CW and I made our now annual pilgrimage to Erie for spring bass over the weekend. It seems we mis-timed the arrival of all of the bass into the shallows. The water was still pretty cool and finding willing fish that were not on beds was a bit of a trick. Had we been in a boat and not on foot, I understand there was great fishing to be had… Sadly, no boat was to be had!
So mid-way through our first day I was wading through a narrow corridor in the reeds and found myself face to face with the biggest hairiest beaver I have ever seen! (Sorry… couldn’t resist) She looked at me, I looked at her…. I didn’t flinch… neither did she. She turned around and gave me a rear shot and slapped her tail angrily against the water and swam off. The only thing I can surmise from the encounter is that I have no game and once again did something to cause the aforementioned beaver to turn tail and head in the opposite direction. Apparently I have learned nothing since high school. And for those of you that are wondering why I have no picture, I tried to snap a quick beaver shot but I was so awe struck by the furry creature that I couldn’t seem to get the camera out of my pocket fast enough…. story of my life.
So where was I… oh yeah… fish! So despite some tough conditions, CW and I managed to have our way with some largemouth bass but the highlight of the trip was some brown lining that was done as we had to duck out of some ugly weather conditions. The water on the lake was being whipped into a frenzy so we found a small cove on the inside of some tall reeds. We found this because we followed a carp back through that narrow channel and hit the mother load. Dozens and dozens of HUGE carp in spawn and pre-spawn ritual in two feet of water. I switched gears and put on a small carp fly dropped it in the feed zone and waited…. small twitch… head turn… take! Game ON! In a matter of a minute the brute was headed into the reeds and I could do nothing to stop it. Game OVER…. I will post a video showing my dismay later this week.
Luckily CW had his “A” Game and hooked into this beautiful 14lb monster that I had to help him dig out of a pile of weeds to finally land. I think his smile pretty much says it all!
I also managed to hook and land my first ever Gar on the fly. Scratch another one off of the species list! What a great set of teeth! 🙂 It was truly comical watching me try to get this fish to open it’s mouth so I could retrieve my fly. I looked like a total rookie but was trying not to lose a finger!
Our last night there the top water action for bass finally turned on and we had a blast throwing poppers into the night right before a massive storm front rolled in and the lightning began to strike… I am as hardcore as they come when it comes to fishing. We put in 14 hours on the water that day but even I don’t have any desire to be the headline of the local Erie papers that reads “Stupid Pittsburgh Man Gets a Charge Out of Fishing Presque Isle”.
All in all we fished till we could no longer cast, ate copious amounts of beef jerky and licorice, had some great encounters with mother nature, and reminded ourselves of why we love what we do so much. Our next trip cannot come soon enough. Don’t let the weather and the water keep you indoors! Find a friend, find a trip, find a way!
More pics and video to come in my next post!!!!!
Good Luck and Tight Lines,
Carp Whisperer and I have had a bass trip to Erie planned for months. Of course the weather looks absolutely…. how should we say… SHITTY! I refuse however to allow that to dampen my spirits. I have been busy at the vise despite already having enough bass flies to fish for the next 3 years without running out of flies.
I told CW of my affliction and he laughed as he has been doing the same. I told him it is a sever case of “fish-sturbation”. Granted, yes it is a poor substitute for being on the water, but sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do! So my rain gear is packed. My 6 weight and my 8 weight are both ready to rock. The only thing I have yet to do is figure out how I plan to gear up. Vest, sling pack, sherpa? Carrying trout flies or carp flies are easy. When it comes to packing up meat boxes… whole new ballgame! I think I am leaning toward my Orvis Sling Pack, but have been partial to my Fishpond vest lately.
You see while some men are charged with fixing the economy, creating peace in the middle east, or eliminating our dependency on foreign energy, I have been tasked with the truly vital societal burden of how I plan to carry a bunch of bulky bass and pike flies over memorial day weekend. I know you all just breathed a collective sigh of relief knowing that I am focused on the high priority tasks at hand.
The rain continues to fall. The rivers continue to rise. Blown out is an understatement. Ughhhh
It’s official. If you like what you read here you can check out and like my FB page!
Kids are funny sometimes. Some of them pick up our hobbies and interests while others march to a different beat. My kids would be the latter…. at least so far. They love video games, dinosaurs, and math, but have yet to really catch much of an interest in fish. Yes…. yours truly hopes that changes!
On the other hand, Carp Whisperer has two budding brown liners that would bring a tear to any fly addicts eye. Both of these guys have a passion for being on the water, are quickly learning how to handle a fly rod, and have even started tying their own meat! I was lucky enough to have given them their first tying lesson, but they have spent many hours at the vise with dad since and are truly a talent in the making. This year for Christmas they each got their first fly rod and real and are now into waders as well.
It is pretty cool to watch. A few weeks ago, was a huge moment as B casted to, hooked, and landed his first sucker on the fly on his own! Way to go guys! Keep up the great work and we will see you on the stream!
So last week Mrs. Brownliner and I made our way to the valley of the sun to spend a week with family. I of course had every intention of bringing my fly rod and getting some fishing in while I was there. Now before anyone gets the idea that Mrs. Brownliner put her 4″ heel down with feminine authority she did no such thing…. of course dear, give Jimmy (her cousin) a call and you guys can get out and spend some guy time. I let out a mental woo hoo!!!!!
So I packed my duffel bag with half of it comprised of fly gear. (I know you’re not shocked at all). My first day there I spent some time on http://www.azflyandtie.com getting some great local knowledge for where to chase some urban carp. Day two arrived and family plans took up the entire day….. On day three, Jimmy and I managed a day at some local ponds. The spawning carp had no interest in me, but thank goodness the bass did.
So as each day passed and family time took front seat. I started to realize that there is a huge difference between a family vacation and a fishing trip. Sadly, the two really don’t mix well. As happy as I was to spend time with my family, I awoke each day wishing I could sneak away for a few hours to test some unfamiliar waters. As you can imagine, it was not to be. Now Mrs. Brownliner was not to blame as she was clear from the start. 5 day vacation, one day of fishing… negotiating was not an option.
Those are the moments where I wish that she had the same affliction that I do. That she might give me the nod and wink where we sneak away for some hot, steamy, covert….. fly fishing! You see, that is pretty much a constant thought for me… how can I steal just a bit more time on the water? There are times I wonder if I am alone in this? Is there something wrong with me? Do I need a 12 step program?
Hi, my name is Mr. Brownliner and I am a fly fishing addict…..