Posts Tagged ‘lake fishing

19
May
12

The Damsel….On The Edge….And, The Lost Net

On a recent trip to a lake, the wind was relentless for hours on end. Anchoring up was the only option as kicking or rowing was too demanding and unproductive against the winds. So, I found a narrow strip of quiet water along a reed line near shore. And, here I caught fish and a net.

I anchored in this quiet strip along the reed line. In close to the reeds the water was maybe 3′ and as it moved out toward the black arrows it quickly dropped to 6 feet. Most of the fish were taken as the fly settled down the drop off rather up near the reeds. I wasn’t seeing any working fish near the surface.

I was using a Size 14 Georgi’s Damsel in a unique ginger color. I met Georgi Harley on a B.C. lake years ago and she introduced me to the ‘instar’ color option.

I worked the Damsel pattern parallel to the shore line. Not the optimum presentation path, but the best I could do under the circumstances. It was a successful plan. At one point, I caught something else though….a landing net.

I dredged this mucky mess up to my ‘toon’ and hoisted the smelly mess onto the apron. It was a perfect structure beneath the water for all manner of aquatic critters to find their little spot.

The picture really doesn’t do justice (sorry for the blurry focus) to the amount of activity that was taking place in the nooks and crevices of this lost landing net. Damsels, lots of grey-olive scuds and larva wiggling about. It was very revealing as to color and size of insects.

Once to shore, I took the landing net and hung it over a fence post. Someone, if not the original owner, will maybe cleanup it up and make use of it. Of particular interest was a discussion I had had with a man hunkered down in his truck waiting out the wind. He wondered aloud if there were scuds in the lake. I had no idea at the time. Now I do. Some stillwater fly fishers immediately put scuds at the top of their fly list. I have some mental block there and forget scuds. I really need to fix that oversight.

03
Apr
12

FLy Fishing’s Spring Outing: Zip, Zero, Nada…But, Not Entirely

Well, for months I tied with anticipation. For months, I envisioned the preparation, the packing, the outing, the success of it all. Today, I am sitting with a different outcome than I had anticipated. 

My go to lake lines were loaded with care.

The original plan called for one of my son’s to come along, but life’s duties intruded. So, my wife thought it would be nice to get away…’maybe even fish’. Hmm? A novice into the equation. Suddenly, the whole idea of a total newbie into the mix changed my planning. I couldn’t just throw her out there alone and go my way. I must admit my selfish side silently came to sit upon my shoulder. Ok, I packed for both. I planned for both as I had for years for my sons. I didn’t necessarily pack my instructor’s hat….at first.

As we left Portland, it had rained for days but was a balmy 44 degrees. As I crested Mt. Hood's shoulder at Government Camp it was a little cooler.

The Open Road beckoned. Traffic was light on a Sunday morning once past the turnoffs for Timberline & Meadows.

We arrived with no one else on or around the lake. That can be a lucky moment or a bad sign on a weekend morning. The mountains in the distance were obscured with low hanging tentacles of some kind of moisture. The wind was steady and gusting. I will mention it for the first time here….the wind can be a problem on a lake. Duh! you say. Just wait.

The gear was set up for two....just like the old days. Years of enjoying my sons being able to fend for themselves was missing. I once again had to wrap my head around the double preparation that results when you are setting up another and realizing they know nothing about most aspects of the sport. I'm not complaining; just relaying my mental journey for the outing.

The push/pull of my desire to fish (compulsive addiction) vs. changing my expectations for the outing became evident. Months of anticipation & imagery became suddenly muddled in my brain. Having been down this road before and selfishly hurting those I love, I knew I had to stop and settle down. Do you understand? Seems evident I know. But, sometimes I so yearn for that fishing fix that intrusions into it make me selfish. Not who I want to be.

My wife was none the wiser over my selfish little self sitting on my shoulder. She was excited and relaxed. I realized I had to set aside some of my energy to just fish and get lost in the moment. I had to 'patiently' teach.

The weather kicked up to a steady roll of waves. Not huge, but steady enough to make kicking for my wife (actually for both of us) difficult. I was struggling in the pontoon and realized I really had to stay with my wife rather than row for some shelter in a far cove. So, eventually I decided to find some likely place to drop anchor.  

We wouldn’t be trolling/kicking along, casting/retrieving etc. We would anchor up and maybe the winds would die down. Nope!

A steady wind pushed hard at the back. Anchoring up was the only hope of not getting pushed to the far bank and a long walk back.

The reality hit that I had to start from the beginning on casting, retrieving actually everything while a strong wind pounded from the rear. We could barely hear each other talk and positioning my pontoon beside the tube, while anchored, eliminated both of us fishing at the same time. So, I started from scratch. My rod was setting down beside me. The focus was on my wife attempting to grasp the grip, the loading, the line manipulation, the roll casts, the components of a cast….all along me thinking the conditions could not be much worse and, selfishly, ‘I need to fish’.

Eventually, I got her anchored in about eight feet of water on a slight drop. I put on floating line, a strike indicator and a Chironomid pupa off the bottom. She seemed to have a basic roll cast working and the wind helped propel the rigging outward. I thought maybe I can move out aways and anchor and work my Intermediate line. 

I anchored up and flailed away with all those special patterns I had tied. I varied the retrieves, I varied the depths, I varied the patterns. Nothing. Not a tug.

My wife was having a good time gabbing away. With the wind howling and my flaps down, hood up, I was having a hard time hearing all that she was saying. She reminded me of that commercial from a few years ago, where the woman talks on and on. I missed most and had to keep asking ‘what?’. Apparently my tone suggested my frustrations. Eventually, the tangles ensued and I had to up anchor to go help her….again. Patience I reminded the selfish self on my shoulder. Patience.

I don’t want you to think I was a total jerk. I was mostly fighting this little battle inside my self. She was, fortunately some would say, none the wiser.

Then suddenly my anchor rope is missing something! The anchor! The ten pound pyramid anchor that had been securely on the end of that rope for years was gone. I had to rig something up with a rock. But, most of the rocks in this area are light for their size….save one I found up in the woods.

Field Expedience! At the end of the day, this was my trussed up rock anchor. It worked.

The fishing never turned on. The only fish I caught the entire day was while I was reeling in to go help my wife. Of course, I experimented with faster retrieves…to no avail. I could say the day was a bust. Certainly based upon the months of anticipation I had invested it was. But, in the end, my wife said what a great time she was having. She thought ‘this is great!’ I reminded her that at some point she would have to have her on flies, her own nippers, her own re-rigging, her own solitude….I know, I know there was my little selfish side again. She said ‘all in good time’. She just liked ‘visiting’ the most.

She was very happy with the whole experience. I set aside my frustrations. It was an inner struggle, but thinking back to the times I have been impatient with others, I knew the correct response.

The lessons of this outing were not anticipated through the Winter’s day dreaming about big fish, solitude and the feel of ‘The Moment’. The gear was good (save the anchor), the little I got to fish went reasonably well. The new pontoon boat was great, but I need to fine tune where the packs sit on the sides and I don’t like the apron’s tension…too saggy. The flies looked good in the water, if not in a fish’s jaw.

No, the lesson, which I have alluded to here over the years, is patience. Patience in life for sure. Patience with loved ones you are teaching. Patience with self.

"Trophy Shot" perhaps? I envisioned a large Rainbow Trout, but in the end the trip was great for all the reasons I never anticipated during the Winter's planning.

17
Sep
10

Fly Fishing: Stillwater Countdown by Bill Byrd

There is still a month or more to get out on a lake for some private, relaxing time on the water. Review this piece by Bill Byrd and you can draw some very practical info here. Time on the water will reinforce the techniques. Save it in your Favorites/Bookmarks and go back and review after several outings.

FLY FISHING THE WATER COLUMN EFFECTIVELY

SwittersB @ Haystack




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