Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another good day fishing for panfish and bass

I took Friday off from work, as it was supposed to be a nice day. With Hurricane Dan moving up the coast it was expected that Saturday and/or Sunday would be filled with rain and wind. Definitely not a good day for casting a fly. So, if I wanted to fish I needed to take a loooong weekend, and Friday was the day!

Well, Friday started out kind of "iffy"; not what I expected. Wind was cool and out of the east (generally not a good thing). The sky was a solid cloud bank when I awoke, and the air temperature was a cool 50F. But as the morning progressed the sun began to shine through and eventually I thought the fish might be starting to stir.

I packed up the Hobie Float Cat and got to my favorite pond around 11 am. The pond is long and thin and runs from north to south, so it was actually quite sheltered from the breeze.
I found the water was cooler than the week before and there was no surface activity of any sort. The yellow bodied Edson Tiger that was still on my line from its successful outing last week was not successful on this day. So, I switched colors to what is actually my favorite version of this fly... black. Its tied with a twisted black marabou body, a dun dyed mallard hackle and a few strands of peacock. I can't tell you that the herl helps, but if does look better! Plus, I just use the butt ends of herl I have collected from tying herl body flies. This is another fly which I definitely want to tie with step-by-step photos for the Web site this winter.

The day turned out to be another banner day of fishing, with loads of bluegills chomping on this one fly, with 4 or 5 largemouth bass thrown into the mix.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A good day fishing for panfish

This has been a crazy summer. July was one of the coldest and wettest in history here in New England, and I don't think I was even once was able to fish a river. Well, maybe once. But generally water levels were what they normally are in May, right after spring runoff.

That left me fishing ponds from my hobbie float cat. But even that has been something I have avoided for about two weeks due to the oppressive August humidity and high temperatures.

Well, I finally got out on Sunday and the fishing was fantastic. Humidity was down a bit, temperatures were below 90F, and there was enough of a ground level breeze to keep me happy.

The closest thing I had to the yellow jackets that were swarming the lily pads and were getting sucked in by the bluegills was a single Brooks-style yellow stonefly nymph which I tied with rubber band strands for a tail. Lots of action! It was unweighted and I fished it right along the edge of the lily pads with great success until I lost it after one vicious strike which could only have been a pickerel.

The reward was bluegills (males) in spawning colors. On the other hand, one photo here is of a male (yes?) in post-spawn lack-of-color. It was the greyist colored bluegill I had ever seen, and I thought a picture would provide an interesting contrast to the bright-colored spawning males.

After loosing that one-and-only yellow stonefly nymph I switched to the only other yellow fly I had with me. This is my own little version of a Dark Edson Tiger. (Mr. Edson named his fly after the "dark" wing and not the "light" body; the Light Edson Tiger is tied with a yellow wing and peacock herl wrapped body.) The bluegills slammed it and typically this meant removing the streamer with foreceps, whereas when I had fished the nymph it was usually dangling from the upper lip. A couple of bass fell for it too.