Fishing With Face

April 13th, 2013 at 2:28:10 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
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Quote: Face
Ash’s appointment went about as well as we could hope. Her hearing is permanently damaged and there’s a good chance the procedure to remove the tumor will completely destroy the rest, but that appears to be the worst of it and for that, we are thankful. I’m both happy and relieved to announce that she’ll be pushing me to hike further than I can handle for many years to come =D
I'm so glad.
April 13th, 2013 at 2:29:59 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
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Quote: Face
Pics are in =)
So who wants to see pictures of fish or Face, ... just give us pictures of Ashley.
April 13th, 2013 at 12:25:27 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1410
Thanks for the update Face! I'm glad to hear that the doctors are confident they can get it all.

Great pictures. It looks so empty considering the good weather. Perhaps things would be different if you got started out at dawn?
April 13th, 2013 at 4:04:44 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: Fleastiff
I'm so glad.


Thanks, Flea =)

Quote: Fleastiff
So who wants to see pictures of fish or Face, ... just give us pictures of Ashley.


I’m workin’ on it! The fishing’s not cooperating yet, unless you just want random pics of her (don’t answer that, I already know ;)) Worst case, the bass run will be starting within a month and the ponds will be blooming soon. This thread will be chock full of her and her catches soon enough.

Quote: Ayecarumba
Thanks for the update Face! I'm glad to hear that the doctors are confident they can get it all.

Great pictures. It looks so empty considering the good weather. Perhaps things would be different if you got started out at dawn?


You’re welcome Aye, and thanks for your concern and support.

I’m unsure of exactly what you’re asking, but despite the different ways it could be taken, I think time would have made very little difference.

While trout are similar to nearly every other fish in that they avoid direct sunlight, the cricks are a very restricted environment. In lakes fish can go anywhere, in ponds they can go deep or in the weeds, but in cricks, they can just go in the holes. The most extreme distance I can think of between a bedding spot and a hole in any of the many cricks I hit is ~50’ max, in other words, just a cast away. It’s not like they can completely leave the crick and come back when it’s dark, so at the very most, a cloudy, rainy day might have made the one’s hiding a bit more exposed. But the clarity this day was such that I could see into most of the holes anyway; they’re simply not in very thick yet.

Getting out early might have allowed me to beat the other fisherman, but in the case of the father/son convergence area, I doubt I would have gone that far on my own. With passing so many empty holes, I probably would’ve stopped at the rez and never made it to the convergence, so whether it was jam packed or everyone fished it out would’ve been inconsequential.

And while it was warm outside, the water was still biting cold. Many of the deep gorges where the sun never reaches still have snow and ice on them, and the water isn’t much over freezing. Luckily, suckers are a hardy fish and you can just throw them back without recuperation, but just washing my hands after release was very unpleasant. Many of the places, as I’m sure you can tell by my pics, don’t get much sun, so it was almost completely a non-issue as to why we got blanked.

I think it’s simply what I posted way back at the start of this thread – Spring trout fishing is a bastard lol. I’m not even entirely sure what I’m doing. Although I’ve been fishing for nearly 30 years off and on, cold water is very foreign to me. I’ve only got 4 years hard research in, which equals 8 “seasons” that last only 6-8 weeks, of which I can only get out 8-10 times. As I stand right now, I know just enough to know that I don’t know jack. I think an apt comparison would be human’s understanding of the universe. We know there is one, but our depth of knowledge is still bobbing on the surface. That’s me and trout fishing in a nut shell =)

The weather is the biggest nut to crack. If my hunch is correct, I think this season is going to be iffy at best. See, that miracle season of ’09 I talked about was bitchin’ cold. I started fishing the hot water outlet at the local power plant in mid Feb because all the tribs and even the Catt itself were frozen. When the cricks finally thawed, the fishing was insane; you couldn’t not catch 2-3 fish an hour. Since then, winters have been mild and not even the tribs have frozen over. It’s my thinking that the freeze dammed all the cricks that magical year and when they thawed the whole year’s spawn ran at once, just from March to May. Since then, the years have been mild and the waters remained open all winter long, allowing the spawn to go on from Dec to May and severely spread out the density. It almost makes sense, until I think about the fall which obviously has no damming and the cricks can still be found overflowing with giant fish.

Lol, this is one of the big draws for me, the “figuring it out”. The “weather” and “trend” I start these posts with are small part of it, hopefully revealing a pattern of sorts that I can use in the future. That’s how I did it back when I was “figuring out” pond fishing and pond fishing worked; I can now just sense when it’s time to go, what to use, and how the day’s going to be. Of course, I started my pond research at the age of 12, so combined with my late start and limited season, I suspect I’ll have this cold water game cracked just in time for the arrival of my grandson =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
April 15th, 2013 at 7:09:09 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: Face
After whacking every single hole I’ve ever known and seeing so little, I told her no more fishing until we had a good rain. And of course, she’s been beaming all week as we’ve been getting pounded with rain. All the cricks and tribs are in flood stage, and with any luck, once they recede we’ll find the holes jam packed.


Ash went for a 26 mile run yesterday and took it upon herself to stop and scout all the cricks in the area (love it!) And, just as I said, the receding waters revealed to her that all the holes have fish in them. Hopefully I'll be able to get out with Captain Jax in a few days.

(I really need to marry this chick or something =D)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
April 20th, 2013 at 6:50:22 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
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Quote: Face
I really need to marry this chick or something =D
Dibbs.
Now you gotta actually make the move!!
April 26th, 2013 at 7:21:39 PM permalink
Face
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Life put a halt to the outdoors last week, but I do have something for JB, and that’s crayfish update.

I ran into a pretty big speed bump in my little experiment. After running out of the algae wafers that I had I obviously bought more, but these ones had a terrible habit of floating after a day or two of soaking (the other ones sort of just disintegrated on the bottom). As a result, my pumps got gunked up, the water turned green, and some began dying.

I can’t say for sure if it was starvation that took them out. Ever since the water has begun to warm and their activity perked up, there has been a marked increase in aggression. I obviously don’t just stare at them 24/7, but in the last week I’ve seen probably 3-4 battles for reasons I couldn’t explain. The two that died initially had no signs of battle or infection, so I’m kind of stumped.

I got the pumps cleaned up and the water cleared in a day or so. Since it’s been somewhat warm and wet, my driveway has been perpetually covered in worms. I began using them as food and they were a hit. Whether fresh and lively, squashed and drowned, or dried to a crisp, they all sink and are immediately pounced on upon detection. There’s no clarity downside whatsoever and they really go to town on these things. I’ve officially switched to a 100% earthwork diet, and have since only suffered one other loss, this definitely due to combat.

I’ve also noticed several begin to turn sort of a cloudy blue. I think they’re about to molt! Molting is when the reproduction phase kicks in. Males are actually non-sexual the majority of the year. When they molt in Spring, they molt into their reproductive form, then molt again to return to their non-sexual phase in summer. With about 5 or 6 of these buggers left, I should know soon whether I can continue my experiment to see if I can breed these things.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
May 2nd, 2013 at 6:42:36 PM permalink
Face
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DATE: 5/02/13
WEATHER: Sunny and warm. Temps in the low 80s. No wind, no clouds.
TREND: A solid week of sun and mid 70s.

Although we have a fishing date planned for Ash's birthday on the 5th, today was one of those days we just had to get out. Day after day after never ending day of nonsense and stress just built up too far. After spending the entire day today driving 5hrs for doctors appointments, we got back with just enough time to hit the crick for an hour or so.

We of course hit the rock island under the railroad bridge. I've managed to track down some pics and vids just to show the awesome transformation I talk so much about. Here's the bridge as we saw it today. Dead in the middle of the pilons where the crick is at its deepest, it's about 2' deep. The guardrail on the bridge is chest high on me, so using it as a scale, the bridge is, what? 20' tall from crick surface to bottom of bridge? Also, take note of the rip rap bank and wall from the old mill in the background.



Here's a pic and video comparison from the flood of '09. The pic was today, the vid from the flood. This happens about every 5 to 7 years around here, and, well... I don't think I even need to type any more words.





It boggles the mind.

But today wasn't apocalyptic, today was gorgeous. And even though the sun was beginning to set, it was just too nice not to finish the day on the rock.



I don't have much to say as we weren't there long. We set up relatively close to each other; Ash set about trying to remember how to spin cast running water, I mostly just kept pulling Jax out of the water as he fell over and over again. What can I say? It's better than endless court and doctors appointments =p

OK, I lied. I have a little to say, but, to be honest, I've been pouting most of this night. See, I hadn't even made 10 casts when I saw a random branch come floating past me. I thought to yell to Ash to mind it, but between the din of the rapids and her hearing issue, I figured to leave it to luck. No sooner did I forget about it, I heard her give out a yell and saw her with pole bent. I kind of chuckled inside and stopped to watch to see how she handled it. Pole bent in an arc, line drawing a tense line into the water... and then I noticed the branch, still a few feet from reaching her. "What the...?" I thought, then I noticed the splash. Fish on!



I stashed my rig and began to walk toward her, and she kept walking away, chasing the fish downstream. I wondered to myself how she knew to chase it, as I can't even remember if we covered that part. In any case, I'd have to remember to correct her as juvenile smallmouth can just be horsed in easy. I could see she was sort of suffering a brain fart, seeming to be unaware of not only what she should be doing, but also unaware of what she was actually doing lol. I managed to finally catch her and get her to stop, and reminded her to slow down and think. Gently pull back, then reel to the fish. Pull back, reel. It took a run and I hear drag buzz of the reel. What the...? I could've swore I set it right, but gonna have to tighten it up after this. Baby smallies shouldn't be pulling jack. Back to her and making sure she kept her head, tried to track the line to the fish, and it splashed again right at my feet. O.M.G.



I don't even know what to say except =D! She was (and still is) about to come out of her skin with excitement.

But the fight went on far too long and it was much too hot for this guy. We didn't even have time to rinse it for the pic, I just snapped it and headed right back to the water. I showed her again how to resuscitate, moving out into the faster water and weaving my fingers around its tail and pectoral fins for control. After 5 minutes, it still had moved nothing but its gill plates. 10 minutes, and my hamstrings were on fire. I switched off with her, showing her how to hold it so she could control it in the current and keep the water flowing through it. After 15 minutes, I switched back off with her and told her to go fish. This thing was probably toast, but I was going to stay with it as long as the gills kept moving. 20 minutes and I was trembling like a scared dog, back and hams completely blown out. But it had started to twitch, so I could go a little bit longer. After almost 25 minutes, it was able to keep itself upright and stationary, enough so that I could let go, stand straight again, and watch. After almost a half an hour, it had showed enough ability that I finally let it go completely and it glided back into the run under its own power.

So there you have it. Ash caught her first wild steelie in the fast water, and did it all by herself. I've never been so proud and so put out all at the same time lol. I just knew she was going to show me up! It didn't help that no sooner did the excitement die down, her very next comment was "I'm up by two points!"

Next time, I'm just taking Jax =)

2013 Leaderboard
Ash = 1
Me = -1
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
May 3rd, 2013 at 1:38:10 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1410
Awesome story and pictures, Face! I enjoyed it very much. The fish's tail seems quite torn up. Is it from navigating the shallow water?
May 3rd, 2013 at 3:32:52 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: Ayecarumba
Awesome story and pictures, Face! I enjoyed it very much. The fish's tail seems quite torn up. Is it from navigating the shallow water?


Thanks, Aye! Hopefully I’ll have a longer (maybe even better!) story after the weekend. Fingers crossed =)

As far as the tail damage, I highly doubt it. Other than being slightly overheated and nearly exhausted, this fish was in remarkable condition. Since I had to revive it for so long (and I hurt like hell today because of it) I got a good solid look at it.

The most common spawn damage is the “chin” (the underside of the lower jaw) and the “throat” (the underside just passed the gills). This one only had a fingertip sized scar on its “throat”. The pectoral fins are the next likely damaged area, and all of them were completely whole and crisp, not even any fraying. The anal fins come after that, and again, they had no visible damage whatsoever.

The tail doesn’t get damaged as often. The membrane and spines that make the fan is a bit thicker than the other fins and less likely to tear. Typically, tail damage presents as a scarring of the bottommost spine from the constant rubbing through the shallow stuff, and a slight fraying of the very edge from digging out beds. Occasionally you’ll see a “rip”, where the tail has been split along a spine. I usually see this when fishing ponds and assume it’s from dragging fish in through the brush piles and other hard, woody structure. Several of my captive fish had this damage; it makes no difference whatsoever in their mobility and heals back up in 7-10 days.

This fish was missing a chunk and it was very high up on the tail. Based on the fact that it was in such pristine condition otherwise, it was high up on the tail, and especially the size and shape of it, I’d bet all the money I have (for posterities sake, that’s about $12.57 =D) that this guy was nipped at by a rival male.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.