Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fishing with Ethan

Ethan's first fish of the fall
This past Saturday Ethan and I had found a little time to venture out to a favorite fishing spot to see if we could tempt a few lake run fish to take a fly.

Reports of a big push of fish have been nonexistent to this point. It seems to be a slow and methodical march for the Salmon that have been slowly making their way upstream in many of our WNY tributaries, with a few trout following close behind. 

A good, steady, 3 day rain would certainly help, but until then we must contend with low and clear water. Each year is different, and I have every bit of confidence that by late fall there will be plenty of fish around.

Ethan doing battle with the mighty Chinook
Even with these less than stellar fishing reports, the streams are filled with eager anglers looking to hook into a trophy salmon, brown trout or steelhead, so it has been hard to find a spot that hasn’t been already run through. So when we arrived at our fishing destination and found only a few cars at the pull off, I was very optimistic. 

We spent the first twenty minutes slowly walking the bank, heading downstream looking for the huge dark finned shapes of lake run Chinook salmon that we have come to know throughout the years of fishing this stream. Even a hint of white from the mouth of a trout would be a welcome sight….nothing.

We finally settled into a nice pool where I set Ethan up with a woolly bugger under an indicator. While he began fishing I went back to the bank and started to set up my switch rod. I had just gotten finished with getting all the line through the guides and started to get a new length of tippet ready when Ethan yelled out “Dad I got a fish!” I looked over to see his rod bent down to the cork with the line and indicator rapidly traveling upstream. He held tight, only letting line out when the fish went on a run up or downstream. Soon the fish began to tire and Ethan could bring it closer to shore where we could see he had hooked a large male Chinook salmon. I grabbed the net and headed just downstream from him and waited until the fish made for the shallow water. A quick scoop and a tight grip on the tail was all I needed to do to help Ethan land our first and only fish of the afternoon.

Ethan gives our fishing trip 2 thumbs up
After a short break we were back at it, but no other fish found the bottom of our net. And even a long walk downstream didn’t do much to change our situation. We only spotted three other fish and none of them were willing to even look at our flies.

That’s fishing on the tributaries for you. Some days you catch a run of fish and some days you don’t.
I had a blast either way. 

Watching my youngest son cast, hook, fight and land such a giant is

something I will always remember.