Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Did some lake fishing in Crow Wing County this past weekend – here are a few notes:

(1) The fly rod kept up pretty well with the spinning guys (they outnumbered me 3 to 1). On our first outing, I matched their combined total of five LM bass. The water temps were high, so I was using my super fast sinking line – not fun to fish, but definitely the way to go in those conditions. It took a few minutes to get rolling, but once I did the fish started coming pretty regularly. Biggest caught on the fly was 14 inches… that was topped by a spinning caught 15.5 inch fish (credit to Dean R). We went out again later that night and it was slower – I only caught two LM bass… the spinning guys totaled 3-4 fish I think – small snakes and bass. The next day the spinning gear produced better (but probably not more) fish – Brian S caught a couple of nice pike in the 3-5 lb range… I was only able to manage bass, despite persistent pike hunting efforts with streamers. To top it off I caught a couple of slab sunnies on the micro rod – bow and arrow casts under a pontoon boat – very cool. I had a chance at a bass on the micro – he shot out from under the pontoon and quickly hit the panfish fly then immediately spit it out – I was too slow (totally taken by surprise) and I missed him!!! Oh man would that have been good.

(2) Spin fishing is so damn easy. I’m not trying to act superior or snobby either… It’s just ridiculous though – the second we got out on the water the first night, Dean R picked up a spinning rod with a leadhead grub on it – threw it out and started cranking it back. Then, without any active imparting of movement on the lure or thought of where it was in the water column, he drew a strike… no hook set at all, and he says “I’ve got one already.” He proceeded to crank just as he had before the fish was on. No line left the reel, and the fish was horsed in. Effective – YES; fun – not sure; a result of fishing skill – not sure, but it didn’t seem like it. Spin fishing is deadly effective, and will usually produce more fish than fly fishing. However, it is no where near as fun or involved… and it focuses one’s mind on results instead of process and method. No offense Deano - just discussing fishing methods.

(3) Popper fishing is so damn fun. The first night was all subsurface, but after that I started using some divers and poppers… Even though LM bass are weak and can’t compare to carp or trout, their surface takes make up for their lack of fight. Little poppers for panfish is one thing, but fishing these big glub-glub monstrosities is something else… at any second a huge fish could just crush it – that is the ultimate in anticipation. Seeing the hit is outstanding. A couple times I was able to watch a hit just under the water as a diver was pausing – very cool – saw the bass come in from the side and nail it… bright colors of the fly jolt for a second, then disappear.


Blogger John Montana said...

great report j. i have no understanding of how LMB can be so popular, when in reality they don't fight, and with the exception of poppers/surface lures they basically inhale the lure/fly with little fanfare. and let me repeat this...they don't fight. at all. truly over rated fish.

now smallmouth are a different story.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

And speaking of smallies... I just zap-a-gapped foam heads on six popper hooks last night. I have about 24 flies to tie for BWCA... quite a smallmouth suite it will be. Some of the poppers are the "blockhead" variety that Tim Holschlag raves about. Every year the fly rod performs better and better up there... I think this year could be pretty great.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I also forgot to mention - that first night I was like Joe Haugo: Hoover... everything that touched my streamer was caught. Second night I missed two fish.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...


Go ahead and link - thanks.

As for pike fishing with flies - YES, it is very good. They really "jump on" the line when the strike. However, it is sometimes difficult to go away from LMB or SMB fishing and put on a steel leader.

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