Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Make a Seine Net

Materials: Fine window-screen mesh, telescoping legs, heavy duty thread (I actually used 8 lb test firewire for spin fishing), needle or sewing machine
Cost: About $12 (more if you have to buy firewire from the store :-)
Time: About 1 hour for me to assemble. If you have a sewing machine it would probably only take 20 minutes or less.

I spoke in a recent blog how I wanted to get back to my roots of really studying a river. After so many years of fishing it's easy to just know what works, tie it on and start fishing. No doubt, the downfall to this approach is that you may miss some really awesome things going on when it comes to benthic activity. Plus, the reason I wanted to get back to my roots was the feeling that my fishing had become all business. I wasn't stopping to smell the roses, as they say.

In my quest, I decided to make a seine net that would easily fit in the back of my vest, but not be super flimsy like a lot of the commercially made ones you can buy. I began looking for telescoping legs and Wal-mart finally delivered for me (I have a personal vendetta against Wal-mart, every time I go in there to buy something I can never find it! How can such a big store not have what you need!!!!). I found this Targus, 42" tripod and the legs fit perfectly into the back of my Filson Vest. The cost for the tripod was $9.

Instructions: Once I chopped the legs off of the tripod with a hacksaw the rest of the operation was to take the window screen, fold over the sides and sew them (to create the pocket for the tripod legs to go in). Then fold up the bottom edge and sew it for durability and to seal off the tripod leg pockets so they don't go through (you could leave them open so they do go through, I can see some advantage to this).

Voila! You have a sweet seine net that fits easily into your vest. Here's a couple of other notes that may be of help.
  1. In the picture, my net is about 24" tall. I don't think you need to go this high since it just creates extra drag in the current and puts strain on the poles. Probably, a 12" height is all that's necessary to capture what you're looking for.
  2. The telescoping legs lock out when they are fully extended, then you twist the top of the leg until you hear a "click" and they are now unlocked and can be collapsed.
  3. It helps to oil up the legs every once in a while. They tend to start showing signs of oxidization and that makes them a little hard to operate. 
  4. Taking it to the next level, Jay's good friend Kirk used a fabric and heavy duty thread to sew the seams. I don't have an image, but it really made the seine net look "professional". I thought it was a cool addition.
Hope this inspires you to try something new!
Tight lines,

-Jeff Allen

Friday, December 9, 2011

South Platte, 11 Mile Canyon, Colorado

Catch-up: This event occurred in the Spring of 2011

Date: Friday April 22 and  Saturday May 7, 2011
Weather: Sunny, beautiful
Insect/Activity: Small amount of midge and baetis activity
Flows: 52

Fortune smiled upon Ben and I as we took to the river a couple of times in a two week period! I can't remember what stopped Michelle from coming, but I think it had to do with bridal showers, or baby showers!@?! Needless to say, upon hearing my tales after fishing, Michelle rued the day she was born a woman and "showers" became a required event for her gender.

That's a really long way of saying: Ben and I had two amazing days. The weather was amazing—sunny, calm winds, low flows, clear water and cool enough to wear a hooded sweatshirt—and the icing on the cake was the ridiculous amounts of fish we caught!

One of the beauties of late winter/early spring is the low flows and lack of fishermen on the water. It's a great time to get out there and catch fish that, in my opinion, are feeding recklessly because they are hungry from low metabolism in the winter and haven't been pressured for a few months.

With really low flows, it's easy to see fish too, and you can get away with fishing nymphs that aren't too weighted. It's one of the best times that nymph fishing feels like dry-fly fishing.

Here are some great photos that Ben and I got of the course of two days. Make sure to check out the rainbow with the spots on his eyes! I had never seen it before (in person). Really cool looking (though it's possible he took my fly because his eyesight isn't so good :)

-Jeff Allen

Beautiful, dark colored rainbow. Notice the how his spots are covering his eyes! Amazing!