Sunday, September 25, 2011

Getting Ready for Steelhead

I would imagine that some folk mark the passage of time with the fall or spring equinox. If so, I would imagine that they are also aware of the spring or summer solstice. For fishermen the cooler days of fall usually mean changing to streamers and such as one continues to fish during the days that keep getting shorter and shorter.

While I am well aware of the ever changing path of the sun's journey across the sky, I am also looking forward to October. Why October? For me, October marks the first of my steelhead trips up to the Salmon River in N.Y. This year I have dates in Oct., Nov. and Dec. Still working on Jan., Feb., March and April as I would like to get up there once a month.

The preparations for this first trip have been underway for the last year. How is that possible? Well, that is how long I have been learning and practicing the art of Skagit casting. Not only Skagit but Scandi as well.

I have two of the best instructors around with Fred Krowchenko and Jerry Jahn. Under their careful eye I have learned cack handed casting, river right, river left, Perry Pokes, Circle C, and countless others. I have even learned some new casting techniques like the, "Do what cast?" or as I call it, "Badda-boom-badda-bing" and that cast is just that! It's a three step process that sails your fly right across the water and into the fishing channel of your choice. Badda-boom you're in! These two characters are amazing with their knowledge about two handed casting. I kid them about looking for a way to download all their experience onto a thumb drive and then into me! We have spent many Sat. and Sun. hours on the river just casting, no fishing, just casting. Then during the week I would fish, applying what I had learned to the changing water level and speed of the river. It has been an amazing year with these two.

Scandi casting with my Dec Hogan 11'9", 4wt. kept me going all summer with wet flies. I have never landed as many fish as I did this year. It was great. At the end of summer it was time to make the transition to the heavier rod that I use for steelies, for that I have a TFO Deek Creek 5/6wt. 12'6". She is a sweet rod and perhaps one of my favorites. So with the trip date coming in fast I had started to get out to practice with the heavier sink tips, as it was time to adjust my timing to the tips and bigger flies. The only problem has been getting out to practice because the Farmington has been high and fast ever since Irene came into town. I have been able to get out only once or twice. Yikes. This weekend was a no go as well since the rain of last week has pretty much made the river unfishable.

So today I plan on tying up some flies to replace what I used this summer. I have also taken out my suitcase and started getting "stuff" together for my two day adventure with Lisa. Lisa and I met in May during Up Country's fly fishing day for gals and we hit it off pretty quick. We got together to fish several times this summer and on one of those trips I got to talking about Pulaski. The next thing I know we are planning the trip and preparations are made for one hell of a time. As I have told her, I think there will be a good story posted on this blog about our adventures!

Two weeks from today and we will be out on the Salmon River. Here's hoping for some much cooler temps and plenty of fish.