Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fly Fishing in Colorado

Colorado has amazing fly fishing. There are so many places west of I-25 to wet a fly that you could go fishing for years and not touch all the water. But one area is especially great for fly fishing, which is the Poudre Canyon outside of Fort Collins.

The Poudre canyon starts at a spot called Ted’s place and goes west to the top which is Cameron pass. The Cache La Poudre River flows all through the canyon. At the mouth of the canyon the water is deeper and slower. It is full of rainbow trout and a few browns. The wet fly fishing is wonderful year around.

As you move up the canyon fishing on the lower half is great the scenery is beautiful. Most of the year the river is gentle and wade able. Most of the shoreline is open enough that you don’t have to worryabout snags.

From the town of rustic to the top is the best fishing. Most of the fly fishing is done with barbless fish hooks. Small nymphs will catch huge rainbows, but be sure to check the fishing regulations for size limits. Above the fish hatchery a few miles is Joe Wright reservoir. This fairly large body of water is great to belly boat in and fish for trout as well as the few remaining graylings.

A good steep hike above Joe Wright is Zimmerman Lake. This great little lake used to be stocked with graylings but is now stocked with a cutthroat subspecies called a greenback. These are great to fish for and at sundown will go crazy for dries.

At the top of the pass is CameronLake. Thislake was drained a few years ago and has been repaired and re-stocked. It has great fly fishing along the shore, but is even better in a belly boat.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Five Best fishing Products of 2011

Last year there were many new fishing products introduced. Some of the products sound like good ideas, but don’t really work out well. But, there were several that do work out and some really well. Here are the top five best fishing products of 2011.

Hummingbird released its new 1158c BI-color sonar GPS and it was voted in best in show at Icast 2011. This sonar is extremely powerful with 4000wts peak to peak power. It has crystal clear imaging that showsyou everything that is directly beneath you and has a 10.4 inch LED color screen with 600x800 pixel clarity so you can see everything the equipment picks up.

Paco Sport fishing came out with their new Grand Slam 170 out rigging kit and Grand Slam out rigging top mounts. It has twist and lock collars that provide 12 different lock in posti9ons. The 15 foot telescoping outriggers have an easy ¼ turn for convenience.

Last year Plano came out with a new hydro-Flo tackle bag that has a high impact, flow through base that keeps tackle dry while your bass fishing from a boat or crappie fishing from a wet dock. It comes with seven stowaway tackle boxes to keep everything organized.

A new fishing multi-tool was brought out by Berkley. This handle tool has a hook sharpener with a V-groove jig-eye plainer, and crankbait tuner among many other tools. The needle-nose pliers are spring loaded so if you’re trout fishing you can remove a hook without missing a beat.

Minn Kota upgraded its I-Pilot with a new look and new features. The remotes LED screen is 20% larger than the previous models. It has laser etched buttons that are easier to see. The remote allows you to control your trolling motors steering, power, and speed from anywhere in the boat.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Five Best Halibut Lures

During the cold winter months in the Atlantic and the pacific halibut stay in extremely deep water. The deep water in these frigid regions is about the warmest place for the fish to live. The shallow water is very cold, in the mid to low 30's but the deep water stays in the 40’s. For the enthusiastic angler, this means fishing out in the deep cold rough seas found in the Gulf of Alaska or off of the coast of New Finland.

Down in these deep waters there are lots of shellfish for the halibut to eat. There are clams and crab to provide the majority of their diet. For the robust fishing enthusiast, this means using live bait on sharp fish hooks. In the deep dark water halibut hunt by smell and sound. Some artificial lures work, but in these deep waters, live bait works best.

The best bait is fresh herring, salmon bellies, or geocuck clams. It's best to use fresh herring as it is tougher which will stay on the hook better & longer. Another halibut fishing tip is that if you must use frozen herring, soak it in salt-water brine overnight to help stiffen it up. Halibut smell their food so use fresh or freshly frozen over freezer burnt, brown bait - give 'em the fresh good stuff!

If you must use artificial lures when you’re deep-sea fishing<, there are literally thousand options to choose from. Octopus-resembling rubber lures seem to dominate the market, as do the Dart, Zzinger and Stinger and hoochie skirts. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to what will work so change it up and if something is working, stick with it! Always attach some sort of bait or use a liquid bait scent to smear over the lures - remember, halibut smell their food!

And if none of this works, you can always stay in the cabin and play online fishing games.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Salmon Recipe

Fishing for salmon, no matter if you're fishing in salt water, or an estuary, or a fresh water river, is exciting. Salmon are big and fight hard, but the greatest part of salmon fishing is eating them. The sweet pink salmon meat is high in protein and has lots of good fish oils. Here is a recipe that will make a wonderful supper.

Salmon tart is an easy juicy meal. Begin with a package of frozen Phyllo dough from the freezer section of your local grocery store. Thaw out a sheet of Phyllo dough, unroll it and place it to the side. Take three four oz. salmon steaks and rub them well with olive oil. In a saucepan mix one cup of whipping cream, 1 potato cut into julienne strips, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. garlic powder and 1 tsp. onion powder and ½ frozen peas. Cook over medium heat, stirring often till boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cut Phyllo dough into strips 6 inches wide and 12 inches long. In the middle of ½ of the dough place the filet and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Cover a filet with cream sauce and fold over the dough into a pocket. Seal the edges of the dough by moistening the edges with lemon juice and press them together. Using a pastry brush coat the outside of the tart with olive oil and place it on a baking sheet. Do this with the remaining filets. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 8 minutes, plate and serve. These are great to eat while watching the 2012 Bassmasters classic.

They can be made ahead of time and make a great cold lunch while trout fishing or bass fishing. An option to the cream sauce recipe is to add ½ frozen green beans cut into ½ inch pieces, 2 Tbsp. dried basil, 2 Tbsp. dried oregano, and 2 Tbsp. of dried coriander to give it a creamy Italian flavor.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ice Fishing: Best Rigs for Walleye

In most parts of the US and Canada there are plenty of walleye. When the lakes freeze over in winter the walleye fishing doesn’t stop, it just changes. Ice fishing for walleye is great fun and usually simple. Here are a few of the best rigs to use.

In parts of the country where the fishing regulations allow you to use two or more fishing rods there are many options and combinations that can be used. One of the best techniques is to drill two holes in the ice about 15 feet apart. In one hole use a Dead Stick to fish a live minnow or shad. If it’s permitted use two fish hooks about six inches apart and put one two bait fish. In the other hole use Walleye Smacker by Blakemore. This rig has a Road Runner Blow Head jig on the bottom and a #2 stand out hook about 6 inches above it. On the stand out hook attach a live bait fish. Then drop this into the hole and slowly jig it at different depths. Start at the bottom and jig for three or four minutes, then move up about two feet and jig for another three or four minutes. Keep working your way up until you’re just below the surface. Using this combination gives you the best of all fishing techniques.

Another good rig to use is Patterson’s Red Tail Walleye Flasher jig. This rig has a bright color with a big eye and a bright red blade that hangs below. Jigging with this lure will attract attention in the cold water.

Rapala makes many walleye jigs that are all designed to attract walleye. If you use one of these along with live bait on a dead stick rod you have a combination that fish can’t pass up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to Set the Hook

When you’re out fishing and you finally get a strike, one of the most important things to do is set the hook. However, depending on what species you’re catching depends upon how you set the hook.

We have all watched the Bassmasters classic with the angler gets a strike and quickly pulls back extremely hard and the rod and line set the hook. This works great when bass fishing because they are predators; they strike hard, so you must set the hook quickly and with great power. The reason we use great force to set the hook is that bass have very hard mouths. Walleye, musky, pike, and pickerel are some of the more popular predators that require a hard fast setting of the hook.

If you’re trout fishing and you get a bite, you must be careful when you set the hook. If you’re fishing with salmon eggs on a #12 hook, the fish will come up to the egg and try to suck out the inside and leave the shell on the hook. If you pull hard and fast when you feel a strike you’ll pull the egg away so far the fish won’t go after it.

When you feel a trout bite the egg you should move the egg about an inch. The fish will hit it again. Move the egg another inch or two and then wait. Generally on the third strike they will hit it hard enough you can pull back in a slow, smooth steady motion to set the hook. Even on the third strike if you set the hook like you would for a bass you’ll rip off his lips.

This same technique works well for setting the hook on salmon, bluegill, and crappie. They all bite fairly gently and need to have the hook set in a softer manner.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fly Fishing in Montana

The western mountains of Montana offer some remarkable fly fishing. In these lakes and streams trout fishing is more of a religion than a sport. Montana is known for the best kind of fly fishing there is, fishing with dry flies.

The head waters of the Missouri river, near three forks, are an example of some astonishing fly fishing waters. Here the Gallatin River and Madison River and the Jefferson River all merge together to form the Missouri river. All four of these separate rivers are incredible fly fishing rivers, but the area where they all merge is just mind blowing. There are small islands and sand bars. There is a bridge that goes across the area that offers protection and shade for fish to bide their time. These rivers offer wonderful trout fishing for browns, rainbows, and cutthroats. There it is possible to catch a 20 inch fish on #20 fish hooks.

The Yellowstone River, coming out of Yellowstone National Park, all the way up to Livingstone, has some marvelous fly fishing. This piece of water fishes well with dry flies in the summer right before sunset. Streamers work well on the hot summer days. There are many hatches that come off of this water during this time of year. It is also pretty along the river.

In the northwest corner of the state the Kootenay River dips down from Canada and brings some remarkable fly fishing. The tail waters below the Libby dam and downstream from Jennings has great nymphing. Using a drift boat or just wading through this water is pretty and the fishing so great that you’ll never want to leave. On down the river below Kooteenai Falls the river calms down and becomes a great fly fishing destination.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pre-Spawn Trout Fishing

When late winter rolls around trout begin to think about spawning. In these pre-spawn conditions trout fishing changes up a little. In order to have good productive fishing days and angler must adjust their strategy. Here are some helpful hints for this time of year.

The female trout is the one who builds the nest. They like to find shallow gravel riffles in the stream where they live. If the fish live in a lake they will be looking to leave the lake and go up a single clear water stream that enters into their lake. They begin to make this move as the water gets warmer.

This is time of year where lake fishing is most productive around the inlets. In pre-spawn conditions moving around the inlet which is where the warmer water occurs, eating food that has floated into the lake. A great way to catch the fish is to cast into the stream and allow the bait or fly to drift along the natural flow. The fish generally can’t resist and will bite quick and hard. Fly fishing in these areas can be very productive this time of year.

The trout will build her nest using her tail to move the gravel around. The nest, called a redd, will be 4-12 inches deep and 10-15 inches in diameter. They will start looking around for the right kind of loose gravel in the pre-spawn season.

The trout that live in streams, the pre-spawn season is when they move from the areas where they normally live into the shallow areas of the stream where they will build their nest. Using light weight fishing rods and salmon eggs can prove to be very productive in these shallow areas.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ice Fishing: How to Know When It’s Safe

Ice fishing can be one of the more dangerous types of fishing, simply because it takes place on the frozen surfaces of a body of water. Many discussion of where ice fishing safety occurs each year among those who venture out on the ice. Here are a few suggestions to make sure your fishing on safe ice.

Most experienced angers agree that you need at least 6 inches of ice covering the water before you go out on it. If you live in the northern latitudes this may occur in October and stay until March. However, even in the northern latitudes there can be dangerous ice in early winter as well as early spring.

One of the ways to tell if the ice is thick enough is to look at the color. Good thick ice has a light color and thin ice has a dark color. If the ice is colored evenly and is lightly colored, white or clear, then it should be safe. If you look out on the ice and its dark or has light and dark areas, it may not be safe. This is when it is best to watch bass fishing on TV at the Bassmasters classic.

If there is moving water on top of the ice that is a sign it maybe to thin. Also if the ice is rough and full of ridges it may be too thin. You can also use binoculars to see if there are holes where other ice anglers have drilled.

Other areas you should try to stay away from are inlets and outlets. Moving water under the ice may keep the ice from getting thick. A good set of fishing maps will show you were the rivers flow through the lakes. You should also avoid dams, docks, and rocks that rise above the surface of the water. All of these items can change the temperature of the ice and heat it up on a sunny day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Smelt Fishing Tips

Smelt are great tasting little fish enjoyed by game fish as well as humans. There are many species of smelt found both in the Atlantic and the Pacific. They like the cooler waters of the north.

The Atlantic smelt are the biggest of the smelt species growing to 18 inches and about 1.5 lbs. They taste good pickled, smoked, cured, or fried and even raw. Fishing for smelt can be a challenge because they eat small organisms like plankton, small crustaceans, and fish larva.

If you want to catch smelt and use them as bait for bass fishing the best method is using a net. Because smelt travel in schools they are easy to just scoop up with a long handle net. But if you aren’t lucky enough to find a school close to the top of the water, here is another way. On a fishing line, tie three or four large swim baits about four inches apart. Go out a couple hundred yards from the shore and then with your back to the shore cast out the swim bait out over a large net. Then reel in the swim baits several times. The smelt will think that fish are going into shore to spawn and will follow the swim baits. When they get over the net, lift it up and you’ll have your smelt.

If you are trying to catch bigger smelt to eat use smaller smelt swim baits and fish eggs. This bait will draw them to either be caught on a hook or on a net. It is best to check local fishing regulations to see what the requirements are for using nets.

If you find yourself doing more boating than fishing remember you can always play fishing games. If the fishing is really slow there is nothing like playing free fishing games to liven things up while watching the Bassmaster classic.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fly Fishing: How to Tie a Fly

In the sport of fly fishing there are many levels of participation. The entry level of fishing is using fly fishing rods and reels. The next level is having a box of flies and knowing how to decide which one to use. The top level involves learning how to tie your own flies. Here are helpful hints on how to tie flies.

Tying flies, like everything else requires the right equipment. The basic fly tying equipment includes a vice, a thread feeder and scissors. The vice should have a full rotating arm so you can work at the fly from every angle.

The thread feeder is very simple. It holds a spool of thread and feeds it out though a tube so you can control exactly where the thread is laid out. This sounds simple and it is, but it’s extremely important. Most people begin with the thread feeder and then change the spool every time you change color. After you’ve tied flies for a while you’ll learn there are about 4 or 5 primary colors that you will use constantly. It is much easier to buy the extra thread feeders so you have one for each color.

There are hundreds of different materials that may be used to tie a fly. These many be natural or synthetic materials but what ever material you use, you should just buy the material necessary for the specific fly you're going to tie.

The easiest way to begin is to buy a pattern for directions. These flies are tried and true, and a good pattern has easy to follow directions. After your proficient at tying these flies you can move into the next level. The next level involves taking a fly you bought and take it apart to see the colors. After dissecting the fly, retie it using your own materials. After some practice you’ll be able to tie a fly and watch the Bassmasters classic at the same time.