Friday, July 31, 2015

Popper Bass

This weekend I was in upstate New York for a family reunion at a cabin on a small lake. I was able to borrow a kayak and get on the waterfall a few hours on Saturday night and Sunday morning, and fortunately both outings yielded nice fish. I only landed one on each trip, but they were well worth the effort.

Bass are willing to hit the surface by this time of year, and overcast skies meant I had an even better shot at convincing a bass to take a popper. I had seen a lot of frogs around the lake, so I decided to try a green popper. I paddled the edge of the lake, casting to gaps in the lily pads. For the first hour I had no strikes, and I began to worry that the bass wouldn't take my fly. I made one last cast to the edge of some lily pads and began to turn the kayak around to head back to the dock. Just as I turned I heard a huge splash. It sounded like someone threw a brick into the water. I looked back at the spot where my popper had been. It was gone.

As I pulled up on the rod I felt a significant weight. This bass fought long and hard, but ultimately I was able to get it into the boat.

The next morning was overcast once again, so I decided poppers would likely work again. They did. This time I had many more strikes, but all but one ended in a long-distance release. The one that did stay on was even bigger than the fish from the night before, and even towed the kayak around briefly.

All in all it was an unexpectedly great couple days of fishing.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Back to the Remote Pond

A few weeks ago I revisited the remote pond from my previous post, this time with a friend. Geoff had never caught a trout before this outing, and based on my previous success I figured this pond was the perfect place for him to catch his first.

I worried I wouldn't be able to replicate my last trip there, but luckily the fish were cooperating. A recent rainfall meant that the many small streams and seeps feeding the pond were flowing strong, carrying frigid water down from a neighboring 4000' peak.

Geoff's First Trout

Simultaneous Hookups!
We moved along the shoreline, taking a few fish from each spot before moving on. Geoff caught most of his fish on a small Muddler Minnow stripped just below the surface, while I caught most of mine on a Royal Wulff fished in the same manner. Though Pond-Dwelling brook trout will take a dry left motionless on the surface, a retrieve of short strips seems to entice more strikes. I think the movement helps attract the attention of the fish near the bottom that otherwise may not have noticed the fly.
I saw this trout streak towards Geoff's muddler from the bottom of the pond. By the time I reacted it was in mid-air, fly in mouth.

This trout had only one eye... but that didn't stop it from taking Geoff's fly
By 3:00, having worked more than half of the shoreline and content with our many trout to hand, we called it a day and hiked back to the car. I haven't had many opportunities to fish in the last few weeks, but these two trips have more than made up for my dry spell.

Sheep Laurel and Wild Strawberries