Posts Tagged ‘River & Stream Stuff

19
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: Getting Down to Business

Split Shot

Ah, split shot. Maybe for awhile they stay in a small zip lock bag or plastic tube. Eventually, for me, they are scattered in vest pockets, pontoon side cargo pouches, wader pockets, gear bags, fanny packs…….. They are everywhere. So why don’t you use a bit more when it counts…on your leader above or below the fly. If it is legal to attach to your leader (check reg’s…if not use heavily weighted flies) then pay attention to your presentation. Are you fishing the proper zone (depth) while dredging nymphs in heavier waters? Yes, you risk the hangups, break offs, lost flies/tippet and re-rigging. But, you also will catch more fish holding in tough lies. 

When I shorten my line, add weight and dredge in heavier waters my catch rate goes up dramatically compared to the longer line/leader set up and lighter offering. The fish are use to debris bouncing/swirling along the bottom. Often the pattern you are using is less important than the presentation. Also, enter Czech Nymphing in the Search Blog Archives search box, upper right for how to info Cz Nymphing, which is (regardless of pattern) a good, basic start to nymph with a shorter line. Wade carefully for safety and a stealth approach.

Oh, when you do hang up, don’t go reaming up on that rod like you are fishing with your old Bi Mart cheapo rod. You can give a sharp snap or two and if you are indeed hung up then pull the line straight until the setup either pulls free or you break off. Sometimes moving up stream a bit extricates the setup from beneath the rocks it wedged under. Check your line for abrasion and nicks too.

19
May
11

Fly Fishing & Stomach Pumps

Stomach Pump

Personally, I think stomach pumps should be the last thing any self respecting fly shop or on line fly fishing resource should offer to the fly fisher. Oh, the sampling can be most enlightening, but more often than not (no I don’t have any statistical data) I would imagine the device is misused and causes harm to the fish.

Stomach Pump Sampling (Brian Chan)

I mean just look at that stillwater sampling of mega chironomids, damsel fly and mayfly nymphs. How much easier now to tie on the correct size and color of an imitation. But, seriously, you want it that easy? While potentially doing harm to the fish? I will say this is one thing (the only thing probably) in which, I think Brian Chan errors. A fishery biologist, such as he, knows how to use a simple, crude device as a stomach pump and has a theoretical need to study food samples from fish and the health of a lake or river. The rest of us can study up and forgo the pump. I don’t believe I have seen a presentation by Mr. Chan in which the pump is not presented and demonstrated at least on lakes. He takes great care to use cradles to land fish and is obviously respectful of the fish. Others, I am not so sure of.   

Is there available written data on the hatches/aquatic life of the body of water you intend to fish? What patterns imitate those food sources? Where are they likely living, emerging, drifting, etc. in that lake or river? At what time of day do they provide the best food source for the fish? What months are they best available? What do other fly fishers tell you? What techniques are you seeing successfully used and where on the body of water?  

When you get to this body of water, what do you see? Are there visible hatches? Are birds feeding above the water? How are the rise forms of the fish (sub surface slashes, porpoising, sips, engulfing wallops, airborne projectiles)? What do you see on the water’s surface, nearby vegetation, on the rocks? What is possibly protruding from the fish’s mouth you are about to release.

Stomach pumps may provide that extra reassurance of what to use, but given the probable harm you will cause (if catching and releasing), forgo the pump and use your brain and power of observation more often. Unless you are Brian Chan and/or a fishery’s biologist?


14
May
11

Fly Fish Planning

Springtime beckons the trout fly fisher. A little sunshine and warmer temps and there you are at the river’s edge with all your gear and every pattern you tied all Winter or purchased, begged or stole (ok borrowed). Depending upon snow pack, temperatures, weather systems, or dam output etc., the river may sharply rise during this time year. Aside from your observations, if you live close to the river, you should take advantage of any reporting systems that provide river flow data (height or cubic feet per second). Anyone launching a drift boat does this. But, the bank bound fly fisher may not do this and should. 

Make note during your outings of how the river was for wading, fishable water, hatches etc. in the areas you fished. When you get home note the river height/flow (CFS) provided by the resource and make note of it and keep it.

Keep track during these times of the spots you visited and if  you could not safely wade or find much inside water (seams, edges close to shore) to fish. What was the height? Try to make it back as Spring progresses into Summer. Note how the river fishes as the river drops 6 inches, 1 foot, 2 feet. Once the Summer time lows come the levels will stabilize. You will then be looking for deeper, cooler, oxygenated waters for trout and steelhead. In the Fall, you will reverse the process of watching what happens to the river as Fall storms move in.

Keep track of the river levels in a journal or some file. It will save you hour to two hour drives to rivers that are blown out and perhaps steer you toward other rivers that are not rising with snow melt, higher temps or have dams controlling the water levels.  

Query river flow, gages, etc. for the area near you and you should find available updated data that kayakers, guides, etc. use. You can use it too.

Note a comment made mention that the graph above was not legible given the size. I apologize for that. It was merely a symbolic gesture of a river rising. In the comment section, I provide the link re the above graph and it can be opened via the link I provided in the comment response and then clicked upon again to better enhance…sorry about that.

  

11
May
11

McKenzie River (Oregon) Environmental Assessment of Flows

McKenzie River (Oregon)

This is an interesting study on the McKenzie River drainage, a significant tributary of the Willamette River. The report is informative re data collected, comparisons made and how it could be applied to other rivers by the Department of Interior. The Nature Conservancy was also involved in the study.

Key Elements

• This report presents the results of a study that is part of the Nature Conservancy Sustainable Rivers Project begun in 2002 in partnership with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

• The study objective was the creation of an environmental flow framework for the McKenzie River basin, Oregon, necessary to sustain aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

• The goal of this report is to provide a hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological baseline assessment for basin stakeholders.

The McKenzie River Study

06
May
11

Fly Fishing: ‘Water Loading’ Heavy Nymphs & Sling

Stonefly Nymph Box (SwittersB)

Ah, May/June! Chasing the Salmon Fly and Golden Stone crawl outs and hatches. Fishing your nymphs on the bottom where they crawl toward shore or below the rapids, where they have been dislodged and been carried into slightly deeper water. It is a fun Western U.S. event and interesting to witness the actual emergence (crawling onto shore/emergence from the nymphal body).  

This action will carry on into July depending upon water temps. The California Stones (Salmon Fly) will end first and the Golden Stones will linger longer. It is a chuck it-sling it-stay tight to the fly-short line-drift affair. You can and probably should attach a second fly to the Stonefly (smaller nymph or a wet fly). Just remember, to avoid tangles, to think of your cast as a lob, open loop affair rather than trying to produce a standard cast with a tighter loop. Tangles and hooks into the back of the neck may result. Some will advocate throwing a longer line, and indeed sometimes you will have to chuck and duck and mend to get to a prime lie. But, I would advise the beginner to fish shorter and tighter to the fly with only  a mend or two at most.  Casting a heavy nymph by loading rod with water tension…

http://tongarirorivermotel.co.nz/2010/08/casting-tongariro-bombs/

26
Apr
11

Fly Fishing: Spring Cleaning & Reorg

Headed Out Early (SwittersB)

A reminder for the multi-directional (species targeted) fly fisher: sort out your gear that has spread far and wide (albeit in the same rig in different gear bags). Bring it together for stillwaters, rivers, ponds.

Spring has sprung. The flies tend to stay divided amongst the species. But, pay attention to spools of tippets for rebuilding leaders, tippets and the tools (nippers, pliers, etc.) Clothing can get spread out. Have you laid eyes on those booties and fins since last October? The anchor you were going to fix? Do it now. My pontoon boat has a leak. I have been thinking about it all Winter, but have put it off, not wanting to do it in the cold.

My Winter Steelhead gear is consolidated (not used near enough). The smaller Steelhead flies, set aside for the bigger flies of Winter, are in the those boxes…where now? In one of those gear bags.

Just a reminder…..  If you fish various species of fish, then your gear gets subdivided and scattered. Spring is a nice time to consolidate the gear and see where you placed things while traveling, dumping gear in a hurry, and forgetting to go back to dry it out (oops!).

08
Mar
11

Fly Fishing: Tying for Chrome

Accomplished fly fisher, Larry Tamiyasu of Portland, Oregon, travels far and wide fly fishing for a variety of fish species. He is an accomplished tier and like most of us, anticipates success with his own creations.

Preparing by Larry Tamiyasu (SwittersB)

And, more often than not, he and his fishing partners are successful where ever they wet at line.

Successful Fly Pattern by Larry Tamiyasu (SwittersB)

Thanks Larry for sharing. He and his buds have already booked their digs for next October. Anticipation……………….

 




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