Friday, February 27, 2009


Okay, I had to change the title. It bothered me...and it wasn't really a great thing to say. Plus I think there is a better way to explain my failure to catch any steelhead over the past few days! So here is the story - I have had the good fortune to fish this past Wednesday for a few hours and then again on Thursday for about an hour.

Wednesday I met Luke at Irondequoit creek for what we thought would be a few hours filled with epic battles between man and steelhead. wasn't! We flogged the water with all sorts of flies and techniques waiting for Mr. or Mrs. steelhead to show up...they didn't. We hit up all the spots were we knew fish would be, and were we have caught them before....they just weren't there.

On Thursday I had about an hour to try for steelhead on a stream just to the west of my home, Sandy creek. And just like Irondequoit creek, Sandy looked just about perfect! And again I flogged the water for an hour with no fish. And trust me, I searched all the "good" spots I had caught fish at before. Nothing!!

After two days of fishing with no fish landed, or even hooked for that matter. I have come to a conclusion. I either suck!!! or the spring steelhead run hasn't gone into full swing yet. Sure there are always a few fish here and there, but if you don't have the time to drive around and find fish, you are at the mercy of hitting the right spot at the right time. And obviously, I haven't hit anything right yet!

Wait...there's more! I also lost at least ten flies to various snags on the bottom of each of the streams I fished. I even left a marker at one of those snags (Luke you know where it is) so I wouldn't get hung up again. The marker looks very similar to a flo-orange strike indicator.

There is some good that has come out of all this. There has to be, or I would take up knitting blankets and sweaters. One - I get to spend more time at my half broken vice, tying more flies. Two - I was able to spend time with a good friend, and that is always a plus. Especially when you are blessed with amazing weather! Three - I was able to practice and perfect my fly fishing knots. And four - I get a humbling lesson, in which I have learned that no matter how well you think you have things figured don't. And that is a good thing. It keeps me grounded and gives me incentive to keep at it until I find success!

Besides it is all worth it in the end, when you slide that 12 lb. silver sided trout on to shore after he pulled you downstream for a hundred yards or better.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jessie's first Steelhead

Photo by Lucas Carroll
It is always nice to go out for a bit of steelhead fishing, especially after a rather harsh winter. The tributaries are just about perfect right now and so is the fishing. It is a good time to get out on the water and search out a few nice steelhead. Some friends of mine did just that yesterday on Irondequoit creek.

They both have plenty of experience on the many smaller trout stream in the area and have started to pick apart the tribs. They both have had success on the tribs before, but it is the steelhead that has been somewhat elusive. Luke did well this fall and landed a very nice male of about 10lbs. And yesterday morning he started off even better with two fish landed before Jessie met up with him at around 12:00pm. Then it was Jessie's turn!

He worked on getting the right drift with the right fly, and soon was into a good fish that took a little while to bring in close. But it was not to be! The fish thrashed, snapped the tippet, and was gone! But I'm sure not forgotten. These memories of "fish lost" tend to burn themselves into your brain, and they never leave. Fortunately for Jessie.....he would have a second chance. His next fish was his first steelhead landed in his career as a fly fisherman. And if he is anything like the rest of us, it will not be his last. It was a beautiful female steelhead bright with all the freshness of the lake still in her. A few photos later and she was released to continue her journey upstream for the spring spawn. They landed 3 out of the 4 steelhead they hooked and Luke added a pair of brown trout to round out a great day on the water.

I only wish I could have been there for his first steelhead and to get a few photos of Luke holding his steelhead. But that will have to wait till next time I guess! And although I may be a bit jealous right now, I am more than happy to post their story here, and enjoy the fact that some good friends caught fish. And not just any fish....STEELHEAD!

Almost all fish were caught dead drifting a beadchain eye white woolly bugger under a strike indicator. And to make it even more impressive.....they did it all on 5 weight fly rods!!!

Nice job guys!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Spring Creek: January 31

This morning was an excercise in perseverance.

Cold temperatures that struggled to get up into the low teens were the order of the day. And to make matters even more interesting we chose to fish "Spring Creek". A creek that requires light rods, fine tippets and small flies. But hey, since when do freezing conditions and technical fishing stop dedicated fly fisherman from pursuing a worthy foe....NEVER!!!

The morning started off a little slow with a few fish here and there for the first half hour or so, with Jessie having the hot hand early. Then we changed flies(a time consuming process in freezing conditions.) Small pink scuds in #16 and #18 were tied on, and that made all the difference in the world. It was as though we triggered an internal switch in the trout that made them go nuts!

Fish were now being caught in a rapid manner, and on occasion, would take our flies on three or four drifts in a row. Fishing like this keeps you busy and warm! And we kept at it for a good while hoping that it would last until we had to go home.

Then Luke and Jessie headed downstream in search of some bigger trout. It was at this moment that I hooked a fish that turned out to be the biggest trout of the day, a beautifully colored male brown trout. I guessed it to be about 15" to 16" in length. I'm guessing becuase I didn't want to expose my hands any longer to the elements while trying to measure the fish. Jessie then came back upstream to see what I was yelling about, and took a few photos for me. He then stayed upstream and left Luke to his own madness of retying his rig in the frigid air. In fact I heard him yell something about it! I'm not sure what though....I think my hearing was being effected by the cold at this point(if that's at all possible.)

The fishing stayed hot untill the sun went behind some clouds to stay. The fish new what was up, and quickly turned as cold as the weather. But not before we caught close to 25 to 30 fish and lost many others.

We all manged a few photos and Luke even shot some nice video. It's just like him to pick the most challenging day to shoot video. Nice job guys!!! So I'll try and post the video if I can, but for now....just the photos.