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Jmd123January 3rd, 2017, 7:36 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2369
"BUT today temps were pushing 40..." Well, if it's going to be THAT kind of winter, I might just have to crack open the tubes again...they're all lined up on a wall in my living room, as if to remind me that I WILL be doing this again in a few months. But maybe sooner?? The Rifle below Sage Lake Road is open year-round, and there will be steelies and lake-run brownies in there. Wading might be life-threatening though during a thaw, like we're having right now...

"Crazy but I've never had much success with ice fishing." To be honest, my luck is pretty hit-or-miss, but I've had enough success to keep me drilling holes. Including, a nice fat 16" rainbow (and some big fat perch of course) on a tip-up from Reid Lake last January (2nd time out so still first ice). Having pulled that 18 1/2-er out of there in November you can bet I'll be back there as soon as we get some safe ice! And soon after it thaws with the "banana boat" (see tiny photo at left).

Tight lines to those still going out, might even join you if this slop continues!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RogueratJanuary 3rd, 2017, 8:06 am
Posts: 443
Jonathon-

We're all too familiar with the old 'if you don't like the weather in Michigan wait a couple minutes...' and its headed for single-digit lows later this week with wind chills approaching -20 per NWS. The ice is DEFINITELY not safe although some geniuses always have to test things the hard way and it makes the evening news. I'm still contemplating a trip or two prospecting for steelhead no matter what shade they come in...although I've always been told the snottier the weather the better the odds of tying into a fish.

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Jmd123January 3rd, 2017, 10:43 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2369
"...I've always been told the snottier the weather the better the odds of tying into a fish."

Yep, heard that one from guys fishing for whitefish on the piers in December too. Weather does weird things to fish! And that is probably a factor in my usual lack of enthusiasm for the pursuit. Though there has been many a time when the front was coming in and just before it does there's a half-hour window of what can only be described as "fish madness". You've all been there, it can go off even without a hatch - as happened to me on the Maple River in Emmet Co. (my natal trout stream). Never saw a fly, didn't see any nymphs, still plenty of daylight, fish rising HARD everywhere! Not little sips but gulps and splashes, almost as if they were slashing at a Hex hatch (it was even early June and good and warm) , but I NEVER saw a single fly all night. Must have seen 25-30 fish rising, could hear them up around the bend, got my first brookie over 10" (it was eleven), had a 13" brown go airborne on me like a rainbow. If I remember correctly, I was throwing a #12 White Wulff, as I had fished Light Cahill hatches back in the '80s and that fly had worked well. Half hour later the river went dead, just as some dark clouds and spitting rain came over, then never came back to life within the next hour. I asked a couple of guys downstream from me, "Did you see any flies?" "Nope." I told them my story and they said they had no action at all. ????? Not complaining though! I also had the bass in my hometown lake do that to me under very similar weather conditions. Just like a switch: feed ON, feed OFF, 1/2 hour is all you get.

I still have to say that personally I catch more fish in fair weather than foul. But to those of you willing to brave the stuff that sends me to the vise and a bath tub full of hot water (in that exact order), I salute you! And dammit, I want to see some FISH PORN as proof that it's worth it!

I always tell folks that don't like ice fishing because "it's too cold" that "if you're cold, you're not doing it right!"

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
IvansFishinJanuary 26th, 2017, 6:25 pm
Toronto, Canada

Posts: 6
The funny thing is, whenever I put a bigger fly I tend to catch a small fish. I would start with an average fly, see what they are eating, and go from there. I would not say the bigger fly would get you a bigger fish right away.
Ivans Fishing Videos | Tips and Reviews on Fly Fishing Gear & Fishing in General |

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMqt9mfmELPZ1P0low42Nlw
LBrainFebruary 13th, 2017, 11:12 am
Birdsboro, PA

Posts: 10
Interesting thoughts here. I fished a couple times this past week in a local tail water. Caught my biggest trout ever east of the missippi, almost 20" 'wild' brown, its pec fins were like big fans swimming by... first time it went by me I thought I hooked a giant sucker. anyway, size 24 midge emerger... anything bigger wasn't working...
Brain
IasgairFebruary 27th, 2017, 5:10 am
Colorado

Posts: 148
Well I'm not sure if I'm allowed to name the river I fish, I know some sites don't like that and I'm not sure if this is one of those.



I am sure Jason could answer that. Although, I really, really don't believe for a second if you name a river you fish on, everyone here is going to suddenly be on a road trip headed to that river. That doesn't happen.

Now, a secret honey hole on your river, that's a different story all together. Hush.
WbranchFebruary 27th, 2017, 5:21 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2498
Although, I really, really don't believe for a second if you name a river you fish on, everyone here is going to suddenly be on a road trip headed to that river.


You are probably correct that everyone isn't "suddenly" going to head to that river but I will say with 100% assurance that the Internet, and guys posting pictures of big fish, and either naming where they are or leaving identifiable landmarks in the pictures has ruined hundreds, if not thousands, or trout waters that were at one time either pristine or lightly fished.

I know this because it has happened on virtually every river, stream, and creek that I fish. Often more anglers to lesser known fishing areas brings litter and if the river is on private land where the owner has been gracious enough to allow fishing it is not long before the land owner gets tired of seeing litter on his property and seeing guys relieving themselves in clear view of the home that the property gets posted.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
IasgairFebruary 27th, 2017, 7:04 pm
Colorado

Posts: 148

I know this because it has happened on virtually every river, stream, and creek that I fish.



Hmmmm, what are you not telling us? Just kidding.

You know, you're right. I have heard of people seeing some sort of marking in a photo and heading to it's destination. Then before you know it, it's just ruined. I must have forgotten about that because the places I generally go I don't see anyone fishing, and I have been going to these hidden treasures for so long it must have escaped me.

Also makes me wonder that being on a forum, if I have a terrific day on the water, I might as well not say a thing in fear of giving something away that will ruin my fishing spot.

I understand the importance of protecting our rivers and lakes from people who don't respect the pure natural beauty that it gives us. I myself have been on a stream and found someones trash just laying there at a camp site. I went back to my truck to get a trash bag (I always carry one just for these occasions) and went back and cleaned it up. I say if you can't pack it out, don't pack it in. And if you can hike that far in with a heavy back pack, it should be lighter than it was when you leave with empty water bottles and candy bar wrappers and such. It does anger me.

Then on the other side of it all, never ever invite someone on a forum from another area to come and fish with you on your favorite waters. Because you just never know what kind of person they may be. They may cut off tippet material and throw it down in the water and never think twice about the harm they can cause. I have seen that before, and have had not so favorable words to share. But then again, I have fished with people who put the environment first. They were very respectful.

If we have to always keep secrets, what good are these forums for?

What I am saying is, don't live in fear of something that is uncertain.

One more thing; if someone has permission to fish on private property, they really need to respect the property and owners. Another example would be if I was fishing on private property, and I saw bits of trash or fishing line laying on the ground, I pick it up and dispose of it properly. Why? Because I look at it as a huge "Thank You" to the owners of the land, and hope they will let me fish there again. A little respect goes a long way with some folks.

That's why I said naming a river shouldn't be a bad thing, but sharing your fishing hole is something different. I can tell you all about the Arkansas River in Colorado, but I may or may not get real specific as to where I fish on it. A river covers a big area, but a honey hole is more detailed.

Then, maybe we shouldn't post pictures on forums either so this doesn't happen. Just saying. But if we did that, how could someone like me also enjoy a place like the GSMNP through someone's photo's? Or enjoy seeing the colors of a brook trout in it's glorious colors in Oct. in a beautiful state like Maine? Without photo's to share, forums would just be talk.

Soap box is vacant now. Whew, I feel better, lol.
WI_FisherMarch 1st, 2017, 1:41 pm
Posts: 8Ok well it looks like I should be good to name the river then. The river I fish on is the Kinnickinnic River, but it sounds like using a larger fly doesn't necessarily mean you're going to catch bigger fish. So maybe the larger ones are more rare on this river?
WbranchMarch 1st, 2017, 4:10 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2498
WI_Fisher,

I know the Kinnickinnic River quite well and fished it often in the late 1960's and early 1970's. If I were you I wouldn't worry very much about what people put up in their posts. That stream, you really can't call it a river, is very fragile and can't stand lots of new fly fishers. I Would keep it a closely guarded secret.

I only fish a few rivers and there are no secrets remaining on any of them but often if I want to post up a picture of a bigger trout, and there are identifiable landmarks in the background, I will use editing software to blur those landmarks so any one visiting a forum and seeing the picture would not have a clue as to what part of the river I was fishing.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
FalsiflyMarch 2nd, 2017, 5:08 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 656
I only fish a few rivers and there are no secrets remaining on any of them but often if I want to post up a picture of a bigger trout, and there are identifiable landmarks in the background, I will use editing software to blur those landmarks so any one visiting a forum and seeing the picture would not have a clue as to what part of the river I was fishing.


Uh huh editing software. I knew it Matt, all those big fish you post were photo shopped.
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."
RleePMarch 2nd, 2017, 6:24 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 375
>>Ok well it looks like I should be good to name the river then. The river I fish on is the Kinnickinnic River, but it sounds like using a larger fly doesn't necessarily mean you're going to catch bigger fish. So maybe the larger ones are more rare on this river?>>

I wouldn't worry about naming the Kinni... It is less than an hour out of the Twin Cities and over the past couple decades has been the focus of pretty intense advocacy by TU, the Kinnickinnic Land Trust and others. It has lots of friends looking after it.

Happily (the last I knew anyway), the Kinni also has one of the highest densities (fish/mile) of wild brown trout of any stream in the Upper Mississippi drainage. When we were living in the Midwest (2000-2014) I used to hear WI-DNR estimate these numbers as 5,000-8,000 trout per mile in the sections above River Falls and around 3,000 tpm in the State Park section down near the junction with the St. Croix.

Actually, the line on the Kinni was that there were probably too many fish, at least in the upper river (above River Falls). This high density coupled with the effects of very cold water (the upper river has extremely strong spring input) led to a situation where the fish maxed out around a foot, at least above River Falls. Supposedly, the water below River Falls has fewer (if you can call 3,000 tpm "fewer"), but on average somewhat larger fish. And even at this, I don't think the Kinni in the lower section is considered a good larger trout producer. Numbers, yes. Size, not so much.. I can't really confirm this with personal experience, having only fished the Kinni a half dozen times or so, but as I say, this was the opinion of the fisheries professionals at the time we were out there..

So, the long and short of it may be that the Kinnickinnic might not be the best place possible to test any big fly equals big fish (or not..) theories...:) Its a beautiful, unique river with lots of fish though.
WbranchMarch 2nd, 2017, 1:18 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2498
Falsifly,

Uh huh editing software. I knew it Matt, all those big fish you post were photo shopped.


Nuts!, dang now my secret is finally out. Yep most of those over 21" trout were really photo enhanced 15" fish. Well I tricked you guys for almost ten years.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
IasgairMarch 4th, 2017, 1:59 am
Colorado

Posts: 148
You know, when it comes to photos in forums giving away secret fishing spots, or just spots not so heavily fished, I don't think fishing forums are even close to doing harm to a spot like fishing magazines & tv shows. Magazines are full of photos and most times very much describe where they are at, and the same goes for tv programs. There are more fishermen who subscribe to fishing magazines than on forums.

Think about it.
WbranchMarch 4th, 2017, 4:28 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2498
There are more fishermen who subscribe to fishing magazines than on forums.

Think about it.


You are either so young, or so naïve, or both to suggest that fly fishing magazines and TV shows are more harmful(to bringing in the wretched masses) than forums and the Internet.

Don't you know that for every registered forum member on every forum in this country there are hundreds, if not thousands, of lurkers who have never registered but scan every post for information on new rivers and lakes to pillage?

I have been fly fishing for fifty-six years, much longer than you have been on this planet. I have seen every stream and river I fish become more and more crowded. Fly fishing magazines like Rod & Reel, Fly Tier, Fly Fisherman, and others have been around since the early 1960's. Yes I do believe they have contributed to more anglers on the waters we fish but it has been a gradual increase over time prior to the Internet and FFing forums.

Since the advent of the Internet or maybe I should say the period in which the Internet became much more popular in the late 1980's and early 1990's is when I started to see significantly more fly fishers descending on waters I have fished since 1961.

I have the feeling, based on many of your posts, that you are going to want to disagree with me on this topic. That is your prerogative but you are wrong and I think we will need to agree to disagree on this topic.

I have thought about it.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
IasgairMarch 4th, 2017, 5:29 am
Colorado

Posts: 148
I'm probably a little of both, being young & naive. And there are things I don't think of as fast as you because, well, I just don't. But I am mature enough to agree to disagree, and I can keep an open mind to believe that I very well could be wrong.

And I believe I have learned something.
WbranchMarch 4th, 2017, 7:28 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2498
I'm probably a little of both, being young & naive. And there are things I don't think of as fast as you because, well, I just don't. But I am mature enough to agree to disagree, and I can keep an open mind to believe that I very well could be wrong.


Thanks and I appreciate your giving my hypothesis consideration. I wouldn't voice them unless I thought that they have merit.

And I believe I have learned something.


I will be the first to admit I am very opinionated and forthright when it comes to subjects related to anything pertaining to fly fishing. That forthrightness is based on fifty-six years of fly fishing and thousands of days on the water.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
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