Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Last Week of March, 2015

I've fished a couple times since my last blog entry.
Had one overcast Wednesday evening at a local pond, flyfished for 1.5 hours, caught 12 Crappies, 7 Bluegills, all on chartreuse microjigs under an indicator.
On the following Saturday, I flyfished the same pond for 5.25 hours during the middle part of the sunny day.  I caught 45 Crappies, 8 Bluegills, and finally caught the first open-water bass of the season.  The most interesting thing to me was, it was a sunny day and the saying goes "Bright Day, Bright Lure".  Typically chartreuse works well most of the time, and should have worked this day.  I caught some on it, but I did a lot better once I switched to a dark-colored microjig.  They really hit it much more aggressively.

The next trip was during my lunch hour on Monday.  It was probably the first 70+ degree (F) of the year, with 20mph winds gusting to nearly 30mph.  I fished a pond close to work.  I didn't do well, but managed to land a couple bluegills. (Fact check...it was NOT the first 70-degree day of the year.  There was 2 days in the 70's and 1 day in the 80's in mid-March....while I was in Europe with my family for Spring Break.  So....Monday was the first 70-degree+ day I had experienced in Iowa this year, but not actually the first.  Capiche?)  :)

Later that evening, the wind died down, so I visited another pond for an hour around dusk.  Small bluegills seemed concentrated near the surface in the downwind ends of the pond...in fact some of them had their backs sticking up out of the water well out from shore.  They appeared to be eating stuff (probably midges) off the surface.  I caught at least 6 Bluegills, but I was really hoping for Crappies.  It was a beautiful evening.
 Then on Tuesday during my lunch hour, I visited another pond.  Algae is already greening up in this pond.  It was tough going, but I managed 4 Crappies and 8 Bluegills on a microjig under an indicator.

Tuesday evening after dinner I had the opportunity to flyfish again at yet another pond.  It was a beautiful evening... 70 degrees F and little wind.  The water in the next pond I chose was fairly clear.  As in most of the other ponds, the fish were in shallows near shore, or suspended shallow over deeper water.  I imagine that very top thin layer of the water column is the warmest water the fish can find right now.  I caught some fish on a microjig under an indicator, but it seemed the fish wanted to eat even more shallow than that, so I switched to stripping in a yellow Boa Yarn Leech, and did ok with that.  I ended up catching 3 Crappie, 14 Bluegills, 5 Hybrid Sunfish, and 1 Largemouth Bass.

That wraps up the month of March.  It started off with a great day of icefishing, and ended with a decent evening of flyfishing....ironically both on the same pond.

Monday, March 23, 2015

First Flyrod Fish of 2015

Just got back from a Spring Break trip to the Mediterranean with my family (future post about that to come).  I was happy to see the ice had melted off all the local ponds while I was gone.  I wasted no time in getting out to flyfish a couple of the local ponds on 3-22-2015.

I had a good day!  The fish wasted no time in doing their part....I caught a Crappie on my first cast!  I used a chartreuse microjig under an indicator, and ended up catching 45+ decent Crappies and 19 Bluegills.

Its good to be home!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Photo on Iowa DNR Website

I check the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website (http://www.iowadnr.gov/) frequently. There is some excellent information there for anglers.  There is a lot of information on lakes, including lake topographic (bathymetric) maps, and the latest fish sampling information.

I just happened to visit that website today, and usually I just quickly navigate past the home screen to the lake information pages.  But today, I paused and looked at the pictures that were scrolling on the home screen, to see if there was current news I might be interested in.  The last picture in the series was of a Rainbow Trout.  Nice.  I clicked to navigate away from that page, and then it hit me.  I went back and looked at the picture again.  Yeah....that looks like one of my pictures....kind of looks like a fly I would have tied...and...the fly is attached to the line with a No Knot Fas-Snap.  Not that many people use those around here... That's gotta be my picture!

I checked my fishing pictures, and located the original.  It is one I had submitted along with an article that was published in the DNR's "Iowa Outdoors" magazine.  I don't think they ended up using this particular picture in the article.  Its nice they are getting some use out of it.

Here's a screen capture of my computer screen...with the DNR website (on the right), and my original picture pulled up on the left.

COOL! Its fun to see my  pictures being used on the IDNR website!    :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Icefishing - March 1, 2015

Been awhile since I had anything worthwhile to post.

February passed by with only one short ice-fishing trip to show.  The fish were as negative as I have ever seen them, usually running away from my presentation as fast as they could.  I felt very lucky to manage just 3 small bluegills out of that trip!

So, I sure am glad its MARCH!  I went icefishing yesterday (March 1, 2015) with my buddy Jay.

The pond we selected treated us well when flyfishing it this past summer, but we icefished it one day last winter and only managed a combined total of ONE fish for a couple hours of effort.  The only fish we marked that day (besided the one caught) were TINY fish not interested in eating.  Flash forward to yesterday.  I was the first to arrive at the pond, and drilled 5 holes across one end of the pond.  I marked fish in 3 of the 5 holes.  Good sign.  As Jay pulled up and started unloading his gear, I dropped a tungsten jig tipped with a waxworm down one hole, and immediately had a fish on.  Then I missed a couple, and then landed another by the time Jay walked out on the ice.

We did well.  I don't know Jay's totals, but by the time I left @ 5pm, I'd landed at least 50 Bluegills, 5 Pumpkinseed Sunfish, 5 Crappies, 5 Bass, and at least 10 Hybrid Sunfish.  Fantastic!  The fish were mostly VERY positive, often charging the lure from 4' away and striking immediately.

The bass weren't big....probably all less than 12".  The bluegills weren't very big either, probably topping out at 7.5", although I've caught bigger ones there during the summer.  The Pumpkinseeds were pretty decent, fought REALLY well, and are pretty rare to catch while icefishing.  In fact, they were the first ones Jay and I had ever caught through the ice.  The crappies were healthy.