As I wrote for a feature in today’s Roanoke Times, I believe plenty of those lessons can translate here even if we are targeting different fish, animals, etc.
The big one up there for me, fishing-wise, was using beads for trout. It is THE method when trout are mixing with spawning salmon. Even though we don’t have salmon here, trout still will hit eggs. So why not beads?
When I started trying to fish with beads I was pretty clueless. Fortunately I got a really good lesson on the Kenai River with Dan Myers of Alaska Clearwater guide service.
Dan, shown here with a typical Kenai rainbow (an 18-incher weighing about 2 pounds) stressed the need for a long, drag-free drift, which he accomplished with skillful mending. He also favored fishing the beads weightless with a long leader to the strike indicator, vs. a shorter leader with weight.
As I wrote in the article, the bead method often results in hooking the trout outside the jaw. That’s a good thing for the trout, mortality wise. So, ethically, it’s a great method for catch-and-release fishermen. The fish is hitting the lure fair and square. Legally, fish not hooked in the mouth (aka, foul-hooked) can’t be creeled in Virginia. I’m not advocating an illegal type of fishing here. Just saying that if you fish with beads, you need to know the law and know that if you hook a fish outside the mouth, you’ll need to release that fish to be lawful.
I am eager to give beads a shot here. If our trout will hit Powerbait, funky-colored Trout Magnet jigs and the like, certainly they’ll hit beads.
The other thing I am looking forward to is getting back to throwing spoons such as the Johnson Silver Minnow in weedy lakes and rivers for bass and pickerel. Silver Minnows are classics but I think we too often keep lures like that in the back of our tackle boxes in favor of the latest and greatest trends.
These aren’t the only lessons, of course.
A question for you all: Did anything I wrote about from Alaska prompt you to think: “I bet that might work here in Virginia for (insert fish name here).”