Monday, June 19, 2006

Shore Fishing the Lower Niagara River

I skipped out to the Lower Niagara River this morning. Only had a few hrs to fish because of work this evening. It was a beautiful overcast and misty day. The gorge was a cornucopia of sea green and blues. I don't think you could find a more beautiful Steelhead destination on the east coast.

I started throwing the traditional steelhead flys; eggsucking leeches, stone and flesh flys. I was working the pocket water behind large boulders as in picture #4 . The only thing holding in this water was 20 to 30 lbs carp that wanted nothing to do with my streamers.

After about two hrs of searching for fish in the slower pocket water I attempted to fish the faster drifts located in the main channel of the river. Needless to say my fly gear had no way of even breaking the top six inches of water due to the unbelievable current.

I dipped in to my backpack and pulled out a small box of traditional spin tackle I carry around with me and tied a large red and white single hook Dare Devil to the 8wt fly rod and reel. Two or three cast later and I felt the unmistakable slam then head shake of a steelhead.

The weight of the fish against the current was amazing. I thought I had on a monster the way it would dive down then sit in the current using its body to generate torque against my rod.

The fight was relatively short but sweet. The very skinny buck was beached easily, plucked out of the water for a quick photo then left to go on his way. I shut off the camera, collected myself then packed up for the hike out. What a great morning of fishing! Its off to work I goooooooo.