Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Metzger's Marsh and Carp on the Fly

Good grief! The days are flying by! Despite my busy schedule, I *somehow* manage to fit in fly fishing. I'm kidding. I really replace my school work with fishing trips which I shouldn't do but I do! So, June 15, was one of those days.

My cousin came in to town because his girlfriend was doing a triathlon at Maumee Bay State Park on the 16th. So, my Dad, cousin, and I went to Metzger's Marsh to fish for carp. I thought it would be a good chance to show everyone the ropes about how to catch some golden bone! Of course things go a lot better in your head than they do in real time. First, there was a major delay in getting out to the swamp in the first place, I had very little sleep as I was tying about 40 flies for the swamp trip alone, and I was on call the previous night for work so it made life very interesting. In the end, everything went swimmingly up to the point where we were out on the water....

So, the first problem, which actually made things fun, was the mayflies. Mayfly season is right now and every mayfly and its mother are out. So, mayflies are everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of them are flying about, sticking to foliage and to us as we walk through the tall swamp grass.

Below is a short video of mayflies stuck to my body and backpack. It was nuts.
So, fast forwarding to the point where my everyone was out on the water, we all stalked carp for around 2 hours and I was the only one who caught a carp on the fly. It wasn't very big but at least it was something. I saw plenty of carp. We all did. The problem was, as I found out, we all were using too heavy of flies so they didn't sit on top of the muck which is what the carp wanted. I switched to my own variation of a Barry's Carp Bitter in olive which landed the one and only carp of the day.

What a nice fish to break in my Redington CPX 8wt.

Love this shot!
Overall, it didn't matter that we didn't catch more fish. We all had a nice time, it was beautiful outside, and no one was hurt. Life was good. Below is a short video of an okay release of the carp I caught.

My Dad left around noon and my cousin and I decided to stay for a little longer. We ended up stepping on carp and even netting some. It was pretty funny as the carp were just laying in the weeds or mud and sleeping and we'd put a fly up to their noses and they wouldn't move and then we'd net them but they always escaped before we could take any pictures. : )

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bowfin on the Fly!

#10 baby leech fly. Super simple and definitely works for bigger fish!

My summer class and my summer internship has sucked all possible time from me. So, to counteract this problem, I have scheduled myself around meeting with people for my internship by giving myself enough time to fish in between training for my internship and my meeting! GENIUS! Well, tonight was an excellent exception as my friend who I was to meet with regarding my internship asked if I came later so I decided to grab some flies and my 5wt rod and try to tackle some small carp or some bass at the Cedar Point Wildlife Refuge off of Yondota road in Oregon, Ohio.

I explored Maumee Bay State Park for a bit before hand and cast my rod but nothing was biting. Saw some splashes but nothing and the wind was coming at a bad angle that made casting awful but not impossible. I left the park and headed to the wildlife refuge and to my surprise saw some other cars. This place usually, or at least the times I have gone, has had no one present while I fished but since it literally just opened 3 days ago, I can see why people wanted to come. Well, it's quite a long way to get to the point where I can catch fish as I usually sight fish for carp on the bank as I can sneak up to the carp with ease because of the bank being quite high and the dam having a lot of cover. I stopped and chatted with a few bass fishermen that had some kids with them and continued on to talk to 2 other fishermen. As I was chatting with them, I saw something long looking like a bass to me at least swimming up to the surface. As it got closer, I noticed, to my surprise, it was a dogfish! I took my #10 baby leech off of my hook keeper and dropped the fly behind the bowfin and made it swim up to the fish. It took the fly no problem and I waited 2 seconds, which felt like an eternity, and then set the hook. It then began rolling and then dove into the weeds.

Would you kiss your mother with that mouth?
I asked one of the bass fisherman that was next to me how deep it was a few feet out. He said it was very deep and I then found out HOW deep it was. I took my wallet and other essentials out of my pocket as I didn't want to get them wet and had to meet with the client later. I got my net and for 5 minutes I fought the fish. It was buried deep into the weeds and that's when I found how deep I really had to go to get this fish. I took 3 steps and found I was in chest deep water not even 3 feet from shore. That's scary! I was thankful for the other guys there to save my sorry carcass in case I fell in. I kept scraping at the weeds underwater with my net to loosen the fish and the weeds and finally was able to pull the fish up enough to net it. I scrambled up to the bank and snapped a few shots and let it go. Too bad I didn't have my GoPro recording! I had it but never thought to even turn it on! All my concentration was on the fish. Oh well. Next time. : ) First bowfin on any rod to boot! : )
One of the bass fisherman was kind enough to snap a pic of me with my prize fish!

The fish came to be around 20" in length! Not bad for my first bowfin on the fly!