The Fisherman

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About The Fisherman

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  • Birthday 11/08/1960

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    Middletown, CT
  1. This is where the fun begins. Be sure to make some memories. :-) Steve Culton
  2. I know what you mean about its markings, but instead of vermiculations, these are just odd, blocky spots. It's a great looking trout and one that's been eating well. Well done, Stan. Steve Culton
  3. Nice fish! Stan’s is a brown. Steve Culton
  4. People have been asking, so here's what I know. I have been invited to give my "Wet Flies 101" seminar at the Marlborough Fly Fishing Show. 1pm, Friday, Jan 19. I will likely be doing at least one other (different) presentation, but that will be in the Destination Theater. They're still working on the Edison (formerly Somerset) schedule. I'll share more details when I get them. Thank you for your support! Steve Culton
  5. I think the thread below sums it up nicely. Note replies #8 and #13. :-) Steve Culton
  6. YMMV. I've been using Rio Outbound lines for years and have never had one spilt at the head/running line junction. Steve Culton
  7. I fished points west here in CT and the wind was a-whippin'. Lots of school bass, nothing exciting, but still fun. All hanging out deep. When I cast upstream and mended and felt the bottom, I caught fish. Good on ya, Dick. I think you got your money's worth this year. :-) Steve Culton
  8. They were dredging away today at the mouth. Steve Culton
  9. To anyone struggling with the Salmon, here are two suggestions. First, fish with someone who knows the river, knows where the fish are likely to be, and knows what some of the more effective presentations/flies are going to be on any given day. That will dramatically shorten the learning curve. A few years ago I shared some water with a group from NJ. One of the guys had been fishing three days without a touch. I asked to see his rig and it was all wrong: wrong leader, wrong fly, far too much weight. We re-rigged and I tied on one the flies that had been producing for me. Five minutes later, he was into his first steelhead. That happened to be a day where the fish were being very cooperative, but you get my point. The same thing happened to me years earlier when I had yet to land my first steelhead -- someone re-rigged for me, tied on one of their high confidence flies, and suddenly I was on the board. Note that as we transition into winter, the fish are far more likely to be holding in certain areas/kinds of water. It's important to know where those places are. (Even then, though, you may still blank. See "Monday" above.) :-) Second, float the river with a good guide. Most of the guides are out every day and have good intel on where the fish are and what's working. Pick their brains and ask a lot of damn fool questions. Here's the best part: you get to see miles of river in a single day, and ask everyone you pass how the catching has been. If you don't mind crowds and targeting fish that have been caught multiple times, the fly zones are the end of the line for thousands of fish. (The UFZ is closed after Nov. 30.) There's a fun read on my website titled "Ten Things Every Beginning Steelheader Should Know." It might be worth a look. Good luck and I hope this helps. Steve Culton
  10. Jim, The best solution is to try different lines on it and when you find the right one you'll know it. If a brick and mortar store doesn't have a bunch of lines a local fly fishing club chapter may. There's no one-size-fits-all answer as everyone is different. For example, I use a 9-weight Rio Outbound floater on my 5-weight TFO TiCr. It's a solution that works for me and for what I want to do with the rod, but it may not work for you or Dick or Mike. No wrong answers, only the ones that are right for you. Hope that helps, Steve Culton
  11. Thanks, Dick. I'm always cold, so steelheading is an odd choice for me. But, I needs must go. Good luck tomorrow! Dan, I use my friend Row Jimmy when I take my youngest boys (now 14 and 12) for two reasons: Jim has spin gear (and he's a terrific guide, great with kids, highly recommended) and the river's a little too big and brawling for inexperienced waders. The boat has been a great way to introduce them to this particular sport. If I'm going up for several days I like to spend one with Jim just to get the lay of the river -- many times we've sniped a few spots that were full of fish with no one presenting to them, and I'll go back the next day. But I do the majority of my fishing there on foot. Good luck and don't give up. When I started fishing the Salmon, it took me 40 hours to land my first steelhead. Steve Culton
  12. I do my best to understand, dear, but you still mystify -- and I don't think I'll ever know why. Why does a cold front always seem to come through on the day I booked months ago? Why won't the steelhead take the fly -- any fly -- on this particular day? Why do steelhead glom onto only small black stones or only fluorescent orange eggs or...? Why do I subject myself to this? These are the questions I ponder at night over a glass of single malt. Finding the answers isn't necessarily the goal -- or even a realistic outcome. It's just part of the Kabuki known as steelhead madness. Monday: I call it "Salmon River Sunshine." It refers to the snow, rain, sleet, and the more esoteric forms of lake-effect precipitation. Today it was white pellets and snow. It started around 7am -- we'd launched at 6 -- and it went full throttle pretty much all morning. The stuff stuck to the boat, our gear, hoods, gloves -- no horizontal surface was spared. Now, I've had plenty of good days fishing in crap weather, but this wasn't one of them. Not a single touch the entire day. We were surely fishing over steelhead, because Cam hooked five, landing three. Okay, so he was using egg sacks. But shouldn't I have gotten at least a courtesy tap? I tend to view these situations as a half full/half empty dichotomy: I'm fishing well, my drifts are good, I'm alert and ready to set the hook, and I know there are steelhead below. But as much as I will it to be so, they just won't take the fly. That's more than a little frustrating when you've driven hours so you can shiver in your boots for the skunk while standing in five inches of slush in the bottom of a boat. Of course, the salve for this day was how well Cam fished. (He hooked and landed more steelhead than any other angler we saw or spoke to.) Being a proud papa can do wonders for your spirits, so I went all in on that. And I reminded myself that in any multi-day trip, the fighting is in rounds. When I sent this photo to my wife, her comment was, "Even the fish looks cold." ~ Tuesday: Having blanked on two of my four steelhead days this fall, I was ready to negotiate an agreement using my fly fishing soul as collateral. I'm talking, of course, about trout beads. Yes, they are proven steelhead catchers. No, they are not flies. But it's my trip and I can do whatever the hell I want. Purists among you will be pleased to know that I blanked for the two hours I used them. (I have to confess that I wasn't all that upset about it, either.) I'd had some success the previous week on a pattern called a Breaking Skein Glitter Fly. It's basically a Crystal Meth with a pearl Krystal Flash tail and some white Estaz ribbed between the fluorescent orange braid loops. Wasn't I the happiest angler on the river when my indicator went under and the line thrummed with energy? After 11 consecutive hours of skunk, that'll put a smile on your face. I had to earn this one. It was a fresh, energetic fish, and after a couple line burning runs it decided that the boat was a cut bank and parked underneath it. Picture me leaning over the bow, rod tip in the water, trying to coax it out. Seconds became years, but we finally had our grip and grin. ~ This year's fishing was different for me in that all my steelhead came on bright, flashy patterns. I spent many hours presenting small black stones (Redheads, Copperheads, etc.) and any number of natural-toned soft-hackles to no avail. They wanted the bling. (I did hook and drop a fish on a 60-Second Copperhead). By the time ice in the rod tips was no longer a factor, Cam had boated three, and I'd taken my second on the Breaking Skein Glitter Fly. It's a very, very, very good sign. ~ It was now early afternoon and time was a thief. I'd gotten a bump on a hot orange Salmon River Rajah fished under an indicator, so I rolled the dice, ditched the yarn, and embarked on a little swinging adventure. I gave it the better part of an hour, but in the end I went back to the Breaking Skein well. My last steelhead ate the fly with fierce conviction, but I whiffed on the set. We got a good look at it when it boiled, and we ruefully concurred that it was the biggest fish of the day. Oh, the cruelty! I kept pounding the slot the fish had been holding in, and ten minutes later the steelhead gods showed their kindness as the fish struck and I buried the hook in the corner of its mouth. Like my first fish, this buck cartwheeled down the pool, then made a beeline for the security of under the boat. At double digit pounds, this steelhead needed some firm pressure to get him to relinquish his position. In the end, the hoop of the net encircled him, and smiles decorated every face. On Tuesday, November 21st, 2017, the steelhead loved this fly. On Monday, November 20th, 2017, they ignored it. Don't ask me why. ~ Cam was high hook both days and for the trip, with seven total steelhead, three of them in some nasty, difficult conditions. Dad was three-for-five. But as I tell Cam, if I can land just one steelhead, that's a good day. Lee Wulff was right. As was Nick Lowe. (In the right measure.) Steve Culton
  13. Report from last week coming soon.
  14. There's no "one size fits all" answer because everyone is different. Some people run cold, others run hot, still others are in-between. Stockingfoot waders -- no matter how well-fitted -- are a non-starter for me in winter. If it weren't for my Thinsulate boot foot 5-mil neoprene waders, I wouldn't be able to fish. The rest of me gets layers of Under Armor and fleece as needed with a GoreTex jacket. Extra gloves, hand warmers, toe warmers -- these are all my friends. YMMV. Hope that helps, Steve Culton