Weeding the Blogroll
When you don’t touch a website for seven months, maintenance issues tend to crop up. I’ve already mentioned a few (weird characters and image sizing issues), but one I hadn’t tackled was the blogroll. Blogs tend to come and go as the authors lose interest (something that very nearly happened to [...]
[S]ome fishing trips are almost preordained disasters, but you learn to love them as good yarns in the making or occasions for feeling heroic — the things that keep you from giving up fishing for something tamer and more comfortable. -John Gierach, At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman
Ronald surveys the next run on the Tellico.
That quote from John Gierach adequately describes my latest outing. Well, except for the good yarn part. Or the heroic part. But it was a fishing trip, and it didn’t feel comfortable, and it sure as heck felt like a preordained disaster on more than a few occasions. Still, because it was a fishing trip, it was better than most anything else.
The plan was to slip into the Tellico River drainage in the mountains of East Tennessee for one of those in-between-the-seasons trips where you stand a good shot at a big fish and an even better shot at catching pneumonia or freezing to death. My hope was to catch a few of those legendary Tellico Browns of Unusual Size (or BUSes) in a post-spawn feeding frenzy. Fishing reports from the mountains had been positive with some nice fish caught during the previous two weeks, but the forecast wasn’t good. Highs in the 30s, sunny, lows in the teens for a couple nights. Records lows actually.
This was supposed to be one of those throw-back “Guy Trips” like we used to take back in the day. Five days on the Tellico River. We’d take a couple of these short trips every year. We’d camp out or backpack, do some fishing, smoke a few cigars, nip some bourbon, talk some football, complain about politics. The whole male-bonding thing. Like everything else (including, perhaps surprisingly, cigars, whiskey, football and politics) our lives have gotten more complicated as we’ve gotten older. Things were so simple in the old days. You had a few days out of class for spring or fall break, you took a fly fishing trip. You smoked cheap cigars and drank stuff that was bourbon in name only. Now there are wives and kids and real jobs and bills. And there are Nicaraguan puros and single malt Scotch and don’t even get me started with the BCS or bailouts. So, we don’t do it much any more. In fact, it had been several years since we’d all gotten together as a group. Continue reading Run Over by a BUS
Winter months can be a great time for finding spring and summer hot spots. While trout fishing in many areas of the country can be a year round affair, warm water fishing slows down drastically during the winter months. This opens the door to many other opportunities such as hunting, fly tying, and reading a good book while sipping a hot cup of coffee. It may not be impossible to catch warm water fish in the winter, but it is more difficult. Why not do some scouting and find some hotspots for the spring.
In the winter months, the water level is at perhaps the lowest of the year. This is a good time to bundle up and find some good water. While the water is at a low point, you will be able to see the actual stream flow. This will allow you to distinguish between “pools” of water with no flow and “channels” where the water will flow during the summer months. Once spring arrives, the water level will increase greatly which to the eye will look like a normal large body of water. If you have done your homework in the winter months, then you will be more prepared and will be able to read the water better. You will be able to distinguish the dead water from the deeper holes where you will most likely catch that record largemouth bass in the hot summer months.
Another advantage of scouting water at low levels is finding structure. No matter what species you are after, they all have one thing in common…STRUCTURE. It is a proven fact that fish relate to structure not only for protection but also as an ambush point for food. Once spring arrives and the fish move into the shallow flats for food and spawning, structure will be a key target in finding fish. This can separate a good day of fishing from an excellent day of fishing. . Continue reading Scouting fish in winter months