My friend with his sea bass. Minku definitely contributed to my beginnings of sports fishing, as he often talked about fishing. He’s a salt water guy, and fishes primarily the East Sea, of Korea. I recently had lunch with him and it seems he’s discovered camping, and get up in the mountains frequently. That’s good, maybe he’ll run into the world of river fly fishing.
Charles and Peter with their recent catches (nice guys!) These guys are not born with both eyes on one side. During metamorphosis, one eye migrates to the other side of the body so that both eyes are situated on the upward-facing side of its body. After metamorphosis, flounder lie on one side on the ocean floor; either the left or right side might face upward depending on the species. That’s pretty freaky (freaky cool that is)… how do they know as a young fish that they need to do this to survive? The thought of such genetic programming is amazing. These fish are good eating, especially as sashimi. Catch one of these, a little 초고추장 & soju, and you have an instant party right on that boat. Just don’t eat that ray.
Most anglers have some sort of superstition, whether they admitted or not. I’ve seen some people spit on worms after they hook it (for good luck), refuse to change rods (even when it’s clearly too heavy for the tiny creek), and some will not wash their hands (as this might wash away all the good luck). There are some myths that are personal and some that are shared widely across the fishing population (such as :east winds – fish bite the least, west winds – fish bite the best). I have a few of my own and one of them is that some (not all) waters requires me to pay respect to it, before it will give me good fish. Likely it’s my excuse for lack of skills and not catching good fish, but I prefer to think of it as the spirit of the water making me pay my dues (better than saying I sucked that day).
So, throughout the course of a slow day, my mind goes through a cycle like this: (1) start: oh yeah! I’m going to catch some big fish today. I might even set a new record for this place… (2) after 2 hours: what the hell? this place must have no fish at all…is there something wrong with the water? (3) after 3 hours: damn it, I think this place has been fished too much and the other fisherman took ALL the fish… (4) after 4 hours: wait, I’m fishing this all wrong – think man, think. Become the fish in these waters…where would you be? (5) after 5 hours: I’m never coming back here again, this place sucks and has no fish… (6) after 6 hours: maybe it’s the river making me pay my dues…that’s right, it will only give me a little taste, so I come back next time with respect for this place…I got it. (7) on the way home: I am great angler after all, this is just the river making my pay my dues….I did, so give me something substantial next time. I love you river!
Damn it, even writing this doesn’t make me feel better.
When I caught this junior bass, the tail of the fly sat on its face and this is what came to mind. All he needed was a nice looking pipe and the a pair of glasses. Then I walked some to the other side of the lake and met a good looking bass. It gave me a couple of nice jumps, like it was showing off its acrobatic abilities, then sat perfectly still for the photo. Every hour of the day looks wonderful these days, the skies are full of character & drama. Then on the way home some deer were hanging out at the edge of the woods. It looked like one of them were smoking in the back there, and the other one was the lookout. All this smoking creatures around me, all seducing me. But for me, I am done with smoking, even if deer and bass want to do it.
I took a trip this morning, up north to WI on a scouting trip in preparation for Chinook, Coho, and Steelheads in the coming colder months. I scouted the Root river (from Colonial Park and south of it) , the creeks in Petrified Springs Park, and lastly the Kenosha harbor. I waded at a quick pace up and down the river & creeks, and made some notes of the larger holes. By what I can read of the landscape and banks, the water level was pretty low. I had my 4 weight rod, some water, some flies, and a pair of binoculars, and off I went walking down the river bank. There was some bush whacking I had to do to get to the water, but perhaps this is because I don't know where the path was. In any case, I wanted to take the shortest line to the water, even if that meant through the bushes. There's a fairly large marsh on the way, so be careful.
Naturally I spent some time to wet the line a bit, and caught some smaller sunfish and what people call “creek chub” (does anyone know what the name of this fish is?). The creek chums can be caught like a trout, and on this day, I rigged up a tandem fly & nymph rig with an indicator. (By the way, once you discover the wonders of this rig, it’s hard to go back to anything else other than straight dry flies) I caught a bunch of smaller ones (bait sized) and 3 medium sized ones. There was some huge (looked at least 5+ pounds) carp patrolling the waters and they were darker in color than the normal golden ones. They had dark, almost black backs. I found one dead in the rocks in the middle of the creek, and seems like some smaller animal had chewed on it a bit. The weather was good, plenty of insects in the woods, and I had a vision of larger fish swimming up this river in the fall. I saw couple of people also scouting the creeks, and spoke to one of them about what to expect with the elbow to elbow situation. “Expect elbow to elbow when fish runs, get out early (before 4am)” was the response. "All you will see are the headlamps everywhere, even at 3:30am". I better get some extra bright headlamps and trim up my gear so I can access everything in the dark. I am not a fan of crowded fishing grounds, so I mainly plan to head up further north and towards the west in the fall. But the 15+ pound steelheads sounds too attractive to pass on completely so I am sure I will fish Eastern WI a couple of time, at least. Kenosha harbor was okay, but I wouldn’t spend too much time there without a boat. I’ll likely hire a charter soon to check out the surrounding waters there. Fishing does get increasingly better as I head north, and I guess I’ll soon find myself up in Canada before the year is over.