the river is rising again .....

… gonna add some live baits to the arsenal tomorrow a.m. and do that thing .

Wonder if she’ll catch her 1st Muskie tomorrow , wonder what I’ll catch ??

Probably be our last time out in the river by canoe this year because the water temp. is now 55* , and drysuits we don’t have (55* is just about my no go point in the river by canoe) … besides the Smallies all but disapear anyway (or so it seems for me) .

Have never flipped the canoe , never capsized it , and expect I never will … but w/o a drysuit or at least wetsuit gear , not going to chance it .

Now we’ve had discussions about wading fishing in freezing waters when we were younger before , turning blue , teeth chattering and ice on the line , no feeling in hands , etc. … but I ain’t quite that dumb any more .

So , at what water temp. do you say “no go” without protective suit gear ??

it was a good day …

– Last Updated: Oct-26-09 2:48 PM EST –

...... we didn't catch a Muskie but one did somehow manage to cut the line "above" the steelon leader during the battle .

Another fish was soooo heavy all I could do was hang on for the first few minutes (a large Cat I suspect)... it ended up running into some river grass and I was thinking I could haul his butt out of there because I had 15 lb. braid on ... ha , I pulled back as hard as I could and snap went the line .

Smallie fishing was slow so I set her up with a light bottom rig and piled on the nightcrawler and minnie ... she caught about 7 Cats , all nice size . One of them in the 28" range .

When she hooked into that large one , she said she was snagged , she opened her bail and let that snag run half way down the river before asking me for help to free it . When I took the rod , it was a country mile away and I told her it's a fish , not a snag . She said no way , so I began three deep sea like retrieves and got it half way back ... then said you finish bringing it in and stop making me do all the work for you ... she still couldn't believe it was fish until it got back within normal range (she thought she was dragging in big branch or something) , finally she could feel it swiming every which way !! ... now it's a priceless moment to see that doubting grin on her face turn into a ear to ear smile of belief !!

I did catch a nice size Smallie despite the slow bite .

It was interesting leaving the mouth of Monocacy into the main Potomac ... the Monoc had risen 3-1/2' in the past 12 hrs. and was class 3- wave trains all below the Viaduct ... had to line the canoe for about 200' to get it back around the Viaduct and back to the launch at the end of the day .

I scouted our morning exit with her from the shore and went over the plan ... first I got her to paddle upstream with me about a 1/4 mile to the train bridge against the current (which was really strong) , worked some smaller rips and eddies for practice , and then headed back down for the big exit (the main event) under the Viaduct .

All went real smooth as hoped for ... it was neat to watch her in the bow bobing up and down nailing her sweeps as we slipped into the rush and under the Viaduct and following wavetrains , she eddied out like a pro and we went fishing !!

After we cleared the tough stuff I asked her what she thought of that ... all she said was "my heart went a little faint for a few minutes" , lol .

ps., ... ya know something , this gal is getting really good at this tandem canoe stuff !!

I have protective gear.
My usual personal safety limit is 40. I have paddled with ShenandoahRiverRat on New Year’s Eve before when the water temp was 32. I didn’t have a thermometer, but there was a fair bit of ice along the edges and the feeder creeks were frozen over. I only paddle with people whose paddling skills I know and on water I know when it’s that cold. I don’t want any surprises from the river or the company. Also, I add an whole grade to rapids. A minor riffle would be a class I. An easy-peasy class I would be a class II. Etc. I don’t paddle anything over a class II (what would usually be class I) in water that cold.

With water temp at 40 degrees, especially if the air temp is high, I get a little more adventurous. Have to, because some of the best runs are only open in the Spring when the rains and melt-off have the volume high enough to be navigable. I’m still cautious, though, and still wear my protective gear and bring a full suit to spare, plus fire building equipment and high energy food, and usually a thermos full of hot green tea to warm up fast in case of misadventure.

  • Big D

that heavy fish that ended up in the …

– Last Updated: Oct-27-09 12:36 AM EST –

...... river grass and broke off trying to pull him out of there ... well at first this fish jerked and pulled soooo hard that it felt like it broke my little finger where it joins the hand .

I hold my rod and reel with the little finger being the only one behind the reel and this fish made the rod crunch down very hard against that finger .

I mention this because the water temps. being 54-55 degrees were great to keep dipping that hand into for awhile and sort of numbing it up ... there were two dents in the finger and it was swelling up to boot . I would not want to be in water at this temp. for very long in regular clothing , and I know I would need to get dried up and warmed back up quick if I ever ended up in it .

I told her I did not need any ice and was proud to have this pain and discomfort ... now that I think on it more , the line did not snap on this one but tore out it's mouth , because I got the hook back (originally I had said the line went snap) .

I'm pretty certain this fish got a nice rip in his mouth out of the deal too ... and I believe this same fish came up to the surface three times after the battle was over and cussed at me , each time further down river . I told her that's the fish that got away and he's got his battle scars too now ... she said that's an old and wise fish and that's how he got so old and large in the first place by hanging himself in the river grass after he got hooked before !!

i think
that big fish called out the kite type hawk to come swoop down on you as a warning. lol

Heh, heh, heh,.
Sometimes the fish win. :slight_smile:

On my spinning and baitcasting rods, I usually use braided line of 4lb equivalent diameter (spinning) or 8lb equivalent diameter (baitcasting). These lines are very strong and very thin, especially the 4lb. After many, many years of using mono, I still do the grab, twist, yank maneuver. Except now, it cuts my pinky on the outside where it rests when I yank. I get to fish so little, that I have grown to like getting “snag finger”. Even though painful, it is a reminder for a week or two of a good day spent on the water.

If you don’t break something or bleed a little, the fish lose respect.

  • Big D

ok D , that made me laugh pretty good
… I’m all with ya in maintaining the fishes respect , lol !!

yeah , the braid we use is Spiderwire 4 lb. dia./ 15 lb. test , the stuff is kinda sharp if it gets ya

i noticed
if i have a snag or big fish and my drag is pulling, i hold the rod and line in my right hand above the reel, trying to reel with my left. the spider wire has made me very concious of how i hold the line now. i have been VERY aware of it.

There’s a good reason for that.
Apparently, you have a clue. Something which I lost long ago if ever I had one.

  • Big D