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chrome-magnon man
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5,373 Posts
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Greetings!

Been a little quiet the past few months as October and November are months that I traditionally reserve to fish the Thompson. After much uncertainty about whether the river would open, the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment opened the river in early October after test fishery results indicated that the run could support a sportsfishery. Of course within a week the river was jammed with anglers, and fish got caught at about the same rate as one would expect in early-to-mid October: a few here, a few there, but the main run of fish didn't begin to arrive until late in the month and into November.

Fishing this year on the Thompson has been typical--anglers who know the river and its moods well have been able to capitalize on the water conditions and find fish. The water levels at the opening were @ 1.8 meters, but within a few weeks the autumn rains began and the river rose quickly to nearly 3 meters. This spread the fish out and made them tough to find, but once the main run started to come in towards the end of the month reels once again began to sing. As expected, fishing pressure late in October and through the middle of November has been pretty intense, and many of the famed runs around Spences Bridge have been getting hammered. In some of these spots fishing will be great for a few days and then shut off completely as the fish duck and cover. The fish get lock jaw and move around a bit, then after a few days a fish or two will begin to appear and the angling will pick up once again.

People often ask me what to expect of the Thompson. These days I would say that the fly fishing ethics are sadly lacking--it is becoming more common for fly fishers to cut in below other fly fishers and to hog the water, refusing to move through at a reasonable pace. The days of fly fishing as the noble pursuit are going to way of the Dodo on the Thompson. Several years ago people would say something to the offenders but nowadays it seems that anglers are willing to accept this sort of behaviour, which of course simply reinforces it. Alas.

But the fishing is what it has always been--a fish a day or every two days is excellent, and anything more than that is cause for one to check for horseshoes on one's waders. It is common to go two, three or more days on the Thompson without a pull. Thompson fly fishers know this and, while they may grumble when in the middle of a dry spell, they know that this is simply one of the sacrifices the river gods demand. Last week a Japanese angler asked me for my advice on how to hook Thompson steelhead, and I replied with the old Atlantic salmon refrain "Keep your fly in the water and be of good cheer!" Apart from casting well, turning over your fly every time, and fishing productive water, there is nothing else one can do. When all is right, a fish will strike.

One of the great things about this season is that I have once again had some interesting new tackle to test, including the new LOOP reels (the HDs--the Classic reels haven't arrived yet) and the new CND Spey lines, as well as some rods from Beulah, a cool tube fly box, and a bunch of hooks for tube flies. I'll be providing more info in all of these in the near future.

As well, speypages staff have been looking ahead to 2006 and planning some new features. As promised, we will actually present our new look sometime in 2006. Here in the subscriber section I will be devoting the bulk of the writings here at "Refining the Spey" to a 12 part series on--you guessed it--refining the spey! I'll start with how to identifiy where you are as a speycaster, and then provided a series of steps and exercises you can use to take you speycasting to the next level. "The Speypages Newsletter" will continue on with its mission of being the world's first and only online Speycasting book that adds a new chapter every few months. And on the main board we'll also be adding new Speypages Interviews with some of the interesting folks who populate the Spey universe, including the folks behind Meiser Spey Rods, and Mr CND himself, Nobuo Nodera.

See you on the water!
 
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