I always start by making sure my favorite flies are well stocked in the boxes. If the flies from the past season are tattered, then they get dumped but some of them only need to be repaired.
The PT Nymph was again one of the best producers esp of brook trout. This one got a new tail, some added PT to the body, another round of herl and new shell back with legs.
This year I am adding a translucent back which should reflect some light. It is made from "UV Knot Sense"
I'm also stacking them loosely in a fly box I inherited from my long departed dad who is fully responsible for my addiction. It is a Cortland box and must be 60 years old or more. I find the tails get easily damaged any other way.
Of course Mayfly nymphs only have three tails but you are better off to start with five. There will be three soon enough!
I have been negligent on posting but that does not mean I have not been out fishing. It has been a frustrating Spring as far as Rainbow Trout in our area, at least for me. The late start extended itself to the trout lakes in my area. However, the Brook Trout were biting. It might have been issues with the stocking. I only got one recent stocker and it was very small.
They are putting in sterile Rainbows which are supposed to interested only in eating. They also might be easy to catch. My bad luck may have something to do with the possible fact that there are few trout available. I did not see very many rises and little on the scope.
But now, summer is here and the bass fishing has been good but only on one lake that few people fish. There are cabins on this lake but few occupants. Nice modern, expensive cabins too. They are starting to go deeper now. Earlier you could cast right into shallow water close to the shoreline and bigger SM and LM were there. Now they are mostly in 15 FOW. But where there is a dropoff nearby, some are still close to shore. It must be a genetic disposition to be close to deep water to escape from birds of prey which for the most part don't exist any longer except for the odd Osprey.
It has been a long wait this year (by about 2 weeks on average). Been fishing for couple of weeks with mixed results. Some lakes haven't cleared up from turn over. The O2 gets mixed throughout the water column making the trout almost comatose as they struggle to survive. Normally it is layered with some areas of little breathable water.
Orange Hamills seems still popular. I heard a theory that brook trout like to nip at competitors fins which have orange. I always thought it reminded them of shucked crayfish.
Boatman are hatching and imitations are taken. So far I haven't seen a decent midge hatch but that may still be coming.
It is September so it is back to trout fishing in Eastern Ontario. I've been out several times. With the cool and wet spring, the lakes are cool and high so we had an early start. But now we are having the summer that never was and the surface temp has jumped back from 65F to 70F. Some lakes with good hatches have given dry fly action but most have had delayed bug action and we have to use full sink lines to get down 15-20 ft.
I've been hitting the brookie lakes early in the day as opposed to the afternoons when I would normally go at this time of year . Even in the later afternoon, there have been few boatman seen. Normally they would be coming off in droves, sending the trout into a feeding frenzy.
Our rainbow lakes have been slow this year. We may be having trouble with the new triploids they are stocking. I hope to have more information on this soon.
The other day, I lost a very large brookie in a small lake. Theory holds that there is always a "king fish" in every lake. I got to see one!
Orange Hammills Killer is the fly in the picture. Dropper fly was only a foot from the fly line. You do not have to have long leaders.
Got this exceptional 19" Small Mouth Bass today at a lake less than 20 minutes from home. I've rarely had a fish that moved so quickly, zigging and zagging, jumping and generally not interested in coming in. Without 0x leader, I would not have been able to eventually hall it in. This matches the 5# Browns I caught at the Parklands and even the Algoma Brookies. 10ft 5wt rod, dry line, Mississippi Maiden fly.
I've been out fishing the warm water for a few weeks now. The water is too warm for safe C&R for trout. The cutoff for me is 70F. The thing about fishing for Bass and even Walleye in the early part of the season is that you can do the traditional kind of flyfishing by casting to shore and around structure with a dry line. They are also not so fussy about what fly you send to them as long as it is flashy. I often put 'failed' trout flies into my Bass Box but they have hooks that are too small. But they are good for smaller fry like Sunfish and Rock Bass, which, btw are delicious to eat.
By harvesting these 'scrap' fish, you give the more desirable fish the food that they would have taken out.
The Walleye and LM Bass above were caught on my favorite fly, the Mississippi Maiden shown below.
The red flash represents blood flowing from an injured minnow. Golden Olive Maribou tail with palmered green chenille body.
I have a favorite little brookie lake, no more than two acres in size but with a long shallow shelf all around, a drop off to 10 ft and some spots 28 ft. All covered in chara weeds. Casting to the line of dropoff is all you have to do. They tend to hang out together. Find one and you find others.
In my last two outings I have caught four year classes of trout. The two above are likely 2nd and 3rd year. The time before, I caught the largest trout ever in this lake and likely a 4 year old. They start dying at 5 years old. They are stocked as one year olds and sometimes you have a hard time getting those off your flies.
The magic this Spring has been a P-Quad. I noticed that they were spitting out minnows when caught. The P-Quad works for that as well as scuds and even boatman if they have a silvery back which mine do.
Nice cool water this time of year. The Rainbows are super active. This 18 incher gave quite a battle on the 4wt. with several runs. Thought I was caught up on the bottom. For some reason Killer patterns work well at this lake. Two others were taken on small Mrs Simpson flies fished down 20ft over 30 FOW. Mosquitoes are bad!
Ice has been off for a couple of weeks now. I have been out six times but only a couple of days ago was I able to have some decent fishing.
Lake turnover is a complicated issue and different for every lake. Some lakes can have excellent fishing while there is still some ice and for a few days until the lake starts mixing and the O2 gets spread thinly. The theory is that the bottom of the lake is warmer from weed degeneration and when the top and bottom are similar temps then they readily mix. However, if you have a lake subject to a lot of wind, the mixing happens right away. The fish become dormant while they try to survive with low levels of O2. Some may die.
This year I did not get the pleasure of good fishing right after ice-off but now it is starting to turn on.
Caught about 6 like above in a couple of hours at a small brookie lake in Calabogie. They were feeding in one area close to shore. Most of the rises were the recently stocked fish and I had quite a few on small dries. I also had on a chironomid dropper and that was getting the older fish. Brook Trout are very social and mix together readily. Where there is one, there are usually more. This hatch of midges were quite large.
Nice to be 'back in the saddle'.