I dropped the boat in for a solo run. The baitfish were schooled and getting blindsided by pike and musky and probably bass. I was hoping to find some crappies mixed in but instead I lost two flies in a row to teeth. Instead of moving on, or tying on wire (a sure sign that I was targeting toothy critters out of season) I simply slowed down my retrieve... It worked but not in the way I intended. I went 6 for 6 on hammer handle pike. The slow strip meant that the hard charge and deep hook didn't happen...I lipped hooked all of them.
It's the kind of solution that creates a new set of problems.
I already had 111 pounds of 4 stroke Yamaha hanging off the transom, but I wanted to increase the speed and especially the hole shot.
After exhaustive research it boiled down to one solution. A 30 HP Evinrude E-tec. At 150 pounds it was the lightest weight in its HP class by 40 pounds or more.
Still, 39 pounds is 39 pounds. The obvious solution was to move some weight forward in the boat to offset the extra weight. Gas weighs about 6 pounds per gallon and with a 6 gallon tank tucked between the rear bench and the transom it was obvious that moving the tank up under the front deck was the answer. Except...
The deck access cutout from Alweld was about 1/2 an inch short so the jigsaw came into play. I replaced the edge trim with some new stuff since with the added circumference of the new cutout the old stuff was too short.
In the end it was a snug fit, but the 36+ pounds were now riding under the deck.
measure twice, cut once
fuel source, fore
With the weight concerns worked out, I needed to move the poling platform up. The E-Tec is larger and it was hitting the platform when tilted. I pulled the platform off, made the necessary mods to the mounting and decided to fabricate a shim that would act as a hole filler for the old holes in the transom and also change the angle of the platform by a couple of degrees. One of the things I noticed on the original mounting is that the top deck of the platform seemed to be sloped aft...it wasn't a big deal when I had another angler on the deck, but poling solo felt a little like I needed to lean forward. The shims worked well, the platform leveled out and the old holes were covered and sealed rather gracefully.
up, up and outta the way.
FIXED JACK PLATE
The two inch rise fixed jackplate on the Yamaha installation worked out fine but it appeared a little too high up on the E-Tec. As a rule of thumb I have settled on mounting the Anti-Cavitation Plate of the motor 1" above the bottom of the transom at centerline. This meant that the plate needed to be cut down about an inch. Jigsaw to the rescue.
I've been thinking about adding something like this for awhile and was struggling with a clean way of mounting them. Now, with the platform raised up, the obvious tie in point is the top of the platform mount. I cut some impact resistant ABS (in a gray color not too far off the hull paint color) and built some blocks to sandwich them between the mounting plates of the poling platform. I was even able to recycle the edge trim from the deck access to give them a finished look.
The first trial run with the new motor went really well. Heavy wind (26 mph) was blowing from the south but fortunately the closest boat ramp is on the south shore of the lake. I ventured out into the chop and cranked it down. I was startled by the little amount of time it took to get on plane. My phone based speedometer clocked top end at 31 mph.
After the test run, with the wind still kicking hard I had a little trouble getting it back on the trailer.
That created a new riggin' project.
BOAT TRAILER GUIDES
Sure you can just buy these, but what fun is there in that?
I needed a few blocks of UHMW plastic for the mounts, some stainless steel U-Bolts and some PVC.
I stopped by my local plastics distributor and found some suitable blocks. They were supposed to run me $10 a pound and I'd grabbed 5 pounds worth. The guy at the counter said, "Have you got a fiver?" Deal Done. 5 bucks.
The PVC and U-bolts I picked up from the local hardware store. I decided to add a little class to the guides and perhaps save a little wear and tear on the gunwales by applying Hydroturf to the top of the guides.
It seems that we humans are constantly striving to solve problems that have been solved for years. Perhaps the best way to get something done...is to watch somebody who knows how to get something done. If you want to catch a fish, watch a heron.
Here then are the lessons in becoming a better fly fishermen, as taught by a heron.
Rule #1. Look around. Fish where there are fish to be caught.
Rule #2. 7'6" 3 wt, 8'6 5wt, 9' 7wt....doesn't matter. It's not the rod. A heron's damn beak is 6.375" long.
Rule #3 Wade like your legs are skinny. Don't push water. Fish won't leave if they don't have a reason to leave.
Rule #4 Sharpness. Sharp hooks, beaks and eyesight matter. If you are squinting through one eye after a night of 15 MGD's...expect to suffer.
Plus, bring a hook file.
Rule #5 You won't get them all. Relax and get the next one....and fish like your life depends on it.