Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oatka creek!

O.K. so the story really starts out at spring creek, and it does not involve me in any way. But, it is a good one none the less. Two of my friends (Jessie and Luke) started their day at spring creek, and after a few fish caught on a small grey scud, they decided to move to the Oatka. I was told they went to the "nice hole." The nice hole is a spot that produces a lot of fish for us on a regular basis. And for those that have fished with know where this place is.

Luke started things off by fishing a FB pheasant tail nymph. This produced a couple of good strikes, but no fish came to the net. Then a change here and there to the nymph rig, and an addition of a second fly...wham. This was the ticket! Fish came easily now. Soon after those changes, Jessie met back up with Luke. He too made some adjustments, and quickly got into a good number of fish. In fact I was told he was "slamming the fish." There were some good size fish that were landed I'm told, a few that were in the 15" range. This is what great fisherman do. They are constantly making adjustments to find what works in each situation. And it is only a matter of time until they find the solution, even for the pickiest of fish.

After a good while of catching fish, Jessie made his way back home and left Luke to his own devices. This is when Luke spotted "the White Whale." A fish of near mythic proportions for a stream like the Oatka. It was a large fish, maybe 20" Luke had thought. His head tried in vain to decipher the code of the great fish. It took an hour of refusals by the great fish before an addition of a small midge larvae changed the course of the day. Fish on! It ran upstream. Then with some effort, Luke worked the fish back down to the deep hole. Next, the fish jumped, headed for the weeds, and broke off.

Captain Ahab now recounts the tale with great enthusiasm. And his obsession grows deeper. The "White Whale" is free for now, but I would guess not for long. The good captain will be back to claim his prize another day.

Photos taken by Lucas.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Scouting Mission #1

After dropping Katie off at nursery school, Ethan and I headed up to Sandy creek to check it out. While putting my waders on, I told my self that it was too early and the water was too low. And after walking upstream about a half mile and seeing no fish, I realized that once again I was right! Sometimes I hate it when I'm right. I did see some shallow gravel sections where the rocks had been worn clean(the algae and weeds had been worn off.) This usually indicates that a fish or two have come up into the stream, at least a short distance any way. They may have gone back down to the estuary after first light.

The water level was not as bad as I thought it would be. The water was on the cool side too, maybe in the low 60's. But, as the sun continues to rise, it will warm that water back up into the high 60's. All we really need at this point is a couple of rainy cold days to bring the water level back up and trigger some fish to run the smaller tributaries, like Sandy creek.

Oak Orchard creek is already receiving small runs of fish, probably a few fish every night. And there are fish up by the dam. Plus there have been reports of people catching a few salmon and some trout as well at the dam. This is normal for this time of year, and soon the salmon and trout will be in every tributary.

Now....if we could just get a little rain to help things a long, that would be great!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Getting Ready!

It's that time of the year again! Cool weather, brilliant fall colors and big fish! Are you ready? Have you prepared for the fall salmon and trout runs?

I have been slowly tying flies to restock my boxes from last year. I am also checking all my reels, and my fly rods to make sure they are all working properly. It would be horrible to hook into a 15 lb. steelhead and have your line snap, or your reel freeze up just because you didn't take a little extra time to check everything before using it. And how many times have you gone to the river only to find out that you don't have your tippet material, or split shot, or a fly box, or.....I think you get the idea. I always try and make sure I check everything at least twice before I head out the door. It is always better to know that you don't have something before you go fishing, rather than stomping around the river like my 2 year old son does when something doesn't go his way. And the only reason why I know this, is because, I have done it many times before! And it really doesn't help, when this realization happens during a major run(this has also happened to me.) Trust me when I say, trying to land 20-30 lb. king salmon on 6 lb. test tippet is an exercise in futility. So take it from me....PREPARE YOUR SELF!!!

And when you're on the river this fall and you see someone stomping around like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum, you will know why!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Great Photos!

A photo can bring back a lot of memories. This is especially true when you capture a great moment while fly fishing. The photographer sees a great moment, takes a shot, and the memory is saved for ever. It's always nice to find those old photos. And they always seem to bring me right back to that time and place captured at that instant. It is good to go back and remember!

There is much that goes into taking a good photograph(more than I will ever know). Getting close to the subject, making sure you have the correct lighting, composition, etc, etc. This is all well and good. But, I must admit that I do not have a natural gift for taking great photos. I rely on friends to guide me. In fact, all of the really good photos that were taken for this blog, were taken by friends.

This photo was taken by Lucas Carroll during an early morning excursion to Oatka creek to fish a trico hatch. In fact, if you are interested in viewing more of Lucas' photos check out this link!

Good photographers capture the moment. Great photographers put you there!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something New!

This is fun! We'll see if I can get the hang of this blog thing. It may take a while.

This nice little blog will give me a place to tell senseless tales of fly fishing. They might be serious at times, but I don't think I can really take my self that serious for too long.

It will be a place where I can tell my stories from my perspective(as skewed as they are) in an attempt to understand why I find myself day dreaming of catching obscenely large fish on a fly while standing waist deep in freezing water.

It will also be a blog to remember places fished and faces that I shared them with. After all, these experiences are better shared with friends and family. So, I will make sure to include pictures and lots of them! And, if you want to see your "mug" here, we had better go fishing!

Freezing water or not, the photo is of a 31" (length) by 17" (girth) steelhead caught in one of the many tributaries that flow into Lake Ontario.