Monday, December 19, 2011

Taney Revisited Again

Maybe because its so close or possibly because I usually have some "luck" there, I seem to get to Lake Taneycomo more than other locations.  I was fortunate to make it twice this past week.  I found out they were not running water Monday afternoon, so I went south.  Started slow and I actually took off my soft-hackle and tied on one of my last two bibios (need to tie some more).  Started catching fish on those, no size, not too much fight, but colorful. Then a fish took me into some of the rock that was just below the surface and cut my tippet. The second bibio couldn't buy a strike.  I moved a little further down stream; that doesn't sound right when fishing a lake, but if you fished Taney, you know what I mean.
     I tried my soft hackles again with some success; because of the flat water I was stripping them more than I normally do.  Again, no really nice fish; most were in the 12-14 inch range. Finally decided it was time to head to Dana's for the best burger's in the area.  When I got just upstream from the stump a hole opened up and I couldn't pass it by.  I was lucky enough to get a few more small trout when a fellow fishing just below me came up and started talking.  He had seen me stripping the fly and asked if I was using a woolly.  Said he saw me doing pretty well when I was downstream.  As we were having a nice conversation, I had a really nice fish hit and I missed him.  The guy commented that it looked like a good fish and apologized for talking to me and causing a miss.  I made about 8 to 10 more casts, still talking then decided Dana's was really calling.  As I was reeling my line in, the man asked to see the fly I had been using.  Sure, I don't mind sharing and have even given flies to fellow fishermen.  But all I had to show him was embarrassment.  That fish I "missed" took my fly...a nice clean break.  Usually, after a miss I check my tackle just to be sure. After a quick stop at River Run and visiting there with Gina, I went to Dana's and got that single burger, all the way, with onion rings and a diet coke. Ummmm!
     On Friday I had an urge to do more fishing, but they were scheduled to run water all week end and today, so I started thinking about either Roaring River or Bennett Spring. Still hadn't made up my mind by Saturday when Russ called and asked if I wanted to go to Taney with him on Sunday.  I said I'd like to go,but they were scheduled to run water all day.  He said he was taking his boat and wanted to try out his "new" motor.  Too many times in the past when Russ asked me to go I had to decline, so I said yes and we'd meet at his house the next morning.
     They had been running 2 units and as I was taking Russ' truck up to the parking area another horn went off.  The boat was launched with no problem, we both rigged up with San Juan worms, large bright pink, heavy split shot and floats that seemed big enough to float a horse.  If you've ever gone fishing with Russ, you know that he usually has the first, the biggest and the most fish. It was the same thing Sunday. I saw a comment on Facebook today that someone posted under the picture of Russ with his nicest fish caught. The commenter said he saw Russ catch a 5+lb bass out of a muddy rut.  I believe it.
     I had a great time, thanks Russ, caught a few nice fish. Yes, Russ caught a lot more.  I believe these were the first I've ever caught on a San Juan worm.  I was surprised how quickly we were pushed downstream, but the water was really moving.   The only fly I lost all day was to the trolling motor, not a fish.  Knots all held fine and tippet was good.  Of course I was using heavier tippet than normal.
     It was a good week.  Got to fish twice and spend time with fellow anglers.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Montauk in December

A long, long time ago, the Eichholz and Boyer families packed our camping gear, tent for us and a camper van for them, and headed to Montauk.  It was spring break at Herky and we thought we'd do some camping and fishing, this was before either Marty or I were into fly fishing.  It turned so cold as I was pitching the tent that Connie and I decided to use the last room at the motel.  This was the first time I ever had the guides on the rod freeze solid.  Yes, it has happened since and probably will again.

I had the opportunity to revisit this weekend and took advantage of it.  Because I wanted to return Saturday, I drove separately with plans to meet up with Kim, Rod and Warren later.  When I arrived, I didn't see them so decided to explore a little.  When I took the short path to the spring, I spotted the river and thought it looked like an inviting fishing spot, so I headed back to the car and got my gear ready.

The fish were not choosy. Soft-hackles, I love them. I threw a green biot body, a purple and starling, a pink lady, a peacock herl bodied and finally a hairs-ear soft hackle and caught fish on all of them that afternoon. Nothing of any great size, but I was kept busy all afternoon. On the left is a picture of my first Montauk park rainbow and another little fellow below I'll talk about in a bit.
A couple of strange things caught fish.  The first was when I dropped my fly in the water while I was hanging my net on my vest a rainbow swam into the fly and managed to foul hook himself.  He was not counted as one of my fish caught.  Later, after hanging my fly in a bush on the opposite shore and then it coming loose, I brought my line quickly across the water to see if I lost the fly.  Just as it arrived at my feet, the little guy above grabbed it and ran.  He didn't get too far!

I finally met up with the others at our cabin where Kim was making super.  Rod supplied several quail and we all feasted on them, mashed potatoes, gravy and peas.  Followed with a small piece of cake. Saturday we started the day with fresh made breakfast burritos, yummy!!! Then off to the water.

Saturday morning I fished a different area.  I had packed my camera away and forgot to bring it this morning.  Caught another minnow and a hand full of fish before the MTFA meeting.  Most were again caught on soft hackles, but I finally tied on something a little different, a bibio, small and caught two more, including one of about 15 inches as measured with my "measure net". Saw lots of trout, but they were more selective.  Still, I had a handful and was very happy.

After our short meeting and a quick lunch, I decided to try the area just below the hatchery. It was especially designed and is catch and release, flies only, no wading.  But while exploring Friday, I saw lots of fish and BIG ones in there.  I decided I wanted to try it for a short time with a little dry fly.  It was turning very windy, so my hopes declined when I arrived, but I tried anyway.  I GOT LUCKY.  On about my 5th or 6th cast with a #20 Griffith's Gnat I had a nice fat rainbow of at least 18 inches. Beautiful colors! That caused me to try some more, but no luck.  I put on one of my soft-hackles and still no luck.  The wind was increasing and I was getting ready to leave, when Lou came walking up to the same area.  She and a friend had fished this area in the morning and he caught a very large fish.  As Lou and I were talking, he caught a small trout.  When we asked what he was using he said a #6 woolly bugger.  An I was going small?

It was a great weekend, good fishing, good food and especially good friends.  I will be going back