Friday, March 30, 2018

Another Productive Day on the Sip!!

Believe me when I tell you guys that today’s visit to the Sipsey was special not only for the trout catch, but to meet these two young fly fishermen. They were headed down the tailrace to fish the really deep sections. I hope they had success, it please me to see the youngsters with fly rod in hand.
My first cast and my first trout that was to be one of many that I would touch on a cloudy overcast day. The two hour trip consisted of casting nymphs early and closing out the trip with the Gnat. Sorry guys for the bad image; I'm a work in progress when it comes to camera work.
One of the things I love about this place besides landing the trout are all the handy rock stools. They are positioned up and down the gouge for; let’s say the “seasoned fly fisherman.”
Overcast skies, a slight breeze out of the west and a huge rain front in the forecast for Thursday morning told me to wet a fly on the Sipsey today.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Fishing the Micro Light Spinning Rod

The blooming of the Dogwood Trees are always the sign that the crappie have begin to spawn here in the Deep South. I’ve been noticing the Dogwood buds but no bloom yet. That didn’t keep me from joining one of my fishing buddies the other day to test the waters for some slab crappie.
My 7 ½ ft. micro light spinning rod paired with the Pflueger President XT spinning reel is perfect to handle big crappie. I’m using 4 lb. test vanish line with a small curly tail shad jig to duplicate small minnows. The balance of this rod makes it effortless to cast for distance and accuracy. Using the micro light combo parallels the light 7 ½ to 8 ft. fly rods.
The dark male crappie is one beautiful fish in the early spring.  All the crappie today was landed using the micro. I had the 4 wt. fly rod with me but the wind was too strong to get a dissent case in place; in other words, my patience worn thin dealing with the gust coming from all directions.
The in results, using my new fish cleaning table from Bass Pro Shops; these ten beauties yielded 40 mouth watering fillets.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Flexing the Muscle of the 2 Weight

My second trip fishing with my 2 weight medium action fly rod today was awesome! I believe all the fish I landed today enjoyed its action as well. The 6X leader combined with the 2 weight fly line enabled the flies to touch the water as if they had dropped from a tree limb near the bank. How many times have you guys experienced that situation? Be ready because the fish will usually explore on your offering. I experienced that a number of times today absence the tree limb.
The Redington medium action fly rod paired with the Redington Drift reel yields one fantastic day on the water.
Even bluegills and bass this size can make one think they’re fighting a super bull gill or quality size bass. The 2 weight gives the fish a fighting chance and at the same time test the landing skills of the angler. 
Ralph’s Foam Butt Caddis was the winner of the flies tossed today, so realistic on the surface film. I’m still in search of the quality bluegill to begin my quest; another enjoyable practice day in the books!  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

First Warm Water Fishing for 2018

As most of you know Walker County Lake is one of my favorite fishing destinations. I’ve landed huge bluegills here from its waters that equal those I’ve caught on my beloved Smith Lake. To say I was excited to fish it waters again after a two year absence was an understatement.

Cathey and I are still trying to adjust to the move out of state and back to Alabama; in fact it will take us the rest of this year to complete the cycle of the move. Our lot we are planning to build on is saturated with rain almost daily.  It will take weeks before any construction can start sometime in March. The building process will last at least 6 months if the weather cooperates. In the meantime we will stay dry in our rental home, which houses my Pelican boat in the carport. No way was I going to store my Pelican and miss spring fishing on some of the smaller lakes I fish here. Sorry to veer off subject, back to Walker outing:

This is the earliest I’ve fished this lake, but the forecast pulled me like a magnet to its waters today. A high of 80 degrees is somewhat unusual even for the northern part of Alabama this time of the year.

The water was somewhat stained because of all the rain making me think I was going to fish dark small to medium poppers. So I had a game plan and I hoped it would work. The water temp was 58 which is a long way from the spawning season for the big bull bluegills.

My first bull bluegill in one of the small nooks near the levee; I will let this one pass for the quest. In fact no bluegill would qualify for the quest today. It was a hoot to land so many bluegills this afternoon after being absence from this lake for a while.
The warm temps have started to produce buds on some of the trees along the lakes bank. I have a feeling we are in for an early spring here inAlabama.

The blue Booglebug popper attracted a lot bass today. It’s not your average popper; it becomes submerged when worked along the surface film. All the bass I landed today nailed it submerged. I hope to start the quest on my next outing here, which could begin Friday if the weather cooperates.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Touching the Cool Waters of the Sipsey Again

Today’s trip was not about landing trout on the Sipsey but a time for me to reflect back on the many storied trips I’ve had on this beautiful tailrace. Sure a colorful rainbow would be nice to bend my 3 weight, but the excitement of just watching my fly gently light on the Sip’s surface took precedence over the catch.
 This was my first fishing trip since August 29th 2017 when I hurt my back and had to have two Epidurals to get back on my feet. Close to five months is a long time to go without wetting a fly for me; so to say I was pumped about getting to fish was an understatement.
  I was anxious to try my new Orvis Battenkill II reel my son gave me for Christmas. I paired it up with my Hardy Streamflex 3 weight. What impressed me about this reel was the narrow spool to reduce line stacking and of course the lightness.

l put the combo to work within five minutes of wading into position in one of my favorite holes on the tailrace. This beautiful rainbow nailed the Copper John as it was drifting down one of the many runs located on the lower end of the tailrace; a lot of fun on the 3 weight.
The tailrace was higher than I like to fish it, but I didn’t care; I was back on my home waters and that was all that matter to me.
My wading staff was my best friend today as I maneuvered through all the rocks on the floor of the gorge. I saw one guy take a spill on the slippery rocks; luckily he didn’t damage his wrist and knee. 
Faster water was the turn on for all the trout I landed during the four hour trip. This bow was taken as my nymph floated over a few submerged logs. I lost a couple other trout in the run due to break off in the logs. I questioned myself for using the 3 weight after losing two quality trout in this run, but again being here today was more important than the loss of a few trout. I know I’ll have many more trips to redeem myself.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Moving Back Home

My wife and I have been discussing for sometime to move back to Jasper. Why, you ask, well we are lonesome for our friends and the small town atmosphere that we had in Jasper Alabama.

For me I’ve missed fishing with my buddies that I fished with for over 25 years. I’ve also missed my beloved Smith Lake and the Sipsey Tailrace. I didn’t realize until after we left Jasper that I gave up a fantastic fishing area. I could be on Smith Lake in 20 minutes and on the Sipsey fishing for trout in 25 minutes. The fishing in and around Spring Hill is limited to a few small lakes that are fished heavy and fertilized to the limit. The Caney was a great place to trout fish but driving an hour and half to get there was a bit too long for me. In fact I could actually see myself as I got older fishing less here because of the distance I had to travel to connect with bluegill, bass, or trout.

Cathey and I hope our house moves fast and we can be back in Jasper by the first of the year. We differently need to be back before the spring fishing season begins on Smith, Walker County Lake and the Sipsey.
I will start my BLUEGILL QUEST again in the spring of 2018.  Smith and Walker County Lake will provide the challenge to take some super size gills from their waters.  I never landed anything here worthy of the QUEST-------it’s a good thing my back in getting back to normal.