Monday, April 22, 2013

Last Light

Pic from last week.  Lost the biggest brown I've ever hooked today...right in front of me.  Long walk back to the car.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Evening Session

Quick evening session.  Fantastic 30 minutes.  Beer-head baetis FTW...again.  I honestly didn't think this fish was going to the net because right from the grab, he was in the air as much as the water.  Got some footage of the release with my new underwater camera too, and really pleased with how it came out.  

As a testimony to the quality of the urban fishing Reno offers, this fish was caught no more than 70 feet from the porch of an apartment, and 40 feet from a bike path. Here's the baetis that's been killing it all month:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Ending Matters

You know those exotic locales you see in fishing documentaries?  I've never been there. 

I haven't stripped massive streamers for steelhead, or tossed bulky flies for tarpon.  I've never pulled a peacock bass or felt the tug of a taimen.  I haven't even visited many trout streams in the west.  In listening to guys who make these trips, I have learned something:

The Truckee is one tough mother. 

This river can look at your high-end gear and textbook presentation, and tell you to shove it.  Oh, you matched the hatch?  Good for you. We welcome you to a day of casting practice.  What's that?  That fly was producing 2 hours ago?  That's nice.  Back to the fly-box with you.

Here's the thing: a dismal day of refusals can change in half a second.

I easily cast over 200 drifts today.  It was drift 201 that got my blood pumping.  My indicator shot right, I set the hook, and I saw a healthy tail break the surface and slap around for a few seconds.  Then he took off downstream with urgency.  In my haste to make sure the distance between us didn't become unworkable, I started water-jogging downstream.  My foot found some rock snot and I quickly felt the chilly, melted snow-pack flood in over the top of my waders.

Finally standing up, I saw the line had gone slack.  As I began to reel in my line, I began cursing the amateur mistake under my breath.  I looked over my shoulder to see if my buddy had witnessed my mid-stream collapse.  The adrenaline was slowly replaced by bitter frustration.  I had missed my chance, at least for today. 

Then the line took off again.  After a few more good runs stripping line off my reel, I directed him to some quieter waters and got him in the net.  Not the ending I expected, that's for sure.

No beast, but so rewarding after such a quiet afternoon.  This is one of those fish that feels like redemption.  Doug Ouellette put it best when I told him I got soaked reeling one in; "It's worth it!".  I have a massive welt on each shin from the fall, but I'm inclined to agree with Doug.

Thanks to Jan Nemec for the pic and for beginning to film after my big fall.  Thanks to the Truckee for putting an exclamation mark on the end of a slow day.  Fishing is just like books, movies, relationships, or life itself...the ending matters.

Caught him on this guy: "The Brick" from Stefan McLeod.

Monday, April 8, 2013

2012 Video Recap

Here's a quick video I threw together of 2012, my first year throwing flies.  No monsters, but it's a nod to the purpose of this blog: to encourage all of us to catch em, snap a pic, and send em on their way.  Much of this was shot on an Olympus Stylus Tough which is horrible resolution, but can get wet with no problems.  Hoping to upgrade soon.

Music: "Superman" by Iron and Wine.

Catch, Snap, & Release: Episode 1 from Donald Zimmerman on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Casting in the Canyon

Drove out to CA with Brandyn Rayda a fishing buddy I actually went to high-school with.  He knew of a stretch that he was fond of below some trophy water, so we hiked in.  The weather was changing every 15 minutes.  I think I took off my hood and put it back on no less than 10 times.

Brandyn was eager to get to the "good water", but on the hike up I saw a few pockets that looked pretty fishy.  I let him go on ahead, and nymphed the biggest, ugliest stonefly in my box (in lieu of split-shot) and a beer-head baetis dropper through those seams and got grabs over and over.  This was a sign of things to come.

I never changed my rig all day, because it produced all day.  All of the fish I hooked were over 18" and lost two aggressive bows over 21".  Brandyn was switching between nymphing and streamers and staying just as busy.  We covered a good stretch of water and there were fish in all the usual places, behind big rocks, under over-hanging limbs, and any place the water slowed.  It was the day you imagine in your head when reading a trout book before bed.

Almost every time I looked downstream/upstream, I saw Brandyn negotiating himself downstream with his rod-tip bent over.  When you're catching fish and your buddy is too, that's a good day on the river.  Just when you're ready to leave her, the Truckee gives you a peck on the cheek.