Friday, February 18, 2011

First Day in 2011 on the River

It was so nice and sunny out that I decided NOT to go ice fishing.  This looked like a great day to go down to the Manistee River at Tippy Dam to see what was happening.

I noticed about 6 cars there so at least I won't be alone.  I put on ice cleats on my waders to walk down Cardiac Hill.

I purchased these stabilizers for a striper fishing trip off the end of Long Island years ago and now use them in the winter on my waders.  My new waders do not have felt soles and the rubber soles are slippery in the winter.

I grabbed my fishing rod and started down the dreaded steps of Cardiac hill.  Almost to the bottom, I took this shot of the stairs covered with ice and snow.

The sun was out but the wind always whips down the river valley.  Today was no exception.

I always love this shot of the river just below the coffer dam.  I could see a couple of guys fishing with bobbers near the dam and so I just waded down 30-40 yards and got my fishing pole ready.  I decided to use a 3-way swivel with a dropper line for weight.  I put 3 or 4 shot inside a piece of nylon cord casing and melt the edges.  Then I use a snap swivel through the top lip and tie it onto the dropper line of 8-10 inches.  That is on one of the 3-way  rings.  The main line is tied to another ring and the last ring has about 3-4 ft. of fishing line.  I tie in my fly or hook to the end and I have my drift rig ready.

I toss out the rig and can feel it bounce along the bottom.  At the end of the swing, I reel in and toss it out again.  On my 4th swing, I felt the tap-tap-tap of a bite.   I lifted the rod tip and was into a fish.  I knew it wasn't a steelhead but it was fighting nicely.

A 14" brown trout was on and the first river fish of 2011 was about to be landed.

The weather was nice and the sun was out and a fish was on my line.  A great day "Up North".

I moved and kept swinging my rig down the river.  In 15 more minutes, I had another one on.

This was my view upstream towards Tippy Dam on the South side.   A boat came up river and parked right in the middle of the river.  I didn't care, I was fighting my fish.

Today, I was using some wax worms left over from ice fishing.  Some of the guys were using wax worms under a bobber.  One guy had a fly on a rig like mine.

David just landed this small male steelhead.  It was a fresh, strong fish.  Haven't seen any females yet but the males are getting active.

There were 4 boats out today.  It is a little chilly to be in a boat.  This one had 5 guys in it.  Maybe a little over-loaded.  You can just see the boat on the right by the launch.

Ok, one last fish shot and I am out of here.  Looking over at the stairs to Cardiac Hill, I started thinking about those dreaded 250 steps to the top.  Slow and easy, slow and easy.  After I made it back to the car, I thought, "Maybe tomorrow I'll do it again".

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