Monday, November 30, 2009

Fishing Dogs?

Our family just expanded by two. Both boys got a puppy.
Will they grow up to be fishing dogs? Time will tell.
Meanwhile, pray for the cat.

Monday Fishing Report: ...631, 632...

If Steelhead are the "fish of a thousand casts," then I'm still working up to a thousand. It may be optimistic to think that I'm in the 600's. It feels like more; it's probably less.
I was on the river again today without success. It's still high. If anything, it's a bit higher than it has been. I hit what I could, even high-sticking a nymph here and there. But the funnel effect of the run under the bridge is no longer in play; the fish could be anywhere.
I still hope to find them. Or luck onto them, as my brother might suggest.
Still, it was a beautiful afternoon and evening. It started overcast; then the wind blew the clouds away, the sun came out for awhile, and the full moon rose to crown the evening.
And now that I have feeling back in my extremities it seems like a good time was had by all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Fishing Report: Too Nice?

I made it to the river today. It was a nice day for mid-November, maybe too nice. Not "steelhead weather," but warmish--mid fifties--and sunny.
I liked it. Maybe the fish didn't. They made themselves scarce.
The river is still up, but fishable--barely. One can wade, but the areas open to wading are limited by deep water and a strong current. My favorite stations, the ones which allow the best casting lanes and angles to the best runs, are now inaccessible.
So I made do. I did my best to search the run under the bridge, but I had to use an extremely long line, and even then could only reach halfway down its length. I hiked upstream to the bend above the bridge but the depth of the water didn't let me get far enough from the bank for a backcast. A stiff wind blowing in my face further limited my options.
So I hiked back downstream past the bridge to the gravel bar the salmon like for their redds. Usually that's ankle-deep wading but today it was over my knees. It provides ease of casting by allowing me to get out into the river, and the drop off and holes on the downstream side have given up fish before. But today nobody was home.
Except this doe. I've seen them wade across the river here. But not this time.
I used a sinking tip and threw a couple of different stonefly nymphs, a couple of different marabous, and even a nuke egg. I know they're in there, but they didn't want any of those.
Still, it was good to be there. I hadn't fished since October 30, my last day at the lake. Now I've switched the reel to the heavier rod, switched the fly boxes in the vest, overcome two weeks worth of inertia, and stretched my wading muscles again. I'm ready.
It can't stay too nice forever.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Steelhead Weather

We've got the weather.
We've got the steelhead, from all reports, and the regs to go along with them. This from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Upper Columbia, several other rivers to open for hatchery steelhead fishing
Actions: Open the Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam, including the Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan Rivers, September 29, 2009, and Similkameen River, November 1, 2009, to fishing for adipose-fin clipped hatchery-origin steelhead until further notice.
The daily limit will be four (4) adipose fin-clipped, hatchery-origin steelhead, 20-inch minimum size, per day.
Mandatory retention of adipose fin-clipped hatchery origin steelhead.
Selective gear rules apply with various exceptions in some areas (see below)
A night closure is in effect for all waters for the duration of the fishery
Current salmon and all other game fish gear rules do not apply during steelhead season
Release any steelhead with one or more round holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin.
1) The mainstem Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam. September 29, 2009 until further notice. Night closure and Selective Gear Rules apply, except motorized vessels and bait are allowed. Release all coho and after October 15, mandatory release of all salmon.
2) The Wenatchee River mouth to the sign about 800 feet below the most downstream side of Tumwater Dam. September 29, 2009 until further notice. Night closure and selective gear rules apply. Release all salmon.
3) Icicle River, from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam. September 29, 2009 - November 15, 2009. Three coho, minimum size 12 inches, may be retained daily. Release all floy-tagged coho.
4) The Entiat River upstream from the Alternate Highway 97 Bridge near the mouth of the Entiat River to 800 feet downstream of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery outfall. September 29, 2009 until further notice. Night closure and selective gear rules apply, except motorized vessels are allowed. Release all salmon.
5) The Methow River from the Hwy. 97 Bridge in Pateros upstream to the second powerline crossing, and from the first Hwy. 153 Bridge north of Pateros to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop, WA. CLOSED WATERS FROM SECOND POWERLINE CROSSING UPSTREAM TO THE FIRST HWY 153 BRIDGE. September 29, 2009 until further notice. Night closure and selective gear rules apply, except motorized vessels are allowed. Whitefish gear rules do not apply. Release all salmon.
6) The Okanogan River: CLOSED WATERS from the Lake Osoyoos Control Dam (Zosel Dam) downstream to the first Hwy 97 Bridge below Oroville Washington. September 29, 2009 until further notice. Night closure and selective gear rules apply, except motorized vessels are allowed.
7) The Similkameen River, from its mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam. November 1, 2009 until further notice. Night closure and selective gear rules apply.
Species affected: steelhead
Other information: Anglers are required to release all ad-present steelhead. Any steelhead caught with an intact adipose fin may not be totally removed from the water and must be released immediately. For all waters, mandatory release of all salmon unless otherwise noted above.
Reason for action: The fishery will reduce the number of excess hatchery-origin steelhead and consequently increase the proportion of natural-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds. Higher proportions of naturally produced spawners are expected to improve genetic integrity and stock recruitment of upper Columbia River steelhead through perpetuation of steelhead stocks with the greatest natural-origin lineage.

I just haven't had the wheels or the time.
Truck's been out of commission for a long time. They're working on it.
Yesterday a friend from church loaned me his rig on one condition: that I go fishing.
So I have plans. I'll keep you informed.