Dec 23, 2011

I'm Not a Proud Man

Cooling lakes, the savior of winter fishing

Having already sworn off fish 'til spring, I surprised myself Thursday when a txt asked if I wanted to wet a line, a fly line no less. The surprise came with how little thought I gave the suggestion.

All in the name of "chasing the dragon" I guess.

I busted out the long underwear for the first time and layered up the torso and extremities. My truck's thermometer confirmed what I already suspected...I was going to freeze.

It pays to know fishing regulations. In my case, it paid to know people...who know other people who read the book. With duck season closed, Powerton is open again for fishing - from shore only. This was new information to me, but luckily there is a guy out there named Troy who is more addicted than me. And luckily Troy knows how to get in touch the The Mark. And The Mark has my phone number.

To match, first you must catch
I learned pretty quick about the local forage. My first fish took a Crystal Schminnow with authority and put up a great fight. In my opinion, shiners will compete pound-for-pound with any game fish out there...I cast him twice before noticing a real treat on my 8wt.

White Bass?

Asian carp came into the lake during floods a few years ago. I was surprised to see the number of anglers trying to snag them. Apparently Asian carp chunks make great catfish bait and Powerton is a local legend for monster cats. The shore was littered with butchered carp carcasses carci carcassi bodies.

[Bloody Asian carp picture censored]

The crowd was light, much lighter than I've ever seen. I guess that just means there are fewer of us idiots around these days. One highlight of the day was an early exchange between The Mark and another angler:
Catfisher: You guys catching anything with those fly rods?
Mark: Not yet.
Catfisher: I didn't think you would.

Hybrid Striper?
I can never tell with certainty the difference between stripers, white bass and their hybrids. I came home and looked it up...apparently I should have taken a peek at their tongues, but I'm thinking I caught some of each - four in total, plus this little guy:

The intention, albeit a small example.

It took a while to find a bite, but I figured it out and caught all five fish within the last hour. Fly selection didn't seem to matter as much as location....and when I struck gold a mob of three kids surrounded me. It was almost instant, and the little buggers did their best to get in my way. They learned damn quick to speak up before crossing my rear.

4 hours, 25.0 miles and 6 degrees later
The weather guesser promised a high of forty. Having endured four hours, I knew my truck thermometer would prove him wrong. It's tough to walk away after unlocking a secret, but the wind can be down right cruel and relentless.


  1. Clif, I admire that you never gave in to the smarter side and just stayed home. Your "thought process" paid off in the end. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We harass each other unmercifully, but props to you for sticking with your lack of sense. Merry Christmas to my favorite Lunker Hunter.

  3. Yep. Looks like a white bass and a wiper (white/striper hybrid) to me. Have a great holiday!

  4. Good job getting out one final time. Glad you were able to get into a few fish so the freezing of the kibble was worthwhile.

  5. Last time I was out fishing, I was thankful I drive an old beater car with no thermometer -- ignorance sometimes really is bliss. ;) Good on you for getting out!

  6. Props on the thumb hole on the gloves...Dang, the fly shop told me to cut off the tips of the first two fingers...this would have been a much better trick! Next time... Ignore the temp gauges, they are usually off by a few anyway! Plus or minus : )


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