The board in the background can produce trout of this size if you learn how to use them!
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One of my favorite fishing tools these days are planer boards. They are so versatile and fun to fish with! I have had several over the years including a pair of Bloom Boards I bought off buddy, Allan Cole, I still use for big water. I still have the old pair of Frisky Jenny boards from the early 90's I bought up at Pend Oreille. Recently my buddy, John Werwie, purchased a board from a growing little company in Troy, Montana called Shoo Fly Fishing Tackle Company. We first toyed with it while fishing for browns a couple of weeks ago here in Central Oregon. We were really just playing around to see where to make connects for the best flat water action with flies we would be pulling up at Kootenay Lake the following week. I don't think we even ran any lures or flies off the board, just tested it under different chop conditions and connection positions to see how it would perform.
Fast forward a week and we are up at the BIG lake now and ready to really work the board. When we started towing it, I was impressed with how it would rock up and over and tug the planer board line hard before they would drop back in the water and produce a moment of slack. It was really working the flies erratically on the flat water..........something you just can't do with a lot of the other boards. We decided to leave it out while the wind came up and was producing a good two foot chop. The board was still doing its thing and we decided to leave it out until it got rough enough to finally flip it over. Normally when any board flips they dig into the water and dive taking however many fishing lines you have running on them into one big mess of tangles as everything that was supposed to be horizontal goes vertical and dives straight down. "Been there, done that!" I popped the kicker out of gear and the board immediately bobbed right back to the top! No lines to fight at all........not sure if we got lucky or this is how the shorter cedar boards normally react. Anyway, we were able to get back to fishing quicker than usual under those circumstances.
The board performed flawlessly for us the whole week. The confirmation that it was really working our flies well came on Wed. afternoon right after a late lunch when we had just put the board out as a little chop was coming up on the water. I was on the outside and John was on the inside. About fifteen minutes later his line pops out of the release and the rod is over and the reel humming as the monster gerrard ran off with his fly perfectly hooked in the corner of its mouth. About 10-15 minutes later we netted the big 22 LB. buck gerrard that would turn out to be the biggest rainbow John had ever caught. That bad boy is going on the wall! We were both really impressed with how the board was working all week!
After we got home from that trip, I had one ordered the next day. I had a chance to run it up at East Lake this past week for a couple of hours. I didn't get into any of the bigger browns I was hoping for but did stick my biggest of the afternoon, a 3 LB. buck, on a minnow plug as it danced along off the planer board line. I am sure it is only a matter of time before I stick a hog on one.....stay tuned!
If you are in the market for a board, I highly recommend that you contact Steve or Denise Kalb at www.shooflyfishingtackle.com. Their phone number is (406) 295-8405. They build a quality board and also offer many other fishing products from their store.