Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fuck fishing. Especially Tiger Musky.

Fuckin'skunked Lake at sunrise

There is only one lake in all of western Montana that contains Tiger Musky.  This is the only lake within 500 miles of me that contains Tigers, and this lake is only 20 minutes from where I rest my head.  Lucky me, huh?  Notsomuch.

Two winters ago, I finally got wise enough to download and study the stocking reports of the last seven years of the lakes in my area.  Had I done this research earlier, I would have found out that in 2007, they dumped a truckload of golden trout in a pond just 30 minutes from here.  The fish were destined for a mountain lake with still-inaccessable roads and so they dumped them in a pond just a mile off the highway.  Now, I've fished for goldens several times at high altitude lakes in Montana and Wyoming.  But my luck was as bad as the outdated info I was using in trying to find them, and they have remained on my species-yet-to-catch list.  In that spring of 2010 I first visited this lake with hopes of easily catching gigantic goldens.  Skunked.  I visited again in late June and found the water to already be at intolerable warmth.  This pond was simply not suitable habitat for trout, not even brown trout.  Any chance I had of catching a golden from this puddle was long gone, as those fish had had no chance of holding over.  They remain a species not crossed off my to-do list.
But what I also discovered in reading through those records was a very interesting tidbit.  In the spring of 2006, FWP planted 1000 Tiger Musky into one of my local lakes.  In doing some Googling, I learned that the planting of these sterile, trashfish-eating monsters was an attempt to bring down the number of chubs, squawfish, etc. that populated the water so that they could eventually plant trout in it.  They would systematically introduce Tigers each year, and being sterile, they wouldn't have to worry about these non-native species taking hold and eating precious trout in the future.  But there was a problem with supply.  In late 2006, the Illinois hatchery that supplied the Tigers, (and from what I understand every Tiger Musky that is manufactured), became diseased.  So no more Tigers for this lake anytime too soon.  Or any lake for that matter.  Only the survivors of the original 1000 were left to do the job.  These fish are now approximately 7 years old.  They look to me to be about 15 pounds.  But I wouldn't really know, because they don't really wanna play too closely.

I decided when I started this blog not to name the waters I fish, unless those waters were ridiculously well-known.  So I've been changing names around a bit.  Anyone who really wants to know could probably figure it out with any amount of research, though.  But this name I will call Fuckin'skunked Lake.  It's an Indian name.  Fuckin'skunked Lake is an unusual lake for this area in that it has no inlet nor outlet.  It's a pothole lake unlike the others which are generally all connected to one another by creeks or stream.  Like a cloverleaf pool, it's a hole in the ground made up of several holes, or bowls.  I have no idea how deep it is, but I suspect there are some areas that are several hundred feet deep.  The entire shoreline is very steep, and thickly wooded.  The water is cold, gin clear, and has a glacial tint coloring to it.  The water is gorgeous, and when the sun is high in the sky, you can see the white, pollen-coated floor of the lake in depths of twenty-plus feet.  It makes for some exciting sight-fishing, but as you can see them, they can most certainly see you.  To make things even more exciting, the entire shoreline is thickly covered in downed, submerged trees making for tons of habitat and even more areas for a fish to tangle your line.  Not that I've had to worry about that too much.
I've had good luck fishing Fuckin'skunked Lake for both smallmouth bass and squawfish in the early spring.  After that, though, the squawfish seem to disappear and the bass become very wary.  Only the little smallies seem to want to play later into the summer.  But it's not really bass that you fish this lake for; there's plenty of better lakes for that, and fishing clear waters for bass is difficult.  Compounding the difficulty of fishing here is that there are no weedbeds in this lake.  None.  No lillypads, either.  Without an inlet, there's no significant nutrient flows into the lake to make for a muddy bottom enough to grow plants.  Just pollen and whatever falls into the water.  So the only structure to this lake seems to be the steep, lumber yards of the shoreline; submerged fallen trees, painted in ghostly white pollens.  And it doesn't take long to find the fish when the backdrop is white.  Especially when the fish are close to four feet long and are seemingly indifferent to the boat and idiot at the helm who's literally bouncing clousers off their nose.
Up until yesterday, I've fished here for Tiger Musky maybe 15 times.  Except maybe a day or two of cloudy weather, I've always been able to sightcast to several of these monsters.  Always with the same result of complete indifference to my fly.  I am confident that, if I wanted to, I could drag a hook across one of these fish and snag 'em in the snout.  And I've thought about it.  Steelhead are known as the fish of a 1000 casts, and if you had asked me in my first few years of steelheading, I would have thought that number was grossly conservative.  Musky are known as the fish of 10,000 casts; the math indicates they are 10x harder to catch than a steelhead.  That's just stupid.  But yesterday morning things changed.
 
I got on the lake early, too early and too little light to spot the fish yet.  I was chucking a heavy fly and heavy sinktip along the shore into likely, dark spots along the shore.  As I was stripping it off the shore, one of those large dark spots moved a full 180, and began to follow my fly strip for strip.   My god, I finally moved one!  The initial stripping was rather slow and when I saw him, I sped it up, but he didn't follow as quickly so I paused the fly and as it dropped, he charged it!  And then he stopped.  My heart was pounding like a motherfuck!  I could feel the pulsing in the jugulars of my neck, and I couldn't help noticing that I was fucking shaking in my hands!  This was it!  "Strip strike!" I told myself, remembering NOT to set the hook with the rod.  I began stripping again and he followed, getting just offset with the fly as if eyeballing it with only his left eye, just as I have seen pike do right before they crush the fly from the side.  I thought my heart was going to explode.  This fish was a goddamn monster!  I'm guessing 15 pounds, maybe 40 inches, I don't know, but this fish was my fucking Moby Dick at that moment.  Strip strip strip strip, pause, he's charging again!  he pauses.  Excruciating shit!  It seemed to take forever, and I remember having time to begin thinking about remembering to turn on the trolling motor to get me away from those underwater logs if he decided to take my fly that direction.  My cast had been about 60 feet of line, and he had already followed for about half of that.  Any closer and he was going to notice my boat.  So I began giving the fly sharp jerks of action, but letting it dive, hoping that the Tiger would face more to the bottom than directly at the boat.  But as my fly went into seizure and dead feign, he lost interest, holding his position as my fly jerked around below the boat.  Eventually he turned and went back to his lair.  My heart thumped wildly for several more minutes as I sighed out profanities.  A fish of 10,000 "FUCK!!!!"s is more like it.  After giving it some thought, I decided against casting again to this fish.  I would have changed the fly if I tried again, but instead I decided to continue down the shoreline and look for other fish, and then come back.  I did find more fish, all indifferent, and I regretted my decision to leave a semi-(but not really)-willing fish, especially when he wasn't there when I came back. 

For some, a lifetime of fishing small brooks for willing and naive cutties or brookies is thrilling enough that they never try for a more challenging adversary.  And for others, like speyrodders slinging greased lines for steelies; like those that endure year after year of skunked trips looking for their first Belize permit; or even those who fish trout waters where 7x flouro is still considered "cable", it's the rare occurrance of catching a fish that really just shouldn't be caught that makes fishing exciting.  Things that are earned through repeated sadistic beatings somehow feel better to us.  Not catching an impossible fish trumps catching an easy one.  I get asked by friends and family and the kids I work with, "Why do you like fishing so much?"  And I used to have trouble answering this question  in a way that felt right to me.  That is, until I realized, I don't actually like fishing.  I mean, obviously I do at some level.  But I don't enjoy fishing as much as, for some reason, I like to create problems for myself and then try and solve them.  Or not.  And like it or not, that's what fishing is to me now. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday morning heathens and hicks.

Sunday morning fishing is always nice because you know that everyone else fishing around you, everyone else who doesn't go to church, is going straight to hell, too.
Personally, I don't think I should have to go to hell. I mean, I've devoted my professional life to helping kids and their families; shouldn't that count for something? But whatever, I'll deal with it when the time comes. I bet there's decent fishing in hell. But there's gonna be a catch to it, like we'll only have access to really old tippett materials. Whatever.
I fished Smith Lake today. Smith Lake was put there by God for all the local white trash fisherman to fish from the two docks. White trash have never been told that voices carry very well over water, and so from my boat, I get to hear every stupid thought, every chain-smoking cough and phlegm, and every curse and threat they offer their children. But what I like most about Smith Lake is that the majority of pike hole up about 50 yards from the White Trash piers, just out of reach of the Neanderthal piscators. And so I can catch fish all day in front of them and listen as they whine about me "letting another fukkin' fish go goddamit!" as if I were playing for the enemy. It's pretty fun.
My largest fish today had a foot of steel leader coming straight out of his stomach. Obviously he had broken someone off, a bait fisherman, but his stomach had swollen up around the hook and had closed off like a sphincter. Although he was still trying to eat my yellow bunny, this fish was gonna die, so I killed it and gave it to a redneck on the dock. He wasn't catching anything and he looked hungry. Might as well take pity on him, he's going to hell, too.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Car shopping done! and back to the fishing!

Well I finally got the vehicle situation figured out.  As much as I've been trailering the boat(s) this year, I've been wanting to get a vehicle that gets better fuel mileage than my '85 Grand Wagoneer.  That beast is my baby, but at 10mpg, fishing as much as 5 days a week, it's been murder on the wallet.  Plus, as anyone who has fished with me knows, she likes to stall and not start up again right at the boat launch, (which is maybe the most embarrassing place for a car NOT to start, besides maybe on train tracks).  So she has been shelved to leak as much oil as she can in front of the house).  I may sell her, I don't know.
 Take a breather ShagWag, you did a good job.
_______________________________________________________________________________

So, after weeks of looking around, I bought the vehicle I thought perfect for the job.  I had to go Subaru again.  Here in Montana, with the fucked up weather and long driving distances, Subarus are key.  They get good mpg, and have an amazing AWD that cuts through snow and (hopefully) can drop off/extract my boats from shady boat put-ins.  I wanted an Impreza wagon, cuz I've already owned an Outback and wanted something a little sportier.  But I wanted either a 2002 or a 2003, because they have the round headlights.  I have a thing for round headlights, some of my favorite cars I have owned had round headlights (1964 Karmann Ghia, and a jacked up 1983 CJ5, and someday, I will restore and own a Porsche 912). 
Please welcome ________________ (name yet to be earned):



Notice something about her?  That's right!  She looks just like a large pike.  How perfect is that!?!

Now, you can't just buy a car and be happy.  You've got to make it personal.  First thing, stereo.  I put an Alpine head unit in her, all new speakers, and an amplified sub under the seat.  She sounds amazing.  I buffed the headlights with one of those restoration kits.  Then, and most importantly, I installed the hitch and a wiring harness.
And I had her pulling the boat to the lake yesterday morning.  She performed excellently, with plenty of power on the dirt roads and highway.  Unfortunately, the fishing is still tough.  I saw plenty of large fish, including some monster bass, but they wouldn't play with me.  I landed about a dozen small pike.  But with nighttime temps dropping into the forties, I think these fish will come out to play soon.  It should be an excellent fall and I'll be ready to enjoy every minute of it





Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Free-Balling Diver, perfectly weedless

Again, the counter-balance was inspired by what Simon is doing over at pikeflyfishingarticles, but I really needed a weedless diver and this is what I came up with.  I gotta say, it really floats well and it is completely weedless.  The hook is protected from being both upright and covered in deerhair.  It'll still snag a lilly stem here and there, but I LOVE this fly.  A bitch to tie time-wise, but fun nonetheless.
I posted a thread with complete tying instructions over on WFF.com.


The past couple weeks. . .

August gets tough as both the water clarity gets gin, and the temperatures rise.  I've had a lot of fish lazily follow my fly, but most turn away as soon as they see me.

I've dropped the wire leader altogether and thinned down to 2x flourocarbon, and that's helped a little.  Luckily, I haven't lost a fish yet to mono, but I'm sure I will soon.
So with the weather what it is, I haven't been fishing quite as many days.  I've been using the time to look at new cars, as my Wagoneer only gets 10 mpg, I'd like to get back into a Subaru which should still be able to pull my boat.
I suspect that September and October will be good.  So I'll use my time wisely to take care of non-fishing related matters now and try and keep the fall responsibility-free.

Yesterday on the Lower river, I found a pod of Largemouth schooled up in some submerged tree stumps.  I had repeated rejections until I switched to a small popper and 3x mono, and that did the trick.  They're a lot of fun, but I still don't get why they're the most popular N. American gamefish.  They fight like old men.
It was 91 degrees out on the river.  Forest fires are burning in the hills.  Let's hope for cooler temps soon.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday

After a weekend of taking care of errands and floating (not fishing) the Flathead River on Sunday with the wife, it was good to be back on the water early this morning.  Unfortunately, the fishing was really tough today.  I did catch three or four smaller fish, but I also had three or four large fish sniffin' and rejectin' my flies.  It is so heartbreaking to see that lunker come scootin' up behind the fly and follow, strip for strip, inches behind the fly all the way up to the boat.
All of today's fishing was sightcasting to fish in the light-weeds.  I found a few more shorelines that held fish, so I will have more places to search.  Winds were light, the sun was super bright.  My plan for tomorrow is to tie up some realistic bait patterns and go au natural.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday sightfishing for large Esox

There is no doubt in my mind, sightcasting to fish is by far my preferred way of fishing.  Whether it be large trout cruising the shallows, bonefish feeding on white sands, steelhead holding in a tailout. . . there is just nothing like the challenge of presenting a fly to a fish that you have spotted.  Unlike blind casting, you (sometimes) have an opportunity to swim a fly exactly as you'd like in front of that fish.  But that doesn't make catching fish any easier.
I've often wondered if it is easier to catch fish you cannot see  than the ones you can.  The obvious disadvantage you have when seeing fish: chances are, they can see you.  I mean, why wouldn't they see you long before you spot them?  You're bigger, noisier, and clumsier than they are.  But mostly, you're the foreigner in their environment.  Yeah, I think they notice us pretty quick standing six feet tall on the water in our boats, too.
But fishing is about solving challenges, and getting a fish you can see to bite your fly is a undeniable.  It's not like we see a fish and think, "Fuck.  It probably saw me, too.  I should move on. . .".  Uh uh.  The protocol is to begin emptying your flybox in that fish's face.  I'm not talking about that fish at forty plus feet that cruises by, I'm talking about that fish suspended in two feet of water twenty feet from your feet, looking right at you and reading the registration numbers on your bow.  Here's what we sound like when we are casting:

Cast 1-3: "Come on. Eat it.  Eat it.  You know you want it.  Eat it."
Cast 4-8, second fly:  "Daaaaamn, that's a big fish!   C'mon boy, c'mon. . .  He's following!  Take it!  Take it!  Ahhhhhh fuck!!!  Come back!  God damn!!!
Casts 9-second to last cast, third fly after you may or may not have been patient enough to rest the fish a bit:  "Alright Fucker, let's do this.  Eat it.  Just FUCKIN' EAT IT ASSHOLE!"  (repeat profanity in various forms, octaves).
Cast Last cast:  You line the fish and let the fly slowly fall onto the fish's head as if hitting it in the head with fake food is going to change his mind.  He jets from his sleep, you never see him again, and you never forget it.  Until maybe the next fish you spot. . .

That's the usual scenario.  But sometimes things work out in our favor.   Sometimes, either the fish are a bit more willing, or maybe, we did something (more) right.  Sometimes we present the fly from just the right angle, or our first fly was just what they were looking for; sometimes, maybe, we were in their blind spot all along and they never saw us; or maybe once in a while, we are casting to a fish with a drinking problem, or one that lost at rock paper scissors.  I don't know.  But sometimes we catch them.  And the feeling is fantastic. 
All of the above, the cursing though the rejections (multiple large fish) for an hour, and the three fish to the boat in my final half hour before work, happened Thursday morning.  I'd like to think that it was a decision (I switched from a wire leader to 20 pound hard mono) that turned the tables.  But who knows?  In the end, the largest fish still never played the idiot more than I did.  Several nice size fish did, however, humor me, and it was a great day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday fishin non-stop!


Jeez, I've been fishing straight for five days now!  I haven't even had time to go through the pics!
Saturday: Church Slough, I think I wrote about that already. . .
Sunday: Upper Whitefish Lake with the wife and dogs, got a few casts in in the heat of the day, nothin. . .
Monday: Back to Church Slough to get my net which I discovered missing on Sunday.  I realized it must have fallen out of the boat when I landed that pike.  And yep, if you look at the photo, you can see it slipping into the water.  And it was right where I left it.  Caught two small bass and saved myself from spending another $40 on a net.
Tuesday:  Secret Pond, an amazing day on the popper.  Got some good footage of takes on the popper.
Today:  Lower T, started out slow: two small fish to the boat,



but then I found some pigs in a weedfield.  They were super cautious to my fly, which I repeatedly changed about a dozen times.  Two fell for it.  One, (of course the big one. . .) shook the hook.  He would have been the largest pike on the fly for me, maybe 14 pounds.  And then the second was this guy, about 7 pounds.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday morning

I fished one of the Flathead Sloughs this morning. Water is still a bit murky, high, and cold from the river still running so high. I thought that would make for ideal conditions, but the fishing was tough. The sun was really bright on the water, maybe that had something to do with it. But I was able to explore some of the back-backwaters, taking the boat deeper into the slough than I ever knew existed. Lots of bass scurrying away from the boat. But I surprised this guy. . .






And then this guy pounced on my fly as I was throwing the fly into empty spaces in the weedbeds.

 And then finally, another little bass in the sticks of a downed tree. . .





All in all a pretty fun morning!

First video!



Damn. Editing video is a pain in the ass! This was kinda a practice run, so be kind.
I also didn't realize how many fish I missed that day! I guess it goes to show how much fun it is to have fish attack the fly versus actually landing the fish.
Enjoy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday morning

Jesus, today was a sweet day!  All the conditions were just right, as temperatures came down yesterday, a thin cloud cover, and no wind.  The fishing was good right from the boat landing until the minute I had to leave to get to work.  No monsters were caught today, but a LOT of action, and I got it all on video.  Tonight I'll begin sorting through it and try to post a short action video this weekend. 

My weedless fly worked exceptionally.  That is, until I lost it to a fish.  Broke me off at the snap swivel!  And when I went to tie on another snap swivel, that one broke, too!  I gotta find a better brand.  But that fly floated high, always turned over correctly, and swam easily through thick vegetation.  I'll tie more tonight and try and think of a name for it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday

I fished Lower T today.  The fishing was tougher, and while I boated seven fish, none were exceptional.  I did, however, catch a small largemouth bass, and I also had two good-sized pike, together, like at the same time, check out my fly.  They also both rejected that fly.  Together, like they both agreed I was not worthy.  And that kinda hurt.
Water temps are rising, and the larger fish are most likely heading deeper.  I saw less baitfish in the shallows as well.

Last night I tied up a new prototype weedless fly.  It's taken from two concepts, the first being the KDM Rat and the second being the flies Simon Graham (of pikeflyfishingarticles.com) is tying using beads as counter balances
The KDM Rat uses a glued-on strip of lead on the belly of a deer hair pattern, causing the hook to ride up: the fly fisher's equivalent to the famous Weedless Frog lure.  Personally, I'm not a fan of adding more weight to a popper; you're gonna get a "splat!" anytime you toss poppers, but I prefer a subtle "splat!" 
Simon's flies add a monofilament loop on top of the hook, and beads are strung up on the mono.  That added weight causes the fly to flip over and ride hook up (and gives a really cool "belly" effect). 
Instead of mono, I went with clear Larvae Lace.  It's more flexible than mono, which might lead to more solid hook-ups (less cock-blocking of the hook) than a rigid piece of mono.  Who knows?  We'll find out tomorrow if it works.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday morning

It was good to see the in-laws, but it was nice to get out and fish again.  Unfortunately, the weather has changed from mild to wild-hot.  Yesterday was 96 degrees, and this morning was hot as well, although it should cool down the rest of the week.  I fished the pond this morning, hoping to catch some top water action on my videocam.  The fishing started out very slowly, but I was able to film a few strikes.  The hope is to compile enough action by season's end to make a decent video.
The Drift also shoots decent 5MP still shots.  The fisheye lens is going to take some getting used to.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday

Well, the good news is that I got my new Drift X170 action camcorder today. The bad news is that it didn't arrive until after another good day of fishing. . .
I fished the lillies today.  Secret pond is getting filthy with weed, so it was hard to keep my fly clean.  I fished poppers, ultimately ending up fishing a large, 7" Dahlberg diver in hopes of keeping smaller fish off of my fly.  I've been hooking some of these fish deep, and I'm going to have to experiment with placing the hook way up front on some of my smaller poppers.
Anyways, the fishing was decent, maybe a dozen fish to the boat, but none of the larger fish this lake has for me today.  I definitely missed a few, one that seemed to be much larger than the others.  When I wasn't sneaking flies through the pads, I was fishing the open water that is choked up with weeds growing almost to the surface.  The fish bed down in there and crash on bait swimming above.  The takes are dramatic, but they often miss the fly and more often than not, they don't come back to get it.  I still don't understand why they wouldn't search more for the prey that they so clearly wanted.  I had several fish attack the fly so fast and hard they left the water and did a dolphin-style summersault.  So fun!  Can't wait to get it on film. 
Unfortunately, that will have to wait until next week as my in-laws are still in town, so no fishing again this weekend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday and Wednesday

Yesterday was a beautiful morning on Lower T with glassy water, clouds slowly lifting off the hills, and no one on the water.  When I first arrived, I found fish crashing baitfish on the surface over the weedbeds.  I wish I had spent more time trying to figure these fish out.  Instead, I plugged the steep banks and found most of the fish holding tight in cover close to the bank.  The fishing was decent, but no fish seemed photo worthy.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed the time on the water, watched some really cool takes on my fly, and brought seven fish to the boat before noon.

Today was a gorgeous day, too, although with weather threatening all morning.  I woke up at 5 am to a torrential downpour pounding on my cabin's (barely insulated) roof.  I went back to bed and remembered the article I had read the night before in the new Fly Fisherman magazing about how dangerous it is for fisherman in lightening storms.  I was up at 6:30 and on the water an hour later. 
I decided to check out Middle T today, which involves putting in on Lower T and motoring through a creek that connects the two.  As soon as I entered the outlet's bay, I thought, "This water looks fishy. . ."  Three strips into my first cast, fish on!
A heavy rain came down almost immediately after this fish but lasted only for a few minutes.  Thunder rolled in the background, and although nervous about what I read about how dangerous it is to fish in electric air, I fished on.
It took a bit longer to find my second fish, plugging the bank with a simple chartreuse/white Clouser, but when it happened, I was stoked.  The fish just materialized out of nowhere and slammed my fly hard, dove back into his downed tree, I pulled him out, and he then went deep.  For anyone who likes to plug the bank with buggers for trout, you've GOT to try this style of pike fishing!


Around the next corner, I caught this guy, and while fighting him, saw that I was coming up on the mother of all downed trees in the water.


So I creep up on the tree all ninja, make my cast tight to the bank, strip twice, and a pike materializes Star Trek transporter style.  It's fuckin spooky how they come out of nowhere sometimes.  He follows, bats the fly a couple times (for newbies to pike, DON'T set the hook with your rod, even if you see the take; STRIP STRIKE!) and then finally does the U-turn, front-of-the-fly-first slashing GULP!  So damn exciting getting to watch all of this from up high in the boat!  And just as he does that head-shaking, angry, "WTF!?!?" thing that they do just before their initial run, ANOTHER, bigger fish comes up casually beside him to check it out, seemingly asking the hooked fish, "What's the matter, Bob?".
So I land that fish. . . 
 . . .and go back for the other.  One cast, same spot, and here's that fish.
 And here's a head shot of one of the fish I took today.  Kinda looks like a turd.  You know when you're kinda sick, and sometimes your turds are this shade of green?  Yeah, you do.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New toy coming!

I've been wanting to get my hands on a videocamera for fishing/snowboarding for a while now.  I've been looking at the GoPro cameras for some time, but I think this is the one I want.  I spent the extra money on speedy delivery, and I hope to have it on the water for Thursday.  Fingers crossed, it gets here quick!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Interesting fly

This is the shit you want

The best thing about using titanium wire is it does not kink.  Steel wire will pigtail in a way that can not be fixed.  Titanium single strand doesn't. 
I use a swivel on one end that I tie my leader to, and a snap swivel on the other.  I use clinch knots to secure both swivels.  Although the knots do not pull together perfectly snug, I've yet to have these knots come undone. 
Cabela's sells this product for about $16 for 15 feet.  I use the 30#.

More pics from last week

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday

Well, I had a good day but my experimentation with cameras failed on every level. I was trying to shoot high def video with the plan to capture still shots. But I can't seem to get it to be high def on my computer. Looks like shit. So I lost the images of the seven pound pike I caught today on a last cast.
I had another great day on Pond X. I boated a dozen more fish, mostly in the three to six pound range. The last fish was a beast and fought well. All fish were taken on the surface. I might re-name this lake Popper Pond.
One thing I gotta look into is circle hooks. I've def released a few fish now that were hooked deep and bleeding... Do they even make fine wire circle hooks?
Since I lost all the footage, I've decided to upload a pic from Wednesday. Put a few filters on it cuz I've been downloading a lot of photo apps for my iPhone.
In-laws in town. No fishing this weekend...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday morning

Decided to rest the pond today and instead hit Lower T. The action was slow for the first hour, then fantastic for two hours, and slow again the last hour. With sunny skies, I was watching fish move to my fly from 15 feet away, dark shadows moving with purpose! Boated a dozen fish, this one being my largest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday morning

This morning was ridiculous on my secret pond, with at least a dozen good wakes and six or seven fish weighing in over 3 pounds. Two of these fish scaled at close to five pounds. This pond continues to fish well with poppers even into the afternoon heat. I may have to go back again tomorrow...

Last Friday

I fished one of the Thompsons Friday night. There was a good hour right when I got there, but then it turned off from eight til dark. I can't figure out why this lake doesn't fish up to dark.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunday with Mike Doughty

I met up again with Mike for Round 2 of pike fishing here in the Flathead. I took him to Lynch to fish the lily pads and we were into fish right away. His second fish of the day wrapped him around some lily stems and then raced out of the hole like a train. I got a good look at the fish, looked to be a ten pounder. Unfortunately, it broke him off at the steel leader. Never seen that before!
The rest of the morning was good and we caught some nice fish up to 28".

We then went and checked put Horseshoe, but no bass to be seen, and the Tiger muskie weren't gonna be fooled either.
Headed to lower Thompson, and after some initial effort, things picked up around 7 pm. We boated six or seven really nice fish. It was good to both start and end the day with fish this time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A mouse, from a pike's belly, who was caught on a mouse pattern.

This once was a 24" pike. Now he's my friend Jon's dinner. Opening his stomach, I thought it was a large ass wad of dragonfly nymphs and leechs. Nope. Fuckin 5 inch mouse.

Another from this morning

I fished a rabbit muddler this morning, stripping it just under the surface like a swimming mouse. It is so freakin' fun to see the wakes coming!

Monday

Lotta action in the lilly pads this morning and yesterday. The action seems to taper around 11. Pics from Sunday's epic journey with Mike Doughty to be added soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fwd: Prop Bunnies

I forgot I had a package of propellers, so I finally made use of them.
Tail:  First, slide on the propeller blade and the bead.  Then, tie in two, three inch 20# monofilament pieces for your weedguards  Then, flashabou and crystal flash with five inch bunny tails.

Body:  (Optional, add lead wrap), one turn of the tail's bunny, and three turns of the head's bunny.

Head/collar: flashabou and crystal flash with a large bead.  Before whipping, tie in the weed guards.  Add epoxy to whip finish, and then smoosh back the bead so that the bead dries on top of wraps and creates a gap between bead and the eye of the hook, thus creating an 1/8" gap for the propeller to do it's thing.