Trip Preparations

It doesn’t seem to matter how many effective fly patterns I have, when I come across a new pattern I am frequently enticed to give it a try.  Often the tier has used it in a particular location for specific purposes that don’t exactly match my own.  But whether it is experience or curiosity, my mind comes up with some rationale for why it might work where I am fishing.

The guys at Fly Fish Food are located a long ways from where I do most of my fishing but I appreciate their fly tying videos and often find something that I want to try to replicate for my own purposes.  

Next weekend’s trip is to Kenauk Nature for rainbow trout and hopefully a repeat of a great weekend last October.  Before that trip I tied a few of Fly Fish Food’s Complex Twist Bugger 2 and they proved very effective on some of the larger rainbows hanging in deeper water.  They will be along for the ride again this year.

But a recent repost of Big Ben’s Brown Bugger got my attention.  Here is my poor imitation of their fine pattern.  We’ll see how it works next weekend.

Big Ben’s Brown Bugger

  

 

Kenauk Rainbows

Our fall trip to Kenauk was earlier this year than in the past.  While it was great to be out fishing sooner than later for the most part we were still dealing with summer conditions and were a bit concerned that the fish would not be as cooperative as they usually were later in autumn.

We arrived to great weather – and warm water temperatures.  The 69-70F surface temperatures were not promising.

While conditions were less than what we would have liked, intermediate and fast sinking lines proved to help get flies to where the fish were and it turned out they could be encouraged to bite.  One of my first was a nice 18 inch rainbow that surprisingly was caught casting into shore in water less than 10 feet deep.

Afternoons proved to be slow going but early morning was productive yielding steady hits, generally over deeper water.

My most successful fly over the three day period was a rootbeer coloured palmered chenille bugger fished on a type 6 sinking line.  Sometimes trolling worked best and sometimes casting and stripping.

Heading into the trip we were uncertain what to expect.  Water temperatures had not cooled much but we still managed to coax quite a few fish to bite.  All in all the fishing was pretty good as was the companionship.  Enticing enough for a return trip.

Fall Colors

The fishing season is coming to an end up here but the transition through autumn is pretty spectacular.

On Canadian Thanksgiving Donna and I headed out for a drive. Strangely we happened to pass by some of my favorite fishing spots. These shots were taken along the Mississippi River (the Canadian version). Besides the great view, it is an excellent spot to fish for smallmouth bass.

Check out other fall color posts at Outdoor Blogger Network

Thanksgiving Fishing

I am thankful for the opportunities I have to fish.

Its Canadian thanksgiving this weekend. We start early because winter comes much sooner than it does for those of you south of the board. But aside from the fact that the leaves are turning color and falling off the trees, today seemed more like a summer day. So I jumped at the opportunity to go fishing for a few hours.

With limited time, I headed to a nearby pond that is stocked annually with rainbow trout. It is pretty accessible so I wasn’t sure what to expect since I hadn’t been there for a year.

I rigged up with a clear intermediate line and a small streamer and after an initial run of rock bass, I was able to confirm there were still trout in the pond. I always find it interesting how different species and even strains within a species behave so differently. The rock bass hoover the fly in and then leave their mouths wide open while one hauls them in – like a small wind sock, giving the impression they are bigger than they are. The rainbow trout were not particularly aggressive in their take but once hooked they shook their heads mightily and were frequently successful in slipping the barbless hook.

Most of the trout were in the 12 inch range although a couple taped out at 15 inches.

At one point I decided to try a few underwater shots. This is not particularly easy when one is in a float tube, is working the fish to the tube with one hand and is trying to keep from dropping the camera with the other. This is the best of a bad bunch. If you look, you can see a trout in the distance. Clearly I need more practice!

Through the afternoon the takes came frequently until about 4 in the afternoon when things died down. Nothing big was caught but it was still a fine afternoon of fishing.

Favorite Outdoor Places – Where to Start?

What better to think about in the middle of winter while one anticipates the arrival of the new fishing season – my favorite places. That was the prompt this week from the Outdoor Blogger Network.  Sounds like a great idea and it got me thinking.  Interestingly, searching for a photo or two brought me right back to home.  Here are a few photos that struck a cord.  Although all these shots were taken in the fall, they are of places close by where I manage to fish at least three seasons of the year.  Autumn in eastern Ontario is a a spectacular time of year for photographs – maybe the landscape is more forgiving of me at that time of year because I seem to have more shots that I would show in public from this time of year.  These images remind me that home is pretty special.

Late Season Stillwater

Winter is approaching quickly. Days are short and temperatures are beginning to fall. Fall colours are long gone and as each day passes, the opportunities for stillwater fishing lessen.

Earlier this week a few of us had a chance to get out for a bit of trout fishing – a full day and the morning of the next. We were hoping to encounter rainbow trout bent on fattening up for the winter months. Depending on how you look at it, the weather conditions were going to be good or bad. Sunny and warm was inviting from the perspective of being out on the water with legs immersed in 43F water but maybe overcast would be preferable for the fish. What we got was sunny and warm and mostly no wind which made for very pleasant float tubing.

We arrived reasonably early Monday morning and wasted no time getting on the water. Fishing proved to be steady. By lunch time most had managed to coax several trout into dining on whatever was at the end of the line. In my case the menu du jour consisted mainly of the rusty brown bugger concoction I had come up with a couple months back. I admit it looks somewhat strange when dry but in the water the Krystal Hackle flattens back nicely to match the shape of a minnow body. Under the bright sun conditions the subtle sparkle seemed to be an added attraction for the fish. Who knows what goes through a fish’s brain but whatever it is, they seemed to like it.

Most of the fish caught were in the 12-14 inch range with a few approaching 16 inches. I was fishing a clear intermediate sink line. Fish were caught at various depths, generally while stripping in the line. Dusk comes early these days and by 5 o’clock the sun had set and everyone was ready for a warm cabin and dinner.

We were up the next morning, greeted by near flat calm conditions. As the sun rose over the hills, the temperature warmed and the wind stayed away. I headed to a shallow bay where I had had some success the day before. Same thing this morning as landed three rainbows in quick order and lost three more.

Somewhere I have heard or read – don’t leave fish to find fish, but not heeding that advice I decided to move on, thinking I would finish up the morning in another favourite bay. That proved to be an unsuccessful idea as the fish seemed to either have left the area or decided they weren’t hungry. At any rate after an hour with no activity, it was time to head in for a cup of coffee and to warm up.

With the toes feeling better I decided to hit the water for a bit before we had to pack up and leave. Based on experience from earlier in the morning, I headed back to the bay I had started at and was rewarded with action once again. It seemed the fish were active along the edge of the flats. Several fish and an equal number of misses it was time to call it quits and head for home.

The rusty brown bugger proved to be my most successful pattern on this trip. Who knows if that will be the case in the future but it will be one on the list for winter tying.