Weekend Walleye, Rain and Carp report.

28 10 2019

This past Saturday I made a quick walleye trip with a friend of mine.  It was going to be cold but it wasn’t supposed to start raining until the afternoon so it was now or never.  We started around 7:30 am in my usual spot.  Water was stained, no floating weeds and a surface temp of around 52 degrees.  Not much happened in the first hour but once the sun cleared the trees the walleye finally turned on.  It wasn’t fast and furious but we picked away at a two man limit for the next 90 minutes.  Actually, it did get kind of hectic a few times.  We ended up with several doubles that morning.  We even ended the trip on a double.  As one fish was being brought in I hooked one and landed it as well.  The smaller one went back and we were headed in.  Good thing too since the NE wind was starting to pick up and the skyline south of us was starting to darken up.  One other item of note was the amount of emerald shiners and and young of the year perch we were finding as we cleaned the fish.  The fish were all males and they appear to be gorging themselves on the available food source.

A river all to myself. Fall fishing is the best.

About an hour after I got the fish cleaned and the boat put away the rain started and it didn’t quit until well into the evening.  I heard that we were supposed to get about 2 inches of rain but I never did hear a final report.  All I know was that my rivers would be blown out so steelhead fishing the next day was out.

After I finished up with some family stuff in the morning I decided to go check on the rivers, just in case.  As expected they were really high and dirty.  As I was walking along I spotted a silt trail and saw a carp feeding in a flooded ditch connected to the river.  I slowly backed away and headed back to the car to get my carp stuff.  The carp were cruising around in shallow areas that were normally dry.  They were also on high alert and hard to sneak up on.  I did manage to spot one feeding on the opposite side of a log.  I cast my fly out past him and stripped it into range.  Once he saw it he spun towards it and sucked it up.  I set the hook and off he went.  I kept him as close to me as possible since he was in an area with a lot of blow downs.  Eventually he swam over a log and the fly scraped the log and came out of the fishes mouth.  Oh well, at least I fooled one when I wasn’t expecting to even see any.  I saw a few more after that but I couldn’t get any of them to go.  I may go back Tuesday and see if any are still around.  My hot spot was so flooded I didn’t even recognize it.  If the carp are still active I’m sure there will be a few in there.

Holy High Water

4 10 2019

I really  miss having a flow gauge on my part of the Huron river.  It was so nice to look up what the levels and flows were like before I went fishing.  Now I have to go old school and drive to the river to find out what is going on.  Even then it’s a bit of a crap shoot.  The section I have been fishing for carp is between two dams.  I have watched the levels rise and drop in a day even when we haven’t had any rain.  After a couple days of rain I really had no idea what to expect.  The river could have been blown out or just a trickle depending on if the gates were open at the dams.  I had a free hour so I decided to go check it out.

It didn’t take long and I had my answer, the river was up between two and three feet.  the water was so high that the carp were right along the shoreline with their noses in the grass.  Talk about an impossible situation to sneak up on them.  They were on high alert and I couldn’t get within 10 yards without spooking them.  The flows were so fast that if I made a cast the fly was by them or over their back before I could strip it into the sweet spot.  If I could find a pool, with no current, then I could get a shot.  In this current though it wasn’t going to happen.

My next spot was my honey hole.  I was hoping that it wouldn’t be flooded out and I might be able to sneak up on one.  As I walked in the water was over the bank and picnic tables that were high and dry were now sitting in about 3 inches of water.  The bright side though was the carp were there, everywhere.  I could barely see them but there had to be at least 2 dozen of them feeding.  Seemed like easy pickings but that many fish meant a lot of eyes looking for danger.  Spooking one could send them all back out into the main river.  Fortunately it was overcast so I wasn’t throwing a shadow.  I was able to sneak into range but the fish I was casting to were refusing my fly.  I was about to swap out flies when I had a smaller one take an interest in my fly.  I set the hook as he picked it up but lost him shortly afterwards.  That spooked every fish in the area so I left.

The next spot was more of the same.  Carp on high alert with their noses in the grass.  I tried a few more spots but the water was so deep and dark I couldn’t see anything.  I was about to head home when I decided to try the honey hole one more time.  I snuck my way back in and saw one lone carp swimming around.  I dropped my fly in the water and he swam right over it.  I lifted the fly out of the water and waited for him to turn my way.  When he did I lowered the fly into his path and waited.  This time he sucked it up and I drove the hook home.  He immediately headed for the main river and I put the brakes on him to prevent that.  I wasn’t dressed to give chase so I kept him as close as possible.  About 5 minutes later I got him in the net.

After that I packed up and went home.  I had some packing to do since I’m headed north to go duck hunting and hopefully catch an Atlantic Salmon or two.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.

1 10 2019

Last night I wasn’t even planning on going out.  My daughter and I had to go grocery shopping and I figured it would be to late by the time we got done.  Fortunately for me my commute home was incident free and grocery shopping went rather quickly.  Even with all that happening, in my favor, my original plan was to just stay in and tie up some more flies.  I tied up two rather quickly and I liked the way they came out so much I just had to try one.

Twenty minutes later I was walking to the river to start my usual walk upstream.  Right off the bat I spotted a feeding carp but his nose was buried under some exposed tree roots and there was no way to present a fly.  I waited for a bit but not to long since I only had about half an hour of daylight left.  He swam off so I just worked my way upstream.  Levels were up from the other day but the water was still somewhat clear.  Eventually I made my way to the shaded prime feeding area where I have been consistently  seeing carp.  The lack of light and deeper than usual water made spotting one difficult.  I could see silt trails but I couldn’t see the carp making them.  Eventually I did see one in some shallower water and I made my way over to present my fly.  He really wasn’t working my way and started to swim off.  I was about to cast in front of him when I saw another carp coming into the area.  I waited a few seconds and then stripped the fly into his range.  He turned towards the fly and blocked my view of it.  I saw what looked like him sucking up the fly, it was hard to tell in the stained water, so I set the hook and the barb struck home.  Off he went into the main river and kept out of range for a bit.  Eventually I got him close to shore, once I did I soon realized I had just hooked my first Mirror Carp.  Now I got serious and I was probably way to cautious about getting him into the net.  A minute later he was in and after a quick pic he was on his way.

After that I was pretty much out of light but I found out what I needed to know.  The fly worked and their are Mirror Carp in my area of the river.  Once I got home and cleaned up I tied up a few more flies for my next trip.  My next time out to Schultz Outfitters I’ll pick up some more dubbing brushes in natural colors.  I may trim up a few of them to make them look more like a small clam or zebra mussel.  My OCD had a hard time just leaving that scruffy mess as is.  Then again, the carp don’t seem to care.