Monday, January 11, 2010
I got back from Florida early Thursday morning. The continuous cold fronts had made fishing difficult for the second half of my trip. I was stoked to get back to Eugene because I knew winter steelheading had begun. Fish were moving into the systems throughout December and with the high water in early January I knew it was time to find'em. Jeff and I made a half day scouting trip to the Siuslaw where we both hooked up and landed some beauties.
I managed to fish the whole week (because my girlfriend was out of town) and did better than expected. I had hooked 27 fish and landed 15 which was enough to feed an entire frat house as well as fill my freezer with springer bait. Most fish were quite chrome and gave excellent battles. None were natives, although I did here of some caught.
Last Friday, Myself and three buddies traveled to Newport to do some night time fly fishing for the solitary and elusive Black Rock Bass. The seas were rough and the fishing was slower than anticipated, but we still managed to get 8 nice fish on ice. After eating too many hatchery steelhead, rock bass are a much needed improvement. There meat is white and is perfect for fish tacos or whatever else you can dream up. This is also a nice species to fish for in the depths of winter because it allows you to strip flies and make long casts which reminds me of striper fishing back in New England.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Florida was plagued with colder than normal temperatures this January and it limited the number of days you could get out. Russel and I made it to the "no-motor zone" where we had hooked tarpon, snook, and reds back in October.
This is his favorite time of the year to fish because of the variety of species up and feeding on the flats. His favorite quarry is the Speckled Sea Trout (shown above) which is abundant on Florida's flats during the winter months.
I had always wanted to catch a big Redfish and this was it! I battled some sweet reds, trout, and a huge Black Drum which made my 6wt beg for mercy. I ended up losing the Black Drum after a 10+ min. battle and most of my backing depleted.
We would take Kayaks into the Banana River and paddle over 5 miles getting there in order to get to fish that were "happy" and unpressured. When the mid morning winds would pick up we would start working our way back eliminating the need to go to the gym and work out on those days. When I was down in October (without a Kayak) I actually walked the 5 miles on foot just to get a shot at surfacing Tarpon. I would walk in through highly patrolled and secured NASA property in the dark only to be greeted by Florida's copious stocks of wild boars, bobcats, gators, and in one instance a black panther.