Fun on the fly

Bluegill on the 4 wt.Bluegill on the 4 wt. makes for a fun evening distraction

Weekday fishing has not been a reality for me in a very long time.  Whether it’s long hours of work, domestic chores or looking after a baby and a  2 1/2 year old, it just doesn’t happen.  The great equalizer at the new home, is the pond in the backyard.  With this convenience, I should be able to squeeze some fishing in routinely.  Now, even a 15 minute window of time, can be time spent making a few casts.  I decided that I would treat the pond as a place to work on my fly fishing skills, and have had fun catching Bluegill.  I am confident a more proficient fly fisherman would find the pond almost unsporting at the ease of catching fish, but for me, it takes a little work and provides steady action to build confidence with the fly rod.  In time, hopefully enough confidence to not take spinning gear with me on a trip that would otherwise allow either technique.  The pond does have a few unique aspects that will give me some goals to aim for.  The first goal would be to catch a Largemouth Bass.  It is going to take some experimenting to find the right fly and size to induce a bass bite, over the voracious and more numerous Bluegill.  The ‘holy grail’ for the pond, is coaxing one of the Grass Carp (White Amur) into taking a fly, if and when I am fortunate to have this happen, I hope it is not on the 4 wt. or I will be in trouble!  I look forward to posting about the pond and my success or lack thereof fishing it.

A son’s first fish

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The sun is shining and a happy boy is going fishing!

For avid fisherman that happen to be dads, I don’t know if there is a more exciting event than watching your child go fishing for the first time.  I was anxious to have Bryce catch his first fish, but did want him to be old enough to know and appreciate what he was doing.  I also wanted him to be able to take some simple instruction and actually feel like he was the one doing the work to catch the fish.  My hope was that this would make it even more enjoyable and I do know at 2 1/2 years old, he is quite proud when he can do something himself.  For once, I was correct on all accounts, and the evening was perfect.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESBryce revered the fishing pole like a medieval knight’s sword

The venue for our first fishing adventure was the pond behind our new home.  It’s stocked with Largemouth Bass and Bluegill and figured this would be a ‘fail proof’ option for a short attention span and the possibility of not catching.  The only real concern was slowing him down as he was so excited I thought he was going to nose dive straight into the water.  I somehow managed to convince him that if he didn’t hold my hand and stay with me, we wouldn’t go fishing.  Although patience comes hard for a youngster, he did manage to settle down long enough for me to bait a hook and help him with his first cast.  After the bobber hit the water, it took all of a couple seconds…

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESFish on!  Look at that bend, C’mon Spiderman Pole, don’t fail us!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSorry PETA, that fish stood no chance.  Bryce beaches the ‘monster’ fish!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe thrill of victory!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESExamining the prize

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAs all fisherman know, catching one fish means we caught ten

The evening was as near perfect as I could have imagined.  He enjoyed fishing and with each fish caught, he wanted to catch another.  A couple times the Bluegill he was fighting would get inhaled by a bass, which got daddy excited, but I did manage curb my own urge to fish.  There will be plenty of time for me to chase those, and this was far too special of an evening to miss any of the joy Bryce was having.  As I sat in the grass watching him catch fish on our own property, with my beautiful wife snapping photos, all I could think is how blessed and thankful I am.  I pray everyone could have the happiness I felt tonight, life is good!

Grass Carp added to life list!

Finalgrasscarp2013As a multi species angler, adding a species to my life list always ranks at the top of my fishing goals. Add a lifer that comes with a great story and family around to witness it, and it makes it’s way into some of my all time favorite catches. Being Easter Sunday, the family headed to Jill’s aunt & uncle’s home that sits on a very magnificent fishing lake. I have caught numerous Largemouth Bass, some real monster Bluegill and a couple Bullhead in. The fishing plan was very simple for the day, catch some fish on the spinning gear and then discipline myself to practice with the fly rod. Everything went as planned. I caught quite a few Largemouth Bass on a jig/grub combo and then some on the 4wt fly rod. I managed a couple real nice Bluegill, the largest being a bit over 10″. The day was complete with a Fish Ohio award sized Bluegill and catching fish on the fly rod, if it would have ended then, I was more than satisfied.

CWF2013MAR31jigAs fate would have it, I got a massive knot on the end of my fly line. Knowing it would take quite awhile to get it untangled, I decided to throw out an offering that I could still-fish while working on the mess. After tying on a tandem of 1/64 oz jigs, I went to the container of waxworms. The waxworms looked like they were on steroids and then I read the container to see that it said “Butter Worms”. My wife had been kind enough to offer to get my bait while she was out shopping, and inadvertently grabbed these. It goes without saying that his proved to be a very fortunate mistake!

I had barely made progress on my knot when I saw my bobber go under. I ran to my rod and knew instantly it wasn’t anything I had encountered on this body of water before. The fish was powerful, and nearly impossible to control on the 6# line. I was trying to play the fish while waving frantically at everyone in the house. I didn’t have a net but thought Jill’s uncle might have one, or if nothing else, people might get to see a glimpse of the fish before it broke me off. Surprisingly, as many runs as the fish made, it stayed on. I got it into the shallow water by the dock several times, with it slipping out of my hands and back into the water. On the third or fourth attempt, I was able to get my fingers behind the gills to hoist it onto the shore. At some point people must have seen or heard me as by the time it was successfully landed – everyone was standing there watching. Jill grabbed the camera and took some really great shots rather quickly, and the fish was returned to the water without issue. I really feel lucky to have caught and landed this fish, what a memory!

CWF2013MAR3120collageWhile the Grass Carp stole the show, a 10.25″ “Fish Ohio Award” Bluegill and fly caught Largemouth Bass highlighted some of the other catches from the day. I can’t wait to get back to this lake.