Another Day;

Ard

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I've actually been fishing more than expected as the warm weather hangs on. I have to change the oil in Nancy's car today so no river fun for me....

But yesterday;



I arrived at my private boat launch (private because no one fishes this time of year here) and found a Ford truck with an empty trailer parked in my spot :mad: What the hell??

Oh well, I quickly tossed a rod together and put my little do it all pouch in the boat and got it into the water. It was pushing noon and I was already down on myself for not being there at 10:00. I parked the boat and could hear the other one coming downriver and he rounded the bend before I even made it to the truck to pull the trailer out. He was as surprised to see my boat as I was dismayed to see his trailer I'm sure.

I parked the truck and walked back to the boat and the new guy wanted to chat so we did. Turns out he was using a 2 hand rod and looking for trout. He told me that he had been "swinging a bead" and had caught one small trout. I gave him fair warning that I may say some pretty harsh things about beads and he said that would be OK but I never did get into it. I ask if he wanted to see what I catch fish on and he wanted too and seemed genuinely interested in seeing what I fly fisherman used on his lines end. He said he was casting an OPST head that was 12 or 13 foot long and that almost gave me a headache but I never batted an eye........... We blew off about 20 minutes yakking and then agreed that he may get in touch to go fishing some time and that I would bring a second rod and line so he could experiment. We'll see if I ever hear from him, seemed like an OK guy just taught by someone who didn't understand what 2 hand rods or any rods for that matter were for........

That picture? I was trying to replace my 20 minutes by traveling 30 mph upstream. When I run with my jet trimmed high the prop wash blows out almost right across the surface and at 30 the boat skims so shallow there is hardly a wake left behind. I went only 5 miles up and then decided to spend the rest of the day fishing and not driving the boat upriver.



When I figured I'd went far enough I pulled into the bottom of a run pool combo spot where I had caught several nice fish just a month ago. I slid into the bottom end then walked up. Fished the whole deal without a touch and began to question my judgment on not doing the 20 mile long haul.

When back to the boat without a nibble I raised the motor and pulled the anchor. Those oars are so nice! With the flotation pods on the transom and me sitting on the dry bin near the bow working oars the boat will draft 4" and that's fantastic! I put the camera in my wader pocket in case I drifted into some wildlife and cracked the one beer I brought with :)



Let me tell ya, fish or no fish, a sunny afternoon October 23rd - the only soul on the river - slipping along as silently as a canoe sipping a cold beer, it don't get much better for this old trout!



Since I had the camera and was logging the day I had presence of mind to take that photo of the new reel. Way different than my Taupo but I decided to break it in, very light reel.



My third stop yielded 2 small trout which I unceremoniously slipped from the hook and the evidence of a pretty big brown bear patrolling the river in that area. The guys on those "Fishing in Bear Country" would have called in air support had they came upon those tracks. BTW, that is a brand new size 15 Simms G4 boot next to the track so I'd say between 500 pound and 600 pound, a nice bear. I haven't seen one on this river for ten years! I didn't have a gun. I didn't have bear spray. What I did have was probably better, I had a jet boat and had driven up the river just and hour and a half earlier. Any bear that lived long enough to get that big didn't do so by hanging around when he hears a boat. All's well that ends well because I figured the track to be at least 2 day old. I fished the same stretch 6 days ago and they weren't there then, fresh but old at the same time.



I continued between power and drift to make my way downriver and by 4 O clock I was talking to myself. As nearly as I can tell I was saying this: 'It's like a dance every year. One man alone doing the exact same thing over and over till he could do with eyes closed. Looking for something he somehow believes is there for him to find. Maybe only one in this whole stretch, where are you? It's okay even if you aren't here today because I just like doing this."

It was very shortly after I was giving myself a reassuring speech that I felt that tap! All of a sudden I was focused and talking again. "There you are, come on then." And a good solid whack and I had something bigger than ten or eleven inches hooked. I was able to adjust the drag because it ran a little but once I got it in sight I could tell it wasn't the Phantom that I keep coming there to catch. No, but it was a good one and I was happy with the moment. Later I had a heavy fish get on the hook. I perked right up and said, "Oh boy here we go", but within seconds it hit the surface and I could see I'd found a silver salmon. He was long and rather slender and almost fully colored but again I was able to test the new reels drag with him. Late season silver hardly ever get a photo op, I kept him in the net and walked him back out close to where he came from so he wouldn't waste time finding his way back to what will be home until he dies.

That's how it is here this time of year. Find some salmon, find a trout. The trout will live another year because it was lip hooked and handled well but the salmon will all die. That's what has the bruin doing his river walk before winter, a chance to find a few salmon nearly dead drifted to shore. Last minute calories before the winter and all that.

Wish I was there today, it's supposed to storm tomorrow but tomorrow will be my day, another of those dances with my imaginary fish.
 

Ard

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If you read that and wondered what the heck are float pods on a transom I found this picture.



They are contoured aluminum boxes about 18 inches long by 13 inches wide by 8 inches tall customized to the hull and motor. They provide additional hull length and counter the weight of large outboard motors mounted to a boats transom.

In the photo the bow id hauled up onto the little island which is pushing the rear end down into the water pods or not. When you are floating they lift the rear end way up compared to a similar boat without them. They make jump starts a snap, I can get on step in about 30 feet, and can do that in just a foot of water. When I sit forward and use the oars my weight counterbalances the motor and the whole hull floats very shallow.

Just thought to add that :)
 

spm

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Ard.
I've had days like that; not a lot of fish, but no people so, still a nice day on the water. Just the same, I always wish for more fish.

Thanks for the report,
steve
 

Unknownflyman

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Looks absolutely great! I wear the same boots in size 13, I assume you do as well, that is one big bear man! Thanks so much for the river reports, I love them, its so great to see where everyone swings flies!
 

Ard

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That's a dainty size 15 Steve so yeah the bear has avoided getting shot for a few years, I'd guess about 5 years based on the footprint.
 

Ard

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I found Bigfoot. LOL
I went for more wiggle room buddy :)

Awesome Ard, glad you got em... Looks like beautiful weather and a nice day congratulations!.

Tim C.
I wish you could be here when there is some water to fish in Tim...… The fish are hard to come by after that summer but at least it's more like fishing. I just find myself a little put off by all the beautiful runs with so few fish in them.
 

tcorfey

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Well the river looks so much healthier now and any fish that did spawn their young should do well. So that is the consolation prize.
 

Ard

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I need to take time to write and sort photos from this past Sunday and make another thread. I went with my only fishing buddy to a remote river via bush plane. he had a new Igniter 12 1/2 foot #7 rod and a new Fishpond Boat net and neither had ever seen a fish. I pretended to be a guide and led us to the runs where I had a history of catching big fat rainbows and he caught big fat rainbows.

When I post the photos they may all look like the same fish but they are not. I think there were half a dozen fish caught all of which were right in that 21 to 24 inch & 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 pound size slot so they do look alike. We were calling them cookie cutter fish after the third one. I kept it real by catching smaller examples mostly :)

The day was overcast and dreary but the fishing was real good. I had told Steve in a PM that I got a bigger bang seeing my friend catch them than if I had. I have caught those fish, that's how I knew where to look for them.
 

Ard

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Nope, didn't see any green grass buddy :)

There's a new thread running which asks about how you think weather affects fishing results. I'll find out soon enough, it is about 34 degrees with rain today as opposed to high 40's and partly cloudy 2 days ago. I'm about to hitch up and go.

The big question is whether to take a drive upriver in the less than comfortable conditions or to work through the exact same water that produced only 4 fish on Wednesday? You guys know the drill, if you don't go upriver you'll never know and if you don't work the known honey holes you'll still never know. I just wish there were more fish this year because that takes all the guess work out of the thought process.

By the way, I used that brand new (old stock) Beulah Elixir line the other day and it floats so much better than the old line on the other reel. Same lines just one used for half a dozen years and one new. Have you mounted up a new line recently and noticed the same?
 
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