Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Always Check Your Line

I've been pretty busy lately.... lots of work and driving and little fishing.  Yesterday we got a steady rain, our first in a long time, resulting in about 0.5 inches of rain.  This caused the roads to turn into asphalt rivers for a brief period of time and our rivers to turn into a violent milkshake.  I managed to drive by a local lake and decided I had about 10 minutes to wet a line so I pulled in, grabbed my rod and the first fly attached to it.  I gave my line a once over and noticed some nicks toward the fly end but decided it would be able to endure the couple of sunnies I was probably going to catch.  Bad decision.  I was nearing my time limit and made that "one more cast."  Right before I pulled the wooly bugger out of the water I snagged my fly where I have done so before.  To free it, I gave it a quick jerk and it felt like the snag moved, so I repeated the same action and managed to get the snag free and start coming toward the surface.   Just as I realized I had a couple pounds of meat on the other end of my line, the meat realized he had a fake food item in his mouth and gave one swift kick with his tail snapping my tippet like spider web.  I looked to see where the line broke off, and sure enough, it was the nicked portion of line.  I am still kicking myself for not replacing that portion of line, an action that would have only took 30 seconds.  This taught me my lesson for next time.... and hopefully you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A summary of the year so far.

I have started to fly fish this year only and I am tying my own flies and learning as I go.  It seems like every year I have a bunch of "firsts," but I suppose that's how learning goes.

I went trout fishing for the first time April and battled the other anglers on opening day to get a spot on the water.  It was an experience to fish sided by side with hundreds of other hook and bait equipped predators and an experience I'm not sure I want to experience again.  Once the crowds died down a week later I went out with my spinning tackled and got 3 12" stocked rainbows on spinners. I kept them all since they will all die with the higher temperatures of the summer but I found out that farm raised trout tastes like the fish food they feed them.  If someone has a recipe that make these more palatable please share.

I then started fly fishing once it got warmer and used my own hand tied flies and this was my first not so large largemouth on the fly rod.  Since then, there have only been 2 occasions I've been fly fishing and I haven't hooked a bass.  Albeit, there are quite a few small fish in there, but they are still enjoyable to catch.

I have since then started hitting smaller streams near me and got this 15" largemouth on a black wooly bugger.  This fly has gotten me countless fish since May, but lately the fish haven't been reacting to it as strongly so I will need to find a new go to fly for the warmer months and deeper water.


I also landed this 18.5" smallie which didn't look too healthy.  He had a healing lip from a previous encounter with a non-digestible prey item.

So far that smallmouth is the largest fish Ive gotten on the fly rod.  I have been trying to sight fish for carp and have made over a hundred casts to roaming carp but haven't had any bites yet.  Of course only about 10 of those casts have been accurate and I have made my goal this summer to get a carp on the fly.

I went to Sea Isle City, NJ for some flounder fishing and managed to catch 4 while my girlfriend caught 7.  We both managed to get an 18" flounder for our biggest catch.

Lastly, me and a coworker went to the Susquehanna a couple weeks ago by Harrisburg.  We rented a canoe and made an 8 mile drift.  It took us until the second half of the day to find out what they wanted and we both ended up catching 8 Smallmouth each.  The smallest being 13" and we both caught a 19 incher.  All were caught on a shad colored Big O crankbait.  My crank bait wasn't producing but luckily he had 2 of them and was willing to share.  This year the Susquehanna down here has imposed a strict catch and release policy due to the declining smallmouth population due to pollution, over harvesting and predation.  The 19" is my biggest smallmouth to date and was probably 4+ pounds.

So far it's been a great year.  I haven't done any bait fishing except for the flounder and for catfish but I only caught a few small channels and bull head using chicken livers.  All the fish of decent size broke me off in the rocks too quick so I have to find a different, less rocky, spot.  I have caught at least 1 keeper bass each day the last four days all on my fly rod.  I am a novice at fishing and fly fishing so for me, I am doing well.  I have also fallen into the water 4 times since May resulting in 7 wet feet, 3 wet pairs of pants 2 wet shirts and 1 cell phone paperweight.  I now keep all electronics in a ziplock bag while wading. I'm not as graceful as I once was.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And so it begins....

As a few of you more clever readers might have determined, I fly fish, and I kayak.  Occasionally those two hobbies mesh and I flyyak.  This blog may have some of those such adventures told here, but a good portion of the content will be fishing in general, be it from a kayak, on open shore, while wading, or a moving vehicle.  Often I am not the best fisherman but I do fall in often and I hope that will provide you with a laugh at the least.  Join me on my maiden voyage into blogging and don't forget your life jacket.