Monday, March 29, 2010

March 27 & 28, 2010 - Fly-Fishing central Iowa

Public Pond in Ankeny
Saturday 3-27-10
Fish sought: Crappies
Fish caught: 28 Crappies (pretty much all 10" or less), 1 LMB (17.5")
Used: fly rod, "crappie candy" fly

Caught 1 or 2 crappie fairly quickly, but then walked around much of the pond looking for more active fish. FINALLY found some, and it was a lot of fun after that. Eventually they quit hitting...or I'd caught most of the fish. :laughing7:
The bass hit near the end, and it was an excellent battle. Very healthy-looking fish!

I "broke in" the custom fly rod I'd bought over the winter, and it really worked great. Steve from Midwest Custom Rods really made a winner with this one. Thanks Steve!

The fish were a bit deeper, and I was using a WFF what worked well was to cast out to the deeper water, let the fly drop for at least 10 seconds, then make a series of short strips, then let the fly settle again. Most of the hits came when the fly was practically just sitting there, or sinking slowly. I really had to watch my line to detect the strikes...when the wind riffled the surface, it was really tough to see what was going on.

Public Pond in Urbandale
Sunday 3-28-10
1:50pm - 3:00pm
Fish sought: bluegills
Fish caught: 4 Crappies (pretty much all 9" or less), 5 bluegills (7.5" or less), 2 LMB (12" or less), 1 hybrid sunfish (6")
Used: fly rod, "crappie candy" fly

Didn't take any pictures. Fished several areas, only really found fish in a couple small pockets just off the first drop-off.

It was windy, but still a nice sunny day to be out!

The crappie candy's worked so well, I had to tie up a few more:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Got skunked during lunch yesterday, but had about 35 minutes to fish yesterday evening. I hit a pond in Urbandale with my fly rod. First 25 minutes I had no hits, saw one follow. I fished the spots that usually produce well for me.

I move further around the pond for my final 10 minutes of fishing, and finally found some fish. I caught 7 bluegills, and missed/lost several others.

Here's my first open-water (local) and first fly rod fish of 2010! It wasn't the biggest of the day, but it was THE FIRST.

It was also the first fish on some new gear I'd gotten over the winter.

After looking at the pictures of this fish again, I noticed the opercle is mostly GREENISH-colored. I have pictures from both sides of the fish, and they both looked like this. Seems odd.  Maybe this is normal on small/young bluegills...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Spring Break 2010!

It was a good trip with my family. Also got to fish for about 1/2 of one day. I took a fly rod and stuff to fish with, but there wasn't much action anywhere, so I never used it. I used the gear on board, which was salfront butter baitcasting gear. We trolled for probably 15 miles each way between the marina and the fishing "spot"...and didn't catch a thing.
Still it was nice to enjoy the scenery, and I even saw a few whales.

Once we got to the "spot", we baited up with 11" live bait...some sort of young jack or sardine-looking thing. Then we just very slowly trolled along the outside edge of a long sandy beach.

First take, I get a few tugs, and look at the boat captain. My line has gone slack. I think it might be running toward the boat. He tells me to reel in, which makes good sense to me. The line has been cut. Ok...there was an 11" bait, plus about 24" of titanium leader. The line was cut ABOVE that! "Spanish Mackerel," says the knowing captain.
OK. He re-rigs my line, adds fresh bait and we are back in business. Not much going on...I start watching the sea birds.

Lots of Frigates, Seagulls, Pelicans....and...OH LOOK! An OSPREY!

The way he's flying around, its almost likes he can see my bait, isn't that cute? Hey, he's dropping down to the water. and...HEY, that's about where my bait is. and...HEY, HE'S GOT MY BAIT AND IS FLYING OFF WITH IT!!

LISTEN TO THAT DRAG SCREAM!! Well, I figured I'd better reel the thing in, cuz he's making a beeline for shore. I try to put the brakes on the reel. Amazing how strong this "fish eagle" is in flight! Anyway, I put enough pressure on it that the hook pulled out of the bait, and no harm done to the osprey. I couldn't even tell that the bird dipped down or even noticed any strange pressure on that fish. STRONG BIRD!!

OK...once the captain stopped laughing at me, he kindly rebaited my hook. Soon, there was some action near my bait, and I could see the Roosterfish's dorsal fin slashing through the surface of the waves as it chased down my hooked baitfish. I did as I'd been instructed...."Count to 3, close the bail, and set the hook!". FISH ON! Gee whiz, it didn't look that big in the water, but this is a STRONG FISH!! I landed it. Hooray! Roosterfish are COOL FISH!

The capt gets me set up with fresh bait and we continue our slow troll. The next fish hits, and I repeat the hooksetting procedure. FISH ON AGAIN! Holy buckets, this one is BIGGER! I can't budge this thing! It seems like forever before I can even TURN THE REEL HANDLE. My rod arm is getting very tired! But, I win again, and this fish is big enough that the capt uses the gaff to land it. He tells me it is a yellowtail. I think he is wrong. I checked it out later, and believe it is a Pacific Jack Crevalle. We estimate the weight at around 15 lbs.

That was pretty much it for the fishing. On the way back into the marina, a friendly (aka HUNGRY) pelican landed on our motor and eyeballed the fish in our livewell.

Overall the trip was excellent. Once I got back home to Iowa and unpacked my suitcase, I discovered my fly rod, 2 fly reels, and 2 boxes jam-packed with flies were stolen from my checked-in luggage. Since they seemed to know exactly where to look...even left my fanny pack, but took the valuable contents from it...I figure it was probably a TSA employee who had probably seen my precious cargo on the x-ray monitors. I figure the value of my loss to be around $860. Thieves. Bummer.

They also rifled through my remaining cigars, but didn't keep many, if any, since they weren't Cubans.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Still NOT Fishing!

2 months...still haven't gone fishing. UGG! So, this is what you get.

I thought the pics I took around the Des Moines capitol building turned out well, and I wanted to see what my new little point-and-shoot camera would do at night. Its a Nikon CoolPix S640. I didn't change the settings at all, just left it on AUTO.

I've cropped and resized these, of course.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Once again, it has been over a month since I've fished. This has happened twice already since November 2009...when it had never happened in the previous 3 years!  So...unforuntately for me, these are not fishing pictures.

Whatcha gonna do?

Well, I had some time to kill while downtown Des Moines, Iowa this weekend. Decided to take the camera I'd gotten for Christmas, and shoot some pictures around the Capitol building, and some of the various monuments in that vicinity.  There's some really cool stuff here!