Friday, April 27, 2018

Late April 2018

Hooray!  The weather finally warmed up.  Quickly!  We pretty much went from low 40's to upper 60's F in the span of a week, and have held on to that trend for more than a week now.  Water temps finally climbed to around 50...a 10 degree jump in a week!  The fish liked that.

I've caught some more carp on flies:
A pair of 26.5-inchers

And this one...I think was 25.5":

Bass have been getting more aggressive and have been hitting on GameChanger-style flies,

After losing a couple of these flies to bass that broke my line, I bumped up to 1x tippet (13 lb test!)...and tied up these:

This was the biggest bass recently, at just over 18":

I also caught several bass on a fly called a Clawdad, (I've tied some, but the ones I was using I purchased from:)
It worked.  Well!!

And some other recent catches:

I know this one is a little bass...but the fly I tied was pretty cool.  I lost the fly when a bigger bass broke my line.

Friday, April 20, 2018

First part of April

The first part of April 2018 was unusually and unseasonably cold.  We had snows, some ponds even partially iced over as late as April 17th!  The pond ice had initially melted off the ponds back just prior to March 3rd!  Lots of days with highs in the 30's and low 40's.  Water temps have been hovering around the upper 30's to low 40's F...compared to last year's water temps of 58 degrees by this time.  So....we've had about 6 weeks of NOT SPRING-LIKE WEATHER!

Now, as of April 19, the extended forecast is filled entirely with hi temps in the upper 50's to mid 60's F.  FINALLY...SPRING!!!!!

But, if there's open water and temperatures above freezing, I am likely to go flyfishing.  As the previous blog entry showed, some decent fish have been caught.  The rest of the fishing highlights from this prolonged cold spell are shown below:

Crappies have usually been hitting well.
13" Crappie...this is the biggest of the year so far.

Some nice bluegills have been caught, although I usually catch so many bluegills I almost never take pictures of them anymore.
This one might be the biggest so far, at 9.25"...I know that might not sound big, but around my area from public waters...anything over 8" is a nice bluegill.

Since my last blog entry, I've only caught one Pumpkinseed Sunfish:
And one Hybrid Sunfish:

I've caught some bass.  No recent ones over 18", but a close one at 17.75":
I don't recall if I measured this one:
These two measured 16" and 16.5", and were caught when it was 37 degrees, drizzling, with an 18mph wind:

The 33" Common Carp in the previous blog entry was my first carp of the year.  Since then, I've landed 3 more....all 3 from a pond where I've NEVER caught carp before, even though I've known they were in there, and I've tried for them.  So far this year, all 4 carp were caught while flyfishing for crappies and bluegills...I wasn't actually targeting the carp, and in fact I didn't even see them before they hit.  So....that's kinda like getting hit by lightning 4 times within a month!  Crazy!
After the 33-incher (from the previous blog entry), the next one (from a different pond) measured 31":
And the next one measured just 25.5" but had an 18.5" I used the "length x girth x girth / 800" formula to come up with a weight of 10.9 lbs on this one below:
And the next one was really cool too...certainly not because it was big...but because it was a MIRROR CARP!  I think this is my first Mirror Carp on a fly:
(this picture is just two pictures combined of the same fish, of course)
Mirror Carp on a fly, this cute little guy measured just @17". has been mostly decent, despite this long, cold early season.  Its about to heat up...probably rather quickly.  I look forward to seeing how that affects the fishing.

Iowa DNR Master Angler Gold Award

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR or DNR) started a new "Master Angler" program in 2011.  There is a list of 40+ fish species and a minimum length requirement.  If you catch a fish that meets or exceeds that minimum length, you can submit it for a Master Angler award.  You get a certificate and a decal.

Once you catch Master Angler-sized fish of 5 different species, you earn a "Silver Award"...they send you a silver-ish medallion along with that Master Angler certificate (which also says Master Angler Silver on it).

Once you catch Master Angler-sized fish of 10 different species, you earn a "Gold Award"...they send you a gold-ish (or brass-ish or bronze-ish) medallion with that Master Angler certificate (which also says Master Angler Gold on it).

I had 9 different species by the end of last year, so naturally one of my goals this year was to catch a 10th species of a Master Angler qualifying size, in order to earn the Gold Award.  As I showed in my previous blog entry, I caught that fish, and it was a 33" Common Carp!

So, now I've received my "Gold Award".  Here it is, along with the Silver Award I'd previously earned.
Twenty anglers preceded me in earning the Gold Award....I am No. 21.  I checked some of the other anglers, because I know at least one or two do some flyfishing.  From what I could tell, I am the first person to catch 10 Species of Master Angler size entirely by flyfishing.
Boom.  That just happened.  :)

All were caught out of public waters, and 7 of the 10 were caught within city limits of the town I live in!  How awesome is that??