Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fly Casting 102 with Dad

I apologize for my lack of posts. For some reason, my auto-posting has not worked. : (

On November 16, my Dad and I headed up to the Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, Michigan. We drove through many beautiful neighborhoods if you will and saw beautiful sights. There were no leaves on the trees and you could see the land in all its winter beauty. Very very nice. It was excellent father-son bonding time.

I was taking this trip to teach my Dad how to fly fish. I have asked him to go with me on a few occasions but he has been quite busy. So, I pushed him to go with me to the park. We did a lot of talking and driving and talking but we eventually go to our destination. I got the rods set up, tied on some flies and we were on the river in about 10 minutes. The river was slightly lower than it was in the summer but it provided the ideal condition for my Dad to learn how to cast and to let the current take the fly down river. After about 10 minutes of him practicing and me exploring, we moved down river to a larger portion where it branched off and really opened up to where he and I could really focus on casting and presentation. 

Dad at second spot practicing casting.

View of up river where smallies abound in the spring and summer.

Dad about to cast.

Beautiful day!

Clear water. Beautiful...
There were really no fish in the river. They were all in deeper water. I saw a few perch and a bluegill but I was wading in deeper water and bumping up against logs. My Dad didn't have any hip waders, just neoprene boots but they worked. Overall, his fly fishing casting 102 class went a lot better than expected. He was using my Redington Classic Trout #4 rod which helped him a lot because of how forgiving it was. He was really able to get the feel of how to present the fly in a natural manner. We both had a lot of fun. I can't wait to take him carp fishing! : D

Friday, November 9, 2012

Beadhead Nymph Creation

So, with my first attempt at doing a fly tying video, I tied a nymph variation fly. I took the beadhead and body of the prince nymph and knocked off the wings and tail, added some flashing on the tail and voilĂ ! My very own bass and bluegill killer! I hope you guys enjoy! Be sure to rate, comment, and critique. I enjoy constructive criticism because I have not tied for very long. : )

PS: You can watch this in higher quality if you go to Youtube directly and watch it. I shot this in 1080p on my Canon T3i.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Small Pond with a Big Catch

So, I just got engaged a few weeks ago as you all know. The stress from school and now this wedding despite it being over a year away is settling in. : / Ugh. Between school, my fiancee and now me getting a new job, my life has never been so crazy! I've been upset since I have not been able to fish up until a week or so ago. I actually have forced myself to go fishing! Sad I know but I've enjoyed myself. I've also been obsessed with buying fly tying material. I have hooks, beads, and dubbing coming out of my ears. I think I have well over 1000 hooks alone in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It keeps me busy and keeps me fresh in my thinking of new fly creations, which is great!

Speaking of fly creations, I tied a variation of a bead headed prince nymph this past weekend. Man, this think is KILLING the bluegill and bass! In fact, I have lost more of this fly to the bluegill and bass than to trees. Yes, that IS a good thing. It means I at least did SOMETHING correct! : ) The best part is, it is really simple to tie, too! I'll get to that in another post soon.

So, this small pond is in Sylvania, Ohio right by Lourdes University where I attend. I would have never known about it but a friend told me about it. It's in some obscure place in the  midst of doctor's offices and financial buildings. 

Gorgeous sunset!

East part of the lake facing south.

Middle part of the lake facing south.

Another gorgeous sunset picture.

West part of the lake facing south.

Beadhead prince nymph creation works like a charm!

Beautiful colors!
Prize of the lake! 11 3/4" largemouth!
The lake, as you can see from the pictures is not small. These pictures are over the course of 3 weeks. The first sunset pictures are from the second time I was there ever. The bluegill pictures are from the first time I used the nymph pattern on the pond, and the bass picture is from this afternoon.

So, I walked around this pond numerous times casting in dozens of spots catching 4" to even fat 6" bluegill. They were all nice but only a few decided to pose for the camera. I have decided to press the barbs down on the hooks of my flies for the nymphs because it was easier on the fish. This is something I do not do often but since the pond is small, I wanted to fish to live longer. : ) I think I need to practice this more!

Today, when I went to the pond, it could have not been more perfect. The weather was gorgeous, the wind was nonexistent, and there was no fountain. YES! For the first time in a long time, I put my hip waders on and waded in the water. So, there really isn't anyone around despite it being mid-day (I went around 2:30 PM). In fact, no one has ever been fishing while I was there except for one gentleman when I first went to the pond about a month ago. I first got in the water and started to cast and hit a few small bluegill. Nothing too major. I worked my way around to where the fountain used to be. I kept getting bites, a bluegill here and there. I worked my way around to the east side of the pond and that's where I hooked into this beautiful bass. It fought like a bluegill I imaging because of the temperature of the water. I had to bring it to shore because I forgot my net for the first time. : / The entire fight maybe lasted 30 seconds, which is sad but actually good because I tied the fly on very poorly. It makes me realize how blessed I am to get that beauty in! I have seen this bass every single time I have gone to this pond. I'm just so glad I caught it!

Oh, something I should mention. I did not have the bass out of the water for more than 30 seconds. I set the rod and bass down, took the picture, and gently put him back making sure to hold him by his underbelly so to swim away and make it. I get VERY frustrated by fishermen who throw their catches back. DO NOT DO THIS!!!! If you do this, STOP! It doesn't matter if the fish is 2 inches! Put it in the water and make sure it swims away on its own. If the hook is in too deep for you to get it out, cut the line. I cannot stress this enough! You can traumatize even the biggest fish and it won't make it! I have lost about a half a dozen flies to this pond from the trees to the fish. So, don't be too careful when handling the fish. The fish do grow up some day! End of rant.

All in all, I enjoy this pond. It may be small and the catches few but it's a very relaxing time and it really helps to master my technique at presenting and casting.