Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Where are the fish? Return to the Little Truckee

   I spent a few hours on the Little Truckee this weekend. The conditions were great. The flows were good.
The water was cold. And there were bugs. Lots of bugs. The good kind of bugs. Especially a nice hatch of PMDs - Pale Morning Duns.
  There were also a lot of fly fisherman. But nobody was catching fish. All up and down the river. I spoke with several people who had not seen a fish - or hooked any - or landed any.
Dry Fly Water on Little Truckee

I saw one guy net a nice trout, but given the number of hours I was there, the great conditions, and the number of people fishing - which included a few guides with clients - there were very few trout caught.
    My photographer Walt Colby was with me (http://www.waltercolby.com). We watched countless numbers of PMDs flitting and skimming off the surface of the water. Often times they just sat on the surface and drifted along.
   Under normal conditions I'd expect to see trout feeding - grabbing the easy, tasty meal.
 But I saw nothing. Other than the trout I saw being netted, I didn't see any feeding, nor did I have any "hits" or "takes".
Scoping the target

I saw one guy with a spinning rod. Now, I did not personally check it out, but I had to wonder what he was
using for bait. The water was about shin to knee deep, and there was lots of thick green moss - as is typical on the Little Truckee. I had a dry and a small nymph dropper and had to clean them off every couple of casts.
    I didn't think there was any way the spinning rod guy could cast a lure or spinner. It would have been useless.
Changing flies
   It is possible he rigged his rod with a fly as I have mentioned in another post. But unless it was one of those things - was he fishing with bait - which is illegal.
   It makes me wonder. With state budget cuts, how many, if any Wardens are in the area.
Patroling a large area like the Truckee River Wildlife Area is a big task. With few if any Wardens, makes you wonder about poaching and overfishing the Truckee and Little Truckee.
The faster water

I could be wrong, but the thought crossed my mind. If you have specific and acurate information, feel free to share.  Better luck next time.

Casting in slight breeze

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Fly Fish without a Fly Rod

   Fishing with a fly rod, fly reel, fly line and the lure, or flies - is different than fishing with a traditional spinning rod and reel.
   In fly fishing, the lure - the fly - weighs mere grams. Light as a feather, literally. The fly line is the weight. Momentum and the physics of a "loop" propagating along the line is what carries the fly to it's destination and target.
   With a spinning rod - the weight on the end of the line is hurled to the target. There may be a lead weight, or a heavy lure, or the weight of bait that allows the line to be cast long distances.
    It is very difficult to cast a heavy lure with a fly rod. And very difficult to cast a light fly with a spinning rod. Neither is practical.
    But it is possible to rig a spinning rod to be able to fly fish. When I was a young boy and had not mastered the art of fly casting or managing a rod that can be nine feet long, my dad helped me rig a spinning rod and reel to fly fish.
    A couple of feet up from the end of the line he attached a split shot. Then he slid a clear, egg shaped bobber onto the line. It was the kind of bobber that can be filled with water. We'd fill the bobber, and then attached a second split shot below the bobber. That way, the bobber was "trapped" between two split shot.
      We then tied a fly to the end of the line, about 18 inches or so below the bobber and two split shot.
  You can easily cast up stream due to the weight of the split shot and the watter-filled bobber. You just let it drift downstream, through any particular "hole" you wanted to target. 
   Once the fly had drifted as far downstream as it could go, simply reel it up, and cast upstream again.