Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bass & Carp from Black Creek

Due to time constraints I have been only able to fish near my home these past few weeks. That means I haven't had the time to go and fish the Oatka or Spring creek for trout. And I am really hurting for some great trout action right about now. And even though I miss the trout fishing, I still have to take advantage of the opportunities that I do have. And that means fly fishing Black creek for now.

This morning I met James, a good friend of mine, for an hour and a half of fly fishing below the dam in Churchville, NY. I wanted to show him one of the spots that I have come to enjoy through the years. And even with the rain it turned out to be a good hour and a half.

We caught smallmouth bass and rock bass just below the dam, just like we have for the past few weeks. But today there was something else that caught our attention. Carp!! They were everywhere. Feeding near the shallows and kicking up mud trails with the tips of their tails sticking up just above the water. It almost reminded me of picking out redfish or bonefish in the saltwater flats. We took off the clouser minnow and put on a weighted crayfish pattern. Then we slowly moved into position and cast just above the fish and used small strips to get the fly near the fish. We couldn't see the take, just tension on the line. Fish On!! Line peeled of the reel and I handed my 8 weight to my 3 year old son Ethan. He played the fish for a while, letting the carp take out line, and then reeling it back in. And with a little coaching from Dad, he soon slid the carp on shore. I took a photo and he released the carp back into the water.

We then met up with James and walked to the East side of the creek near the dam. Here is where we saw at least a dozen or so carp moving in and out of the riffles below the dam. They were right in close, just a rod length or so away. I stripped out some line and began putting the fly in front of fish. A little twitch is all that it took and one of the carp swam forward and took the fly. Ethan again took the fly rod and played the fish well, but Dad had to step in and bring it to hand, as it was a bit bigger than the last one we landed. Now it was James' turn. I gave him some flies, including the same crayfish pattern I was using. And as he tied it on, the carp came back into the riffle section. Ethan and I had to leave, but we left James in a perfect spot to sight fish to some even bigger carp. I can't wait to hear his report later today! And thankyou James for taking a photo of me and Ethan together!!!!

And, I can't wait to get out there again for some carp on the fly!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

3rd Annual Fly fishing trip; May 15-17

Let me start this little blog entry with a few words about the people who attended this years event who I consider to be my friends and great fishing partners!

Luke is a friend I met at work a few years back and was just starting to get into fly fishing. Now he has become a fly fishing and fly tying machine. He is also the one who volunteered to get this show on the road for this years event. So thank you very much for giving me a little break. And you did an excellent job!!! He is also the one who fishes more than the rest of least for now! He also has provided some great photos of our trip. He has mastered the art of catching lots fish on really small flies.

Jessie is a long time friend of Luke's who I met a few years back, and is someone who I now call a great friend. He and Luke have spent many hours systematically picking apart all the little mysteries of spring creek. He is also the one who provided a good quantity of "meat" for this years event. He fishes hard and often goes on crazy hot streaks where he catches 10 fish in 10 minutes. He is also a very good story should ask him about the 48" brown trout he almost caught.

James is a friend who I have known for a while. We met at church when I was first dating Colleen back in college. When I learned that he liked to fish, I knew I had found another fishing buddy. His easy going style fits right in with everyone. In fact he's so easy going he doesn't need to show up at 6:00am in the morning to catch fish! He's that good!! And thanks for helping me remove that #22 midge out of my finger!!!

Bob is the man who seems to be prepared for just about anything. In fact he has earned himself the reputation of having everything we need on our trip even when we didn't know we needed it. Don't have a can opener? Bob does! Don't have wet wipes? Bob does! Need a coffee table? You get the idea. Anyway Bob and I have been fishing together for years and he has been instrumental in getting me well acquainted with Rochester's best fishing spots.

Okay now that we have that out of the way, lets talk fishing!!!

Friday evening I met Lucas and Jessie at Spring creek for an hour of fishing before we headed back to the campsite to meet up with Bob. There were some bugs coming off, but not a lot, and there were only a few trout splashing at the surface. We all caught fish in that last hour. Most were caught on nymphs. Including a nice 15" brown taken by Lucas just before we had to leave.

The next morning we drove to the lower part of the creek in Scottsville where we searched for the stocked brown trout that had been put in weeks before. I did well fishing under the bridge where I landed 4 trout that included a nice 15" brown. But it was Lucas who had the hot fly and proceeded to take a number of trout that included 4 nice 15" fish out of a nice stretch of water above the bridge. When the action slowed a bit we all headed upstream to a "no kill" artificials only section of the Oatka. And even though there is a lot of natural reproduction throughout the whole stream, this section receives no stocking from the state and is totally dependant on natural reproduction. Here again we all got into some nice fish including a few small 5" inch wild trout that had been the product of natural reproduction. Anyway, it was Jessie's turn to have the hot hand and he caught a good number of trout on a #20 hare's ear nymph. He also told us of a monster brown trout that he hooked downstream. It was the biggest trout that he has ever hooked on the 20" inches.

After a great lunch back at the campground we headed back out fishing. This time we decided to go back to Spring creek in the hopes of getting into a hatch and some dry fly fishing. Spring creek is a great little stream. It is a tributary to the Oatka and it's water temperatures remain around 50 degrees all year round. It is also nice because there are only trout that inhabit the stream and they are all wild naturally reproducing fish. There is also the chance to get a brook trout every now and then. Our evening went great. And again, everyone got into fish. This time it was James' turn as he hooked trout after trout in a small run downstream from the railroad trestle. And as I moved downstream I found my own little runs and found many willing takers. But it wasn't until Lucas and I went downstream further, did I see an amazing sight. He wanted to show me a unique spot he had fished a number of times that held a lot of fish. And boy did it. Looking into the super clear water I could see at least 50 fish holding in this pool. And at the head of the pool there were some very good sized fish. I didn't catch those fish so I couldn't tell you for certain how big they were. But, I can say with confidence they were much bigger than 16" inches! And I would even venture a guess that some would be over 20" inches. The truly amazing thing about this spot is there were two sets of currents to deal with. On the far side of the stream there was a bend that would shoot all current towards the middle of the stream in the deep parts. The tricky thing was that the main current from the center of the stream would wash over the top of that deeper part . So in essence the fish would be holding along the bottom one way and your drift would be going another. I finally found a position that seemed to work and started to catch some fish. Someday soon I will go back and work on getting the hang of that current. And then maybe I can catch some of those really big ones.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Jessie's brother Casey, who came out to join us for the tail end of our trip. And even Casey, who had never fished spring creek, caught a fish! A truly great evening of fishing. And to top off an already stellar evening, Bob managed to catch a really nice 14" or 15" brown before we headed back to camp. All the fish we caught that evening took small nymphs dead drifted along the bottom.

We then retreated back to camp where we prepared a feast....a "meat" feast. Moose, venison, pork chops, Italian sausage and a big pot of baked beans. We cooked, we ate, we told stories, we ate some more. And then, as Jessie put it, we all slid into a "meat coma." I seem to remember a story about a boat, a broken oar and 3 foot swells. But, that might have been the meat talking. Oh yeah....I almost forgot, Jessies epic fish that he hooked on the Oatka is now a 44" inch monster!

Sunday was cold, very cold. A front had moved into the area over night and I'm pretty sure it was close to 30 degrees. At least that's the way it felt! Yeah....I'm sticking to the 30 degree morning. It makes us sound more though. We new we were in for a rough morning due to the front and cold temperatures. But again we caught fish. We just had to work a little harder for them. Small nymphs and midge larvae were the key.

The whole weekend was great. We were truly blessed with great weather, and the fishing wasn't bad either. Even if there weren't any good hatches going on we all caught fish. We had to keep adjusting and work on finding what the trout wanted.

Here are some photos from the trip. I hope to get some more as I get them from friends. And when I do, I'll post them in another blog. I hope you enjoy! And don't forget check out Lukes photos and Jessies photos too.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Backyard mayfly

Found this guy in the backyard yesterday. A #14 March Brown. I only wish I lived closer to the stream.

I wonder what is hatching on the Oatka?

I did fish the Oatka this morning for an hour. We went in at the Union street access point. Hooked up with five trout. Almost all of them fell to a well placed flash back PT nymph.

Most fish were taken out of the "cement block" know, the one upstream of the Union street bridge. The one where you have to have a 6 foot tippet section below the indicator to get it on the bottom.

Hey...all I know is the trout liked what I was throwing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More bass fishing

Well...with all this nice weather, it would be a shame not to take full advantage of it. So Katie, Ethan, and me went to a park in Spencerport that is great for just about anything. They have a couple of basketball courts, a skate board park, volleyball sand court, soccer fields, a football field, trails for walking, a few baseball fields, all season lodges and pavilions, and a pond. I'm sure that I'm missing something here, I just don't know what. Oh yeah....the most important thing, the giant play area for the kids. They have a big jungle gym with slides and climbing apparatus. There is also some mini climbing walls. And we can't forget the water park(sorry no slides, just things that spray lots of water.) I think that does it! At least I'm done talking about it. Needless to say the kids had a blast playing on the slides and climbing on the jungle gym.

For snack time we went over to the pond. The kids had some water and crackers while I set up the 4 weight fly rod. I began casting to lots of sunfish that appeared to be in spawning mode. You could see spawning beds all around the shallow areas, and the sunfish were very eager to hit a small peacock woolly bugger. Then the kids took some turns trying to cast and fish the fly rod all by themselves. And they did a great job! In fact Katie caught her first fish on the fly rod all by herself. A lot of fun to watch. She was very excited about her first solo catch!

We worked our way all around the pond casting to fish we could see and catching all kinds of really big sunfish and a few small largemouth bass. Both Katie and Ethan took turns reeling them in. It was my job to get them hooked up on the line.

It was a lot of fun to watch them enjoy fishing with Dad. I even got to watch them chase a big Canada goose around! Which brought back some memories of me chasing pigeons around.

Get out and fish!!! Or at least chase some birds around. Trust me it will be fun!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Erie canal; May 5th

Ethan and I fished a section of "wide water" along the Erie canal this morning for an hour. Fishing seemed slow at first with only a fish or two in the first half an hour. But after the sun started to warm the shallow water near the bank, the fishing seemed to turn on and we caught a good number of smallmouth bass and rock bass.

Today we were fishing clouser minnows and bead head rabbit strip streamers. The key was to cast along the shore line, then strip and raise your rod tip at the same time. Then let the fly fall to the bottom. Kind of a jigging action with a fly rod. All the fish took the fly on the fall. So when I went to pick up the fly off the bottom I would feel tension and set the hook.

This is a lot of fun on a fly rod. Working the shallow water slowly with a heavily weighted fly and picking up bass after bass while staying high and dry on land!

Most of the fish were in the 10" to 12" range with one fish that went 14". And that fish put a good bend in the 8 weight! A medium fast 9' 6 or 7 weight would work just fine. But if you wanted to throw some big flies out there an 8 weight is better!

Fishing is just great right now!!


Oatka creek; April 24th

The Hendricksons have been coming off for a little while out here in western New York. But with this warmer weather this weekend, we should have some pretty big afternoon hatches.

This morning I met Luke at a favorite section of Oatka creek. We set ourselves up with double nymphing rigs and began to work some great looking water. We had #14 and #16 dark nymphs for the lead fly and small #22 black and brown midge larvae patterns as droppers.

Luke started fishing a flat section of water while I headed up to a favorite pool and run combo that we take fish out of all year long. And today was no different. I took three nice fish out of that section before heading downstream to fish with Luke.

And as the sun rose above the trees and started to warm the water in the flats section, the trout became very active. We took trout after trout on both the nymph and midge pattern. And to make it even more fantastic.....we were the only two people on the water!

Before I had to go for the morning, we worked our way downstream picking up a few fish here and there. But not like we did in that flat section of water. All in all a great morning of fishing.

With this nice warm weather we are having look for a really nice Hendrickson hatch this afternoon with a spinner fall in the evening. The dry fly action should be fantastic!!!