Recreational Fly Fishing

January 6th, 2010

Fish eat bugs, plain and simple. So why not try to catch a fish by mimicking a bug? – Thats what fly fishermen have been doing for centuries. Fly fishing began as a method to catch salmonids, which include mostly salmon and trout. Today fishermen use this method to attract a variety of fish ranging from carp to saltwater fish off the coast of Caribbean islands.

Fly fishing differs from traditional lure fishing in a couple of different ways. First of all, the fly fisherman have a longer, lighter rod and a heavier line. The fly fisherman will use his lines weight to cast his incredibly light weight bait: a hand tied fly, whereas lure fisherman will use the weight of their bait to cast their line.

The fly fisherman will aim to mimic a live bug by slapping their line against the water, causing a commotion on the top of the water and hopefully attracting fish to their realistically made flies. The flies come in a variety of colors and styles, ranging from felt and feather construction designs that look like frogs, minnows, and even shrimp.

Additionally, flies come in two varieties: dry and wet. The dry fly, like it states, floats on top of the water and does not tip below the waters surface, while the wet fly will find itself submerged underwater thanks to the fishermens drastic cast.

Fly fishing is a genuine art. It takes time, practice, and skill to make the task look both doable and easy. A fly fisherman will start with his rod in front of him. He will hold a length of string in his free hand, and then swing the road behind him, directly to an angle behind his head. Then he will swing the rod forward to an approximate 45 degree angle, allowing the free line to move forward and slap against the water. As stated before, he hopes that this disturbance will mimic that of a bug on the waters surface and draw his food to his line.

Fly fishermen have a variety of methods and terms for casting. Different types of casts are used for different reasons. For example, a fly fisherman may want to use a false cast to draw a different kind of lazy fish to them.

The right kind of fly will also make a difference to a fisherman. Some fisherman scratch their creative itch by creating their own flies while others rely on the experts to tie them the best kind of fish, egg, worm, or mouse for their fly.

Regardless of how they cast or what they use for a fly or even where they fish, every fly fisherman will cite the incredible benefits of fly fishing with relaxation topping out the list.

Yuki Shoji

The Anatomy of Fishing Flies

January 5th, 2010

While you may not find them displayed at art galleries, fishing flies and the tying of them, is a true art form as old as fly fishing itself. The best fishing flies aren’t only interesting to look at, their combination of colors, patterns, and textiles work better to attract fish then some of the more mass produced tackle. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the elements that make these fishing lures so effective.

Hackle, or the neck feathers from a rooster, is one of the primary elements of a fishing fly. The hackle is what gives fishing flies their organic look and feel and also their intricate color patterns. Though many people seem to think fish aren’t all that bright, they sure know enough to steer clear of putting anything in their mouths that doesn’t look natural or like it absolutely belongs in the water.

The patterns and movement of the hackle are difficult to match with synthetic materials. When tying your own lures or buying fishing flies online or at the tackle shop, keep a look out for lures with Whiting Farms feathers-or at least fishing flies with organic hackle versus those made with synthetic materials.

Hair and Fur:
An alternative to the hackle fly is hair and fur fishing flies. They types of hair and fur most used for fishing flies are deer, beaver, opossum, otter, fox, and badger. As with hackle, there are synthetic hair and fur fishing flies, but most fish seem to respond more favorably to natural hair and fur materials. However, there are cases such as when fishing on dark river beds, when fishing flies constructed of brightly colored synthetics are a better choice. When setting out on a fishing trip it’s best to have lots of different types and colors of fishing flies to try.

Thread, Yarn, and Wire:
Thread, chenille, braid, yarn, wire, and other spooled materials are most often used to recreate the thin, tight, body of the insect. Some types used are flat waxed nylon thread, gossamer silk thread, sparkle yarn, and mohair and all of these come in natural and bright colors. No matter how natural the color of the hackle of hair, oftentimes a little spark of color in the thread and yarn is what catches the fish’s attention.

Not all fishing fly gear have eyes, but eyes are sometimes necessary with certain types of gear, especially those that look like other fish or small mammals. Eye styles can range from the “googley” type doll eyes that kids use in projects to silver or bronze beads, to reflective stickers.

There’s no one correct style or material for catching every type of fish. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that you take lots of different types and colors of fishing flies with you when you try out a new spot. Even in the same river, different fish within the same species will react to different things. Half the fun of fly fishing is experimenting with new styles and techniques and finding what works.

Christine Harrell

Fishing For Trout

January 3rd, 2010

You will mainly find trout in rivers rather than lakes but that is not to say you will not find them in lakes at all, its just that given a choice they would prefer the flowing water of a river. The main types of trout found are brown, cutthroat, brook and my favourite the rainbow.
Catching a small trout is not that hard to do its catching the big ones where the challenge comes in.

Some people prefer fly fishing as a way of catching these fish, others say using a float is best but in the end its what is best for you. Spinners are also known to work for some so just see what works for you. Some of the flies that are on the market do not seem to resemble any fly or insect at all. This is because to a fish it is not the imitation of a fly that matters it is more just a case of food recognition.

Fishing line that is used also counts as the heavier the line the easier it is for the fish to see the line and put the fish off.Feeding habits also differ from fish to fish as well as the different water temperatures and time of day. There are many different things to take into account when fishing for trout as to whether you have a good day or a bad day. Most people have favourite bait for catching trout and thats fine but if its not working for you do not be afraid to try something a little different. Fish are no different than other things and if you keep feeding on the same thing something a little different might just swing it for you. Be sure to take a variety of bait with you so if one is not working for you, you can try something else. Here are a few ideas to help you in your choice.

Earthworms, spinners, insects, salmon eggs, minnows, crayfish are just a few of the different things I have tried.These fish are very unpredictable and spending a little time practising will make catching these fish a lot easier when faced with what equipment and bait to use on a stretch of water. I hope this information will enable you to go out and be able to have a good days fishing what ever the type of trout you are after and above all enjoy yourself in the process.

jeff ryall 

Great Fly Fishing Tips

January 1st, 2010

Most people think of fly fishing as a peaceful sport. They picture themselves standing on the banks of a beautiful river, whipping a fishing rod back and forth and sending a fishing line flying back and forth above their heads in a manner that is relaxed and graceful. They can see the line flying about, tempting one trout after another. Maybe they’ve seen a movie that features fishing, or they went with a friend. Whatever the reason, the person is now interested in fishing and wants to learn more.

Chances are this person is you. You’ve done your research. You’ve gone shopping and spent a small fortune on fishing equipment. Now you are ready to head out to the water…technically. Sure you have all of the right gear, but have you been given any fly fishing tips?

This article serves to give you a few basic fly fishing tips that, hopefully, will help you come home much richer in fish than when you left.

Make sure that you practice casting. The more time you spend practicing your casting, the better you will get at it. The best way to practice casting is to use a flat surface outside of your house (definitely do not practice casting indoors, it would lead to inevitable disaster). Mark a few targets on this flat surface and then go out for a little bit each day and practice casting to these targets. This will help you to improve your casting accuracy.

Choose a rod that feels comfortable for you. You know what kind you will want, flexibility wise, but choose one that is the right length as well. If you are short, you will probably get hung up if you try to use a rod that is too long. To this end, you will want to learn how to hold your fly rod correctly. This type of fishing is not a quick sport. You will want to be able to hold onto this rod comfortably for long periods of time.

The best bait is a natural prey of the fish you are trying to catch. There are experts who swear that the fancy bait is not necessary and that all you need is a simple worm. In the event that you would like to buy the fancy bait, you should choose bait that mimics a worm or a grub and is brightly colored so that it will attract the fish’s attention.

Waterproof your dry flies. This will help them to float on the water for a longer period of time. You can do this with Scotch-guard (which can be found in almost any general goods store). The waterproofing keeps them from becoming waterlogged and sinking.

Make sure that your knots are tied tightly and effectively. A knot that is tied improperly or that is too loose could spell disaster in fly fishing.

These are just a few of the many fishing tips that anglers will share with each other when they are out fly fishing. A simple search through the internet or your local library is sure to turn up pages more.

Steven Magill


Salmon Fishing Tips

December 30th, 2009

I have had the pleasure of fishing for salmon in Alaska. It was a thrilling experience!

To see 3 feet long Silver’s in a stream surrounded by 10,000+ foot mountains is something you dream about.

If you have fished for salmon anywhere and they are spawning you know they aren’t all that easy to catch as they aren’t feeding only intent on

running up stream to their spawning spot. So it takes some patience and good timing as well as knowing where and when they are running.

But for any fisherman, this is one of the ultimate experiences!

Here are a few tips:

Your First Pole:
The most important piece of equipment is a fishing pole of course! The best place to purchase a pole is at a real pro shop or bait and tackle shop.

Pro shops usually have a generous return policy. If you get a pole that is not comfortable for you, too stiff or too flexible, too long or too short, they will generally exchange it for a pole that will work better for you.

Bottom line, they want your return business for other things like bait and tackle.

The Place:
The best place to fish for salmon is in the river when they come up to spawn. The local pro shop should be happy to provide you with the best times for fishing salmon.

Salmon spawn at different times and come up the rivers at different intervals throughout the season. So, planning is important if you want to

actually fish when the salmon are spawning. You can get alot of good information with a subscription to Alaska magazine or do a search online for the location you are interested in.

The Boat:
Best case scenario is to have a flat bottom river boat, but those are expensive. It may not be a good idea to take a regular “V” hull lake boat into the river because the depths can be too shallow and unpredictable.

Another wonderful way to experience your first salmon trip is by hiring a guide. You’ll learn more from the guide then on your own. It can be pricey, but it’s worth it. Alaska guides generally charge $200/day per person.

No boat? No worries. Fishing from shore is a wonderful way to experience this fantastic hobby as well. Get some waders and watch out for the slippery rocks!

The Bait:
Ask the Pro’s at the pro shop what works best in your area or the area you are going to fish. They will most likely suggest salmon eggs. They are cured in many different ways and everyone has their favorite.

You may wonder why you would want to use salmon eggs. It’s very simply really. After salmon spawn, the parent fish stay around the nest to protect the eggs from predators like trout.

The currents will also carry the eggs away. When this happens the parent fish gently pick the eggs in their mouth and bring them back to the nest.

So, when you dangle salmon eggs in the water after the salmon have spawned, they will see the eggs and assume that some have floated out of the nest. When they go to retrieve them, they get hooked!

The Catch:
Take along an ice chest filled with ice to keep your catch fresh. You may want to have a couple of five gallon buckets as well. One bucket for cleaning your catch. Another bucket to keep the ready-to-eat gutted and cleaned salmon in.

If you clean it before you take it home, you avoid the smelly bloody mess in your kitchen. Many rivers in Alaska, Kenai, Russian, Montana, Bird…have fish cleaning facilities.

A third bucket could be used to save salmon eggs gutted from a female. You can save the egg sack and cure it later. You can learn more about how to cure the eggs, or roe, online or talk to someone in your local pro shop for suggestions.

The Filleting:
You can cut your fish in two ways, steaks or fillets. Salmon steaks are the easiest way to cut them up. Filleting takes a little more practice. You will

probably mangle the first few you try to fillet. Don’t let that bother you. All those little mangled pieces can be smoked and turned into a salmon dip.

Mmm good!

The Cooking:
There are many ways to cook salmon. Pan fry, BBQ, roasted or even smoked. If you do decide to smoke your salmon pieces, be sure not to over dry


Here’s a simple recipe for salmon dip.

One cup smoked salmon
Two 8 oz packages of cream cheese
Half cup chopped onion
Salt, pepper, garlic, to taste

Now it’s time to stop reading about it and go out there and catch some salmon!

Dan Farrell


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It is Never Too Cold to Go Fishing!

December 24th, 2009

    When weather conditions are bad outside, I sit inside with a roaring fire and remember the time when I was brave enough to tackle the elements, hitch up the boat and head for the river.  The lousier the winter weather, the better the fishing for sauger on the Tennessee River.

    Down here in the south we call sauger, “jack salmon”.  As a kid, fishing on the river below Guntersville Dam, I never knew there was such a thing as a sauger until I grew up and read a copy of Field & Stream magazine, and for the first time saw a picture of the fish they called a sauger.  I thought they were confused!

    Last year on a dreary, cloudy, cold and miserable morning at daybreak, my brother and I drove down highway 421 from Huntsville, Alabama to the Guntersville dam.  As rotten as the day was, the parking lot just above the launching ramp was filled with cars and trucks with a boat trailer connected to each.  We immediately knew the jacks were biting.

    We put the boat in the water about a half mile west of the dam. If I thought I was cold before, I was shocked at how frigid it became as I was zipping down the river at forty miles an hour in the morning fog.  About six miles later, we rounded a bend and as if by magic we ran out of the fog and almost banged into group of at least twenty boats congregated up and down a narrow passage close to the mouth of the Paint Rock River.

    The water here was 30 to 40 feet deep where we anchored the boat.  Every few minutes one of the other fishermen would pull in another fish.  Most of the ones being caught were in the 2 pound and under class, though larger ones occasionally were being hauled into boats up and down the river.
    My brother was frantically trying to get his tackle together and start fishing.  I was too cold to think of anything other than grabbing the Thermos and pouring myself a cup of hot coffee.  When I  left the house that morning I thought that my brother and I were the only insane people in Alabama, now I was looking at a whole river full of nutty folks!

    Saugers tend to congregate around eddy pools such as those coming out of a tributary like the one we were close to that morning.  They are cylindrical fish, light brown speckled, with a couple of dark blotches on their sides. They have two dorsal fins as well as a mouth full of sharp teeth that will lacerate a finger if you are not careful.

    In my opinion the jack salmon, as I grew up knowing it, is one of the best tasting fish I have eaten out of southern waters. While the annual spawning run is in April or May, thousands of these tasty fish congregate in the tail waters of the Guntersville Dam, Wheeler Dam and Wilson Dam in earlier months.

    Like most of the fishermen I could see, I was also using a heavy jig tipped with a live minnow.  The jigs head was a fluorescent red with a three inch blue haired skirt.  After dropping the rig overboard, I pulled the bait about a foot off the bottom and was reaching for my coffee cup when I felt a tug on the line.

    I reeled in a two pound sauger just as my brother had one on also.  Within a couple of hours we had several good sized fish, and then a late morning sun drenched us with welcomed warmth.  The fish stopped biting for us as well as the other boats on the river.

    I have been trying to out think fish for years.  Counting the amount of time and money I have spent fishing, it is apparent that the fish have been winning.  Of all the things I have learned is, I still do not know why the sauger population on the river bites better on the most miserable of days, but I have a theory.

Bob Alexander


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Planning Your Fishing Trip!

December 22nd, 2009

Fishing can be relaxing, fun and be a joy for all who choose to take part in one of nature’s most premier activities. However, fishing can often turn stressful and tough when it comes to planning out your travel and fishing plans. Planning the perfect fishing trip doesn’t have to be difficult, but it has to be prepared. Here is a quick guide to ensuring you take the best efforts in planning your fishing trip!

? Start by defining what you want your trip to be like! Every fisher wants something different or personalized about their fishing trip so make sure you have a definition of what a great fishing trip means to you. Maybe you want a relaxing week-end at a campsite; maybe you want a busy schedule of hunting combined with fishing and hiking; or maybe you want to spend all of your time on the river. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for, just make sure you know!

? What fish do you want to catch?! If you are serious about your fishing trip then you probably have an ideal fish that you would like to tackle. Think about it. Would you like to go after a fish species you have never caught before? Would you like to just catch as many ‘ordinary’ fish as possible? Whatever type of fish you want to catch will determine the location of your trip, so choose wisely!

? Figure out your style! No, we’re not talking about style as in fashion and clothing; we’re talking about fishing style! Fishing style means what type of fishing you wish to do- wading into the river, deep sea fishing or fishing from the river side. If you are going on your trip with a group make sure they all agree on the fishing style because if they don’t, there’ll be plenty of quiet time for them to complain!

? How much is this going to cost?! While most fishers don’t want to consider cost, it is usually the most important overall factor of a fishing trip! Ideally, you may want to head to the Colorado Mountains and find a remote river set apart from society- and just stay there for days! However, this won’t work for most people working within a budget because the longer and more extravagant a fishing trip is, the more expensive it tends to get!

The perfect fishing trip really isn’t out of reach, it is within your preparation!

Mark Hammond


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Winter Steelhead Fishing

December 17th, 2009

Steelhead fishing in winter is never easy, not even during the good times. But when the mid-season doldrums set in around February, things can get downright tough. The big runs of hatchery steelhead that provided such good fishing in December and January have tapered off to a trickle in most rivers. And the large wild fish that will cause so much excitement at the end of the season haven’t yet arrived. On a coast-wide average, there simply aren’t nearly as many steelhead in our rivers and creeks during February as during the rest of the season.

The fish may be fewer and farther between, but not the fishermen. A steady stream of boat anglers casts to every inch of likely looking holding water, and the shores of popular rivers are crisscrossed by the muddy trails of bank anglers. The fish available in most streams get pounded hard on a daily basis. And it doesn’t help when prolonged cold weather results in cool, clear water and spooky, sluggish steelhead.

Those are just a few of the reasons why many steelhead anglers refer to February as the “mid-season break” in fishing, and others call it the “dog days of winter.”  February is a excellent time of the year for fisherman to take advantage of discounted guided trips.  The fishing is challenging, but still worth it!

Things I would use to catch Steelhead in the winter would be: Hardware (Plugs, large spoons or Spinners). Flies like Black Stones, Hex Nymphs, Bead heads, and Egg flies. Other methods, such as spawn, Drifting wax worms are also used.

Rainbow Trout can be caught on small stick baits, Tiny Spinners, Wax Worms, and Fly Fishing with Nymphs.

Make sure to check the hatch charts for the river you are fishing to understand more about the bugs under the surface of the water, this will give you a base to purchase or tie the right bug. Always remember winter fishing must be done slow and patiently.

I encourage you to experience a guided fishing trip for steel head on the Muskegon River in Newaygo, Michigan, which is less than an hour from Grand Rapids, Mi.  The Muskegon River boasts some of the absolute best Steelhead, Salmon, and Trout fishing in the Great Lakes Region! With expansive gravel bars, slow deep holes, runs and over fourteen miles of spawning gravel, it’s no wonder the Mighty Muskegon is home to so many trout and game fish species.

Enjoy your day on the water.

Article provided by Mike Marsh: Marsh Ridge River Guide Service & Evolution Sport Fishing Charters and Sherri Russell: Hess Lake Rentals

Brent Vanderstelt

Trout Fishing in Montana – A Perfect Day

December 16th, 2009

Montana is blessed with water; gin-clear cold water. Fed from glaciers, winter snowpack and deep mountain springs, Montana’s pristine chilly waters are a perfect habitat for trout. Rainbow, Lake, Cutthroat, Brown and Brook Trout thrive to the delight of bears and anglers.

Trout depend on cold water to survive. Our waters are cold, trout flourish in Montana. Brook Trout are the easiest to catch but the most sensitive to water temperature; their population begins to diminish in waters that exceed 68 degrees F., Montana’s other species of trout are comfortable at slightly warmer temps. Many fishermen feel that the wary Brown Trout is the most difficult to catch.

Montana boasts literally thousands of miles of streams and rivers and a generous plethora of lakes. Here in Mineral County we have 53 alpine lakes, however; you can only drive to 3, the remainder are hiking trail accessible only. Nearby Glacier County has 116 lakes. The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, north and east of Yellowstone Park has over 400 trout lakes. There is blue ribbon water everywhere, most of it teeming with one or more species of trout.

The top of Triple Divide Peak, where continental divides intersect, is located within Glacier National Park (named for the glacial rivers of ice that crafted its majestic landscape). TD Peak marks the point that gives Montana the distinction of being the only geographic region in the world whose mighty rivers form parts of three major water sheds; Hudson Bay, The Pacific Ocean and The Gulf of Mexico.

In Mineral County, some of Montana’s best fishing holes are to be found. The town of Saint Regis marks the confluence of the St. Regis and Clark Fork Rivers. Here anglers are regularly rewarded with prize winning catches, fish measuring up to 20 inches are commonplace. Overall the fishing on the Clark Fork is excellent, the river has over a thousand fish per mile in many areas. Some of the toughest and strongest trout anywhere are found in these waters. The Clark Fork River is considered one of the most prolific western rivers in the United States.

The Clark Fork River commences at its headwaters in the Silver Bow Mountains near Anaconda, Montana and wanders north and west for over 275 miles through arid flat lands, mountains and valleys. When the Clark Fork crosses into Idaho, it is the largest river in Montana, carrying an average of over 22,000 cubic feet of water per second.

A glorious fall day, honking geese heading south, cool crisp morning air, a dusting of snow on the Bitteroots and trout rising on the river; it doesn’t get any better than this!

Rainbow Trout
(Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Montana’s number one game fish, the Rainbow Trout is a highly prized favorite among trout anglers and fly fishermen. Commencing in 1989, hundreds of millions of rainbow trout have been introduced from hatchery stock to habitat throughout the state. Rainbow Trout have been established in streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and reservoirs. In recent years policy has changed and now Rainbow Trout are primarily introduced only in lakes and reservoirs.

Fish biologist believe that the only Rainbow Trout, actually native to Montana, are those that are found in the Kootenai River drainage.

In connective water systems that allow the trout to migrate, hatchlings will remain in small creeks or streams until they reach 6 to 8 inches and then will venture into the larger rivers and lakes where they gain weight and size before returning to spawn. A 33 pound beauty holds the state record; 10 pound catches are common in the majority of Montana’s alpine lakes.

Treasured for its gameness, beauty and firm pink flesh, Rainbow Trout are an important and valued part of Montana’s eco-system.

Brook Trout
(Salvelinus fontinalis)

Brook Trout are plentiful in mountain streams with gravel bottoms. A good spot to try your luck is in the overhang of trees that provide protection from preying birds and a bit of shade. Brook Trout feed on other small fish, mollusks, crustaceans and insects. Just about any bait or lure that mimics their food source will land a “Brookie”.

A half dozen “Brookies”, dusted with flour and fried in butter over an open campfire, are delightfully tasty. Add some fried potatoes, flip a couple of eggs and you have a Mountain Morning breakfast “fit for a king”.

Brown Trout
(Salmo trutta)

For many an angler, the elusive Brown Trout is hard to catch. The Brown Trout is a lot more wary than other species. Its shy habits help to ensure longevity in streams where other trout have been fished out.

Brown Trout seek areas with plenty of cover. Under log jams, cuts in the bank, overhanging tree cover or rock outcroppings are their favorite hang-outs. As they grow larger, Brown Trout become even more wary. They will often feed at night when darkness offers protection. Although a challenge to capture, the Brown Trout’s succulent flavor is a reward for patience.

Brown Trout normally feed on small minnows, crustaceans, worms and insects. Netting a Brown Trout requires skill, tenacity and a little bit of luck.

Lake Trout
(Salvelinus namaycush)

By far the largest of all trout species, the Lake Trout prefers deep, cold lakes. Also sometimes called Salmon Trout, Makinaw or Great Lakes Trout, they feed on any source of flesh available with their habitat. Eels, smelt and a variety of minnows are all part of the Lake Trout’s diet.

Due to their preference for icy cold waters, the meat of the Lake Trout is rich and flaky, tender and extremely flavorful.

In the early spring, fly fishermen working the lake shallows report success using dry flies. As the weather warms, the Lake Trout move deeper, retreating to colder waters. Summer and fall fishing requires trolling with heavier tackle.

Cutthroat Trout
(Salmo clarki)

Icy mountain streams that eventually drain into the Pacific Ocean are the preferred habitat of Cutthroat Trout. They feed on minnows, worms, crustaceans and a variety of insects. In fast moving water or rapids, fly fishing is the method of choice. Brown Trout can also be taken with grubs, worms or lures.

Most cutthroat fish populations remain in freshwater during their lifespan. These trout populations are known as non-migratory, stream-resident or riverine. Some cutthroat make their home in the Pacific Ocean, returning to freshwater to feed and spawn in the fall, returning to the ocean in the early part of spring. Those that spend most of their time in the ocean can weigh up to 20 pounds. The trout that remain in the freshwater may only get up to 2 pounds.

In 1977 the Blackspotted Cutthroat was named the State Fish of Montana.

Marlene Affeld



Find The Best Ohio Catfish Fishing

December 7th, 2009

When determining where you should spend your days angling during the warm summer months of June and July, Ohio catfish fishing can provide an excellent catch and a great time for all. In Ohio, catfish fishing is best in the rivers, so get ready for a list of the top fishing rivers in the state.

Starting in District Two, you’ll find great catfishing opportunities in the Maumee River, thanks to the channel and flathead catfish that are readily found upstream from Toledo, where it cuts through a wide flood plain. You’ll find lots of channel cats that range around 16 inches in length and shouldn’t be surprised to reel in an average flathead that ranges from 20 to 40 inches. The rock bed river is extremely shallow, so check in the deep holes that run more than six feet deep for the best catch.

In the Huron River, Ohio catfish fishing continues to produce a number of channel cats and flatheads. Here, you’ll find holes a bit deeper than at the Maumee, and your catch will be about the same size. Don’t exclude the Auglaize River, either, a tributary of the Maumee in Northwest Ohio. Catfish fishing provides an abundance of big fish here in the summertime, with less bedrock and holes that dip down more than ten feet. While the river isn’t navigable at all in the summer in its upper section, you’ll find great shoreline fishing and plenty of channel cats in the pools in the lower area.

District Three also boasts several fine catfish rivers. Start with the tailwaters branching off the Tappan Lake, which are actually what’s left of the Little Stillwater Creek. The dam provides a great holding and breeding ground for catfish, and you will want to target area pools that range about eight to twelve feet in depths. You can expect to find a lot of flatheads and a smaller supply of channel cats here. Also check out the small rivers and streams that are tailwaters of Clendening Lake, also producing a flathead roundup that can range as large as 60 pounds and a few channel cats along the way. As long as you are in the area, check out the Atwood Lake tailwaters in Carroll or Tuscarawas County, where deeper pools have been created by unexpectedly high flows. Also pay attention to the surrounding flats at night.

Ohio catfish fishing continues to be productive in District Four, where the Muskingum River is a favorite for anglers looking for both channel cats and flatheads. There are six excellent pools on the river, including the Marietta Pool, Devola Pool, and Beverly Pool, all of which produce a fine catch for avid anglers, especially during the summer. Also be sure to check out Zanesville Pool in the Ellis Tailwaters, which flows for just over nine miles and offers great flathead fishing.

Daniel Eggertsen


Bend Oregon Home to Great Trout Fishing

December 3rd, 2009

Bend Oregon is home to several different species of trout. Rainbow Trout, German Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Bull Trout and Brook Trout are the primary species caught within a short drive from Bend.

Almost all lakes and streams in Central Oregon contain Rainbow Trout. The Deschutes River is world famous for it trout fishing. It begins in the Cascade Mountains Southwest of Bend. It is the source of water for Crane Prairie Reservoir and Wickiup Reservoir. It runs through the middle of Bend and eventually flows into the mighty Columbia River.

Crane Prairie Reservoir is known for its large trout (”Cranebows”). It is about a one hour drive from Bend. It was flooded in 1928 with most of the timber left standing. It is a relatively shallow lake with the deepest sections about 15-20 feet deep near the channels in the spring. The water level drops steadily all summer during the irrigation season.

The Cranebows spawn in the upper Deschutes in early spring and then return to the reservoir and are scattered around the shallower water. As the water warms in early summer the fish start congregating around the channels. Twenty to thirty inch rainbows are common.

All methods of lake fishing work on this strong fighting fish. Fly fishing is very popular once the fish move into the channels. Trolling flies, spoons or spinners is a popular method early in the season. Early summer brings on weed growth which makes it difficult to troll without fowling you lure.

There are numerous campgrounds and one resort on Crane Prairie. The resort provides rental boats, licenses and anything you might need for trout fishing. The owners are always helpful in pointing new anglers to where the fish are biting the best. It is difficult to fish here without a boat.

The Deschutes flows out of Crane Prairie and a few short miles into Wickiup Reservoir. Wickiup has large Rainbow and German Brown Trout as well as a large population of Kokanee Salmon. The Kokanee and Browns are the primary targeted fish.

Early spring brings out the die hard Brown Trout fisherman. They concentrate near the dam and generally troll Rapalas or similar minnow type lures. Ten pound fish are common in the early spring. Since Brown trout are nocturnal you’ll find the serious fisherman on the water at first light. Wickiup is best fished by boat but some large browns are caught from shore along the dam in the spring.

During the summer the Kokanee start congregating along the river channel. Jigging, bait fishing or trolling are the preferred methods for catching the Wickiup Kokanee. The Kokanee spawn in the fall with the Browns following them up the Deschutes channel.
Early morning and late evening is the best time to target the large Browns.

Wickiup only has one improved boat ramp which is located at Gull Point. There is not a boat dock so it makes it somewhat difficult for launching and boarding your boat. There are a couple of improved camp grounds as well as many unimproved places to camp.

The Deschutes River continues below Wickiup dam and flows through Bend. This section contains some smaller Rainbows and some nice sized German Browns. It runs through the Deschutes National forest. There is a good drift from the dam down to the Pringle Falls area.

Pringle Falls is dangerous and cannot be drifted. Watch for signs and be prepared to take out above the falls. This is a beautiful drift. The river from Pringle Falls to Bend has several different water falls that cannot be drifted. Check the numerous books available that discuss this section of river in detail.

The section of river that runs through Bend does not produce many fish as it is not stocked with hatchery fish and receives substantial fishing pressure.

The Deschutes flows from Bend into Lake Billy Chinook which is located between Redmond and Madras. Lake Billy Chinook is actually a reservoir that is backed up by Round Butte dam. “Round Butte” reservoir is filled by the Deschutes River, Crooked River and the Metolius River.

Lake Billy Chinook is known for its native Bull Trout population. Bull Trout are close to extinction in many parts of Oregon but not in Lake Billy Chinook. The state record Bull Trout was caught here in 1989. It weighed 23 pounds and 2 ounces. Ten to fifteen pound fish are still common with several being caught every year.

The best time to catch a large Bull Trout is in March and April. The Metolius arm of the reservoir boarders the Warm Springs Indian reservation and is closed from the end of October to March 1st every year. Early in the season the larger trout come into the shallows (10-20 feet) to feed on the abundant Kokanee salmon.

If you find the Kokanee you will find the Bull Trout. A boat is necessary to catch these fish. They are caught by casting the shore line with silver minnow plugs, trolling plugs, fly fishing with a sink tip line or jigging the deeper water if the fish have not moved up into the shallows yet.

If you are interested in pursuing Bull Trout check the authors’ web site for more helpful information, links and pictures.

The trout fishing in this article is all located within a one hour drive from Bend. There are many other lakes, reservoirs and streams within an hour of Bend that are not mentioned in this article.

Bend Oregon is a great place to live if you like the outdoors. There are many good trout fishing spots close by. The lower Deschutes below Bend is world famous for its Salmon Fly hatch but that is the subject of another article.

Jim Johnson


Fishing for Salmon

November 26th, 2009

Are you planning to go fishing for salmon? If you are and you are one of the beginners or first-timers, there are basic things you need to know to get you started and to help you enjoy this enjoyable outdoor activity.

First off, there are several species of salmon that you should know about before you go fishing for salmon trips. There are Atlantic and Pacific salmons. Atlantic species are from the Atlantic Ocean, as the name implies. Also, you can find a wide variety of salmon in the various lakes that are in the eastern North America areas. They are the kind of salmon that don’t immigrate as they prefer fresh water than salt water.

The most popular of all salmons are the Chinook or king salmon or spring salmon, black mouth, however you call them, as they are the biggest among the salmon species, weighing between 25 to 65 pounds, or even more. They are found from southern California coast to the Bering Strait. Alaska has earned its fame in fishing for salmon, since it is where the heaviest ever recorded king salmon, weighing over 96 pounds. Chinook salmon is the state fish of Alaska.

Other types of salmon include the red salmon or sockeye salmon, pink salmon, silver or Coho salmon, chum salmon, and the Atlantic salmon, which are left run wild in the on the Atlantic coast only. Each of the pacific salmon species have different life cycle and each returns to their fresh water spawning grounds at different times. When salmon returns to the rivers where they’re from, they are collectively called run that is, in turn, named after the river. So, if you hear the word run or runs, you know what it means.

Due to the fact that salmon always come back to where they hatched, you know when the ideal times are to go fishing for salmon or mostly called fishing season and you know there will always be salmon to catch. This is why many fishermen became fascinated with fishing, whether as hobby, sport or pastime.

Fishing for salmon requires bait. There are various types of baits that you cause in fishing for salmon. There are plugs, worms, lures, and flies in which you can use for fresh water salmon; for salt water, you can go for flies, streamers, crustaceans, and lures.

Fly fishing for salmon will require you to have 12-16 ft. graphite or fiberglass rod, fly reel and line. For bait fishing, you will need a 10 ft. spinning rod and bait caster reel with up to 20 lb. test line. But if you are into fishing for king or Chinook salmon, you will need a boat or a trolling rod. And because Chinook are known to be the biggest and heaviest of its kind, you will 20-40 pound or more test line. Who knows, your simple fishing for salmon trip could land you to catch king salmon?


5 Useful Tips on Trout Fishing

November 20th, 2009

In fishing, trout are one of the favorite “fishing friends” of most anglers. These crafty fish are abundant anywhere. The native habitat of these crafty fish depends on the type of trout.

For brook trout, the native habitat includes the territory from Labrador westward to the Saskatchewan, while the rainbow trout is a native of the Pacific slope from Alaska to California.

On the other hand, brown trout has found its way into the waters of every state in the United States except Florida, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas. It has been reported in the waters of some of these states, but according to conservation officials, no authentic reports have been received. It is also found in many parts of Canada.

In trout fishing, there are some factors that need to be considered in order to have a successful catch.

1. For trout fishing, the leader should not be greased. It will not sink far enough to cause any difficulty when picking the line and lure from the water, but if it is allowed to float; it will cast a shadow on the bottom of the stream which may scare the trout.

2. The trout is one of the fishes that are usually secured through the use of the dry fly. For trout, the current as well as the pools should be fished. It may sometimes be a bit difficult to keep the fly from sinking or dragging because of the various conditions of the current, but this is a matter that the angler will have to figure out for himself.

3. It is not good practice when fishing for trout to fish directly upstream so the flies, line, and leader will float directly over fish. The fisherman should make the cast from one side of the stream so the fly will only float over the fish.

4. It is important to make the first cast the best. A feeding trout will usually strike the first lure presented if it is cast so that it will float over his private domain. The angler should never fail to fish the lower end of the pool first even if the trout are rising in the middle or upper end.

5. Trout are sometimes very moody or selective and will try the patience of any angler; hence, possibly a fly with less hackle will do the trick or it may be necessary to use a spent-wing fly or a fan wing.

Indeed, catching trout fishes can be lots of fun. The anglers just have to remember these tips in order to have a happy catch.

Nicky Pilkington

Fly Fishing with Egg Fishing Flies

November 10th, 2009

Egg fishing flies are highly effective bait for trout and salmon during the fall when fish are swimming upstream and spawning. In fact, during this time of year, fresh eggs of their own kind make up a large portion of trout or salmon’s diet. With so many fish swimming up stream during spawning season and so many nutritious eggs floating downstream, fly fishing with these can make for a bountiful trip.

A look under water:
While trout and salmon lay their eggs upstream in mostly-safe spawning beds, plenty of eggs are jarred loose and lost to the current. These loose eggs float downstream and into the waiting mouths of fish positioned downstream. The fish are naturally attracted to the eggs of their own species, which contain a rich variety essential nutrients and proteins.

The eggs of spawning fish, and consequently egg fishing flies, come in a variety of sizes and colors. Choose yellowish orange for Rainbow Trout, Steelhead, Coho Salmon, and Chinook. Bright orange quarter inch egg flies are better suited for Brown Trout. Be sure to also carry some white or off-white in your tackle box to mirror the color of the many unfertilized eggs that don’t take on a color.

Since eggs have no movement of their own, they must be cast for dead drifting downstream. Egg fishing flies should be cast far enough upstream from your target that the fly has time to settle on the bottom. Since these fishing flies are bottom drifters, they are prone to catching and sticking on plants and rocks on the river bottom, so be sure to pack lots of extra fishing flies.

The bright color of these fishing flies aid in the detection of a bite when the water is somewhat clear. In murky or deep waters, a strike indicator is necessary to determine a take. When using an indicator, you’ll need to watch very carefully and strike just when fish subtly suck in the egg fishing flies.

Tackle and Line:
When fishing with egg flies, just about any standard rod or reel will do. An 8.5 to 9 foot rod and floating line is ideal for most waters while heavier rods can be used when facing big, hard-fighting fish. For maximum effectiveness, it’s important for egg fishing flies to sink rapidly. In thick or fast moving waters, applying a little dish soap to the line can help the egg to slide to the bottom quickly.

The ideal time for fishing with egg fishing flies is right around the corner. The months of August through December are when salmon and trout are laying their eggs in the cool waters. So while you may employ your bug fishing fly for the majority of the year, the fall and winter months give you the opportunity to add a new weapon to your arsenal.

Christine Harrell

Fishing – Just the Basics

November 7th, 2009

I’ve been fishing for over 50 years and even more frequently in the last 10 years; during this time I have learned a lot of countless things about fishing in general. The most important is that you can never know it all. Even a novice can show an old timer a trick or two.

Over the years I’ve seen hundreds of anglers come to the areas I fish full of enthusiasm and determination and they end up leaving frustrated and confused. With just a little advice this could have made for a better experience and more than likely created another fishing addict like myself. It may take some time to turn you into that pro, but the enjoyment of the sport would be more easily realised.

When starting out the very first thing you want is just basic information on where and when to fish. Sounds easy and generally just ask other anglers, lodge owners, bait store owners, heck just ask.

Now for the fishing equipment, the rod and reel. Sounds simple enough, but maybe not. As in most other sports, cheap or poor equipment will result in poor results. As an example I met a fellow from southern Ontario (Toronto) while fishing here at home for Northern pike and asked him how the fishing was. His remark was that he was going to rent a boat and give it a try. So I asked him if he would like to go out with me that evening and he accepted. I met him at the dock and told him to load his gear in the boat and offered him a life jacket and away we went. I did not notice what he had loaded at first except he had a nice big new tackle box, as we moved away I asked where is your rod and reel. He went on to open his new tackle box and proceeded to pull out one of those pocket fisherman rigs. Of course I had a hard time from not laughing out loud, but went on to offer him one of my other rigs already in the boat.

Once we hit the area I intended to troll he went on to politely say he wanted to use his own rod but asked what one of his lures he should use for northern pike. He had one large red and white spoon and I told him to use that and made sure he let out enough line for what we were doing. I believe I was praying for him to get the first strike and sure enough he did after about 15 minutes or so and the fun began.

Now this pike he had on was I guessed about 15 pounds, not that big but the struggle with that little, short toy he had was hilarious to watch. I did not believe he would get the fish to the boat but he did although to fast, I had the net and told him to slow down, he did not hear me as I leaned over to net the fish he had it reeled up to about 2 feet from the tip of that little rod, all that pike did was lean on the line and he was gone.

I must add here that he also had no leader on that rig. After that he was so excited and of course wanted to keep fishing, but asked if he could use one of my other rods which was fine because I wanted to see him really hook and land a nice fish. To shorten this story he did land 2 more northerns and a small walleye. Oh yes I did catch a fish, one walleye and one pike, but we had a new fishing addict here. The next day he went into town to the Canadian Tire store and got properly equipped.

I imagine that young man from southern Ontario had some great tall tales to tell when he got home. I wonder how big that one that got away is Now!

A light action graphite spinning rod and reel will handle most fish you will want to catch, plus it is light enough for the beginner to feel even the light hit of those walleye.

So just get out there relax, take your time. Bring some coffee or lunch or even better catch your lunch and cook on one of the many small islands all over these northern lakes. Mostly just enjoy it all the fresh air, wildlife and scenery. Enjoy it all while your watching that loon, deer or even a moose feeding, a big walleye might just swim up and inhale your bait sending that twitch up your line through your rod to your fingers. Set the hook and there’s lunch!

Well that’s enough from me time for supper and a 5 minute stroll down to the river and make a few casts and see what happens.

Jack Phillips