Sunday, December 11, 2011


A good friend of mine and my most frequent Client John Farhy booked us a trip with Guide John Dembeck     up in Oswego NY. At 7 am he picked us up at our motel and off we went to fish the Sterling Creek.
We drove in our Guides truck to an open water section of the creek and started fishing egg pattern flies.
We are targeting the Brown Trout that are coming up out of Lake Ontario to spawn. These Trout can go very large and this creek is very small!  Right away our Guide points downstream to fish that are swimming up, pushing a wake out in front of them. This is really something to see as normally Brown Trout wont show themselves most any other time. Were fishing with an indicator up a few feet from the fly. These fish will eat eggs as they are falling down creek out of the redds (egg beds) so the fly should be drifted very close to the bottom.   its pretty much bobber fishing but it works. Here we don't get much action so we move to another spot.  
We get back in the truck and John take us to a private stretch on the creek That he posts and patrols, and we find more willing fish.John puts me in a brushy but target rich run and heads off with my buddy to fish water that is not so tight to cast on. My spot is maybe 8 ft wide and 1 ft deep it tails out into less than 2 ft of water.
I can see males fighting for space closest to the female so they can fertilize her eggs. Their backs are out of the water and they roll around and bite each other trying to become the guy to make the next generation of fish.   
I fish this while standing in heavy thicket out of eye-shot of these Trout. I have maybe 5 ft of fly line out the tip of the rod and am roll casting this egg fly over and over until I lift for my next cast and the line gets tight!
Its a big Brown and he starts swimin round the run as best he can trying to shake/brake loose. I get him to the side soon and hes a healthy 10 lbs. After a quick picture I take with my phone I let him go back to his station.  Then I try a spot a few yards upstream and right away hook a Steelhead that has an absolute FIT! I find out finally why Santa Claus laughs the way he does, its gotta be CAUSE HES SO HAPPY!  I now know hes gotta be a Steelhead fisherman. 
This fish was jumpin and flipin 5 times a second, it was the coolest thing I ever saw! After a very short fight I landed her on a sandy gravel bank and let her go right away she was 6 lbs and REALLY PISSED?  I then wander down to see how my buddy John is doing just in time to see him get an 8lb male brown that I took a picture of him and our Guide holding. If you can get up to Oswego NY in early to mid November you can find these Trout and Steelhead up The Oswego Creek as well as the Sterling and many of the other creeks there. Do some homework first and you can find great fishing away from the crowds! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

September trip to Alaska


 Moms wanted me to take a cruise now for sometime., and I just could not really get excited about it, thinking it was not for me. The idea of being stuck on a boat with people I don't know and otherwise would probably not want to, did not appeal to me. Then she said "How about Alaska?" Well that got my attention! I said OK but don't book anything til I find out more. I called some friends who had been there and one of them told me about ALL the creeks to go fish as he had been there 6 times and knew them very well.
Joe Fusco gave me all the info I needed to fish in all the places the ship stopped in and I will be forever grateful to him for that!  Mom and I flew to Seattle Washington then Boarded the Celebrity Infinity. This is an enormous ship 987ft long with 105ft beam. 14 decks and lots of incredible food,Pools filled with saltwater and heated as I later learned.I don't know how many Bars and Restaurants but you could probably eat and drink for weeks and not get board with this place. Its a hotel on the ocean! A really,really, BIG ONE!


So they shove off and we are on our way. I go to this outside Bar on one of the upper decks and have many 10 dollar martinis. And become VERY HAPPY to be on this trip. We sail for a day and a half, get to Ketchikan, AK. I get off the ship and its pouring rain, the wind is so strong I figure there's no way I can cast.  I see this bar, The Sourdough inn as I recall, and I go in. Its 730 am and the bartender says "you can have a drink at eight"So I get coffee like the other three guys are having and every couple mins another would come through the door, some with their own smoked salmon that they caught and smoked themselves. Today is Sunday and like in most towns they are in to watch the games and drink a few beers.right at eight they all order shots and beers and the moods brighten considerably. The guy next to me says, as he looks at my carry on bag "Ya stayin awhile?" I tell him, yeah, all day if I can get some fish. Then I explain that my bag has my fly gear in it.  you don't want to check that stuff through so some baggage handler can beat it around like they do.I have two pints of  local stout and around 900 the wind lets up a little so I go off to the car rental agent, get a car and go to Ward lake about 8 miles from town.
The best thing about September in Alaska is that like the Jersey Shore was 30 years ago Everybody goes home after Labor day. So you have these little towns all to yourself. Even the locals are more relaxed!   

I,m stringing up my eight wt rod wondering if the fish are up in out of the Sea. I look at the creek running into the lake just in time to see a hump back Salmon jump and I,m like YEAH!  I wade in make three casts and BANG! I,m on my first Alaskan Salmon, about an 8 lb hump back then I got another, then a Coho 10 lbs     
The lake is maybe 10 acres and it had to have hundreds of salmon in it.Mostly Humpback and Cohos with a few Chinook in with them. Salmon in Alaska are hungry ALL THE TIME! not like up in NY where you make sometimes 100 casts a fish. Its like they know how much it costs to get there and figure "lets have some fun!"
The clock spins real fast when your BUSY catching Salmon. I caught 12 before I stopped to have a smoke.  And it was time to get back to the ship way too soon. Oh well I thought, I have three more ports I should do ok. Little did I know how well I would! Juneau,Skagway then Icy straight point. I rent a car in Juneau but I don't go more than three miles from the ship and start fishing in the ocean right off a Jetty. Its so beautiful I don't know weather to fish or just look around and grin so I do both! Before I know it the line goes tight,real tight! I play this fish for 6 to 7 mins  it had to weigh 15 lbs its a really silver Coho Salmon and its Beautiful!
I catch three more cohos up to 12 lbs then take a ride to Peterson creek 28 miles up the road. There are 6 local guys fishing in a run that looks real good but I just sat on the bank and had a couple beers and watched them for the rest of the afternoon, ate a sandwich and just grinned!

Skagway is very small and has one little creek that was filled with dieing Hump backs. so I met Mom at the train and took the greatest ride up the mountains into Canada. The White pass railroad If you go there you MUST take this trip! It gives new meaning to the word AWESOME!

Icy straight point is a really remote place that has 740 people year round and an airport next to the Tiaba creek for 5 bucks you can get a taxi there or walk its only 1 mile. DON'T cross the runway, Walk around it to the creek. The day I was there it had more fish than water in it! I could not see for the tears of joy! As I put my rod together my hands were shaking like crazy! just like the other places I was fishing an egg pattern but just about anything that's pink will work. Make a cast, hook a salmon! I,m blowin snot bubbles over how many fish there are AND GRINNIN!