Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Day of Spring

3-21-10, Sunday 1:25ish pm

I went fishing Friday before work.  I didn't catch anything.  I lost a Mepps Cyclops*, I'm pretty sure it was lost on a strike, not a snag, because moments afterward, a large fish began to jump.  It was a considerable distance out from where I lost the lure, I guess it could have been good timing and coincidence.

*Mepps Syclops

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Ides of March

Monday 3-15-10  11:00 pm

I went fishing today, it has been quite warm lately.  My first choice was still frozen over, so I ended up going way out in Veteran's Memorial Park.  The rain and meltoff has clouded the water considerably.  The lake appeared slightly milky.
I found a spot on the rocks and started casting crankbaits.  After some considerable time I was getting cold and decided to cast a final time.  I had on a Storm Wiggle Wart or something like that.  It had rattles, and dove rather deeply.  I retrieved very slowly, and about ten feet out I had a tremendous bite!  The fish shook violently from side to side, then my line broke!  I was pissed, my line had gotten brittle...  Damn Spider line mono filament, I'm switching back to Yo-Zuri Hybrid.
After the fish broke off, it came rolling to the surface in an attempt to throw the hook, It was, as near as I could tell, by the large black spots on what appeared to be an olive background (I have trouble with the color, the sun was setting) it looked to be a brown trout up to 30" long!  My mind probably made it that big in the rush of adrenalin following the bite, it was probably closer to 24", still nothing to be disappointed in.
I later had a light hit on a lure I made from a fruit spoon, or some strange utensil.  The treble hook I put on it was too small to find a home buried in the flesh and bone of the curious fish.  I swapped out the hook for a larger one from a different, less useful lure.  I fished until about ten after six, then came home.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Smarty Pants

Today, just before her bedtime, I was showing my ten month old girl pictures of fish from the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fishes and I pointed to a picture of a brown trout and said "trout."  And then my little genius said "trout."  And she said it over and over again.  She even took a stab at saying "apache trout," but she's going to need to work on that.

My First Salmon

Wednesday, 10-2-02

It's my dad's birthday today.  I finally caught a fish worth bringing home.  A king salmon.  31" about 15 pounds.  Louisiana is about to get hit by Hurricane Lili.  A category 4 storm.

I read Deuteronomy chapter 24 23

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I found...

An even older journal going back to September 2002.  This is the first entry:

Saturday, 9-21-02
I'm through Deuteronomy 16
Let me review the week.  Monday I went fishing.  I caught a sheephead.  Tuesday I don't think I did anything.  Wednesday I went fishing with my dad.  I caught a monster sheephead.  It was like 10 or 15 lbs!  It was big, but where are the salmon and trout?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blood and Needles, Paper and Ink

     I start my new job tomorrow.  Things will probably be hectic for the next couple weeks, but I'm working on some stuff so I can continue updating regularly.
     I found a journal that I had written in since 2010 with some fun fishing stories in it.  I had another one-- a Moleskine one-- that went back a few years, but I lost it.  I had labeled it with my address and everything, and updated it every time we moved, but then on the Reward line, I crossed out Reward, and wrote "Punishment," then I filled in the blank with "HARSH JUDGEMENT."  I guess it's no surprise I never got it back.
     Anyway, I'll be transferring some stories from my hand written journal to my blog.  They will be mostly fishing related, but probably not entirely.
     I'm also working on a giveaway that will be coming up in the next couple weeks.  Keep checking back for more information.

Friday, January 18, 2013

How To Tie a Woolly Bugger

If you are only going to learn to tie one fly, it should probably be the Woolly Bugger.  I know that I can approach any body of water that holds fish anywhere in the world, tie on a size 10 Woolly Bugger and have a pretty good chance at catching a fish.  They are pretty simple to tie, and easy to modify with various materials.  Once you learn how to tie a Woolly Bugger, you can easily tie an Egg Sucking Leech, which is a productive fly for steelhead and other anadromous species in the Great Lakes.

Below is an 8 minute video on how to tie a size 10 black bead head Woolly Bugger.

If you're new to fly tying, I have a post about commonly used tools and materials, and another post demonstrating basic fly tying techniques.

I usually tie a size 10 Woolly Bugger for stream trout and panfish.  If I'm  going for smallmouth,  I usually start with a size 8, if I have a lot of short strikes, I'll go to a 10.  I usually tie size 6 Woolly Buggers for largemouth bass and for salmon migrating up the streams.

Sometimes I'll tie black Woolly Buggers with grizzly hackle instead of black.  I almost always tie olive Woolly Buggers with grizzly hackle.  The olive dye from the marabou will leach into the lighter grizzly hackle and make for an interesting fly.  A few strands of Flashabou in the tail of your buggers may increase their attraction.

Here are some Woolly Buggers and variations I've tied this year.

Size 6 conehead 

Size 6 beadhead with Flashabou

Size 10 Egg Sucking Leech

Size 10 Force Choking Leech, a fly of
my own design.

Here are some fish I've caught on Woolly Buggers.

Summer 2012, Minnesota's Otter Tail River 

fall 2007, Otter Tail.  Biggest smallmouth I've
ever caught

Grizzly hackle bugger, Milwaukee

Milwaukee River smallmouth

Olive and grizzly bugger, Milwaukee

That's a nice Milwaukee River Smallmouth
caught within city limits

Nice rock bass, Milwaukee River

Chinook salmon from the Menomonee

See the Bugger in her mouth?
If I were only going to carry one fly, it would be a black Woolly Bugger, they are just so effective for so many species of fish!  They are kind of like the fly fishing version of the Mister Twister curly tail grub.

feel free to ask any questions, have fun!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Everything's coming up Millhouse!

Today is my last day of work for my seasonal Big Box position.  That's okay, because yesterday I accepted a full time phlebotomy position.

I feel like somewhat of a success now.

On another note, it took me three attempts to make a video I was happy with for this blog post, and I'm still not all that happy with it.  Below is one of the funnier takes that started bad right away.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Menomonee River Fishing Report

Gotta love these warm winter days in the Midwest.

Tying Your Own Amphipoda; or, I Remember When Scuds Were Soviet Produced Missiles Fired From Iraq Into Israel

Scuds always remind me of GWAR and the first Gulf War.  I didn't know that there were tiny shrimp-like creatures called scuds until I started fly fishing.  If you click here, you'll see that there are many meanings for the word scud.  Anyway, I filmed an instructional video on how to tie a simple, highly effective scud that will work for trout, bass, and panfish.

You can visit an earlier post for a little more instruction if you're new to fly tying.  Sorry if it's a little shaky, this is what I'm working with.

In the video, I tied a tan scud.  Scuds tend to take on the color of their environment though, so if you're fishing in a silty stream, grey may be a better representation of what the fish are eating.  If you're fishing along a weedline, cast an olive colored scud.  Those are the three colors I tie, but I've seen pink scuds for sale in shops.

The scud from the video, smaller than
the words "atomic field-circuits."

When fishing in streams with a scud, I let it dead drift through pools, riffles or along cover, sometimes I give little twitches.
I was fishing in Lake Michigan along the rocks near Discovery World early one late spring morning and I caught so many little trout I couldn't believe it!  They must have been hatchery trout that were just stocked, but it sure was fun!  I would cast almost parallel to the rocks, and strip the scud back.
I fish the same way in the urban ponds that are stocked, cast and strip back. 

Here are a few fish I've caught on scuds,  they're nothing too exciting though.

Although they are very abundant, widespread and diverse,[2] amphipods do not feature strongly in the public imagination. Thomas Roscoe Rede Stebbing wrote in 1899:[3]
No panegyrist of the Amphipoda has yet been able to evoke anything like popular enthusiasm in their favour. To the generality of observers they are only not repelled because the glance which falls upon them is unarrested, ignores them, is unconscious of their presence. (Source:Wikipedia)
I think Tom needs to hang out with some anglers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Girls Love A Guitar Player

My baby girl is ten months old today!  She loves fishing with daddy, and she loves playing music.  This is our first band rehearsal from Sunday night, our band is called Woolly Goat.

I play guitar, daddy.
You play drums.

I show you

This is how you play

I'm a good guitar player

I wonder how long before she catches her first bluegill.

On another note, I made a trip to The Fly Fishers and talked rods.  I made my choice as soon as I get the money.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Looking for a New Rod

I think I found a rod to replace my broken rod.  My funds are short, but I think I found one that's a step up at a good price.  An Echo Solo 4 piece 5 weight rod and reel combo is what I'm looking at.  Does anyone have anything to say about Echo fly rods?  They come with a lifetime warranty and sound like decent rods.