Flying Tiger of Steelhead Flies

10 02 2015
Flying Tiger

Flying Tiger

I think it needs more orange.

The other day I was in Schultz’s Outfitters and I saw a pack of tiger striped rabbit zonker strips.  I couldn’t help but think of all my Flying Tiger Spike Spoons and I started to wonder if I could make a steelhead equivalent.  I bought some orange guinea hen as well and put them all together.  The design is based on a Zudweg Wicked Leech.  His design is a pretty easy tie and the color combinations are endless.  Now all I have to do is to see if a steelhead will eat it.

 

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Bass, Bass and More Bass. 9-1-12

3 09 2012

Normally I am not a superstitious person, but when a black cat ran out in front of me as I was headed to the ramp Saturday morning I should have taken it as a sign. It was a beautiful morning so I had no reason to think it was going to turn out as badly as it did. I arrived at the ramp at 6:00 am and quickly launched my boat. I still had an hour until sunrise so I put on the body baits and one pencil plug. I could make out a few weeds on the surface but nothing to bad too worry about. Fishing was slow at first with nothing except a few under sized Smallmouth Bass to show for my efforts. Once the sun came up I switched over too spoons and got ready for action. Problem was the action I was waiting for was not what I wanted.

 
Shortly after sunrise I felt a very light hit and it turned out to be a 3 inch bass. This is not un-common. These are fish from this year’s hatch which from all indications looks like a good one. That’s great for my bass fishing friends but I was looking for the toothy critters that like to eat them. For the next hour all I caught were under sized bass. I was averaging one about every five minutes. I was getting ready to change tactics up a bit when something hit me in the leg. I looked down and there was green stuff on my right thigh and on the seat of my boat. Sure enough, a bird crapped on me as he flew overhead. I just shook my head and cleaned up the mess. I switched out some spoon colors and styles and continued my run towards the stacks. As I was getting closer I noticed something running back and forth along the bank. I thought it was a muskrat at first but when I got closer I realized it was a mink. I watched him bop around for about a minute and just as I was making my turn I had another fish on. This one turned out to be a walleye but he was exactly 15 inches long so I tossed him back. The way things were going this morning I wasn’t expecting much more and I didn’t feel like cleaning one small fish. Shortly after I set lines again I had another light hit and as expected it was another 3 inch bass. It turned out to be a triple with a 3 inch bass on each lure. As I was releasing the fish off the short leads I noticed a Ring Bill Gull hovering behind me. He had seen the other bass on my 40 foot lead and was trying to get a quick meal. Just as I got my hand on the leader he swooped down and grabbed him. Fortunately from him and me all he got was the bass. I didn’t feel like trying to un-hook a gull today.

 
Once I got all my lines in I took off downstream to try some deeper water. Same results as my first spot but at least I did catch a legal bass, an 18 incher. After a quick pic I tossed him back in the water. By now it was 9:00 am so I decided to make a run farther upstream and try the channel by the Rotary Park ramp. I set up in the channel in 25 feet of water. I fished until about 9:30 am with still no walleye. I pulled lines for the final time and just headed home. I had stuff to do around the house so it was time to cut my losses and try another day.

 
Conditions this morning weren’t bad. Water is still clear but the weeds were a bit of a problem. Surface temps have been stable at around 75 degrees the last few trips. Won’t be too much longer and it will start to cool down more. That will make me and a bunch of perch fishermen very happy. Final tally for the day was one barely legal walleye and about 3 dozen Smallmouth Bass. At least I didn’t get skunked.

 

Sort of.

 
I need to go check my boat for a banana.





Jiminy Cricket

25 08 2012

Some people love the sound of crickets chirping in the night air. They find it relaxing and soothing as their busy day comes to a close. As for me, well let’s just say I could do without it. I never realized how annoying the sound of one lone cricket could be until last night.

 
My mom and dad came down for the weekend to celebrate my daughters 17th birthday. Since the party was going to be Saturday afternoon my father and I decided to take advantage of a free night and go walleye fishing. I was a little pessimistic about how we would do with the FLW in town and the weed disaster from earlier this week. Today was another day so I was determined to make the best of it. We started off jigging alongside of the Edison coal pile. I try this every once and awhile just to see what is lurking in the area. Last time I did this I caught a 34 inch musky. I was hoping for a few walleye but anything would work. My dad likes to jig so he would get a chance, albeit a brief one, to give it a shot. All we managed was one Sheepshead and a goby in our first and only drift. The sun was starting to set so it was time to switch gears and start handlining. My dad hooked the first walleye of the night but like so many before this year it was too small, 14 7/8 inches to be exact. Back to the river he went so I could catch him in a month or two. About 15 minutes later I picked up a 16 inch fish on a Riley Special spoon. The next 45 minutes yielded nothing and now it was dark so we switched over to body baits. I put on a #11 Bleeding Chartreuse Rapala and my Dad his favorite Smithwick Rattlin’ Rouge. Shortly after 9:00 pm I landed an 18 inch walleye and my dad followed it up 2 minutes later with another one. Things were looking good so we made a couple of more passes through the area but we caught nothing else. This went on for the next hour with nothing to show for our efforts but a few rockbass. It was now close to 11:00 pm and we were getting ready to call it a night. I said that once we finished this pass by the stacks we would pull lines. It was right about then that my Dad caught what would be our final walleye for the night. This one managed to tangle his lines as well so after the fish went into the cooler he balled up his leaders and tossed them in the bucket. I pulled my lines as well and we were soon heading home. I had had enough of the chirping cricket anyways. He wasn’t too vocal while we were catching fish but those down times in between he was very noisy.

 
We ended up with 4 eaters and 1 throwback for the night. Definitely my slowest night of the year. I may have to try some new waters on my next trip. I might try farther upstream by McClouth Steel the next time out or further south down by Horse Island. We’ll see. As for now I have to go find a cricket in my boat.





8/14/12 Walleye with a new student

15 08 2012

Back at the Golden Bucket Tournament a new DWF member approached me about learning how to hand line. Mark Payne is retired and just starting to learn how to catch walleye. He had been out jigging but he really wanted to see what pulling wire was all about. He bought all the stuff to do it but he still needed someone to show him how to use it. Apparently a few people had promised to take him out but never followed through. I can understand him being pessimistic when I told him I would. After one rain out the weather turned and we made plans to meet at my house at 7:00 pm. He must have been excited to go, he arrived at 6:30 pm.

 
Before we launched the boat I gave him some quick instructions on how everything will work. I set up his reel on the boat, gave him one of my shanks and one spool with a 30 and 15 foot leader. We launched the boat and headed to my usual starting point. The water was still clear but there were a few more weeds floating on the surface then the last time I was out. After some more instruction on how to set lines Mark was soon fishing. Now all we needed was some cooperative fish. It didn’t take long and Mark was yelling out that he had a fish. Turned out to be a small mouth but it was his first and he was happy. About 20 minutes alter he followed it up with his first walleye pulling wire, on the infamous Flying Tiger spoon. He ended up catching one more on the same spoon a little later on. I think he may be headed to the local tackle shop to pick up some of those spoons for himself. I ended up with a few fish myself before we wrapped things up. The weeds were a problem as it got darker. It seemed like we were clearing lines every 5 minutes. Makes it hard to catch fish when conditions are like that. The main thing was that Mark learned a few things and he got to take home some fresh fish for dinner. He was happy and that’s all that mattered.

 
No pictures tonight. I sent the fish home with Mark but I can say they were all caught on a Flying Tiger spoon and my favorite custom painted Rapala….Copper Crazy Tiger.