Monday, June 30, 2014

Why not?

Since I take up residence less than 100 yards from the Salmon Hole now, it was a real pain having to wait until it opened on June 1st to fish it, especially since I knew just how many big fish were lurking in the water.

On a side note, I did do my part to keep the waters protected during the closed season.  Although there are signs everywhere letting people know the waters are closed to fishing from March 16th to June 1st, people intentionally ignore it and still fish the water.  Since it's a quick walk to overlook the Hole, I often walked down just to look at the water, and the plethora of fishing rolling and porpoising.  Mostly suckers, but the occasional sturgeon.  The first time I went down for a visit, there were 2 poachers fishing on the opposite side of the river, and even had a fire blazing.  A quick call to the Warden and 20 minutes later I watched as he went down and caught the two poachers.  Justice served. Surprisingly, almost half the time I went down there, people were fishing!  I ended up having to call the Warden 4 times, and let a group of kids know the waters were closed(they seemed genuinely surprised to know the water was closed).  It's amazing how ignorant people can be though.

Not many people are aware, but the water directly above the falls above the Hole actually have quite a wide variety of species that live in the short section of water above the Hydro One dam and below the next dam a few miles upriver.  Including the most common species - fallfish, there are pike, suckers, smallmouth bass, trout, salmon(stocked smolts turned parr that are dropping back into the Lake from the Huntington River, these fish are uncommon, but should NOT be targeted on purpose) and even carp!

A few weeks before the Salmon Hole opened, I decided to go explore the water above the Dam.  Easily accessible, it was a short walk to fishy looking water.  It didn't take long before this huge fallfish slammed an olive crystal bugger, which made for a great fight.

After losing one of similar size, I moved spots without much to show for it.  The trees made it difficult to reach where I wanted, and roll/switch casts just couldn't cut it.

Having always eyed the fast, ladder-type water above the dam, I decided it was time to finally fish it.  I sat and figured out a plan of attack to get where I wanted to without endangering myself, and took off on foot and maneuvered around the rocks and through the water until I was where I wanted to be.

While the view was spectacular, the fishing - not so much.  I did manage to land half a dozen smallies, but they were 12-15".  Not any big slobs like I was hoping for, but they may have all been upriver spawning still, which is why these little guys were so willing.  The deep run in the bottom picture looked most promising, but all my fish came from the shallows on the far right.  Since I ended up standing in deep water.

What I wouldn't give to see salmon making their way up this water back in the old days.  I still wonder how things would be if it weren't for all these impassable barriers that mankind has placed on our rivers. 

After a few hours, I worked my way back.  I didn't want people thinking I was just another crazy guy out in the middle of the river. 

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