This variation is using long plastic chenille. Note the red wool butt as you can't place the chenille any further than half way without crowding the maribou tail. Interestingly, I caught a large rainbow with this fly. There are sunfish in the lake and maybe this triggered the response.
I caught my first Musky this morning. Prior to today, I had one follow last summer when I was borrowing some equipment (and flies). Since then I have built a 10wt rod and tied some big flies. I also had to get a line to throw these flies. I finally settled on a salt water line Outbound Short WF 425 grains and it can indeed get those flies out there!
The local expert Dan L. who is beating all the locals with his fly rod in hours per fish told me to get out there in the morning (or evening) and fish the inlets. I was heading for one and adjusting the canoe, started to retrieve and then WHOOSH....a lot water moving. And then hard to the bottom, then up in the air. Pretty exciting!
I got him beside the canoe and while fumbling with the camera it flipped into the air and was gone. In hindsight I should have gone for the net first by my net is only 19" long. This fish was around 34-36". Not a big one but much more active than pike that length.
I will return with my float tube as I have better control of everything including possibly freeing one those big flies which got tangled in underwater branches.
A friend asked me to try out one his flies to see how it tracked, etc. He had weighted it like the Coney Leech, one of my favorites mentioned several times in my posts. I told him that the fly was pretty small for bass, more of a trout fly.
It was a great success as seen above. This fellow is about 20 inches. The other species liked it as well, especially the perch (one of which was big enough to bring home). I always bring perch home to eat. They compete with my target species (trout and bass) for food and can ruin a fishery as they reproduce much faster. Our trout don't reproduce and have to be stocked. OMNR told me that they really shouldn't stock lakes that have perch because the trout will starve. So all you fishermen out there have a duty to catch and eat perch. Get to it.
The fly in question is a Hamill's Killer, tied Canadian style. My friend had wound an even layer of non-lead weighted material.
Since my last report I've been out a few times. I even thought of doing some trout fishing but no dice. They just playing with us. I could see them on the scope but no bites.
Over at my local lake today I came across this 20 incher floating about.. Obviously she bit off more than she could chew. I'm assuming this happens from time to time but it is the first time I have seen it. Trout can take half their length in bait fish and I've seen that in fish I've cleaned. Bass, by their very nature, would normally be taking in fish all the time. This one was way below the 50% mark. It could be the spiked dorsal fins got stuck.
We've been getting a lot of wind this summer in Eastern Ontario. Almost every time I'm out, I'm battling. Nevertheless I did get three larger Bass and lots of smaller ones today. Even a larger Bluegill can give a decent fight.
I solved my 3wt dilemma by bringing my 5wt 'noodle' rod. At ten feet it can wobble some flies out pretty good. It has enough backbone to take on larger fish and sensitive for the smaller ones. The usual green plastic chenille Mississippi Maiden did most of the damage but a Yellow Coney Leech was good too (Zonker style with copper wire body).
I brought the 3wt to my local water just before noon expecting only to catch small fish but then this 18-19" SM Bass hooked onto the Green Hornet (or rather the Mississippi Maiden in a smaller size). This 4 lb fish was a bit much for my 3wt even though it is a fast action. Lots of jumps which SM do. I did get several small sunfish (and large ones), small bass and perch but I also got four or five 14 and 15 inch SM and LM Bass. Now the question remains, do I bring my 5wt next time and get skunked? ST75F so not that warm. The lake is only 12 feet at the deepest but my action was in the 6-8 foot depth range casting into shallower water using a dry line and long leader (10ft). The MM has a gold bead and I also had on a beaded Coney Leech at time to get it down. Later in the afternoon when the water was calm, I put on a couple of dries and had some small fish action sometimes two at a time.
We made the two hour trek north of Ottawa again the other day. The day before a cold front had moved through and that may have put the bass off a bit. But we didn't see very many close to shore. In fact, I did not see a single one whereas a few are almost always seen running away. In float tubes you don't scare them very much, if at all. The day before I was at another lake and a baby seagull started to follow me and it wasn't until it almost reached me that it realized I wasn't going to be much of a substitute mother.
My notes from previous years indicated that we would have to go a bit deeper to find them and I put on my #3 full sink line and spent some time in both deep water and shallow, sort of zig zagging back and forth to shore. But as I discovered last time, it wasn't until I put on a smaller version of my favorite fly, the Black Coney Leech that I caught my first larger LM Bass. That is the usual procedure in rivers...keep putting on smaller versions. But this was a "trout fly", not a bass fly. I keep some "failed trout flies" in my bass box as they are often less fussy.
I also think that since we've had more than our fair share of windy days lately, the water may have been mixed up too much and that can turn the appetite off. Also, rain changes the PH of the water and we've had a few of those as well.
All four of us caught about half our usual number of large bass but it is still worth it to have a five pound fish on the other end of our lines.
I've been out bass hunting three times already locally. Ontario also opened their bass season a week early but that turns out to be a week later than Quebec but only in Zone 18. My first outing last weekend yielded a dozen or more 15" LM at this lake which is for the most part private (that is the only hint I will give).
Much like my trip to Quebec I was rigged up with a dry line, long leader and two flies. The dropper was the famous Mississippi Maiden developed by a lady fisher from the OFS some years ago and it is likely the best bass fly ever. I will post a picture as soon as I make some more. All the ones I have are beaten up! The point fly was the next best thing, a black Coney Leech but not made up with rabbit strip but rather Arctic Fox strip. I also put on a red glass bead.
Casting to shore as close as I could get, I did manage a couple of LM which rivaled the Quebec lake in around 4 pounds.
However today I went back to that lake and the larger fish have already moved into deeper water. I did get a bunch of 15 inchers but they took the fly a bit further out. This lake has LM as well as SM and I landed three like the one below by slowly trolling in 15 to 17 FOW. In lakes that have both species, they will occupy different territory. LM like veggy cover and SM like large rocks. Fishing with a fish finder is essential, not to find fish but to see what the bottom of the lake is like and how deep.
Small Mouth Bass are a bit more lively than LM in terms of jumping and fighting. This was the smallest of the three that I caught (but the best picture.....I'm need more practice with my new camera).
The picture at the top of this column is of a LM caught at my local lake 22 minutes from home yesterday. This lake has a vigorous all year stream running into it and out so the water is of a high quality. Being closer to town, one doesn't catch as many but the short drive time frame means I can slip over for a couple of hours any time.
Bass opener has been moved up one week in Quebec and Ontario. Only, Ontario is behind by one week. It opens this Saturday. Ontario is behind Quebec in more than one way. When VHS was diagnosed, Quebec banned bait fish right away. Ontario won't do it. Quebec closes trout fishing in the winter. Ontario waters get hit real hard in winter, the trout being at a disadvantage in O2 deprived lakes.
Anyway, I've quit+ trout fishing early this year due to the warm weather and lack of trout. This is my first visit to the private lake in Quebec south of Maniwaki. It is a bit of drive for me but worth it for the large bass that can be caught in this lake which doesn't get much attention from the cabins.
I started off with my intermediate but got nothing for two hours. This was the same for the other fellows with us. The fish sleep in at this lake until around 10AM. At 10:01 the first LM was caught! I tried a sinking line to see if they were deeper but that was not the problem. I had made up some larger Coney Leeches for the bass but my partner caught one on a #12 Leech. That is the size for trout! I switched over to some of my 'failed trout leeches' and started to catch but then again is was past 10AM!
I got even better action when I switched to a dry line with a 10 foot leader and the small leech casting right to shore, sometimes getting snagged in the process. The large bass were in one foot of water. With the dry line you are able to cover a lot of water picking up the line easily to try different spots. Unlike most other lakes, the small fish are hiding from these bruisers and you don't get so many of them casting to shore like this.
All in all, I landed a dozen LM Bass, all in the 3 to 5 lb range. This is a lower number than usual but still pretty good fishing.
Visiting a new client this Fall, I became aware of an access to a lake 21 minutes from my house that I didn't know about. Imagine living here for 20 years and not knowing! The lake is mostly shallow but looks like prime bass territory. Even though I just got back from three great days of trout fishing, it was far too nice today to hang around the house. We still have a couple of weeks of bass fishing. A boat was coming in just as I arrived. He said he had caught nothing but he did give me some info on the lake, some of which was not accurate and I wasted some paddling time. These fishers are unreliable!
I was going for bass but this 25+ inch pike was my only action. Intermediate line with a Mississippi Maiden fly. I'll post the fly when it becomes fly tying season. Everything is beat up now.
ST36F and my toes froze pretty soon so I quit after two hours. No big deal.....only a few minutes from home. I should have come with my canoe.
I had the pleasure of being introduced to Musky fishing by a new member of our local club. Dan is a recent immigrant from Victoria. He is delighted with his new fishing location since the Steelhead fishing out West has been poor of late. Contrary, the Musky fishing has not been better in the Ottawa area. I've blocked the background so as to somewhat disguise the location as it is very close to the city.
Musky fishing is quite different from trout or bass fishing. Large Northerns also are tentative takers at times. They will follow the fly but not necessarily take it on the retrieve. Dan thought he had a Musky doing a figure 8 with his rod in front of the tube. You lower your rod with the fly only a couple of feet from the tip and make weaving motions sideways and up and down. Turned out to be a 30" walleye. A little while later he got a heavy strike on the fast retrieve and landed a 'small' Musky around 32"
All I accomplished was to 'move' a Musky but apparently that is considered OK especially for a novice.
Big flashy streamers and long poppers are what is needed and you have to have the right weight and length of rod. You might also get a significantly sized fish (in the 50-60" range) and you have to get them in real quick and on their way. Even though they are an ancient fish, they are susceptible to acid build up.
The water is warm this time of year and they love it. This fish was in prime condition. The related Pike like it a lot cooler.