Thursday, May 25, 2006

The annual SE MN flyfishing Tour was a great success. I’ll let a few pictures speak for themselves, but I’ll outline a few basics here:

Day 1: lesser-known trout water fished all day, produced ~10 beautiful browns for both of us… almost every fish caught was in the 12-15 inch range. Perfect weather, perfect water… great day all around.

Day 2: popular trout water produced one large brown and a handful of brookies… a nearby larger river produced a couple smallmouth for each of us and a couple redhorse for John. Afternoon was spent exploring some unknown water where John caught a couple more redhorse and hooked a couple carp that he fished to for quite a while.

Day 3: Whitewater system and Trout Run (mention them generally – no big secrets)… fished pretty well – we found fish in many places but we didn’t run into huge numbers anywhere, nor did we find any really defined hatches.

Day 4: Fished a large warmwater stream all day… we had a plan, but we axed it once we started fishing – we couldn’t leave the first hole we fished…. Started around 830 AM and ended around 400 PM – not a drop of water, ounce of food or bathroom break included in that span… in fact our feet never left the water except to creep along certain ledges to get in position to cast. On this day we caught 125-150 fish between us, including (in order of abundance caught (approx)): bullhead, carp, sheephead, quillback, sunfish, crappie, buffalo, catfish, smallies, wallies, pike and one fish that I think was a warmouth but I’ll have to ID later. All these fish were caught nymphing… It will go down as one of the greatest fishing days of all time. Between the two of us we landed approx 30-35 carp I’d guess – I landed ~12 and the lord of the carp probably hit around 20-25.

We were counting up the specie list for the entire trip, and I think we are close to 20:
Brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, creek chub, common shiner, redhorse sucker, white sucker, quillback sucker, unknown sucker, smallmouth bass, walleye, carp, smallmouth buffalo, bigmouth buffalo, catfish (channel cat I think, but not sure), sunfish (specie?), white crappie, warmouth (I think), northern pike, sheephead, bullhead…. That’s off the top of my head right now… just counted 21 species – all taken with flies!

There were a couple instances in which we could see dark carp torpedoes shoot after our flies no sooner than they’d hit the water. In most instances though the takes were very subtle and you need just the right drift… which John perfected and I was able to hit every so often.

We probably caught around 200 fish total between the two of us.

Other very cool notes:
John’s digital camera is waterproof – we experimented with underwater pics and video – some of it turned out really well. The best stuff can’t be displayed here though, due to many bytes required.

We had two carp doubles – both hooking and playing carp in simultaneous fashion…

John actually played TWO CARP AT ONCE, which I would believe is unheard of to this point. I was a witness, and I saw both carp on his line – one took each nymph. When he went to land them though he grabbed the bigger one and the smaller carp popped off.

I landed two fish at once too – but they were a carp and a sunfish.

A carp hooked me for a change… I went to land one and he slipped through my hand and pulled the trailing nymph into my finger. He then proceeded to fight further, and every turn he made pulled the hook into my person… interesting situation it was: trying to hold the rod but reach my offhand out as far as I could to ease tension…. This went on for some time. I figure I deserved it. Every time I pulled a hook out of a carp’s mouth I could comprehend the sensitivity of the mouth on those fish – it was almost like they were wimpering. They don’t have the hard/bony/toothy mouths of other warmwater fish – their soft mouths seem to be very delicate searching organs.

I’m sure I’ll write a little more about this later… I don’t have all the pics yet. We have a combined 686 MB of photos and video.

What a great trip!


Blogger John Montana said...

good summary of a fantastic 4 days j. i'll put up some pictures in a few days when i get home.

still can't believe i caughta catfish on a hare's ear nymph!

1:54 PM  
Blogger hcmom said...

didn't realize you had already gone and come back. Obviously a great time! Of course I don't think the fish are quite as cute as your other favorite subject!!

John-i will be up your way June 23-leaving on the 27th

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