Passion for Fishing, Conservation Concern and a High School Project

Its been quite a while but I can’t remember any high school projects quite like this one. When a group of students can combine their love for striped bass and the importance of conservation and package it in video format for a high school project – I’m impressed.

Have a look at their video. Way to go guys!

“BETWEEN THE LINES” FULL FILM | Fly Fishing for HUGE Striped Bass from Lonely Osprey Productions on Vimeo.

Summer Bass Fishin

I’d like for my fishing season to be a continuous flow of activity but so far this season it has been more of the burst or intermittent variety.

I’m not sure why that is. In a recent conversation with a fishing buddy we agreed that we live in an amazing part of the world as far as access to good fishing locations is concerned. But somehow that hasn’t translated into regular outings this year. I must fix that…..

Bass season has been on us for about a month. I have managed to get out a couple times to local spots – once for smallmouth (and assorted panfish) and the second to a lake with good-sized largemouth bass.

A Not So Big Bass

Achigan Largemouth

Big Bass!

This last little while there hasn’t been as much fishing as I would have liked. Somehow the days slip by and after quite a few, one realizes that it has been a while since the rod got a workout.

But yesterday I had a chance to get out with a few friends in search of oversized bass.  And we weren’t disappointed.  We found a steady contingent of largemouth bass willing to sample the flies we offered.

The lake we were fishing has plenty of large bass which on occasion can be very obliging.  This time around they weren’t quite so obliging but the fishing was steady none the less. And that included the big ones.

Anticipating large bass, I selected a 7wt rod to start.  A couple of the guys had been there the day before and there experience was the fish were not interested in surface feeding with most fish caught down around 10-15 feet.  With this in mind, the rod was rigged with a full sink line.  I attached a black and brown wooly bugger at the working end of the line. By the end of the day I might have tied on three other flies but always returned to the black and brown.

The 7wt proved to be the right choice.  Many of them put the rod through its paces as I struggled to keep them out of the brush and weeds they seemed drawn to once hooked.

Over the course of about six hours fishing, I managed to land 15 bruisers between 16 and 20 inches in length. It was good to get out.


Wednesday Night Fishing

I finally managed to join the OFS weeknight fishing group. Tonight we met at Hog’s Back Falls along the Rideau River – my first time fishing this spot. There are several pools and riffles below the falls.

It was warm and humid and I was sweating by the time I got down to the river. I guess my slip and subsequent filling of the waders was a way to cool off but it didn’t help much.

This was my first real test of the Korker rubber soles on rocks. The rocks were a bit slippery but not seriously so. However it was more than the rubber soles could handle. I will have to switch to the studded soles and see how that works.

As far as fishing was concerned, I caught a number of smaller bass and several fall fish. Todd did pretty well pulling in a couple good sized bass and four walleye.

Nice night out.

Where Have the Bass Gone?

It was one of those nights. Everything seemed prime for a great evening of bass fishing.  Nice warm summer evening, stable barometer, calm conditions (maybe more farourable for me than the fish).  We hit the water around 6pm in search of small or largemouth bass.

Bass WaterThe setting seemed perfect.  But where were the bass.  We managed to find a few smallmouths in the one pound range but not much else.  Persistence wasn’t paying off despite varying the approach.  The biggest thing we saw was a beaver who seemed upset that we were fishing in his home waters.  At least the slap of the tail a couple times suggested it to us.

Although the bass proved elusive, as the sun started to set the crappies started to feed.   Positioning ourselves off the edge of the massive weed beds expanding out from the shore, we hit upon a school of crappies that were more than willing to cooperate for the last half hour or so before the oncoming darkness forced us back in.

Despite the lack of bass, any evening out fishing is a good evening and the crappies were a bonus.

And one take away – bring in your fly line before you kick through the weed bed.  I didn’t and my line is in sore need of a good cleaning!

Float Tubing for Bass

Fishing After Work

Doug and I had decided to meet after work for a bit of fishing. While it isn’t urban fishing, Appleton is pretty close to civilization. This means it is easy to get to but you also hear people cutting their grass so no wilderness experience here. I doesn’t hurt that you can usually find fish within access of a float tube. It turned out that we were joined by George, Sandy and Bob so it was almost starting to get crowded.

Sandy was nailing fish all night. Here he is looking for a new fly. I am not sure why since he didn’t seem to be having any trouble landing fish.

Sandy Looking for the Right Fly

Bob wasn’t doing too bad either. Lately he has had a fixation on Humpy’s and was having pretty good success with them tonight. Notice the fine home in the background. Not a bad place to be situated. The couple living there came down to the water with their canoe and headed out for an evening paddle while we were fishing.

Bob with Another Fish

George spent most of his time at the far end of the bay but eventually made his way back. His electric motor equipped pontoon boat gives him a lot of mobility.

George Landing a Fish

As the sun began to set the crappies started biting more consistently. There were some good sized ones that were willing to bite. For the last hour I was catching them pretty consistently on a small (probably size 12) olive micro leech. But the infamous submerged Humpy seemed to be working pretty well too.

Low Sun and Near Full Moon

All told, it was a great evening. The fish at Appleton aren’t exotic but in three hours I managed to catch perch, a small pike, a couple sunfish, one out of season smallmouth bass (long distance release), tons of rock bass and a large number of crappies. Not sure whether that constitutes a grand slam but it certainly provides lots of variety.

Sunsetting After Evening Fishing