Tuesday is open
Looks like I am cancelled for Tuesday, which also seems like it might be the best weather window of the week.
Well, we went fishing today, it was the kind of day where if you went and did well, everyone would think you were a genius, if you did shitty, no one would be surprised.
So, we surprised no one, but had fun, saw a fair number of fish get caught by gear guys, and contemplated how many we would have caught if the water was just say, a foot lower.
I got cancelled for tomorrow, took Sunday off to cut a Christmas tree with the family, and Monday is my stay at home dad day so no fishing for a bit. I prefer to have my time off when the river is out, but the sad truth is from time to time people have fun without me.
Everyone gets lots of great new ideas on the river, when you take time to test them it turns out that none of them are new, and very few are great. But every once in a while, if you spend enough time at it, something pans out, like this.
Sometime this winter, when there is a fair mount of color in the river, and you are board of hucking a compact skagit with 12 feet of T-14 half way across the river maybe try this.
Load up a little scandie line on a decent 6 weight, loop on a sinking poly leader, and tie a #6 Allies shrimp, a muddler, a little unweighted egg sucker, or something else real small and light, and start making very short casts to all the weird shallow soft, sticky, messy little spots. Your looking for the kind of spots that are maybe big enough to hold a steelhead, but aren’t as big as a standard winter sink tip is long.Let the fly swing a bit, dead drift a bit, strip it a bit, and try to catch every white fish and trout in the river. Note; If you are not catching white fish and trout, you are not doing it right.
One of the first and mostest reasons you are probably not catching the “little fish” is that you are casting too far. These little guys bite lightly, (as you know from days on the trout stream). A long line does not transmit that tiny little peck back to your cold old hands very well, so keep it close, say 25 ft max.
If you get good at this, and really start catching whitefish and trout, you will notice something interesting, that is that you also start catching a lot of steelhead.
The reason for this is that they are all fish, and at a certain level, they all like to live in similar places and eat similar things. It is a different way to fish, and you will quickly notice that you are fishing water no one else wants, and even when you aren’t catching steelhead, you are getting lots of bites and at least catching something.
Interestingly enough, trout seem to be detested by some winter steelhead anglers almost as much as whitefish are detested by some Colorado trout anglers. I love them both, because they are fish, and in my world that makes them cool.