Monday, June 30, 2008

Why catch and release is a good deal...

Compare the dates & spots


Multiple missions have been launched to my home water in search of big browns feasting on Hexagenia Limbata. The bugs are there, but due to high/discolored water, the fish don't seem to be getting into a steady feed. I caught a couple 13" fish the first two times out, hooked and lost a pig on the second night out (Cursed Audibly!) and on the night JP and Todd joined me managed a nice 19" (ok 18.5") brown purely out of luck...just drifting a likely lie with little advanced notice that the fish was looking up. I'm using a new camera that is waterproof and small and I'm still getting used to it. I shot a few underwater shots of flies and I've attached them here. I went out again last night and saw a few of the big hex mayflies but no fish of size eating them. Luckily I managed 1/2 dozen bows and browns on 22 BWO's before calling it a night at 10 pm.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

High Water Tinkering

A couple weeks ago I decided to add aluminum boat guides on my trailer. With scrap aluminum I had stashed in my garage, two 67 cent PVC caps, a hack saw, drill, wrench and a file here is what I came up with:

Two nights ago I realized that I needed a rowing seat in my boat. It had to be movable so I could use it on the side of the back seat to run the motor, on the center of the rear seat to row, or on the center of the middle seat to row. I started with a foam back sling style seat, but bagged that idea after realizing my sewing machine didn't like trying to push thread through 1" webbing, 1"of foam and two layers of nylon.
I opted for power tool and the results look promising....formed dowel seat with a rope sling back support. Two pins hold it in place.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

Everything is blown out...rivers, lakes, creeks. The last time I fished the big W it was the highest water I had ever fished on that river...8800 cfs. This weekend it was running 32,000 cfs. I played with my kids in the yard. Fishing is gonna have to wait until some of this drains off.


I took advantage of my travels to stop in Manchester VT last week. I stopped by the American Fly Fishing Museum and lucked out. Ogden Pleissner's [American Painter 1905-1983] paintings and etchings were on display. I had 20 minutes before the museum closed, but I did my best to take it all in...he may be my favorite artist of all time. What a treat.

Blue Boat on the St. Anne - Ogden Pleissner

I also managed to do a little fishing on the Battenkill. A few fish were caught and I have a "the one that got away" story, but it was nice to wade through this historic river. At 9:00 the lightening made me nervous and I bolted to a local pub.


4:30 am to 7:30 am...mixed bag...high water.

Friday, June 6, 2008


8:30 to 11:00 pm. More of same. The tug is the drug.

Note: Dish washing gloves with the fingertips cut off make excellent mosquito proof handwear.
Get them x large so you still have some circulation left after a night of casting. Also, they grip fish surprisingly well.


9:00pm to 11:30 back to the lake. Fish rising off the beach include, but are not limited to: white bass, large mouth bass, walleye and blugill...decided that a small white deceiver was as good as anything.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

midging for gills

If you have read my brother's blog about his whitefish midging exploits in Northern MN, I don't have to explain the fly or the frustration that JP, CA and I met with last night on one of our local lakes. We waded in and spread out along an even depth shoreline. At approx 8:30 the midges arrived and the fish started sipping. We tried buggers, poppers, nymphs, streamers and dries of all shape, size and fashion. We managed a few bass and a few gills, but nothing compared to the number of riseforms that we often times saw within a rods length away. By 10 pm the midges were fading and the fish were no longer showing. I suspect our lack of success was based purely on the abundance of natural food available, a "super-hatch". We just couldn't compete. I, however, cannot leave well enough alone and intend to go back.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

6/1/08 round 2

After the kids went to bed I met up with JP out at the lake near my house. He'd been fishing the outlet river and by the time I strung up the rod and he waded up to meet me it was 8:30 pm. We called it quits at 9:30 after donating a quart of blood each to the mosquitos and landing between us, 2 walleyes, 2 of the biggest bluegills either of us had ever seen, a couple of large mouth bass including a decent one close to 2 pounds (not to mention the 3 fish that decided to spit and run.) Not a bad hour of fishing. I itch all over.


Back to the big W. 4:30 am alarm. Wait for the Joe to brew, hitch the boat. Made the river by 6 am. The water was up. I'm used to fishing this river at 2000-4000 cfs and the rumor mill has it up at 8800. I strung up the 7 and 8 one with a lead eyed fly and the other with a EP minnow (a dream to cast by the way). All of my usual spots were WAY under water and I had to do a little scouting before I saw the birds, which led me to the bait which led me to a pile of SMB's. Luckily they were all in 2 feet of water and the EP minnow was the ticket. I lost count...actually that's not true. I don't count, but I fished this run for an hour to an hour and a half and I had no more than 10 casts that didn't result in a smallie sharkin' my fly as it winked seductively just below the surface. Solid fishing. I don't quite understand smallmouth on this river, but I will say: if you find one, don't move. They really seem to school up in this section. Why the fish were holding where they were is a mystery to was a nice spot, but there was saucier water below me and I only manged one white bass from there. By 11:30 I was satiated and trailered Jon Johnson back to his stall.


My older Bro stopped down for a visit and couldn't have timed it better. We hit the home water and were greeted by hendricksons, caddis and BWO's. The fish were looking up and we fished dry flies. We managed a number of fish, bows and browns and had excellent weather (ok maybe a little too much wind). When he called me 2 weeks before to schedule an outing he said "I would like to do some dry fly fishing". Wish Granted. On Sunday JP joined us and we tried a different section of stream. JP and I moved upstream and left K on a nice run with plenty of water to fish. JP banged a few on caddis, while I managed to miss a good 1/2 dozen fish including one that I regret not getting a picture of. Meanwhile downstream K landed a 17" bow. We moved on to another little known section of the stream and managed a few more fish before the wind and our schedules conspired against us...

Nice form.

wall hanger!

Elk Hair Caddis launching pad

pattern change


I took my daughter out for a little fishing on one of the local lakes. It was cold and blustery but luckily I had a stocking cap and gloves. After four hours and two bass, I suggested that we should go...she was disappointed and asked if we could cast from shore for a little while. I took her to the river and proceeded to land a 7-8 lb carp on a woolly bugger...first of the season. Anyway any four year old girl who is down for 5 1/2 hours of fishing on a crappy cold day is definitely mine, no blood test needed.
This was the first time she asked to hold (and release) a fish, and she did a swell job.