Monday, August 15, 2011

8/13/2011 "Gar on the Fly , When at First You Don't Succeed......"

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I'm not the type of guy that's discouraged easily, so when I got skunked a couple weeks ago on my first excursion for gar on the fly I told myself that I'd keep at it until I was successful in catching one. Hell I couldn't quit now , I'd already invested time and money in a gar box!
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This last Saturday the opportunity presented itself to hit the same river for another shot. This time with a different cast of characters but the same objective...land a longnose gar on the fly. A well known gar fisherman from my local club offered to get me back out on the water and give me a few tips as well as show me his latest batch of killer gar patterns. After dislocating my shoulder throwing my "Kitchen Towel" fly the last trip, I was looking forward to trying something a little more fisherman friendly.
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I was the first to arrive so I got the boat unloaded and geared up for a day of fishing. Another member of my local club joined us in his kayak as well , hoping to learn a little bit about the local gar fishery.
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We took off shortly after noon and headed downstream keeping our eyes peeled for gar either rolling or lounging along the shorelines. It wasn't long before we came to a pod of gar surfacing intermittently in one spot so we began working the area, trying to elicit a response. I was throwing a new pattern I'd tied up using rabbit strips in conjunction with the nylon rope.
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On about my 4th cast, I was working my fly slowly about 6 inches under the surface when I saw a fish appear out of nowhere and grab it.
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The excitement hit at the same time I first glimpsed the fish and it was all I could do to focus on the situation at hand...fighting the fish. Just when I was beginning to get my hopes up (about 30 seconds I'd guess) it happened...he was just gone. No breakoff , no violently throwing the hook, the fish let go of my fly and that was that. I was bummed ,but we still had the whole day ahead of us and I was hopeful , if I could hook up in the first half hour I'd surely get another chance before the day was over.
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We worked our way probably close to two miles downstream fishing every likely looking area along the way. When we figured we had gone far enough we turned around and worked our way back upstream watching for active fish and blind casting in between spottings.
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To our dismay no more fish were hooked or even seen chasing a fly. We saw a few gar rolling but couldn't locate any of the schools that lie in the shallow water waiting to ambush their next meal. It appears as though this gar fishing just wasn't gonna come easy for me. No big deal , failures are nothing new, back when I first started trash fishing I made several trips for carp before ever even seeing a fish let alone hooking one. I'm not giving up , I've got several great gar flies from my new friend and some tips that might help me to get that first fish.
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Things that you have to work harder for always seem to be just a little bit sweeter when finally accomplished and I'm already looking forward to that cigar and cold beer I'm gonna enjoy when I land that first longnose gar....here's to the next trip.

9 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to the victory "gar" post...it will be fun to see the persistence pay off.

    ...and when it happens, I will enjoy a cigar and crack a cold beer in honor of your accomplishment :-)

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  2. We have some shortnose gar locally. With the nylon rope flies, I often singe the loose ends with a lighter, so they stick together. The theory being if the rope fly starts to slide out of the gar's teeth, the teeth might still get stuck in the singed ends. It has worked for me, but it seems regardless of what you do, you tend to lose about 2/3 of the fish you get on.
    Good luck and keep after 'em!

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  3. HighPlainsFlyFisherAugust 16, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Sanders - although slightly frustrating , I'm enjoying this quest for a new fish on the fly. Always have liked a good challenge and it seems I've got one. Keep that beer cold and the stogie in your front pocket...just in case.

    FishnDave - good tip on singing the nylon , hadn't thought of that. One of the secrets I picked up on yesterday was to loop your nylon strands so thet they aren't hanging loose at the end. Same principle as your idea just a different method of accomplishing it. I'll be tying up some new flies utilizing those ideas and maybe it'll be the difference between landing a fish and watching him swim away.
    Thanks...Jeff

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  4. Those rope flies are cool. I really need to expand my horizons and get out of the trout mindset.

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  5. Nice flies. If you ever make it into Kentucky I can put you on a ton of these fish. JGR

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  6. Richard - if you have the opportunity you need to try some "trash" fishing. I love trout as much as anyone but there's something about a golden bone screaming line off your favorite 7 weight that just says FUN.

    JGR - Thanks. I'm not one to let an offer go unused so I'll be sure and hit you up next time I'm in your neighborhood. From the looks of some of those fish you put up I need to add a trip up there to my bucket list anyway.

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  7. Wow. Great flies, great blog! You just opened up a whole new door for me. Glad to be following to see what else you get

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  8. I know you'll get one sooner or later it's just a matter of time. My Carp trip almost paid off. Had no Idea they got that far up in the shallows. No wonder they spook easy!! Had a good time though.

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  9. AYearontheFly - Thanks for the comments , glad you enjoyed the blog. A little diversity in fishing , and life , is good for the soul.

    Kevin - thats what makes fishing em so much fun. It's all sight fishing to big fish with an attitude. Once you get your first one on you'll be hooked for good.

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