Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Beginnings

Spring is slowly coming to the southeast.

Ok, I am lying. It is cold and rainy today, and it's still January.

But it is a time of new beginnings. I have been on this little experiment in the southeast since August and while there's been some fun times and superb experiences, I am excited that in 3 months I will be coming home to the west. Ky and I are both looking for jobs (anyone out there hiring?) and hoping to land in Utah. But wherever we land it will be adjacent to or west of the Continental Divide.

Larry and I finally have a shop up and running (well, Larry has it running) in Salt Lake, and a new boat is now underway. I can't wait to get my hands dirty again.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lake Erie Steelhead - 12/08

Home for the holidays found Ky and I at her parents' house on Lake Erie. After waiting out sub zero temps, freezing rain and snow, and blown out rivers painfully slow to clear, we managed to duck out and find some solitude on one of the lakes beautiful tributary streams for a few hours chasing steelhead.

Ky got right down to buisness and put the wood to a couple spectatular fish, the first releasing itself at arms length after a long battle. The second - this beautiful bright hen - was brought to hand after another lengthy fight.

I farmed a big buck myself, spectacularly striped and definitely larger than the fish I ended up bringing to hand - a big healthy buck.

I was hoping to find some of the larger tributaries in shape so I could swing flies with the long rod, but conditions never cooperated. So we ended up embracing the local methods, employing a dead drift nymph to catch these migratory fish in one of the lake's more intimate tributaries.

These lake-run rainbow trout were introduced to the great lakes decades ago, and their numbers are heavily dependent on stocking by the Ohio and Pennsylvania fish and wildlife programs. Descendants of ocean going Steelhead originally imported from the west coast, these fish have become naturalized to the great lakes ecosystems and provide a great sport fishery with huge numbers of 10-20 lb fish caught each year in the fall-spring.

Thanks to Ky for these beautiful pics! Sorry mine were a bit out of focus.