Cold Front & The Fly
May 31, 2015
What a difference a day makes! This morning I arrived at the ramp and the cold front had dropped the temps by 40 degrees. It was also a little misty with an on & off precipitation. Not exactly perfect conditions for getting fish on a fly! I had my work cut out for me and informed Gerry that we would have to really slow down in order to get bit. He was up for anything and I was really looking forward to the challenge of trolling big flies for pike & walleye. I knew where they were and as long as I worked the areas slow enough, he should be able to catch something. When we arrived at our location, I informed him on how we were going to approach the fish and we got the lines wet. The winds were blowing from the north, hence the cold front and a good chop was upon us. Within minutes my line went tight and I passed it off to Gerry to fight. He was into the first pike of the day! Although not big, the question had been answered and I knew we would get them good today. By pumping the fly line and pausing the fly, I was onto something that worked. I instructed him on what to do and the rest is history. One pike after another fell victim to our presentations and it was game on. It didn’t really seem to matter which flies we used but bigger was better. I had set up three rods and hoped he would be able to cast a little later but the winds made it impossible. We were forced to slow troll all day but this was actually a good thing. At 84 years of age, he was able to last the entire day, being less fatigued. Most times he’s only able to do half day trips but not today. We pounded on the fish all day long and except for a small down time due to a relocation, it was nonstop. I had moved to an area producing walleye daily but they were gone! After an hour, I went back to where we were previously and immediately he was tight lined again. I really wanted to get him his first walleye on a fly and hoped to find one that would eat. It finally happened and another check was added to his “Bucket List”! This was a fish that he had never caught on a fly and was elated to have accomplished it today. A chunky 22 incher was his prize and several pics were taken before the release. We went right back in the water and continued hooking up on more northerns. Towards the end when the sun came out and the mist had stopped, it actually began to feel comfortable. I had a feeling that some of the fish would become more active and it didn’t take long for a confirmation. After several decent sized fish a huge northern attacked the fly while stripping the line in for a check. This one was well over the average size and looked to be in the double digits when it hit close to the boat. It definitely fought a lot harder and Gerry loved every minute of it. When he finally brought it close I decided to use the big net instead. It wouldn’t end well if I tried the rubber one and I wanted some pics! We managed to get it aboard and it was definitely a long one. Although it was in the ten pound range it could have been heavier. It was a post spawn fish that wasn’t thick. If it was it may have been closer to twelve pounds! I shot a few pics and we returned it back to grow. About an hour later and many more fish in, we decided to call it a day. Can’t leave unless we leave on a landed fish I said and moments later, he was on again! I’m not really sure exactly how many fish he landed today but I do know it was equivalent to any of the better days with conventional tackle. It’s rare to match hardware with flies and today we were blessed with how the fish ate. Despite the tough conditions again, Gerry left satiated. I on the other hand had a whole new technique ready for anyone wanting to fish a fly. Each year I get a handful of anglers that prefer a fly rod over anything else and now I can put them on equally as many fish. Although it isn’t the first time I’ve introduced fly guys to walleye & pike on the fly, it definitely was the most productive. I’ll be making a few more calls soon to try and lock up more clients with the fly. Overall, today well surpassed both our expectations. Great day all around!!