Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2015 Fishing Summary

As my friends and blog followers are probably aware, I keep an electronic Fishing Log each year.  Looking back over the years, it helps me figure out what should be biting and where...or put another way, it helps me figure out where I should be fishing and what I should be fishing for.

And it lends clarity to my memory.  If I'm unsure when a great bite was going on, I can look back at my fishing logs and find it.

And finally, with the tools available in the Excel spreadsheet format that it is in, it is a great place to include and organize my fishing pictures.

I find it fascinating to crunch the numbers and compare year-to-year results.  As this is my 10th consecutive year of keeping an electronic Fishing Log, I can see how my catches have changed over time, and what my yearly expectations (averages) should be...and how an individual year's weather patterns may affect those expectations.  I plan to have a separate blog entry regarding my 10-year results.

Although there may be some fishing left in 2015, the Holidays season tends to be a busy one with family, and short daylight hours and cold weather reduce my fishing opportunities during this time of year.  So, I'm going to blog my 2015 fishing results up to this point (11-24-2015) below.

I fished 135 days in 2015, and made 167 fishing trips (if I fished during my lunch hour, then fished again after dinner, I consider those as separate trips...similarly, if I fish Lake X, and then go fish River Z, etc.).

I fished for a total of 328.75 hours, and caught 2,409 fish.  That works out to a yearly average of 17.8 fish/day(fished) or 14.4 fish/trip...or 1 fish every 8.2 minutes.

I flyfish most of the time.  I made 157 flyfishing trips and 6 icefishing trips, and used spinning gear on 4 trips.  I caught 2,191 fish while flyfishing, and caught 21 species while flyfishing (and 23 species overall).

I fished with 13 different people over the course of the year, and fished 32 separate bodies of water.

My best 3 months were (in order) October, March and April.

As far as the top species, I caught 1,111 Bluegills, 421 Crappies, 349 Largemouth Bass, 186 Rainbow Trout, 97 Hybrid Sunfish, and 80 Smallmouth Bass.

I caught the Iowa Trout Grand Slam (Brown, Rainbow & Brook in the same day) 3 times, on 3 different streams.

I caught pretty good numbers of bass in the 13"+ sizes, including 10 that were 18"+.  The biggest was 21.75", which I managed to catch twice.

It was my 2nd best year (in terms of numbers) for Largemouth Bass, and best year for Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Creek Chubs, Striped Shiners and Redear Sunfish.

It was by far my worst year for Wipers, White Bass, Walleyes, Common Carp and Channel Catfish.

I love catching new species on my fly rod.  This year I was able to add 5 new species on my fly rod list, including Creek Chubs, Striped Shiners, Rock Bass, White Sucker and Golden Redhorse.  These additions bring my Fly Rod Species total to 40 (33 in Iowa).

In addition to those new species, I caught new "Fly Rod Personal Bests" for Largemouth Bass (21.75"), Bluegill (10"), Hybrid Sunfish (10"), Grass Carp (41.5"), Brown Trout (17.25"), and Pumpkinseed Sunfish (9").

My "Fish of the Year Award" goes to the big Grass Carp (41.5", ~ 35.5 lbs), that hit a fly and I landed with a 5wt rod with 8lb test tippet.  That was SO AWESOME!
"Most Beautiful Fish Award" is a tie (cuz I love 'em both!)....Pumpkinseed Sunfish and Brook Trout:

Runner Up goes to this beautiful Bull Bluegill in spawning colors:

"Most Unexpected Fish Award" goes to some Redear Sunfish I found in a pond in town.  I've been fishing ponds here for 14 years, and this was the first time I've ever found Redears.
Runner-up in that category was for a couple of Northern Pike I discovered in a trout stream.
"Craziest Catch Award" goes to the Cliff Swallow I managed to lasso out of the air during a backcast.
"Best Sunset" was a very competive category.  I'm gonna go with this one:
All in all...its been a pretty darn good year!  :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Flyfishing Report, 10-31-2015

Saturday was cloudy, cold (40'sF), breezy, and damp (it had rained earlier in the morning or overnight).
I flyfished a local public pond.  I had fished it earlier in the year and caught some decent crappies, but in the half-dozen trips since April, I had only caught a grand total of 6 more crappies.  I was worried about the population, and also concerned about all the algae and weeds that had rimmed the pond all summer.

The algae and weeds have mostly died off now, but may decompose over the winter, robbing the water of precious oxygen and possibly causing a winterkill.  I hope my fears do not come to fruition.

The migratory geese and ducks have stirred up the sediment in the pond, reducing the water clarity significantly.

The rest of the story is good news.  I found plenty of crappies and bluegills, and they are in GREAT SHAPE right now....all very chunky and healthy!  I caught one 13" bass, and my "pet" bass...the 20-incher I caught 3 times last year...showed up.  She hung out right in front of me for quite awhile.  Because of the mud stirred up by the waterfowl, I could only see her when she was very shallow, right in front of me.  She gave chase to a nice bluegill I had hooked, but she didn't catch it.  I released a crappie back into the water, and as it swam towards deeper water, she appeared and gulped in the front 1/2 of the crappie, then turned and swam off with it still in her mouth.  Pretty cool!

Pretty much all the fish hit a chartreuse 1/80th oz microjig suspended @ 18" beneath a Fish Pimp strike indicator.

And the pictures: