Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lunchtime FlyFishing Report, 5-30-2012

Last night I fly-fished and saw good numbers of gar, but wasn't able to hook into any of them.  Hopefully next time!

Today, my buddy Jay said, "Today's a good day for you to go after carp!"  Well...why not?  The 7-10 mph winds were the calmest its been in weeks, it was sunny, but only 65 degrees.  Doesn't everyone else wear a Polo shirt, slacks, and casual dress shoes to go carp fishing??

Maybe it helps to look the part of an elitist fly-angler, regardless of target species?  HA!

Anyway, I found feeding carp.  Biggest problem was water clarity.  Deeper than about 4" of water, the fish disappeared.  I could see bubble trails and mud clouds that I hoped indicated feeding carp.  Would they even be able to see a fly more than a few inches away??  Strike detection was a problem when carp don't move much to eat anyway.  Watching for fish movement or opening mouths was definitely out of the question when the fish simply AREN'T visible.  Waa waa waaa...listen to me cry a river over muddy water!

I may have gotten some strikes.  A couple of times I actually bothered to set the hook, I spooked fish.  I may have been a tad late, or the fly may have bumped the fish.  I'll never know.  I did foul-hook one decent carp in the dorsal fin.  It was a fun fight but I was already a bit tardy to head back to work, so I put a lot of pressure on the line, and the fly popped out.

I didn't get skunked.  I caught a small channel catfish.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Evening Fly-Fishing Report, 5-28-2012

Post-frontal, dropping temps, substantial winds...  The bane to comfortable fly fishing.
The seemingly incessant winds are getting old.  I got out to do some flyfishing in the evening anyway.

I started with a the Bass Gurgler, trying to fish it close to shore that was was slightly protected from the winds, but had no takers along one stretch of shoreline, so I changed to a #8 black Daedalian Damsel with beadchain eyes.  Put it under an indicator to help moderate its speed, depth, and drag in the water.  This worked ok.

I ended up catching 20+ Bluegills on that, mostly 8"+ deep-bodied males:
...but also the occasional female.  In fact, the biggest one I caught last night was a female bluegill that was just barely shy of 9":

I also landed 3 largemouth bass up to 15", and had another one shake free right in front of me next to shore.

After dark, the last spot I fished was an area that crappies like to spawn around.  I had a really nice fish on here for a few seconds before the hook pulled free.

The coolest thing was that when the wind was really howling, there were quite a few big grass carp porpoising on the surface.  Appeared to be a feeding behavior since I could often see their mouths open wide before they dove under again, but it could have been some sort of air-gulping behavior.  I've not heard of grass carp gulping air like a gar or buffalo might I don't want to say this IS what they were doing.

The water was pretty muddy (visibility only about 12"), plus the low light and choppy surface didn't help.  I could ONLY see the fish when they surfaced...then they immediately disappeared again.  And as seems to almost always be the case with these wily fish, they were almost always beyond casting distance from me.  On a calm evening, I might have been able to reach them...but not with the big cross-wind I was battling last night.  These Grass Carp continue to TAUNT ME and HAUNT ME!

Also saw several large snapping turtles.  One was so big I started fishing next to it, thinking it was a big rock in the water.  Then I noticed the head and neck start to move.  It's shell was fairly smooth and covered with stringy algae. The smooth shell made me wonder if it was a big mud turtle or something OTHER than a snapper?  Big head and neck on it!

Another thing about this pond...last time here there was quite a bit of weed growth around the pond edges.  This time nearly all the weeds were gone, and much of the algae was also gone.  This makes me relatively certain the City has been on this pond and sprayed chemicals for weed control...maybe about a week ago.  Just when the crappie, bass, and bluegill fry are needing some place to hide for protection from predators!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Evening Fly Fishing Report, 5-24-2012

I had 2 separate fishing outings this evening.  The first was at a public pond in a nearby town, while my son was at one of his activities.  Tough conditions with a front that moved through around mid-afternoon.  Fish weren't very active.  Weeds were also pretty thick along shore.

I decided to try the Bass Gurgler on this pond, just to see what I could come up with.  It is extremely rare for me to catch ANY bass at this pond.  I ended up catching at least two bass (nothing big), and had several others on that managed to not get hooked or quickly freed themselves.  About the time I had to leave, I found a spot that had probably 100 bluegills in a small area.  I'm sure I could have switched flies and caught a bunch in short order, but decided to let them be...this time.

The second fly-fishing outing of the evening was after we got home.  It was a little after 8pm, and the sun was still above the horizon.  I went a public pond not far from my house.

I still had the Bass Gurgler on my line, so I stuck with it pretty much the entire night.  I ended up landing 8 Largemouth Bass on it, had about a 1/2 dozen decent fish (bass) that managed to shake free before I landed them.  I also landed 2 bluegills on the Bass Gurgler.  The biggest fish of the evening was this 16.5-inch bass.  It looks recently "spawned out".
I also watched a "tail" waving on the surface right near shore.  I slowly fished my way towards it, and it was still there.  I was hoping it was a grass carp, but as best I could tell in the fading light, it was a channel catfish that was VERY intently feeding on the bottom.  I can't know for sure, but I suspect it may have been feeding on fish eggs?  I spooked it away several times, and it returned to the same spot several times, but eventually seemed to disappear.  Then again, it was VERY dark by this time.

The foam on this Bass Gurgler is getting "chewed up" by bass teeth.  "Badge of Honor" and all that...Its still working very well.  I need to tie up a few more spares, because this pattern is WAY outperforming the foam bass poppers I was previously using.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Evening Fly-Fishing Report, 5-21-2012

I was hoping I'd get a chance to fly fish today.  It was the calmest day we'd had in 2 weeks.
My son had a cancelled extracurricular activity, but I didn't get confirmation of that until I drove him 1/2 hour to get there.  Long story about horrible communication skills by certain people, which I won't detail here.

By the time I got back home, it was 8pm.  I grabbed some mosquito repellant (a.k.a. "cigar"), a few recently tied flies, camera, and headed out the door.

I arrived at the pond to find a couple other folks fishing with spinning gear.  I'm not sure if they ever did catch anything.  I started out with the Bass Gurgler I recently posted about.  Once again it was a fish-catcher.  No biggies this time...but I did land 2 largemouth bass on it, lost a third one near shore, and had a handful of missed strikes.  In that short amount of time, a tot on a Razor scooter stopped behind me to watch.  He no sooner went on his way, when a Dad and son stopped by to watch.  They followed me around  1/3 of the pond, during which time I caught zero fish.  I know, impressive, right?  But I had spotted a grass carp back, and had begun stalking it.  Cast after cast with a deer hair "pellet" fly.  I may have actually gotten one strike on this, but no hookup.  Then I switched to an unweighted white woolly bugger.

When I had arrived at the pond, I noticed a woman on the opposite side of the pond chucking some bread into the water for the ducks.  I actually like to see this, since it often gets the catfish active, and it should get the grass carp active.  But those darn grass carp...frustrate me to no end, and I want to catch more of them SO MUCH!

Anyway, I worked my way around to where the bread was.  Some smaller fish were playing with it.  The grass carp I was stalking was hanging out near it, but about 30 feet further away from shore from the bread.  As I was casting to this grassie, a couple other large fish that I suspect were also grass carp that were slightly deeper, showed their locations with some large rings at the surface.  Eventually (and after my audience finally gave up on me), one or two large fish started coming in closer to shore for the bread.

I cast a bit beyond the floating bits of bread and slowly brought the white woolly bugger back through it.  Sooner than I expected, my line tightened...FAST.  Big fish on!  I didn't want my hooked fish to disturb any other fish in the area more than it needed to, so I immediately started walking the fish down the shoreline away from the area.  This was a strong fish, but mostly slow.  I could walk it around like a dog on a leash, but it would simply parallel shore.  Whenever I leveraged the 6wt to try to get the fish to the surface, it would turn and make a powerful run for deeper water again.  The happened repeatedly, and I still hadn't gotten a visual on the fish.  Plus, it was getting dark.  From the way it was fighting, I was SO SURE it was a grass carp.  I was so happy!  FINALLY hooked another one, after a hiatus of over a year!

I finally got the fish up into the shallows near shore, and it made one more short run before I was able to get my hands on it.  Hands.  I pinned it down with one hand, but couldn't secure a grip across its back (by this time, I realized it was a nice channel catfish instead of a grass carp, and was sort of bummed....but I love catching catfish on the fly rod too).  I set my rod down and got on my knees and put two hands around the fish's midsection, with fingers on either side of its pectoral fins.  With this grip, I was able to lift it onto shore.

This was a really nice male channel catfish.  I measured it at 27", which would put it in the 9-pound range.  I snapped some photos and released it.
I love it when a fish makes my gear look small!
See the beat up white woolly bugger hanging from its lip?
Here I'm holding the fish down so I can hold it still while I photograph it.  Looks like I could have picked it up with one hand...but I really couldn't get an adequate grip with just one hand.

I returned to the breaded area.  A couple nice fish showed up on it, but nothing was feeding quite as aggressively as before.  I switched to a fresh white woolly bugger that was bit larger, since the catfish had beat up the first one pretty good.  I caught at least a dozen crappies on it before I left.  I also caught a couple bluegills, but found it very odd that I foul-hooked almost 10 bluegills!  Its very rare that I foul-hook a bluegill EVER...and to snag that many from one spot was bizarre!  All I can figure is the fish were pecking away at the bread and were either slapping at the fly to break it into smaller pieces, or were oblivious to my line/fly passing near them while they were distracted by the bread?

Anyway, its always a great night when one can land a big fish on a fly rod!

The Murdich Minnow

I'm a big fan of the Fly Fish Ohio website.  Lots of great info there, and tying instructions for a good number of useful fish-catching fly patterns.  The website's Publisher, Joe Cornwall, wrote a book called Fly Fishing Warm Water Rivers.

When I purchased my second copy of his book (long story), he sent me a fly he had tied up for Smallmouth Bass.  On the website, there is an excellent write-up about the pattern, and step-by-step tying instructions.

One thing that especially caught my attention in Joe's write-up is his mention that this pattern was very successful on catching Ohio River Wipers.  Those Wipers are accustomed to chasing/eating shad, just like our local Wipers are.

So, I finally sat down this weekend to tie up a few. The one change I made was to cover the head/attach the eyes with Sport & Outdoor GOOP adhesive.  I unsuccessfully tried 3 different stores looking for the Liquid Nails Clear Small Project Adhesive.  This version of the GOOP sounds like it has the same attributes as the Liquid Nails is waterproof, dries clear, and remains flexible.

I can't wait to show these to some fish this Summer/Fall!

DMACC Pond-West Des Moines, 5-19-2012

I fly-fished the DMACC Pond - WDM Saturday afternoon for about 1.5 hours.  First time I've ever visited/fished this pond.

While there, I talked to a fellow who said he has fished the pond for years.  Said there used to be a lot of BIG bass and lots of nice Hybrid Sunfish in the pond.  Then the bucketeers came, and now there's just smaller fish left.  I said, "...even with the signs posted around the pond that say 'Catch and Release Only'?"  He said that was before the signs were put up.  He seemed embarrassed to be caught out fishing with spinning gear, telling me he normally only fishes with fly gear, but he brought the spinning rod today because it was so windy.  And it was definitely windy!!

I had fun exploring a new pond.  Here's what I caught:
-4 lmb
-2 crappie
-1 hybrid sunfish
-2 green sunfish
-28 bluegill

The bass, hybrid, and green sunfish were on the small size.  The crappies were in the 8"-9" range.  I caught a lot of nice bluegills, though.  Not BIG bluegills...but nice ones.  Looking at it now, this one probably measured around 8.5".

Also saw some cool flowers behind the willows on the north side of the pond.  Anyone know what kind of flowers these are?  Look sort of like irises....but the leaves looked thinner and more narrow like a lilly.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Bass Gurgler

The bass spawn may be about over.  I didn't see the amount of big fish activity in the shallows last night as I had last weekend.  Then again, it was pretty windy.  I tossed one of the Bass Gurlgers I talked about in some recent posts.  It is not MY original design.  I gave the credit where it was due in one of the previous posts.  It worked well again, and scored 3 bass (all under 14" this time) and a NICE bluegill.

I tied up a few more last night, and thought I'd post the pictures.  I tied one for bass on a #2 Streamer hooks in black-and-yellow.  I tied up 2 on #4 Streamer hooks that I think might work for white bass/wipers when they are feeding on shad near the surface or in the shallows.  Catfish might even go for 'em when they are feeding on shad.  I tied 2 different colors for these, one a sparkly white foam with white boa yarn body and a red tail, and one a sparkly silver/gray foam with a light gray boa yarn body and white tail.  After I took the picture below, I decided to shorten the marabou a bit on the 2 smaller ones.

I may do some in colors that smallies might enjoy, and maybe in slightly smaller sizes.

Here's some closer shots of the pattern...

And here is a close-up of the "mouth"...when tied tightly, the bottom lip and top lip both will naturally curve, forming a nice "popper" face.
I trim the corners off the foam lips, but this may not be necessary for an effective Gurgler.  Doing so seems to spread the lips apart better in this particular design, and since some of the foam sheets I use have adhesive on one side, this seems to help prevent the "lips" from sticking together.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Evening Fly-Fishing, 5-15-2012

I fly-fished at Blue Heron Lake this evening (5-15-2012) from 7:15pm-8:30pm (1.25 hrs).
It was a bit windy, but warm.

I started out using a Blue Thunder streamer.  I cast near some large gizzard shad spawning in the shallows, and caught a crappie.  I moved along the shoreline until I neared another spot where shad were active against the shoreline.  There was a short section of a log in the shallows near shore.  Wind-generated currents had deepened the water around the log.  I made some casts around it, and ended up catching mostly crappies from one side of the log, and mostly yellow bass from the other side of the log.  I did accidentally snag a large (10") shad there.
I switched to a silver Springbrook Wunder microjig and caught another yellow bass and crappie before deciding to move on.  I moved down to a spot where the shad were splashing on a small point that had current blowing across it, parallel to shore.  There was sort of a current line there, so I cast beyond the shad a ways, and started working the microjig in.  I caught a crappie, then a bluegill, then a catfish!  It may have been one of the smallest channel catfish I've caught on a fly rod, but it still put up a heckuva fight!  I continued moving along the shoreline.  I think I scared up some carp from the shallows, since I didn't see them before they saw me.  I caught some more crappies, bluegills, yellow bass, and a tiny largemouth bass.

Fish totals for the evening were:
3  Bluegills
15 Crappie
10 Yellow Bass
1 Channel Catfish

Here's the some of the fish...
Channel Catfish:

Yellow Bass:

Yellow Bass are sort of colorful.  They are a native fish to Iowa, often found in low numbers in rivers.  Unfortunately they don't get very big, and have a reputation for overpopulating and ruining lakes in Iowa, which then must usually be drained and refilled to get rid of them.  This lake is adjacent to a river, and the river regularly floods into this lake, so they are here to stay in this particular lake.  I hope the other fish species can thrive alongside the Yellow Bass.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Evening Fly-Fishing, 5-13-2012

It was a fairly calm evening, so after dinner I headed to one of the public ponds in town to do some fly-fishing.  Quite a few other people had the same idea.  Only one other fellow was flyfishing.  The rest were using spinning gear.

I started out with a bass Gurgler I had tied up, after having such good success with the first one.  This 2nd tie was tied on a #2 streamer hook, slightly larger than the previous one.

First cast, I took the fly away from a fish that was investigating it.  Next cast, FISH ON!  This was a good fish, and it went completely airborne, and re-entered the water with a huge splash.  Cool!   This bass measured 17".

When I released this one back to the water, it charged away from shore with gusto!

Now, I honestly can't say for sure that the next fish came on the very next cast.  Maybe it did, but it more likely was a 3 or 4 casts later.  Anyway, it hit aggressively, I set the hook, and this fish just TOOK OFF!  It charged for deep water and went DOWN.  Then it turned to parallel the shoreline and was swimming straight away from me.  The pressure I was putting on the fish brought it up from the depths somewhat, because I could tell where it was by the swirls and wakes of other scared fish taking off out of its way.  And some of those looked like they were from good-sized fish!

I did get the fish turned and brought it back to me, and soon landed it.  NICE BASS!  This one measured 19", which goes into a 3-way tie for my biggest Largemouth Bass caught on a fly rod.  Such a strong fighter!

I released this one, and it mosied away a bit more calmly than the previous fish.
I resumed casting, but the strikes I was getting seemed to be from smaller fish that didn't want to get hooked.  I moved along the shoreline a ways.  I put a cast out sort of parallel to the shoreline, and got another good strike.  When I set the hook, the line parted immediately.  Darn!  That fish took my new fly!  I was sort of bummed.  Within a few minutes, a nice-sized bass leapt for the sky out near the middle of the pond, and I had a feeling that was my fish...trying to throw the Gurgler out of its mouth.

I tied on the "older" Gurler.  I got strikes from small fish, and caught a smaller bass on.  Then I started changing through different fly patterns to target crappies, bluegills, and hoped for catfish.  I saw some catfish porpoise as they were feeding near the surface.  I also saw several grass carp around with their backs occasionally sticking above the water.  Pretty large fish!  Of COURSE I wanna catch more of these on my fly rod, so I spent a fair amount of time trying to cast to them.  I was unsuccessful in hooking into one...but was heartened to see these in this pond being so VISIBLE.  I know they are here, but almost NEVER see them.

I did catch just one bluegill, and 8 crappies before trying the Gurgler one more time.  I had some really nice, loud strikes on it, but didn't hook anything.  I wondered if maybe if these strikes were from catfish or smaller bass.

I am definitely going to be tying up a few more of these Gurglers.  They are definitely working well for me!

Fishing Report, 5-12-2012

I had my kids' Piano Recitals in the morning, then drove my wife to airport.  After i got home, I fed the kids some lunch, and then called Jay to see if he wanted to do some fishing.  We decided on Saylorville Lake.  On a weekend when the weather was nice???  Since we'd be fishing from shore, we decided to hit some spots that would not likely be swarming with bucketeers.  Did see a lot of boats fishing around the jetties!  We stayed far away from such popular and obvious spots.

We fished from about 2:30pm to 8:00pm.  We ended up fishing 3 locations, caught fish at the first two.  The third location was a waste of time, so we returned to our first location and fished more.

I used spinning gear and fly-fishing gear, and caught fish on both.  Unfortunately, I left my camera by the door when I walked out of the house.

I caught 7 species, all on lures/flies:
-3 Wipers (14"-16")
-6 White Bass (mostly 12-13" range)
-1 Smallmouth Bass (14")
-6 Largemouth Bass (12" and smaller)
-6 Crappies (12" and smaller, lost several others)
-2 Bluegills (8" and smaller)
-4 Green Sunfish (7" and smaller)

There's no mistaking when you hook a wiper...its zero-to-60 mph INSTANTANEOUSLY!

White-Lined Sphinx Moth, 5-12-2011

I had a couple of White-Lined Sphinx Moths feeding around the Honeysuckle vines in the back yard.  I thought it was odd to see the in the middle of the day.  So, I grabbed my camera and tried to take some pictures.  It occurred to me later I should have chose a different setting that MIGHT have captured their image better...without the blurriness of their fast-moving wings.  Here are some of the better shots:

I even shot a short video:

Later in the evening, I went out, and their were a lot more of these flying around the vines.  I counted at least 10 at one time (and more were flying in), which is the most I've ever seen at one time.
Since it was darker out, the images didn't turn out so well:

Because of the way these feed on flower nectar, and because of the way they move, people seeing them from a distance often mistake them for hummingbirds.  While I was out photographing these during the day, I looked up to the top of the vines, and saw this!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fly-Fishing Lunch Report, 5-11-2012

I fly-fished a public pond during lunch today.  Water clarity was not good.  With the sun shining, I could sort of make out some rocks that were about 18” deep...barely.  Water color is sort of a gray.  Don’t know where all that dirt came from…water was really clear there earlier this year, and this place is surrounded by acres of mowed grass.

I was hoping for some nice bluegills.  I caught one small bluegill, one nice bluegill.  I also caught 4 crappies…12”, 11”, a female I didn’t measure but it was at least 11”…and a 14.5”!!  Half-inch shy of a Master Angler Award!!!  Dang!  They were all beautiful fish, except the big one’s tail was kind of ragged from fanning a nest.

I’m flabbergasted that I caught 4 crappies from that pond!  I could probably count on one hand the number of crappies I catch out of this pond each year.   It IS the same pond I caught (and released) the 14-incher from last year, though.  Experience paid off in locating the crappies…but I’m sure there are other places in the pond that might have a few more.

I used a microjig for the first crappie and the bluegills.  For the remaining 3 crappies, I set the microjig  about 24" below an indicator.

Here's the first crappie, a 12" male White Crappie with the dark spawning coloration:
 And then the 11" male (an 11" crappie in any of the public ponds is a NICE crappie, btw):

And then the lighter-colored female White Crappie:

And finally...the BEAST 14.5" male White Crappie:

Good to Have Friends!

I drove my son to one of his extracurricular activities in a neighboring suburb last night.  My daughter decided to go along.  After we dropped my son off at the start of the activity, my daughter and I grabbed some fast-food supper, then went to a nearby public pond.  I fly-fished, she stayed in the car to practice a speech she has to give in Spanish class.  She's a responsible student.

When we arrived at the pond, I recognized Mark and April already there fly-fishing.  We talked briefly, then I set about trying to catch some fish.  It was tough conditions...sort of windy, and a broad swath of aquatic vegetation had grown up along the entire shoreline, and was within 6" of the surface in most places.  Fish were visible on the inside weedline, which started about 2' from shore.  These fish could also see us.  Small bass were guarding nests.

Mark was using a topwater fly pattern to keep out of the weeds.  He had caught a few bluegills.  I tried the Gurgler pattern for bass, but the rough water surface didn't work to my advantage.  I switched to a microjig under an indicator and tossed it beyond the far side of the weedbed.  I had some light strikes, but nothing very aggressive.

I ended up removing the indicator, and then dapping the microjig into pockets in the weeds.  I ended up catching 1 Largemouth Bass, 4 Crappies, and 5 Bluegills doing this.

Too soon, it was time for me to leave so I could pick up my son and head home.  I got to the car, and my daughter had the key turned on, but didn't have the engine running.  I tried to start the car, but the battery was run down too low.  BUMMER!

Fortunately, Mark and April were done fishing, and were putting their gear away in their car.  I asked if they could jump my battery.  They could, and did.  AWESOME!!  What could have been a BIG DEAL, was remedied quickly and painlessly thanks to my fly-fishing friends!  THANK YOU, MARK AND APRIL!!!  I owe you!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bass Gurgler Test,Evening of 5-9-2012

I didn't get out fly-fishing in the evening until fairly late.  I got to the pond around 8pm, and stayed until about 9:20pm.  The weather was good.  Very light breeze, temps were cool (~60 degrees F), and the water clarity was excellent.

I had read James Smith's (of Conyers, Georgia) post about how he ties his Bass Gurglers on the Fly Anglers Online forums.  (third post in this thread: ).  I had tied one up with a marabou tail.  I tied it on my line right away.  In my first 4 casts, I had 3 bass on, and landed one.  I occasionally catch a bass or two while fly-fishing this pond, but I can go many trips here and never catch one.  My assessment is that the population of bass in this pond is LOW because of high harvest.  So...having that kind of action on a fly was, to me, ASTOUNDING!  I was thrilled!  So, I took a picture of it (after the first fish was landed):

See those "big lips"?  They really make a lot of disturbance on the surface, and the bass (and other fish) were just going NUTS for it!  I ended up landing 6 bass on this pattern, and lost probably 5 others (including a "biggie").

This wasn't the biggest bass I caught last night, but I didn't bother taking pictures of the larger bass, since it was getting dark and the pictures probably wouldn't have turned out very well.

On that fly, I also caught some NICE bluegills, some decent crappies, and even this FAT green sunfish.  I don't catch many greenies at this pond, but I know there are a few in it.

As it got darker, the action seemed to slow on this topwater pattern, so I switched to a white Boa Yarn Leech, and caught one more bass, and quite a few crappies and bluegills.

So...7 bass from this pond in such a short time, mostly on that Bass Gurgler.  I don't think I've EVER done that well at this pond on the foam bass popper I typically use for bass. Was it the fly?  Was it the weather, time of year, or some other factor?  I'll keep fishing with this fly and see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fly-Fishing Lunchtime Report, 5-9-2012

I hadn't fished for a WHOLE DAY...but it seemed like at least 2 whole days...which is WAY too long for my liking!
Anyway, I decided to hit the young pond again where I discovered carp and buffalo late last week.  The wind was from the direction I wanted it to be, but was a bit stronger than I hoped for to be able to sight-fish.  The sky was mainly overcast, with the sun peeking out once in awhile.  When it was cloudy, sight-fishing was hopeless.  Plus, a retired fellow (because he made a POINT of telling me repeatedly that he was retired) was just finishing his circuit of the pond cast lures for bass.  I think he scared the carp away from the shallows.

During a couple of sunny moments, I did spot at least one carp slowly cruising in open water, and also spotted a few buffalo feeding beneath the surface in open water.  I tried (separately) a San Juan Worm and an egg pattern under an indicator.  Got some really good casts to the buffalo, looked like the fish was going RIGHT FOR the fly...but it kept on going without any signal from my indicator.  The rest of the time when it was cloudy, I fished with a beadhead furl-tailed leech and caught 3 Largemouth Bass and 4 Crappies.  I caught 2 Hybrid Sunfish on the San Juan Worm, and 5 Bluegills.  The Bluegills hit several different flies, including the egg fly, the San Juan Worm, the leech, and a Pheasant Tail Nymph.

So...catching 4 species was good, but I still didn't get either of the 2 species I was HOPING for.

Here's some pics:

The Crappies were sporting their darker spawning coloration:

This is one of the smaller Hybrid Sunfish I've caught...but they are so colorful!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Another New Pond, Lunchtime Fly-Fishing 5-4-2012

I decided to try fishing a public pond in town that I had never tried before.  In fact, even though I can almost see my house from it, I had never actually seen this pond.  I had only spotted it on aerial photos.  It believe it was built in 2005, and probably first stocked in 2005 or 2006.

The water clarity is ok....I could see bottom down to about 2' deep.  I could see Bluegills which were all small, I may have spotted some tiny Green Sunfish, I saw a couple Largemouth Bass that were <13", I saw a snapping turtle.  I also saw some scattered small Common Carp feeding along the edges, and some Bigmouth Buffalo feeding just below the surface.  I spent most of the time trying to target the Carp and Buffalo.  I couldn't get the Buffalo to strike.  I need to improve my carp sight-fishing skills.  I think I had one or two hits, but mis-timed the hookset and only managed to spook the fish.

I only landed two fish, and I did not see either of them before they hit the fly.  They were both crappies that looked nearly identical to each other, and measured about 9.5".

So...This does not appear to be that great of a pond for fishing.  There was almost no cover..even the bottom of the pond seem like clean algae or weeds.  But because of the Carp and the Buffalo...I will definitely be going back to this pond throughout the summer on fairly calm days when I can sightfish for them.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fly-Fishing Lunch Report, 5-3-2012

WARM and sunny today!  Not much wind, temps in the mid 80's during the noon-hour.

I visited a local public pond.  Despite the overnight rain, the water was fairly clear.  And with the bright sun overhead and not much wind, I could see into the water very well.  I thought for sure I'd be able to spot a grass carp or channel catfish if they were around.  Instead, I only saw a large turtle, lots of bullfrogs and large tadpoles, bass, bluegills, green sunfish, and a very large white goldfish.

I wasted a good amount of time casting to that darn goldfish...I WANT TO CATCH THAT FISH!!  But it ignored everything.  I need something even smaller, I think.  I had some flies with me I had tied up specifically for this situation, but I was too lazy to dig them out of the bottom of my hip pack.  I did toss a fly that this fish had hit once before, but it didn't go for it again.  I did catch some bluegills on that, though.

Anyway, I ended up catching at least 7 Bluegills on a Woolly Worm, as well as 4 nice Green Sunfish.