Monday, March 13, 2017

Is The Spring Of The Year The Best Time For Trout Fishing?

When I was learning how to fish for trout in Central Pennsylvania almost 30 years ago (good God the time really flies by) it was widely accepted that the spring of the year was the best time to fish for trout.  After all, the spring is when the season started and coincided with the fish and game department stocking the lakes and rivers with literal truckloads of trout.  So, I accepted the unwritten rule of the spring being the best time of the year to fish for trout and have lived by that moniker for most of my fishing career.

And while this idea isn't necessarily untrue, I have since learned that for me and my fishing sensibilities, the fall has proven to be more productive when fishing for trout, especially when you are referring to large trout, which I define as trout that reach the 18 inch mark or longer. In any case, in many area's of the country, especially the Northeast United States, the spring of the year is a great time of the year for trout fishing, there's no doubt about it.

Nowadays I live in the western United States (Northwest Montana to be exact) and the spring is no doubt a great time of the year for trout fishing with one small caveat if you like to fish for spring trout in small rivers and streams like I do. Here in the west, if you want to have a successful outing trout fishing the small rivers and streams that I like you need to hit the water early.  That means going trout fishing from mid March until late April, which is to say early spring.

And, just as you would probably imagine, this early spring trout fishing can be quite productive here in the Sweater United Sates.  Right up until the point that the waters become to high and muddy due to snow melt in the mountains to drift fish effectively, which as you may or may not have gleaned is my preferred method when it comes to trout fishing?  So, is the spring of the year the best time of the year for trout fishing?  It sure can be and depending on the area that you live and fish and the method that use when you are out fishing for spring trout. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Are Polorized Glasses Really Worth Using When You Are Fishing?

As a fisherman who has been on the water chasing fish for more than two decades, the answer to whether or not I need to wear polarized glasses when fishing is really quite simple.  Of course I do!  Now, keep in mind I spend most of my time in rivers, so being able to see into the water is very important, both for safety and strategy.  

There was a time when technology and manufacturing quality hadn't caught up to the products that were being sold to fishermen and there were a lot of inferior polarized glasses on the market.  This is the time when I was originally introduced to the world of polarization and glasses and at that time also had a limited budget.  What this meant is that I would purchase inexpensive polarized glasses and invariably be disappointed the their performance.

Luckily, this all changed about 5 years ago and now find very serviceable polarized fishing glasses in the $25-50 range.  I mean sure, the you can spend more than that (which I now do) simply because I prefer certain manufacturers, but the bottom line is that you no longer need to.  There are plenty of choices for the frugal fisherman and with online reviews, you can be confident in your purchase decisions. 

So, the answer the question posed in the title of this article, probably, depending on your preferred fishing style and/or method.  But, with the decrease in cost and increase in technology and manufacturing processes, for the very minimal investment that is now required there is probably no reason not to have a pair of polarized glasses on hand any time that you hit the water. 

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.