From Down Under
June 9, 2014
Clinton & Hafey were with me this morning, all the way from Australia. They were in the city on business and thought they check out our fishing. Not having ever caught what swims in our waters, they would have many personal bests today! It was also going to be interesting because Hafey was a fly fisherman and brought some rods & tackle of his own. After a slight debriefing on the shore and rigging up one of his rods, we were ready for the lake. I had instructed him to set up the fastest sinking line he had as we were going to be trolling over some deeper water and he needed to get down. Along with the rods, he also brought a good selection of flies that I was sure the pike & walleye would take a liking to! I headed out to the area we had finished up on yesterday to see if there were any active fish still eager to eat. Clinton trolled with rod in hand this time and Hafey did the same with the fly. Would the fish bite was the question? Although marking several decent hooks suspended, it seemed rather slow and then Hafey locked up with his very first ever walleye on the fly. A keeper in the 17 inch size was what he had brought to net and well deserving of a picture. I was sure he would get more and quickly went back to trolling. Clinton wasn’t having any luck, so I decided to add another rod to the spread and placed one short line in the rod holder. As luck would have it, the reel went off shortly after and he reeled in a walleye of his own. Both of them had a new species to add to their list of caught fish now and hopefully plenty more would follow. Eventually after a couple more fish on the short line, Clinton actually hooked one of his own. Although another first, this little perch was nothing to write home about and was quickly released. Hafey managed to get one small pike from this area adding another species before I decided to relocate, to hopefully greener pastures. The next area had us out in open water where I had been catching a combination of pike & walleye and we went right back to the same spread. After a couple of northerns on the short line I decided to pull the rod as it was the only one getting hit. Being a short line and the first bait through, it wasn’t a surprise! Both Clinton & Hafey managed to catch a few northerns, but it wasn’t on fire here. I kept moving around looking for active fish and eventually after a few more fish decided to try a little shallower. This time however they would be casting to new weeds in 5 to 8 feet of water looking for the pike moving offshore. It wasn’t fast & furious but they both managed to hook into several smaller ones and enjoyed doing the casting thing. Hafey had set up a lighter rod with a sink tip and missed several before realizing that he had to wait a couple of seconds before setting on the fish. I found the water to be extremely cold here today and saw that it was barely over 62 degrees, telling me to slow down considerably. After changing to a lighter fly and smaller strips Hafey started to hook up. In fact he even landed a couple of pre spawn largemouth on their way into the shallows! As we weren’t targeting them, I didn’t feel guilty and just kept moving! By mid day the water had warmed to almost 67 degrees and I decided to try offshore once more to see if the pike & walleye were active. As with before, the short line was the reel to fire most often but now they were at least catching on their rods too. I kept moving around looking for the active ones but was never able to lock onto them like I wanted. Each area had several eaters but nothing to write home about. By late afternoon we were back to where I had began the day in hopes that something had changed. Fortunately they did have better luck and Hafey even landed a couple more new species in the process. He had caught one perch and two smallmouth bass here and thoroughly enjoyed the bass. I told him he was about 4 days too early! With the season only opening on the 13th, I was unable to fish for them and had to settle on the pike and walleye. Still it was nice to see him tackle something he had never caught before! We finished the day here with a few more eyes as well as small pike before calling it a day. They had experienced something different and managed to catch a bunch of new fish in the process. Hafey was a great fly fisherman and I would have loved to had him a little later in the season to put him on the smallies. Despite a slower day than what I am accustomed to, it was still a high numbers outing and they both left fulfilled. For me it was just nice to be out on a weekday and not have to be looking over my shoulder all the time. There definitely weren’t many boats out today and it was a pleasure just to be on the water. Catching fish was an added bonus!!