Fishing and Tying Sunday (7/22/18)

23 07 2018

This past Sunday I woke up to do my usual fly fishing for just about anything.  I wondered what the water was going to be like with the on and off rains we had the last few days.  Turns out the water wasn’t bad.  The only problem was the double digit NE winds making sight fishing nearly impossible.  So much for an accurate weather report from my weather app.  Before I left it said NE winds were around 5 mph and it was dead calm around my house.  Apparently 10 miles south it was different.  I gave it a shot anyways and on my first cast I landed a decent bass.

After that I didn’t hook or see anything.  I gave up after about an hour and headed home.  I had flies to tie and I was running out of time.  I have plenty of streamers for my Alaska trip but I needed to tie up some surface stuff for the Grayling and Rainbows.  Originally I was going to take some mouse patterns but the guide told me no to bother.  He told me once the salmon move in the Rainbows set up behind them to feed on the eggs and anything pink.  So pink it is.

After that it was on to the smaller stuff.  I just got a box of Firehole Sticks barbless hooks and I wanted to try them out.  These things are stupid sharp and they should work out well.

The guide told me to tie up Caddis patterns that float high in the fast water.  These should do the trick.  I tied up some stimulator patterns as well.  I really don’t need that many, I”m not going to spend that much time chasing Grayling.  I Just want to catch a few nicer ones to cross off my “caught fly fishing” list and possibly have a replica made.  They catch a fair number of them on beads as well while fishing for the Rainbows so I don’t need to get to crazy.  All that is left for me to do now is arrange all my gear to make sure I have it all covered.  Weather permitting I may go out fly fishing one last time but I don’t know for sure.  MY OCD is kicking in and I’m afraid of losing or breaking something between now and Alaska.  I should probably just stick to catching walleye for the next few weeks.



What’s in store for 2014.

3 01 2014

So it is snowing outside, the wind chill it is something below zero and the boiler is out in my office building.

Is it Spring yet?

This of course has me thinking about what I am going to do this year?  What new adventures await me?  Last year wasn’t all that exciting, mostly the same old same old.  I did go Fly Fishing for a weekend on the AuSable river.  This was something I hadn’t done in years and I forgot just how enjoyable it was.  I plan on doing more of that this year along with a few other things.  With that in mind here is a brief run down of what to expect on this blog for 2014.

A year in the life of a die hard walleye fisherman.

I had this idea awhile ago about what goes through a walleye fisherman’s head for a year.  Not just a weekend warrior type but one who is constantly thinking about catching walleye.  This year I plan on putting that into words.  Starting in January I will post monthly entries of what it is like to be a walleye fanatic 24/7/365.  Granted some months are going to be more about planning and prepping instead of fishing but it should be interesting.

There is more to life than just walleye.

This year I am also making a concerted effort to go fishing for other species.  I forgot how much I enjoy fly fishing so there will be more of that in my future.  Not just for trout but panfish as well, maybe a few Smallmouth or Largemouth Bass if I ever get some bigger flies tied up.  Speaking of fly tying I will also be making a few posts about some of my own creations.  Winter time is tying time and with the weather being what it is I might as well.  If the weather ever does break I will be making a few Steelhead trips too.  I still have to get the rod and tie up some jigs but that won’t take long.  Hopefully I will be able to hook into a few on my local stream the Huron.  If not I will have to go visit my parents and take my chances along the AuSable. 

Another plan is to do some fishing out of state.  First on the list is Dewey Lake in Kentucky.  My girlfriend has friends down there she likes to visit and Dewey lake is only a few miles away.  It is an 18 mile impoundment that is supposed to have some walleye in it, panfish and Striped Bass.  Hopefully I can make this work.  I’ll need to do some checking to help cut down on my paddle time in the kayak.  18 miles is a little too much water to cover by kayak.

The big out of state trip for 2014 is Alaska.  For years my Father and I tried to put together a trip but it seemed like every year we wanted to go something happened.  This trip almost didn’t happen again when my Dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer but that is under control so we have been given the green light.  The last week in July My Father, Brother and I will be flying up to Homer Alaska for a week.  Currently Halibut, Silver Salmon (Coho), Big Rainbows and Grayling are on the agenda but that could change depending on weather and what is hot at the moment.  The cabin we are staying at has WIFI so you can expect updates and pictures from the field as they happen, or at least that evening after dinner.     

Back closer to home the DNR have been stocking Atlantic Salmon in Lake Huron.  This spring those 2013 plants should be showing up and I hope to get a few.  The AuSable was one of the planting areas so my Dad and I are making plans to target them.  If what I have read is correct they should start showing up in the harbors and rivers about the same time those other fish show up in the “D”.  I hope so, it will be a nice change of pace.

Another change of pace during the “Invasion” will be the St. Clair River.  I made my first trip up there last May and I plan on going back.  I am thinking about staying at Algonac State Park for a weekend and jig by day and pull wire by night.  I may even make this an event to see if other people want to tag along and share resources.  Always easier to zero in on the fish when you have multiple boats out.  That way we can also compare notes and tactics to help improve everyone’s success. 

Can’t forget about hunting season either.

I really, really, really miss small game hunting.  Unfortunately I don’t have the access to private land around home like I used too.  All my small game hunting is up around Midland or Oscoda and I can’t get away for the weekend like I used too.  Hopefully that will change this year and I can post a few items about Grouse, Woodcock and of course Squirrel.  There may even be a post about an early Teal season hunt.  The DNR is pushing for Michigan to have an early Teal season.  The USFWS always shot it down but it looks like they may let it happen in 2014.  If so I know of a few spots that hold a fair amount of Green Wing Teal.  I won’t make any plans until I know for sure but it would be nice.    

Well there you have it, 2014 in a nutshell.  I’m sure I won’t get to do everything I want but if I can pull off half of it I will be happy.  I do know it is going to be a lot of writing and picture taking.  Speaking of picture taking I’m debating purchasing a GoPro video camera.  If so I may have videos to post as well.

A Change of Pace

19 05 2013

Every year during the month of May my boat and Schaller reels get a break from fishing.  Not because I need a break but because I don’t like catching Silver Bass.  I love to fish but Handlining is strictly a walleye thing.  It wasn’t designed for catching Silver Bass.  They are a take a kid fishing with light tackle thing.  During this time I usually pursue other types of fishing, more recently it has been out of my kayak.  This year it would be something else.

I don’t really remember how it came about but Dave Fitch, a fellow handliner, asked me if a ever went fly fishing.  I told him it had been awhile but I learned how to cast a fly rod when I was about 10 years old and I also tied my own flies.  Next thing I knew I was invited to a weekend fly fishing trip on the AuSable river up near Grayling.  I was a little worried at first.  I hadn’t caught a trout on a fly rod in over 30 years.   I was going to be a little out of my comfort zone.  I would be trading in  my 30 pound test leaders and a 5 inch long Rapala’s for a 2 pound leader and a #16 Adams.  This could get embarrassing.

I arrived in Grayling Friday night and gave Dave a call to see where he was at.  He and his friend “Corky” had just come off the river and they would be back at the cabin shortly.  I had some time to kill so I took a walk down to the AuSable to just relax.  A few minutes later Dave’s truck was pulling in and after meeting Corky and his son Spencer we were on our way to get something to eat.  During dinner the whole conversation was about where to go tomorrow.  Apparently the local fly shop had said that the stretch of river we were supposed to fish was too high and fast.  This same topic carried over into the morning at breakfast.  Eventually it was decided to at least go see what the water was like on the lower AuSable.  Turns out it was the right decision.  The water level was up but when we arrived the fish were feeding so it didn’t take a lot of convincing to try here.  A few minutes later we were back at the truck and gearing up.  We headed upstream for a bit and then waded in.  I spotted a few trout rising not to far away and slowly worked my way to them.  I made my first cast and just like that I caught a tree.  This was going to be a long day.  I re-tied and soon I was flipping the fly in the general area of the rising trout.  I took a little practice and some patience but I was finally able to catch my first trout in over 30 years.  Granted it was only a 5 inch brook trout but it was a good start.

That is basically how the day would progress, catching a few small brook trout in between snagging the fly eating trees behind me.  I did find out one thing that really bothered me.  Apparently the tendonitis in my right wrist was worse than I thought.  The more I cast the more it hurt.  By the time evening was setting in it hurt so much I could hardly hold my fly rod.  I just gave up and waded to our walk out point.  I figured I would just sit and relax until the rest of the group had showed up.  I really wasn’t missing much, I hadn’t caught a fish in the last few hours and I didn’t even see many fish rising.  Eventually the rest of the group showed up and we stood around discussing the lack of trout and bugs.  Around 8:00 pm that all changed.  the bugs starting hatching and the fish started feeding again.  Ten minutes ago all was quiet but now their were fish rising all around us.  We all piled back into the river and started casting away.  I soon remembered something I learned about trout fishing a long time ago.  Trout can be the most finicky damn fish known to man.  The 4 of us tried just about every fly we had and I think we managed 1 fish in the next hour.  There is nothing more frustrating than watching a trout rise and grab a fly right next to mine.  You would think that even one fish would make a mistake and grab mine by accident but no……..

Around 9:00 pm the hatch started to slow down and the fish weren’t rising as much.  Time to call it a night.  We still had to put things away and get back into town before the the local eating establishments closed up for the evening.  I was tired and I’m sure the rest of the crew was as well.  All day wading fast water can really take a toll on the body.

Even though I didn’t catch any monsters, nothing new with me, it was still an enjoyable way to spend the day.  Sure beats fighting with the Silver Bass.  One final thought, it just goes to show you how helping out a fellow fisherman can be rewarding.  I have never fished with Dave but because I helped him, answered a few questions and gave him a few tips he invited me along for this trip.  If I had just ignored him none of this would have never happened.

I first Brookie in over 30 years.

My first Brookie in over 30 years.

All to myself and no fish.  Did see a river otter though.

All to myself and no fish. Did see a river otter though.

Handliners....even when trout fishing they never use a net.

Handliners….even when trout fishing they never use a net.