Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It is Important to be Able to Read the River

Given the fact that about 10% of the river holds about 90% of the fish, it is important to be able to “read" the river, - to find the natural favourite spots of the fish. “Classical” fishing spots for Czech nymphs are along rapids where the river goes from shallow to deep, but also recesses in shallow stretches of the river can be excellent. The Grayling is quite gregarious, so if you have caught one you will often get more at the same spot. More specifically, you can find ideal spots in relatively fast flowing water with clearly defined currents where the depth varies between half a metre down to one and a half metres. In such stretches the fish will easily find plenty of food. The surface should not be calm. A turbulent surface makes it more difficult for the fish to discover the fisher. Given the right conditions, you can actually come surprisingly close to the fish without scaring it off. For instance, last autumn I caught a one-kilo grayling in the Rena River in Eastern Norway - just one metre from where I was standing. Many people do get surprised about how close you can get to really big fish when using this technique.

I have most experience with fishing grayling from August to October. During this season it’s not unusual to experience good dry-fly fishing when conditions are right. But this isn’t always the case, and quite a few fly fishers have experienced that fishing has been bad due to high water level, cold water or too much wind. However, the Czech technique will function irrespective of the various conditions, and it can yield stunning catches when all other techniques fail. Even “hardy” dry-fly fishers should enjoy this kind of fishing as a good alternative when conditions aren’t right for dry flies.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gear Mainenance

Salt and water — keep those two things in mind if you want to keep your gear in tip-top shape. This is obvious, isn't it? If it is, then why do many anglers have maintenance issues? It's because salt and water aren't as easy to get rid of as some might think.
RodsKeeping a fly rod in good shape is about as easy as maintenance gets. Start by always storing the rod in its sock and a hard tube of some kind. After you use the rod, clean it. Wash the salt off and let the rod dry completely before putting it in the cloth bag. If you put wet, salt-coated rods in the bag, you'll eventually transfer enough salt that the bag itself can corrode the rod guides and/or reel seat.

When washing equipment, whether it's a rod, reel, pliers or whatever, a quick blast from a dockside hose may not be worthless, but it's close — likely driving as much salt into crevices as it washes off. The best method is to use warm water with a mild detergent-free soap and a washcloth, paying particular attention to rod guides and feet, the cork grip and the reel seat. On the latter, move bands and locking rings back and forth to clear any salt under them. Rinse with warm water.

I recommend that you give ferrules on graphite rods, whether the spigot or tip-over-butt type, a light coating of paraffin as well. The paraffin serves two purposes. First, it provides some lubrication and reduces wear from regular assembly and disassembly. Second, a light coating of paraffin helps prevent binding.

Occasionally, check guides for wear (grooving from line) and damage (bending, a loose or missing ring, or a broken or corroded foot), and replace if necessary.

Friday, August 18, 2006

How to collect single or loose eggs from salmon or trout.

Loose or single salmon or trout eggs can be collected from large female fish during the the spawning season. If possible bleed the fish prior to collecting the eggs. The best method is to cut one or two of the gill plates. Blood in the eggs can ruin the eggs in less than an hour if not stored properly.

Step 1 : Catch a large female trout or salmon. Sometimes during the spawning season the female fish will leak eggs when picked up which makes identification easy. The abdomen of the female salmon or trout can be swelled with eggs, but once spawning actually starts and the fish deposits eggs the swelling will reduce.

Step 2 : The vent or ovum tube, located immediately in front of the anal fin, on the female trout or salmon will be extended during spawning.

Step 3 : The vent or ovum tube will often leak eggs without any pressure.

Step 4 : Place the salmon or trout on a level surface. Then place your hand, a plastic jar or bag under the vent to collect the eggs.

Step 5 : With your other hand apply gentle pressure to the abdominal cavity of the salmon or trout.

Step 6 : Collect the eggs in your container.

Step 7 : Repeatedly appply pressure to the abnominal cavity from the front of the fish toward the vent.

Step 8 : We like to collect the eggs in plastic jars, originally used for peanut butter. Plastic jars do not break like glass. Please keep glass jars away from our spawning streams and rivers.

Step 9 : Blood in the eggs can ruin the eggs in less than an hour if not stored properly. If there is excessive blood mixed with the eggs use river water to gently rinse the eggs. Drain all water. The eggs must then be kept cold.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Long-Lasting Lid

By Staff

No other piece of equipment on your boat has to stand up to the rigorous demands of the cockpit like the plastic cooler. Workbench, bench seat, step ladder, footrest, cutting board - it plays all these roles and still keeps your rigged baits fresh and beer ice-cold. In recent years, cooler manufacturers have beefed up hinges and redesigned handles to the point that you can use a cooler for several seasons before having to replace it.

The only feature I've found the need to modify on my coolers is the lid keeper strap. Most stock coolers use a flat, white plastic strip that inevitably tears or cracks early on. By replacing this stock strap with a piece of heavy mono, the life of your cooler can be extended almost indefinitely. Cut a piece of 400-pound mono and crimp a nylon thimble on one end. Attach this loop to the cooler lid in place of the original strap with a stainless-steel screw. Open the lid and measure the amount of lid opening you would like while holding the tag end of the mono at the attachment point on the cooler body. Mark the line and crimp on a second thimbled loop, then attach to the body. Place a dab of silicone caulking on the threads of each screw before tightening to complete the installation.

Scott Kerrigan Wilton Manors, Florida