Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A Morning Moon

With Deadlines at work met I had a day set aside for some fishing. This day just happened to be the most favourable weather wise for the week. Being tuned into the alarms I awoke well before first light and oddly enough just before the first chime. I quickly got ready and made the drive up the Highway. Arriving about 45 min prior to first light gave me just enough time to set myself up on a run that was fishing well, or so I had heard. Night faded into Day and the river bottom revealed itself, a beautiful Morning Moon hung suspended in the morning sky, It was a great start to a day of no schedules.

I worked the tailout of the run for the next hour or so, drifting several different patterns and trying my best to cover it completely. Two others arrived and fished the mid section of the run from the other side of the river. No hook-ups between the three of us , it was obvious we were fishing the wrong spot. Just as I was getting ready to move on I was greeted by a couple friends. The fishing was put on hold while we all had a good laugh and exchanged a few stories of prior outings. The conversation carried on for some time then finally we decided it was best to start fishing as the River was getting busy. We decided to fish together and headed off to a section that looked promising.

We spent the rest of the morning fishing together.The wind was mild and from the south. Fishing today was bizarre.Comments on how it felt like Winter was over, and how we were just waiting for the rivers to open so we could chase resident fish were constant.It seemed like April was just around the next bend.Finally after many drifts my line went tight and the unmistakable bouncing of the rod made me grin.My Second hook-up of 2012,and ultimately my first fish of 2012. 

It has been a long time since I harvested a fish, and after catching this clean smaller Buck I decided to keep him, partly because he sustained a little damage due to the area in which he was landed and secondly because I do love smoked trout.My first fish of the 2011 Fall season was perfect for the smoker, but I decided at the time that it would be good luck to let that first fish go and plan on smoking a fish later in the season.Well all my fish after that first one were either hens or just too big or large dark bucks.When this fish came to hand it met the requirements to retain and thanks were given. The fish was processed quickly and my day was cut short. There was no need or desire to fish anymore, I was satisfied and grateful for my gift and time spent on the River.

Sometimes all we need is a little time to recharge and reset. Today was the perfect day,and it all started with that Morning Moon.



Saturday, 7 January 2012


The Plan was to relax this morning, I wasn’t planning on fishing, but with the mild temps I figured I would head out and try to hit my first fish of 2012.  Friday night I set the alarm and my phone for dark-o-clock and laid out all my gear.  I awoke to the sound of my 2-1/2 yr old son’s voice, his newest phrase “I did it” repeated over and over.  I don’t remember shutting off the alarms; the extra rest was obviously needed. After a quick wrestle session with the boy, I was getting ready and on my way out the door.  I figured I was late so why not take my time. I wasn’t going to beat the crowds, and with the milder weather I was sure the year round stretch was going to be busy. 

I arrived at the access parking lot and sure enough it was busy.  I made my way to the River and was happy to see the run I wanted to fish unoccupied.  The River although on the drop and clearing had substantial flow. The conditions today were unreal. It felt like the end of winter.

 With wading staff in hand I slowly waded out  so I could fish the seam that had treated me so kind in the early fall of 2011.  The current was strong and I never really stopped to think about a fighting or landing strategy if I hooked up.  A mistake I made several times in 2011. Sure enough 5 drifts in and I connect on a decent fish, and after a violent hook-set the fish shoots up river.  Perfect I think to myself, I got you now… I was wrong.  The Fish turned shortly after and bolted down River.  I knew I couldn’t chase it so I held the rod high and tried to keep lots of line off the water.  It wasn’t long before my line went slack.  Optimistic; I continued fishing. Unfortunately that first hook-up would be my only opportunity of the day.

Although slow, today was a great day. I enjoyed the free time, as our schedule at home has been a bit hectic. 

On the Drive home I was delayed on the Highway, there was a bad accident. Arriving at the closure shortly after the accident occurred was not a nice experience. The Police had us wait while the Air ambulance landed.


Made me remember everything I have to be grateful for and to enjoy each day to the fullest.  

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

How it all started. My Intro.

I can’t remember what prompted me to fish… I was 16 when I first started fishing and was not really engaged, I left it shortly after …and turned my attention to playing music. Every free minute was spent experimenting with my first Acoustic Guitar. Fast-forward ten years and five or six Guitars, I found myself watching a fishing show, an episode on fly-fishing.  I was completely enthralled. The casting strokes looked so neat, and the tightening of the line when a fish would hit was awesome. I was interested to say the least. A seed had been planted. It would be a couple years later when the seed would sprout and  I would pick up my first fly rod.   I spent the remainder of that summer and fall easing my way back into fishing.   My Wife had family living in Port Franks so Lake Huron naturally became my practice grounds for chucking hardware for Salmon off the beach.  I  spent many mornings fishing and watching the gulls work schools of baitfish . One morning I caught my first Coho off the beach.   The sensation of fighting this fish was awesome and having an excellent hold on the fish I finally beached it. That fish was so beautiful, its iridescent hues seemed to glow against the water soaked sand. That experience was stuck in my mind and lit a fire inside of me that would eventually burn out of control.   I spent every spare second researching fishing and fishing techniques. I was travelling to that beach every chance I had.

  I eventually ran into some others on the beach one November morning and two medium sized silvery fish lay on the sand… My first experiences with Steelhead were about to begin.   The two older gentlemen fishing were very kind and answered every question I asked.  I studied how they fished and watched as they launched egg sinkers with spiralling spawn sacs following through the air and into the middle of the channel, a spot I had only dreamed of reaching.  We became friends and I spent the next fall dead setting an 11ft noodle rod off the beach for Steelhead.

The next Spring I found myself on a river float fishing with my 11ft noodle rod and spinning reel.  It was a whole new ball game and I quickly fell in love with the sights and sounds the River had to offer.  While fishing one morning I watched a man cast his fly line down and across the current, following his line with his rod tip he repeated this procedure many times working his way down river till finally the rod bent with the pressure of a fish. That was it for me; I was going to learn to fly fish.  I purchased my first fly reel and rod and chaos followed.  One season in and no fish… I stuck with it.  More research and casting practice in the backyard prepped me for the next season, when I finally hooked and landed my first Steelhead off the Beach in Port Franks.  Once again I returned to the river and found moderate success.  I was well on my way.

This has brought me to the present now.  I have just finished fishing several Huron Rivers for the year.  I have five years of fly-fishing experience now, and out of  those five years fishing, this has been the best season for me.  I’m not sure if it is the returns, or the learning curve, perhaps its both.  Regardless this season is going down in the record books.

   Over the last couple years my Steelheading and Resident Trout Adventures have morphed into a form of meditation.  I’m addicted to this meditation and look forward to relaxing and unwinding to the tune of the River.  Getting lost in the "what’s around the next bend" mentality is a perpetual habit I couldn’t break this season, and it took me to some very "fishy" water I would learn and do well on. 

 This season really didn’t feel like "Winter Steelheading" to me.  Only several outings had the  trademarks associated with these fishing conditions, bad roads, non-stop icing up of  guides, slush etc.

 I still somehow managed to have stellar outings on these days.  This season also yielded some personal best’s for me, and days when I would experience spurts of non-stop action.  A first for me.

  I am excited to share in this Blog my future outings and to finally document my experiences fishing the Rivers and Creeks I love. I hope whomever reads this Blog will enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it! Cheers!