Saturday, August 24, 2013

Steelhead in Downtown Monroe!

I'm beginning to think that my titles on my blog are quite lame....oh well. At least it describes the post. With that aside, today was quite an awesome day or morning rather. I was supposed to work last night but was called off for half the night then went in around 2 to sit with a confused patient. I felt great this morning so I went out and fished for 2 hours. Never in my life did I think that I would snag a steelhead today much less catch a 14" smallie on a carp hybrid. 2 firsts.

The action was quite slow. Started out with a brown San Juan worm with no success. Switched to the hybrid and slammed a smallie. I was shocked.

Please note ahead of time, I'm sleep deprived and that means I'm super slap happy. It's almost embarrassing to hear myself laugh like I'm 12 but I guess it's a good thing as I was seriously that excited and shocked to see me catch a decent smallie on a carp fly. I know flies are interchangeable but it was just fun and exciting. Below is the semi-aftermath of the smallie catch.

I keep walking the dam and see carp milling around but they are having nothing to do with my fly. They're super scared as they know from last time that I caught them all. I saw them eating algae or possibly grabbing insects from the algae but I did see them feeding. I now know a longer, thinner leader with a unweighted fly such as a soft hackle is the ticket in the calm areas. It's all about learning in carp fishing.

So, the last cast of the day, I snag *something*. Previously, I saw something move and jump in the water and I had no clue what it was as the color was silver and couldn't wrap my head around the fact that it could be a steelhead. It was. I cast into the same pool hoping the carp will see and take my fly but to no avail. I lift my rod up and feel resistance. I wait. Then that resistance starts to flail and move all over the place. I then realize I snagged a fish. Okay, it's  happened before. I lead it into the rapids and it carries it down the river. The video below shows the rest. As you can see and hear, I'm in disbelief.

Never in my life would I have thought that I would have snagged a steelhead. In late August. In warm water (the water had to be 70+ degrees). Overall, awesome. It's a shame that I snagged it and it was beat up but nevertheless, there are stray steelies in our local waters!

Hands down, best catch on the fly thus far. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Never Give Up On Carp

9 1/2 lbs of carp goodness. All on my 4wt.
My cousin told me his favorite fish to catch was a pike because they fight so hard. I responded, "Yes, pike fight like a bulldog but carp fight like a train with no brakes. They don't stop even when they're tired." I then explained to him that I was actually quite discouraged about carp fishing as I wasn't hooking into any as they were so spooked. I then glanced up at Facebook and noticed a post from Big Bass Dreams. I don't remember liking the page but they posted a blog post entitled"Big Bass Dreams Turned Big Bass Reality." It was kind of catchy so I decided to read it. What I found was quite inspiring....

You see, Big Bass Dreams' writer, Oliver Ngy, was in a slump as he called it. He said he was frustrated because he wasn't catching the big bass out there. I was in the same boat and I quit carp fishing as I couldn't hook into a single carp and was getting discouraged and angry. When I read his post, he said that he didn't have any confidence in himself. I took that in my life as I needed to have confidence that I was going to catch a carp and land it! Well, I will tell you right now that I've never hooked up much less landed so many carp in my life. I HOOKED 24 carp. Not even kidding. I imagine they were the same carp but I still hooked them. I landed 6. This is not including the other menagerie of fish included in the mix like rock bass, smallmouth, and freshwater drum. 3 of the 6 carp I hooked and landed were just shy of 10 lbs. This may not seem like a feat but let me tell you this: I was catching all these fish on my 9' 4wt rod: the Redington Classic Trout. Oh, and I was battling severe rapids that these carp could swim AGAINST and swim perpendicular with the rapids in a straight line. I was about to be knocked over by the rapids and these carp took it like it was nothing! So, I hope you understand the feat that is at hand. Oh, and I was using a 6lb tippet as well. By the end of today, my entire leader is shot as it's been stretched hard.

Below is a short video of me fighting the first carp of the day. The funny/awful thing was that I foul hooked it. In the anus.....
For the next several hours I fished. And listened to jazz....I listened to jazz because it was the Monroe Jazz Festival. All these people were staring and cheering me on while I was catching these carp. It was a lot of fun to listen to jazz and fish. : ) Quite relaxing....

No words can describe the pain that fish felt. Imagine getting a giant pointy thing stuck in YOUR anus and being dragged around in rushing water! 
Below is a video of me catching, weighing, and releasing a decent carp. It was tough to control it as I was on my 4wt but  nevertheless, it was a blast.
After this video was taken, my GoPro died and I didn't have an extra battery that was charged. I swear I need to invest in another battery and have 3 batteries total as recording for every trip gets ridiculous as I don't have enough juice to record everything. Soon.

May not seem  like much but this picture makes me so happy.
At the end of the day, I had a number of carp among some other fish brought to my net, as I mentioned, including my first sheepshead on the fly, which was really exciting! Those who were at the jazz festival were watching me as I was bringing the carp to the net. They were all cheering me on and congratulating me as they saw me literally running down the river with  my fly rod in my hand. Looking back at it, I really shouldn't run down the river again....Too dangerous.... Oh well. I'll keep doing it until I break something...

Monday, August 5, 2013

River Raisin Smallie Fishing!

For the past week or so, I've been hitting the smallmouth in downtown Monroe pretty hard as the carp fishing has been quite discouraging. It's been excellent as I kind of stumbled upon it on accident. I asked a few people around town if anyone fished in downtown Monroe, Michigan and they all said yes but no one has recently taken anything significantly big out of there. Well, I headed down to the extremely shallow river last Tuesday eveningg and I then discovered how good of a fishing spot it was. Smallies everywhere.

Tuesday evening was a trial run. I caught quite a few smallies by just high stick nymphing it with my 8ft 4wt. They weren't big but they definitely were fun. Wednesday, I really took a stab at it and caught quite a few 12", 13" and 14" smallies, which is quite big for that part of the river, on my Redington CT 9' 4wt. However, the highlight of my trip was last night, Sunday, which I caught a 14" smallie but also a 21" northern pike! Best part was it was all on my 4wt!

Below is the video of me catching the nice 14" smallie from yesterday. Put up a decent fight but didn't have my hemostats outside of my pack unfortunately. He was released unharmed, which is good. : )

The last fish of the day was a beautiful 21" northern pike. I actually scared it and then saw it moving down stream and kind of lost hope. Then I saw it again facing upstream downstream. : ) I quickly took off my leech fly and tied on a heavy weighted Clouser Minnow in chartreuse and white. I jigged it in front of the pike and it lunged at it then casually bit it half way. I let it sit, and I lifted the rod and set the hook. The pike did the rest! : )
The video was quite difficult to shoot as my net was not cooperating with me which was extremely frustrating.....I did get it in and measure it though! Unfortunately, you cannot see me measuring it. Nevertheless, it was released unharmed and slowly swam away in defeat. Sad that its jaw was pretty beat up. Glad I could give it another chance to grow into an even bigger fish!

Now, all that is left is me catching a carp soon. I've been discouraged as my carp trips have failed. Miserably. In fact, I drove 45 minutes to Elmore, Ohio only to find that the river was blown out! Chocolate milk and very high and fast flowing river! : ( Oh well. It was good to go on an adventure! Until next time folks! Tight lines!