The day started with innovation, was marred by frustration and ended with a surprise. Oh, and somewhere along the way I experienced fly fishing in it's truest form.
In my younger years I played soccer. Today I fish, but having some futboll gear in stock proved helpful.
Warm weather and waders proved stinky, so some sweat absorption technology was welcome on this trip.
The plan was for Mackinaw River smallies, and despite eight hours in the water you'll see no smallie picture in this post. You do the math. My last trip here proved just as productive, but water levels were much lower and water temps were far more agreeable than the October flood water.
Fly Fishing Experience:
I spent a lot of time throwing dry flies to rising fish, fly fishing in the raw. I tried the Poly-spinner above, and the Adam's below - both tied by yours truly. The target species was unknown (I suspect carp), but a smooth presentation was key. My casting skills are anything but soft, so this experience included countless spooks, a few refusals and two takes. Sadly, the two takes resulted me landing none of the target species. However, bad casts did hook into two bonus species who came from nowhere. I landed one gizzard shad, and lost a gar. Casting these light dry flies to spooky fish was challenging... and I loved it. I spent about four hours standing in one spot, trying to catch just one of those damn fish. Maybe next time I hit the Mackinaw I'll leave the Clousers at home.
I landed my second fish in eight hours by complete and total absent mindedness.
After picking apart a laydown looking for bronzebacks, I decided to call it quits. I turned my back to the pile and walked toward the parking lot. I felt a tug. It seems I had left my #1 Clouser Mad Tom in the water; when I thought I was walking I was really trolling.
I guess it pays to be a bird watcher.