Monday, April 21, 2014

The Bulls are Running!!!


 

The bulls I am really referring to is the big bull bluegills on Walker County Lake. I couldn’t have asked for a better morning to continue to work on my bluegill quest. This morning was unusual in that there was virtually no wind for at least three hours, which made for some fantastic on and off surface action.

 


First gill of the morning on the Black Super Nymph, which is lodged in his throat; I started with a popper but no takers.  The fish were extremely weary and I had to keep the boat some distance from the bank to keep from scaring the bigger fish. This lake is fished quite heavy this time of year and the bigger fish tend to know if danger is approaching. Lighter presentations with lighter flies work best for a while as I worked the banks.   
Another counter for the quest with the nymph inhaled. I lost numbers of fish today simply because I wasn’t keeping a tight line on the fish. These fish usually bed in water 4 to 6 feet deep, and once hooked they make a bee line for deep water, so stripping line as fast as one can will ensure landing the fish, otherwise you take a chance losing a good bull bluegill.  
This bass eyed the dark green black legged Betts popper a little to close. I landed numbers of bass as I work the steep banks. I had two combos with me today, my 3 and 4 weight, both 8 ½ ft. Equal numbers was taken on both combos.
 

As the Super Nymph faded, I went back to my popper, which was a black legged faded black body Betts.  Sorry I don’t have an image of this popper, which was lost on a break off in a brush pile. I ended the morning with the black legged chartreuse.
The best of the best for the morning; I will count 8 towards my quest which makes me 41 away.

 
 

 
 
  
 
 
 

 



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Landing Spots With The Electric Damsel Blue Boogle Bug in 58 Degree Water


I seldom get to fish with my son and today was one of those special days we got to hang out together on Smith, which is his favorite lake to fish when he is home. We were hoping to get in some trout fishing as well while he was here but the recent rains have caused the lake to fill above full pool which means non stop generation below the dam. We were 30 minutes late today, but manage to have a great trip for the 2 ½ hours we were on the water. The wind ended the trip around 9 AM.

First fish of the morning on the Super Nymph which David at Trout Zone tied up for me the other day; this pattern has been good for me over the past couple of years, landing spots and bluegill on Smith. It is also a productive fly for the trout on the tailrace.


Jason with his first spot of the morning using the Damsel Blue Boogle Bug; no fly movement at all produced this spot over a submerged tree.  This morning all the hits came with the popper setting still with no movement at all.


Another quality spot using the Damsel Blue Boogle; all the spots today were in the slot, and all were released to fight another day. We never got out of sight of the launch during the 2 ½ hours we fished.  Landing these fish with the fly rod is one awesome experience, especially when you are fishing with your son. We hope to make one more trip before he returns to Sacramento on Saturday.

Thought I would share a post by Rick at White Tail Woods about President Jimmy Carter.

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surface Action in 57 Degree Water With What Else "BOOGLE BUGS POPPERS"

My first trip to Smith Lake today to fish for the spots proved to be surprising for top action using the Boggle Bugs Popper. My buddy Charles and I were a little late getting on the water and missed most of the surface action, but we did manage to find out that the spots will take a popper in 57 degree water. The lake was 3 ½ ft. above full pool and super clear.
 
Fat 13” spot and one that really put up a fight on the 6 wt. That is what I love about this fish, it will give you all it’s got on any weight fly rod you may be using.
The first spot of the morning, which gave Charles a fight on his 5 weight; both fish were released because they fell into the slot limited the lake enforces.
Even the bull bluegills couldn’t resist the Boogle Bugs on top in this cold water this morning. This guys is worthy of the quest, because he gave my 6 weight a respectable bend. I am now 49 away from the quest. The full moon will be on the 27th. this month and that is when the bluegill action will really heat up on this lake, I am counting the days.
 
 
 
 
 

 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Using The Swing Cast Nymphing


I was brought back to reality Thursday morning on the tailrace after having what I consider the best trout fishing outing I have ever fished. I wanted to fish a couple of hours before the wife and I would welcome the grandchildren for their spring break. I started at access four where there was some slow water with no surface activity at all.
The water was in great shape crystal clear and low. I have had success in this area with a size 18 Zebra Midge so that was the pattern 3 ft. below the indicator. With limited time and no takers here I moved up to another area I have fished before.
This run is where I always get some attention with the Leech. Between the two boulders here there is a narrow seam that has some current as it flows over a log jam at the bottom of the run; this pocket is always a trout landed using the Leech. Sorry to say I missed all that came at the Leech this morning here.
With time running out for me I decided to move up to some faster water and swing the nymph.
The swing paid off as I was working the Leech slowly back to me. I’m getting low on this pattern after losing two today in rocks, really a fantastic pattern for nymphing.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Unbelievable Dry Action on A Small English Stream

Guys I just had to share these three short videos of some fantastic footage of small stream fishing on an English stream. There is not a word spoken in none of the videos, but the old saying “action speaks louder than words” certainly applies here.
I was thinking of Alan and Mark fishing those beautiful streams in the northeast while watching these.  The hatch in one of the videos reminds me of the hatch I fished some weeks back on our tailrace here, the action was similar. What really impress me about these videos are the excellent filming and the sound of the stream and surroundings. Hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

Notice the tremendous hatch occurring—I would guess he is a 2/3 reel with a 6 to 7 ft fly rod.
Beautiful wild brown trout nailing a dry
I can see now after watching these three short videos why Alan and Mark love small stream fishing so much. As you watch each video it will show you a link to subscribe to see more of his work. I have subscribed!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Starting My Bluegill Quest for 2014

Well after weeks of trying to find someone to manage Walker County Lake; the Game and Fish Department in Montgomery found their guy. He opened the lake Friday for the first day of fishing and there were a lot of fisherman including me glad to be there. This lake has some of the largest bluegills I have ever landed, and today I was hoping I would connect with a few.
This bench will be occupied in the coming weeks as the weather warms.
I was anxious to try out my new Pelican 10 ft. boat. I sold my 8 ft. Pelcian back in January to make room with this boat for my grandson and his Dad on future fishing trips. What impresses me about this model is how stable the boat is even when one is standing and casting.
My first bluegill of the season, not the big bull I am accustom to, but a good fight on the 4 weight.
This one almost qualified for the goal this year of 50 super size bull bluegills during the spawning season. Notice I said 50, my wife retired in December, and she informed me the other day that we were going to be traveling during the spring and summer months. I would say between the traveling and fishing my bluegill goal will be cut from my previous 100 goal in years past to my goal of 50 for this year. 
Nice female at one of the areas where these fish spawn every year. The water temp was too cold for any top action. The super nymph was my go to fly today it worked well in depths 6 to 8 ft.
This little bass nailed the nymph really close to the dock, just as I was getting ready to take out. The wind today made for some innovative casting and also gave me a severe sinus infection. It will take me the better part of the week to recover, but still the trip was worth it.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stolen Fly Rods and Fly Reels Recovered

The detective that was handling my thief case concerning my fly fishing equipment called me Thursday morning. He wanted me to come down to the police station Friday and identify some fly fishing rods and reels he had recovered from a house in a county north of the county I live in. Naturally I was at the station at 8 AM Friday, ready to take a look at the equipment. I was thrilled and kind of disappointed at the same time because what I found was two of my Redington fly rods and two fly reels those being my Redington 2/3 wt. and one of my prized Gloomis fly reels 3/4 wt. What I was hoping I would find was my Greys Streamflex 3 wt. with the Gloomis 3/4 fly reel, but I was still happy they recovered the two I took back home with me.

There was an article in our local paper a couple of weeks ago concerning an elderly couple who lived in downtown Jasper that had their house burglarized. This happened when they were at a friend’s house one weekday morning two weeks ago. The thieves stole over 15,000.00 dollars of antique glassware. The police in Jasper working with the Winston county police department discovered that this burglary and others that were occurring in the area was a huge theft ring operating in three counties in around the walker county where we live.

There was a search warrant issued to search a house in a neighboring county, who they believed belong to one of the thieves. Upon entering the house they found most of the glassware, and numerous other items that had be stolen the past couple of months. The individual who lived in the house was not there. My fly fishing equipment was found in that house with all the other stolen items. The police are still investigating the case and hopefully some more of my equipment will be recovered soon.
The handle on my 7 ½ ft. fly rod looks like a mouse had nibbled on the cork. The fly rod was found in a closet in this run down house out in a wooded area some miles away from town.
I was especially pleased to get my 8 ½ 3 wt with my Gloomis 3/4 reel. These reels are hard to find and when one goes up for auction on Ebay it is gone in a matter of days. I am very lucky to have recovered any of my fishing equipment and I hope my Greys is the fly rod they find.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Best Day Ever Dry Fly Fishing

When I left the house today at 12:30 I knew I was going to be nymph fishing at access five on the tailrace. I also thought I knew the generation schedule; but when I arrived at the parking lot I saw that the water was high. I don’t like to fish high water on the tailrace, but I was here so I thought I would make the best of the trip.
This area today was too deep to wade; it is usually a 10 ft. wide shallow wade through with plenty of room for back casting. Notice the guy in the shorts, that tells you it was quite warm for March here today at 71. This guy had a buddy up the channel fishing the spin cast. He and his buddy will play a role in today’s post as I fish through some of my favorite spots up the channel.
I was really surprised to find water I could wade at access six, and even more surprised to find a small hatch just above the water surface. If you look closer you can see some surface ripples in the deeper section of this stretch. As I waded to the huge rock boulder I kept looking to the right and left and discovered I was all by my lonesome. The surface activity cause me to change from my Prince Nymph to a 16 Adams.
My second cast at 2:30 produced this rainbow, my first trout after an hour of filtering through higher water. Notice the shoes in the picture, this is the guy at the first access point I met when I arrived. He and his buddy had followed me to this area. They both told me that they were from Birmingham and was new to the tailrace and hadn’t caught anything. They said they were trying to land enough trout for a dinner meal. 
As the hatch pick up motion the bite did too, so I tied on a smaller pattern in the form of a Renegade size 18 dry. I landed a couple more trout in this same area that missed the camera shot before this image shot. My two new found buddies fishing above me kept watching as I landed numerous trout using the dry, and one suddenly ask if they could have some of my catch to carry with them. They still had not landed a trout so I agreed to let them have what I thought would be seven or eight trout for the afternoon. So for the next couple of hours they would come over and remove my trout for me and put them on their stringer. It was not that these guys were not trying to catch fish on their own, using spinners, but for some reason they couldn’t muster a bite; so I became their ticket to supper, which I didn’t mind.
I worked this trout on shore so my buddies could handle it better. I am amazed at the surface activity at this point.
Another trout made easy for the guys. I am not taking pics of all the trout I am landing as I move slowly up and down a 100 ft. stretch. The guys are now wading out to met me in their shorts to get my trout and careful remove them from my net; with every trout given they thank me repeatedly.
Now I am seeing more of a hatch and the trout are feeding at fast pace in the front and to both sides of me.  I can’t remember seeing this much surface activity ever on the tailrace. I know I am now well over ten, because that is the number I have given my buddies who are getting ready to leave. The limit per person on the tailrace is five, so with their limit they thank me again and left.
I have now moved closer to the dam where there is more shade, which is where I pick this guy up. I noticed that if I used a delicate surface presentation with my fly I tend to get the take much faster. At this point I am landing trout about every three or four cast. The hatch is still going strong.
The Renegade is located in the top of part of the trout’s mouth; I notice that all the trout with the fly taken in the top part of the mouth were the ones that really exploded on the surface to take the dry.
I am now down to my last two Renegades, with this trout landed. I have lost 3 two in trees and one on a break off in water too deep to retrieve from a limb. My catch lost ratio is still on the plus side, but is fading with numbers of fish missing the fly.
The hatch at this point is winding down and this was one of my last to inhale the Renegade. I am standing near the dam at 5:30 PM and it is really overcast. With the forecast for tomorrow being 10 to 20 mile hr. winds and turning cold with temps in the 30's Wednesday night---could this be why I am having this kind of success???
This fatty was my last trout of the day. It ended what I like to think was my most explosive take of the afternoon. At this point the hatch was over for a lot of trout with full bellies.
Water level was getting close to normal as I made way up to the stairs. In 15 minutes the generators would be pumping full blast.
The long walk up these stairs and back to the truck was worth it for me today, because I like to think on an afternoon such as this, the fishing Gods had to be with me.