Monday, April 20, 2009

A Sleepy Weekend

Alas, a wasted weekend and nothing caught but zzzzz's. I fished Lewiston Lake above Pine Cove Marina on Friday night, from 7 to 8. There was a small hatch of Callibaetis but no action from the fish. The Callibaetis were spread out about a meter apart all over the water. The visibility was about 5 to 8 feet, stopped by a micro algae green (I think). I had one take when stripping in, or perhaps hit some weeds.

I played my first tennis match for the Sun Oaks 3.0 B team (Redding). I only lasted 45 minutes on the court, followed by 2 hours of rehydration to drive home, followed by a headache and a 3 hour nap. I got all the water out of my boat on Sunday and went back to my place to get my rods. One episode of Buffy, followed by a 3 hour nap wiped out any chance for me to get on the water.

On Saturday there were 10 boats at 10-mile and 15 or more around pine cove. On Sunday, there was one -- so, I doubt the fishing was very good. Things should pick up in May when they start the flows again.

Now, on to work. I apologize for no pictures but a snapshot of me taking a nap would just put the reader into Therapy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Research Project, Or, How to be Banned From Flyfishing

Part 1: The Idea


The upper sections of Lewiston Lake look and act like a river due to the flows coming all summer from Trinity Lake. During the hot parts of the day, many pontoon boats (houseboats without the houses) motor to the top of the lake and drift down, using bait with a Seps Flasher just above the bait. I have seen dozens of trout caught this way each day, usually on days when the flyfishing isn’t great (Duh, the fish are at the bottom of the 10 foot deep runs, in cold water, between rocks lol). The common perception is that the flashers significantly increase the catch rate for the fishermen.

The upper sections of Lewiston Lake look ideal for the use of drifting methods used on the Lower Sacramento River: Floating Line; Large indicator; 12 feet of leader after the indicator; two flies appropriate for the insect life in the water, and weight to get the flies down (I’ve never done this – just found info on the net lol).

The Question:

Will the use of a “flasher fly” increase the hookup rate during drifting using the Lower Sacramento River technique? (I’m using hook-up rate because I never seem to get the hooked fish into the net. That’s okay because I’ve been told that long line releases are better for the fish!!!!

The Flash Fly

I want something that can be put into the leader while still allowing for a cast, even though info on the net calls the cast a “chuck and duck” experience into the water away from the boat. I’ve decided to make an attractor fly (THE “Flash Fly”) using: A metal rod designed to allow people to build their own lures, silver tinsel, and pearl flashabou. The materials are in the mail and I’ll tie up a dozen Flash Flies as soon as they arrive.

The Experiment Outline

To answer the question above, after converting it to the appropriate null hypothesis, I’m going to set up two identical rods, one with the Flash Fly and one without out the Flash Fly. I’ll make drifts through the same section of water throughout the spring and summer, noting weather, flow rate, catch rate, etc. The choice of rod (Flash Fly or No Flash Fly) will be randomly assigned. I plan to use the Student’s t-test to compare the #drifts to the #hook-ups to see if there is a statistical difference between the two setups. I hope to get enough drifts this summer to average out the effects due to weather and flow rate.

The Expected Persecution

Flyfishermen and Flyfisherwomen will undoubtedly see using a flasher as “breaking the rules” of flyfishing (although you can read countless recommendations of using an attractor fly above a dropper fly). Some people become angry / weird / scary when they see someone “breaking the rules”. About 10 years ago I was talking to a worker in a West Yellowstone fly shop, describing how I caught two Yellowstone cutthroat trout using a dry fly with a parachute cast downstream. He stated that he was surprised that I wasn’t yelled at. Evidently, at the Lewiston River outside of Yellowstone, fishermen were yelling at each other because it was accepted that fishing a dry fly downstream was unsporting. I doubt they would accept The Flash Fly.

More about the experimental design in Part 2.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Saturday: Beautiful but no fish

The boat: 11 feet of rip-roaring power (5 hp)

I fished 4 hours on Saturday (1 - 4 and 5-6), between the boat dock and "pile of rocks" near Pine Cove Marina. I trolled with a floating fly line / sink tip, drifted midges in the wind, and blind cast wooly buggers on an intermediate line. Not a single take. I did see one person land a 16 inch fish between the docks and the island. He was using a "black AP Nymph", drifting and stripping. He worked the water hard while I just floated around lol.

The weather was great: clear, 60 degrees (T-Shirt Weather), very few bugs were active, and the water was green with about 5 foot visibility. There were very few boats on the water -- about a max of 3 at a time.

I did see two fish rise, if torpedoing 3 feet straight up out of the water can be called a "rise". I thought they were bass because they were SO FAT that they didn't look like trout---their bellies were extended probably filled with 1000's of midges.

Traffic Jam: Another Fisherman AND a Canoe

Yes, no trout were caught, but I had a much better time on the water than pretty much anything else that was possible (a backstage party would be better, but let's be real). Spring has started and I'm sure the fishing will pick up, especially on weekends that I'm unable to participate on the water. All in all it was a pleasant day even with the skunk on the boat. I'm waiting for the water to clear so the fish can see the flies along their cruising routes. Until then, it's trying to blindly drop the fly just in front of their noses.

Good Luck All

Friday, April 3, 2009

An Introduction

My name is Shane Feusier. I am a high school teacher, a single dad to two kids in college, and am an avid fisherman who seldom fishes. I fell into a beautiful trailer / addition / deck in the Pine Cove Trailer Park right on Lewiston Lake, California. It is a 2-1/2 hour drive from my home in Eureka.

In the 90's, Lewiston Lake was a flyfisher's paradise: tons of fish being planted; many planters overwintering, and Callibaetis hatches that were huge and you could set you watch by them. Alas, I never fished Lewiston then, and a huge water runoff (98?) wiped out most of the hatch. I heard it was coming back but then another huge water runoff hit in 2006, knocking down their recovery.

My goal is to provide information about this fishery and to generate a renewed interest in the lake, in the hopes of increasing the planting of more fish (I've spent hours trying to find online how many fish were planted in the lake in 2008 -- any help in finding this information will be helpful).

I'm heading out this weekend to try midges in the lake and possibly doing some fishing in the recently opened fly fishing only section of the Trinity River.

Tight lines all!!