With temps reaching the 40's, rain, snow, sleet, and fog, you would think we lived in the PNW or something. If it keeps up like this in Wisconsin, we might not have much of an ice fishing season.
This weekend was a great one. With such rare weather for December, quality fishing has continued in the Tribs. When I got to the bank of the river, flows were looking perfect. The water color/clarity was stunning, not too clear, good stain, and a beautiful green hue. I began swinging my first run with high hopes. One solid tug right off the bat lead me to believe this day was going to be phenomenal. Apparently not so. Not for me anyways, I worked through the rest of the run with nothing to show but these photos, and a shoe floating in a back flow. ( I hope the shoe's rightful owner isn't in the river somewhere...yikes!)
But that is not all I found along the river that day. Turns out my river finds aren't limited to garbage, and odd rarities of the world. This day, I was fortunate enough to strike a conversation with none other than Author and Abu Garcia reel builder, Mr. Ambassadeur himself, Simon Shimomura. Now, I don't have the time or energy to go into depth on the iconic Ambassadeur reel from Abu Garcia. If you don't know, look it up. But I do want to say that it was an honor to meet Mr. Shimumura. Simon was an extremely pleasant man, humble, polite and enthusiastic about sharing his hand made, one of a kind, 24karat gold plated Ambassadeur reel. What a beaut! I have never seen one in person. I have only read about these things. This reel was an amazing piece of true workmanship and quality. Mr. Shimomura was also so kind as to show me his hand wrapped Sage fly rod, hand wrapped river rod, and this sweet little gem I managed to snap a photo of.
This reel is a "Record Standard" made by Abu Garcia. This classic has no drag system, just a click and pawl. Simon told me these were not made available in the United States. They made a ported version later in the products life, but this reel is in mint condition. Stamped "Made in Sweden" with the factory hammered sea-foam green finish shining beautifully I found myself lusting over this classic reel.
Like I said, it was an absolute honor to meet Mr. Shimomura. Check out his books, fishing tackle and photos at his website here.
Back to fishing. I worked my way to another favorite run of mine. A run which is usually a great producer. Well, another guy swinging flies politely jumped in behind me and picked my pocket. Fun to see, but a little frustrating.
After working through the run once, I met up with my good friend Adam, who's determination to hook a fish led me to stepping in at the top of the run again. This time luck was on his side. Adam was maybe 30 yards ahead of me, when mid swing his fly was crushed. I quickly reeled in my rig and made my way down for the assist and some photos. We thought for sure it was a Steelhead as she tore line off his Farlow click pawl and thrashed the surface. After a long battle, with a huge bend in his rod, Adam successfully landed a bright, fat, Brown trout hen. (pics to come)
Even though I went without a fish that day, it is almost just as fun when your buddy reels one in and you are there to lend a hand and take some photos. On top of meeting great people, it makes the whole day that much better, and totally worth it.