Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back To Being A Metalhead

As I sit here and stare at this computer, I wonder what my week holds. Will it be less stressful than the previous one? Will I get outdoors? Will I even be alive? Who knows. I don't, but I can tell you that I am going back to being a metalhead! That's right boys and girls a metalhead and I'm not talking about music either.

I have been sitting and listening to people talk about turkey hunting. Right now I can only dream of doing that because my tag isn't good til May. Coyote season is quickly drawing to a close. So I sat and wondered what I was gonna be able to do. Uh yeah hello, go and chase the silver torpedo's, chromers, go steelhead fishing!

I love to be in the stream and hook into these fish. There is something about the way these fish fight with such aggression, that makes me get amped up. It is really hard to explain to someone that has never fished for or caught this species how much fun they are. You are really lucky if you can land over 20%. They will break you mentally. They make you fish in conditions that most sane people would be at home. Then when you finally land that steely, you remember why you fish for these gorgeous fish.
Steelhead are a lake run rainbow trout. They get big and enter the river system in the fall behind the salmon. They stay in the river throughout the winter and spawn in the spring. The longer they are in the system the darker they become. Going from silver to a grey color.

So this week I will make the trek to my favorite river that holds these fish. Taking my metalhead friend Art with me. I will fish all day and most of the night. I will sleep in the truck when we get tired and get back to it when we wake. I will be a bum, a metalhead and enjoy every minute of it. If you have a chance to ever chase these fish do so. If you are fortunate enough to have fished for them, then go get after them again and take someone with you.

So until my next blog, be safe, appreciate what you have and get into the great outdoors.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Fever. Perch Fishing With Drake

Well the weather had gotten up into the upper 60's and brought with it my urge to go perch fishing in the small cuts coming off the big water. I ususally only fish for perch at this time of the year because it is the best time to get them for me. Year after year UNJ staff member Art Lopez and I hit it after ice goes out. This year would be different though. The first trip would be with my son Drake.

I only get my little man every other weekend and two days during each week now. So I have to make the most of each opportunity. He is two and a half so I figured since he went on his first deer hunt this past season he is more than ready to fish for perch.

Off we went Wednesday morning after he came over. The place we fish is roughly an hour from my house so we started on our way. We make the stop at the bait store and man did he love getting the minnows. Then he says "Daddy I have to show you sumpin" thats code for I want something. Then he shows me his bag of Cheeto's and to the register we go. After he said goodbye to the employees we were on our way to the fishing destination.

We arrive and pick out our spot we get rigged up to fish. He grabs the rod and starts reeling it in after I set it up. "Daddy theres no fish." I explain how we have to wait til the big fish bite the hook. Now he is ready. Fish on! He reels in his first ever perch. He was excited and I was proud. He fished for a while threw rocks in the water for a while and just really had a good time. Then I noticed a perch flying by my head. I looked and he says "Daddy have to throw them back. It's fun." Well there went dinner. It didn't matter though as we were having fun enjoying the day together.

It was time to go and he didn't wanna leave. "Daddy let's go to another spot." Man was I excited. We went to another spot and nothing was happening so we went home. He made sure though that we would go out the following day. "I wanna go fishing tomorrow." Thats all I needed to here We went and caught our fish and had a blast.

I ended up going with Art Friday and Mike, Mikey, and Kevin joined us Saturday. What a great week and fun times but none as fun or special as the two days Drake and I spent fishing.

So until next time be safe, appreciate what you have and get out into the great outdoors.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Walleye on Soft Water

It is getting close to spring. With it comes the loosening grip of 'ol man winter. No more ice covered rivers. No more snow storms. (I hope) Just the remaing week and a half before the walleye season shuts down.

I had the opportunity to go out this past Sunday with Dave Hagan another Up North Journal staff member. We decided when I got back from my coyote
trip we would go get us some "Marble Eyes." Well I got back home late Saturday and got a good night sleep and was determined to be ready for the following day.

Sunday came and with it brought a beautiful sunny day and balmy upper 40 temps. We made it out on the water around 2:30. In the river we went with our favorite walleye rods and armed with an arsenal of different color jig heads in different weights. We were going to be drifting while vertical jigging. We would be using shiners on this trip.

It wasn't 5 minutes and I had the first one on. After 20 minutes I had hooked 3 and got one to the boat. The walley were starting the migration up stream to get to the spawing areas and I was glad to be there to greet some of them and invite them over for dinner. Our buddy Chad showed up and we went to shore to pick him up much to our displeasure because as soon as we left the run we were fishing a dozen boats moved in. Grrr.

After picking him up we jumped into the fray and started consistently catching fish, and a lot of them. We caught a bunch of walleye and Chad and I even caught a couple nice catfish. Chad even caught a sucker and a smallmouth bass. It was a great day and we had a great time.

A side note never let someone tell you that the trolling motor is good to go. If you do this make sure you have 2 paddles and not just 1. Make sure the paddles you have arent cracked either! Dave's motor died just as we were heading back and Chad ended up having to row with one oar back to shore. Another adventure was had that we all enjoyed.
So until next time, be safe, appreciate what you have and get into the great outdoors.

Getting Started Choosing Your Fly Rod

Getting started I will let you know that this will be for people who are thinking about or just getting started fly fishing. This will be a series that I will do that will cover getting started in the sport. I will try to get you geared up and give you the foundation so that you will feel a little bit more comfortable. Hopefully this will help get you out on the water and enjoy what may be a new way to catch fish. I want to stress I am not implying I am an expert and a no it all but can get you started in a sport I enjoy. So with that being said let's get to it.

Getyting started in fly fishing you will need the basics. Fly rod, backing, leaders, tippet, fly line and flies. Depending on what type of species you are gonna chase, you may want to add some extra gear such as waders, boots, jacket, hemostats, thermometer, vest, net and floatant. There are many gadgets that you can buy but these are the basics.

First things first, let's get started with a rod. The main thing when looking at a rod you will notice that it has a line weight. This means that you will match that rod up with the same weight fly line. They come in different lengths and come usually in two sections or four sections. In spinning rods we associate the rod with Ultra Light through Heavy action. With a fly rod it is 0 thru fifteen. Zero being the Ultra Light and fifteen being the saltwater species rod. So for panfish you would use say a 0-4 for trout 4-6 etc.

Depending on where you will be fishing you will want to consider whether you want a two piece or a four piece rod. With the way rods are made now, I pesonally feel you do not loose sensitivity in a four piece versus a two piece. So look at it as a convenience or transportation factor. Your four piece will obviously break down smaller than a two piece and thus make it a little easier to pack and take with you on your fishing trips. It also makes it easier if you have to hike to where you are gonna be fishing. The two piece usually cost a few dollars more but are worth it in my opinion.

Generally speaking rods are anywhere from seven to ten feet long. There are also rods called spey rods that are longer but since this is for the beginner crowd we will save that for another day. The longer the rod is the better control you have of your line generally speaking. It makes what is called loading a bit easier. That is when you swing your line behind you and your rod bends backward before bringing it forward. Think about where you will be using this rod at. I fish in some pretty heavy cover and when on these streams I use a shorter rod. You may also have to cast differently than if you are in a wide open area. A roll cast works well in this situation.

Remember starting out you do not have to spend a fortune. There are many good beginner setups out there and available. Some come in species specific packages with everything you need to get started. Some even have flies. The better you get and the more you like it then you can start mortgaging the house! The reality is that some gear is very expensive. I have always told people that the fish don't know whether the rod is a Sage rod or a combo package rod. If the fly is presented to them right they will take it. Use your local fly shop to get all your questions answered. You will find that they are usually very eager to help and talk about the sport they love.

I will be going over fly line in the next part of this series. After that I will go over the knots and how to set up your fly rod to get it ready to fish. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me.

So until next time, be safe, appreciate what you have and get into the great outdoors.