10 May 2012

Sunrise up North

There's little that is more excited than an approaching season.  Some wait for ski season, some wait for beach season, and others for fishing season.  In places like Colorado, New York, and California the action exists through the winter in a subdued version of its exuberant summertime self.

In Alaska, however, fishing is more volcanic - dormant for the majority of time and then absolutely explosive.  Two weeks ago the action was imperceptible, dormant except for a few awakening twitches.  Come summer, the Kenai and the rest of the frontier waters will be explosive with bent rods, gip and grins, combat zones, trophies, and fulfilled dreams.  There are days when we can't empty the net fast enough, when we can fish any fly in the box and hook up, when I lose count before 8 am.  This is the explosion.  Its not daily, some days it's just smokey, but sometimes it's just on fire.

At Angle 45 we're getting ready for our season on the Kenai.  Rods are coming down, lines, waders, and boots are being washed, reels re-spooled, boxes organized, flies tied, and boats dug out.  Dormancy is melting off the shoulders of spring.  After more than 11 feet of snow it's taking some work to dig out camp, but warm weather, many hands and a few cold drinks make for quick work.

We're ready to hit the water - excited to see some returning friends again and make some new ones on the river.

c. DFisher

08 May 2012

The Academic Fisher

I cut my teeth on this water, fishing it after hours, after dark, blizzard conditions, throughout the year.  South Park's like that - its own world you never want to leave.  The grass is never greener on the other side when you're on the Dream Stream.

Thousands of people fish this segment every year, using the same gear, the same flies, the same techniques, targeting the same fish - but they don't catch them like Landon does.

Do you know you're home waters this well?  We've all got work to do.

02 May 2012

Guest Post from Larry: Mousing For Trout

A few weeks ago Larry asked me if he could write a post for my blog - of course he can.  Here you go:

Mousing for Trout

There is no denying that fish are aggressive predators much like a wolf or jungle cat.  Proof can be seen in the reaction that a mouse pattern creates among hungry rainbow trouts.  If you haven’t tested this rodent like lure it might be a good back-up plan for you the next time you are searching for a trophy fish.

Fish Victory 1.JPG
Basic Appearance
Some of the mouse patterns available in the commercial market will actually have nose, whiskers and ears on top that really look like a rodent.  However, the main appeal of the lure is the bulky body covered in hair along with a long tail.  Since the fish will likely catch a glimpse of the lure from underneath or at a slight angle, the top of the pattern can vary a little bit and still be effective.
Movement of the Lure
Mice, as you know, have 4 legs.  So they can jump, swim, crawl and skitter on just about any surface.  Thus, moving the lure like a swimming, sputtering, jumping mice is the attraction that leads to big strikes.  Imitating movements of a mouse will likely lead to some strong reactions from the trout that could leave you breathless and laughing at the same time!

mouse pattern.jpg
Getting a Good Hook Set
Rainbows will often hit this lure in hopes of drowning it and then circling around in search for the lure.  Therefore, it is important to be alert and watch the fish.  If you see a huge mouth opening up to snatch the lure, the fish is likely trying to get it in a single pass.  Otherwise, you may have to wait a second or two to give the fish a chance to actually get the lure in its mouth.  Once you feel that familiar tug, sweep your rod hard to one side in order to really get a good hook set.  Avoid setting the hook when you first see the fish take the lure.  You will likely pull the mouse away too soon.
Places to Try Mousing
One of the best places to try your hand at the mouse pattern is during the month of August in Alaska.  The spawn in on full force and fish are hungry for protein.  If you are in Alaska at all during the summer months, a mouse pattern can produce a good bite.
But Alaska is not the only place to use these ingenious lures on beautiful rainbows.  Any body of water that holds trout along with lemmings, mice and voles is a good spot to try.  Yellowstone reported good results from mouse patterns in 2009 during a time when coyote numbers were down and the mice population was up.  Penns Creek in Pennsylvania has boasted a trout of 24 inches caught with the rodent lure.  And Steamboat, Colorado has good waters on the Yampa River that are perfect for landing a nice trout.
You can try your hand at tying a mouse pattern using readily available information on the internet or you can buy one from one of the big manufacturers.  Either way, give it a try.  It is a new way of fishing and could lead to a new trophy for you.

Larry Chandler is an outdoor writer for upstate New York fishing guide.