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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

71° and 10°

Two days ago it was 10° here at home. This isn’t the Midwest; good grief it is western Washington. Ten degrees is too darn cold! At this moment it is snowing and the roads are covered with ice.

On November 4, just a mere three weeks ago, I went trout fishing. It was 71°. Is that possible? This isn't southern California or Arizona; good grief it is western Washington. I even wore sunscreen.

Normally at the beginning of November I would be fishing for Chum Salmon. The Chum run is very depleted so the local rivers are closed. My friend, Jerry, had invited me to go to the Harrison River in British Columbia for some Chum fishing but days before we were to go it was also closed also due to a diminished return.

The weather forecaster was predicting unseasonably warm weather for November 4, so Jerry and I agreed to meet at a local lake. This is Jerry with the pram he uses to fish local lakes. People say he is a MEAN OLD man. I tell him not to listen to that kind of talk because it's not true. (He isn't that old.)

Just the week before I had made my latest Carp trip ever. I had spent the summer largely fishing 7 and 8 weight rods with short leaders and 1X or 2X tippet. This first day of fall trout fishing I found myself adjusting to a 4 weight rod, a 17 foot leader with a 5X tippet, and a strike indicator. For the first several casts the four weight felt a little funny but its all good.

To my pleasant surprise after about 10 or 15 minutes the strike indicator disappeared. A nice 18 inch trout buried the thing. I like indicators that indicate! The night before this trip I had put a new rubber bag on my Measure Net and was glad for the chance to give it a field test. The Measure Net has inch markings across the bottom of the bag going up in both directions. Zero is in the center so if a fish's nose is at 11 on one side and his tail is at 8 on the other side, he is 19 inches. It is great for releasing fish without ever having to touch them.

The indicator kept on indicating for several hours. The first six Trout all stayed on and helped me test the new rubber bag in the net. For the next 20-25 strikes many of the fish were teasing me with little taps just taking the indicator barely under the surface but not getting hooked. Some that were hooked came unbuttoned before getting all the way to the net. I helped eight more get the fly out of their lip.

Several other fly club members fished that day also. Dale Dennis, Bob Banks, and Jake Jacobsen were all there. We weren't exactly all fishing together as much as we were fishing at the same time. Jerry and I fished together probably half or two thirds of the day. Indicator fishing is only fun when the indicatator indicates. Otherwise it is deadly dull. Of note was that Jake Jacobsen fell asleep while staring at his indicator. Bob Banks came by and caught him in the act.

The sun on the indicator at the top of the post made it look a different color than it actually is. It is just a plain old orange indicator; the actual color is the darker one in the picture.

The weather was wonderful; it was such an anomaly for a November day. The day turned out to be tremendous. There were cooperative fish in the lake and the company was good. I was packed up and off the lake in time to be home before 6:00 PM.

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