Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Landing Quest Size Bluegills on Smith Lake

Saturday brought a windy morning on Smith; again the bass wasn’t having anything to do with poppers on top. In fact no bass were taken at all for the morning. Some bluegills were still in the nooks, but the cold fronts lately had driven most of them off the spawning beds or someone had already got to them. 
If I had one warm water lake to fish the rest of my fishing days Smith Lake would be it. It’s magnificent rock walls, monster boulders, above surface and underwater is unforgettable. Oh I forgot to mention the super clear water, which enables one to see at 10 feet depths or better. 
Two monster gills were hanging out around this brush. I was using my 4 weight 9 ft. today for added strength. I fished until 10 AM close to the launch. Lot of boats were all around me most of the morning. Once the sea doos showed up along with the big ski boats I decided it was time to leave.
I know I’ve shown you guys homes on this lake before, but this one has to be one of the most unusual. I really don’t know what theme if any they were trying to imitate when they build this house. Individuals from all over the U.S come to build houses on this lake to use for summer homes.
The wind and a little cool front cut the bite today, make; I counted 8 in the cooler as I was getting ready to leave with these three being worthy of the quest.
35 away from reaching my goal
 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Blogging Buddies-----Hard to Beat!!!


It’s always good to receive free stuff especially if it's from a blogging buddy. I received this pack of goodies from Howard at Windknots and Tangled Lines the other day. I’ve known Howard ever since I started blogging 6 years ago, via his blog. It’s always good to know one of your fishing buddies thinks enough of you to give you something; know that the shirt, cap, flies and all the other items will be put to good use,a big thank you Howard!!

I started blogging in 2/11 2010; back then there were more bloggers on the net as oppose to now. Some have moved on to Facebook, or simply quit blogging. I deleted a number of blogs from my roll the other day simply because they have stop posting. Some have been in my blog roll for 1 year or more. I still add blogs to my roll that are interesting, but not nearly as many as I use to, they are becoming less and less.
Blogging for me has become somewhat of a hobby; it gives me a chance to connect with individuals who love fly fishing as much as me. As I sit the other day working on a future post I was thinking of how many individuals I know in Jasper who fly fish, two! Both fly fish the lake with me but only one fishes the tailrace. Most of the time I go by myself, which is ok on the tailrace, because I’m never alone there; I never fish the lake anymore by myself. So I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m thankful I have all you guys I blog with about fly fishing daily. When I starting blogging I was trying to learn everything I could about fly fishing for trout; I’ve learned a lot these past six years from you guys. I’m still learning about the sport; so thanks Howard and the rest of you guys for making the process a lot easier.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Quality Rainbow Landed On the Sipsey

I know all of us who fly fish have had days when you ask yourself, could it get any better than today? Well a couple of Wednesdays back I kept asking myself that very question. Me and one other fisherman were in the gouge that day fishing in 50 degree water with a gusting wind from the north at 10 to 15 mph. Lucky for me the wind was blowing with the current making a drift much easier. I had 2 ½ hours to complete my mission today and I wanted to make the most of the trip. So I made a bee line for one of my favorite holes that always seem to whole good rainbow. Little did I know that today those good rainbows would be some of the best trout that I’ve ever landed on the Sipsey. Numerous trout were taken today using the beadhead nymph.
Some weeks ago I landed a number of trout with damaged gill plates; this trout today had a red nick on its outer gill plate.

The videos below sums up the action for the afternoon; trout taken about every 10 to 15 minutes. I started the trip without my Contour Video camera, but the action was so good, I decided to walk by to the truck and get it. I lost a good 20 minutes of fishing time, but I made up for it after I got back to the gorge and started landing rainbow again.
 
Sorry the sound didn’t record for this video, don’t know why---I added some music that I thought might compliment the action of this trout.
 
This video is a little long because it took me quite a while to land this rainbow. I was using a 6X tippet in the super clear water. This fish is one of the best I’ve ever landed on the Sipsey. One will land more trout here if they use a lighter tippet. Hope you guys enjoy!


Monday, May 9, 2016

One Fish Can Make a Trip

My first trip to Smith Lake this morning had a slow start; no bite for an hour. The Boggle Poppers were not working at daylight near the banks; so Ivan and I decided to move into the nooks. I had to use my trolling motor to get us in position to fish the nooks, because the starter on my Mercury motor went out right after we launched the boat, bummer. Once we made it to the first nook the action started with some nice bluegills landed and the prize of the morning for me. I managed to get some footage of Ivan’s fish of the morning so we both left the lake happy fishermen.
The only bluegills towards the quest, not even a smaller bluegill touched the tiny poppers throughout the morning. When larger poppers are not producing, go to tiny poppers; you will get a reaction!
You guys have read some of my post concerning the Redeyed Bass; well this bass is the best example I’ve ever caught.
The wild honeysuckles were in full bloom in most nooks we fished, sweet smell.

This spot was supposed to be caught using my 6 weight fast action, but no bass would touch the big poppers throughout the morning. So Ivan and I decided to go after the bluegills with our 3 weights using our tiny poppers; little did we know that the bass were turned on to size 12 poppers as well. This is the largest spot I’ve ever landed using my 3 weight fly. I had quite a fight on my hands trying to keep this fish from breaking my 5X tippet. This fish is why I love fly fishing so much, because its you against a fish that is superior to your gear, in this case my 3 weight. Sometimes the fish wins and rightly so and sometime the fisherman wins, today I won. Ivan didn't notice the sun rays crossing my face when he snap the image. 
 
Ivan landed this nice spot somewhat quicker than me using his 4 weight. I thought I would get some of the action on video for you guys. Ivan did a great job handling this spot, especially after it made numerous runs to break off. We were both pleased with the trip even if I did have to spend 225.00 bucks on a new starter for my motor.
P.S. I am now 38 bluegills away from the quest!!
 
 

 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Shirts, Pants, Hats, Shoes the Works to go Sun Free

As I get older I have become more aware of the damage the sun can have on your skin. When I was younger I would fish all day wearing a short sleeve shirt, shorts, flip flops, and a cap. The sun would blister me the first couple of outings but after that my skin was so brown I hardly ever got sunburn the rest of the season. I was lucky I didn’t contract Melanoma in those early years. Now days I battle the suns rays by wearing a long sleeve shirt, long pants, vented hat, vented shoes, and finger exposed sun gloves. All these products are listed below, with links to the website.
 

 





 
 
 

 


I wear all these products when I am on the water. I am a sticker for a good hat, and this hat has to be my favorite of all I wear.


Friday, April 29, 2016

The Orange Nymph?

I wanted to fish the Sipsey yesterday before the rains that afternoon. Generation was scheduled at 3PM so that gave me about 3 hours to wet a fly. Never think especially on the Sipsey that you’re going to land trout on the same pattern day in and day out there; yesterday proved that statement correct. I went through numerous nymph patterns with no success. After exhausting my options I tied on an orange nymph Alan of Small Stream Reflections had mailed me sometime back. I kept trying to figure out what this pattern duplicated in the insect world while I was casting it. After I got home I googled orange nymphs and found the Milkweed Assassin Bug. Strange I didn’t see any such bug while I was fishing but this little orange nymph proved a winner today.
The Milkweed Bug and the Red Ant
  The third cast in a slow run produced this healthy rainbow using Alan’s orange bug.
There must be a clan of these damaged gill plate trout in the Sipsey, or I am landing the same trout every time I fish this place.
Super clear fast water pouring into small pockets held the trout below; the orange bug continued to work its magic.
Never overlook any fly in the box; high sticking the little orange bug worked in the small pockets. Who knows what pattern will be hot on my next outing here.  
 
  
 

 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Putting a Dent in my Bluegill Quest

I started by bluegill quest this past Tuesday with early morning temps in the mid forties, quite chilly. Overcast skies kept the temperature cool most of the morning, but it didn’t affect the bluegill bite. I had the lake to myself for a couple of hours, which is always a plus when fishing Walker County Lake. As I have told you guys numerous times this is one of the most pressured small lakes in the state. My plan was to fish the east side of the lake where there is no access for bank fisherman. I know where most of the spawning beds are located year in and out on this lake; today held no surprises for me. What did surprise me was most all the spawning beds were void of fish. At my first stop I counted close to 40 beds, after I landed 3 nice bluegills.
The sweet spot on this bank was located near the fallen log lying in the water. The bluegills had clean out close to 40 spawning beds to the right and left of the log.
The first gill of the morning, which nailed an Orvis size 12 legless tiny popper; the 3 weight got a workout.
This fish loved this little popper, the very next cast produce another strong fish which hung my little popper and the fish in a tangle mess of underwater brush; so much for that popper. Wouldn’t you know it that was the only one in the fly box, another trip to Orvis?
Another group of gills were located at the end of this moss pad in deeper water; again lots of spawning beds but only a few bluegills left to fish for. The live bait guys did a great job plucking each and every bluegill out of their beds.
The Bar Nunn popper got the attention of this bull after my little Orvis popper bite the dust. I was able to land a number of bluegill from the moss pad area that someone actually left for me. As I moved from spawning beds to spawning beds I felt like I was cleaning up what was left of this spawn.
This guy was having a time landing catfish using chicken livers as bait. In fact he was hauling one in when I snapped this picture. He had 7 or 8 rigs all hanging over the edge of the boat.
I left all my water at the house so I had to make a trip to the bait shop and purchase a couple of bottles. As I was leaving the shop I noticed this lady painting a beautiful scene of the point area in the distance. She told me she had finished a number of paintings of the lake this past year.
The Pelican now has a padded seat as opposed to that hard plastic seat I use for a couple of years. This is the 10 ft. version and will handle two fly fishermen really well-------as long as my line is down on the water and their line is up in the air or vice versa---I think you guys know what I am talking about!!
These are the best of the best for a very successful morning; these 10 will put a dent in my quest. I added 8 more that kept me filleting bluegill for a couple of hours after I got home. I will go after the big bulls on Smith Lake next week. I am now 40 away from my 50 quest; could this be my year to make it???


 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Natchez Trace,Little Jewel,Branch Streams

I spent last weekend in Mississippi visiting my brother and his wife. Thank goodness this trip occurred before my fall at the gym on the following Monday.
My brother wanted to spend Saturday revising some of our boyhood places we fished in Choctaw County which is where we were born. We find as we get older we like going back in time and reliving those moments in our lives. Our main objective this trip was to connect with some of the streams we fished years ago and hopefully find new ones that could be fished with the fly rod. Sorry to say we didn’t find any small stream that a fly rod would work well on; so on to our backup plan which enabled us to use our low grade Tenkara rods. When I say low grade that doesn’t mean this rod is cheap in the form of performance but cheap in the wallet. We paid ten bucks each for our Little Jewel telescopic 10 ft. bream poles on clearance last year. These little light rods were the perfect match for the small streams we found throughout the afternoon.  
Fast water drops off into a nice pool here, which had numerous shiners that inhaled our wax worms. The Little Jewel was rigged with 4lb test line tagged with a trout indicator float and a bb shot above a tiny bream hook. We were hoping to land some colorful sun fish, but none were present in this pool.
The wax worm doubles as a wasp grub; making these shiners take notice. One big drawback to using wax worms is temperature, they need to be kept in the refrigerator when not being used; they die when exposed to warm temps for 4 to 5 hours.
Some of the roadways are lined with creek channels which overflow across the gavel roads during the rainy season.
Nice hole in the bend of Hamrick Branch, which is located right off the Natchez Trace Parkway; fun using the Little Jewel in this pool. Even small shiners can put a bend in this pole.
Another scenic stream off the Natchez Trace Parkway, which probably could have been fished with the fly rod, but at the end of the day I just choose to stay with my new found Tenkara.
This stream is located just off the parkway with easy access to its sandbars along its banks. Today’s road trip was not about landing a bunch of fish; it was more about time well spent exploring and finding future fishing streams along the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway. As we were headed back home we both agreed that today’s outing would have been an excellent field trip for young kids to get in touch with nature.   
Thanks to all you guys for giving me encouragement after my fall last week, the ankle is getting better.