Northern Fly Fishing
June 18, 2008
David joined me today on a laurentian lake for smallies. We met up north & made our way onto the water before 8:00 A.M. in pursuit of big bass. David would be strictly fly fishing today & hoped to get into some fish on the surface. On his first cast with a popper, he hooked a small bass & was on his way. We worked quite a bit more water with no takers & I knew we would have to make some adjustments. I had him switch up to a sink tip line & slow right down. By going deeper he would hopefully be into fish soon. The water temps were 69 & plenty warm to have active smallies shallow but they weren’t showing any sign of life. David finally hooked up near a dock on my 5-weight rod & was into a real nice bass. He fought this old timer for a while before I lipped the 4.5 pound smallie to photograph. A couple of quick pics & back she went. He had finally broken the ice on this lake & we were both happy & eager for more. It was real slow fishing but the fish were mostly quality sized from 3 to 4.5 pounds. With the overcast skies & heavy cloud cover, I knew the fish would stay inactive unless we had some sun. A little later in the afternoon David went back to the surface popper rod & caught a couple of small bass once more. We had a little wind making casting difficult & eventually dangerous. He had somehow buried the hook into the top of his hand, well past the barb. Fortunately it missed the veins & we needed to get it out. This was to prove to be a learning experience for David as he is a doctor & had never seen this technique. I cut a decent length of heavy braided line off of one of my reels & tied off the ends creating a loop. By wrapping it around my wrist, I was able to have the control I needed & looped the other end around the bend in the hook. By applying pressure downward on the head of the hook it in turn dropped the barb lower as well. One quick snap of the line & it came out without any damage & was ready to cast again. A light coat of liquid skin on the wound & so was David! The rest of the afternoon was also slow with a fish here & there, but good ones never the less. We had caught all the larger ones by fishing a bit deeper & slower. They were really inactive today! We pulled off the water just in time, as a storm was pushing through with heavy rain, thunder & lightning. Tough bite, but a good day!