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> > Trout season's over, Bass season's still moving right along.

Pryal74October 6th, 2010, 7:14 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
I fish in the U.P. of Michigan. Colder temperatures have moved in and so have the larger bass species. I posted a few of the bigger bass I have caught in the last few weeks. I don't think you can see my black eye from my cage fight haha.




-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
OldredbarnOctober 6th, 2010, 8:13 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Jim,

I know it would be a little bit of a ride for you, but have you ever nosed around Beaver Island or the "flats" around some of the outer islands there?

Those are quite the "Bruisers"! You aren't using Jonathan's infamous "Killer Bass Bug" are you?! I have heard, through-the-grape-vine that he's going to patent it like Syl Nemes has done with some of his flies...User's will have to send him royalty checks...:)

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
Pryal74October 6th, 2010, 8:30 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
I wish I knew the recipe to tie it actually. The bass flies I have I think could be designed a little bit better and no I never made it out there, but I have a friend who I fish with now and again who was a tourney pro in the B.A.S.S. circuit and he has. He told me there ARE some giants out there. I sure would love to hit that place up. When I get a bigger boat I will for sure. It's hard to stray from around the area here because there are so many fantastic places to catch them so close. And yeah Jonathan should, if it works that good maybe it will be as famous as the Clouser Minnow.
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
PaulRobertsOctober 6th, 2010, 9:40 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Nice fish! I sure love bass fishing. Fall is lunker time for sure.

So..why is trout season over?
Jmd123October 10th, 2010, 8:09 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2531
Once again, nice bass there James. My father has a digital camera and I will try to get some step-by-step photo tying instructions for my KBF (that's Killer Bass FLY, Spence!) up on here sometime in the near future, before I make the move to Oscoda (looking like a week or so). I did post a recipe on here some time ago but I don't think anyone really paid attention to it, and despite the fact that I have given a few of them away they still haven't showed up in any fly shop, magazine, or catalogue that I know of...BTW, it also works (extremely well) for sunfish, rock bass, crappie, and yellow perch (and one big fat brown trout on the Pigeon River two years ago that pulled the old "wrap-n-snap" on me). I did have a small pike hit one as well on a stream I am exploring here in SE MI.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Pryal74October 12th, 2010, 8:21 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Jonathan, I would totally appreciate the recipe! And yeah it's a shame trout season is over. I have been hauling in the bass a couple times a week. The big slabs are slowly moving in, but the water is still high. This high water has actually cost us a few trips, just too dangerous to bring them out for steelhead and smallies in a few places. I'll post a few more pictures later today =)
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
Jmd123October 13th, 2010, 5:53 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2531
James, I'll get the recipe and tying instructions (with photos) up on here this coming weekend. I just got in from Midland a little while ago where I was finishing up a wetland delineation in the rain - not very pleasant but it sure does feel good to be finally working again! Tomorrow morning I am off early for Toledo (YUCK) to collect some large inverts (crayfish, mollusks, big water bugs, etc.) for the oil contamination project (involving BP, no less!) and then I'll be home for the weekend.

Once you get a chance to tie some up I will be curious to see if your luck with them is the same as mine...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Flatstick96October 14th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 127
I'll probably tie some up too - I'm stuck here in bass country, so I might as well make the most of it...
Pryal74October 16th, 2010, 7:31 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Jonathan, that sounds excellent. Ohio huh? Not my favorite state for sure. I was curious about your project you were talking about. I know it doesn't have to do with the post but what is the project on? And I would be grateful to see the recipe and I'll sure put a few miles on the fly and see how it works. Hopefully they can find me some of these!


-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
Jmd123October 17th, 2010, 7:31 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2531
James, I was going to post step-by-step instructions with photos, however the camera I have available is not up to the task - it's just a point-and-shoot that is fine for big fish pics but not for close-up fly tying shots (unfortunately - I will have to remedy this when I purchase one of my own, sometime soon now that I am finally working again!). So, I am going to make a separate post with the recipe and instructions sans photos for now.

The project in Toledo, a.k.a the Industrial Apocalypse, involves the EPA (our side - we have teamed with a larger company that is being funded by the EPA) claiming that BP Oil (no less! - it was inevitable that I would be involved with them eventually, I guess, as an environmental consultant) is causing biological harm to a couple of creeks in the Toledo area. My part has been to collect benthic macroinvertebrates at pre-selected sampling locations, including at two non-oiled "urban comparison" streams, to determine the impacts of the oil-contaminated sediments on the biological communities of the streams in question. Well, let me tell you, it couldn't be more clear-cut - the streams with oil contamination have very few organisms, as evidenced by not seeing more than two or three things squirming in the bottom of my net every time I sampled, if I saw anything at all! In sharp contrast, the non-oiled streams (and these are just typical skanky urban drainage ditches, in which you can smell the organic pollution, a.k.a. SH*T) are CRAWLING with inverts, as every time I picked up my net full of debris is was literally wriggling with amphipods (scuds to us fly-fishing types) and big dragonfly nymphs, and I think quite possibly more crayfish and mollusks as well. It's painfully obvious: oil is TOXIC as hell to aquatic organisms, and ANYONE who tries to ever convince you otherwise is full of HORSESH*T!!!

Your latest fat-boy pics are making me envious. I might just have to pay you a visit after I make the move to Oscoda, as I will be a few hours closer to your location...

Jonathon

P.S. I will now go post the recipe!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123October 17th, 2010, 7:35 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2531
P.P.S. Flatstick, there are worse things than being "stuck in bass country", as James' photos above show quite well. I must say that I do consider smallmouth to be more than worthy opponents on a fly rod, fighting just as hard as any trout I have ever hooked and being considerably easier to find in my (current) part of the world (though this balance will shift substantially to the trout side of things after I find my way to Oscoda...). Largemouth aren't bad either, but smallies fight at least three times as hard! (Takes three times as long to wear them out anyway, in my humble opinion...)
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Flatstick96October 18th, 2010, 9:09 am
Posts: 127
Jonathon,

I agree that bass on a fly rod are fun - I quite enjoy bass as a game fish. I hope my post didn't come across as anti-bass, because I'm not.

What I do dislike, are: a) the place I live, and b) the places here that I have available to me for bass fishing. I hate the climate here, I hate the terrain here, and I hate the fact that if you want to hunt or fish here, you have to (with very few exceptions) either: a) pay through the nose for access, or b) fish shoulder to shoulder with hordes of other people.

For me, a BIG part of fishing is the peace and solitude that comes with it. Sweating my ass off in 100 degree heat, getting eaten alive by bugs, while standing thigh deep in a silty mudhole of a "river" surrounded by 50 other guys, I find myself thinking: "What the hell am I doing here?" rather than: "Boy, this sure is peaceful".

The one place down here where I think I WILL find the "wild trout stream" aesthetic, is here (but it's a trip that you can't just up and take on any given afternoon):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devils_River_(Texas)

At some point, though...I will do it.
Jmd123October 18th, 2010, 11:03 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2531
Flatstick, I have been to the Devil's River State Natural Area, and yes, you NEED to go! There is a small stream that runs through the area, a tributary to the Devil's River (a.k.a. Rio San Pedro before a white guy decided it looked like it should be called the Devil's River, according to the TPWD circular I had on the place), and I forget the name of the creek but if it is flowing, you should check out a big pool just below the last road crossing of this creek before you reach the River itself. I did a backpacking trip there in January of 2005 with a buddy who was training for a hike on the Continental Divide trail later that year or the next. This creek was flowing only because the park ranger I talked to said they had received 2 1/2 times their normal rainfall amount in 2004 (45" as opposed to a normal 18"!), and no fish were evident until the last road crossing, below which was a good 10-foot waterfall and a huge rock-walled pool full of that beautiful blue-green Texas Hill Country water. This pool was FULL of fish, including some great big smallmouth (4-5 lb. range) and some channel cats just as big, as well as largemouth, bluegill, green sunfish, longear sunnies, and spotted sunnies (the last supposedly introduced, as were the smallies of course, but I think everything else was in fact native). I started out with a spinning rod and chartruese Mister-Twister-type jigs (substitute a 5-weight with weighted chartruese Woolly Buggers and I'm sure you'll get the same result) and big fat bass and cats were busting me off on 4-lb. test. I did swtich to a fly rod and caught a few sunnies on a Clouser Minnow. If you go and find this pool full of water, hit it hard and I doubt you'll be disappointed!

The other place I recommend, a bit closer to home for you (where are you located at?), is the San Marcos River. Spring-fed, crystal clear (at least in the headwaters and for a few miles downstream), and LOADED with nice bass, numerous sunfish species (including 10" redbreast and redear), Rio Grande "perch" (actually a species of cichlid some folks keep in aquaria), and some spotted gar (had the fight of my life from a 20-incher once!) - plus LOTS of public access all through the town of San Marcos (though watch your backcast for college kids - it's the home of TX State!). I actually located many of my best fishing spots there by snorkeling.

Another place I never found my way to (the San Marcos kept me busy and was only 5 minutes from my apartment) is the Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake Dam, which is supposed to have a fine tailwater trout fishery, the southernmost in the continental US...

Also: go take a hike in the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area near Fredricksburg, get around the big pink granite hills, and in the back portion of the area is a pond which is stocked but apparently (at least in 2005) NOT FISHED!! I caught my largest bass ever - a 20", 5 1/2 lb. largemouth - in this pond on one of my original Killer Bass Flies. In fact, that's where this fly got it's name!! I also caught dozens of smaller bass up to 17", two good-sized channel cats (one on the KBF and another on a deer-hair "micropopper" pattern I like to tie), and about a hundred bluegills the size of my hand. None of the (numerous) hikers even knew there were fish in this pond, in spite of the fact that you could watch largemouth up to about two feet long swim right past you and hear a fish jump somewhere on the pond about every 30 seconds!

I sincerely hope these recommendations will rejuvinate your heart and soul as a flyfisherman. Forget the muddy holes and rivers and find some of that crystal-clear spring-fed Edwards Aquifer water - there's plenty of nice fish to be had (of many species)!!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Pryal74October 19th, 2010, 7:45 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
@ Flatstick, man, I feel for you. I feel very spoiled here. When I fish, I rarely see other people, especially on a trout stream. I myself, do not like combat fishing. I have done that as a young man fishing for salmon and fishing on a few other rivers and lakes. I do not care for it one bit. The scenery of a trout stream or quiet lake can easily lull you into tranquility. I feel for you and I hope you find some peace down there.

@ Jonathan. Thanks for your description. I hear from a friend that some of Ohio's rivers are totally nasty. Keep up the good work. Do you have a website or posting that I could read more about your work? I'll go check on the fly recipe soon as I'm done posting. You are welcome to come on up whenever you can. Next year will be very busy with trips but we will have more than enough time to go haul in some fish =)
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
AdirmanOctober 19th, 2010, 8:07 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 498
Flatstick;

I didn't realize fishing was that popular in the south; you are from Texas, right? Is it really as bad as you describe, the shoulder to shoulder thing you mentioned? Not doubting you, just thought that most fishing in the deep south was done from a boat and alot of it deep sea fishing, but hey, shows you how much I know!!
Flatstick96October 19th, 2010, 12:37 pm
Posts: 127
Just to be clear, I'm not FROM the south - I grew up in Ithaca, NY and also lived for awhile in State College, PA. Those of you with ties to the northeast will understand the kind of fishing I grew up around...and what we've got here isn't it.

And yes, there's plenty of the shoulder-to-shoulder thing going on here, especially during the white bass run each spring (not nearly as bad as, say, the Salmon River in NY, but that same kind of "feel" - at every access point there are cars all over the place, and there are people at regular intervals for as far as you can see, upstream and down). It's true that a lot of the fishing here is done from boats, but during those rare times when fish move up into places where they're accessible from shore, everybody who owns a rod and a bait can comes out of the woodwork.

Jonathon, thanks for the tips. I live east of Georgetown, so the San Marcos is probably about 1.5 to 2.5 hours away, depending on traffic (ditto for E-rock). I've never fished the San Marcos, but if I can find the time and money to trek down there, I may give it a shot at some point. Do you have to worry much about tubers there? I know that's always one of the pains-in-the-ass about fishing the Guad - it's full of stupid, drunk rednecks and college students in inner tubes.

I've been to E-rock, but I didn't know there was a pond there - maybe I can take the kids hiking there sometime and check it out. That's a good tip.

I have tried trout fishing for the stockies in the Guad, but between gas and access fees it costs me almost $60/trip (not to mention a 2 hour drive each way), and I've been skunked there more times than not, so it's tough to really justify making that trip very often.

My brother and I did find one somewhat secluded place at one lake about 40 minutes from here where we can get in some decent largemouth fishing for about 3 weeks each year (when the temps are just right to push the shad into the shallows), so I'm looking forward to that. To get to this spot (and away from the people) you have to hike about 1.5 miles from the parking area, but to someone who's used to trekking as far as necessary to get away from other trout fishermen, that's nothing.
OldredbarnOctober 19th, 2010, 2:39 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Those of you with ties to the northeast will understand the kind of fishing I grew up around...and what we've got here isn't it.


We are feeling your pain brother! We need to somehow get you back north of the Mason-Dixon, where water turns to ice in the winter, where we can lace-them-up and chase a puck across a pond or backyard rink!

I can hear it in every line you write and between those lines...You are home sick!

I have a friend that lives with his family down in San Antonio and he's always trying (begging really) to get me to visit him down there..."You got to come down and see them Texans in their natural habitat!"...

My wife wants us to think about heading south somewhere when we retire..."I'll never leave Michigan brother, unless it's to Montana or somewhere in a pine box!"

On the other hand, the crowd problem isn't limited to Texas or PA streams...There are just way too many of us on this planet and we are stressing it out and each other as well...Not sure what we can do about that.

Just letting you know we are thinking about you up here and I'll raise a cold Molson to you and your Big Red menace from Ithaca this Saturday night when my nephew and I watch our Wings hassle the Ducks down at the Joe (Hey! Hey! Hockeytown!)...Anaheim! There's another great hockey mecca...Not! How can someone spend their afternoons on the beach and walk in to the rink in shorts and take the game seriously?! You and your brother and I know it's not real hockey unless your snot freezes, eh! and someone's lip is bleeding...Remember, "If you can't SEE that SMELL, you must be DEAF!!!" :)



Hang in there friend...Warm up the satelite dish and tie some flies...

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
Flatstick96October 19th, 2010, 3:34 pm
Posts: 127
Spence, thanks for the chuckle (and the reality check) - I needed it. I've just been in kind of a cranky mood lately.

And you're right - I do miss home. Miss it every day.
Jmd123October 19th, 2010, 7:09 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2531
Flatstick, you have a standing invitation to come up here to the Great Lakes State where Spence & I will take you to some unpressured waters for some good old "Pure Michigan" trout & smallmouth bass fishing. And hey, I know a nice pond near Ann Arbor full of largemouth (as illustrated in one of my recent posts...). DO get over to the San Marcos, especially during the winter months as there really aren't many (if any) tubers (potato-heads???) or canoes during that time of year, and the fish bite with gusto. Try a chartruese Woolly Bugger (or your favorite color), KBF (see my recipe), or in the evening an Elkhair Caddis when the flies are skimming low over the water - those big bright blue-and-orange redbreast sunfish won't let ya down! I like to say, when I lived in Texas, sunfish became my "trout"...and it sounds like I didn't really miss anything on the Guad from what you say.

Keep your chin up, flyrodder!!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
AdirmanOctober 20th, 2010, 6:59 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 498
Flatstick;

That's too bad. Much of what you described turns off many would-be fly fisherman to the sport, I think. Maybe its that way 'cause there's fewer freshwater fishing oppurtunities down there?? If you ever make it back to NY, look me up, I'll take you fishin!

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