A semi-coherant collection of ramblings,misdealings, and Tom Foolery experienced in pursuit of Great Lakes Steelhead.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Wind and High Water
After seeing the largest rise in flow for the season the USGS site indicated that river crested and began to come down. Arriving late Thursday night with hopes of fishing a river full of willing players we were marginally disappointed with the conditions we were presented with Friday morning. The river was still high and dirty compared to where she fishes best. This coupled with the million mile per hour winds left us struggling on the water. The morning saw us launching the Hyde at High Bridge and working up our way up river. With the winds, off colour water and increased level and flow we struggled to find any fishable water let alone willing players. We decided to cut our loses short and head back to familiar water where we knew the fish would be congregated and hopefully stacked up. By now the winds had increased in intensity.
At times the wind made it impossible to run a decent drift. It was frustrating as the lead chucking crew on the far bank were somewhat consistently hooking up. Determined to find a few fish we persevered and worked our way down river. The river was off colour but very fishable when reprieve from the wind could be found. I dropped into a familiar cove and ran a few drift where we have had success in the past on big water days. A half dozen drift through and a familiar pumping and thrashing was realized on the end of my line. It was a decent fish and from the brief glimpse I got when it broke the surface it appeared to be a chrome hen.
After an exhausting battle in the big water I managed to swing her to the bank. She was a large fin clipped stocker that had a deformed mandible from a previous human encounter a few years prior. She was full of roe and ready to drop her treasure. It was karma as I was questioning my roe supply at the cabin and indicated to Red how nice it would be go get a loose hen. I could not have asked for a better fish to selectively harvest. When it comes to my Roe I am very particular. I prefer to keep it simple, natural, and clean so I water harden. I refuse to add any salt, borax or concocted cures whatsoever. So with one on the bank and a rejuvenated supply of cured roe we continued on searching for additional players.
Red managed to hook up at the Tunk Hole with a large fish that I was certain was all but landed when the hook popped on the final run. By now the wind was even stronger and chunks of trees were falling in the forest and in our general vicinity. We decided to call it and double back to the cabin for dinner and an early night. On the hike back you could see some trees had buckled under the wind load and we were notified of a large White Pine that came down near the coffer. It had been a long day and our aching bodies attested to our efforts. The cold beers were welcomed back at the cabin as was diner and the couches.
As I type this entry the rains have returned. Nothing too heavy and hopefully nothing that will negatively impact the water clarity. Hopefully the winds subside for Saturday and we find a bunch of willing players.