Monday, January 12, 2015

Calendar Year 2015 Report 1 

 
All designated trout streams in SE MN now open for anglers with a need to get out and look for the deep slow water.  I was not in a position to fish January 1st; rather, I looked in on a favorite stream on the 2nd; even then, had only 13:15 to dark as my allotment.  Just recently I sat with a guy who was lamenting the fact that he is two hours from the nearest trout stream.  Can't take for granted the fact that we live close enough to great water; we can drive a few minutes for a few hours of stream time.  In fact we live in a unique and special place on Planet Earth.  Various forces scraped away and carved deep and freed the aquifers to run in stream channels; dissecting bluffs.  We can't make trout streams; we can surely delete them but we can't make them.  So when I look at one I don't shrug my shoulders or pass it by without a good nod.  And further there is no better way to learn about the streams than to walk them; fish them.  See what magnets attract bug life; see where the fish lay up.  Know where the fish are holding; read water.
 
 
First hole fished in 2015.  Cast one: hook, play, LDR.  Cast three: hook, play, LDR.  Cast six or seven brought first fish.  A few minutes later, this fish was third to hand.  Rare picture of self here, main reason being to highlight the two pieces of gear pictured: Stormy Kromer cap (good cross of ball cap and stocking hat) and hand muffler (previously noted).  The SK hat has flaps that a guy can pull down over ears as needed.  Lifetime warranty.  Made in Michigan.  The muffler allows one to warm hands at will, without fumbling with any gloves.

Number of fish from the first big slow flat water found downstream of plunge pools.  This water isn't romantic: depth charge it with streamers; strip back; fish jump on. 

Another gear review item of note.  After many years my Simms waders have been retired.  Much good use.  At this point, many leaks.  I moved on to these Orvis Silver Sonics, which show a number of good features that really spoil a guy like me.  Gravel guards.  Straps that allow for easy lowering of waders at streamside (to water bushes).  Conversion to wading pants.  Tell you one thing it was nice to come in from fishing and not be wet.  Been a long time.  Thanks Orvis.

Few of these fish just decimated the 2 wt such that I couldn't see them for a good 10-20 seconds.  I really dig that aspect of the light gear; there is some mystery and anticipation and the possibility of losing.  In each case it turned out the fish were 12-14 inchers; great fish but not huge.  One was a footballer RBT that was around 14" I bet.

Tied up six basic bead chain eye LOD variations.  Lost three of them on this outing; which was good because it meant I was getting down.  One was lost to a giant strike in the big pig hole; never know what that was about but it was some force applied very directly to my tippet that shattered it on impact.

Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water.
- Anonymous, translated be E. Pound

Boots on the water is a phrase used often by JMontana.  Get out and see what's going on.  Quite a bit to take in here in SE MN: this day included a pheasant kicked up at six feet (good lesson in micro-habitat importance - it was in a narrow fence row), and then a big whitetail.  Deer highways everywhere; concentrated at pinch points. I was looking in the riparian veg for beds and across the stream at maybe 40-50 yards I saw a tail bouncing.  Stared for a few seconds and picked out really big antlers.  No telling how many points but they were certainly worn high like a crown.  He made it though all seasons.

Word on this streamer pattern.  It's easy and effective.  #6 long hook, bead chain eyes, marabou tail, chenille body and soft hackle (like grouse or pheasant) up front for collar.  What I like about this fly is that you skip the rib and palmered full body hackle, thereby eliminating a good piece of tying time/hassle, and yet you achieve the same basic shape and silhouette, even the leggy look with the soft hackle.  I tie a lot of these and beat up on both carp and trout with them. Make 'em the right size; make 'em drab. 

16 Comments:

Blogger isaiah miller said...

Great to see fish being caught on something rather than ice gear this time of year. Wish Wisconsin would open a few streams over my way for c&r during the winter. Great posts man.

Ike

10:42 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

The varying seasons/rules from state to state are interesting. Zero fishing for WISCO right now?

Iowa is full-on catch and keep as normal...

MN in the middle.

Take care and hope you can get out soon.

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