anymore I suppose that is becoming a harder situation to procure than finding the fish themselves.
Poured rain Friday night and my little piece of heaven blew its banks and subsequently became unfishable for the weekend......this is good news for me and my little fishy friends.....no weekend slaughter.
I will see them on Wednesday......and hopefully no-one else.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Jump in the waters cold....finally!

Hey , .. What the hell , ...I'll give this a shot.
If these efforts serve no other purpose than to add more reasons for my friends to heap ridicule upon me ....at least it will have accomplished something. I have often thought of keeping a journal of some of the events,...random thoughts...fishing conquests/embarrassments....is that what compels people to do these things?
If nothing else it may just teach me a few things about this computer. I spend enough time in front of one... I may as well learn a few things about it.

My first entry......
Well, I fish.....A LOT.......but not as much as I would like. I would like to fish every day and then come home and go to sleep and dream about fishing. I would also like every day to be a cold day in November with the rivers running at a perfect level and with a visability that is optimal for catching the greatest living creature we are fortunate to share this corner of the globe with.....the venerable Steelhead Salmon. This fish is more commonly referred to as a rainbow trout by people who don't know any better. This happens to just fine by me. There is very little room on the rivers I fish and I suspect that I fish for the solitude as much as for the fish. The less people know about these fish the better in my book. I will say to those who may visit this little piece of cyber-selfindulgence and know little about Steelhead...or fishing in general ,that this time of year the fishing is just starting to get good.....and I am becoming very distracted.
I managed to get out a few times over the past few days and I will attempt to post some pictures but there is an excellent chance that I will screw this procedure up.
My son is currently firing up one of his better guilt trips so I will cut this one short and use it as more of a test.