The two fly rods I planned to use this afternoon had been left in the vehicle my wife took so what did I decide to do – move firewood in preparation for this winter’s load. It seems to be wrong to be moving firewood in the middle of summer but that’s what happens when you don’t keep your fishing gear together.
I did manage to get out later in the day, hitting one of my favourite close by spots on the Rideau River around 6 pm. It was still warm but for some reason I decided against wet wading and donned the chest waders. Breathable maybe – but not enough. The warm air temperature and higher than expected water levels meant for warm work in search of suitable fish habitat.
Because of the high water, my planned route downstream was not possible so I elected to go upstream instead (not that there were any other choices). This typically meant smaller fish but they would be mostly smallmouth bass. Sure enough, once I managed to wade across to the far shore, the bass started hitting small streamers. And true to form, they were the smaller sized bass.
After a while playing with willing small fry, I decided to work my what up towards the small dam a few hundred metres upstream. The pool below the dam holds a variety of fish. I had never caught much of size (other than a snagged carp) but thought it was worth the effort working my way upstream. Remember the chest waders and warm temperatures? The effort to move upstream through the moving water was greater than expected and by the time I made it to the pool, I was dripping in sweat. Should have gone with wet wading since I was wet anyways.
Almost immediately there were fish willing to take my fly. It was particularly effective to cast into the foam line that moved across the pool. It seemed almost every cast into the foam line produced a hit or a fish. Many were blue gills and suprisingly, a crappie which was not expected in this location at this time of year.
Although I hadn’t caught many bass here in the past, this evening was different. Most were small but one decent sized bass decided to check out the larger streamer I put on in an effort to get deeper into the pool.
By 8 it was time to pack it in. A short time out but not bad considering the spot is 10 minutes from home.
This was my first trip to the Rideau River this year. Earlier in the morning on my way to pick up a few groceries I took the long way so I could check out the water levels. The water is down so that wading looks possible in one of my favourite spots – the bridge at Andrewsville. Last year the water was high most of the summer so I hardly fished this spot at all. Conditions confirmed it was on to the store for supplies – dinner was to be jumbo grilled shrimp with Tabasco butter ala Chi Wulff. You learn all sorts of things reading peoples fishing blogs.
After a day of odd jobs around the house it was time to go fishing. Andrewsville is less than 10 minutes from home so it is a perfect destination for a short evening of fishing. I arrived, rigged up my 5wt (3wt is in the shop getting repairs for a broken tip) and was on the water just before 6pm. The starting spot was a little deeper than I had hoped but by hugging the shoreline for a bit, I was able to find a spot where I could wade to the centre of the river.
There were loads of small sedges fluttering over the water surface and the occasional fish rising. It didn’t look like they were taking on the surface so I started with a nymph. It didn’t take long before a strike came. Wouldn’t you know it; it was a feisty 8 inch smallmouth bass – out of season. He was quickly released and attention was focused on a deep pool where I knew the bluegills and rock bass were plentiful.
Sure enough, the action was fast and furious. Almost every cast brought a strike. They were often very light so it was easy to miss the hook up but more than enough were brought to hand. The most popular fly seemed to be a nymph pattern called a Misfit – basically a green marabou tail, green floss body, big brown hackle collar and a copper bead head.
An hour into fishing the surface activity picked up considerably so I switched to a small dark caddis fly. The fished liked it both on the surface and skated just below. Some fairly large bluegills took it as dinner. I packed it in around 8 and headed home for our own dinner – those grilled shrimp.