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March 25, 2011 / flogginwater

Finally went fishing again!

I got out to Hagg Lake for a few hours today. First fishing trip in weeks. Kay told me the other day we should go out – she would go with and just sit in the car and read, or get out and stretch her legs maybe. It was a gift to me – she knew I’ve been wanting to go fishing, but haven’t wanted to get very far away, especially out of cell range, in case she went in to labor (she’s passed one due date, and the doc recalculated and now says she’s due on Sunday the 27th – when lil James T. shows up is anyone’s guess at this point.)

We got a late start to the day – which is not really bad, considering we’re still in the first week of “spring” – the weather sucked. Overcast, drizzly, and cold air, plus cold water made for tough going.

I took two rods with me today, as usual, but this time they were both brand new, virgin rods – my 8’6″ Okuma, and my 10′ Diawa. I really hoped I would pop both of their cherries today and get some fish – even if they were hotdog trout or maybe some cold water panfish.

I started off with Trout Magnets on both rods to see how they would cast. The Okuma didn’t surprise me – it cast them about as well as I could expect with just a tandem rig of the 1/64th oz lures. The Diawa though – didn’t quite cast the light lures as well. I guess that’s partly due to the softer action of that rod – even though it’s an ultra light, it really does need a bit more weight to cast at distance, since it’s so noodly. I think it’ll make a fine float rod for stream fishing, and it cast very well with slightly heavier lures – tandem rigged 1/32nd oz jigs, and small jointed shad raps cast just fine.

I lost a few of my fly tied jigs (woolly buggers) to rocky snags. Really was surprised at how much effort it took to snap 2lb leader with the diawa rod – it has so much flex and cushion to it, that I really had to yank a few times to snap off stuck jigs. Landing big fish with this rod should be fun!

I had a number of follows and short-strikes with both fly tied jigs (woolly buggers) and the shad raps, and once with a small brass bodied & bladed blue fox spinner. Most were trout – but I had one smallmouth bass, that was about 10″ or so charge my shad rap and follow it clear to the bank, turning away at the last second (I think it saw me and got spooked). I had a trout do something similar working a bank with some over-hanging brush, fishing the jig near shore along a slight drop off. I could see the jig, and I saw a fish strike short at it no less than four times in about 3 feet of distance. It was getting frustrating! He would attack the jig pretty violently, but he was biting the tail, not the head – and he was missing the hook point each time. It really was quite exhilarating to watch though, almost as much fun as hooking the fish – almost.

My sis caught a single little 12″ trout that she took home for the smoker. She was fishing bait (green power bait) and said they were biting lightly – not really hammering the bait. I guess they were more violent toward things that really looked like food – or maybe I was getting wild fish striking at my lures, whereas her fish was a stocker trout – and presumably the fish that were biting at her bait were also stockers?

Either way, it was a fun afternoon. Next fishing trip will be after the baby is born.

I’m pleased with both of my new rods, even if they’re still both virgins. I guess sometimes you just gotta start out with a little caressing, a little petting, and whispering sweet nothings to them before you can just jump right into the hot and heavy stuff.

I do think that this is going to be the Year of the Jig for me – I’m going to focus more of my gear-fishing efforts on jig fishing this year – I started getting into it a lot last year – but I was still fishing a lot of other lures just as much.

I like to do that now and then – spend the bulk of a season working on one aspect of fishing, or one type of lure or technique. Last year it was spinner fishing on streams, along with getting in to fishing small jigs for panfish.

This year I’m going to try fishing with jigs for most everything – trout, panfish, salmon, steelhead… anything that will bite it. Doesn’t mean I’m going to leave my other tackle behind – I won’t – but this will be my specialty this year.

The highlight of the trip wasn’t fish, or the lake – but seeing the giant herd of elk near the Stimson Lumber plant. There had to have been 50 or 60 animals – including a good number of bucks – lazily grazing in a big grassy meadow. We stopped and got some pictures, I’ll have to post those up later. It really was worth the trip.

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2 Comments

  1. Mel / Mar 25 2011 21:08

    Thanks for taking me along virtually. I will have to give some attention to those Okuma rods you have been touting. At least you had some fish interest and that is better than not. Let us know how the baby and wife are doing once little James comes to be.

  2. nimrod243 / Mar 28 2011 20:25

    All in all it sounds like you had a great day! Thanks for sharing.

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