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OldredbarnJuly 12th, 2010, 12:13 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Why weird? Spence is going fishing and he's not stressing...No matching the hatch (well maybe), no excessively weighted down vest, just a back to basics simple style of fishing...Like when you were a kid chasing large-mouth bass and gills.

I'm heading up to Beaver Island which is northwest a bit out in to Lake Michigan from Charlevoix...northwestern lower as they say. I'm taking the ferry over and the car so the back can carry some fishing gear...Yes I said "some" instead of everything including the kitchen sink.

There is a lake on the island called Font which has large-mouth bass in the 5-6 lb range...A local has pulled a 7 pounder from there...There are a couple other smaller lakes and I'm taking the float tube...I may rent an old fishing boat just to complete the picture from my youth.

Now here's the really weird part...I have been rushed a bit and this trip came out-of-the-blue and I haven't stressed over flies. It's a rare trip where my wife and I get to take a break together so the fishing is secondary...Did he actually just say that? There is a music festival on the island and we will check it out. Maybe do some sunset hand-in-hand walks, re-connect...

I fish primarily copies of insects that the fish we chase eat. I'm basically a bug tosser. I have only one box of streamers that usually only sees service chasing small-mouth...It really needs some updating.

Here's what I did...I wish I had a picture to show everyone. I have been tying flies for quite some time and from the beginning have set in on classes and fly tying groups like most of us have. When you are involved in these things they aren't always tying things you may use in your own fishing. Over the years these odd flies were tossed in to a Whitman's Sampler box...Well I picked through it a couple nights back and found enough flies to fill a whole second large streamer box...

You should see it! There are some strange looking things in there...Some from the early days of my tying...I even have Wooly Worms in there :)! Weird versions of Buggers, streamers, and even my early attempts at spinning hair Muddler type flies...There are flies in there that I'm not even sure what they are! I even have egg-flies and I've never used those...Not even sure why I still have them...I did a good job on them, but hey, they aren't complicated.

So I guess this is the anti-thesis to the kids question on another thread (What's the best ever fly)! Who cares?! I'm tossing them at those fish and lets just see what happens...To continue the devil-may-care attitude I'm even taking the Adams box along...OK maybe these covers the callibaetis I may encounter on these lakes, but that's as close as I'll get...Promise!

When I was a pre-teen I spent many a day out fishing somewhere, probaly like most of us here...Literally buckets of panfish have made it to the dinner table because of me...I was a young fish slayer.

My uncle had 80 acres up north with a pond on it with one solitary large large-mouth bass...The mystery fish. Everyone had seen him but no one ever caught him...Save me. After dinner I headed out with a cousin that was still in diapers, my other older cousins were burnt out on any more fishing, and with a casting rod and a Mepps spinner it was all over...I ran back to the house with this fish and ran in to the kitchen yelling at my uncle, "Uncle Dee I caught him I caught him!"

Everyone came running in and we stood there looking at my trophy. Finally my uncle said to me, "Well Spence what should we do with him now?" I wasn't really sure and he suggested we put him back so we could chase him again...I ran back and let him swim off...He was never caught again, probably died from the stress, and was my first catch-and-released fish.

I'm going to stop on my way to the lake and pull one of those fuzzy grass stem things up and let it dangle from my mouth like a farm boy and see if I can't re-connect with the little guy that just loved a bit of a tug on the end of his line and was in love with summertime...Wish me luck! The only thing that will be missing is the Hills Brother can...:)

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Flatstick96July 12th, 2010, 1:58 pm
Posts: 127
There's a lot to be said for getting back to basics.

The meager assortment of gear (especially flies) that I take with me to the stream would embarrass many a fly angler, but I like to keep it simple, and I even manage to catch a few...

Enjoy your trip!

Jmd123July 12th, 2010, 6:30 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Spence, I want a fishing report upon your return...

I am a big fan of simplicity and minimalism. I only carry two fly boxes, some leaders & tippet sppols, floatant, nippers, hemos, a Measure Net on a magnetic retractor, some bug repellent, and a copy of my online-printed fishing license in a ziplock baggie. All of this fits nicely into my Orvis Sling Pack - a piece of gear that I HIGHLY recommend! There's still enough room in there for a rainjacket, sweatshirt, or sandwich too. It's easy-on, easy-off, and slides out of my way when I want to cast.

I haven't worn a vest stuffed with fly boxes & etc. since 2005, when I had to wade through water up to my shoulders to reach a favorite fishing hole on the San Marcos River in TX. I got sick and tired of having to take all of the fly boxes out of the vest and open them to dry after every trip! I went to a small shoulder pack back then (which I could lift above my head to keep it dry) with only two fly boxes and a little misc. gear as described above and I've never looked back...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
EricdJuly 12th, 2010, 8:04 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Yes, Jonathon is right, we need a report on your return, but even I being a newbie and small-timer on this site (and on the stream) would expect a great story when you get back. You mentioned a few things that resemble my "day-in-the-life."

I have a new bag for close-to-home fly fishing for pan-fish and bass that's always by the front door. The fly box in it includes a bunch of experimental flies that have helped me learn some tying techniques and a whole bunch of Western trout flies that a co-worker gave me from his military brat childhood in Colorado, Montana and Idaho (he traded his fly rod in for a golf club, you can imagine our discussions around the water cooler). The Western trout flies have been the best thing I've found for pan-fish in MN. The things that make this new bag lucky are the sandwich bag of cheerios, apple, diapers and wipes, my two-year old's necessities. There's no trout streams close enough or safe enough to bring my boy to, but there are plenty of lakes with kid-safe piers and shorelines that we've found to be vacant most week nights.

I have tried the Western trout flies on my home trout waters with NO success, until I threw them at the lily pads in the lakes close to home.

Eric
OldredbarnJuly 13th, 2010, 1:55 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
The above mentioned trip to Beaver isn't getting here fast enough...
"Now here's the really weird part...I have been rushed a bit and this trip came out-of-the-blue and I haven't stressed over flies."


Oh shit! Spence has been sneaking downstairs after work and cranking out flies!!! He promised to chill this trip but is in the middle of a massive relapse! I saw him down there just last night and he tied up a half dozen Holschlag-Hackle flies...What can we do with him??? "Won't somebody stop me!?" He almost stayed up past his bed time (it was a school night after-all) because he wanted to tie up a few more with Krystal Flash in the tail instead of the Flashabou called for in the original recipe.

Don't ask him about the Olive Matuka's...

Time is running out, but I heard him say he was debating about tying again after the trip to the gym tonight....He was mumbling something about not being able to make up his mind, "So much to do and so little time...Should I use the precious time remaining and try those "Killer Bass Bug's" of Jon's or some larger Gartside Sparrows...Some Clouser's???"

He even said something about stopping in Grayling on the way up and picking up some Madsen Skunks...He's one sick puppy!

There's supposed to be some R&R in here somewhere...Quality time mit deine Frau...(?)

He's obsessed...

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
FalsiflyJuly 13th, 2010, 2:51 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
The only thing that will be missing is the Hills Brother can...:)


Spence, may I make a suggestion? Spend the night catching or digging for night crawlers and fill that can, then head for the hills.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
GONZOJuly 13th, 2010, 4:20 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Spence, Spence, Spence....
I'm beginning to think that if your wife had planned a vacation to the Sahara Desert, you'd be spending your evenings tying up flies for sand bass. After all, you never know when your camel caravan might stumble upon an oasis. :)
Jmd123July 13th, 2010, 7:42 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Spence, it's called the Killer Bass FLY, unless you've already created some new variant that I am unaware of...

And BEWARE, they catch BIG FISH - this fly received it's name from a 20", 5.5 lb. largemouth from a Texas pond in 2005. This was shortly AFTER a bass of similar or perhaps larger size ripped a 6-7" bluegill off the end of my fly line within this pond. !!!!!!!

So, if you tie up and throw any, hold on tight...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
OldredbarnJuly 14th, 2010, 8:44 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Gonzo,

I know I'm walking a very, very, fine line here! But thanks for the implied warning mister...I hear you loud and clear!

The "oldredbarn" is a nod to the old Olympia Stadium that was home to the Red Wings, but if I don't play my cards right, there is probably an old-red-doghouse with my name on it...

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GONZOJuly 14th, 2010, 9:01 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Exactly, Spence. Hell hath no fury....

Keep in mind, however, that this advice comes from someone who spent his honeymoon fly fishing the Yellowstone country while obliging his "citified" bride to trudge through bison poop. ;)
OldredbarnJuly 14th, 2010, 10:21 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Gonzo,

"Keep in mind, however, that this advice comes from someone who spent his honeymoon fly fishing the Yellowstone country"


This is just why I'm listening to you brother...You have been there!

Unfortunately you are preaching to the choir here...In 1988 on my honeymoon we spent it in the Smokies...It was in the middle of the playoffs and my Wings were up against Gretzky & Co in the conference finals and I had tickets to game four back in Detroit. I wouldn't stay in a motel unless they had ESPN...Lucky for me this was an every other night thing or it would of ended there and then.

Early in our marriage I took her to Grayling to show her off and introduce her to my 2nd home...Not the best of ideas...On a canoe trip down the South Branch she piloted our craft in to some sweepers breaking off the tip of my then favorite Loomis...Now I know that this was totally my fault and the river gods that also watch over the guides union (I was trying to fish from the front of a canoe for nothing)were evening up some karmic debt here, but...

Rusty Gates gave her a pair of waders one morning and said "Lisa. Why don't you put these on and follow him down the river this evening?" Now again what transpired was totally my fault...I had promised her a nice dinner at the Lodge that evening in the dining room on the river...You know...A beautiful scene, some wine and a lovely meal prepared by Rusty's wife Julie...Maybe a romantic walk along the stream after...

She was done really after the first half hour. Yes she found the little slate-winged olives interesting for a brief moment, "They have such a lovely green body!" Once their spinner cousins showed up the time just seemed to slip right on by me somehow...As if from a dream I awoke to realize it was now after dark and she was no longer "digging" it!

She was having some sort of problem, I guess I'm not too use to having to worry about others when I fish, and she was wondering just how much longer this was going to take. We were just upstream from Lovell's and now that I was awake I kind of figured out where we were and pointed down in to the water and said, "Do you see those long darker shadows down there on the bottom of the stream? Those are downed trees and you must step over them."

I no sooner said this and she took a step forward and tripped over one of them. She somehow caught her fall but got a little wet and banged her hand abit...She rose up and shouted, "F**k!"...I'm well aware now that I'm somewhere way north of screwing up..."Dear....The cars right here...We can get out now."

She said nothing as we removed our waders and I stowed the rod (yes rod...one rod...what's more boring than watching someone else fish for hours???). I climbed in to the car and she was looking out the opposite window with arms folded across her chest..."I'm not ready to talk with you! I'm not sure I'll ever speak to you again!" Ouch!

You know I'm not sure if she was even legal...She technically should of had a fishing license...I think.

Lloyd...I think that somewhere deep in our tiny brains we truelly know now that they must really love us. Why? Sometimes I'm not too sure. But we are very, very lucky that someone does, don't you think?

Thanks Again!

Spence



"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GONZOJuly 14th, 2010, 11:05 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Lloyd...I think that somewhere deep in our tiny brains we truelly know now that they must really love us. Why? Sometimes I'm not too sure. But we are very, very lucky that someone does, don't you think?


I do indeed, Spence. After 26 years, I could not ask for a happier marriage. However, I grew up in a place we affectionately called "Cow Valley," and to this day, my wife and I have a very different level of tolerance for the aroma of ungulate droppings.
JADJuly 14th, 2010, 11:43 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
As I follow these post ,their beginning to stink.

JAD

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
OldredbarnJuly 14th, 2010, 12:11 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Gonzo,

They say that opposites attract...Maybe it's true with us humans...Maybe you were looking for an exit from "Cow Valley" and I was looking for an exit from what we called the "South End"...I recently had a meeting at my house of some old friends that I haven't seen in decades from the old neighborhood...They were teasing me for living in "Burbia" etc...My one close friend with whom I've stayed in contact likes to twist the phrase "I was pulled over for driving black" when he drives "to the other side of the planet" to visit me...He likes to say that when he drives in to my side of town he gets pulled over for driving "South-End"...and that "I need a damn passport to visit Spence..."

I told them that about the time I had started college I was walking around the South-End one evening and I saw a strange light off in the distance and I went to check it out. When I got close enough to see what it was I realized it was an exit sign...I told them I ran like hell towards it and went through and I've been running like hell ever since...I haven't looked back once...Save maybe the trips back to visit mom on Easter or Thanksgiving or Christmas.

You know how those hatching duns just seem to be in a trance heading upstream and nothing will stop them, or if you hold a stonefly in your hand he always crawls in an upward direction, or once the baby robins from the nests under my deck get to a certain size and the parents are ready to get busy with the next brood they chase their offspring out-of-the-yard...Maybe we are wired this way, or we have gypsy blood in us, or the cuties are just cuter outside of "Cow Valley" & the "South-End"?! Who knows? Maybe Roger does...

Spence

I promise you I'll heed you wise warning as I pull out of the drive tomorrow morning and point the car north...I will try my best to not hog the conversations with fish, rivers, aquatic insects, birds, the Detroit Red Wings, etc...I'll now have to give a fishing report and a romantic confessional of some sort when I return early next week...Who thought that a simple extended weekend trip could be so damn complicated??? Neurotic? Not Spence...

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
OldredbarnJuly 14th, 2010, 12:16 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
"As I follow these posts ,their beginning to stink."


Sorry John...If I re-read them myself they are less and less about Trout-Nut "stuff" and more and more like I should be seeking out the help of a shrink! I do get the "stink" pun since we now know that Lloyd didn't know what fresh air was until he found a trout stream. He probably put on his first pair of shoes when he headed off to college!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GONZOJuly 14th, 2010, 12:42 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
He probably put on his first pair of shoes when he headed off to college!


Not quite, Spence, but I will confess that I wear shoes reluctantly and my tolerance for certain natural odors is probably higher than most--especially when good fishing is to be had. One of my favorite memories of fishing in Alaska involved the discovery a side channel of the Kenai that was literally paved with rotting salmon carcasses. The air was so foul that no one would go near the place, and I had it all to myself. After about five or ten minutes, I didn't notice the stench anymore, and the fishing was truly awesome!
OldredbarnJuly 14th, 2010, 1:13 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Gonzo,

You are just lucky that the local bears must of been fat, dumb, & happy or you may have been their dessert! You know with that aroma they were around.

My sinus' are so screwed up I can hardly smell anything myself...On the rare occasion when they accually work at all I'm taken a back a bit simply because I'm not use to being able to smell anything.

It has it's benefits I guess.

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GONZOJuly 14th, 2010, 1:30 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
We never saw a bear. I was somewhat disappointed by that, but it was the end of the season, cold and sometimes snowing, and even the very last run of silvers was on the wane. There were only a few red-coated stragglers in the shallows to fish behind, but the dollies and rainbows were so fat from feeding on eggs and salmon flesh that I wondered how they could eat any more. And I'm not entirely sure that even a bear would have tolerated the smell of that place.
GutcutterJuly 18th, 2010, 11:40 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
mt319
your response is good, but your experiment is flawed. you stated several times that presentation is "the" key and i agree (as would almost anyone) with that statement. it is the single most important aspect to dry fly fishing. you could super-glue a live natural to a hook and if you drag it upstream it ain't gonna work.
you also noted (again i completely agree) the life stage that the fish are feeding upon (the stage) is very important. then i don't get the point about fishing a sulphur spinner and then switching to an adams comparadun to get positive results. what if you had thrown a sulphur comparadun or an adams spinner? i suspect that in the former, the fish would eat and in the latter the fish would refuse.
and for future reference - just a technicality really, the compara-dun is an imation of the subimago - the dun. a sparkledun (craig matthews)is the transitional form of the comparadun - the emerger. the "deerhair emerger" is the transitional form described in "hatches II" and the compara-spinner is the imago form of the compara-dun.
gut
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Jmd123July 18th, 2010, 2:54 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Oh GAWD, here we go again...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
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