Tuesday, November 24, 2009
As many of you know, I have been blogging for the JP Ross fly rod website for a while now. And I have really loved the experience. It has provided me another avenue in which to share and enjoy one of my passions - Fly fishing!
I try to write for the web site at least twice a week. This leaves me with little time to keep up on my own blog, so I will be posting fewer blogs in the near future. I will still try and keep posting a few times a month, but for now look on the JP Ross fly rod website for updates and other news from me and my travels to all the fishy places I like to go.
In the past week and a half I have had the opportunity to get out and fish a number of times and share a few of those mornings with some friends. Friday was one of them and I met up with Luke and Jessie for some great action on Sandy creek. We all caught fish and Luke took some really fantastic photos, including one of my biggest brown trout of this year....so far. And you can see more of his wonderful work at his flickr page! Thanks Mom for giving me a few hours to fish with Luke and Jessie. It reminded me a bit of the times you used to take me up to the salmon river.....thanks!
On Monday I fished with "Mr." Rich and his friend Mike. Rich has known Mike for a while now and they have fished many streams, rivers and lakes together for years. So it was a pleasure to finally meet Mike in person and talk with him about some of his adventures. I hope it isn't the last time either. I also spent much of that morning running around netting fish for the both of them. I netted 2 steelhead for Mike and a nice male brown trout for Rich - his first ever lake run brown! I caught a small sucker, and that was it for all of us that morning.
So here are some pictures from the most recent adventures on the stream. I'll update when I can, but for the mean time, check out the www.jprossflyrods.com for my latest blog!
Thanks for all your support. See you on the stream!
Friday, November 13, 2009
I thought I would post a video I first viewed at Moldychum.com. It is a short trailer on fly fishing for trophy fish in the U.S. The idea being that you don't have to travel to exotic places and spend thousands of dollars to catch trophy fish. The video, by Jason Jaacks, is aptly titled "No Passport Required" and shows off some of Western New York's finest lesser know tributaries. In fact, many of the video clips show spots where we fish on a yearly basis. And I think you will recognize them. I think it's great that these guys took the time to promote the fantastic trophy fishing we have in the U.S. and in New York. Most of us don't have the kind of money that is required to search out fish like the ones in the video in faraway places. I know that videos like these will often spark a mass influx of fly fishermen to the area, but with the proper education in stream etiquette and fishing practices it could actually prove to be an enjoyable experience.
So I hope you enjoy. I certainly did!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
November has been the month of the brown trout. At least it has been for us that fish the Western New York tributaries. And as it has always been, they make their way into the streams as the Chinook salmon are just about done with their fall spawning. There will always be a few fresh salmon that will still make their way into the streams, but it is the brown trout that will now start making a big push into the tributaries. The males show up first. They work their way upstream into likely holding areas and wait for the females to show up(isn't this always the case? The males waiting for the females!). This can get interesting as they will often hold were salmon are spawning or have spawned. The salmon don't like this one bit and will often try to chase the brown trout out of their territory. This little battle for territory is a lot of fun to watch, especially when you are standing in the stream just 10 feet away. The down fall is the fish don't always respond to a well presented fly. And how could they. They are busy either protecting their territory or trying to stay out of the way if an angry 20lb. salmon. But fish can be caught! And it is often at this stage in the season when the fishing can be really good.
I met Mr. Rich at Sandy creek this Monday to hopefully experience some of that really good fishing. And although the morning started a little on the slow side, it would not end that way.
We walked down the trail to the stream and slowly made our way downstream searching for fish. And to my surprise Rich spotted the first fish. He had spotted the fish as I was just about to move further downstream. The reason why it was a bit of a surprise was because I usually am good at spotting fish. But not today! Rich pointed out that the fish was in a run tucked carefully behind a submerged rock. And sure enough it was there. I just had to strain my eyes a bit to see it. So I took a step back and watched as Rich began to work the fish. After a minute or so, I had to try and find my own fish. And I didn't find any until I came across the tail out of a long flat run. It was here that I saw the salmon and brown trout holding together. It was also here that I saw the salmon trying to push the trout out of their spawning area. I got into position and gave it a try. I did finally hook up with a brown trout, but it had been foul hooked so I popped the hook off as quickly as I could.
I continued to walk downstream after that. And I made my way to the root pool. The root pool is a nice deep pool that has a rather large tree on the opposite side of the stream. Its roots make their way into the bank and the stream on the far side in an attempt to keep it standing. But this year a very large section of the tree broke off and fell into and across the pool. This has made it difficult to land any fish that is hooked in the pool. And it came in to play this morning, as I lost the second fish I hooked when it ran under that limb. I tried to put as much pressure as I could on the fish, hoping to turn it. But the only thing I got out of that exercise was a broken tippet and a lost fly.
Things would take a turn for the better at the next run. And in the last half of the morning of fishing I manged to land two small male Atlantic salmon of about 22" to 24" inches in length and my best brown trout of the season so far. A very nice male brown trout of 28" that was probably close to 10lbs. And thanks to Rich, who had made his way downstream to where I was, I was able to get a few photos for this blog!
I had to leave, but Rich had the run now and continued to fish for a little while. I got an e-mail an hour or so later from Rich saying that he did manage to hook up twice and land a nice coho salmon of about 24" inches or so. A great morning for the both of us!
But I must say that this is becoming a typical scenario for Rich. He seems to wait until the very end to get his fish. This past spring he waited until I had walked around the corner and out of sight before he hooked and landed his first ever tributary steelhead. Luckily Luke was there to net the fish and take a few photos for him. And this October at our trip to Oak Orchard, Rich waited until the very last minute to hook up with a huge Chinook salmon. It was an epic battle that ended well(thanks to coaching from Bob and Luke). And Luke was there again to take some great photos of some very tired but happy anglers. And now this past Monday, Rich again waits until the end to put some numbers on the board. My only question is why? He has the skills to get into fish. Is it because he has a flare for the dramatic? Or perhaps he is like a lizard that needs to sun itself before it becomes active. Or perhaps he just doesn't want his mug to make it on this blog. I'm not really sure what the deal is, but I hope he changes his mode of operation soon. I can't keep getting e-mails after the fact, it's killing me!
All joking aside, it was a great morning to be out on the stream. And thanks Rich for taking a few photos for me. Next time make sure to get a fish before I leave!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The salmon are just about done, we have had great water conditions, and the trout are starting to show up in greater numbers each day. What else can I say? I think the title says it all. "Fall trib fishing at it's best!"
Yes the fishing seems to hot right now, and the beginning of November is proving to be fantastic. But there is a chance it could get even better. Yupper doodle doo! Even better. How you ask? Well just consider this for a minute. First of all the water levels are near perfect right now. And with any more precipitation they will be even better. That means that the brown trout and steelhead will have plenty of water to start their journey. And high water means more fish will enter the stream. Second - we still have plenty of salmon around. This means that some salmon will still be spawning. Often you can find trout sitting with the salmon or just behind them. They use the salmon to hide behind and as a feeding station. And it is often a good choice to start with an egg pattern when you find trout in this position. And third - I have only seen mostly male trout up to this point. Things get interesting when the females start to show up. Once this happens you will start to see females and males pairing up together. And before they get into full spawn mode the males will become very aggressive. This is a good time to try large streamers and swing them or dead drift them into holding fish.
Those three reasons are why this years tributary season is shaping up to be a really good one. Of course that can change in a blink of an eye. After all we do live in New York. So take advantage of it when you can.
Oh! And here are just a few other important things to think about. Wade with care as their are many spawning beds around. And watch carefully as the brown trout are very difficult to see with the tea stained water. It pays to walk slowly and spend time searching the water before moving. You may find that a trout may be holding in water right near your feet.
Here are some photos from some of my recent outings to one of my favorite Western New York Tributaries.