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TyGer Goes Kam-Fishing

e-mail Andy at [email protected]

It was a cold day in the early spring. The kind of day where a squaller moves through the valley every few hours. The wind blows, the rain comes in waves and low rolling clouds drift over the valley. It can be brutal fishing in the spring and exceptionally difficult to fish effectively under such conditions. Kam-FishingBut by using my 15" horse outboard in reverse and a technique called back-trolling, you can counter the effects from the wind and elements and still fish effectively.

Bob Standley and I were drifting down the River a little slower than the speed of the current keeping our line perpendicular to the boat by mending the slack with our 9-ft Drift Poles. Then I could feel it, the perfect drift where you could feel every rock your sinker bounced over. In fact I could tell by the feel of the bounce how big the rocks were from cobble to sand "you can tell such things when you achieve a perfect drift".

Halfway through the first drift I felt the repeated strikes of a fish hitting my line. Almost instinctual, I set the hook in one fast motion as my pole went to the two O’clock Position. You just never know how big the fish is going to be when you first set the hook. This fish was stubborn indeed, almost immediately he went leaping into the air about 3 feet out of the water "you have to have faith in you gear and terminal tackle at times like this". I judged him to be a 15+ pound Male Kam as soon as he hit the water. There was now doubting the brilliant maroon color of a male Kam in the Spring. Then he began to make his first run, thankfully for me it was upstream.

The power and endurance these fish have are fully evident in your first battle with a Kam. This male Kam ripped off 50-75 yards of line in two minutes. What was going through my mind was don’t go downstream.Kam-Fishing "You see if the fish makes a run upstream it has to fight against you and the current, but if it makes its run downstream you must battle the full weight of the fish and the current". After taming the first run the Kam dished out, he decided to go for a second run but this time downstream. Rather than hold my position I decided to run with the Kam downstream and get below it. All I could do was slow the Kam’s speed down with the use of the boat, "Without the boat I would have been in deep trouble". The beautiful thing about Kam’s, is that they will almost always run away from you. So when I positioned the boat downstream from the Kam it again responded by swimming against the current and me. Now I was in control of the battle and could take my time reeling in the over 150 yards of line the Kam had taken from me. Now I had to let Bob land the fish into the net without breaking the line at the hook, "That’s where TyGer Leader takes over for me, because you have to have faith in your tackle". Bob and TyGer Leader came through for me. The Trout measured 36" and about 17lbs.

The Kamloops Rainbow Trout (Kam for short) is a strain of rainbow native to Central British Columbia . Kam’s are known for their tendency to feed on Kokanee Salmon and can grow to exceptional size in a short period of time. It is quite common for a five year old Kam to weigh up to 15-20lbs, but they often can exceed 30lbs. Kam’s are now widely stocked in waters throughout the Western USA . Kam’s are without a doubt my most favorite trout to pursue. They have a deep body, big teeth and the uncanny ability to throw an exceptional fight. This trout is well equipped with sharp teeth and a good backbone for the business of catching and eating other fish. but most of all putting a thrill into a fisherman’s life.

I fish for Kams each year with my family and friends. I mainly fish for them in the Kootenia River in Montana , and Clark Fork River in Idaho but numerous local lakes also hold many lunker Kams. The techniques, methods and tackle I use for Kam’s could be applied to other Trout Species or even Steelhead when fishing in rivers or big water. You can also use these techniques and methods using TyGer Leader in pursuit of numerous other game fish in rivers throughout the USA . Kam-FishingThe fishing tackle use is quite similar to that of a Steelhead outfit. I use a 9ft Drift Pole. This is a Fly Rod Blank which I construct into a spinning rod. The line I use is 6-8lb Golden Florescent Stern. For the terminal tackle I use a 2.5ft piece of 10lb to 15lb Tyger leader, a size 6 Eagle Claw bait-holder hook and a 3-way swivel w/ drifting lead. For bait I use Steel head Spawn which I tie into bags or night crawlers. Any bait could be used with this drifting technique and rig.

It is essential that you fishing technique is presented in a natural way and you have the tackle to handle the fight. Fishing for Kams is kind of natural for me. Ever since I was a young boy growing up in upstate New York , I was taught how to drift baits naturally for gamefish such as Smallmouth Bass and Trout. In my youth I spent my summers fishing the St. Lawrence River in Upstate New York for Smallmouth bass and other warm water quarry. My Uncle Walt was my tutor and mentor in fishing. He drilled it into my head that presentation was the key to being a successful fisherman. Controlling the slack in your line and the speed of your drift was critical to achieving a natural presentation. We called it a controlled drift. You can control your drift while floating down the river either by using the motor (back-trolling), dragging an anchor or using the ores of the boat. This in conjunction with maintaining the proper slack in your line is called achieving a controlled drift. This technique has proven itself time and again on various rivers I have fished throughout the USA for all kinds of game fish.

Give this technique a try and I am sure it will work well for you. As usual have a great time fishing and take a kid along also....

See you later 


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