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June 9, 2008: (Fishing in Missouri)
Thought I'd send you a couple of pictures from my fishing trip in Missouri. (Click on the "Photo Gallery" link on the left to view the pictures). Well, I found a "Blue Ribbon" Trout stream called Crane Creek. This was a spring-fed creek with a lot of limestone and it was supposed to hold a healthy trout population with a size limit of 18". I thought this would be a great stream. Anyway, I fished it from about 6:30pm to 8:30pm and caught 4 wild Rainbows, The fish in the photo was my largest, and yes...., that is my Thumb in the photo.
It really was a beautiful stream, with lots of holes and a good volume of clear, cold water, but I understand that they had some major flooding in the area a couple of months ago and I have to believe that this washed most of the fish down the creek. There were numerous large trees down across the creek, and the woods were extremely thick with undergrowth, which made getting around pretty difficult. Most of my fishing was in the upper reaches of the creek and I did try an area about 6 miles downstream, but the creek really had a lot of water and it was a little difficult to navigate in hip boots, not to mention you couldn't get around on the bank.
Oh well, I'll try to get out again next time and hit a different area.
June 6, 2008 (Seneca Lake, New York)
John Gaulke guides on the Finger Lakes in NY and since reading his reports for a while, I have been interested in going with him on a fly fishing outing. My friend Jack and I met John at the Watkins Glen marina on the south end of Seneca Lake.
We would be mainly targeting northern pike. We began on the west side and drifted with the slight southerly winds. He threw in a wind sock when began to move too fast. I was casting a chartreuse and white Clouser with a bite tippet on a sink tip in 3-7 feet of water ( I never changed that fly all day!.. although I had to change the bite tippet). Jack was using a full sinking line off the back of the boat with a red and white "leech", so he was in a little deeper water. It wasn't too long before I hooked the first Northern.
The water is nice and clear so you can easily see your fly and the fish approaching it. We found it was necessary to strip and pause more in the colder water (49-50F) than spots where the water was warmer (upper 50s). I got 1 or 2 more pike and a jumbo perch before Jack got the hang of it with his first northern. We moved up the lake looking for prime spots. We'd get 1 or 2 pike then move on. Most of the fish were in the 25-28" range but well fed. John has been successful jigging for lake trout so we took a break from fly casting to give it a try. John located bait fish in 40-50 ft and then we dropped 1 oz jigs to the bottom. It worked! Jack landed 3 nice lakers and I managed 1 in about an hourís time.
We returned to fly fishing for pike on the East side. We hit one spot where each of us got
2 or 3 and missed a couple before moving on. I ended up landing around 12 pike, 2 pickerel and 1 perch on the fly. Jack got 8 pike. It was a whole bunch of fun. I will definitely do that again.
May 2, 2008: (Waneta Lake, New York - Muskie on the Fly)
After finishing a few chores at our cottage it was time to take the boat out and flyfish the shoreline for a couple of hours using my new Loomis 6 wt. I was catching a mixed bag of crappies, sunfish, perch and an occasional smallmouth when I hooked what was definitely a larger fish. When I gained some ground and got a look at what it was, wow, a muskie!! He took off on a run straight away from the boat. I did not have a net, and did not want to play this fish too long. I got him in closer and this time he went under the boat. Finally, he was tired enough to bring him in so I could break the line close to the fly that was in the corner of his mouth. I figured that was better than trying to handle that toothy guy. I estimated he was 36-40 inches. There are a fair number of muskies in Waneta Lake and guys do catch them in the 40-44" range. I caught him on jig style hook tied with pink sililegs off the end and estaz body using 3x tippet.