Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Roundup | Earplugs, Shad, & The Champagne of Beers

Had a great time out on the water the past few days. Glad I brought my Dermatone.

We had to deal with a cold front, a drop in air temperatures, and then high water from a storm a few days ago. The river temperature dropped significantly and the level went up. Icing on the cake was all of the flotsam that washed down with the storm water. I spent a lot of time with my net on the edge of the rocks while scooping up piles of sticks and garbage and piling them up on the shore.

The gizzard shad were in thick and we tossed all sorts of flies to them.
As for some of the flotsam, Friday's client successfully hooked and landed a pair of earplugs ! One of the stranger things caught on a fly indeed. The earplugs took a chartreuse and silver shad fly!

Then there was the lady:fishing rod length ratio. This was a strange one. She almost took out a helicopter.
 After the earplug shenanigans we got into some shad. One of the great things about my job is all of the interesting people and their fascinating backgrounds.

 This is the last image I have of the net. It decided to depart the hands of a client and went for as swim. I hope someone down stream finds it and appreciates it. I have had that net since 2000 and it was a good sidekick. If you want to know why we are  using a net here it is a. so we can get the fish safely out of the water and get the hook out without the fish flopping around on the rocks, and b. because these fish stink and the less we have to handle them the better. It also helps keep them still so we can de-hook them. That goes for those fish that might have been inadvertently hooked.

Saturday had the water cold, high, and full of junk. The morning session was slow as the tide came in. We lost a lot of flies on the bottom. The cormorants were starting to gather in the sky and riding the waves. Herons became more prevalent.

The next image sums up what I do for a living and justifies my lifestyle choice to leave an office job and take a gamble on being a professional fly fisherman. A father and son out for a day of fly fishing, son hooks into a nice fish and dad gets to share the moment and keep it as a picture. And this is my back up net. Tom and I purchased it in 2001 for salmon. Its a good net and has served us well.

 In addition to the cormorants and herons were the circling osprey. They could be confused with bald eagles due to their size and shape but they are a completely separate species. They have a distinct call and lighter color body. This one dove and took off with a shad. Fish don't normally have expressions on their faces but if you see one in the grips of a bird above the water, that fish looks freaked out.

 Late afternoon also pulled in some shad. The three of us are both expecting soon. These guys were sent out on the water for the afternoon so their wives could have a baby shower. Not a bad catch for his 6th time out fly fishing. His friend hooked several too but none were brought to net. He had never cast a fly rod previously.
The river not only had bad flotsam, there was good stuff too. I pulled out a bag of rubber worms. I can cut off the tails to use on my curly tail bunny flies. And the best gift from the river all day was a full can of the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life. When the river is producing beer I do not practice catch and release. 


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