A semi-coherant collection of ramblings,misdealings, and Tom Foolery experienced in pursuit of Great Lakes Steelhead.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
My "home" flow is a Diamond among the Huron Gems. She rises big and drops very fast as do many of the flows in heavily tiled watersheds. Timing is of the essence and the predictability of river conditions is almost a certain science.
Higher water inherently scatters fish. They are on the move and will transition in slots, troughs, and high gradient tail outs... what I call pocket water. This water typically is too shallow or void of cover to hold fish under normal conditions but with some flow and stain to the water it becomes very fishy. These are exciting conditions to fish as ones options are exponentially increased.
Today I got to fish the home waters on the drop. She could have been a lot bigger for my liking but she was still big and coloured enough for fish to be spread throughout. The Pocket water was fishing, and fishing fine at that. Today was one of those days where if the water looked at all fishy there was a good chance that success could be had.
I fished some old water today. I had not been back there in a few years. It was the right choice as I quite possibly had one of my best days in recent memory.
The warm temps rejuvenated the fish. There were some new players and some very big players today. One common theme was their energy.
The last fish I landed today was nothing shy of 10lbs. Immediately upon setting the hook he had me running for what seemed like an eternity over slippery boulders, through shoulder tall grass, and around a bend where I luckily gained the upper hand. Early November steelheading in late December. The mild temps do however come with a price. The unseasonably warm weather brings out the crowds.
This is twice this season I have had to share what is typically an abandoned river basin with fair weather fisherman. They have as much right as I to be there and good for them I guess. For the most part I experienced nothing but mutual respect on the river today... and all of this season for that matter. With the exception of today's cigarette butts, beer cans, trash and a Skein Harvest carcass things have been civil.
As much as I have enjoyed this mild weather I still long for the true winter fishery...the classic ominous overcast skies and the totally deserted countryside. Laying the first set of tracks in on fresh powder only to follow the same single partially covered set back out. I have said it so many times... fishing is more for me about the experience and solitude than it is about the catching.
With any luck tomorrows predicted precipitation will see my little river spill over her banks and back into the grass in time for another day or two of poking around the pocket water.