Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Boy Was It Cold....

I just got back from a short excursion, and am soaked and shivering. Why did I do that again? Oh Yes, that's right, largemouth bass.

I went down to one of my favorite ponds, carrying both fly and spinning rod. I tried flies first but got no response. I then picked up the spinning rod with a tiny torpedo. The fish approved. I managed a dink and one bigger bass. The larger gave a good fight but I kept him out of the weeds.

Regardless of weather and comfort, I love to catch fish! There is always a brief spell of warmth when pulling a gorgeous wild trout out of an ice choked stream in January or catching a big walleye on a cold, windy, rainy spring day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rules Can be Broken (in fishing at least)

Dull Grey
Today I went to a larger pond to see if the big bass there are getting more active. It was overcast, windy, and rained on and off. The first lure I tried was a roostertail, then a jig. Finally, I got bored. They say that top water lures are best when the water is dead calm. They say that bass won't eat a fast moving top water lure until the water is warmer than it was today. I have studied the down-south art that is bass fishing for quite a while, and everything that is said about early spring bassing was ignored when I tied on my next lure. I chose a Heddon Torpedo. The retrieve chosen was a bit faster than I use in the summer. I got a hit on the first cast. The same fish hit again twice before I hooked him solidly. He wasn't big, but he was appreciated.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Farm Pond Outing- 2/28/14

Once again, I returned to the local farm ponds. As is always the case, I had fun catching bluegills; one really big and the rest tiny. Bass also took some small streamers with gusto, although none were of any size. A Crappie and a Rudd also took, eating a small soft hackle wet fly. Not caught on a fly was a fat bullfrog. I saw him dive and pulled him from the mud. Wind knots and lost flies aside, it was great.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Browns in Paradise

I am back from Eastern PA and New Jersey. I have to say that is is a relief; although the weather was very warm and Philadelphia is gorgeous, it was still a city. I don't like cities. The only break came in the form of a drive through the pine barrens. I would have killed to have been able to stop and fish some of the wetland areas there. I have heard they are loaded with bass and pickerel.

I got home at 12:30 last night. I slept till 11:30 then went out to fish. I was going to the small trout stream that I consider my home water, and probably my favorite place to fish, but was sidetracked by some fishy looking ponds. I ended up catching some crappies and dinky bass.
I finally got to the stream, where insects were sporadically showing and some trout rose. On went the attractor dries, and I landed perfect wild browns and salmon par on Ausable Bombers, Stimulators, Humpys, Elk Hair Caddis, and Royals.

Although the water is still rather high and flowing at a good rate, fish were looking up, and I had some excellent pocket water fishing. As the sun came out sporadically, blue quills began to establish a presence, but something put the fish off the bite. I could no longer catch fish on the flies that had worked, and neither the nymphs nor the dries matching the emerging insect interested any fish. I just sat and looked around. Green is showing more and more, and thousands of gnats cloud the air. Before long the Hendricksons will be starting to show. It feels good to be warm!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Multi-species Bonanza

I returned to the warm water pond, and just got back. It was a blast. The pan fish and bass are getting very active, and weeds are showing at the top. It is almost time to chase pickerel in my kayak! I managed 5 species: golden shiners, bluegill, pumpkin-seed, bass, and crappie. I have tried for ever to target golden shiners alone, as they are very beautiful, but I typically catch them at random. The one I got today was very pretty and more golden than the others I have stumbled upon.

Being that these species are very easy to catch, I challenged myself by using a small barb-less fly and 5x tippet. That sure was fun when I hooked into a fat largemouth that would have edged a bit over a pound.
He dove into the weeds and gave me quite a scare. The female crappies were full of eggs, a sure sign of good weather.

A Warm Water Evening

Yesterday I fished some warm water ponds near my home for bass and pan fish. I managed quite a few little guys, but none of the fat ones I was looking for. I sadly also hooked a painted turtle. That always makes me feel terrible, even though they probably feel about as much as the fish do. As the sun began to set hundreds of insects came out, but I was sadly without the right flies to capitalize on the opportunity. Perhaps I will return in a few hours.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


(1/30/2018- This post contains examples of very poor fish handling. Use them as an example of what not to do. Thank you, 
R.M. Lytle)

Happy Easter everyone!

Today I broke away from the celebration to follow my typical holiday tradition. It, of course, is to do a spot of fishing. In years past I have targeted anything from fallfish to bass. This year, it was native  brook trout. For the short time I had, I fished using a Humpy and a Royal Wulff. The natives were happy to take, jumping for the flies as though they were grass hoppers on a warm June evening. The peace was briefly broken as I released one trout. I slipped and took a brief swim. When I came out I noticed how good it felt to be in the water. I can't wait to be swimming across deep pools to get to the good spots and wading far too deep in strong currents. For me, that is one of the excitements of fishing.

One Spot

Best of the day, about 9 inches, and an old friend.

I recognized the biggest of the brookies I caught today as one that I landed fairly recently. I even got him out of the same pocket. Catch and release at it's finest.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I typically don't fish around opening day, but my father wanted to so why not? We went somewhere I thought would be relatively open. It was. The water was high but clear, and caddis were coming off. Neither of us, however, could move a trout. Suckers had moved into the stream to spawn and feed. We started targeting them, struggling to get nymphs deep enough to get their attention. We could see many of them, nose down in the sandy part of a deep pool. They were big. My father hooked and lost two; those things were fighting hard in the strong current. I got two hits and missed both. We left slightly disappointed, but glad to have spent some good time on a beautiful stream.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Healthy, Feisty, and Well Fed

Today there was native trout fishing that needed done. I packed gear and hiked off to a small stream in the middle of nowhere. I found an area seemingly devoid of life. I thought for a minute, and realized that the bright sun was the culprit. I loitered on a rock and looked at bug while waiting for the action to pick up.

Then, suddenly, it was like someone flipped a switch. Bigger stone flies began to hatch an fish became active. I put on a wet fly, and dropped it in to rearrange the line. I looked up and a trout had dashed out to take my fly. He nipped at it a lot, but then turned off. I sat and tied on an Edson Tiger. That was all he needed. The first fish of the day was healthy and very well fed.

I tied the wet back on and was into fat, healthy, colorful natives for the rest of the day. Man, they were fighting.