Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mid-Week Float Trip...Food for the Soul

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I won't lie and tell you some sad story about how long it's been since I've been on the water, I don't expect I'd get any more symapathy from my readers than I do the wife when I start complaining. It's not that I havn't been fishing or even that the fishing hasn't been good for that matter. These last two weeks of wiper and white bass fishing have been off the charts and I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. That being said , anyone who's ever picked up a flyrod and spent enough time with it to really get what it's all about, will probably tell you the same thing I'm about to's not all about catching fish. I love catching just as much as the next guy, I've been known to qoute the famous old phrase "It's just good to be out here" but I'm not sure that I ever really mean it! It wasn't the fishing or the catching that I was missing so much as it was that precious time on the water where everything else is forgotten and you can finally re-charge your soul. Evening trips to the lake after work are great but they just aren't long enough to rid your sytem of all that bad ju-ju accumulated in everyday life.
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Between the wet Spring weather and the great fishing these last couple weeks around home I just havn't gotten out and floated my favorite smallie streams near as often this year as I had hoped for. Luckily for me, it's a problem that's easily fixed. With the holiday weekend fastly approaching and my work schedule requiring me to be on-shift for two-thirds of it I made the last minute decision to load up the boat and head South for a couple days of smallmouth fishing.
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From my perspective there's no problem that a river, a boat , a flyrod , a cooler full of beer and a couple days to enjoy all of those things can't fix.
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I will say that the weather could have been just a little nicer for my two days of fishing, I think I might have broken a sweat once while dragging my boat up on an island for lunch and it rained for half an hour the first afternoon. The river was a little crowded as well, I saw three kayakers and two canoes in two days. As for the fishing, I would have liked for the fish to be a little bigger. And there were stretches where I made numerous casts without catching a fish to my great dismay.
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I have to admit though , I feel totally rejuvenated after spending two days floating one of my favorite streams, what can I say...sometimes it's good just be out there.
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Hope you all have a great holiday weekend...I know I did!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fishing the Evening Mayfly Hatch

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This last week I had plans to get out of town for a day of smallmouth fishing on one of my favorite rivers , but after last weekends results targeting white bass and hybrids I instead switched gears and focused my time off on replicating that success.
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It turned out to be the right decision (one of only a few I make every year) for a change and I was able to have a couple of my best fishing days in a long while. I made three trips back over to the same reservoir I fished last weekend and wasn't dissapointed in my results on any of them. The two evenings were much better than the morning, but when the slowest outing still produces half a dozen hybrids I'm calling that a huge success!
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Surprisingly, the thing that's driving this killer bite is a local mayfly hatch. Every year about this time the shorelines of our local lakes become inundated with large mayflies and everything from crappie to carp take advantage of the situation and show up with the feed bag on. The hybrids and white bass are a little different , only in that I'm pretty sure they're showing up in response to the baitfish that are there to eat the bugs instead of the bugs themselves. Either way, the end result is the same, hungry fish within easy reach of shoreline anglers.On my latest evening trip I landed several crappie, a drum, a walleye, a couple of white bass and close to a dozen hybrids. Just proof of how many different species of fish are taking advantage of this one bug event.
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I'm still itching to get on a stream for smallies but for right now I'm gonna stay a little closer to home and enjoy the incredible fishing that is taking place during this hatch. Here's a few pics to give you an idea of just how good it's been....
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Monday, May 11, 2015

Reservoir White Bass and Wipers...Quick Weekend Fix

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For the second weekend in a row I somehow ended up hanging around the house instead of sitting around a campfire on a river somewhere. There aren't many things that'll keep me from a fishing trip...but Mothers Day and celebrating it with my Grandma and Mom happens to be one of those things. That being said , even I have my limitations as to the length of time I can go without a flyrod in my hand and still maintain my (in)sanity. I'd heard rumors of the white bass and hybrids starting to be caught by a few fishermen on a local reservoir recently and with little more than a few hours to play with on Saturday morning decided it was worth the short 30 minute drive over to check it out.
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Joe and I hopped in the truck around 8:00 and after a quick stop for a cup of coffee we were headed West. The morning was cloudy , with a slight drizzle in the air when we reached our destination and started the trek down to the water.
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There were a half dozen or so other fishermen already on the dam but from what I could tell they were all stationary and more than likely crappie fishing. On my last outing for white bass the fly of choice had been a Thunder Creek Minnow and seeing as it was still affixed to the leader on my spey rod that was the fly I started off the day with again.
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We started at one end of the dam and started working our way towards the other side , jumping around crappie fishermen as we came to them and generally just getting lots of strange looks from folks wondering what that guy was doing with the 12 foot spray-pole. In all fairness , if you could have seen my casting you would have been staring as well , I'm still learning this spey casting thing.
While the fishing wasn't red hot by any means we ended up catching half a dozen fish in the two hours we were there , with two of them being 4-5 pound wipers.
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Still not big fish as far as wipers go , but for this lake they were definitely respectable fish and better yet they put one heck of a bend in the seven weight.
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Once the sun started to break out from behind the clouds and warm things up the Saturday crowd began to arrive in earnest , what I like to call "fair weather fishermen". I figured the sun breaking through would put a halt to my bite anyway so Joe and I headed back to the truck and let the bucket brigade have it for the rest of the day.
Sunday morning I had even less time to work with but just couldn't help myself , Joe and I piled back in the truck and headed out again just before 7:00. A light fog greeted us as we made our way down to the lake , and seeing as it was Mother's Day , a few less fishermen as well.
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We hit a couple of the areas that we had success the previous morning and managed to pick up a few more fish. No nice wipers today though unfortunately , four or five white bass and one small sauger were the extent of our catch.
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Still a great way to spend a few early morning hours with my best fishing bud , and now that we know the fish are starting to move in I have a feeling we'll be back sooner than later. Until next time....
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