Thursday, May 12, 2016

Even A Blind Squirrel Finds A Trout Every Now And Then

Since the weather has been warming quite dramatically in recent weeks, even though the past few days have been in the fifties during the daytime, I figured that the run off would make the Swan River all but un-fishable.  But with an afternoon of unproductiveness staring me in the face, I thought to myself, "why not head out and take a look?  Maybe Pacific Park will have area's that can be fished?"  And with that thought, I began to gather my equipment.

Waders and boots, fishing vest with back up gang hooks, Polarized Sunglasses , a bite to eat and I was off.  Within 30 minutes I was at the river and by the grace of God, no one was there (I prefer to fish alone whenever possible).  Withing 45 minutes of thinking the above thought I was standing in the water, basking in the glory that brings me as much peace as any single activity that I can engage in. I'm glad I had the thought and more importantly took the time to act on it!

Within minutes of starting to fish I had a bite and missed the son of a gun.  "It's okay I thought, I'm rusty this early in the season".  Two more casts and a hooked a fish (presumably a rainbow trout?) and as it shook it's head, threw the gang hooks from it's mouth.  I couldn't believe it, because that rarely happens, but oh well, right?  Over the next 15 or so minutes I hooked and lost four more fish, so I moved downstream a bit.

I was fishing the edge of a very large pool, where the water was raging in the center.  The edge was the only place that I could get a good drift and the fish obviously preferred the slower current as well.  Finally, I hooked what felt like a decent little rainbow and this time I could tell I got a good hook set.  I knew the fish wasn't huge, but it's sometimes hard to gauge this early in the year, so I took my time.  Within a minute or so I was admiring a nice, fat, little 12 or so inch rainbow trout before returning her to the water from which she came.  This was a well fed rainbow, that reminded me of one of those little Nerf footballs that I used to have when I was growing up.  Yep, she was a fattie!

The bottom line is that even a blind squirrel like me can find a trout every once in a while. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It has been some time since I took the time to post anything on this blog, mainly because I had become disenfranchised about the whole idea.  Why?  Because as some point you begin to ask yourself, "what the heck is the point of this thing anyway?"  I questioned the fact that any of this matters and became convinced that it didn't and no one read it anyway.  So I stopped.

Then this morning, as the spring approaches, and the though of fishing for trout starts to come to the forefront of my mind, I thought about this blog and all of the information it contains.  Then I thought about the fact that there are always new people that become interested in the subject of trout fishing and thought about how helpful this information could be to them if they were so inclined to read it.  So i decided to begin adding to said information once again. 

Will it matter this time?  More than likely not, but who cares, right?  I'm going to go ahead and do it for that person that's just getting into trout fishing or wants to take their trout fishing to "the next level" so to speak.  And, seeing as how I'm a human being, if I become disenfranchised again, guess what?  I don't have a terrorist holding a gun to my head making me do this, so I can stop again whenever I feel so inclined. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Different Way of Fishing The Run Off

As I have stated previously, at this time of the year the snow melts in the mountains as the weather warms, which fills mountains streams with water, which in turn fills area rivers with water.  This is referered to as "run off" and it makes the river fishing that I love to do virtually impossible due to high/muddy water. 

Well, there is a way that the run off can be used to you advantage when fishing and when a friend of mine invited me to go out on his boat and fish the Hungry Horse Reservoir I was introduced to a technique that I wasn't previously aware of.  You see, as the mountains streams swell, full of "run off" water, that water obviuosly has to go somewhere and in the case of a reservior such as the one that we were going to be fishing, the water simply dumps into the reservior.

What I learned is that when this happens the trout that live in said reservoir will congregate in these area's to feast on the tasty morsels that the run off brings them.  Also, at this time of the year the cutthroat trout in Hungry Horse Reservoir spawn, which means that salmon eggs are an excellent bait to employ.  So I grabbed a jar of Pautzke's Balls O Fire salmon eggs, some small styrofoam floats, and we headed out. 

Sure enough, by using a single # 10 hook, a split shot sinker on my line, and a small float about three feet up my line, we experienced some success.  Within a couple of hours we caught 8 cutthroat and two rainbow trout between us.  I mean sure, none of them were huge, with the biggest being about fifteen inches, but it was still a lot of fun.  We were fishing where the dirty run off water met the clean reservoir water.  It was enjoyable and a different way of fishing the run off to be sure. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Lone Bull Trout Is All The River Could Muster

The other day I headed out to the swan river to try to get a little spring fishing in.  I figured that the run off shouldn't be too bad yet, so I packed up all of my trout fishing gear and off I went.  When I got to the river I could see that the water was slightly stained, but fishable, so I was pleased.  I hiked down the embankment to the rivers edge and quickly realized that crossing to the other side would be a challenge to say the least.  Sure, 10 years ago I would have made the trek without a problem, but nowadays I figure that's it's just not worth the risk of falling in.  Hey, what can I say, I'm either getting old or am getting wiser?  In any case, although I am very aware of the fact that fishing this stretch of river from the side that I was on is difficult because of the angles, i began fishing anyway.

Getting a good drift was tough without a doubt, but I pressed on working my way downstream.  I even fished a couple of riffles that I often don't, but I figured that with the higher water, something might be different.  Within a cast or two I realized that it was different as I got a nice bite.  On the next cast I hooked the fish and the fight was on.  I figured it might be a squaw fish (as this is often what is caught in this river when the water is high) but after a decent fight I realized that it was a nice 20 or so inch bull trout. 

I admired her and released the trout and continued downstream.  I fished for another hour or so and only received a couple of more bites.  I'm glad I got to get out and fish this part of the river, because it's more than likely the last time I will until late August or so.  The run off is going to be high this year and much of the river fishing around here will be blown out as they say for quite some time.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fishing For Rainbow Trout When They Are Spawning

The other day my buddy and I headed out for a little spring trout fishing and quickly discovered that
the rainbow trout that we were fishing for were actively into their spawning routine on the particular lake that we were fishing.  How did we figure this fact out?  It was pretty darn easy seeing as how we could see some nice rainbows not more than 10 feet from shore circling in and around each other.  In fact one of them was actually protecting her bed from any would be evil doers. 

I had no interest in fishing for the trout that I could see, as I assumed they had more pressing business on their minds than eating, but I know from experience that rainbows that have recently spawned are are going to be spawning in the future are usually susceptible to being caught, so I rigged up a drop shot rig and got to work.  After forty minutes or so with nary a nibble, I decided to try a simple technique that had enabled me to catch spawning rainbows in the past, still fishing with eggs.

Eggs are often a good trout bait choice for spawning rainbows, so I figured this would do the trick? Since the bottom of the lake was quite weedy, I rigged up a single # 10 hook with a small egg sinker and a two foot or so leader.  I then baited the hook with a couple of pink Berkley Power Eggs and casted the rig out for a little still fishing.

Although the trout weren't biting like crazy, with a couple of hours I had caught and released a nice seventeen or so inch rainbow trout, fought and lost another that felt the same size, and missed multiple trout that were nibbling at my eggs.  This made me remember the fact that the best bait to use for rainbow trout in and around spawning time are eggs, and although I was using artificial power eggs, I'm sure salmon eggs would have been effective as well.