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. :)

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