Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another Great Day of Bluegill Fishing With the Hoppers

Today was another great day on Walker County Lake. I fished for 5 hours and landed 35 to 40 bluegills. I threw back some of the smaller ones which quite frankly got to be a nuisance. The water temps today was 65 to 68 which made for some good top water action. I never use the 4 wt. today, but instead went with my 3 wt. which was a blast landing some of the big bull gills. I started the day with a small brown grasshopper from Bass Pro and ended the trip with a larger green grasshopper also from Bass Pro. Both of these flies are so realistic. They always land on the water with the body upright. A lot of the hopper patterns I have fished before landed upside down at times. These Bass Pro hoppers work to perfection. The fish were still in water five feet or better, and the water was clear enough for the fish to see the offering easy. Get ready for a number of posts in the bluegill category for at least the next 3 weeks. I hope these posts doesn't become boring, but my blog not only serves me as a communication tool, but it is my fishing log from year to year. It is really helpful to look back on a particular post and see what temps and time of the year the fish were reacting to different flies. My goal is to land and keep 120 gills filleted and put in the freezer for the season. This lake is the perfect lake to accomplish this task, because it is well managed and the fish are extremely healthy. The lake is fertilized throughout the summer and if one is planning on catching a limited of gills on this lake they had better stock up before the first of May. May is when the game and fish start the fertilize program and this turns me and a host of other fisherman off. The water turns a slim green and most of the fertilize floats on top of the water for some time. In other words I don’t like fishing English Pea soup.  I hope to be back on the water Friday, and do this all over again.  You know this could turn into a job I really like-----and better yet I willing do this without pay!!!!!
Not many images on the water, too caught up in the moment
This big Lab, had just taken a dip in the cool waters, he looks like he hasn't missed too many meals.
Working on filling the freezer, by the way this lake is stocked each year with 10,000 gills and the limit is 20 per day. As I stated it is well managed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

First Fishing Trip of the Season

Today was my first bluegill trip of this season, which proved to be successful. Walker County Lake is always a good producer early in the year. I started fishing today around , with a host of other individuals either fishing from a boat or just sitting on the bank. They were all enjoying being outdoors, especially with all the sunlight and warm temperatures. I fished for an hour without any success. I tried terrestrials, poppers and some weighted nymphs, all without a single hit. I could understand the top water turn downs, but the nymphs were supposed to produce. When I say nymphs I am talking about buggers. After the dry spell I decided to go back to the fly I used last year at this time, which was the black gnat in a size 6. This is really a unique little fly because it has the ability to stay fully dry looking in the water. In other words the fibers or hairs on this fly stays brushed outward from the body underwater. I really don’t know what attracts the fish to this fly but it was the life savior today. The minute I tied it on I started to feel and see action. I ended the day with this fly because I found nothing else would produce. The water temperature today was between 62 and 65, which meant the majority of the fish was still deep. I got most all my hits in depths of 5 feet or deeper. The gnat is perfect for this depth range, because all your hit comes on a slow fall. All you have to do is watch the line go and then set the hook------sounds simply and it is!! It was just good to back in the moment of catching gills on the fly. Everything that was on my mind today disappeared when I hit the water, what great therapy.
I was not the only one fising today.
This guy was really enjoying himself. He said he fishes 4 days a week--must be nice
Good catch today, considering everyone I talk to didn't have any fish or had caught one or two. I was the only one on the lake fly fishing. I was getting some weird looks with my # 4 weight. Notice the fillet knife guess where these will end up??

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bluegill could be commercialized for food markets

I recently got this email alert concerning using Bluegill for commercial use. I know it is illegal to sell bluegill, so to read this piece really got my attention. Catfish is locally farmed and sold, so in the near future you might start seeing bluegill along side catfish at your local meat market. Bluegill for Commercial Use

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Fishing Quiz for the Week

This past Saturday was rain all day, so one of my projects was to clean out our basement. While rambling through a lot trash I discovered a plaque I had used in my office at school some years ago. I discovered it is a little faded and worn, but still readable. It is called the Fisherman’s Language. I can’t tell you how many comments I have had over the years about this piece of information. I am sure some of you have seen this, but for those you who have not start translating.  I will post the translation on your comment, if you are having trouble with the language.



Saturday, March 5, 2011

Experimenting With Line Weights and Rod Weights

I was experimenting the other day with line weights and decided to switch my fly reels loaded with 3, 4, and 5 weight lines to my different rod weights that I fish. In trying these different combo’s I also used different weighted flies with the fly lines such as big bass poppers, and a tiny size 28 midges. I found the answer to all this interchanging was pretty significant. In other words overloading a heavy weighted line on light 3 wt rod could make for a long and frustrating day on the water. The same thing hold true for the opposite end of the spectrum. This experiment only proves what I knew, but was curious to try, that selecting the right weight line to match the correct weighted rod is imperative when fly fishing. The following guide is an excellent example to use when selecting the right line weight when fishing for a particular species of fish. What category do you fall in?

Determining the Right Fly Line Weight

So, what line weight is right for you? A summary of recommended line weights for various fishing by species and conditions is:

Fly Line Weight 1-3: Small trout, panfish, other small fish. Used when casting small flies on short casts.

Fly Line Weight 4: Small to medium sized trout and other similarly sized fish. Used when casting small flies and medium sized flies using short to medium-short casts.

Fly Line Weight 5-6: The most versatile of the line weights. This line weight fishes well for all but the smallest and all but the largest trout. Also performs adequately for smaller bass (not the lunkers in some Florida lake). Fishes well when using small, medium and larger sized flies (not massive streamers, though). Allows for longer casts yet performs short casts fairly well.

Fly Line Weight 7-8: Designed for very large trout and large bass as well as some saltwater species. Used for pitching large streamers and large flies. Longer casts are excellent. Not the best for short casts. And most definitely not designed for smaller fish and smaller flies.

Fly Line Weight 9-14: Large fish territory. Mainly used for saltwater fishing and fishing for Salmon and Steelhead.