The stuff of fly fishing videos.

This morning I was fishing before I had to go to work and I witnessed something that made my day.

I haven’t been fly fishing very long (about a year) so I am in NO WAY a pro, but every now and then the fly fishing gods shine down upon me and grant me a moment of professionalism.

I watch a lot of fly fishing videos on-line (it kind of annoys my wife, ALOT).  One thing I love to watch on all those videos is when a fish is hanging out in the current, feeding, and an anglers perfectly cast fly comes floating down stream and the fish moves into position and inhales the morsel.  In most of these videos this occures on streams or rivers.

I don’t have alot of experience fishing on streams and rivers, so I didn’t really expect to see this very same thing happen this morning, especially on a small neighborhood pond.  This little pond is fed by a small stream (man made, like the pond) where there are always fish feeding on in-coming goodies.  In the light of the nearby safety lights of the fishing pond park I was watching a good sized fish (about 16 in. long, a nice fish for this pond) hanging out in the current of the inlet feeding.  I watched him there for a couple minutes, then I thought to myself ‘I should try that perfect cast that I watch the pros do.’

As I said earlier, every now and the the fly fishing gods shine down upon me, and this was one of those times.  I watched my perfectly cast size 12 white wooly bugger (I know the pattern sounds a little bit different, but the pattern works great at this pond) a little upstream and to the side of the current dwelling fish.  I watched as I stripped in the line slowly and the wooly bugger came into the faster part of the current. I swung down stream, and as it did the current dwelling fish turned and I watched him swallow my fly.  I set the hook and after a good fight hauled in the nice 16 in. fish.  That was my first fish of the morning, I would have been perfectly happy if that was the only fish I caught, but I caught a couple more after that.

It was an awesome day.

FYI  Approximate temp: 27° F.  Fly used: a white Sz. 12 beadhead wooly bugger (I tied), 4 fish caught (4 trout).

Hare·lip trout.

This is no joke.  I cought a trout with a hare-lip, or cleft lip.

My dad said that I shouldn’t have returned his retarted genes to the pool, but I did.  He didn’t seem to have any trouble trying to eat ny fly.  I don’t like to think of him as handicapped (besides fish don’t have hands) I like to think of him as handicapable.

Who knows maybe I will go back someday and catch a bunch of little hare-lip trout.

Three of a kind.

This past weekend we had to make a trip back to my home town, for my brother-in-laws wedding.  My wife and I our both from the same little town and both of our parents still live there, so any time we get to go back is a good time.  The wedding was nice but, I don’t write about weddings.

I write about fishing…

I was able to take my fly gear and my wife was nice enough not to throw a big fit when I told her I wanted to go fishing Saturday morning, so I was nice enough to tell her ‘thank you’ and that I would come back by noon, in order to help with the kids and get ready for the wedding that night.

Because my wife doesn’t care how early I leave to go fishing in the morning, I took advantage of the situation and was out-of-town by about 5:00 am.  That put me on the water at about 5:30 am, just before the sun came up, it was perfect timing.

I went to a little known spot that my brother and I recently discovered.  When I got there I was the only one there, but not many people around here get up that early to fish, so I wasn’t surprised.  It turns out that I would have the lake all to myself the whole time I was there, I love that and it doesn’t happen very often, and that did surprise me.

I decided to go to this lake because I knew it had warm water fish, bass and bluegill, and I knew it would be warm.  I also didn’t have very mush time and it was close.

I started with what had worked last time I fished this lake with my brother, a woolly bugger, Sz. 8 black conehead to be exact, it served me well I caught several bass and a couple of trout.  Last time my brother and I were at this lake we had caught some nice trout, but it was warmer since then and I thought that the trout would be hunkered down in deeper, cooler water, so it was a pleasant surprise when I caught my first trout of the day.

I

later tied on a Sz. 16 olive hares ear nymph about two feet below a strike indicator that I would end up using the rest of the day.  That setup has worked well in the past and I was noticing fish just breaking the surface in the shallows and everything that I have read and seen says that points to fish feeding on nymphs.

Up to this point the fishing was good, and if it had stayed that way I would not have complained and it would have been a great day, but it was better than a great day it an awesome day.

After I tied on the hares ear nymph the action on the water got a lot faster.  It seamed almost every single time I was casting I was coming back with something wiggling on the end of my line.  It got to the point where I started counting… four casts, and four fish, then one or two casts went empty-handed but, without fail the next couple were productive.  The best part was I never knew what I was going to catch, bass, bluegill, or trout, all from the same spot all on the same fly.  The bass were a little on the small side, but still fun.  The trout were all nice sized, not very many smaller the about 14 inches.  The bluegill, they were huge, the biggest one I caught I estimated at about 8 to 9 inches long and as big as my hand spread out.  By far the biggest bluegill I have ever caught.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day, and (as hard as it was for me to tear myself away from such great fishing) I made it back into town by noon.

FYI  Approximate temp: 90-100° F.  Flies used: a black Sz. 8 conehead wooly bugger (I tied), 8 fish caught (5 bass, 3 trout).  Sz. 16 olive hares ear nymph (I tied), I lost count (bass, bluegill, and trout).

Guilty

In my short time fly fishing I have been guilty of coming up with ideas like the one in this video.  Some of my experements failed mesrably, but some of them work.

Fly of my dreams.

Poppers

I love it when I make something and it works the way it should.

It is warm where I live. . . really warm.  That means that fly fishing for trout is tough.  Up till now I have mostly fished for trout, but I have been trying to expand my repertoire.  There are a couple of places close by to fish for bluegill and bass, they don’t seem to mind the heat as much as trout. Since I can’t just stop fishing until things get a little cooler around here, I have been trying to fish more bass and bluegill.  That is why I tried my hand at making poppers. For those of you who don’t speak fisherman, poppers are a type of lure. They float on the surface of the water and have an angled face to them that make them pop when pulled along the surface of the water.

I have not been tying flies very long, but I have tied a couple of different patterns and have even caught fish on some of them.  Poppers aren’t exactly flies though, they are designed to pop along the surface of the water, so when I made my poppers I wasn’t even sure if mine would work like they are supposed to.  I wasn’t sure they would even pop.

I ended up making three different poppers, a green one, a black one, and a white one.  They took quite a bit longer to tie, all three took me two days to finish. They are made out of wood that requires cutting, shaping, sanding, painting, and gluing, and when I was done I had poppers that looked like all the other poppers that I had seen, but like I said, I wasn’t sure they would pop.

I got to try them out this morning before work, and it turns out they popped, and popped pretty well.  I caught 5 bass before I had to go to work.  I was able to try out all three and the only one I didn’t catch anything on was the white one, but I think that was just because I ran out of time.  My black popper snapped off in a fishes mouth, (that one worked so well too) but, other than that it was a great couple of hours,.

FYI  Approximate temp: 70° F.  Fly used: a green, black and white popper (I tied) Sz. 8.  5 fish caught.

Independance day

A couple of days before the fourth of July I jokingly asked my wife “where are we going fishing?”

Much to my surprise, she didn’t argue.

She then told me that she would have to get a fishing licence so that she could go fishing also.  After picking my jaw up off the ground, I said “ah..ah..ok.”

A coupe of days later, after loading the car with some last-minute things from the store, we were prepared for a fun-filled day of fishing and picnicking.

Pine Valley is a short drive from our house, there is a quiet little reservoir there, and it is up in the mountains (so we were able to escape the heat).

We had a great day, the fishing was a little slow at first.  I, of course, was using my fly rod and had tied on a fresh water favorite of mine, the olive gold ribbed hares ear nymph (for those of you who don’t speak fly fishing it is a type of fly pattern.) There were fish everywhere and could be seen from the bank and were feeding close to the surface.  After casting for a while I tried a tan gold ribbed hares ear nymph (another favorite of mine).  Still nothing.  So in frustration I broke a rule of mine and casted my old spinner rod that I had brought for Jill to use (by this time her and the kids were frustrated and bored so they had gone off on a nature walk) that had a Jake’s spinner on it already (another fresh water favorite of mine).  Bam.. right away I was getting hits, and within a couple of casts had caught almost as many fish.

I was pumped now, I thought they will go crazy for a wooly bugger (another kind of fly).  All I had, was a black wooly bugger so, I tried it…nothing.

Jill came back with the kids a couple of minutes later and I told her “I have found what they are hittin’ on.”  I tied a Jake’s spinner onto Aiden’s rod and helped Jill with my spinner rod (that still had a Jake’s spinner on it).  Before long they were both off to catching fish like pros.

Turns out Jill loves fishing, as long as she is catching fish and it doesn’t involve sitting on the shore line waiting for a bite.

After lunch I went back to my fly rod (I didn’t want to go home without catching anything on my fly rod).  I had better luck after lunch with a larger tan hares ear nymph.

After a day of fishing we drove back into town and watched fireworks.

At the end of a very long day the score was:  Aiden, 3 trout; Jill, 10 trout; Kenny, 8 trout (5 on the Jake’s spinner and 3 on the fly).

I think I won.

FYI  Approximate temp: 80° F.  Fly used: an olive  and a tan hares ear nymph (I tied) Sz. 8-16.  3 fish caught.

The things you catch when you don’t mean to.

A cold.

The flu.

Chickenpox.

Mono (I’ve never had mono, but I think it is something nobody means to catch.

I once caught a bush when I was fishing, and a tree, and a light pole, but I  never thought that I would catch this.

I was fishing this morning (Thursday June 28, 2012) before I went to work.  I had caught one fish already and was trying for more when I started to cast.  I made false back cast and was starting to come forward to propel the tiny fly (an olive gold ribbed hares ear nymph sz. 16) to the water, when I felt that the cast was heavier than it had been before, and when I made the cast it splashed down in the water with a little more force than something the size of an insect should have.

As I pulled in the fly line, what ever was on the end was splashing violently. It wasn’t a fish.

As I got it up where I could see it, to my surprise I saw this. 

If you guessed a humming-bird you would be right.

Wow I thought, what are the chances that my little insect imitation would get hung up on one of God’s smallest and fastest birds (dang … I’m good).  (In the picture you can see my fly line.)

I gently picked up this little guy and assessed the damage.  I thought it may have been injured, after all this guy just moments before was just minding his own business, probably trying to find some breakfast, when … BAM my fly and line snatches him out of the air and body slams him into the water.  I don’t think humming birds can swim (correct me if I’m wrong), which would explain the reaction he was having while I was pulling him in.  I removed my hook from his small feathers and cut off the fly line, being careful not to accidentally squeeze this thing to death like Lenny in “Of Mice and Men.”  When I had removed all foreign objects from the victims body I set him down on the grass.

Nothing.  He just sat there.  “Fly away!”  I said, waving my hands at him, like that would help (lucky for me it was early morning so no one was around to see a crazy guy yelling at the grass and flapping his arms around, I don’t think anyone saw me).  So I waited a minute, gathered up my stuff, and picked him back up, at this point I thought this guy was beyond repair that I could provide (I don’t think duct tape would have done any good).  I got to the truck, put my stuff in the back and was unlocking my door to drive to the nearby animal shelter/dog pound when the darn thing just flew out of my hand.  I guess he was just tired and needed a rest, he had been through a lot that day, and it was still early morning.

As I type this story up now I imagine him sitting around the humming-bird feeder telling his friends “Dude, you will never guess what happened to me today.”  I bet he stays away from the fishing pond for a while.

FYI  Approximate temp: 75° F.  Fly used: an olive  and a tan hares ear nymph (I tied) Sz. 16.  1 fish caught.

6 before 8

The day was Tuesday June 26th.

I remember because it was my wedding anniversary (9 years).

I got up early (about 5:00 am), and went to the fishing pond near our home.  Now, let me explain why I get up so early.  My wife is always complaining that I spend too much time fishing and that I am never home to be with her and the kids.  So, in order to avoid a divorce I have limited myself to two days a week fishing (after Jill is awake), however, I can sometimes get in more if I go before she is awake and before I go to work also before the kids wake up.  The rest of my family are not morning people, so Jill doesn’t even know (or care) if I leave to go fishing before work.  You see, there IS a method to my madness.

When I go that early I can get in a good 2 to 2 1/2 hours of fishing before I go to work.  I enjoy this time of the day best, especially during the summer months where daytime temps rarely are below 100° F, and because I always have the whole fishing pond to myself.  I also think that the fishing is better early in the morning.

This particular morning I set a personal best for fish caught before I go to work.

Six fish before 8:00 am.

All in all, it was a great day, any day I catch fish is a good day, any day I catch fish before I go to work is an even better day, and any day I catch that many fish before I go to work is a great day.

Oh, it was also great because it was my anniversary, did I mention that?

I love you Jill!!!

FYI  Approximate temp: 75° F.  Fly used: an olive hares ear nymph (I tied) Sz. 16.  6 fish cought.