Thursday, February 26, 2009

Papermouth on mudlers

I walked around the lake yesterday, enjoying the 50+ temps. Last fall they dropped the lake levels to perform maintenance work on the shoreline fish habitat. A good opportunity to see what I've been paddling over. I made some mental notes and took some pictures of the better rock piles and tree stumps. I think the papermouths were caught early last May. For Spring crappie fishing a very slow retrieve at the right depth will produce.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shad Boy!

In the hot summer months the real bass are found at sunup and sundown--the white bass and the hybrid striped bass / wiper. For a few weeks last summer I witnessed schools of white bass feeding ferociously on schools of gizzard shad. This is a perfect scene to paddle into, the water's surface exploding with attacking schools of bass. An opportune time to throw one of your shad patterns into the slaughter. Hold on tight, this fish is going to dive deep and fast. Leave your 4wt in the car.

I'm beefing my patterns up with some white rabbit strips and plenty of buck tail and flash.

Until the rivers thaw....

Until March, at the earliest, I suppose we'll post pictures of flies that we aim to catch warmwater fish on and a few pictures from years past. Today, I'll post some pics of a trip that John and I took a couple of weeks ago to a well-known trout stream in the southern sector of the NE Iowa driftless region. The river was full of fish, weary fish, but full of fish nevertheless. I know it isn't technically warmwater fly fishing but only the spring creeks are open right now.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Big Pike on Rabbit strip leeches, oh yeah!

Poppers & Spring is Near...

I tied a couple poppers last night. Bass cannot resist this recipe, the sliver of red drives em mad. I'm going to send a couple to Nate. He hooked me up with a nice box of winter trout flies over Christmas. Just fish those big bass Nate.

The next few weeks will be blah fishing. The lakes are still ice and the rivers are high and muddy. March comes soon! - March/April is when lunker bass aggressively feed to prepare for spawn. Cold clear water and a slow retrieve.

"After ice out, channel catfish gorge on winter-killed fish. Dead fish are blown to shore, trailed by hungry catfish. Fish in 5 feet of water or less in bays where wind blows in, for some of the hottest cat angling of the year." -IDNR


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nate's take on who has the advantage

A European Pearch caught in 2003 in Northern Sweden. If I can get over there this summer, John has no chance.

If you haven't figured it out by now, John and I are competing to see who can catch more warmwater species on a fly this year (2009). I have a huge advantage over John because I live 4 blocks from the Mississippi River, home to more than 70 catchable fish species. On the other hand, John has no kids (yet). By May, I expect to have two (that I know of). That gives John way more time to hit the water than me. The other advantage for John is that he actually seems to prefer warmwater species over coldwater species (like trout). I find some warmwater species to be somewhat repulsive, such as the catfish John is holding in his previous post. Yet some of these species are incredible fighters. In fact, much of what at first may seem sort of gross about these fish, is really just how they have adapted to warm and turbid environments. You can compare the morphology of many warmwater species to ocean dwelling fish that many flyrodders spend thousands of dollars to chase. The difference is the lighter color of ocean fish which are adapted to crystal clear water and which we often find attractive-especially compared with the brown-green-yellow combinations of warmwater species. At any rate, this summer, I'm taking off my tweed jacket and hat and putting on my cut-off jeans and straw hat. its time to embrace life on the Mississippi; bowfin, gar, catfish, carp, buffalo-you stand no chance against the allure of my flies.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Provocation

I live 1 hr south of the closest trout stream in NE Iowa. I've gotta get my fish fix on the local rivers, lakes and ponds. While I love to trout fish, I also love throwing anything at everything that will bite (the cat and whitebass are from the local pond and lake - 2008). I'll agree with Nate's take, the mighty Mississippi holds a species advantage. However, like Nate said, I got time to invest on the water! A special thanks to Rachae, my wife, for supporting my hobby and encouraging me to dominate Nate in this challenge.
- John