[nggallery id=659]After getting spoiled catching lot’s of browns and rainbows in the Lake Ontario, Upper NY tributaries I decided to take Mulligan and head down to the Niagara Whirlpool. Due to strong winds on Lake Erie and some heavy downpours, the Niagara River has been pretty murky lately, that’s why I have been opting to fish the smaller Upper NY tributaries. Today, I thought the water should have stabilized and cleared-up quite a bit so I headed down the gorge. We arrived in the Whirlpool parking lot about 8am and there were already about 15-vehicles there, an indication that either people were off work early for the Christmas holiday, or the fishing was good and the word got out, or both.
Getting down to the Whirlpool I could see anglers dotting pretty well all the shorelines. I decided to fish the “tail-out” right in front of where the patch comes down to see if there were trout holding in-between the submerged boulders. This spot has produced trout for me in the past, but it’s tricky to fish since the current picks-up at the end of the run and there are indeed lot’s of boulders to get hung-up on. The upside to fishing this spot is that good size trout will often hold behind or in-between the boulders in water as shallow as 4′.
I made many drifts and my hands started to really get cold. The air temperature was -2C, with a wind that made it feel more like -5-8C. I could see fishermen taking a break from the fishing just to warm their hands up. The last 6 or so guides also started to ice-up, so I had to dunk my tip-section of my Rapala R-Type 13′. 3-piece drift rod regularly in the water and swish it around to get the ice off. The Rapala R-Type Center Pin reel loaded with Sufix Tritanium 8 lb. test (yellow), continued to work like a “Swiss watch”, with no problems.
Withing 1/2 hr. of difting, my float shot under, I set the hook and I had a trophy trout on. Only problem was my right hand (the one that holds the rod and works the rim-drag), was really cold and I had a hard time using my finger to create drag on the rim-spool. The fish fought for about 5-min., than I landed it safely in my Lucky Strike Live Release Basket Net. I took several pictures of it and released it. Shortly afterwards I had to leave and go and do some errands.
This male brown was so beautiful I decided to post the two above images of it. The walk up and down the gorge. & freezing hands were all worth it even to fish for just an hour when you land a fish like this!