Monday, April 20, 2009

Trout on Top!

Well...I did just like I promised!

Jonathan and I fished the Oatka creek yesterday afternoon. We started out at a section that receives a good amount of stocking in the spring. I thought it would be a great place for Jonathan to get his first trout on the fly rod this year. Well, I was wrong. As we drove along the Oatka trail we saw cars everywhere. They were even parking on the road because the DEC parking lots were full. We fished hard for an hour with no body catching anything! We moved upstream a bit and finally got one nice brown on a nymph. That ended up being the only fish we saw in an hour and a half.

We then moved to the "no-kill" section of the stream. Even here at this section we found a lot of people. But, at least there were lots of trout. And wild trout!!!

We both started nymphing and I found several nice trout holding. But none of them were willing to take a nymph. We also watched some Hendricksons come off the water. And we started to see some trout rise and take the mayflies off the top. We even saw a trout come completely out of the water after a Hedrickson! Amazing to watch. So I tied on a #14 hair wing Hendrickson dry. I then made several casts to where the rising fish were and sure enough my fly disappeared in a swirl. Fish on! Our fist fish on a dry for the year.

The hatch was sporadic. But when the hendricksons were coming off, they came off in good numbers. Not great. Good. And that made the dry fly fishing worth it! With the continuing warm weather we should start seeing better hatches.

We then moved downstream below the old cow bridge and landed one more trout on a dry before we headed out for the day. We had a lot of fun together, even if Jonathan didn't get that first fish all by himself. Today was about sharing some time on the water and working together to get those trout we did catch.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

One more for the road!

Okay....this is it for my steelhead adventures for this spring. I promise! Next time I will blog on the inland trout streams.

Unless, we get some really cold weather and rain this next week. Then I may have to reconsider my options. I mean come on!! The fishing has been way too hot for me to just pass up a steelhead or two! Right?

Anyway, I hit up Sandy creek in Hamlin, NY again. And just like on Tuesday, it did not take long for me to get into my first fish of the morning. In fact I was midway through my second drift in a nice deep run when the indicator dipped and I set up on a nice fish. But, after a few nice big head shakes the fish threw the fly. I then checked my hook and worked my way down into a pool section that has produced a lot of fish for me and my friends this spring. And after another 10 minutes I had hooked my second fish of the morning. This fish put on an awesome display of leaping ability and strength. And after 5 minutes of tug of war, I finally gained the upper hand and landed a nice fresh male steelhead of about 7lbs.

The last half an hour was slow. I hooked just one more steelhead. It was a nice sized male that was darker in color. But like the first fish of the morning, he broke free. I then stood there for a moment and wondered if this was the end of a what has been a fantastic spring steelhead season.

If it is....I'm okay with that! I was able to enjoy one of the better spring steelhead runs in a long time. And even better, I was able to spend that time with my son and my friends!

I have been blessed. No doubt about it!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More Steelhead!!

It just doesn't get any better than this. A beautiful spring in which we have had nice weather and plenty of water for our Lake Ontario tributaries. This has given us excellent conditions for steelhead fishing!!

This past weekend some friends of mine hit up a local trib and landed 6 out of 8 fish they hooked. A mix of both female and male steelhead ranging from 20" inches or so up to 10 lbs. And that was just a half day trip. Check Jessie's page here. And Luke's page here for photos from their day!

Today I hit up the same trib for about an hour. And the fishing was still hot! The first half hour was crazy! I didn't drift 10 minutes before the first fish took my indicator under. She was a nice female of about 5 lbs. that jumped four or five times before I could beach her. And then, not five or ten minutes later I was into another fish that pulled the rod right out of my hand. After picking my rod out of the stream, I chased a big male steelhead downstream. Way downstream! Then after a long ten minutes, I finally beached the 33" monster. I took a short break and went back to the same spot where I hooked and lost one more fish before I moved downstream to a nice run. I took maybe two or three drifts in that run before my indicator dipped and I was into my last fish of the day. This fish was like the first. It jumped a few times and ran all over the run before I could slide the 5lb. male onto shore.

What a great morning. I wish this could go on for a few more months, but in reality I will be lucky to have another week or two out here in the western part of the state.

I hope you all can get out for some spring steelhead. Now's the time to go and It's been great so far!

All fish were caught dead drifting woolly buggers under an indicator. Dark colors were the ticket. All fish were caught on olive or black.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Skunk is Dead!

This past year or so I have had the great opportunity to fish with Rich and Luke on many separate occasions. Two great fly fisherman and friends. The only problem we have had this year, is the inability to find a good number of fish to catch when we are fishing together. Luke has done well on his own, catching a good number of steelhead and browns already this year. Rich has just started fishing tributaries in the past year and a half, and has already landed a salmon this past fall. But, when ever we get together, the fishing has been less than good. In fact it has really stunk! Many times out it has produced just one fish. And sometimes nothing! A skunk is what we call it. And the only way to get rid of it is to have a great day of fishing. was that day! I met Rich at Church street at around 9:30am this morning. We got ready and walked downstream to meet up with Luke, who had already put in an hour or so of fishing. When we saw him coming upstream to meet us, he had a big smile on his face. When I asked if he had a good morning, he quickly replied "it's been a great morning!" We then looked at a few of his photos that included a nice steelhead and brown trout of about 10 lbs. each. He had hooked up with 5 fish and landed 2. A great morning indeed! We both agreed that the water looked perfect and we should all take a walk downstream and find some more fish.

We spent some time drifting some flies through a nice run, but no fish where hooked. We kept moving down untill Luke said he spoted a fish. He decided to let me take some drifts through the run. After a minute or so my indicator dipped and I set up on a fish that went absolutely crazy! It jumped 2 feet out of the water and almost landed on the opposite bank, then peeled of a bunch of line running downstream. Then the fish came back up in the run and shook it's head a few times trying to throw the fly and continued to run around. Finally I worked the fish to the slower water and put a net under her. A super bright female steelhead of about 9 lbs. This was a great way to start my morning! We then spotted two more fish holding in that run, and Rich began working his fly to the fish. He spent a good while at it but wasn't getting any fish to take. I had to leave soon, so as he was picking out a new fly, I stepped in for one last attempt at getting another fish. A few drifts later and I was fast into another good sized trout. But it wasn't a steelhead. It was a big brown of about 10 lbs. or so! I spent a few minutes trying to wrangle this fish close enough to net, and just as I was about to slide the big brown in, he or she popped the fly out. Oh well! That's the way it goes sometimes. I then shook hands and said goodbye, leaving Rich and Luke to catch some trout for themselves.

As soon as I was around the next bend, Rich hooked up with the last fish in the run. He carefully fought and landed his very first lake run steelhead just a few minute later. A beautiful 7 lb. hen fresh from the lake.

Both Rich and Luke gave me a call later that afternoon and said how great it was to fish together and most importantly get rid of that skunk that was hanging around for way too long.

Each day I get to spend on the water is a blessing. And today was no different. I'm just glad I was able to spend it with some friends and catch fish!

All fish took #6 or #8 woolly buggers in black, olive and white dead drifted under a strike indicator.