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Preparing to Fish New Waters

by Les Albjerg

My good friend at work Megan who is an awesome fly fisherwoman hiked up to several of the lakes I was planning on fishing when I am off work in 10 days. Her pictures were beautiful, but she wasn't able to fish because the lakes are still frozen solid! So it is now Plan B!

Here is how I prepare for new waters. There is a very wild stream down in the high desert that I've wanted to fish since I crossed it scouting for antelope 7 years ago. The first thing I did was talk to the biologist at Idaho Fish and Game. He told me that there are fish in the stream. Several native species and in the lower section I am thinking about fishing, smallmouth bass. So, it is worth the effort. I have spent a couple of hours pouring over Google Earth exploring how to fish it. My first impression was there isn't enough stream to fish, but I have now mapped out 5 miles of very fishable waters. I've also used Google Earth to figure out the rods I am going to take. For sure I am going to be using my bait caster. However by using the ruler feature on Google Earth, I realized that the Fine Power 56 is worth taking along because I want to fish fixed line as well. Several of the pools I measured are 60 feet across, and the majority of the stream is 30 feet across. Google Earth also allowed me to plan several routes to get me fishing sooner in better waters before I even get there.

This week, I will be preparing my fly, spinner, and plug boxes to make sure that I have what I need when I go. I will be over 100 miles from the nearest town. According to the biologist, I should have the stream pretty much to myself, as it isn't known for being a great place to fish. He said a 16 inch Redband Rainbow would be a trophy, but I should expect many 8-12 inch fish. One of the reasons I love Finesse Fishing is that those 8-12 inchers give a very nice fight!

Comments for Preparing to Fish New Waters

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Jun 22, 2019
Road Trip
by: JJ Ellenburg


I look forward to a report about your trip. I find planning a trip to unknown waters to be almost as enjoyable as actually exploring new waters. I’m currently in the planning stages of a Rocky Mountain cutthroat slam trip out your way. My wife and I were trying to make an extended trip across the country work out in the next couple of years, but work obligations for her are going to delay that a bit. Instead, I have the go ahead to plan a six or seven week Rocky Mountain tour. I plan on going true Troutbum style. Camping and living out of a van for the duration. I hope to catch as many different cutthroat species as possible, in their native waters, in the time that I have. It appears that Idaho will get a good bit of my attention. You have quite the variety out there. Enjoy your trip.


Jun 26, 2019
Great Spouse!
by: Les Albjerg


Wow that sounds like a great trip. I most often fish for Red Band Rainbows and Brook trout. They are the closest trout to me in the Treasure Valley. It is always nice when family supports our fishing obsession. I've wanted to go to Utah and do their cutthroat slam. If you catch and verify all 4 species in Utah you get an nice medal and certificate. You may want to check out their Fish and Game Website. I don't know if you fish Tenkara much, but if you do, Tenkara Guides LLC in Salt Lake is an awesome resource for fishing cutts in Utah. I know Chris has mentioned them several times over at the TenkaraBum website. If you are going to be in Idaho, maybe we could connect and do some fishing together. I'll PM Chris to send you my email address. My spouse hates it when I fish alone! I'm not sure how far West you are coming, but not too far from me (by Western Standards) is Big Jack's Creek. Go on YouTube and put it in the search engine. That would be a fun adventure for Redband Rainbows, not Cutts. I'd love to do it with you.

Jun 26, 2019
Tenkara Guides
by: Chris Stewart

Even if you don't do any tenkara fishing, John Vetterli of the Tenkara Guides is also a spin fisherman and at one time was considering doing spin fishing workshops. It never came to fruition, but if you are going to be in or around Salt Lake City, you should at least look him up. He might be too busy tenkara guiding, but you never know.

Jun 26, 2019
She is great!
by: JJ


I definitely have a wonderful spouse. She’s been able to travel quite a bit more than I have, and is quite supportive, and encouraging when I mention wanting to get out and see a bigger chunk of this big rock. I will definitely be in touch. I am in the early planning stages, looking at August/September next year. Going to take six or seven weeks, and be flexible enough to react to the weather trends. Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana will be my focus. Thanks to you and Chris for mentioning the Salt Lake City connection. I will have Tenkara, and spinning gear along, so as to cover all of my bases. Look forward to hearing about your upcoming trip. Be in touch soon.


Jul 07, 2019
by: Les Albjerg

My trip to new waters was postponed! The trip to the high desert south of me was called off. One of the guys I hunt and fish with who was going down with us, died on the 4th of July. So yesterday Geoff and I went out to his private lake and fished for largemouth bass. The Lunakia is a great largemouth bass rod too! Paired with the WooDream plugs, it was a "many" fish day.

I was able to fish some new waters on my vacation this week. I fished a new pond less than 10 miles from the house. It is a little known private pond open to the public with a nice park on one side. It has nice sized sunfish! I used two of my fixed line rods, the Diawa Sagiri 45MC and the Tenyru Tenkara Furaibo TF39 Becchou. The 6-8 inch Bluegills really made both of these rods sing! So plan B for new waters was fulfilling. I also had a plan C and a plan D! For me, as much as I like my familiar places, fishing new waters always brings a thrill!

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The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.