Saturday, April 30, 2016

Just Another Crazy Saturday

I started out the day today fishing a couple of ponds targeting largemouth bass. The first gave up a few big pumpkinseeds and a crappie to go with the rather small bass. A few were taken on a big Deceiver. The water was clear enough that I could watch the fish come up and munch on the white and chartreuse streamer. 

I switched ponds. There were some tremendous bass hanging out in one of the coves. A few really nice fish, 16 to 18 inches, and three gargantuan fish, none of which would have gone under 10 lbs. Amazing, considering a 10 lb bass is a rare beast in this part of the country. And of course they would not touch a damned thing I put in front of them I even hooked a bluegill and the biggest of the three chased it around but wouldn't eat it. The time I spent on that pond was not a waste, I got to see a few really cool pickerel takes in the glass clear water.

This evening Adam got the boat out and him, Dalton and I went for pike and bass on the big river. I got some follows and nailed a perch on a Clouser. We chased swans and enjoyed a chilly evening on the water despite the tricky fishing.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Dinner Plate on a Dry Fly

I had a little bit of time this afternoon. I went to a bluegill pond, tied on a chernobyl ant, and caught a slab:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The First Trout Night of 2016

I was out of school late tonight so I had limited daylight. I decided to just go right ahead and ignore daylight and fish into the dark. Before the sun set I chucked a streamer around and caught one decent rainbow.

It is after the light leaves the sky when the real magic happens. After everyone has left the river and the majority of the bugs are gone the fish get a little less careful. I tied on a big foam Waller Waker and was into browns quickly. It's always fun sticking fish on a size 2 dry that looks nothing like anything they would eat during the day. No big ones tonight, all cookie cutter 10-12 inch fish. Fun but not quite enough. That's fine, I've got about 5 months of night fishing weather ahead of me, some beasts will show at some point.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2016 Striper Hunt Begins

The striper migration has just begun in these parts. Today I went hunting. I had three main targets: sea run trout, stripers, and big smallmouth. I got one fish and it was none of those. That being said my deceiver got hammered by a big fish toward the end of the outing and I am pretty certain it was the man in the silver striped suit. I'm going to work my butt of to get one of these fish this year, I can't let another year pass without a good striper on the fly. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Home Water Monday Evening

I have two favorite time periods to fish my home water: November through December and April Through June. Those are the times when the biggest fish can be caught and the best hatches and biomass can be experienced- big nymphs, hatching mayflies and stoneflies, and salmon par. Back when I started fishing this stream I would catch a mid to upper teens wild or holdover every week during those times of year, but things have changed in 6 years. It is still wonderful fishing, and every now and then if I deem them worthy I will show a friend the works. Yesterday Kirk and I went for a short hike up the river. We caught some nice fish, which is saying something since we were fishing with all the patience and care of a pair of spooked moose. There were even a couple of moments when we doubled up.

The fish you see bellow is one I caught a while ago in the same hold. I love seeing familiar faces, and considering the size of the stream and the thousands of fish I have caught out of it I have rarely ever caught the same one twice in the same year, except for stockers. I would love to know what the population density of the stream is, I'm sure it's well over 1,000 per mile.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Two Crazy Warm Water Days: Crappie, Mega Turtle, and Topwater Pickerel

I fished some stillwaters over the past couple days....
Here are some highlights.

First off, I went to my favorite little farm pond hunting for some of the huge slab bluegills that live there. In the early spring these fish are tricky. You have to sight fish for them, making delicate casts with light tippets and very small nymphs. I hooked up with one big old slab dinner plate. I LOVE ME A BIG OL' GILL!

The next pond I fished that day was loaded with spawning crappie. I interrupted them occasionally with a little jig style fly. They were dark and beautiful.

There is a pair of big snapping turtles that call that pond home. I have been trying to land one of them for years. I got a shot today when I cast into what I though was a bubble patch being created by one of the pond's catfish. I hooked the big female's back foot, and after a laborious battle I was able to grab her the the tail and the front of her carapace. I was pretty happy, she is the biggest turtle I have handled that wasn't out of the water for egg laying. She was not so happy, and had I give her the chance she would have torn off my hand.

The Bell pond was not too productive as the carp were in a lazy mood or a stressed out mood. None were really feeding. I did manage another crappie.

I fished my favorite lake on Sunday. I wasn't expecting much, so after a pumpkinseed and a pair of small bass I went to the pickerel pond. There the smaller fish were chasing hatching caddis, so I skated around a panfish bug and they slammed it like there was no tomorrow! I even saw a few chilling out in they little creek that feeds the pond. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Searching for a Monster Brookie

Jonathan and I went looking for big wild brook trout yesterday. We started out in an area I know is holding some huge brookies because Kirk and Alan have caught a couple recently. To give myself good odds I stuck with two flies that I know produce lots of good fish for most of the day: the Ausable Ugly and a bead head Hare's Ear. The first fish I caught was a pretty solid one, 11 inches and chunky.

That stream produced some nice fish for both of us but we didn't see any real monsters, so we moved on. We went to a stream that we honestly had no idea what to expect in. Turns out there were a few brookies and plenty of small chubs and fall fish.

The next stream we fished is a little more familiar, I caught some big fish there this winter and last fall. I got a few average fish and one 9 in. beauty on a Picket Pin, but Jon knocked it out of the park with a few really nice fish on the Ausable Bomber.

Jon bringing a nice fish to hand.

A dark fish that came up for a yellow humpy

I fished the second to last stream of the day in February, caught one little brookie and decided I must return. Unfortunately it gets quite a bit of pressure, in fact there were boot prints there that indicated that someone else had already fished it that day. I caught a few little guys and that was that for brook trout. We made one more stop and caught a few yellow perch and I even got a tiny smallmouth before calling it a day.