Change Of Pace

By Scott Norton

Most anglers dabble in other types of fishing to bring that “newness” that you once felt as a child or newcomer to the sport. Thanks to seasons, we enjoy changes to our sport anyway, but it’s not like going after something so different that you will need to buy new gear for it. I have fished for bass and trout all my life and it never gets old. If I’m going to fish on a vacation it will not be either one of those. Awhile back, I was doing these annual trips to Pulaski, New York for some salmon fishing. In the past, I have been known to deep-sea fish as well. Salmon fishing reminds me of both deep-sea fishing and trout fishing combined. Where else can you say you can catch ocean size fish in a river where you can fish also for trout.

Now that I am a seasoned angler, I can easily learn new techniques. My first few years, I used what I learned and applied it to salmon fishing. I experimented with different lines, hooks, rods, and reels to see what gave me the best landing ratio. I learned the flossing technique my first year, so hooking up is not the problem; it is landing them. The power these fish posses is like no other. The first time you hook up and fight one, you will notice these fish tend to never get tired. They just do not stop fighting. Most would say they fight to their own death. So believe me when I say, it will absolutely blow your mind your first time, and it never gets old.

I like to drive the distance because the fish are not the only thing to spark your interest. There are so many places to visit on your way there that it makes the drive well worth it. There is the food factor, where you want try the best foods of that state, or culture. Once, in New York, we headed to Niagara Falls in Buffalo to see the falls and have that great New York pizza. While there, we met with some old friends for some great evening music…Good times. Next, you have the Thousand Islands nearby for some scenic views.

Now that you’re ready to fish, the adrenaline you feel just walking to your spot for the first time this year is that feeling you always chase as an angler. It makes me feel young again. I feel like, this year, I am ready and confident that I can land these fish. I have two set ups that I use. I have a spinning and fly rod set up that I have been dialing in each year. What worked for me on the spinning set up is a medium heavy rod that holds line up to 17 to 20 pounds. I have settled on a 10 foot or 10 foot 6 inch length with a moderate action. I have messed around with shorter and longer rods but this is my sweet spot. A 4000 sized reel is the perfect size for line capacity. When selecting a reel, make sure it has a good smooth drag. My fly set up is a 9-foot 9-weight rod with a large arbor reel to take up slack when you need it. The line selection is 12-pound big game. After two good fights, change out the spool of line because the power these fish have will stretch that out and then your line is no longer good. There is nothing like trying something new in something you already love.

Scott Norton is a Western North Carolina native. Born in Asheville, N.C., he is a long-time hunter, angler, and weekend warrior.