Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Spawning Cycles of the Bluegill

 

As I was fishing one of the bluegill spawning beds the other day on Walker County Lake, I wondered if these beds would be used during the next spawning phase of the full moon in June. After doing a little research, I discovered that the bluegill will sometimes use the same beds from one full moon to the next during the spring and summer. I know this is true in some Smith Lake and Walker County Lake areas. I have fished Smith Lake and Walker Lake for years now and found that the fish are often not in the same area bedding each year. Several factors affect their location from year to year, such as changes in water level, vegetation growth, temperature range, and fishing pressure, which can influence their choice of spawning sites. 

As for the depth, I have found bluegill spawning in water as shallow as a couple of feet or less. If they are pressured from spawning cycling to spawning cycle, then they will move to deeper water to avoid spawning beds from being seen. This is especially true in small lakes where there is heavy fishing pressure. The 15-acre lake my son lives on is a prime example of what I am talking about. The bluegill in this lake always spawns in shallow water and always in the same area of the lake each year. They choose the same bedding areas in this lake each year because of less fishing pressure on the lake. The lake is there mostly for the beautiful scenery around the lake, and the walking trails next to the water's edge. In other words no one is interfering with the spawning process of the bluegill here but me and my son. 

The bluegill was probably the first fish a small child landed while using live bait, such as a cricket or redworm. That is how I got interested in fishing years ago as a youngster fishing our small farm pond. The fish was easy to catch, even with cane poles and live bait. Once my dad taught me how to land the fish using a fly rod, there was no turning back, I was hooked for life, and will be until the day I retire from fly fishing, and I hope that is years from now. For me, landing a large bull bluegill or an average-sized bluegill on a lightweight fly rod is the ultimate in warm-water fly fishing!

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Some Attention for the Bluegill

 My Bluegill quest officially kicked off two weeks ago on Walker County Lake. I was trying to fish the lake before it was fertilized, and I made the deadline by one day. I know that fertilization has its function of making a lake more suitable for landing quality fish. Still, once the water is fertilized, it takes weeks to regain its productive fishing. So, I will not make any more trips to the lake for at least a month. During June is when the second spawn takes place. I will be watching and waiting. 

I landed a dozen quality-size bulls like these that were placed in the cooler to dress later that afternoon. I enjoy everything about fishing, but I do not like dressing the catch! I was using my Boogle Bug poppers to get their attention. I have just about used all these poppers I ordered last year. I will use a different popper once these are gone for this year. The hackle on the Boggle Bug doesn't stay together like it used to. Most of the time, the popper is only suitable for a few fish before the hackle unravels. I expect more from an eight-dollar popper. Today's fish were taken using my 2/3 weight, 7 1/2 ft Redington fly rods. They are the perfect fly rods for a small lake; you should try them!

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Catfish on the Flyrod

 

This past Friday was another epic day fishing for bluegill using my 7 1/2 ft. 3 wt. Flyrod fishing Walker County Lake. While fishing for the big bull bluegills, I landed the largest catfish ever on the flyrod. The fish hit a size 8 orange popper fishing near weed pads on the lake's levee. I knew it was big as soon as the fish made its first run. Little did I know it was a little over 8 lbs 26 inches. This catfish didn't top my carp last year, but it came close. Who knows, I may land one of their elusive Walleye next year. I never fish this lake with anything above a 2 and 3 wt. Flyrod. Let's say I like the challenge. 
Looking closely, you can see the popper hooked into the catfish's whisker. It's a miracle I landed it, considering the 15-minute fight he put up. I gave the catfish to the gentleman in the background fishing near the lake's edge. He was as excited as I was landing the fish. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Getting Primed For The Bluegill Spawn

 When it comes to fishing, the thrill of landing quality bluegill on a lightweight fly rod is unmatched. The fly rod I'm talking about is either the 2 wt. or 3 wt. If you're looking for the ultimate enjoyment of landing bluegill, these are the rods to use. I personally find the 7 1/2 ft. length perfect for small bodies of water, and an 8 1/2 ft. to 9 ft. length ideal for lakes. When I'm fishing at my home waters of Smith Lake, I rely on my 9 ft. 3 wt. for the best experience. 

During the Easter weekend, I used Jason's lightweight 7 1/2 ft. Redington 2 wt. fly rod. The small 15-area lake, nestled at his house in Greystone Farms Hoover, offers a tranquil fishing experience. You can reach the water's edge in less than a minute from his back porch, making it a convenient spot for anyone who enjoys fishing, whether with traditional gear or a fly rod. 

The lake has four walk-way bridges across four of its nooks, and the bluegill spawns on the upper or lower side of the bridges during the prime spawn season. I've only seen a few individuals fly fish in the lake, so the fishing pressure is very limited. Cathey and I like to walk the mile-long walking trail when we are here. The Game and Fish Department manages the lake, which does a great job of checking water quality and fertilizing.  

My fly fishing season will begin on Smith Lake in a couple of weeks, so today's trip was a warm-up to start landing the super-sized bulls on the rock walls on Smith: I can't wait!!!

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Spring Break with Grandchildren

 Cathey and I enjoy the Grandchildren each year during Spring Break, and this year was special because we got to share it with our little "Hallie." She will be two on August 25th. The kids love fishing and always want to go to Walston Bridge pond, close to where we used to live, so that is where we spent one afternoon.  

The pond temp was 58 degrees--no bites on artificial lures, so the kids enjoyed landing bluegill using redworms

Searching for the perfect polished rock in Pop's rock fountain
Nothing like spending time with Grandchildren!!!

Friday, March 1, 2024

What is Fly Fishing

 


Hi Guys

Sorry, I've been out of the loop of blogging for a while, mainly due to the weather, cold temps, rain, and water temps. I've made a few fishing trips, mainly for the outdoor experience, to the Sipsey Tailrace and Walker County Lake, with limited success. In other words, I'm glad I was using my 2 and 3 wt. Fly rod becasue the bend in the rod produced by a couple of small bluegill and one 5" rainbow was a hoot. 

As most of you know, I am into watching fly fishing videos. When one thinks they know everything about fly fishing, someone proves you wrong. This individual is one of the numerous fly fishermen I follow on Utube. He recently filmed a video titled What is Fly Fishing, I thought why would I want to watch this video but once I started watching it I realized he shared some interesting points about this great sport. Take a look and see what you think? 

Video-What is Fly Fishing

Friday, January 19, 2024

The Most Realistic Nymphs Ever!!

 These nymphs have to be the most realistic nymphs I have ever seen. I ordered both patterns. I can't wait to give them a try on the Sipsey and Smith Lake. 

The bodies of these nymphs are hard body and have weight. 
 

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Fly Fishing the Streamer on Lakes

 


Guys, I hope everyone is getting into the Christmas Spirit. I was scanning through my blog the other day, viewing past posts. March was when my fishing season always started, which is 70 to 75 days from today. Mid-March is when the spawn begins for the spotted bass on Smith Lake. They start moving into the lake's nooks. Unlike largemouth, the spotted bass usually spawns in water 4 to 6 feet deep. They are in the mood to hit almost any lure this time of year because they have been dormant during winter. The streamer is my favorite fly to toss during the early spawn, moving it with a slow drop-retrieve and waiting for that savage hit to occur! I feel I'm not the only fisherman counting the days to feel the tug of that first fish on the popper, nymph, dry fly, or streamer. 
Here's wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Friday, November 17, 2023

Looking Forward to Spring

 The coming months are considered a slowdown in my fishing trips, especially on the lake. Lucky for me, I don't live in the frigid Northeast or out West. Hats off to any of you guys who brave the elements to wet a fly in the streams or rivers in that part of the country. Here, 30 degrees is considered super cold. So, I will occasionally visit the tailrace to land a few rainbows and keep abreast of the latest fly fishing news compliments of the internet.   

I have been following a couple, Torin and Paige Rouse, who are walking across America, all fifty states. Their travels are being done in loops, which will take two and a half years. Their first loop started in Chillicothe, Missouri their home state, traveling west into Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. They made their way into Alabama on Monday starting their next loop into Florida, then Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and farther northward. If you would like to join me as a follower of their website   Walking America Couple

This couple makes me wish I was young again! 


One of my recent trips to Smith Lake with my son, Jason, is still fresh in my memory. The trip occurred in June when the water temperature was 70 degrees. Jason landed this 12" plus spotted bass using his Streamflex 4 wt. 9ft. flyrod. The drag on his Gloomis fly reel engaged several times while landing the bass.  


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Time Lost

 I'm back after missing the month of September without submitting a post. Cathey and I have been busy with our Grandchildren and helping our son finish work on his house in Birmingham. This has been the longest time for me to go without fishing in the fall. One of my fishing partners decided a while back that he was getting too old to fly fish anymore, so that was another setback in my days fishing on the lake. I hope to find another fly fishing partner for next season. There are only so many fly-fishing guys located in Jasper, Alabama. I am glad Jason came home last week, which allowed me to catch up on fishing at Smith Lake. 

We managed to land a couple of Spotted Bass fishing the rock wall in the background using a couple of streamer patterns. The crawfish and the bluegill streamers were the patterns the bass were hitting using a slow-motion retrieve. The hits were light and not as aggressive as in the Spring. The water temp has cooled to 70 degrees, which accounts for the slower takes. 
The Fall colors are starting to take shape on the lake. It was good to be out on the water and feel the tug of a fish on the streamers. During this time of the year, the pull-down is on, meaning the lake is now at its lowest of the season. 
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We were surprised when I got this largemouth bass to soft-hit my boggle bug popper. We kept thinking we would get a take on the top before we left, and this bass proved us right! A great way to end the afternoon! 


Friday, August 25, 2023

A Seasoned Fly Fisherman


Why do some fly fishermen land more fish than other individuals on the water? 


Over the years, I've taught my daughter, son, and grandchildren how to fish using the fly rod and fishing reels. I realized it was much easier for them to learn to use the traditional reel/combos than the fly rod. My only child who has mastered the fly rod was my son Jason. My daughter never had the patience to learn to use the fly rod. She is excellent at using the spinning reel but not the fly rod. I am still teaching my oldest grandson how to cast using the fly rod and how to manage the line and land a fish when using the fly rod. The time and patience involved in learning to use the fly rod is why I see very few individuals fly fishing on the tailrace. Most trout on the tailrace is taken using the spinning reel with live bait. I've never seen anyone using a fly rod on Smith Lake but me and the three guys I fish with there. I've learned once you've master using the fly rod, you are hooked for life.

I taught a couple of the guys I fish with how to use the fly rod, and yes, that is the only method of fishing for them now. I feel liking what you are doing is the number one characteristic that makes individuals stand out from the rest of the crowd, whether it's fly fishing or any other activity. Aside from liking fly fishing, other characteristics make a great fly fisherman stand out. You may have read their books and watched some of their videos. Some of the most famous are Lefty Krch, Joe Humphreys, still fishing at 94, and Tom Rosenbaucr. These are seasoned fly fishermen, and there are thousands more. The following list below are the characteristics I feel one needs to achieve to become a seasoned fly fisherman.

Side Note: I create most of my posts while sitting on our back porch enjoying my afternoon cup of coffee; this post was one of them.


Casting Proficiency: Mastering the different fly casting techniques is crucial. Most fly fishermen use the Roll Cast, Back Cast, Low Side Cast, and Bow and Arrow Cast as their main ones. A skilled fly fisherman can accurately and delicately place a fly or small popper on the water surface, initiating a natural insect as if it fell off a tree limb near the bank of a stream or at a lake's edge. You will know when you make this cast work to perfection for you! 


Knowledge of Fish Behavior: An understanding of fish behavior, habitat, and feeding patterns of the fish you are pursuing is essential. To drive this point home, I know that the daylight hours are my prime time to land fish, whether in Spring, Summer, or Fall.


Fly Selection: A good fly fisherman can select the correct fly pattern or popper color based on the insect activity. Matching the hatch is a key aspect of having a successful fly-fishing outing. 


Observation Skills: Paying attention to the water's surface, identifying rises, and observing insect activity are essential for fishing a river, small stream, tailrace, or lake. 


Patience and Persistence: Fly fishing involves patience and persistence; understand that fly fishing is not landing one fish after another. The only time that might happen is if you are sitting near a bluegill spawning bed. Know you have to put in the time and effort to catch fish even when they are not biting. I discussed this statement in my last post, 

"The Slow Bite on Smith Lake"


Knot Tying: One must know how to tie at least two to three knots. A strong knot is necessary to attach the fly to the tippet and to attach the tippet to the leader securely. The tippet ring has eliminated tying the tippet to the leader for most fly fishermen. The clinch, loop knot, and double clinch are my favorites. 


Knowledge of Equipment: You need to understand the different types of fly rods, reels, lines, and leaders, which will help you choose the right gear for various fishing situations.


Water Readings: When I first started fly fishing, I threw caution to the wind and would cast anywhere on the water. As each year passed, I became more familiar with spotting eddies, riffles and pools, and underwater structures. These were my most productive spots on streams, tail races, rivers, and lakes. 


Adaptability: I've found conditions on the water can change fast, as stated in one of my previous posts, "Fluctuating Water Conditions." During periods of a slow bite, I may vary flies, poppers, and nymphs several times. If one tactic is not working, I try something else. Don't get locked in on one fly pattern or tactic!


Stay Positive: I've mentioned this in my previous posts; assume that every fly or popper touching the water's surface will produce a take. 


Learning Mindset: Fly fishing is vast and continually evolving, which motivates me to learn new techniques, discover new waters, and improve my skills as a fly fisherman. I realize I will only know some things there is to learn about fly fishing, but that's what makes the sport so much fun. 


Sunday, August 13, 2023

The Slow Bite on Smith Lake

  The most challenging time to fish Smith Lake is after July 4th and into late September. During those two and half months, the lake goes into a "Pull-Down Mode," meaning the generators run daily and off on weekends. The goal for the heavy generation during these months is to get the lake below the 500 mark sometime during September and ready for the Spring rains the following year. Three factors affect the fish bite during this time, extreme heat causing the surface water to heat over 80 degrees, lots of generating, which effects the water levels on the lake, and erratic barometer readings. As stated in one of my previous posts, the lack of boats launching at the dam during daylight will prove my point: THE FISH ARE NOT BITING, so what does one do to entice a hit from a sluggish bass or bluegill? Go tiny, with poppers and subsurface flies, and fish at a slower pace. Stay positive and know you could get a hit on every cast, and eventually, you will get a swirl or slap at your fly or maybe a take to keep your attention span on track. During this time of year, the fish may not be as hungry as you think, so they inspect your fly more than inhale it. The surface water temps at 80 and above will eliminate that explosive hit you will see in the Spring and Fall. During this time of year, the hits are very light, which causes one to miss fish, because the fish didn't hook themselves well enough to stay connected during the fight. I've lost more fish during this time of the year than any other time I fish. Frustrating, but at least I am making a connection with a fish. 

These two spotted bass taken on size 12 tiny poppers sum up the daylight trip. I had many slaps and swirls at the poppers, which is something I expect this time of year. Both bass sucked the poppers under with little surface movement. I never take a hit for granted during this time of year. I'm hoping for more productive trips the closer it gets to October.

Side Note: The trout fishing below the dam is as bad as the lake. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Fishing Lakes With Fluctuating Water Levels

My last post dealt with how barometic pressure effects fishing on large and small lakes. Today I will discuss another factor affecting fishing on large and small lakes: fluctuating water levels due to generation. If I had to chose which element I would deal with when fishing it would be the barometic pressure. When dealing with barometric pressure, you are only concerned with the high or low barometer reading. When fishing at receding water levels one needs to be aware of the following things---how fast the water is falling--if one or two generators are running at the dam--don't fish close to where the generators are running---realize the fish will move to deeper water when the lake is receding---feeding habits of fish change when lake levels are decreasing ---recognize reducing water levels expose fish habitats such as wood structure, boulders, and weed areas where fish feed-----and last know that the bite will be much slower during receding water levels becasue the bait fish will relocate----the key to a successful fishing trip during heavy generations on any lake is to locate the bait fish where the larger fish may be feeding. Finding the bait fish in low-water situations is easier said than done even with the advanced sonar tecnhnology available today, especially if you are fishing a lake covering thousands of areas. Receding lake levels on any lake is unlike fishing in the Spring when there is no generation and lake levels are stable. One can catch fish during low water periods, but fewer than in the Spring. This past Tuesday was a prime example of fishing Smith when the generators were running, and there was a steady drop in the water level. 

 Nice bass on the cream Double Barrel; Jason was using his five-wt. Streamflex 9 ft.-----A super dose of patience was needed on this trip this past week because of the generation at the dam. This trip will be Jason's last to make with me until October. He will be going back to work in California.
                                                                                  

This Spotted Bass nailed a tiny Orvis white bluegill bug early morning. It challenged my three-weight Streamflex 9 ft. fly rod. The drag was spinning. I've found that during generation the bass prefer smaller poppers instead of the larger ones I fish most of the time. I was hoping Jason and I could land enough bluegill for a meal, but the bluegill didn't bite. I landed only one for the morning. They go deep along the rock walls during the pull-down of the lake. During the draw-down, the fish will slap at the poppers instead of hitting them at times. They are mostly annoyed with its presence in the area they call home. Jason's bass and my bass were the only two taken for the morning. 

One needs to take note of the number of boats launched at the dam early morning. A few boats launched will let you know the bite will be slow; it's a challenge, which makes me keep coming back; I'm already looking forward to Fall when the lake stabilizes. 

Friday, June 30, 2023

My New Fish Attractor

I've broken a promise I made at the beginning of this fishing season not to buy any more warm water poppers, and trout flies this year. I've got enough poppers and trout flies to last me years. One of the reasons I have so many poppers is me using them until they litterly come apart, meaning no hackle. Trout flies are much cheaper than poppers. I can buy trout flies for as little as .84 each. Compare that price to your cheapest popper starting at 3.00 to an expensive 8.00; then it causes me to make that popper last as long as it catches fish. 


Now to the heart of this post; The Surface Seducer Double Barrel Popper. This popper is different from your ordinary surface popper. What makes the popper stand out from all the poppers I have used over the years is its unique body design. The Double Barrel has a soft foam epoxy body that will not chip or break loose from the hook. It also has all the hackle buried deep inside the body of the popper, keeping it in place. The hackle on cork poppers will usually come unraveled over time because of savage hits or removing the popper from the mouth of the fish. The Double Barrel will stand up to both the hits and hook removal. 

Double Barrel poppers come in various colors, but the cream color is the best. The color imitates the shad that the bass feed on. It resembles another popper I've told you about over the years. Regarding design and durability, it is a step above all cork material poppers I have ever used fly fishing.  


I didn't discover this popper. Jeff, one of my fly fishing buddies, started fishing this popper for the spotted bass with me on Smith Lake in April. He was landing bass working the popper with off-and-on aggressive jerks; bass was nailing it!! He couldn't remember where he purchased the popper, and as luck would have it, he had only one of the poppers. So I decided to fish something else that morning in the form of the closure minnow. I landed numerous bass using the closure, but the majority of the bass was taken on the Double Barrel by Jeff. After that trip, you would think I would order a few, but I decided the poppers I was fishing would land fish like his new popper. So I continued to fish my overstocked supply of cork poppers. It took a few more trips to convince me to purchase the Double Barrel for eight bucks each. I hate to pay that much for a popper, but I knew it was worth the price so promise broken. I ordered four before Jason returned home to fish with me for a few weeks this month. To make the rest of this post short; Jason made good use of the poppers I ordered, as you can see in the images below. 


Even the bluegill would hit the popper. One quality largemouth and spotted bass were the morning winners, along with numerous twelve-inch and under bass. This popper is fantastic but couldn't muster hits as the sun overtook the shaded areas we were fishing. Now if someone could create a fly or popper that would attract hits in the sun and wind all day, they could make a bundle. They would need a patent on their discovery for sure! Rest assured; you will see more posts concerning the success of the Double Barrel!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Euro Nymphing---Trail and Error

I did a post in March involving Euro Nymphing and had some success with the new technique that day, but I left the tailrace knowing I needed to spend more time on Euro Nymphing's casting and hook-setting phase. I am still learning to use the cast effectively and how to detect a hit from the trout. For those who haven't tried Euro Nymphing, it can take some time to master. One can land trout using the method when traditional fly casting isn't producing. 

As stated many times by me, the Sipsey Tailrace is battered to death with every fly and live bait on the market to catch a trout. So I switched to the Euro Nymphing method to improve my odds of landing more trout on the pressured tailrace. So far, it has worked to the point that I can connect with a trout but not bring the fish to the net; in other words, I am losing too many trout, especially on yesterday's trip. Detecting the hit is the problem, and not getting a good hook set. The online class I watched on Utube showed setting the hook using an upward movement of the fly rod. The hook point drives through the top of the trout's mouth when using that hook-set method. I hope this hook-set method improves my catch ratio. Breaking an old habit of setting the hook in a side motion frustrates me. I need to slap my face every time I miss a trout by using the side motion hook-set. I am too much of a perfectionist when fly fishing is involved!

 This trout was my lone trout for the morning after many missed hits. At least I didn't get skunked! I landed this trout in one of the numerous pocket holes I fish. There was enough current to move the nymph without me forcing it to move. I have learned Euro Nymphing is much easier to master when fishing in current.
The length of the quarter-mile stretch was heavy fog and thick humidity as I entered the bottom of the gorge. Lots of moss-covered rocks in the shallow runs, making it a challenge to wade. I didn't take a chance of falling even with my wading staff in this broad run.
I wanted to share a picture of Hallie Mae, who is ten months old. She has stayed with Cathey and me this past week while her parents, brothers, and sisters are on the bench in Florida. She is getting frustrated trying to learn to crawl. Hopefully, she will be crawling all over the place before the fourth of July. We didn't let her cry at all, and before the week was out, she had Meme and Pops trained well!
Hope all you Dad's have a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Importance of Baromator Reading When Fishing

 One of my favorite times of the day is my afternoon coffee time spent in the swing on our back porch. While sitting there, I can watch the different species of birds that visit my bird feeders and listen to the rambling sound of my two rock fountains nearby. The birds feed freely at the feeders 10 to 12 feet from the swing. It's a time to reflect on the weeks events, from various chores to fishing trips on Tuesday's and Thursday's. 

Sitting here this afternoon, I wondered why Jason and I didn't land fish at daylight this morning. We were fishing in some of the familiar places I fish, but there was no activity at all. Even the streamer couldn't arouse an interest in a hit. As the morning wore on, I started eliminating the two main negative factors that keep fish from hitting: high barometric pressure and cool fronts. The positive factors that make this lake one of the best in the south were there which are water quality, excellent oxygen levels due to the heavy boat traffic, an abundance of bait fish in the form of shad, and tiny freshwater shrimp in the creviisis of the underwater rock formations through out the lake and last lots of structure; so what was the problem? Two hours into our trip and no fish to show for our effort. On mornings like we were experiencing one must be willing to change flies, color poppers, line tippet, and rod weights to cast lighter flies. Patience is essential in weather you land fish or go home skunked. Luckily for both of us, the fish decided to turn on about an hour before we left at 10 AM. Why did the fish turn on for about an hour? We figured the barometric pressure had risen and the air temp had warm some. The barometric pressure was the main factor. I used to have a baromator years ago but lost it. Rest assured; I will be replacing the one I lost. 

The lake was super clear making it a must to fish a greater distance from the banks. Overcast skies helped at times to keep the fish from seeing the boat.
After a long dry spell, this Spotted Bass inhaled a blue Boogle Bug popper, the first fish of the morning for me. The male bass would be the only bass I would land for the morning. It made me aware of its 16-inch length. 
Jason' Spotted Bass would be the only one he would touch for the morning shortly after I landed my bass. A white Boogle Bug popper got the attention of the bass. Cathey and I were glad  Jason got to spend a few weeks with us and was able to work in a couple of fishing trips on Smith Lake! 
Landing the Spotted Bass 

We landed a number of super size bluegills that would produce a nice meal. 
The wool shirt tells you it was still cool when Jason hooked this gill using his new Greys Streamflex 4-wt. Fly rod. Greys Streamflex fly rods are manufactured in Alnwick, England. The Greys Streamflex is one of the lightness fly rods I've fished with, and the best part is it is priced reasonably at 375.00
Surprisingly we notice this Barn Owl in this cave area on one of the rock wall banks we were fishing. Jason was surprised he got to take the picture that close. 
It flew to the other side of the cave as we got closer. Jason thinks it would be nesting somewhere near one of the ledges on the cave wall. 
Finally, it had enough of our company so, it took flight and flew across the lake. Seeing the Barn Owl was a first for both of us, which made us realize that sometimes there are other ways to enjoy a day on the lake.