As sporting anglers, we should never presume to know it all. There is always something new we can learn to make us better fishermen. Enjoy your favorite fishing method, but don’t let envy or misinformation keep you from being open and accepting of others’ legal sporting methods. With mounting public pressure against many outdoor pursuits, (yes, even fishing) it is of no benefit for sportsmen to rally against each other.
Don’t forget to consider your impact on someone else’s fishing. Common sense stream etiquette can go a long way towards making everyone’s day astream enjoyable. Always consider where you are wading in relation to someone fishing a particular hole or run. Give other anglers some room or politely ask if you can fish near by. Do yourself, your children and other anglers a favor by practicing catch and release. Catch your limit but limit your kill and we will all enjoy great fishing tomorrow and on the next trip.
Be a weather watcher!
This may be one of the most important traits of a successful tributary trout and salmon fisherman. The trout and salmon runs occur in the notoriously unpredictable Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. For anglers from out of the area, national weather maps should be watched carefully noting storms, wind direction, and fronts predicted for the fishing destination. Don’t assume that the weather in your area will be the same along the western New York Lake Erie and Lake Ontario shorelines. Watch for warming trends and changing water levels. Rising water levels often bring migratory trout and salmon into the tributaries, so you should try to time your trips to coincide with favorable water conditions.
Use good gear. For the most part, tributary trout and salmon fishing is extreme fishing. Often we use light lines, tiny flies, and go out in less than ideal weather conditions. When that 15-pound Steelhead erupts in a sizzling run, it is not the time to find out your bargain mono or tippet won’t hold up. How about that reel? If it’s a spin reel, is the drag micro-adjustable and smooth in below-freezing weather? If it’s a fly reel, do you have an adjustable drag and enough fly line and backing tied together with good knots? An adjustable drag fly reel takes the guesswork out of attempting control of a hard charging 30-pound salmon. Don’t skimp on terminal tackle. Use the best hooks you can afford. The shop carries the sharpest, strongest hooks down to sizes 12-14-16. Don’t fool yourself with the notion that a cheap size 14 hook will hold that 12-pound Brown. It will bend and your trophy will be gone.
Foul Weather Clothing
How do some anglers manage to stay on the stream in even the harshest weather? They dress appropriately in perspiration wicking layers, neoprene waders, fleece gloves, and a windproof, water-proof shell jacket. Cotton long underwear has long since been eclipsed by more thermal-efficient fibers that will manage your perspiration under neoprene waders. Use fleece for your middle layers. A pull-up or zip-up 200-weight fleece shirt is a great choice for maximum insulation. Half-finger or flip mitt gloves with Windbloc® can keep you on the water when the temperature drops. For maximum comfort, consider the investment in a technical shell jacket. There are several quality windproof, waterproof and breathable Gortex-® like styles available. If you’ve never owned a shell jacket, you’ll be amazed how well they work. You will also discover that you won’t have to bulk up in ten shirts any more.