Monday, June 27, 2011


My buddy C.A. was heading to the local trout stream and called to see if I might want to join him for a hex mission.  Being out of time and behind on everything I accepted.  It was 8:30 before my toes hit the cool spring creek current and C.A. was already on his beat.  The weather was too cool for hex's and the wind was blowing at 8-10 knots which is also a bad omen.  I spotted the first bug at 9:00 and by 9:15 I'd already missed two fish.  Strange, because it was still pretty light and also because I was just bragging to C.A. about how my super secret hex spinner really upped my hooking percentage.  By 9:30 I'd missed 5 more fish.

A gulp against the far bank followed by a cast into the dim early night, the kind of cast that always feel "perfect" but in reality probably ends up 5 feet left or short half of the time, connected with a 16" brown.
One for eight...but still a hero.

I flexed my ears against the wind straining to hear the telltale gulp of a big brown...nothing, nothing, nothing and on like that for a few minutes until "GULP".  It was downstream at the tailout of the slow run I was posted on.

Way downstream where I'd never heard or seen a decent brown rise during the hex hatch.  A quick scurry through the chin high grass, way downstream to where the "GULP" came again.  Heron like wading into the shallow tailout, hunched over to peer into the black shadow of the far bank followed by a stab in the dark,  prodding the black with rod, line and fly.  The first cast felt perfect though it ended up one of the 5 feet short (or right) variety.  The second, slightly longer-slightly to the left, cast drifted only a few feet before the jog and stoop, peering, straining and prodding were validated by 18 inches of hex gulping brown trout.

Two for eight and still the hero...until C.A. reported that his went 22...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

6.5 hours of rowing and casting and...

...we couldn't get it out of the boat.

20.79 pounds of Mmmmmmmm

“Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did”

- William Allen Butler

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pushing my luck (too far)...

Despite USGS website info that showed my local trout stream running 125 CFS (about twice its normal flow) I ventured forth looking for big browns gulping hex's.  I got there with just enough light to see that the water was too high and visibility was about 3 inches.  Booo!!!  For those who have never done it...this is actual video footage shot from my position streamside as I waited for the surface feeding that wasn't to be...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pushing my luck

It's 10:45 Tuesday Night.  I trekked back to the local lake and brought some freshly tied Deceivers to taunt the local fishes.
Wind: Southeast at 13 MPH
Humidity: 50%
Dewpoint: 48°F
Barometer: 29.92 inches and rising

The white bass, save one, were absent, same the smallmouth.  The walleyes were still on the feed and I missed 3 before I opened the hook gap with my pliers and landed the next five.  Stout 16"-17" fish weighing on average 1.5 lbs.  Heavy strikes and some solid shakes and head tugs.  The clouds covered the moon from last night but the mosquitoes stayed away.  Half as good as last night but I'll take it.

It occurred to me that walleyes don't photograph well when you are thigh deep in a lake trying to hold a camera and a rod and a fish.  I'm certain that the prized fly fishing magazine covershot is not in the camera tonight.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Night fishing became one of the most viable fishing options since I became a father 7 years ago.
Especially in June.  The kids roll off to bed at 8:30, I throw my gear in the car and normally have a short window of time to get my bearings before the sun rounds the bend and I find myself shin-to-knee deep in water, casting into sweltering blackness.  Normally the mosquitoes become the fish criers and their massive distant hum announces what is usually the days finest minutes of angling and also serves as a warning to cover up or at least brace myself for the stings.  Tonight's outing started at 8:45, gear in car, rumbling down the county road toward my local lake.  What was different about tonight was everything else...the moon rose almost full and early.  The mosquitoes never came.   The air was a cool 60 degrees.  The fish, unaware that the conditions above were postcard perfect forgot to close their mouths and sulk.  And so, they ate my chartreuse and white Deceiver all night.  Smallmouth bass, white bass, and walleyes...mostly walleyes.  And they got bigger as it got later.   They grabbed at the end of long bomb casts across the small bay I was covering.  A double haul followed by line peeling cleanly out of my stripping basket.  Attacking within the first 10 strips, leaving me to fight them back from 70 or 80 feet.  Rod high, pulling gained ground down into my basket.    My feet moved very little tonight, covering less than 50 (wet) steps from my arrival until I reeled in and fumbled for my keys.  An extraordinary, calm, bright, bugless and fishful.   On my drive home my right forearm was tight from casting and fighting fish.  Though the moon was too bright to see the stars, they must have been aligned.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Heard over the campfire last night

My 4 year old daughter at the campfire last night -
"Dad, this is better than Disney World!"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A steady deep bend

What started out as a 4:30 am alarm clock going off last Saturday morning has turned into a gong show.
4:50 AM - enter local lake
6:00 AM - notice that bluegills are head and tail (honest) rising for midges

8:00 AM - head back home smelling fishy
8:00 PM - head back out to repeat evening version (I bring a 4wt this time)
8:30 PM - too lazy to snip off deceiver that I was fishing while waiting for midges to hatch

8:31 PM - retied NEW deceiver on after white bass breaks off on 4x.
10:00 PM - head home smelling like white bass and walleye...very fishy
8:00 PM - Repeat evening prior but started with 2x...the original deceiver is nearly demolished having been assaulted by countless fish
12:30 PM - I reak of fish.
8:30 PM - finish dinner after bringing the kids to swimming lessons
8:45 PM - leave the house
9:00 PM - Wade in.
9:00-10:00 maintain a steady deep bend in the 4wt.
Stay Tuned.