: What is it about your home waters....
04-15-2004, 03:22 PM
That makes them special for you?
I posted about upcoming trips etc. and came to think about all sorts of previous trips. As much a delight as they always are, as soon as I start travelling back my thoughts are about my home waters. For me, that means the Bow river, which flows right through the city and the forty miles or so that I fish downstream of the city. So this is written with unmitigated bias and boasting.
It's not just the proximity of the river or the fact that it is one of the best dry fly rivers for trout in North America or that I know it so well after so many years of experience.
It about the character, the cliffs that rise up from its banks sometimes 300 feet to the prairies and grain fields above. It's about the returning pair of nesting eagles I see every year at Eagle Run and the hawks that constantly harass them, the ever present and shy and cautious White Tail deer and the more gregarious and curious Mule deer fawns drinking at the edge of the water, while mother oversees this all the time staying hidden a few feet away in a small bush. It's the two or three Merganser families that live together and decide to run upstream of the boat making a racket as all 20 of them paddle like crazy only to turn around and move downstream just as quickly as they ran up. It's the myriad of ducklings and goslings that crowd the banks and their parents who chase and nip at me when I want to wade to a particular run. It's the sounds of the local squadron of Pelicans gliding only a few feet above the water and then soaring up as they get close to the boat.
It's much more than casting and catching, and of course, it is about the 30 inch Brown I just know is out there on a seam waiting for that perfectly presented hopper!
As I write this I can't help but think of the similar descriptions Juro recites to me when I get to fish the flats with him, and that is only one of his "home" waters, but it seems to me that it has more passion to it for him than any other?
What are your "special" home waters and their features?
04-15-2004, 04:40 PM
I think that our home waters provide a sense of familiarty and peace that fishing others can't. The sense that you are in tune with whats going on. Be it the fish, the bait or just where to park and how to access the water. I am certainly a creature of habit and sometimes just the ability to stand in a familiar spot with only the act of fishing on my mind (sometimes even that is absent) provides a catharsis you just can't get on strange water. I think my home waters have changed over my lifetime but that sense of familiarity is what they all have in common.
04-15-2004, 04:52 PM
There's a cool one in the frig AND you can sleep in your own bed! :D
04-15-2004, 05:04 PM
Where are the herring? Can't see them in the picture?
04-15-2004, 09:48 PM
Although I have several areas that I would consider home waters, there are a select few that stand out in my mind.
I grew up in Maine and spent many of my formative flyfishing years on a particular river that was stock with landlocked salmon and brook trout. I learned the complexities of current and proper presentation on this river, and also discovered that during the warmer months of the year it held some enormous smallmouth bass in some of the deadwater areas. Thus began my love affair with bronzebacks...I simply couldn't resist catching these bruisers on a fly with the picturesque Maine landscape as a backdrop.
Another spot that I frequented in Maine was a tidal outflow on the southern coast. It was there that I caught my first striper on a fly, and instantly became fascinated with the process of fishing the salt with fur and feathers. I did most of my fishing early or late in the day, or under the cover of darkness at night. During certain times of the year, I would spend the daytime fishing for smallmouth and/or trout, and then head a short distance to the shore to spend several hours of darkness hooking stripers by swinging flies in the ebbing flow. Like the salmon/trout/smallmouth river I have already described, I spent hundreds of hours at this particular shore spot across many years. I learned how the fish related to the stucture and tides, and after some time could begin to feel when things were just right.
Both of the previously described spots also developed my sense of confidence, which is something that I carried with me to other fishing locations. New spots were less intimidating with my new frame of mind, and I broke them down systematically when I fished them. Sometimes I won, sometimes the fish won. ;)
My new home water is without question the Connecticut River, particularly the stretch south of Hartford to Long Island Sound. Depending on the season, I can flyfish for stripers, bluefish, hickory shad, American shad, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, an occasional large trout, a myriad of panfish, and probably others that don't readily come to mind. I have barely scratched the surface of this fishery...last year was my first with the boat, and this year I plan to hit some new stretches of the river hard. Besides, one of the best launch facilities is literally 1.5 miles from my driveway. Makes for great after work sorties. :D
I'm sure that my future holds more home waters for me, but until then I'm going to enjoy the ones I have in my area and in my memories.
04-16-2004, 03:12 AM
Without out a doubt from mid-November to the end of April it is the Skagit River. Beautiful surrounding, great wild winter steelhead, terrific shum fishing in November and early December, nice dollies for a little diversionary bycatch, wonderful runs, bald eagles (lots of them in December to February), a for the most part courteous fisherfolk.
Seeing the snow-capped Cascade Mountains in the near distance and having a wild steelhead dancing downstream with a gorgeous sunset as a backdrop. Who could ask for more?
I consider myself very fortunate to live in the Skagit Valley and have this river in my back yard. Some prefer the Sauk to the Skagit; however, I much prefer the larger Skagit to the Sauk. Runs that take hours to fish properly because the are hundreds of yard long, mile long walks to some of these classic runs,and usually never seeing a lot of people fishing (especially in March/April).
It's a good thing home waters are not like wives, for I could not be faithful to my home waters :)
For many wonderful years my home waters were the sparkling twists and braids of the river jewels in the pacific northwest that stream from glaciers in towering peaks to the richness of the northwest sea, bringing steelhead and five species of indigenous salmon to their headwaters. I also fished the saltchuck extensively in the days when I would not see another flyrod in a week of fishing at Neah Bay and Sekiu in the 80's unless Leland, Dennis Worley or Les Johnson were in town. It's growing fast but remains one of most under-rated fisheries on the planet wth respect to it's potential. But the Spey rennaissance in the pacific northwest is truly one of historic proportions and every aspect from Mark Bachmanns' Sandy River Classic to a secret honey hole on an un-named branch of the upper Quinault is precious and will never be less than home water in my heart.
Pete, I recall the day we stood on the Chapel Run on the Skagit River together, I was still feeling something in the misty spring air after receiving Tootsie's unexpected blessing of luck at breakfast. The old growth trees that time missed right across from the cabins always were like mother nature's skyscrapers to me, and the river opens up to the right bank like a dreamscape. The snake roll was working and my derivation/permutation of a little of this and a little of that fly I call my winter pupa on a big Alec Jackson spey daichi fluttered on a light sinktip down and across the magnificent pool. But a dozen casts into the meditative run and the big native buck answered with a heavy and deliberate pull, and before I could get myself to believe it was a fish the drag was singing as the fish tumbled down the surface of the river toward Arlington and my prayers were answered at the chapel. In fact it was you who took the photos that bring me back to that moment, thanks!
However deep and faithful my vows to the ultimate searun trout may be, I have sun-drenched sand and turquiose blue mistress in my tropical bonefish obsession. I've not placed enough footsteps in those atolls and reefs around the bonefish belt to call them 'home waters' per se, but my seventh trip to grey ghost mecca is pending and it's never far from my mind now that my home involves brutal winters and limited seasons. But even if I lived in a year-round climate again like the PNW I would dream of stalking the flats amidst palm-tree fringed islands looking for tails and shadows as the colors melt away the angst of day-to-day challenges back in that other world we try to survive between such days of bliss. In fact it was this love that brought me to be such an addict of flats fishing in northern climates, Cape Cod's inshore flats and shoals and the brawling, busting striped bass...
What I can indeed now call my 'home' waters now are the waters of the northeast's coast. When the mid-summer sun turns the world to that brilliant dawn hue and you're the first to place footsteps in the windswept sand dune it's almost hard to concentrate on the fishing with all the beauty there is to absorb. But stripers will be stripers and before long the cobwebs of the morning are cleared by the serious business of attending to the blitzing linebackers of the shore, and they have no such cobwebs in their heads as they try to demolish your drag.
As that sun reaches the high points in the sky it's all about stealth and shadows, not unlike bonefishing but without the palm trees and some of the shadows are over 40" long. We are truly blessed to have the shoreline we have here on the northeast coast from Maine to the Carolinas.
And then there is the Sea of Cortez and a certain roosterfish...:smokin:
04-19-2004, 01:34 PM
what's special about my waters;;;any time i can spend there is `it',,,it's in a constant state of flux,,always changing,temps,flows,big fish-little fish,,,up-down,,differrent runs,,,,always overlap each other,,and the biggest and best part,,i'm unlocking the fisherie(s)with a `flypole'!!!,,always catch a smile,every time!,and usually laugh out loud,,,,just for being allowed to `take part' in the wonderful dynamics that are there,,right there,five minutes away,mmmmm,,bye!:razz:
04-20-2004, 08:15 AM
It the place for me to go where I can unwind and be at peace. I am in complete control. Something which at times is difficult to do in today's world. My home water stream is not that great fishing wise as it doesn't hold up in the summer. Yes the trout are there but few and far in between. It calms me down. As for the Salt I am still searching for my home waters. Seems as if the Northeast Salt waters are becoming more crowded each year. But I will find it just as I did my favorite trout home waters.
04-21-2004, 02:52 PM
My home river is the one that I can walk to in 10 mins and always know where I can try for a fish. Although not necessarily catch it ;)