On The Fly
July 15, 2012
I was back on the lake again today for the second half of the weekend insanity. David & his son Mike met me shortly after 7 and we were on our way almost immediately. It was going to be another scorcher with humidex temps in the mid to upper 30’s. With practically no wind present, we were going to fry! The water temps had been climbing each day and were hovering at 76 plus degrees due to the extended heat wave. I wanted to get Mike into fish quickly, so we went straight into a troll for the walleye and weren’t disappointed. Within 3 minutes the first reel went off and he was battling an average 3 pounder to the net. Almost as soon as I reset the line, the other down rod went off and another decent walleye was also hooked up. It was going to be one of those mornings and I was glad that I had made the decision to troll. I was on fish and they were eating! In the hour or so that we trolled, there were about a dozen or more fish landed with the majority being walleye. Mike wanted to take a few home for his family so we livewelled 3 nice 18 inchers without any problem. David had wanted to fly fish for the smallies so I pulled the plug after a successful, short early morning bite. We were off in search of big bass and hopefully would succeed as well! In the first area, we were not as fortunate with the activity as both Mike & David were casting prime water without a touch. Mike was covering this place with a spinnerbait and David was casting a fly. Although plenty of quality bass were seen, it seemed like they were all shut down. I had one pick up a senko that dropped the bait when Mike tried to set on it. They really weren’t hungry and I wasn’t sticking around to wait for the dinner bell to ring. I slid into another area quite a ways away and hooked up on one over 3 pounds on a tube just searching. Mike was still chunking the blades and David was hauling a leech pattern hoping for a take. We sighted a few nice fish just cruising the area when a big black one swam under the boat. I instructed David to keep an eye out the back of the boat as I tried to move forward to expose her. Well as if on cue, she appeared and David carefully presented the fly for her to see. It was as if we were fishing the flats for bones because he got to see the take and it was spectacular. He was locked up on a powerful, mid four pounder and she was pissed! Several jumps and runs had him loving the fight on his 6 weight rod and so did we. I decided to net the fish once she was close enough so as not to stress her out too bad. Once the hook was removed, David got to hold his prize for a few pics and feel the weight she possessed. Definitely a solid 4.5 pound chunk! A few quick shots and off she went, back to wherever she had come from. We moved around plenty and eventually got to another section of the lake that I knew was holding only big fish. I let David out on these flats and told him where to go. He was now in the middle of the lake, wading for smallies with a fly rod. What an incredible view he must have had as he was one with the fish. Unfortunately this area turned out to be a disappointing one when he broke off a real big smallie on almost his first cast. After that, all he could do was look at them swimming around. Mike had similar results as well when he lost a four pounder on the blades. Despite plenty of fish in this area, they weren’t so fortunate with the end results. They had spooked and were now just getting out of the way. This type of fishing is more like hunting as careful boat positioning, casting and stalking is required to entice these giants to bite. One wrong move and the element of surprise is gone! We pulled out shortly after when we saw that we were fighting a losing battle and moved elsewhere. It was here that David put down the fly gear and picked up a spinning rod to begin catching some of those smallies. Both Mike & David managed to get into several fish in this area as the pre frontal system lurking in the distance had them active. Now it seemed like all the fish were eating and it was about time! Too bad this was also cut short when I decided to pull the plug here and get closer to the take out. The skies weren’t looking very good and I didn’t want to get stuck with a mad dash to the dock. We actually got a chance to drop the lines back in for a troll again and landed a half dozen nice fish in 20 minutes. Once more this was cut short as I headed to the ramp quickly, with the storm right on my tail. If it wasn’t for the fiasco at the shore I would have been able to pull the boat out in time, but you just never know what to expect. I must have been in the truck for close to 10 minutes before I took 1 minute to load it on the trailer. Nine minutes too late as the skies let lose and dumped a real big load on us in the parking lot. I got soaked despite a rain jacket while prepping the boat to roll out. Between removing the fish and packing everything up, it looked like I had fallen in the lake. Oh well, you gotta love the weekend warriors at boat ramps! Overall an interesting, tough yet productive day on the water!!