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

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


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.