Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Late season tributary trout
The weather is finally starting to cool off a bit, and so too has the fall migration of lake run brown trout. But before this new changing of the guard ceremony takes place, and the world of WNY slides into the bitter cold and snow that we all know is coming, I have to say that the fishing has been pretty darn good.
Fresh steelhead have now been showing up more frequently and even the occasional fresh lake run brown has made an appearance or two throughout the past few weeks. I even had the opportunity to land a late run Coho salmon while swinging big streamers for post spawn brown trout. This was a great treat for me, as I haven't had the pleasure of Mr. Coho's company in some time.
The female brown trout are the first to get off the beds and look for food, as the males haven't figured out that the spawn is done. So up until this past week, most fish that I have heard that took a fly on the swing were post spawn female brown trout.
The lake run steelhead are still on the egg bite, therefore about 90% of them have been taken on various egg patterns. This will change as the cold sets in, and everything slows to a crawl.
I have enjoyed the company of new friends and old over the past couple of weeks. Bob B., Joe K., Lucas C., Mr. Rich, and Matt S. have made the hours of standing in near freezing water bearable. And watching them hook, fight , and land fish has reminded me that fly fishing is as much about fellowship as it is about the process of catching fish with a fly. They all, like me, have spent many hours in search of fish with a fly rod in hand and have photographed, written, and blogged about it in their own way. A way that is artistic and inspiring. So please click on their names to view their work.
But to everything there is a season, and the beauty of autumn must die away like the salmon to make way for new life. Or in this case winter. It is now time to play a different game, one that requires a dedication unlike anything else in my neck of the woods. And by dedication, I mean a dedication towards building a tolerance to the cold. A tolerance that comes easier with each new battle fought with giants from the lake.