Back to the wire

20 07 2020

It had been almost two months since the last time I went grocery shopping, I mean walleye fishing.  I really didn’t know what to expect.  I knew the humidity was going to be terrible and the water was going to be clear.  I didn’t know what the weeds, bugs or pleasure boaters were going to be like though.  Didn’t have much control over any of it but I did wait until after 9:00 pm before I headed out.  I was hoping most of the boats would be off the water by then, I was wrong.

I set up in my usual area and I immediately started battling the weeds.  Lots of single strands and a few mats on the surface.  It took me awhile but I was finally able to get the lures to the bottom without them getting fouled.  The pleasure boaters were just now coming off of Erie and headed back to the marinas so I was getting bounced around by them as well.  For the first half hour all I did was clear lines and dodge wakes.  I was seriously debating giving up, especially after I hit a mat so big I couldn’t pull my lines in.  I had to turn the boat and head downstream just to get lines in.  By then it was almost 10:00 pm and after I got everything cleared I pushed the reset button.  A few minutes later and the first one was in the boat.  Shortly afterwards he was followed up with a second.  The third one was a few minutes after that but I lost him as I hit another patch of weeds and he came off.  I hit another big patch of weeds shortly after that and I seriously thought about just going in.  The humidity was so bad I couldn’t wear my glasses and I was having a hard time seeing.  The bigger boats were still coming and the weeds were not thinning out.  Hooking and landing 3 and 4 in the next couple of minutes changed my mind and I stuck it out until I got 6 in the cooler.  Once that was done I didn’t waste anytime heading for the dock.  I was soaked with sweat and I was whipped.  It has been a long time since I had to work that hard to catch walleye.  Guess I got spoiled.

I shouldn’t complain to much though.  I was out for just over an hour and I got a 6 fish limit.  There appears to be a lot of fish in the river and it should be easy pickings for awhile.  I just need to get a few days of strong west winds to push all the weeds to Canada.

Looks like I picked the right size and color lure tonight.





Just Add Water

17 07 2020

Last Sunday I thought for sure I would have a good week of fishing with the recent rains.  I went out the following evening and apparently someone closed off the dams upstream.  The same areas I was catching fish in 24 hours earlier were now dry.  I was not happy.

Fast forward to Thursday (7/16) and my area got an inch of rain in the morning.  I went out after work and with the rise in water levels came a bunch of hungry carp.  The first stop had about a dozen fish in a hole no more than 20 feet in diameter.  Most were nose down in some tree roots so I just waited for one to get clear.  It didn’t take long and another fish swam in. I dropped my fly in front of him and the splashing commenced.  Unfortunately the hook came loose about a minute later and he was gone.  After that I bounced back and forth between 4 different spots within 100 yards of each other.  I managed to land 5 and lose another in about an hour and a half.  After I would catch one I would move on to another spot to give the previous spot a chance to calm down.  The strategy paid off well.  I also started slowing down my hook sets.  I was getting to crazy doing the Orvis hook set and whenever I missed, I would send the fly into the trees above me.  Now, when I see a take, I just lift up slowly until I feel the weight.  Once the fish takes off I clamp down and bury that hook.  It has made a big difference in my hook up percentage.

Once it started getting dark I headed for home.  I was having a hard enough time trying to see the fish through my continuously fogged up sunglasses anyways.  I’ll be back Saturday morning, unless of course the dams upstream get closed off again.





Post Mulberry Carp.

13 07 2020

Well it looks like Mulberry season is done for this year.  I went to my usual spot last night and struck out.  I saw a few carp but I didn’t see a single berry drop for the half hour I was there.  There are still some in the tree but I don’t think I am going to get the major drop like I saw over a week ago.  After that I headed back to my old fishing grounds.  Fortunately we received a lot of rain last Friday and ambush spots that were bone dry were once again full of water.

I started off to my favorite spot but there were people swimming.  I moved on to another area and climbed up a log to check everything out.  There they were, slowly cruising around and looking for something to eat.  I switched out my Mulberry fly and tied on my OCD fly.  I flipped it out in front of the first carp that came into range and like so many before him he hoovered it up without hesitation.  Since I was standing on a log I had my hands full trying to keep him from going underneath it.  He managed to a couple of times but I was pull him back and eventually into the net.

After I released him I waited for things to settle down.  As I was checking my line for abrasions I spotted another feeding carp directly below me on my right.  I lowered the fly down by hand and placed it just off to his right.  He moved towards the fly but I couldn’t see him pick it up.  I slowly lifted the rod and once the line went tight he took off for the main river.  Once again I was back to trying to keep him out in front of me and not underneath the log.  He was a little more cooperative and after about 5 minutes I had him in the net as well.

He pretty much trashed the other side of the log so I packed up and headed for home.  I’ll have about a week of fishing here with the bump in the flows, unless someone upstream decides to close a dam.  Once this place dries up others will become available.  I’ll find them, they cannot hide.





Mulberry Season

8 07 2020

I love this time of year. These fish get so stupid.  All rules go out the door as they will not spook, they stop cruising so they can hoover up a dropping berry and they don’t spit the fly as quickly.  Some of them were caught 100 yards away from the nearest Mulberry Tree.  It must be like crack to them.  As a size reference the opening of my net is 23 inches long.  Tactics are so simple.  Drop fly in front of fish swimming your way and then hang on.  I’ve probably lost just as many the last week due to old fishing line, logs and other snags.





Bluegills, the Gateway Drug.

5 07 2020

It’s a pretty safe bet that most anglers got their start with bluegills.  They are the gateway drug to all other fish.  Once some discover other fish they never go back.  I may forget about them from time to time but at least once a year I go back to my beginnings.  Today was one of those days.  With water levels on The Huron being very low I went back to Pte. Mouille to see if the Bowfin were still in close.  They weren’t but the Gills were plentiful and I was luck enough to find an area with a lot of slab size fish.

I probably caught 30 or 40 in this size with a few even larger.  All of them on a shrunken down version of one of my carp flies.  They were a lot of fun on my 6 wt rod.  I keep thinking about getting a 3 or 4 wt. for this but I always manage to talk my way out of it.  Probably because I keep thinking about a 10wt for salt water and pike.

Maybe someday, until then here’s the the Bluegill.  Small in stature but the start of a life long journey for many.