Well another successful day on the Situk River. Yesterday and today, I had the pleasure of floating down the river with a couple of clients from the Yakutat Lodge, that I fished last season. The main gentleman (Bud Gore),has been here for the last couple years. Last year he brought up an attorney friend of his (Known only as Allen), from SanFransisco. The first day on the river with them was a total bust, as I wrote in one of the last posts, ("It was the first time I had been skunk on this river"). Well I am happy to say the last two days have turned out much better. Before I show the pictures I just want to say a few things about Steelhead fishing that I think are important.
Now anybody that knows me, knows I am fly fisherman and that's that. Personally I can't stand fishing with a spinning rod and reel, or with a bait caster, and worst of all, I hate it when people put monofilament line on a fly rod and reel. Although these methods can be more effective in certain conditions, like high water, windy days, or in tight spots where there is no room to fly cast or even roll cast. In most cases when I am fishing on my own, I will fight through what ever mother nature can throw at me, and I will still not give up the fly rod. Many people don't get the concept of fly fishing, and many won't even try. On the other hand most fly fisherman won't give in to any other type of fishing.
Well in the last couple of days I have learned that when I am on my own, I can stick with the fly rod, and get skunked ,and not really care to much. When I have clients who are fly fisherman, and the conditions are not right for getting these fish to bite with fly line in the water, I had to learn to adapt and figure out what the combination was to trigger strikes. Today was the test of my abilities to overcome the elements and figure out what would work. I stayed up late putting together two fly reels with monofilament ,and also two spinning rods set up with floats and jigs. If you are asking yourself, "Why doesn't he just figure out how to make the fly fishing effective", I will tell you. With the water being low and clear, and with the sun high in the sky, these fish can see the fly line in the air, and when you go to cast, or even lift your line up off the water, the fish spook, and then there gone. There is nothing that can be done to avoid this, and believe me I have tried every thing from roll casting, using clear fly lines, and even putting on a 20 foot leader, (Which is the same as fishing mono). Even with the 20 foot leader, when you lift your rod they see the dang line in on the rod and in the air, and they run. So today I convinced some really hard nose fly fisherman to change tactics and try something new. With the monofilament line on the fly pole, it becomes a chuck and duck type situation. You may have up to 3 or 4 #5 splits shots on the line to get it down to the fish and slow down your drift. So when casting this line, you just strip in the line, hole it behind you and chuck and duck. After trying this methods with moderate results, I then convinced them to put down the fly rods, and pick up the spinning rods with the float and jig setup. The reason I chose to use spinning rods, instead of using fly rods with indicators, or even the float attached to the fly rod, was that the effect of a free float is much easier without the fly reel to have to try to strip line off fast enough to create a nature drift. Float fishing is tricky, and if you are spending time to strip line out, to try and keep up with the drift, then you are constantly pulling on the line and creating drag on the jig. When using a float, the presentation must be flawless to trigger the strike, the float can never wiggle or falter from the nature speed and drift of the current line it is following. Using a spinning reel, or even better a center pin reel, you have the ability to let line out at the same rate as the current. After getting my clients oriented to the way the float works, we stopped to try our luck. It was an instant success, and throughout the remainder of the day, it continued to produce fish. When the shadows showed up on the water we were able to switch back to fly lines and we caught some more fish. So today, My clients and I learned that even hard nosed fly fisherman like us, need to adapt to the conditions, and give in other types of fishing, until conditions favor your style of fishing again. It will make you a better fisherman if you know all the ways to fish for the species you are after. By the way, the reason the float fishing worked so well for is that these fish are sitting up in the water column, and a jig can be set to the exact height that the fish are laying. So in bright sunshine, when they don't want to move, because of the fear of being seen by a predator, a jig can be put right in front of them so they don't even have to think about it. I think if everybody could learn to adapt a little more now and then it could change the world, not just the fishing for the day. Here are some pics from the last 2 days with Bud and Allen.
Thanks to all my readers for the comments. I would like to ask that some of you comment alittle more so I know that you like what you see, just tell me what you think and if you see anything you would like.
Good luck out there!!!!!!