October 2007
Little Qualicum River, Vancouver, British Columbia
A report from SteveT.
We fished the Little Qualicum River on Vancouver Island a couple of weeks ago. I caught only one King in three days of fishing. We were targeting Coho but I only caught three.
We must have hooked up and lost 10-plus other salmon in this little river. There is too much debris, they would work their way under the logs and snag the line and they were way too strong to stop with12-lb test line.

September 15, 2007
Nuuanu Reservoir, Honolulu, Hawaii
A report from SteveL
I took a small group of Boy Scouts from Troop 10 to Nuuanu Reservoir on September 15 for some catfish fishing action. We got there early and was the second car in line for the afternoon session. As soon as we checked in and parked, my son Alan (editor's note: whenever I visit Hawaii he's always in the way, catching my bonefish) was out like a shot and headed to the end of reservoir to “kapu” a spot. Those that came early followed him there.

The weather was ideal, some wind and lots of rain. This makes for great catfish weather. It had rained hard in the morning and there was a very heavy cloud cover over the entire valley. You could see the rain showers coming down engulfing the valley in a grey curtain. Waterfalls were cascading off the cliffs on either side of the valley.

The fish were biting and every boy got his turn to haul in catfish weighing in from one to five pounds. In between they were occupied with tilapia, mud and rain.

Everyone took something home. I was asked by more than one parent how to cook these fish. For some, cooking is going to be their next adventure.
September 8, 2007

Nuuanu Reservoir, Honolulu, Hawaii
A report from Steve L
So another day of catfish fishing has come to past. Four hours is just not enough. I was just starting to have fun too.

We caught a bunch of fish today ranging from a few ounces to about three pounds. The family fishing next to us caught a nine and a half pounder and a two pound tilapia - which the husband gave immediately to my wife (I had told them Chinese eat anything). Actually the tilapia out of Nuuanu Reservoir tastes pretty good.
It was an interesting family, Pauline the wife hunts and Justine her husband doesn’t and can’t stand eating wild game. She said she even has bear meat at home. I told Pauline to smoke the fillets of the large catfish she caught.

We had our own “Bamboo Ridge” (a famous big-game fishing area) at the end of the reservoir bristling with rods. Most of the bites came mid way to the feeders and on my long distance casts to the opposite side near the feeder.

September 7, 2007
Spring Creek, Bellafonte, PA
Penn State was playing Notre Dame on the weekend but Jin and I decided to sneak in and fish in Joe Pa's backyard, Spring Creek in Pennsylvania, before the crowds clogged the roads to Paternoville.

We hit the stream early and Jin quickly hooked a trout. We started with size 18 flies but quickly found out from another flyfisher that the stuff we were throwing was way too big. We needed to go down to size 24 or 26 in order to interest the fish in our offerings.

Fishing picked up quite a bit after the fly change. Jin landed a couple of browns and a rainbow and I followed with two rainbows and a brown. The water was running in the 70's but clear and low, so we were able to see the take and set the hook.
We broke for a long lunch in Bellafonte, PA, then wandered over to the stream that flowed through the center of the town to feed the fish. However the resident duck population got in the way and ate most of the bread we tossed at the huge trout swimming below (no fishing allowed). There was one monster rainbow that was bigger than the ducks and instead of trying to eat the bread it should have grabbed one of the ducks instead.
The rest of the afternoon was spent consulting a map and fishing at various put-in spots along Spring Creek but fishing was slow, possibly due to the high water temperature which was in the low 70's. We returned to spots we fished earlier in the day and picked up a few more fish but called it a day at 7pm because we both had a long drive back home and wanted to get there at a reasonable time.

EQUIPMENT: We used 3 and 4 weight rods with floating lines and long leaders with tippet down to 7x and flies in size 24 and 26.

DIRECTIONS: I took I-270 to I-70 then got onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike. From there I took I-220 N into Bellafonte, PA. There is a lot of road construction on I-220 going both ways so there could be delays as the road narrows down to one lane. At one point you will detour off the freeway and take a back road which winds through a residential area and temporarily onto I-80 before getting back onto I-220 N.

August 17-28 2007

Fly fishing the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
(Note: For one week Steve L., Steve T. and Henny explored and fished the tributaries of the Kenai River)
A report from Steve L.
Just got back from Alaska. What a trip!

We stayed at Quartz Creek in the Kenai Peninsula. Fished Quartz Creek, Russian River, Kenai River, Anchor Point River. Fish everywhere. Migrating salmon--Rainbows and Dolly Vardens. My first Dolly ever was 21” and Rainbows ranged in size from 15” to 20”. And of course there was salmon, Pinks, Coho / Silver, Sockeye. Caught a big migrating Red on Jin's egg sucking leech fly.

Caught a couple of Cohos on Jin’s salmon flies and even caught one on a bonefish fly too. Lost many many fish and a number of flies. But as soon as you lose one fish you can find another. The Cohos were fun they would fight like hell running all over the place and jumping.
Most of the fish caught were on beads. We were told that salmon egg flies would have been successful later in the run. But even beads were tricky. They had to be the right size and color and presented right.

You can catch Rainbows and Dollys 'till you go blind. All were fat and healthy from eating salmon eggs. I lost count after a couple of days. On the guided boat trip down the Kenai River, after eight hours, my hand and arm ached from fight one fish after another.

Alaska was an experience and I would go back again.

July 13, 2007
Smallmouth bass fishing, Pennsylvania
Jin and I drove up to Pennsylvania early in the morning to meet Tom Baltz for a day of smallmouth bass fishing on one of the many small streams that crisscross the state. It was a very clear and cool day, with temperatures in the low 80's and decent water flow.

After meeting Tom and driving for an hour through several small towns we arrived at the stream and hiked a short way up a country road before entering the water. Tom advised us to carefully cast to deeper pockets and structure as we slowly walked along the sunny side of the stream. Bass will hold in the shade under overhanging tree branches, deeper pockets of water and around large rocks.
We started out throwing foam poppers and varying the retrieve as we cast to possible targets as we walked upstream. Action was slow but steady, with smaller (8-12 inch) bass taking the fly but with sizeable smallmouth crashing the poppers now and then that would really wake you up! Other types of fish that we pulled in were seveal species of sunfish and a mix of fallfish (looks like a sardine).

A heavy thundershower forced us to take shelter later in the afternoon but when the weather passed the bite really picked up. Around 8 pm Jin and Tom were pounding the bass, pulling in over a dozen from one hole alone.

EQUIPMENT: We used 6 weight rods with short, heavy leaders and tippet to throw an assortment of popping flies and weighted streamers.

July 6, 2007
The Methow River, Winthrop, Washington
A report from Drew
Drew fished with guide Greg Knab from the Flyfishers Pro Shop at Mt. Gardner Inn and caught several nice fish including this very fat cutthroat trout. According to Greg this "was a grandfather cutthroat. One of our very special native breeders. He has made many babies in his life."
Besides the great fishing there was some excitment when Drew's rod fell out of the boat during the trip. Greg went snorkeling for it la few days later and "saw a pair of two huge cutthroats that actually charged aggressively at me. What a awesome pair." But no rod. On Monday Greg found the rod further downriver near a seam where the tip grabbed the water and flipped the rod into the river.

DIRECTIONS: The Mt. Gardner Inn and Flyfishers Pro Shop is close to the Methow River, located just off Highway 20 in the town of Winthrop, Washington.

July 2007

The Kenai River, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
A report from Eric
Eric flew to Alaska for a week of fishing with his father in-law and brother in-law on the Kenai River on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. They mainly fished around Bing's Landing and Swiftwater in Soldotna. Action was good and they all got into some nice fish. He even caught a salmon on a fly I tied for him. Must've been the only blind fish in the school.
The Kenai River is a located in the Kenai Peninsula in south central Alaska. It runs for 82 miles westward and empties into Cook Inlet in the Pacific Ocean near Kenai, Alaska.
The river is the most popular sport fishing destination in Alaska, featuring two yearly runs of king salmon, silver salmon, red salmon, plus a run of pink salmon every other year. The King salmon fishery is not as prolific as in other Alaskan rivers, but the Kenai is known for its large fish. A typical king in the second run, beginning in mid-July, weighs 40–50 pounds with larger specimens not uncommon. The "Lower Kenai" is notorious for its run and sizes of its king salmon. The world record King salmon was caught in Soldotna in 1985 by resident fisherman Les Anderson. This monster topped the scale at 97 lbs. 4 oz. and was caught downstream from the Soldotna Visitor Information Center (where the mounted salmon is on display) on Sterling Highway.

Silver salmon runs occur in early August and late September. The September run is favored by local anglers due to the larger size of the silver salmon.

The red salmon runs are in mid-June and mid-July. Reds are considered the premier salmon for eating, canning, and smoking.

Along with Kenai's fish, the Kenai River is home to some of the most beautiful wildlife. Which includes moose, bears, and multiple species of birds.

EQUIPMENT: Heavy spinning outfits with 15-25 lb. test for silver and king salmon. Spinners and lures in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Use heavy hooks!

DIRECTIONS: To Soldotna and Swiftwater -- take the Sterling Highway south toward Homer, Alaska. Soldotna is almost a three hour drive from the Anchorage airport and is located at the junction of Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway. It is about 150 miles from Anchorage to Soldotna. To reach Swiftwater, turn south on East Redoubt Avenue just a half mile east of the Sterling Highway intersection between Holiday and Great Bear Ford. Bing's Landing is located at mile 79 on the Sterling Highway.

June 20, 2007
The Delaware River
A report from Jin
I arrived at the the Delaware with my guide Josh around noon. As usual, we took our time getting on the water because fishing usually picks up later in the day.

Bugs (various size sulphurs) started to come off around 2pm and the fish started to rise. We made our way down the river, selectively casting to rising fish. This generallly required a cast of 40 feet plus with a good long drift. I managed to get four hits on top but only landed one fish, a 15-inch brown. We saw him come up all the way from the bottom, open his mouth, and eat the fly. The anticipation was brutal. In fact, I pulled the fly away too quickly the first time and he was kind enough to give me a second chance.
We fished into the night but due to high winds and changing weather patterns the hatches slowed into the evening. We manged to land another small brown swinging nymphs and I also got a couple hits fishing streamers but did not land any fish.

The Delaware is famous for its big trout and resemblance to large western rivers. It reminds me very much of the Missouri. But I like to fish the Delaware because it is one of the most challenging places to catch a fish and it humbles even the best fishermen. You can either go crazy here trying to catch fish or get hooked on the challenge. I suffer from a little of both at the moment.

May thru June, 2007
Shad fishing on the American River, California
A report from Will
When George and I got to Lodi, reports on shad runs or action was nonexistent. People were calling each other to see who might have gotten into shad. No luck. So on Memorial Day, Al decided to take us to a bass pond located in a cattle ranch. That was pretty bad. My brother, George, caught one bass. We heard, "Should of been here yesterday".

On Tuesday, Al decided to drift the Yuba River and look for shad. We drifted several miles, but no shad. Lots of suckers, few stripe bass and pikes. We took the day off on Wednesday.

On Thursday, we went to the American River. About a half mile from the launch point we ran into shad. In a couple hours George and I caught and released about 20 fish. Then we had lunch and went back to the same spot. The action picked up again to the point where we said, "We'll go when it's 50 fish or 7 o'clock, which ever came first.". We quit at 53. Al said that the shad are on the move at full moon, as it was on Thursday.

The river levels are low because of light rain and snowfall last winter. Al couldn't find fish in the usual places. On Friday, we went back to the American River and we caught a few fish in Thursday's spot. So we moved down and managed to catch 48 fish but they were scattered along the way. That is it for shad for me this year.

May 25, 2006
The New River, Virginia
A report from Paul
Gary and I fished the New River in southwestern Virginia on a chartered drift boat and had an outstanding day catching largemouth and smallmouth bass. We both caught 40 fish (Paul is holding an 18-inch smallmouth) and had a great time.
The New River is one of the best fishing rivers in Virginia. It supports populations of just about every major freshwater game fish in the state such as smallmouth bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, striped bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, muskellunge, walleye, black crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, yellow perch, redbreast sunfish, and bluegill.

EQUIPMENT: Use 7-7 1/2 medium to medium-fast baitcasting or spinning rods. Throw spinnerbaits, crankbaits, Bass Assasins or soft plastic worms.

May 24, 2007
Delaware River, New York-Pennsylvania border
A report from Jin
I arrived around noon from New York and was on the water by 2pm with my guide Josh. Not much hatching but it was a clear day. Occasional fish would rise, but nothing steady. I saw some caddis, march browns but nothing much for the fish to key in on.

We started nymphing just above the junction on the East Branch. The water was running very low so fish were packed in. I had a couple of takes, and one fish ripped off my fly on the swing. You can't nymph the Delaware.

I got one 14 inch rainbow on a caddis. I think the fish was suicidal. I worked him for good half hour before he ate the fly and it took all of my skills as a fisherman to make the 120 feet reach cast into a 20 mph gust with a perfect drift right over the fish. It also helped that the guide noticed the strike and pointed out that I might want to set the hook. The fish fought, or struggled, against the current for what seemed like hours (about 45 seconds). The guide, did a great job netting him.

PMDs started coming off around 8:30pm just as it was getting dark. We could see and hear fish rising all around us. I got my fly tangled on the first cast and it took us a couple of minutes to get the fly back on. By the time we re-rigged, the hatch was over. Didn't see any spinners. Welcome to the Delaware. We got off the river around 9pm.

This river will inspire and humble the best fishermen.

May 12, 2007

Old Lee Pond, Chantilly, Virginia
Alyssa and her friend Emma spent a few hours fishing for bass at this small pond. This was the first time Emma went fishing and she had great beginer's luck, landing a nice bass on ultralight tackle.
The girls had a great time slinging lures all over the place. I was kept busy untangling snarled lines and swapping out lures. They had a few more hits but this was the only fish landed today. The only very unpleasant thing about fishing this pond is the amazing number of ticks that will come crawling out of the grass and onto you. After this trip I think I'll only fish this place in the winter!

EQUIPMENT: Ultralight rods with 4-pound Vanish flourocarbon. Gamakatsu worm hooks and Yamamoto senkos in brown and black. Brown landed the bass.

Shad report summary for 2007

With very little rain but normal water conditions, the shad were early this year. There was an intense period of fishing action from mid to late April then the action slowly tapered off. Position on the river was the key to finding fish. We used a fish-finder and saw pods of shad moving upriver towards Chain Bridge, so the action would be intense for an hour but then die out as the pod moved on. The hot fly this year was a size 8 or 10 white shad fly with extra flash on the tail that Jin tied. Using fast sinking lines and short flourocarbon leaders we hammered the fish and got in some pretty decent days.
May 4, 2007
Above Fletcher's Cove, Washington, DC
Another Friday with only a few hours to fish. I headed back to the same location I fished the previous week but other fishermen were on MY rock! But it really didn't matter, the fishing sucked.

Last week I couldn't go two casts without landing a fish. Today it was a good hour without even a tap. Fished deep. Fished shallow. Used every color and size of fly in the box. Nothing. I also noticed that other folks were having a tough time of it too. Looking downriver the Fletchers boats were scattered across the river, not lined up along the seam.

Maybe it's the end of the season?

DIRECTIONS: Fletcher's Boat House is located on the Potomac River in Washington, DC, two miles North of Key Bridge and one mile South of Chain Bridge, at the intersection of Reservoir Road and Canal Road. You will know you have reached the entrance to Fletcher's when you see the Abner Cloud House, an old white stone building, which is next to the canal.

From 66 East, take the Rosslyn exit to Key Bridge. Stay in the left lane. Take a left onto Canal Road after crossing over Key Bridge. Stay in the left lane and turn left on Canal Road, and continue until you see the Abner Cloud House on your left. That narrow ramp is the entrance to Fletcher's. Go down the ramp and either park in the upper lot or go through the tunnel to the lower parking lot and dock access. During shad season the boat rental office opens at 6:30am. Boat rental fee is $20 for the day. You need a DC fishing license to fish and Fletcher's sells these at the rental kiosk along with fishing equipment, bait, hot dogs, drinks and ice cream.

WARNING: Both lanes of Canal Road become ONE WAY into and out of DC during morning and evening rush hour. If you're hitting Fletcher's in the morning and following the route above you have until 5:30am to get there. If you miss it you must wait until 10:20am. Once it's one way you must come down Canal Road via Chain Bridge way and trying to make that turn into Fletcher's from that direction is a killer because that ramp is the only road into and out of the Boathouse parking lot and it faces towards Key Bridge. Canal Road becomes one way going towards Chain Bridge from 2:30 to 7pm, so you have to hang a U-turn when you leave.

April 27, 2007
Above Fletcher's Cove, Washington, DC
No new photos. Weather was bad and I didn't want to drown the camera.

It was overcast and raining but I decided to try fishing at Fletcher's Boat House. I only had two hours to fish, so I opted to do it from shore rather than bother renting a boat.

It was still raining when I got to Fletchers and way past the optimum early morning fishing time. In fact it was almost time for lunch when I pulled into the parking lot. Looking out onto the water, there were boats lined up just outside the fast-moving seam but I didn't see much action.

I followed the trail upriver and moved past other fishermen,spin and fly, who were working the shad. Going by landmarks we use when fishing from a boat I picked a spot that was closest to a place we had luck with a few weeks ago.

On the second cast I had a fish. And the third. And the fourth. And the fifth. The action was HOT. In two hours I landed about 63 fish with the largest being close to 22-inches. It was VERY DIFFICULT to call it a day and walk away. The 'this-is-the-last-cast' syndrome was in effect. But finally I did. And it was very hard to do.

HOT FLY: A white size #8 shad dart with red cone head, hook shank wrapped with wire for more weight before tying.

DIRECTIONS: From the lower parking lot walk back towards the tunnel. Cross the bridge on your left that spans a small stream and follow the trail. As you walk along you'll see many smaller trails that branch off towards the water. BE CAREFUL. The water may look calm but it is very dangerous. If you fall in, the current will pull you under. A fish is not worth dying for.

April 13, 2007
Fletcher's Boat House, Washington, DC
The morning was cold and overcast. Jin was up at the tackle shack filling out paperwork on our rental boat. I was connecting the battery leads to the electric motor and watched as the dock lady raise a faded American flag over the life vest house. As she was setting her tip can up on the oar locker she told me about a 'floater' the DC water police just pulled up from under Key Bridge.

"Don't forget to take a vest with you on that boat for yourself and your friend or you'll end up like that %#@*!....the cops THINK it was a guy so you know how long it's been soaking."

I put two life vests in the boat.

Despite the heavy rain that moved through the area the previous day the Potomac was not running high or dirty. We motored out of the cove and headed upstream towards Chain Bridge.

Using a portable sonar unit we quickly found some shad, but after failing to get a solid grip ont he bottom with the rock and rope anchor that's found in all Fletcher's boats I pulled out a ten pound mushroom anchor and 80 feet of poly rope and got a good set.

After the first couple of casts we began to catch shad. And we kept casting and kept catching for most of the time we spent on the water.

It didn't really matter what color shad dart you tied on. Jin used white and I used chartreuse and we both slammed shad and stopped keeping count once we went past ten. All of the shad we caught were Hickories. No Americans yet.

Using a size 8 or 10 shad fly was critical to our success. On a previous trip Jin and I used the same fly color and pattern but he outfished me four to one. The difference was the size of the fly. My store-tied fly was two sizes larger that the one he was using. With that problem corrected on this trip I got my fair share of fish.

We found shad hugging the bottom in the morning but as the tide began to drop and the water flow increased, the fish began to move up into the middle and upper water column. We would get brief flurries of action, with simultanious hookups or getting a shad on every cast. Then the action would stop. At this point it turned into a searching game...varying the depth of the fly or the speed of the strip. But when the fish were found, we'd pound them again before the game would start over again.

EQUIPMENT: I used a 7 weight rod with a Type V density compensated full sink line. Jin used a 8 weight rod with a 250 grain sinking line. All flies were either size 8 or 10 dressed in white, chartreuse or hot pink, with the white fly being the best color of the day.

April 6, 2007
Somewhere in Pennsylvania
Jin and I accompanied Tim, who was fishing with Orvis guide Tom Baltz of Angling Adventures, to a beautiful stream in Pennsylvania. All of us have fished here before so we knew what to expect. Tim settled into his favorite spot and began pulling fish in.

Tim and Tom started the day with several brook trout and a couple of really nice browns. Tim caught a very nice rainbow later in the afternoon, just before we took a lunch break.

This rainbow hit a size 8 olive wooly bugger that was cast across the current and quick-stripped upstream. It hit just as I was about to lift the fly for another cast.

The action remained consistant throughout the day and all of us continued to catch and release a steady stream of nice rainbows, brookies and browns. But Tim and Tom were the top anglers of the day.

Throughout the day Jin and I roamed up and down a short stretch of the stream fishing various pockets and runs. Jin's crippled fish fly was deadly. He had three big fish hooked and landed within 30 minutes including a huge brown was the first of many he caught and released.

I put a small split shot in front of the size 8 olive wooly bugger and fished deep. A brown boiled up under the fly as it neared the end of its swing in the current, grabbed it and ran upstream. After a brief fight I managed to get it into some quiet water where I landed it. I continued to add fish to the count and ended the day with a very nice rainbow.

EQUIPMENT: A 6-weight rod with a Scientific Anglers weight-foreward Trout line. I used a hand-tied 7-foot leader with a heavy butt section and 6-pound tippet to handle the weighted wooly buggers. As far as flies, the size 8 olive wooly worked for me but towards the end of the day the fish were eating anything that drifted by.

March 17, 2007
Bonair Park, Arlington, Virginia
It was freezing.

I arrived early at Bonair Park and unlike the previous year the parking lot was nearly empty. It was just myself and a Trout Unlimited member standing there wondering if the heavy snow and rain the previous night and the cold temperatures today would force cancellation of kids fishing day. We checked Four Mile Run Stream and despite all the rain it was running a little murky but very fishable. Then we spotted the stocking truck and saw workers dumping hundreds of brook trout into the stream so we knew the kids would have a good, but cold, day.
Jin arrived later with Sarah and we grabbed a spot that was productive last year. There wasn't much fishing pressure because the weather kept a lot of people at home. Sarah hooked up with a nice brookie and quickly brought it to net. She hooked but lost two more before the cold drove us to McDonalds for hot drinks and apple pies.

Jin and I returned in the afternoon to try our luck. Action was slow but we each managed to hook and land a few brookies. They were sitting tight on the bottom so we used a variety of nymphs with split shot and indicators.

My productive fly for the day was a size 10 all black wooly bugger fished with a small micro split shot about one inch from the hook eye and another shot about eight inches up the leader. The indicator was set according to depth and drift...keep moving it up or down the leader until the fly drifts without hanging up on the bottom.

EQUIPMENT: I used a 6 1/2 3-weight rod with a floating line and 6-feet of leader. Four Mile Run is a small, narrow and shallow stream with a few deep pockets of water. Although I used a bugger, the fish were eating anything. Powerbait was the prefered choice of most of the fisherfolk on the stream.

DIRECTIONS: The park is located at the intersection of Lee Highway and 850 North Lexington Street. Four Mile Run Stream runs through the park.