Weekend Update

5 06 2017

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

This past Friday evening started off pretty much the same as the prior one.  I was back walleye fishing in my usual spot at 9:30 pm.  Conditions were pretty good, partly cloudy skies with a slight NW breeze.  Boat traffic was a little higher than normal and in about 30 minutes I was about to find out why.  No matter though, I got set up and started my usual routine for night fishing when the other fish are in.  About 5 minutes in I had my first fish on and it turned out to be a 23 inch male walleye.  That was soon followed up by a second 21 inch male.  I was beginning to think that maybe the other fish had left.  That things would get back to normal.  That I wouldn’t have to constantly be pulling lines in to remove unwanted accidental catches.  I was wrong.

1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,16…..

Around 10 pm I sensed a flash of light behind me and then a resounding boom.  Grosse Isle was shooting off fireworks, thus the reason for the increased boat traffic.  Shortly after the start of the show I picked up a third walleye and it would turn out to be my last one for the night.  Once the show was over all the boats headed for the docks and after that it was nothing but the other fish for the next few hours.  My last fish of the night turned out to be a white perch that had a brush with a muskie.  When I flipped it in the boat it had teeth marks across both sides.  Lucky little bugger.

 

Hope I never lose that Blue & White PP. It’s the only one I have.

 

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Chores.  I did find another Blue & White Pencil Plug while I was cleaning out the garage.  Day wasn’t a total waste of time after all.

 

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Sunday started off with me attending Demo Days at Schultz’s Outfitter’s.  This is an annual event full of fly fishing, tying classes and demonstrations.  I signed up for the Micro Spey – Trout and Smallmouth class presented by Tom Larimer.  When spey fishing first arrived in Michigan it was all about Steelhead.  Lately though there has been an interest in scaling things down for the resident Brown & Rainbow Trout and Smallmouth bass.  Tom has been heavily involved with this, working with both G. Loomis in developing fly rods specifically for this and lines from Airflo to go with them.  Since I enjoy spey casting so much I wanted to learn how to incorporate what I have learned so far into catching the aforementioned species.  Class started off indoors at first with discussion about presentation, reading water and fly selection.  After that we wadered up and were standing in the water casting.  Tom brought along two prototype rods from G. Loomis and worked with each of us on our spey casting.  I like to think that I am getting better but after watching Tom I quickly realized I have a long way to go.  He did point out a couple of small items that I need to work on.  A couple of the finer points of setting “the anchor” that when done properly make a huge difference.  When I don’t do it things get ugly.  Just like anything else that is new I need to practice more.  I figure I’ll go down to the river a few times a week with my spey and switch rods and do just that.

Later that evening I grabbed my 5wt fly rod and headed to Washago Pond in Willow Metropark to play around with the bluegills.  Susan and I used to go to the park about once a month in the Spring and Summer.  She would read and take pictures while I fished.  Afterwards we would drive around and look at the deer or whatever other critter might be out and about.  Now it’s just me and the fish.  When I arrived around 8:00 pm it was dead calm and no sign of any surface activity.  Usually the swallows are skimming the surface trying to pick off newly hatched bugs, not tonight.  Undeterred from the lack activity I walked over to the edge of the pond, tied on a #14 Elk Hair Caddis dry fly and went at it.  The fly wasn’t on the surface for a second when the first bull gill smacked it.  About a minute later he was in hand.

The first of about 2 dozen.

This continued on for the next hour.  Every other cast resulted in another nice gill.  Eventually my dry fly started to turn into an emerger/sub surface fly and then a slow sinking fly.  I could of changed flies but it was still working so I didn’t bother.  The last few caught were strip sets.  I would see a subtle swirl where I thought my fly was and once I gave a tug I could feel the weight.  I must admit though, I tied that fly right.  It never fell apart, even after being almost swallowed by most of the fish.  Around 9:00 pm fishing started to slow down so after one more fish I packed it up and went home.  My elbows and wrists were getting sore from all the fly casting today anyways.  I can always come back.

In the immortal words of Porky Pig….”That’s All Folks“.

 

Afterwards I drove around the park to watch the deer, just like Susan and I used to do.  There were about a dozen of them out, most with their summer cinnamon tan already.  No fawns yet, they are probably hunkered down somewhere safe from the resident coyotes.

Perfect way to end the weekend.

 

 

 

 

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Washago Pond 7/3/15

3 07 2015

Originally I had planned on going walleye fishing tonight but after getting a report from a friend about bad weeds and lots of big boat traffic I decided to stay on dry land.  I was just going to go for a walk tonight and meet all my Fitbit goals but somewhere along the way I ended up at Washago Pond.  I expected a lot of people to be here with it being July 4th weekend but the park was surprisingly empty.  I rigged up my 5wt with a foam hopper and my 7wt with a Zudbubbler and headed towards the water.  The pond was like glass and there were a few fish surfacing.  I let my little purple foam hopper fly and spent the next 30 minutes just watching it sit on the water without so much as one hook up.  The fish were hitting it but they just kept missing the hook.  I decided to switch back to my trout flies thinking that maybe with these flies lying in the surface film that maybe these cross eyed fish might actually grab the whole fly and not miss it repeatedly.  So I tied on a #14 cream no hackle fly and let her rip.  That did the trick.  Now they were getting hooked up and I was starting to have some fun.  They weren’t big fish but they were big enough to be a lot of fun on the 9 foot 5wt.  I should have brought a bucket.  I ended up with about a dozen of them  Enough for a nice dinner for Susan and I.  There will be other opportunities I’m sure.

These fish would be a riot if they got up to a couple of pounds.

These fish would be a riot if they got up to a couple of pounds.

 





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.

 





Washago Pond Hog Tied Bluegill

12 09 2014

Went back to Washago pond the other night to just play around for a bit.  Action was pretty slow with only a few smaller fish caught.  I did see some decent surface action farther out on the pond then I could cast.  I’ll have to bring my waders along next time and see if that helps.  Only thing of interest was the way I caught this one bluegill.  Somehow I was able to wrap the leader around his tail when I set the hook.  He was basically hog tied and I brought him in backwards.  I haven’t done this to a fish since my salmon tight lining days on the beaches of Harrisville.  He was released none the worse for wear to fight another day.   

If you look closely you can see the leader going from his mouth and around his tail

If you look closely you can see the leader going from his mouth and around his tail





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





Washago Pond 6/14/14

15 06 2014

Nothing quite like an impromptu fishing trip.  Originally I was supposed to be busy all day and into the evening Saturday night.  My son was up from Florida and my parents were down to visit.  Everyone was getting together Saturday to visit Jacob, celebrate birthday’s and Father’s day.  When I went to go check Jacob in for his flight home and print his boarding pass there was a notice that his flight had been moved up by almost 3 hours.  That changed things a bit.  We still all got together but after I dropped him off at the airport everyone had left.  Suddenly I had my evening to myself.  After Susan and I finished cleaning up the house I asked her if she wanted to go read her book down at Willow Metropark and she agreed.  A few minutes later we were on our way.

When we arrived there was a fair amount of feeding activity on the surface.  I tied on one of the many foam flies I had tied up over the winter and let it fly.  Again the bluegill didn’t want anything to do with it.  I’m beginning to wonder if I used to heavy of a hook for these flies.  While I was busy trashing the water with my line I was able to see what the gills were feeding on, a small white caddis.  I dug out my trout fly box and of course I didn’t have anything like that.  I did have some size 14 cream colored parachute patterns so I tried one of those.  That did the trick.  Fishing wasn’t fast and furious but I managed to catch a few.  They weren’t monsters either but at least I didn’t get skunked and I got to spend some much needed time on the water.

First bass on a fly in two coon's ages.

First bass on a fly in two coon’s ages.

This is embarrassing.  I stopped after this one.

This is embarrassing. I stopped after this one.





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.