Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fishing on the lake with Kate

Weather: Sunny to Partly cloudy
Air Temp: mid to high 70's
Water Temp: 75 degrees
Wind: 15-25mph
A couple of weeks ago Kate and I decided we needed to set a day to go fly fishing together. With the memory of my last hot day of fishing in waders, I thought it be best to hit a lake. So today we went up to my parents lake home to try our hand fly fishing for bass and sunfish.
Kate arrived at my place at 9am, we transferred her stuff to my Tahoe, hit the gas station for a Snickers and Mountain Dew breakfast, and headed North. Along the way we may have gotten a little too into our conversation and we may have missed our exit. So with a couple of extra miles added to our commute we got to the parents house, loaded the boat and hit the water.
We found our first spot sort of out of the wind where we thought something would be on the north west side of the lake. It didn't take long for me to realize that I left a gear bag in the truck where my seven or eight boxes of bass flies. We fished for a little while with a lack of any activity we swung back by the house to pick up the bag-o-flies.
We returned back to the North side of the lake in a different lilly pad area that felt like it should have had something. I was sure I was on to something with three other fishing boats scattered about the area. But after an hour or so of nothing, we headed south to a connecting lake to try our luck.
We anchored at a spot that I have had a good history of catching bass and pan fish in. We started fishing and I got a hit. I pulled in what I thought would be a sunfish and it turned out to be an ok sized crappie. Score, I am no longer skunked....but wait, now Kate needs to get something. I landed two more crappies, when Kate delivered and landed a very peachy pastel colored sunfish. Very pretty specimen I thought. Kate lost a couple of good fish that were biting off her flies. We were having good success with dark colored (browns, blacks, etc) weighted Woolly Buggers fished deep at the bottom of the six feet of water that were in.
Then we had some excitement. I had switched from my 9 weight rod to my 6 weight rod with a brown bead head woolly bugger. I saw a flash of fish smash my fly and take it to the bottom. Some excited words jumped from my lips and Kate got excited! I carefully played the fish back up to see what it was as I was lazy and hadn't switched my leader on this rod setup to my lake leader from my 6x leader. I was sure that whatever this was, it would win. When it came up we saw that it was a very nice sized walleye. My fear of losing my catch fell to half of what it was. Yes it still has teeth, and yes I am still using what ever light test line a 6x leader is, but at least you can wear out a walleye a heck of a lot quicker than a pike.
He came up, and then went back down several times. I think we danced for close to four or five minutes, giving Kate plenty of time to reel in her line and get the net out from being tied into my vest at the bottom of the boat. With a successful landing, we measured it and it was my 2nd biggest walleye to date that I have caught. It came in at 22" and a mean toothy smile. We snapped a couple of quick pictures and returned him to the water. With only 15-20 seconds of reviving him, it took of to the deep water.
Who does that? Who goes fishing for bass and sunfish in shallow water and catches crappies and a big walleye...well, obviously "THIS GUY" does. That was well worth the overall slowness in fishing action we had. And I think anyone who knows me knows my opinion of walleyes does not match those of most Minnesotans, and I am still pumped about it anyways!

We fished a little bit longer, getting a couple more hits and losing a few more flies before we decided to head back to the dock and hang it up for the day. We had spent 5 hours in total out on the water, watching birds, cranes, pelicans, tons of dragon flies and damsel flies. Kate experienced her first time fly fishing out of a boat, and I think she walked away not afraid to try it again. Dad was awesome, not only did he let us take out his boat for the day, he fixed my weed whacker and barbecued hot dogs for us for luppper (late lunch/early supper).
I did get a lot fried today, I have applied lots of layers of Aloe, and we are not done yet for the day. Remember the flies that I left in the Tahoe...well, the 50 SPF sunscreen was in there too, but I guess that wasn't at the forefront of my mind. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Last weekend

So I went fishing Friday, I can't give any details as I was sworn to secrecy by my anonymous liaison, but it was a lot of fun, and it was a lot of fun, and I am so lucky to have been able to have such a neat opportunity.

Now for stuff I can talk about...

Saturday Jen and I headed over to Wisconsin and went fly fishing. We got on the river to a spot I go to once in a while. Somehow half way through, my compass in my head broke. We may have gotten a little lost for about 45 minutes or so....and it was frigging hot. Walking in waders in 80 degrees in the middle of the woods, black flies, mosquito's....not so fun this time. This would have been the classic story that breaks people from ever going back again.

We eventually worked our way around back to the river...where we STARTED! Now I gotta say that this was only the 2nd time that I got that twisted around (a.k.a. LOST), but I was in no frame of mind for that this time. Last time I kind of enjoyed it. The major clue was seeing some old rusty commercial storage like things that could have been there for something legit....or not. It was kind of a funny place for them. And a funny little banjo was playing inside my head when we stumbled across this scene.

So no fish were caught, we were hot, and we REALLY enjoyed the A/C on the drive back home.

I think I might have to consider this to be an opportune time to switch over to fishing for warm water species now that Summer is upon us...maybe.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Sunday with Dad

So the morning started out overcast and misty, and 50 degrees F. Dad pulled into the drive way, where we grabbed his stuff and added it to my Tahoe that I packed up earlier with gear and beer. We were on the road a little after 7am to our first trout stream.

The mist let up along the drive, but the day remained overcast the whole time. We wadered up and surprisingly we didn't forget anything important. At the first spot I wanted to fish, there was spin fisherman who had already staked it out. We moved down to the next run and at the invitation of Bill, the son of the previous fisherman we saw. After a quick chat we tried our luck there.

I set dad up in position and coached him through his first casts with the fly rod. He worked his way through the stretch and had a few takes on wet flies which was fun. We continued to fish for awhile longer and then decided to move on to another river.

The second place was very scenic and loaded with red wing black birds singing away. we worked the water over coming back to a shallow run that had three different pods taking emergers. One pod under a tree, and the other two down stream. I managed to bring in a small brookie from under the tree, and dad had several strikes from the other two pods up until they all decided to ignore any of the offerings he cast to them. It was frustrating and fun all at the same time. By this time it was 12:30pm, so we headed over to Martel, WI where my St. Paul Fly Tiers were putting on a stream side lunch for club members and friends.

It was a good turnout, and I got to see many friends I hadn't seen in long while, as well as some I see regularly. Lunch was baked beans, chips, brats, and very good sour kraut. I introduced dad to many of the attendees, and yes he probably won't remember most of them; but it was still fun.

With brats in the bellies and legs rested, dad and I headed over and fished our final stretch of the day. I set him up with a nymph rig to see what would happen. He managed a few more strikes as well as bringing in an 8" brown as well as a 12" sucker.

We fished a little longer, but it was obvious to me by watching the fish below, that they had stopped feeding in this area. We called it a day and headed back towards home. When we went past the Martel bridge, I saw Jackie getting ready to go fishing, so we stopped in and chatted with her for the better part of a half hour. It was good to see her, I think the last time we got to talk was December or January. We said our good byes and went our separate ways.

Dad seamed happy, except for when he saw the turkeys waving at him in the fields. Something about not having been able to get one hunting yet or something along those lines.

Hopefully next time I can get him on some hungrier trout so that he can feel that magical tugging sensation on the other end of that funny fly rod thing.