Fish, Fish, Fish.

The “How Small a Trout” Every day in May Challenge.. May 18th  Fish Fish Fish.

Last winter my regular boat partner, Mike Spinola, a good friend and I suppose something of a protégé were fishing our favourite local winter fishing lake. We approach things from a slightly competitive viewpoint, not that we are competing against one another, I think that we both have the good grace to wish fortune on the other. No we have both competed at high level and lessons learned from that dictate to a degree the way that we fish.

So the rule is: First find the fish, then the depth and then the fly, it is a mantra that has been told and retold on these pages and others for years. I suppose that one could argue that if you don’t know the depth or the fly how are you going to find the fish? Well it works in much the same way as looking up the spelling of a word in a dictionary, how do you find it if you can’t spell it?

So you have some working idea and when it comes to drift boat fishing what you do is you keep drifting and you keep changing sink rates of the lines until you find trout. If you are smart you and your partner fish different lines to increase the chances. Now of course we also have a fairly routine means of establishing if we have “found ‘em”. One fish isn’t enough that is just good fortune. A single fish without more in close proximity doesn’t count, A brown trout counts less than a rainbow in this game as they are so frequently solitary that hooking a brown, nice as that is, doesn’t offer too much of a clue. No when you find them you both go solid at once, or you get too hits in consecutive casts, or at least follows or bumps which indicate a concentration of your quarry, occasionally you even hook two fish at the same time.

There we were making the first drift of the day, usually designed to be a long one depending on the wind to settle things down and get organised.

After about half an hour I get a fish, but nothing else happens and we decide to move. Mike gets a fish, but again no follow through with any more and we move again. Then we are on a drift into a particular bay, maybe fifty metres from the shore when I go solid into what seems like a very energetic trout only to find that I have hooked a rainbow on one fly and a brownie on the other at the same time. Two fish at a time on anything other than stockie bashing waters is rare, two species, well that’s pretty special.

Mike casts and gets two rainbows, I cast and get a rainbow, Mike re-casts and gets two more rainbows, and then another two and then another two. I swear he caught eight fish in four casts whilst I caught four. In short we were “Hammering ‘Em”. Twelve fish in the boat for the price of a total of eight casts and this isn’t a particularly well stocked piece of water.

We eventually drifted too shallow and turned the boat about to go over the productive water again, and the wind changed. It is a common occurrence on this particular lake, with high mountains all around the wind is fickle both in strength and direction.  We drifted into that bay over and over and over and picked up the odd fish, in fact four more fish for the rest of the day. We simply couldn’t find them again. But when we had found them the first time is it was very much a case of fish , fish , fish, fish, fish, fish… It was just silly to be honest. Did we learn much from that? I am not sure but it certainly convinced us once again that although you may not find fish in those concentrations that often, you at least can find them, and when you do it is play time. So don’t settle for a fish, aim at least for fish, fish , fish. You may not get there but it won’t hurt your chances of getting the odd loner anyway so you have little if anything to lose. On the days that you do find them and the wind behaves itself, well you are in for a red letter outing. Winter is coming and shortly we are going to be back out there in that boat looking for Fish, Fish and more Fish. 🙂

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2 Responses to “Fish, Fish, Fish.”

  1. howsmallatrout5 Says:

    Great post, Tim. Great posts for the last several days.

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