|A good way to end 2015|
My trip yesterday was most likely my last of the year. I couldn't have asked for a better day in December. Conditions were excellent. The air temperature ranged from 50º, when I arrived, to about 58º, when I left for home. The water was 48º, a temperature I would expect to see in mid-November, certainly not post-Christmas. Flows were good and dropping, around 369 cfs. It was overcast and gray almost all day long. Most of my trips this season happened in really low water. It was nice to fish a good flow in great conditions.
The rig for today was my 11'9" Ross Reach, Abel Switch reel, Vision Ace 30' 380 grain float/intermediate Scandi head, a 7 ips Rio Versileader, and about three feet of 17 lb. test fluorocarbon tippet. Why so heavy? I use as heavy as I can get away with and I got away with it today.
I used pretty much one fly all day long. Well, I did try a few others, but only one fly worked. No surprises...it was a Picasse, the fly that has caught the lion's share of salmon for me this December. The only difference was that I tied today's fly on a 3/4" plastic tube instead of a Alec Jackson spey fly hook. I was getting tired of the "nippers," which have been getting worse lately. I added a long piece of junction tubing to hold the hook beyond the end of the materials. The same can be accomplished with a loop knot, but I didn't want the hook to flop around too much. It can also be accomplished by tying the fly on a shank and using a stinger hook, but I prefer the flexibility of tube flies. Anyhow, more on tube rigging in a future post.
|Picasse tube fly (aka "the antidote")|
The Picasse tube did a great job. I hooked and landed all four of the day's salmon with it. That pushed the Picasse to top fly status for me this year (though my "observations post" reflects only the fall part of the season). The first was caught in a pool that doesn't produce for me most of the time. It is next to a very productive pool, so I figure it's worth a try since it's only a short walk. It's more of a spin fishing pool, but salmon can be found in the tail when the water is high enough. Catching a salmon there is very satisfying and I would have been happy with just that one.
The next fish, a little guy, came at a pool I used to fish all the time, but haven't as much in these recent drought years. I went to the top of the run and landed one right away. I moved down the run and landed my largest fish of the day shortly thereafter. I was lucky to fish alongside anglers with good manners, something not always found at this pool. They were kind enough to move out of the way and give me room to land my fish. One was kind enough to take some pics and a video. Thanks, guys!
Since I had an early gig that evening, I didn't want to spend very long at any one place. I left immediately after landing my third fish. I met up with my friend Sonny and we tried taking one pass each through several pools. I landed another little guy at the last pool I fished. What he lacked in size he made up for in the enthusiasm of his take. He tried to rip the rod right out of my hand! After that, I had to leave so I could make it to the gig on time. Sonny stayed and said he picked up one salmon at the very end of the day.
This has been an incredible December. I never thought I'd see fishing this good this late in the year. Of course, we owe it to the freakishly warm weather we've had. I didn't even use the waders I bought to use in colder weather. That's pretty much over now, as is my fishing for a while. It's time to clean my gear, tie some flies, and work on some other projects. Once the water temps bottom out, I'll probably take a few trips on mild winter days to break cabin fever. Good luck if you go and remember to wear warm clothing. The days of fishing late December in only a light sweatshirt are over!