Nov 29, 2009

Carving is the easy part

I'm happy with the carving but my painting skills could use some improvement.

This one has a hole for each eye that will channel water through the body and out a hole on top.

Either that, or the cavity will release trapped air bubbles as the plug dives under.

This last picture is the best I could do to show the path between the "eye sockets" and "blow hole."  If you look close, you can see light coming through.


I don't think I'll ever know if this works as well as I think it should.  This is the third plug I've made that I don't want to risk losing. You can see the other two here and here.

Oh! and I sent a Dahlberg and a couple simple blanks to Jonn "The Streamstalker" Graham during the most lop-sided fly trading session ever.  I did quickly make four others that I do fish with (and they work fine).

Nov 27, 2009

Mon Fly Vise ist en fuego

Dave always wonders what insects my flies imitate.  I usually tell him to shut up, but I sometimes answer with one of my many Clifisms:
Bass will eat anything that moves the right way
How many productive bass lures look like nothing in particular, but catch fish because of flash or action?  Because of this, I've never been hung up on tying life-like bass flies.  Billy Bass' culinary indiscretion doesn't really force focus on tying skills either.  A typical session sees me with a beer sitting down the night before an outing and whipping out some attractors with "action."  Usual distractions include televised football and/or Dangle the domestic longhair.

In a departure from normality, today I attempted to work on some skills, while simultaneously trying to produce somewhat life-like nymphs.  A five minute Google session handed over some pointers on nymph construction and I adapted the recipe to match materials on hand.  These aren't the prettiest things and none will be classified under any Latin name but I'm pretty proud none the less.

Of course I tied some clowns too...

Nov 24, 2009

There is no money in minnows

I recently noticed we lost another tackle shop this year.  Victoria Tackle was the kind of store we're all familiar with.  It's proximity to water made it an ideal place to pick up some minnows but it's distance from big[ish] cities made it inconvenient for anything else.

Victoria is located in the middle of some serious strip pit ground and a stone's throw from a favorite state park, a quick googling drives this point home.  Another quick googling pegs the drive time from the only big city at about an hour.  Translation: these lakes are within driving distance for a day trip, but a special trip to the tackle shop isn't worth the gas.

I willfully admit contributing to the failure.  I've purchased much bait at Victoria Tackle over the years and that is about it (I once bought a bobber too).  Victoria is 45 minutes from the house, but within 15 minutes I could be at one of three major outdoors stores. Only one of those stores sells minnows and we'll all be in trouble if it goes under.

Maybe I'm on to something here....I just registered

Nov 21, 2009

Parting out Shimano Sidestab. Make offer.

As previously reported, one of my medium weight spinners failed this year.  I was still hanging onto another similar reel that broke a couple years ago and I hatched a plan.  The two reels were broken, but each failed in a different way and I figured this was the reason I saved it.  I quickly found myself ankle deep in a pile of tiny screws. From the dust would rise Frankenstein reel, able to muscle the largest fish from the reeds.

Sadly it was not meant to be.  Though the reels were the same make and similar models, the vintages were a few years out of alignment.  The design had changed enough over the years to make every part unique and not interchangeable.  Each reel was comprised of basically the same components, but small differences made my Frankenstein dream just that...a dream.

Planned obsolecense has long been the foundation of corpoarate America and the scourage of lowly consumers, but I'll stop short of pulling that card today because there is little evidence these reels had a limited usefull life.  However, if anglers hoard hardware to save money on days like this, it seems the Shimano designers have ways of making sure we crack the wallet on some new bling.

Nov 15, 2009

Yes we are fishing, and don't call me Shirley

Today was the last chance for redemption at the club, and I'm still not impressed.  I don't think I'll be renewing in the spring.  An average day at the club is no different than an average day at one of the many public waters I have at hand.

Scott and I went out and started on Last Lake about 8am.  Last Lake is the only club lake I hadn't yet visited; I was warned about wind and I hate fishing in wind.  Imagine a strip pit in the middle of a harvested bean trees, no grass, no hills....for miles.  The air temp was 41 degrees when we got on the water and the wind from the north cut through our thermals.  Scott was convinced passers by would exclaim "Surely they aren't fishing out here."

After two hours of that and a single small bass, we picked a lake with better wind breaks and I'm happy about that decision.  Air temps were up to 42 and it wasn't yet raining, but we pulled on rain gear to cut the wind.  At the new location Scott added a couple more fish and I managed just this little guy.  Every fish came on ten inch worms.

We called it quits sometime after noon when the rain drops started to fall.  On our way out, we met a guy on his way in.  He informed us there are "tons" of crappie in the lake.  I asked Scott if he wanted to come back next week with minnows. "Not a chance," was the response.

I'm not saying I'm done this year, but today should just about wrap it up for me.  I've considered attempting some ice fishing this year, but if I can't handle a windy day in the forties I'm not sure how I'll fair when the mercury hits the twenties.  I'm a big sissy.

Nov 14, 2009

Where the fish are easy and the crowds are light

The US Army Corp of Engineers is planning some scheduled maintenance on the last line of defense against Asian carp invasions into the Great Lakes and beyond.  Part of the maintenance plan is some easy fishin'.

  • Rotenone affects all species of fish, although susceptibility to the chemical varies between species.  The chemical inhibits a biochemical process at the cellular level making it impossible for fish to use oxygen in the release of energy needed for body processes.

Though a noble cause, I think the electric barrier will ultimately prove inadequate.  All it takes is a power outage or some other equipment failure for these pesky invaders to find their way to the the eastern sea board.  None the less, while there is still a fight to be had we better keep fighting.  The Mississipi river basin is a lost cause, but the Great Lakes aren't....yet.

When you hear "Asian carp" you might think of bizarre YouTube videos, odd-ball red-neck fishing tournaments or even the new sport they inspired, but their proclivity toward spawning multiple times per season leads to extreme over population (see here for an example.)  Given a Big Head carp's tendancy to consume 40% of it's body weight per day, over population can quickly become an issue.

Imagine Captain Sully ditching in the Hudson due to jet engine injestion of "at least one" flying fish.

Nov 7, 2009

High production value and a sweet track

Enjoy this great topwater action. If you've never fly fished for bass, this will get your mouth watering...some good strikes here.

Think it a wise goal to have videos like this on LH? I'm not sure I have the time.

Nov 6, 2009

With spreadsheet grids still burned in my retinas

Dave and I hit the Snatch today right after work to squeeze in a couple hours before dark. Turning the clocks back really killed after work angling (we even left a couple hours early.)  We didn't catch a thing, but there is one good thing about fishing with Dave. He's always prepared.

Side note: I'm impressed with my point-n-shoot camera's ability after seeing this picture.

Nov 4, 2009

If we're quiet, maybe he won't notice we're here

My list of followers has been slowly growing and this pleases me.  If you check out list over on the right of this page, you'll notice an interesting (and recent) addition.  It seems Kurita-san has joined the ranks of us fishing bloggers.  One click and I think you'll recognize him.  This man is known for catching a particularly large fish AND taking a particularly sweet ass picture of it.

His blog is new and doesn't have much content, but that will change over time and I like the format.  We just need to convince him to allow comments.