July 4th Holiday Fishing.

5 07 2018

Even though Michigan was in the middle of a heat wave I decided to go fishing anyways.  I had Wednesday off for the July 4th holiday so I figured to go Walleye Tuesday night and fly fishing for Warm Water fish the next.  Advisories were out for northern Michigan to refrain from trout fishing but that didn’t really matter where I live.  There are no trout streams nearby so Bass and Bluegill it is.  To be fair, if I was up north I would head the advisories  and not fish for trout.  I release them all anyways so why bother fishing for something that will probably die from the heat?

Tuesday night I was headed to the ramp after 9:00 pm.  I knew the water was clear (3+ feet of visibility) so there was no rush to get started.  By 9:30 I was lines down and patiently waiting.  Fishing was definitely slow at first.  For the first 45 minutes all i did was clear what few weeds there were and wipe sweat.  I was hoping that once the sun set the humidity would die down some and the fishing would pick up.  I was also praying the bugs wouldn’t be an issue as well.  With no breeze to keep them at bay it was shaping up to be a miserable night.  Around 10:15 pm I caught my first walleye and it was soon followed up by a second.  Both came on my long lead and a #11 GFR Rapala.  I kept at it and by 11:00 pm I had 4 in the cooler and I was searching for #5.  I quickly found him but lost him at the side of the boat.  I proceeded to do this two more times before I was finally able to land one.  Unfortunately that fish was to short and back he went.  Shortly after 11:30 #5 was in the cooler.

I thought about trying to upgrade some of the smaller fish but the 18 inch Smallmouth I just caught that tangled all my lines made up my mind for me.  Interesting note on this fish.  I noticed something in his mouth and it turned out he had swallowed a pink balloon.  I removed it and sent him on his way.  I guess the whole plastic thing isn’t just an issue for salt water fish.  After that I packed up and headed towards my friend Dave who was farther south of me.  He and his son showed up around 10 so I wanted to see how they were doing.  They had a couple so far and were going to stick around for another hour.  He later texted me that they ended up with 5 and left around 1 am.  I was still cleaning fish at 1 and trying to finish up so I could get to bed.  I needed a few hours of sleep before heading to my Carp/Bluegill/Bass spot the next morning.

The next morning I was walking to my usual carp/bass/bluegill spot.  I didn’t know what to expect with this heat.  I was afraid the fish might vacate the area and head for deeper waters.  As I was walking out I saw a lot of surface activity.  Once I got closer I could see it was the carp rolling around and almost acting like they were in spawn mode.  Seemed kind of odd but whatever it was they were up to it wasn’t feeding.  All morning long I was constantly seeing fish but they were all cruising along and showing no interest in what I had to offer.  As a matter of fact I didn’t see a single carp feeding all morning long.  The Largemouth Bass seemed to be in the same mood as well.  I saw dozens of them and I was only able to coax one smaller fish into grabbing my fly.

Thankfully the local Gill population was cooperative.  As a matter of fact, I found an area where some of them were on their beds.  I saw this last year as well, fish still on the beds in July.  Spawning should have been done over a month ago but yet there they were.  Easy pickings.

At one spot I just put my Scott “Flex” 8wt away and concentrated on the gills.  I was using it when I saw some carp about 10 yards out.  I started casting but the gills were hitting my carp fly the second it hit the water.  An 8wt is overkill so I put it down and started using my TFO BVK 6 wt.  I stayed in the area for about another hour and caught about a dozen or more Bluegills, most of which I would have kept for a meal if it weren’t for having to carry them 2 miles back to the car.  I also caught a few Green Sunfish.  I wasn’t quite sure what they were so when I got home I looked it up.  Didn’t know we had these in Michigan.  I have been catching a few all year but never really paid attention, just figured they were a bluegill mixed with something else.

I also learned a valuable lesson in paying attention to my surroundings.  As you can see, in the background of the pictures, the shoreline had this green algae/moss/muck that went out for a couple of feet.  I released one of the many gills I caught into a hole between the patches.  As I did a carp shot out from underneath the green goop.  He may have been feeding and if I had seen him I might have has a chance at him.  I’ll never know now.  Oh well.

Around 10:30 am I started back for my car.  I had some family obligations and I was going to see “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” before hand.  I plan on going walleye fishing again Friday night and fly fishing again on Sunday.  Temps are supposed to cool down and I’m hoping the fish are more cooperative.

Until then……

 

 

 

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Father’s Day Weekend 2015

22 06 2015

Friday night, June 19th.  The end of another long week and for once no rain.  The last few weeks it has been on and off rain and water levels that are rising more then they are falling.  I needed a break and tonight was it.  I suggested to Susan that we should pick up a couple of subs and go eat them down at Willow Metro Park.  Of course the fly rod would be coming along for use after dinner.  We didn’t stay long but I managed to catch a few fish before the mosquitoes tried to carry us off.

Not very big but very colorful.

Not very big but very colorful.

Washago Pickle

The next morning I headed out to the Detroit River to see if I could catch a few walleye for the freezer.  This was going to be my first real trip of the year.  I had gone out a few weeks ago but that was more of a screw around trip.  This time it was serious.  I was out of walleye and I needed some for myself and my parents.

I arrived at the ramp just in time to watch a bass tournament get all their boats launched.  Jump time hadn’t come yet so I had time to get ahead of them and get set up.  By 6:45 I was lines down and fishing.  Conditions were just about perfect.  NE wind at around 5 mph, overcast skies, clean water and no floating weeds or mayfly casings.  All I needed now was a few fish.  It didn’t take long and I had my first one on.  He hit a #9 Clown Rapala on my 40 foot lead.  As I was bringing him he came to the surface rather quickly and I could see he was barely hooked.  I thought to myself that he should just shake his head and get it over with.  He must have heard me because he did just that.  About 10 minutes later I had another one on the same lead and lure but this one stayed down.  After a few minutes I managed to get it up close enough to the boat to see it.  This fish was also barely hooked and it was a beast.  One more head shake and I got to watch her swim away as well.  I was beginning to think that this was the start of a very bad trip.  Fortunately though my luck changed and the next 5 I hooked were all landed easily.  These fish all came on the same orange and black spoon on my 20 foot lead.  Why they were hitting the spoon hard and not the Rapala has me a bit perplexed.  All I can figure is that the bigger fish were not in an active feeding mode and just taking a half ass swipe at the lure as it came by.  The spoon must have been easier for them to suck in.  I didn’t care, as long as they were in the cooler.

1st limit of 2015

1st limit of 2015

After fishing I spent the afternoon down at Cedar Point with Susan and her brother and his family.  He has a boat in the Marina so we spent the afternoon there.  One of the other tenants came by to show off his fishing rod “set-up”.  He was really proud of the line…40 pound Berkley Fireline.  Why he needed that was beyond me but he was really proud of it.  One thing I did take notice of was the number of gnats and mayflies.  I wondered if they were going to be this bad back home.  As luck would have it I would find out later.

The next morning Susan and I were out once again but this time with my kids.  With it being Father’s Day they wanted to go to breakfast and see a movie.  After some Red, White and Blue pancakes from Denny’s we headed to the theatre to go see “Inside Out”.  My kids and I have been going to see just about every Pixar movie that comes out.  All these years we are still doing it and Pixar does not fail to produce fantastic movies.  This one was no exception.  If you do decide to go see it take some Kleenex.

Susan had to go to work that evening so I was free to do as I pleased.  Of course that meant another shot at the walleye.  This time around the conditions were a bit different.  Clear skies, bright sun, clear water and soon no wind.  I managed to pick up one walleye.

Walleye 1

What really surprised me was how active the few remaining Silver Bass were after dark.  I didn’t catch many but the ones I did get were big.  Most were in the 14 to 16 range.  Some of these were Master Angler qualifiers but I wasn’t about to turn one in.  The worst part of the whole night was the bugs.  As it got dark I could see the mayflies starting to hatch and the gnats were right there with them.  At one point I had a green and red cloud of gnats at the bow of my boat.  Anytime I turned my headlamp on to see what I was doing I was instantly covered in gnats.  I got so sick of them I just cleared weeds and lines in the dark.  After about 30 minutes though it got to be to much and I just gave up.  Even back at the ramp they were ridiculously thick.  I’m still smacking bugs in the inside of my car.  I shouldn’t complain to much though.  It won’t last and I should be happy that the Silver Bass are clearing out.  I have all summer to catch fish.

 





You Know? I Was Thinking………

18 08 2014

Those 5 words really scare the crap out of me and for good reason. Once my girlfriend utters them it means she has come up with another project around her house that will require my expertise. More specifically my power tools and labor. This has been the case the last few weekends as the latest project has been building shelves and cabinets in her 10×10 walk in closet. This past Sunday I finally finished up after I installed the 8 foot tall by 1 ½ foot wide mirrored doors on one of the cabinets. Once they were hung and the cabinet securely fastened to the wall I was free and clear, or at least until I heard those 5 words again.   There is a trade off though. Now that this closet is finished I get to start on the next project, my man cave! That will have to wait for another weekend though. I still have to get my boat repaired and I needed a fishing break now. Since my boat is laid up I suggested that we should go to Washago Pond in Willow Metro Park for a bit. These late evening trips work out well for both of us. Susan gets to read while I get to fish.

I started off in my usual spot, the SW end of the pond. Not much surface activity but there had to be something hatching since the swallows were really working over the surface of the water in the center. I tied on a #14 Elk Hair Caddis pattern and let it fly. I was using my new Echo 4wt fly rod and I was curious to see how well it would work. The trial run of this rod a few weeks back on Sanford Lake was short lived so I’ve been itching to give it a real test. It casts like a dream, not as far as my 6 or 7wt rods but that was no big deal. I was more concerned about fatigue and numbness in my right wrist. I have tendonitis in both wrists and my elbows so casting a heavier rod has proven to be quite painful. The last time I cast my 7wt rod my hand went numb after about 20 minutes and I could barely hold the rod. I’m happy to say that between the fingerless compression gloves and the 4wt rod I was able to cast it for over an hour with only some slight discomfort.

I caught a few smaller gills at first with one of them being about 2 inches long. Poor little guy grabbed the fly as I was getting ready to start my back cast and he went flying behind me and over a picnic table. I really wonder what goes on in a bluegills pea brain when this happens. The fish is thinking he has an easy meal and the next thing he knows he is flying through the air. Has to be a bit of a shock. After that little incident I switched over to one of my many foam flies I tied up this past winter. Success on these flies has been pretty pathetic and I was beginning to question my design, specifically the hook. I started to wonder if I used to heavy of a hook and that the fish might by shying away from it. Well it didn’t take long and I started to catch fish on a regular basis with a pink mini hopper. The fish weren’t Master Angler size but they would do. After about a dozen or so fish hooked and landed I decided to pack it in. It was starting to get late and now was a good time to drive around in the park and see the deer, something Susan likes to do. Besides, I’ll have other opportunities to come back, unless of course I hear those 5 words again…….

 

Washago Pond 1 Washago Pond 2 Washago Pond 3 Washago Pond 4 Washago Pond 5 Washago Pond 6





Gill time

18 05 2014

Well since my first strategy for Silver avoidance went so well I decided to give Plan “B” a shot.  It was still a little early yet for bugs, especially with the latest cold snap but I really didn’t feel like pulling wire again tonight.  After I finished up the last of the mulch spreading in my garden I grabbed the fly rod and my newly stocked fly boxes and headed to Washago Pond.  This pond is located in the Willow Metro Park just of off I-275 and it’s not to far from my house.  BONUS!!!!

I have never fished here before so I really didn’t know where to start.  With the wind starting to pick up I started in an area a little out of the wind.  I tied on one of the many foam bluegill flies I tied up and let it fly.  20 minutes later I was still letting it fly with nothing to show for it.  Time for something new, I know, I’ll use one of the many flies I tied up for trout.  Sure enough, that did the trick.  All those foam flies and I catch them on a #16 Elk Hair Emerger pattern.  I give up.

Not a whole lot of size to them but I wasn’t expecting any bruisers either.  I have a few other areas to go check out and they haven’t even started hitting the beds yet.  For now the Fly rod will get stored in the car along with the fly boxes.  Nothing stopping me from make a quick trip on my way home from work some evening.

First Gill on a fly in a coon's age.

First Gill on a fly in a coon’s age.