Friday July 10, 2020– The Wind Finder prediction was encouraging all week long. It looked like a great morning to fish. Vaughn and Dan had a decent day yesterday landing 17 nice fish in the afternoon. They couldn’t fish the morning because the forecast was wrong again. They arrived at the lake greeted by a flashing red light on the forebay and lake yesterday, but had a pretty good day from 11-3 when the wind died down. Last Friday the exact thing happened to me and the wind magically disappeared by noon as well . Unlike last week however, today I had the whole day to fish. I think I would have done better last week if I could have fished the Trash racks and stayed past 2:00. The guard was there last Friday all morning and I didn’t get much of a chance to fish there like I did today. I think this month is an afternoon month. I’ve never fished the evening but I’ve heard it can be great.
The morning was blown out again today and I waited till 10:30 for the lake to reopened and the winds to die. When I launched at Basalt, there were only two boat trailers parked and the lake was pretty empty all day. It looked like the racks were empty when I launched. I sped over there only to discover a white pickup truck parked at the end of the causeway. I think the Dam Police hacked my computer and know my work schedule. They come out just to keep me off but Im patient. I decided to fish the dam in front of the parked truck to see where the limits were. It seems to be ok to fish the dam since I did so right in front of him without a bullhorn. I think they are not kicking people off the dam any more but I might be wrong. With all the unenforced crime in the world today, I wonder why they make such an effort to protect the trash racks. Nobody, especially fishermen, want anything to happen to our beloved Trash Racks. If someone really wanted to hurt the trash racks, it would be fishermen that would defend it. As far as safety is concerned, I don’t know of any accident that occurred because a boat was too close the racks. I have seen the lake at full capacity and at its lowest capacity and at no time has pumped water around the trash racks created a dangerous rip or treacherous current. For years we fished it before 911 with no problems.. What a waste of money to regulate water trespassing on a public lake.
I only caught one fish off the rocks of the dam. I didn’t see many fish in 20 feet of water. The only place I did see fish in 20 feet of water was in front of the Glory Hole and along the shallow areas adjacent to the causeway but I couldn’t get them to eat. Some of the fish there looked round like crappie but there were definitely some big stripers. I ot fish this section much and it definitely needs a dedicated day . The White Truck left at 1:00pm but then a Red Boat launched from Basalt and retrieved the orange floating “keep out” signs that ended up on the rocks. They must have broke off during the winds. It took them an hour to reattach them to the cables and they left at 2:00. And I didn’t want to take the chance of pissing them off by fishing right next to them as they worked to put the no trespassing signs back up. I moved in after they left and immediately started catching fish around the racks. Fish were 20-30 feet down I ended up with 10 for the day with 9 at the racks from 2-pm. Catching 4 to 5 fish an hour is pretty good fishing in my opinion, especially if you have to fish at 30-40 feet and count 60 seconds between casts. When the bite is light, alternating between two rods is not as effective because they do not move as far to the fly and they are constantly hitting a non moving fly. I think the right depth is critical with bites like today. It takes discipline and a good timer to not waste any casts that doesn’t get to precise depth. It seemed that when I saw them on the livescope, and I precisely timed my lines to the correct depth, I would get a hit or fish with high probability. The fish were nibbling and molesting my fly on the drop and pause most of the day. I normally fish an Outbound Short and or a 330 grain shooting head with OPST Lazar running line around the racks and I sometimes find when the hits are light and fish aren’t crashing the fly, I have to concentrate on feeling the pulse disc as well as any small ticks or nibbles on the fly during the retrieve and pauses. Sometimes I do well just twitching the fly like fishing nymphs for trout. On days like today, I do not think I would catch any fish if I didn’t set the hook on strikes. I lost half a dozen fish on the strike today setting on every little pause of the pulse disk or tick bump. I was surprised half the time that there was a fish on setting on such light hits. For me, the holy grail of shooting heads for stripers should not stretch even a little and it’s easy to feel what lines stretch least when you fish a pulse disc.
I try to learn something every time I fish the lake. Today I brought a rod out rigged with Airflow Miracle Braid shooting line. Miracle Braid is very unique in the shooting line wheelhouse. It is extremely limp with no memory, shoots like mono, and doesn’t stretch. Because it floats, it jumps off the water and shoots very well out of the bucket or in streams It feels good stripping and it is easier to strip set because of its texture which is easy to grip and lock. In addition , you can make the best loops with it which slide effortlessly through the guides. On the down side, it doesn’t handle cold well. Also it is hard to get right now because Airflow was recently bought by Mayfly Outdoors (Able and Ross Reels) and there is not much stock out there. In fact I can’t find 20lb running line yet which I suspect might be even better that the 30 lb. Finally, what makes it good on a river makes it bad for fast sinking heads since the line floats . I suspect that on the up side, floating shooting lines keep the line straighter in the water on the sink which could also is a big advantage. I think I need to add another second per foot of sink since the head will not sink as fast with floating shooting heads. Lastly, the line is pretty noisy. The texture on the braid sounds like a saw through the guides, I guess time will tell if the line is sawing through my guides especially the way stripers pull hard. I would think that would be the most downside of all. Time to find some 20 lb test. Perhaps the thinner line will sink better and shoot farther.
Also today I programmed my Iwatch to set timers for 10, 20 , 30 and 40 feet. I repurposed an app called Interval to automatically start timers when I tell Siri to “Fish 30 Feet” “Fish 10 feet” Fish 20 feet”, etc,,, It’s handy to be able to start timers with voice instead of hitting a button on the watch. I think precise depth control is the best way to use the Livescope. My calculations are all based on T14 sinking 8 inches a second. some nice features of Interval is that it talks to you and lets you know when you are halfway down and also sais 5 seconds left at the end of the interval. I tried to count in my head to see how accurate I was and maybe its my old age or excitement and anticipation but I’m not consistent. Sometimes I am off by two to three feet. Next ill need hearing aids to here the Iwatch tell me it’s 5 seconds to “strip” time.