Just one of those nights…..

22 06 2017

Ever have one of those nights when nothing seems to go right?  The kind of night when you have that feeling deep down that it is going to be a disaster and you should just stay home?  Well last night was one of those nights.  I had been debating going fishing all day.  Originally the weather forecast was calling for light west winds but that changed to SSE winds at 10 mph.

Strike One.

It was also June 21st, the longest day of the year.  That meant it wouldn’t get dark until after 10:00 pm, thus giving me a very short window of opportunity since I had to get up for work the next day.

Strike Two.

With all the warm weather I was expecting here to be a lot of boat traffic, which is never fun.

Strike Three.

The Fish Flies were hatching.

I really can’t consider this a strike since I usually do pretty well when they are hatching.  Problem is I have had nights where they covered the boat and car which is really annoying.  So keeping all this in mind I did what any logical fisherman would do, I went out anyways.  I arrived at the ramp around 8:30 pm and as expected there were mayfly casing covering the water and lots of big boats out.  I must have had a look of disgust on my face because the ramp attendant asked me if I was “ok” when he took my launch fee.  I launched anyways and became even more disgusted when I saw the mats of weeds floating downstream.  The water was very clear as well which would probably mean lots of the other fish until dark, providing they were still around.  They usually leave about the time the mayflies start up.  I headed for deeper water first until the sun got a little lower on the horizon.  I started off with a couple of spoons and a #9 CCT Rapala.  It didn’t take long and I had my first fish for the night.  Problem was that it wasn’t a walleye, it was a walleye’s smaller cousin, a yellow perch.  A first for me.  I have never caught a yellow perch pulling wire, nor on a Rapala.

If he had been a few inches longer I would have kept him.

From then on it was clearing weeds, dodging pleasure boats and catching everything else but a walleye.  Yellow perch, White perch, White bass, Smallmouth bass, Rock bass, Sheepshead.  Even after dark i was still catching this crap.  Almost two hours of this line fouling nonsense.  At one point I was surrounded by a bunch of Common Terns and Ring Billed Gulls.  I knew what was coming and before I could pull my lines it happened.  The water boiled from those other fish pushing emerald shiners to the surface and then the birds dove in with me right in the center of it all. As expected all of my lures had fish on them.  Once i got them in I got out of that area and headed north.  Shortly after that I got rid of the spoons and switched over to all Rapala’s.  That cut back on some of the junk fish but they were catching every weed floating by.  I had debated quitting but I didn’t want to go in empty handed.  It has been years since I have been skunked and I wanted that streak to continue.  Around 10:30 I finally caught a walleye.  I seriously thought about just throwing him back and heading in but I wanted some fresh fish so I decided to stick it out for a bit longer. I stayed in the same area where I caught the one and in the next 20 minutes he was joined by four of his pals.  Now I was heading in.

A couple minutes later I was back at the dock and tying off.  I was feeling a little better now but I questioned whether or not it was worth the effort.  I go fishing to relax, not stress myself out.  As I pondered this I made it back to my car where I got the final kick in the teeth.

I know it doesn’t look to bad but I knew that once I opened the hatch to put  gear away they would swarm into my Escape and I would be finding dead flies for the next week.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain, at least my car wasn’t coated like the white Border Patrol car parked next to me.

My silver lining for the night, along with the fish.

 

 





Steel Update.

15 11 2015

I know it has been awhile since I posted anything but work has been a royal pain in the ……  Work hasn’t changed any but I do have a little free time to get caught up.

All year long I had been looking forward to November.  Everything I had read about Steelhead fishing in Michigan said that November was the month.  Cooler temps and the usual cold Fall rains bring the fish into the rivers.  Of course, the year I start steelhead fishing, Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate and the Fall run was late.  I found out later that I was lucky to catch the one fish I got in Muskegon a few weeks back.  No matter though, the run may be getting off to a slow start but I was bound and determined to make the best of it.

The weekend of Nov. 7th I was staying home to take care of some chores.  My to-do list was increasing instead of decreasing and I had to get started on reversing that process.  If I planned things right I figured I would get a chance to get out for a quick evening trip.  As luck would have it I was able to make a run to the Huron Saturday night.  I have to admit, living where I am now really does have its advantages.  I am 15 minutes away from arguably the best walleye fishery in the world and 10 minutes away from a river with a fair number of steelhead in it.  The Huron doesn’t get as many as the west side of Michigan but there are enough to be worth the effort.  So with my switch rod in hand I waded out to my usual spot in hopes of hooking into another fish.  As luck would have it I managed to hook a small male on my last cast.  To be fair it was my last cast only because by the time I landed him it was past sunset and I couldn’t see anymore.  Since it was after dark I couldn’t get a decent picture so you will just have to take my word for it.  It took about 5 minutes to land him but it took me forever to revive him and send him on his way.  I don’t know why he was so tired.  He made a few half ass jumps and one short run, nothing to completely wear him out like this.  Eventually he came around and swam off to fight another day.

The following weekend I was just as busy with chores but I would make sure to set aside some me time.  With about an hour of daylight on Saturday I hit my usual spot on the lower Huron River.  It would turn out to be a rather uneventful evening, fishing wise.  No steel but I did catch a rather small and unintentional fish…..the much sought after Rock Bass.

IMG_2488

This is embarrassing.

I was about to release him when I remembered the mink I saw earlier running along the bank.  I looked around for him but he was nowhere to be found.  If he was I would have tossed him an easy meal.  Lucky for the rocky that he wasn’t so I dropped him back in the water.  After that it was starting to get dark so I just headed back to the car.  Tomorrow was another day and I would try again.

Sunday morning greeted me with bright sunshine and no clouds.  Not exactly steelhead weather but I was expecting it.  Last night I got really cold standing in the water so today I was putting on the thermals and the wool.  Of course by 10:00 am I was over heating but it was better than freezing.  I started off further downstream at a different access point.  The water level was a little higher than yesterday and a little dirtier.  I found a spot to wade in and started casting.  There were a couple of other fishermen downstream so I stayed upstream from them.  The water was deeper here so I couldn’t wade out to far, that and the bottom was very mucky and wading was tricky.  After about 30 minutes I gave up and decided to go back to my usual spot.  As I was walking in I spotted a deer staring at me about 20 yards away.  So stood still long enough to let me take a pic.

I wonder if she realizes it's 11/15?

I wonder if she realizes it’s 11/15?

After she scampered off I walked down to me entry point and waded in.  I proceeded to swing an egg sucking leech pattern over and over and over again.  When I’m not catching anything I get tempted to switch flies but, like walleye fishing, presentation is more important than the lure.  That and fishing where the fish are.  I continued to work my way downstream when I finally had a hit.  I didn’t know what it was at first because it never jumped or ran.  Instead it just let me reel it right in.  Once the fish got within about 10 feet of me it finally woke up and took off.  She didn’t run far but for the next 10 minutes she would make short runs and jump about all within 20 feet of me.  Eventually I was able to get ahold of her, take a few pics and send her on her way.  I made a few more casts in the area but it was to no avail so I just packed it in.  By now the sun was high and bright so I figured I would go home and knock off a few more chores on my to do list, while the weather was so agreeable.  I was content, another fish hooked and landed and I still haven’t lost a fish yet.  Of course now that I said this my next hook up will be with a 10 pounder that will absolutely smoke my ass.

I can’t wait!

I love my leeches.

I love my leeches.

 





Bump and a Headshake, 2 Fish.

17 09 2015

I don’t think I would get the same reaction from Roger Rabbit as the version from the movie.

Made a quick trip last night to see if I could catch a few more for the ever looming fish fry.  I can sum up the night in 2 words…..Weeds Suck!  They were horrendous.  If I didn’t catch a fish in the first minute my lures were down I was pretty much screwed.  Every time I brought them up I would have weeds on the shank and each lure.  The two I did manage to catch each hit the lure within the first minute they were down.  Not my idea of a fun night.  After about an hour I gave up.  There was one other boat out with two fellow handliners in it.  They had 3 and were giving up, they had had enough of the weeds as well.  Can’t say that I blame them.  I would have preferred to stay out longer.  It was a nice night and my girlfriend Susan was along for the trip.  She has been wanting to see first hand how I catch walleye and unfortunately I had to cut the trip short.  The two I did mange to catch were nice fish in the 18 to 20 inch range.  Both caught in the middle of the river from where the “Cat” used to be.  No Cats or Smallies but I did catch one over zealous Rockbass.  Water is still very clear and 68 degrees.  It needs to drop about another 20 degrees before things really get interesting.  I hope.

walleye