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

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Forcing it.

I decided to get off my ass today and go fishing.
I had re-read my last post and had a sudden attack of 'I must be getting old-itis'.
Sure the fishing around here is spotty at best but if timed right it surely beats sitting around on the couch like a vegetable. Time to toughen up.
Normally I am an early morning guy but lately I have been having a really tough time draggin my ass out of bed. I traditionally don't mind the winter months but these past few weeks have found me in a wee bit of a funk. Fishing is always a cure for what 'ales' me so at around 4 this afternoon I decided "screw this cold snap...I am going fishing".
By 4:30 I was standing in the guard shack of one of our local refineries procuring permission to fish on their property. This is a funny little procedure that always raises a few eyebrows from the attendants and I try to make it a point of walking in with my camo-neoprene waders on just to add to the effect. It is fun freaking people out and most trout fisherman are little left of centre at the best of times anyway. So there I was ,..signing the guest book at the petro chemical plant explaining to the guard that 'yes', I did indeed know that there was a snowstorm outside...and 'yes', I did indeed want to go fishing.

They probably laughed themselves silly when I left....or called the police...who knows?
The winter outflows can be a ton of fun if timed right. I have yet to be able to figure them out. For whatever reason they seem to load up all of a sudden and become barren just as quick. I can't seem to link any sort of weather pattern to this at all. I have found it productive during warm snaps as well as in deep freezes.
It is puzzling to a fisherman like myself who tries to find patterns in order to be able to best predict a successful outing. I can never really approach them with any sort of confidence. Nail them one day and the next you'd swear there were no fish in the river at all.
First drift and I am into one. The snow was blowing so hard I could barely see my float. The strike was strong and I felt it before the float even dipped. One cool thing about the hot water discharges is that the fish fight like its October. They find that optimum temperature where the warm water meets the cold and sit around all winter picking off baitfish that hang out at these discharges as well. I have even seen poor old salmon jumping into the outflows right at the wall in the fall trying to swim up into the tube.....very sad.
This first fish was a Brown and ..it was a good one. It came to the surface right away where it excecuted an lovely silver/butterscotch roll and waved 'bye bye' with its tail as the hook popped free.
This is probably the best thing that could've happen to me. I am now fully infected with the Brown trout fever! This is an annual thing with me but I wasn't sure if it was going to take hold this year. I lose a lot of these friggin fish. The main reason is that they are big and have strong current and open water to work with and I refuse to go with heavier tackle. I have decided to be stubborn and in spite of this I have had some success. One of the biggest Trout I have landed has been from these outflows. It was a brute of about 12 pounds that never was captured on film.(I know what you are thinking and shame on you!). That same year there was a 17 lb and a 13 lb Brown caught in the spring derby. Point is there is always a chance for a big fish....and what the hell am I doing sitting on my arse?
If nothing else I suppose I owe it to the fisherman who don't have these kinds of opportunities. So I believe I have shaken off the "doldrums" and I will crank it up a notch and take my lumps like a man.

I ended up 2 for 4.
One wee little Brown the size of my foot and one decent pellet-head Steelie.
I know I should look down my nose at the hatchery fish but at least they keep me from going stir crazy.
Back to work tomorrow....excellent chance I'll freeze to death.

Monday, January 15, 2007


When the fishing fever first took me I wanted to fish for everything...all the time.
No fish was safe!
The end of each season only brought about the beginning of another with each one overlapping into a whole years worth of one seamless mutli-species fishing trip.
My poor Wife.
Of course each individual species of fish would require its own specialized gear as well.....everything from Boats pulling riggers and dipsey divers to size 26 midge hooks made in Japan.
I can clearly recall rationalizing this expenditure to myself and more importantly to my wife.,...the idea being that if I was going to make a pastime out of pestering these beautiful animals by fishing for them I had a moral obligation to use the proper gear in order to obtain the maximum amount of pleasure from the experience..
...otherwise it just isn't fair to the fish you see.
It is frightening to think that I may have actually believed this.
Somewhere along the line I 'got real'.
I am proud, as well as surprised to say I no longer even own a single spinning real (egg beaters) and that if I want to do any open water fishing I'll be looking to hitch a ride with my father in law.
I still love nice gear....I mean who doesn't...but I have managed to narrow the pursuit down to two species and my collection of "fishing stuff" now reflects this.
It'll be Bluegill in the Spring and Steelhead in the Fall.lol
The gear has been liquidated.....'mostly'. I still have more floatreels that I will ever fish. I also may be the only person in existance that fishes for 'Gillies' with a 9ft GLX 3 wt. Some might equate that to hauling manure with a Lamborghini.
( I also have a 2wt 7 1/2 fter as a back-up....now 'that' is a fun rod at the ponds!)
The rest of the fish can breath a sigh of relief.... I have lost interest.
I am one for two in the new year. The one I beached was a pellet eating Steelhead from our local hatchery no doubt....I convince myself that this is 'sport' when I get stir crazy in the winter....but deep down inside I have that feeling...you know?
The Browns in the river can be fun if only because they are so few and far between and so incredibly beautiful. I blew a good one the other day and I was disappointed. It has been a while since I have captured a good photo of one of these neat looking fish and I hope to get one some internet fame before too long. There is a finite supply of these brutes and I am in a constant race with toxin craving meathunters and without the proper enthusiasm there is a great chance that I'll miss the opportunity...but who knows eh?
I had planned to fish today....braving the deep chill that has finally settled on the Sarnia area but my Wife who is a supply teacher got called to teach this morning early. Normally....or ab-normally..this would've sent me into a sulk...having to cancel my fishing plans in order to stay with the kids but this wasn't the case today. I am really diggin these kids lately and I am writing this during a Dora puzzle/ Star Wars Lego respite. Fun stuff!....sincerely.
...I will also admit that a part of me was relieved that I couldn' be out there.