April 15, 2017

When I Need Inspiration

I look at this photo.

I met Mike at a trout unlimited gathering near castle rock about 20 years ago. After a couple beers and getting to know Mike better I learned he was sick and needed a major surgery.
He asked me where I caught all my big fish and what he should throw at them.

I drew on his Gazetteer a circle around a bridge to go in at.  I looked at his fly box and picked out a size 6 black bunny leech.

I told him to downstream some log jams on that stretch.

The rest is pictured above.  

April 14, 2017

One Fruitful Hour On The Water

Wife went to movies with her friend from high school.  It is Jo Ellen's birthday soon so Barb and her went to the Dells to see two movies.  Thanks Jo for going with her.  Both the movies you two are seeing are lame.  If you didn't go I would have had to.

Back to fishing.

Rain was in the forecast for 5pm.  It is overcast and the big waterway in the area looked good.  I swear all it takes is a squirrel taking a leak near it and it is stained for days.  I decided the conditions were optimal and I needed to quit procrastinating about my back pain and get out there.

The third cast I caught the above fish.  It was a short stretch and easy walking because weeds are not up much.  I hid my vehicle behind the farmer's barn because I have quite a following these days that like to fish where they see my vehicle.

I landed a total of 11 browns in one hour.  Is pretty good for an hour.

I was near the end of the stretch and I remembered catching a decent one tight to the bank in the run just in front of me.

I fired in there and just as I lifted out of the water the trout slashed at it.  It was a slack jaw moment.  I quickly checked the lure and line to make sure there were no problems and cast back in there.  As I retrieved I questioned whether I had strong enough line to land this behemoth.  I scanned the area for a landing zone.  I visualized a good landing spot. Ten casts later it did not return.  I sat down for 20 minutes and let the hole calm down.  I thought it might come back.  It did not.

On the way home I decided it was probably good I didn't hook up without a person to net it for me.

Lots of times I drag someone with after I have found a big fish and feel obligated to let them have first shot at the fish....It won't happen this time.  May opener I am back there with a net person.


The trout I missed made the one in this thread look little!!!

April 13, 2017

April Showers Bring Big Trout

Tis the time to go large trout searching.

Little overcast which the trout love.

Water has warmed up so they can be anywhere.

Skitoes are minimal.  Vegetation is still sparse.

Get out there and catch a large dog!!!

April 10, 2017

Taking Photos of Your Catch

There are many schools of thought out there.  They range from not taking the trout out of the water to laying it on the ground or net.  Then there are no photos at all to consider.  I have struggled with this through the years.  Fishing solo creates lots of problems also.

 A trout has a protective slim coat that can be wiped off by many ways.  Some of the more common ways are laying on the ground or snow for a photo.  This is really bad on the trout.  You are trying focusing your camera with a wet slippery hand while your photo subject is flopping around and dying from lack of oxygen.   It most certainly is rubbing off its slime coat on the net or ground.

You really have a dilemma here.  I have eliminated the ground and net on the ground from my standard operating procedures. 

 The fish is going to die if you wait with this method.  Better ways exist to take a good photos and not place your recently caught trout in peril. 

First thing I do is unhook the trout in the net on the edge of the stream.  Your net choice becomes a huge factor then.  The trend today is going with the ghost type bags.  I have found them not deep enough for my liking.

I have a knotted type net with a very deep non-tapered bag.  The non-taper is the key.  The trout can feel secure in the big bag and not thrash around causing the slime layer to be effected.  My net has a sizable opening and a good long handle.

I have two ways I use my net to my advantage.  After I net the fish and unhook it I leave the trout in the water.  The long handle can be handy at this time.  One way is to place the net handle between your knees and leave the trout submerged in your deep bag.  You reach in your pocket and focus your camera to the hold you want without the trout in hand.  You reach in the net bag and wet your hand as you do so and lift the trout out of the water for one quick photo and off they go.

The handle on your deep non-tapered net works great for sticking into the muddy bank as you prepare your camera.  You can leave the trout in the water and try to do the trout selfie that typically doesn’t work well and most time you over handle the trout and keep it out of the water too long.

Your hand placement is key during these situations.  The trout can easily die if you place a death grip on them near their front fins. This is where most of their vital organs are.  It is best to hold back farther on the body back by their anal fins.  If it thrashes while holding it gently let it go. If you are lucky you snap one photo and then revive it and set it free. 

Reviving it isn’t as easy as you think.  You can see many improper ways on television. A trout needs to be ready to leave.  Just giving it a push and saying good bye does not cut it.  You face the trout upstream in a slow current.  A fast current is not necessary.  Rowing the trout is not good.  The trout’s gills only work one way.  Rowing does nothing for them and is actually detrimental when reviving the fish.  The trout will let you know when it is ready to leave.

When you are fishing with someone it is much easier.  You still should unhook the trout and leave it in the net until you are ready for a picture.  Fight that temptation to take scads of glory shots.  Keep your fingers away from the gills because they are easily injured.  Wet hands only please.  The fishing regulations say 10-15 seconds is maximum time they should be out of the water.  Winter is a concern due to the cold effecting the skin, eyes and gills of trout.  Winter it is much more important to be quick. A good angler with the proper net and camera can take a photo in less than 5 seconds.

I am not from the school of thought you should not take fish out of the water for a photo.  Handle them properly and quickly and there should not be a problem.  Some of you are disagreeing with me but think about it….You just tricked a trout into eating your spinner or fly and each of them has sharp hooks.  Trout are not made of glass.  Respect your trout and prepare before you take that photo.

Trout From Same Stretch Of Stream But Downstream

Trout From Same Stretch Of Water

long and lanky

Wife Photo Stylized

Barb's stylized version

April 09, 2017

Sometimes It Is Called Catching Not Fishing

I asked four people to go with me.  It was a last minute thing so everyone had plans.  I did talk my good friend Kevin Rott into following me to my ending spot where I parked and he taxied to my starting point.

It was the warmest day of the year so far *73*.  It was mostly cloudy.  The water temp was 60.  I expected a good outing and wasn't disappointed.

The trout were all over the place.  There was no rhyme or reasoning for where they were laying.  The warmth and cloudy weather were idea for fishing.

They were slamming it today.  No dancing and pecking.

59 Browns to hand from 1:30pm to 6pm.  I walked past the last 6 good holes because any more than 59 trout would just have been selfish.