Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wind on the lake

A late start today, after my daughter's lacrosse game, saw me heading to Whonnock Lake in Maple Ridge. It took me a while to get everything loaded up as this was my first day out on my new pontoon boat. I was very excited and took my time setting it up and strapping it down to my roof rack.
When I arrived at the lake I filled my pontoon's carry bags with the various flies, tools and accessories I woukd need for my time on the water. It wasnt long and I was on my inaugural row out onto the lake. It had been many many years since I had rowed anything other than a kayak or a canoe so the two paddle thing was giving me a bit of grief. After a couple of minutes of zig zagging back and forth I began to ge lt the hang of it. Then probably one of the worst things a rookie rower would want to deal with happened... the wind picked up. It wasn't long before the wind was howling across the lake and my rowing skills, or lack there of, were inhibiting me from doing any effective fishing.
The wind was fairly continuous for the time I was out there, with brief respites here and there. I did manage to hook three fish while I was there but lost them part way in, likely due to fumbling around in the u familiar setting on the pontoon. Note to self, the "rod holder" that comes with the pontoon is not a good rod holder and needs to be replaced with an effective one.
Despite not landing any fish, I did manage to hook 3 and I did learn a little about the pontoon. I now have a better idea of what kinds of things I want to add and do to the pontoon.
Next time I will be paying more attention to fishing and I will land the fish. ;)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

On the river again

This weekend is a long weekend, which saw me getting out twice for fishing. Friday I started at the Stave River with my spey rod looking for some late season steelhead. The weather held and there was very little rain, although the wind did pick up a bit. Unfortunately I did not get any fish in the few hours I spent walking the river. From there I went to the Fraser River and dropped a li e for sturgeon. This was more sucessful and I managed to hook 3 fish. Two of the fish were around 3 feet in  length and the last one (which managed to spit the hook) felt a little larger. The fish were not big but it felt good to hook into some.

Today I got out on the Fraser again and fished around the Fort Langley area. We managed only one sturgeon to the boat which was caught on lamprey eel. It was hooked in our usual local spot, in about 12 feet of water. Again it was only a small one but better than none at all. We did have a few more solid hits but nothing would stick.
After we were done fishing for the day we ventured to the local store and I bought myself a pontoon. I can't wait to give it a try.. stay tuned for a possible lake report next weekend... fishing from my new pontoon...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Stave River Surprise

I had the day off work today, and my kids did not have any school, so we decided to go to the Stave River in search of cutthroat and maybe some whitefish on the fly. I decided to take my six weight fly rod, just in case we could find something of size or maybe even an elusive steelhead. The weather was sunny and warm and the kids were happy on the shore with their metal detector.
The first run I tried produced nothing, no sightings in the crystal clear water, no rises and no takes. There were plenty of salmon fry in the river and my fry immitation was looking pretty good swinging through the run.
As we moved down stream and fished spot number two I noticed a couple rises just a little further down stream. The rises were bigger than whitefish and seemed bigger (at a distance) than cutthroat.  I moved down to where I could cast to the rises and confirmed that they were indeed steelhead. This is where I began to get excited.
It only took a few stealthy casts into the relatively shallow run before my heart started racing. As I stripped in my fly I saw a wake and fin (cue the theme to Jaws) cruising up behind it. The fish followed the fly and my anticipation grew until finally.... a splash and.. nothing. The fish either missed the fly or shrply turned and left.
About ten minutes went by, a few risers showed theselves and the birds squabbled on the far bank. My attention wandered and smack! A fish hit my fly hard. A couple of head shakes and a jump and I see a nice chrome steelhead on the end of my line. One more splash at the surface and the hook pops out.
No matter how hard I tried I could not get any more fish to commit to my flies. I tried a few different patterns all to no avail. It was such a tease as for about an hour there were consistent rises and splashes from some good size fish I can only speculate were steelhead. Unfortunately, I had places to be and needed to head home. However, the excitement was enough to make me want to return another day.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The average angler

I have been fishing for many many years. I feel confident in my abilities and knowledge and I am proud of the fact I maintain diversity in my fishing styles. I fish lakes, rivers, beaches and the occasional ocean fishing and use all kinds of methods in fly and gear fishing. This month the fishing channel (World fishing network) is free in my area, so I have been watching a lot of shows. Being that I don't have a lot of extra cash lying around, and I do have two kids, I find myself disconnected from most of the fishing shows on TV. As I watch, the shows are showcasing remote spots that are fly in only, jet boat accesible or require a vacation destination and guide. Now there is nothing wrong with that kind of fishing, but for the average angler it is a once in a lifetime (or never) experience.
I would love to see a show with an average angler, on an average lake or river doing the average thing of walk and wade or shore fishing. I think it would be a fantastic way to showcase an average fishing experience. Sure its nice to have a boat or take one of those expensive trips, but an average angler show ... well... I think there's an audience out there wanting to learn what they can realistically do.
Anyone want to film it?