Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Casting Practice.

The plan was simple. Journey north early in the season to avoid the crowds and find fresh aggressive slabs of salmon that were willing to crush a swinging fly.

Easier said, than done.

Our first foray of the season north to the Great Lakes tributaries proved to be futile (this story is a few weeks old). After a long work week in Delaware, I drove two hours home to Pennsylvania and furiously tied up several comets, egg sucking leeches, woolly buggers, and switched out two saltwater lines for a steelhead taper and a skagit compact. I hit the pillow for two hours before awakening a little after one. Adam soon arrived and we hit the road. Four hours later, we are hitting a massive parking lot hoping to find it empty and instead finding it semi-filled. So much for the crowds. Only on a Great Lakes tributary will you find a parking lot full of anglers an hour before sunrise. All there to fish for Chinook Salmon in the beginning of September when the leaves are green, the temperature is going to reach near 90, and the main run is a month away.

In the early gloom, we realized fairly early that we were going to be spending the day fishing b,c,d,e, and f water. Along the major pools amassed an army of men, shoulder to shoulder yielding their weapons. Some even brought lawn chairs that were placed in the water. In between the masses, Adam and I slipped into the water and started swinging. We swung flies the entire day, working all types of water, using every fly we brought a long and we didn't move a single fish.  I had a hunch that this was going to happen but with a lot of anticipation, reading reports, and reading up on the scene of in the Empire State, I was still disappointed.

The anticipation masked our previous experiences during salmon season. This outing however, opened our eyes to the blatant disregard to regulations. The preferred method of fishing up yonder is a large piece of lead 3-5 ft. above a hook with something on it, but it is basically just a hook. Spin and fly fishermen both use this setup. The rig is essentially dragged across the bottom and when it stops, there is an abrupt yank upwards. Throughout the entire day, we witnessed "hook ups," but none of them were legal and people still kept the fish they "hooked". It is awkward to sit there and take it all in, especially when someone with a 1,000+ dollar fly fishing outfit precedes to throw the aforementioned rig. No fly line is used. It is a well orchestrated lob. We wondered what the point was. Why not just use a regular spinning rod if you are going to fish that way. Why is a helios, a mirage reel, and sharkskin needed?

Anyway, the day was spent on the water and we were able to get in some good practice time for later in the season. Later in the afternoon, as we watched the spectacle from the riverbank, our eyelids began to close and the decision was made to get some shuteye before driving back. Another six hours on the road and it was time for another work week. Long live the weekend warrior.

1 comment:

FoulHooked said...

well...that's about as good a sum-up of the festivities up there as could be written. got some nice pics tho.