Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Average Joe's Fishin Poles - Did some thinking too.

Back in 2011, I was catching fish in March.  Not a little but a lot of crappie and bluegills were caught.  The past two years, we've had a late winter followed by cold snaps and even flooding.  Not only the crappie fishing at this pond but also at several local lakes has been thrown off with the temperature not staying either warm nor cold for more than about 3 days at a time.

I caught these fish in several different outings which began in early March because we were having stable weather and things were warming up properly.  Now, it seems that we are moving from almost no spring and right into summer - temps being about 85 or higher the past few days and through next week.

The fish in these photos were caught in a manner that I call "hammering the water".  It's going out and casting over and over and stripping and stripping to  make things happen.  I actually dragged a brick on twine to slow my drift so that I could cast along the bank where the crappie where hanging out.  It was very windy on the morning I caught the most and biggest ones.  I was frustrated the kayak was being blown around and that the water was coming into my kayak and I was cold and wet - but I kept going.  My dad wants to go fishing with me and I always say that it's not going to be easy and we've got to hit the water hard and keep hammering away until something happens.  I was driven - really driven.  And now, I'm spoiled on several good years followed by an amazing year.

So, it comes down to learning this - I've got to spend more time on things that are more fruitful like the family.  I also spent time with the local club teaching kids how to cast a fly rod.  One boy really wanted to talk to his dad about buying him a fly rod.  That made my day.  I have caught tons of fish by hitting lakes and ponds and streams and creeks.  I've got tons of pictures too but at a point where you're not satisfied with your hobby, perhaps it's time to do something more fulfilling.  The high points of yesterday's outing was not just that I actually had an amazing fish on but that I spoke with some of the floaters and got to listen to two older women argue about where to hang a hammock.  It was an absolutely beautiful day and I ruined it by expecting a fish to place itself on my fly.  Spoiled.  Sure, I'm not landing trophies but at my age, I've got some maturing to do.

My Panfish on the Fly rod should arrive today!!  Phillip at Average Joe's Fishin Poles https://www.facebook.com/AverageJoesFishinPoles has me this wonderful rod that I just can't wait to cast.  I've got to find a proper reel with character to match with this glass rod.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Playing the numbers game.

I should've called this blog the doubtful fisherman.  Seeing as how I just got back from the river, I'm standing in my damp shorts and wolfing down a pickle.  I do enjoy fly fishing very much.  I never did well with terminal tackle and I don't have patience for fishing with live bait.  After moving to this area, I spent a little time fishing on the Beaver Lake tailwaters.  It was OK catching small to medium trout but I ran into some smallmouth bass closer to home and fell in love with them.  That, and those giant panfish that keep jumping on the line.

I never was good at catching a lot of smallmouth bass.  I never really caught many large ones - I don't think I've ever caught more than 10 largemouth or smallmouth bass exceeding 2 or 3 lbs on a lake or stream.  I love panfish because they keep me occupied and I can even wow my own friends with fat ones - as they still say I catch small bass.

That being tossed out there for your digestion . . .  I am contemplating reality.  One in which I can't really fish a large smallmouth stream - one in which a number of other people have success.  I broke my new TFO fly rod when the heavily weighted fly came back on a wicked, tight cast under some timber and branches.  The rod just bent over.  I brushed it off.  My fault.  Not big deal, I can maybe get a replacement for that rod section.  I went home, grabbed another new rod and brushed myself off.  I headed to the main stream this time.

I don't like this river but there are lots of good sized smallmouth bass.  I don't like wading it due to gravel and large limestone?? covered in slick stuff.  Lots of floaters too.  More than a few already floated past.  I rarely catch fish on this part of the watershed but other catch "toads".  The only bass came hours later on a purple Crazy Dad.  She centered up on it as I drifted it towards her and she took it - but I couldn't tell.  It had stopped drifting and I jiggled it a few times.  She then moved to the nest.  I pulled up and she raised up.  Then she shook and the fly flew out of the water - only about 2 feet deep here.  I had no slack on the line.  She was huge and beautiful.

I fish some pretty primo smallmouth waters.  I play the numbers game. I go out weekly or more in the hopes of catching at least one.  And I always did - until my secret spot filled in with gravel and another became private property.  I tossed Double Deceivers, crawdads, Clousers, Shuckers, etc.  but they are on their beds and I'm wondering if the action folks have seen it pre-spawn.  Sometimes, I can catch 20 smallmouth with most being small.  And that's OK.  But I wonder if I only catch smallmouth bass because of luck and timing.  Sometimes, I work pretty dang hard to pull a bass out of a hole - even if I don't see one but have inkling.

Let me ask you guys these questions.  What defines us as fly fishers?  How can a fisherman tell when "enough is enough"?

I always get outfished - especially trout and especially if I go out with more than one person.  I look like a goof talking up my game and showing photos - only to crash and burn such as at a bass tournament I joined last summer.  I caught several bass the night before and none the day it mattered.  I see instagram photos of people catching bass after bass and nice ones too.  And yet, it seems that I relegated to be the "small-stream"/skinny water guy.

I crave large smallmouth bass but can't seem to put myself on them.  Folks don't really want to meet up either.  I do as they do - cast as they cast and am stuck wondering . . . how the heck can I take my own kids fishing when I can't represent as a father should?  I remember going out with my father for smallmouth and white bass and trout.  Only 2 of those trips ever yielded fish for me.  I take my kids out and they get bored after not catching anything - even then, it's all small stuff.  The kids want to camp and fish and I am afraid to even show them how to fly fish.  I can talk game to them too but can still barely produce with them around.

Anyways, wah wah wah.  Everything in life has come the hard way. . . . why this, lol.  Probably why Bill doesn't leave comments anymore, he he.