Saturday, November 22, 2008
Bad weather = Good fishing....Right?
This is what it looked like outside Friday Morning as I was driving to Sandy creek. Not pleasant to say the least. However, to a dedicated steelhead fisherman such as myself, conditions like this mean the world. No people! Who in there right mind would stand out in the cold and snow for hours casting a fly to a fish. Yes I said "a fish."
Well.....I was not alone. Luke joined me for a spirited attempt at fishing today. And I must say it was an adventure.
Luke was already taking a "warming back up in his car break" when I arrived at the rt. 19 bridge. He said he had been on the water for nearly an hour and had no fish to show for his efforts. The water was high due to the release of canal water. And if matters were not bad enough, there were weeds, branches and small trees floating down river all morning. When he asked what we should do, I said we should get back at it and fish the seams and deeper pools. Note to self....when you meet a friend at a fishing spot and he is taking a break before you get there due to poor conditions and no fish, MOVE! This would be great advice to someone who had common sense. I apparently have none!
After two hours or so of picking ice out of our guides and trying to warm our hands, we moved. I know what your thinking...."finally they are going to a new stream where the water conditions are better." Nope! Instead I drove us to a new location on the same stream in hopes of changing our status from a bunch of "crazed wackos" to that of "courageous fly fisherman" who brave the elements to catch at least one steelhead. After all isn't that what separates the men from the boys? That transformation never happened. We flogged water for at least another hour with the same pitiful results.
Lunch! That would help right? We stopped at a local gas station and filled up with greasy pizza and coffee. We felt better, at least for a little while anyway. We let the pizza settle as we drove to our new location. And on the way, I thought about how the day was not all that bad. No one had fallen in, we still had feeling in our fingers and faces, and we still had hope of catching a steelhead or brown trout at our new location.
Oak Orchard creek looked much better. The water was high but not unfishable. And our walk upstream revealed 4 or 5 small steelhead on stringers. Our hope was renewed! That changed however in an instant when we were told that those fish were all caught during a small run that moved up at around 11:30 am. It was now going on 2:00pm and nothing had happened since. We slowly walked upriver fishing every likely run that we could find. Finaly, Luke found a slow run on the opposite side of the river. He had found some salmon and was drifting his fly downstream from them in hopes of finding a hungry trout. I positioned my self upstream from those fish and started casting a white beadchain woolly bugger. It did not take long and my stike indicator went down and I was hooked up. Fish on! My excitement faded a bit when I realized it was one of the salmon. But, I must admit at this stage of the game any fish was welcomed. Soon we had her at our feet and with a quick picture she was off to fulfill her duty.
That was it for the day. One fish! Not a trout, but we'll take it. I did mention we were dedicated, not insane....right?