Parting company with the big one. Part 1

John Sandness, a local fishing enthusiast shares his tips and tricks with his readers.

I am not talking about the volunteer catch and release of an extra large trout; rather I refer to the one that is lost and causes anglers to ask,

“Why do the big ones always seem to get away?”

There are many of us anxiously awaiting the opening of our lakes. There are six- to eight-pound Kamloops trout swimming in these icebound lakes. Yes, they are there. Last fall quite a few were landed locally. I saw some myself but did not get one and settled for some pan fries. I think back to past large fish that got away and offer in this column four things to do to increase your, and my, chances of boating a six-pound-plus trophy.

1) Leaders. A strong, freshly tied, Fluorocarbon five or six pound test is a good way to insure success. Put a new one on your fly line before going out.

I say before because trying to tie on a leader with fish jumping around your boat, cold hands, and your fishing buddy saying, “Lets get going, the trout are right over…” is frustrating! When tying knots under those conditions errors happen. I speak from personal experience. Haven’t heard about Fluorocarbon leaders or spinning lines, ask at the Princeton Outdoor Supply shop, Ron or Loretta will tell you about how to make them and he sells the line.

2) Knots. Here is the weakest link in your line and leader. It is difficult to put into words how to tie knots. Try the Internet for the Jam knot (also known as the Cinch knot) – tying fly on leader, Barrel knot – tying extra line (tippet) on leader, Nail knot – joining leader to fly line. Those knots will handle all your fishing needs Do not use Granny knots, Square knots or Overhand knots on the slippery nylon leader as they will surely slip and the big one will swim off with your fly, lure or hook. Practice these recommended knots.

Part 2 coming up in the next column. Hope you get fishing before then and hook the big one.