Wednesday, April 26, 2017

First Channel Catfish of 2017

I'd flyfished during lunch yesterday and had a HUGE bass on for quite a while before it finally spit the hook.  So, after work I decided to try another pond to see if I could entice any bass there.  I didn't see any bass.  But I did have a strike that smashed the fly, making a huge boil, and then it took off like a freight train!  I was several minutes before I even got to see what the heck this fish WAS.  Then I saw the tail...Catfish!  Great fight!  28"...a conversion table I found suggests a weight of 10.6 lbs.
The fly I was using was a #2 mostly-black Zonker.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Late April Flyfishing in Central Iowa (2017)

Gotta catch you up on what's been going on here.  Fishing has actually been sorta tough.  I'm catching some, but not as many as I should.  Seems like the local fish have gotten wise to my scent and/or favorite flies.

I tied and tried a new (to me....originated by others) fly for bass.  It has caught several fish for me!  Looks great in the water!

I've had some big bass on that I have not been able to land.  That's been both exciting AND frustrating.

I've caught some big sunfish, including another Master Angler-sized (9.3") Pumpkinseed Sunfish, and a giant Green Sunfish (actually I suspect it is a Hybrid Sunfish, but maybe an F2 generation or later...backcrossed back to pure Green Sunfish?) of 9.5".

Lost a HUGE bass today during lunch.  I guesstimate it would have weighed 6+ pounds.

So...the pictures I DO have....

Monday, April 17, 2017

Fishing on April 16, 2017

Beautiful day on Sunday!

I didn't get out to fish until mid-afternoon.

Found some Grass Carp in a corner of the pond, in the in 18"-24" of water.  They had the mud stirred up, so they were nearly impossible to spot.  Occasionally there would be a big swirl, and on very rare occasions, a fin or back.  I was still forced to blind cast instead of casting to targets.  I very briefly foul-hooked 3 grass carp, but didn't have any strikes.  I eventually gave up and moved on.

I caught 4 nice Pumpkinseed Sunfish on a chartreuse microjig.  I caught 1 small bass on a blockhead popper, one one on a black mohair leech, one on a chartreuse microjig.  I lost one crappie, but landed the second one.  Bluegills were hitting a wide variety of flies, including suspended flies, floating flies, and swimming flies.
I flyfished during lunch today (Monday, April 17).  Caught bluegills and crappies.  The fish weren't particularly aggressive.
I did have a Garter Snake slither along the shoreline right in front of me:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mid-April 2017 Update

I fished one evening earlier this week.  I was DETERMINED to catch a bass on a blockhead popper!  The water was finally warming up, the wind was finally managable.  Well...the bass had other ideas.  My buddy Jay caught plenty of bass on another pattern.  I walked 3/4 of the way around the pond before I finally got a strike and  hooked up!  But....I did it, and you can't take that away from me!  ;o)
Also caught a Pumpkinseed Sunfish:

During lunches, I got out a few times.  I flyfished, and caught bass, bluegills, and crappies.  I rarely ever see snakes when fishing, but one day I saw 6 Garter Snakes!  I even bent down and touched one of them.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my phone/camera with me.  But a couple days later I did, and got a picture of one.

Today (Friday, April 14), I went to my typical "lunchtime pond".  Somebody was already fishing there.  I let them have the pond, and drove 5 minutes to a nearby alternate pond.  Its one I seldom fish, because fishing generally sucks there.  On the list of ponds in Ankeny, I'd probably rank this one 2nd from the bottom.  Its that bad.

But, it is what it is, and despite my opinion, every pond deserves a chance now and then.  I know there are carp in this pond....I don't recall ever being successful at hooking one here.  The water is muddy enough that I usually can't see the fish before they spot me.

So, I thought I saw movement in a large muddy area that it was obvious carp had been feeding in.  I cast a #8 black mohair leech, and swam it slowly through the area.  I made contact with a carp.  I don't know if it hit my fly, or if I hit the fish, but the result was that it took off after the hookset, without the hook getting stuck.  I moved further down the shore.

Several years ago I found a few crappies in certain spots, and cast  through those areas.  No crappies today, but I did catch one small Hybrid Sunfish.  A dozen casts later, my line tightened a bit, so I set the hook.  Nice fish!  It swam straight for the opposite side of the pond, taking almost all of the 123' of fly line....there were just a few wraps left on the reel over the backing.  I was in no danger of getting spooled, but this portion of the line rarely gets exposed.  I slowly worked the fish back to me, and lifted on the rod to get the fish near the surface.  I could see it was a carp, and a minute or so later I could even see the front 1/2 of the fly sticking out of its mouth.  Not foul-hooked!  Excellent!  :thumbsup:

It really didn't want to come into the shallows, so that attitude lengthened the battle by another several minutes.  I finally felt it was tired enough to try and horse it to shore so I could land it.  And I did.

Beautiful yellow-gold carp.  I measured it at 24".  Not huge, but substantial, and certainly VERY fun!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 9, 2017

Flyfished a local public pond on April 9th.  Jay joined me for a few hours.

Trying for bluegills/crappies, I caught quite a few bass.  When I changed flies and tried for bass, had just one missed strike.  Casting into the wind was a lotta work.

Had a really nice bass...estimated 18"-20" range. Got it near shore, it was still fighting.  I grabbed my line to pull it close enough to shore so I could land it.  It was tiring.  I got it a couple feet away and it shook free of the hook.  It was still sitting within reach, but as I reached out to grab it, it darted away.  DANG IT!  Thought I had that one beat!  ;o)

I did catch a 9.25" Pumpkinseed.  Comparing pictures, it appears to be the same fish as one I caught while icefishing in January.

Jay caught a nice Pumpkinseed as well.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Visited 2 ponds.  At the first pond, I spend an hour or so flyfishing for bass.  Missed two strikes from a bass, and missed a swipe or two from crappies.  Finally switched to trying for crappies, and caught one.  4 guys with coolers, stringers, and fish baskets arrived and appeared to be keeping everything they caught.

At the second pond, I fished for about an hour before my buddy Jay showed up.  I'd caught just one bluegill.  He said the barometric pressure was really low (?), which generally means poor fishing.  Nevertheless, he started catching bluegills pretty frequently on a little fly rod popper!  I didn't switch, and consequently my catching didn't improve.  Jay decided to leave, probably exhausted from catching so many fish trying to teach a dumb pupil (me) how to do it.  Then in the last hour, I caught a bass, a pumpkinseed, and 4 more bluegills (doing it MY way) before I decided to give it up.  Caught 3 times as many fish in the last hour as in the previous 5 hours!