The guy I had in the right front seat of my driftboat didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that he’d snagged and lost — through a total disregard of the simple instructions I’d given that morning — six of my best steelhead plugs throughout the day. ??It was late in the afternoon as I went to tie on the seventh and, scanning my now much-depleted plug box, I decided I couldn’t take the chance of him losing yet another. Busy yakking with his buddy all day and not noticing his plugs were getting fouled in the rocks, he obviously didn’t care anyway. ??So, I pulled out an expendable lure — one that had been given to me as a sample by the manufacturer. It was a Wiggle Wart, just like the ones the guy had been losing all day, but this one had such a ridiculous paint job I dubbed it the “Mardi-Gras Peacock.”?? The hideous, clown-like plug had a baby-blue back, an orange belly, gold flanks, bright yellow eyes – and for good measure, black and red tiger stripes running down its sides. Maybe a walleye would have low enough self-esteem to eat such a thing, but not a noble steelhead!?? Well, you know what happened next, right?
Casting hardware for king salmon is a popular pastime on freshwater streams from California to Alaska to the Great Lakes tributaries. This time around, we’re going to take a quick look at s of the basics of tossing lures like No. 3-5 Mepps and Blue Fox Super Vibrax spinners as well as spoons like Little Cleos, Cohos, Pixees and BC Steels.
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It’s crazy how things happen sometimes. Just ask Grant Martinson of Grants Pass, Ore., who was supposed to be on a chukar hunt with a buddy on the morning of Monday, Oct. 21, but ended up making fishing history instead.
Sometimes you find paradise in the strangest places. If I could be anywhere this time of year, it would probably be on the Trinity River, with its surrounding hillsides ablaze with fall colors and its own crystalline flows blackened by wave upon wave of migrating salmon. However, my busy guiding schedule keeps me close to home in Autumn, and while I love being on the local rivers, I occasionally need to get away from it all.
One of the oddest sanctuaries I’ve found is a small waterway near Woodland called the Toe Drain. Considering the name sounds a lot like something you’d need to cure a foot infection, you’d think that this hidden body of water would be, well, less than scenic. And you’re absolutely right.
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Now that trout season is here, it’s time for one of my favorite activities — fishing small creeks. Since I grew up on the Auburn Ravine’s North Fork, I’ve long been an affeciando of catching trout out of trickles. Most of the time little creeks give up…well…little trout, but size isn’t really what’s important here. There’s just something about hooking a vibrantly colored little native rainbow or brown or brookie out of a creek you could step across that’s good for one’s soul.
One of the most appealing aspects of fishing small streams is the inherent simplicity. No triple decker tackle boxes stocked with the latest in fish catching weaponry are needed. Just grab your rod and a handful of lures and you’re in business. Of course, you can load your box with a billion different lures if you so desire, but four basic baits will cover just about every small creek situation.