Monday, March 12, 2007

That's why they call it Fishing,

and not Catching.

Four of us are back from a frustrating but fun weekend in New York. I truly enjoyed myself, got to know some new friends better, learned a lot, but have no fish to show for my extensive efforts. Jeff, the lone spincaster in the group, got one Steelhead (I'll post that picture shortly), but the fishing was slow for all of us and, as far as I can tell, most of the other guys on the river this weekend as well.

From my earlier ramblings you might recall that last month I fished in leaky waders and cold water, a combination I never want to repeat. I'm happy to report that my new neoprene waders from Cabelas performed wonderfully. Feet and legs stayed dry and, for the most part, warm while submerged in icy water for hours at a time. Saturday was not horribly cold, but rainy, which offers a different set of challenges. All four of us struggled to get organized and prepared for a full day on the water in those conditions, it seemed to take us forever to get to the river. After doing that on day one, yesterday went more smoothly, although conditions were easier to prepare for, a bit colder with snow in the morning.

It's amazing how quickly and totally float fishing has caught on up there. Almost everyone but us seemed to be using floats, and many used centrepin setups. The advantages - both in the quality of presentation for the fish and for the distance that presentation can be made on each cast - are obvious. Very, very obvious. I am intrigued about centrepin fishing and intend to research it extensively. I do have questions though. For instance, how is it possible to use this style of fishing in crowded stream conditions such as Great Lake tributary salmon seasons? And for that matter, how could you ever use it to fish for salmon? I'm sure you could hook up easily and often, but how could you hope to land a big salmon when he gets a thirty yard downstream headstart?

Regardless, I'm going to look into it more. I know some steelheaders check in from time to time, I'd love to get some comments from anyone who is centrepin fishing.


opax said...

Awesome title! Really made me laugh! Thanks Ed.

Ed. said...

Well of course I can't take credit for the saying. It's been around for as long as there have been ill equipped, mediocre anglers who travel great distances only to get skunked. Which is a long, long time.

Dejon said...

I've been flyfishing since 8years old. Started in the catskills and flyfished all around the world. However, when I returned to Buffalo my friend introduced me to centerpinning and in the last 8 months I've become a big fan. It is a deadly technique for certain waterways and certain times of the year. I'm still primarily a flyfisherman, but I suspect that from here out you will always find me centerpinning on the larger tribs in the area between November and April. As temperatures dip below the freezing mark the ability to stall your presentation be it artificial or not in front of lethargic fish can be the key in keeping your catch rate up through the entire year. On the flip side - as temperatures begin to rise again I move back to the flyrod for streams,nymphs, and the like.

A good setup to "try-out" pinning is an Okuma Aventa Reel and Gander Mountain 11.5ft Guide Series Spinning rod. About 100bucks. Unless you're a natural you will use the pin setup every trip for a half hour or so until frustration sets in and then jump back to the fly setup. Then gradually that time will increase in increments until you're flyrod stays in the case on occasion;)

Ed. said...

Dejon, thanks very much for that insight!

One of the guys at the fly shop where we stayed said that sometimes he also uses a longer fly rod with a float setup. Same basic rig from the float down to the fly as he would use with a centrepin, but he's throwing it from like an 11' 7-weight fly rod. This seems like an intriguing comprimise, because that fly rod can be used in the traditional manner as well. However, because the float rig is lighter than the hunk of lead I'm bouncing off the bottom now, and the rod is longer, I'm likely to be able to reach places I can't reach now, and get much longer drifts. Maybe I should try that for a while, and if the float fishing works off the fly rod, then I can consider the centrepin thing.

Anyway, thanks again, I appreciate your reply.