Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Greetings

I just wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

This past fall has had its challenges for sure. The wet weather and rain seemed to never stop. High water has been, and in some rivers still is, a constant concern. We still have not been able to fish the Genesee River yet. With many rivers unfishable this fall, we have had to deal with more fishing pressure than we are used to on our beloved Sandy Creek.

Then again, these conditions have brought us many opportunities with it. The salmon this fall were very big. The average salmon ran about five to 7 pounds larger than normal. True to form for this fall, heavy rains came just as the peak of the salmon run started. The Salmon River was running about a thousand units when most of the salmon made their run. When we got hooked up with a salmon, it was a blast for as long as we could hold on. So what if a fish won once in awhile!

The steelhead fishing this fall was outstanding. The best I have seen in many years and the steelhead fishing is still holding up.

The Brown Trout fishing.....what can I say? But outstanding! Big Brown Trout and more big Browns. The high water got the Brown trout run started early and strong and kept the run going all fall. Plus, all that high water that made the fishing a bit of a challenge for us has left us a great Christmas gift which is potentially very good winter fishing. The high water flows made it possible for a lot of Brown trout to work their way several more miles up river than normal. These Browns will spend the winter in the river feeding. Conditions look great for a good winter of fishing. -- Jay

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fishing On Borrowed Time

12/20/06 -- On Sandy Creek, what can I say about this weather? It's like we're fishing on borrowed time. You wonder when the weather is going to change and the creek will ice up. Until then, we will certainly try to get our licks in. The water flow is now becoming what I would call low and very clear. Believe it or not, Sandy could actually use a little rain. Today the water temperature was very cold. The morning temperature was 34° and at the end of the day, 38°. Cold water temperatures like this make the fish very lethargic. You can easily mistake a bite for your fly hanging on a rock.

The flies that worked today were the boss egg, in the color yellow in size 10. One rainbow was caught with a white woolly bugger size 6. With the low water conditions Sandy Creek is now experiencing, you will want concentrate you’re fishing efforts in the deepest cuts and pools you can find. Also, you will need to cover a lot of the creek. Fish a spot quickly and then move on.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Big December Trout

12/15/06 -- The water conditions for Sandy Creek have not changed in the past few days. Sandy still is in the best shape it has been all fall. Looking at Sandy Creek you may think the water conditions are low clear. However we have spent all fall fishing in water conditions that we would normally be considered unfishable for Sandy Creek. With the unusual warm December weather, the water temperature has been hanging in the low to mid 40s. The big surprise for today is the unusually large male Brown Trout that weighed in at 15 1/2 pounds and a spawned out female weighing in at 12 pounds. We just do not find Brown Trout this big in the creek this time of year.

Today both the Brown Trout and Steelhead had a preference for egg flies. The egg flies were dead drifted under a strike indicator. To get a bite today the presentation had to be perfect. Only one small Brown was caught swinging a white woolly bugger. All the rest of the fish were caught with size 8 Oregon cheese nuclear roe bugs.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Warm December Day

Warm days like what we have had the past few days are rare indeed. How often can you fish in December when it is 50 degrees? The water conditions for Sandy Creek are as good as I have seen all fall. The water levels are finally where I would consider it a normal flow and the clarity is excellent. Both Brown trout and Steelhead are spread out through Sandy Creek. Just about any pool or pocket can be holding a fish right now. To day we caught fish with both egg flies and streamers, such as, the nuclear roe bug and white woolly buggers. The egg flies are most productive when fished in the pocket water or the heads of the pools and the streamers are most fished effectively in the tails of the pools. Remember, the Browns are feeding on minnows such as Creek chubs right now. These minnows are now gathering in the slower protected water of the pools for the winter. A slow swing, with an occasional twitch, is the most effective way to imitate these minnows.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Fishing Around A Little Ice

White Zonker
Hook: Daiichi 2220
Size: 6 – 2
Thread: UNI 6/0 Orange
Body: Silver mylar piping
Wing: Zonker strips white

White Zonker is one of the flies that I have mentioned many times in my updates. The white Zonker is an excellent winter streamer, for both steelhead and Brown trout. I like to fish the fly on a slow swing in the tails of the pools for Brown trout. When I'm looking for steelhead I will fished this fly in the head of the pool on more of a dead drift.

The cold water and the lake effect snow fall that we have experienced last few days, has put a lout of slush ice down Sandy Creek. This slush ice will ice up the lower portions of the creek. The Upper part of the creek will still stay open through this cold snap. The way the weather forecast is looking for next week, the ice that did form in Sandy will be gone early next week. The Oak Orchard is continuing to clear up and should be clear enough to fish in a few more days. With a cold winter water temperatures we are now dealing with, we now need to have a little more clarity to the water to effectively fish. The general rule of thumb, or in this case foot, that I use is that if I can just barely see my foot in knee-deep water, the clarity is good enough to fish. It seems that with the super cold water temperatures the fish need a little bit more time to look at the fly before taking it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Getting Some Fly Tying Done

The rain that fall last weekend did a good job blowing out the Oak Orchard River and Sandy Creek. We may not be able to fish the Genesee River until next year the way the rain keeps coming. The Salmon River is the one river that is in good fishing shape right now. The way the weather looks, Sandy should be at fishing levels by the end of the week. The oak orchard will settle down soon. As for the cold temperatures, by the time the water settles downs the fish will have time to adjust to the colder water temperatures. Until the local river settles down, this is a good time to get some fly tying done. I don't know about you, but my boxes are looking a little empty.

If fly tying is not for you, and you want to fish, try fishing the Salmon River. With all of the high water the Salmon River has had this fall, fish the lower fly fishing zone. Remember the upper zone is closed until 4/1/07 and the lower zone is open all winter. Fish the pools and deep runs with black stone flies and large nymphs in sizes 12 to 8 and egg flies size 10 and 8. This time of the year I like to use a strike indicator to help control the drift.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Slow With The Update

A few of you have wondered why my updates have been coming a little slow lately. Maybe this photograph can help explain everything. I call it, buck tail streamers in the raw.

Friday, December 1, 2006

I Get To Go Fishing

11/30/06 - Both the water level and clarity was still holding up. The water temperature today was at 50 degrees and I found all my Brown trout and Rainbow trout located in the pools. The Brown trout finally seem to be slowly moving into the pools now. The flies that work for me were a chartreuse Estaz egg in size 8 and a white zonker in size 6. Both of these flies seem to be equally productive.

With all of this said, fishing conditions are now changing. Fishing conditions can change drastically from one day to the next this time of the year. The rain that has and is falling, [Thursday night and into Friday] will raise the water level and muddy the water at Sandy. The air temperature will cause to water temperature to drop in the next 48 hours. This recent change in weather will, basically, blow out Sandy Creek and throw the fish into a temperature shock. Fishing this weekend will best be done at the Oak Orchard River. The reservoir will help to lessen the weather's effect on the fishing conditions. The Oak has been fishing slowly for Brown trout, but decent for Steelhead. Concentrate your fishing efforts in the pools. This is where all of the Steelhead will be holding and you'll find your best fishing for the Brown trout here to. One final note on the Oak Orchard River: the crowded conditions have lightened up.