Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tip of the Week--Back that Sh@$t Up

Ok, so like I said, I took my first guide day last Sunday and it was COLD. Not as bad as the day before and certainly not as bad as last week but I don't think it ever got above 13 or 14 degrees. At the end of the trip we actually had to drag my boat up onto the ice shelf to get it on the trailer but it was worth the effort and we really did have a good time.

One of the things that saved us was doing such a short float; Craig to Stickney Creek, which is only about 3 1/2 miles so we could fish as much as wanted and when the time came to get out, we got out. What that means is knowing where to spend time and also knowing when to put on the afterburners and head downstream.

We started out at around 9am. I really wasn't all that hopeful that fish would be eating given the fact that is was still around 3 or 4 degrees but we actually started catching fish right away. The cool thing about this time of year is where you find fish, the water is pretty soft so you can usually row back upstream to fish the run again. It puts your clients in front of fish longer and it allows you to warm up. And at some point, you really get a good idea of where the fish are so if you don't get them the first time, you can back it up and change something and fish it again.

We only changed flies once on Sunday but when we went through a  spot where fish should be holding and didn't hook any, we knew we weren't getting deep enough so we did change depths and would go back up and do it again until we figured it out. By the end of the day, we pretty much had it dialed in, which made us more efficient when we got to the money spots, keeping us all concentrating more on being on it when fish did eat and consequently, keeping us warmer as well.

And again, because we planned such a short float, concentrating on the slow deep runs and doing the row-arounds, when the wind did pick up at around 2:30, we were only about a quarter mile from the take-out and the boys were in a warm truck before the cold could grab the memory of that last fish of the day away.

Keep 'em where they live...

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