Obviously I have not been very good at keeping this blog up to date. Schedules have finally slowed down enough that I can sit down, crack a cold one and recall the last five months. The winter has been so long that to be honest, I would rather not think back. Instead, let’s fast forward to pre – actual – post trout opener.
My fishing has been less than stellar mainly because I have not been getting out as much as I wanted to or should have. A few trips to the south shore saw very little success for me.
Instead, my good friends Tony and Jack each got their cherries busted on NY steelheading. That was great to see and a relief for me as I was the one whom dragged them on the long drive and bored them with fables of a Disneyland Steelhead Adventure.
The last Saturday of April marks the dreaded trout opener. This would be the weekend where you will see small populations at every known river access and bridge. The carnage and crowds have become too much for me over the last several years however with this year of not getting out much, I decided I would suck it up and face the carnival.
It would be one day after the official open that I was free to roam about. We saw two rivers and to my surprise, a stretch of water that saw very few others. In fact, one run was all ours. That was warmly welcomed as we had driven by an access and counted 33 vehicles. Jack, Tony and Rob joined me for the day and I could not ask for better friends.
When I looked at the calendar on the refrigerator, reality struck.
There was no open squares for me to pen another steelheading outing other than making a push to fish the morning before racing home for our son’s vocal performance as part of a school commitment.
Tony and I would decide on a very early start, with a hike in under the cover of night. 3am alarms are never well received. I almost had the nerve to call for late but Tony had already messaged me to text him when I was within 30 minutes as he was already there and had planned on catching a few winks. (sometimes it’s just easier on the family to leave when they all go to bed to avoid waking them up with rods and totes banging around). Oh well, up and at it. Large coffee and music cranked and I off.
Eyes staring at me from the fields, a few dared the crossing and failed including one raccoon I clipped.
Several times I had to ease off the pedal as I found myself enjoying the drive a little too much. I got to Tony with five minutes to spare from our targeted time.
Suiting up seemed to be a chore and I fumbled in the dark and contemplated whether to wear the wading jacket. As we reached the run we talked about, I was drenched. Jacket should have stayed in the tote.
Flow was great and colour, clear but with the depths created by the higher flow. We fished the green sections and found fish. I was able to coax a couple to hand but my hook to land ratio was terrible today!
On a particular run, I waded out to just to my waist and rolled out the black and purple bunny spey to the far edge. Just as I had mended and straightened the line direction, a heavy tug almost jarred me off balance. It was a good battle. I was well into my running line. When I was able to get below her, it was a matter of seconds to slide her into the water swollen grassy edges of the river.
Another fabulous day. I do hear the fat lady singing but I am still hopeful she will do an encore presentation.