Angler's Notebook

by Jon Farley

illustration Ted Walke

Different-sized metal spinning lures catch just about any type of game fish. So do live minnows. To make a really great fish catcher, try combining these two by hooking a minnow through the lips on the spinner's treble hook. The flash of the spinning blade and the appeal of a real minnow are often irresistible to everything from trout to muskies.

Spinner with minnow

The feet of rubber hip boots and waders can get very sweaty after a few hours on the stream. If they're just thrown in a corner at the end of the day, they'll take a long time to dry. Seasoned anglers remedy this by placing--in the boots--coffee cans with both ends removed. The cans speed drying by allowing air to circulate to the feet better. An even simpler way is to place short sticks crossways in each leg. The sticks also spread the waders.

Have an old "runner" piece of carpet? Try using it on the floor of your canoe. It can make your canoe quieter and more comfortable. It also soaks up those annoying little puddles of water that manage to make their way into even the most watertight canoes. The thinner, rubber-bottomed kinds work better because they dry out faster and don't get rumpled as easily.

In certain situations, bright fly lines can spook line-shy fish. If you want to give your light or fluorescent-colored line a more subdued tint, try this trick: Add a teaspoon of powdered clothing dye (olive is a good color) to a pan of water. Slowly draw your line through the solution to get an even application of dye. If it isn't dark enough after the first try, repeat the process until you get the desired shade.

Late fall is a good time to get your ice fishing gear ready. You should replace lines, sharpen the blades on your auger, replace broken gear, and perform maintenance on reels and tip-ups. By doing these tasks now, you can eliminate a lot of headaches once you get out on the ice.

If you remove the entrails from a trout this fall and discover it's full of eggs, save them to make spawn sacs for use as steelhead bait. Make spawn sacs by wrapping small clusters of eggs in a piece of fine nylon mesh, and then tie the mesh in a bundle at the top to form the "sac." Rolling the eggs in borax beforehand preserves them. Give them varied appearances by using different colors of mesh.

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November/December 1999 Angler & Boater

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