Friday, May 31, 2013

Might Need An Infusion of Something New

We went fishing - again. We caught the same things - again. We did have a good time - again. We might need a change of scenery to keep everything fresh. It's not that we don't appreciate Lake Newport and all the awesomeness it holds - but it does seem we've mastered certain aspects (catching Bluegill and Turtles). I did catch 10 BGs and 3 LMBs - Marlon and Noe caught as many turtles. I think we were just wishing there was something else to catch.

Monday, May 27, 2013

World Record Turtle Rustling

After we got back from getting skunked by the carp, we had to go take out our aggressions on some form of aquatic lifeforms. Not really - paddling in its own right was fun - better than not spending time on the water (but it still isn't surfing). Anyways - back to the story. SO we got back, unpacked the truck and made our way down to the lake. We brought our two fishing hand nets in anticipation of landing a few of the resident turtles. Well - the kids did that and more - they caught 22 of those turtles! Good teamwork in motion here! Marlon would cast out with a piece of hotdog on the hook and lure the turtle in netting range when Noe would scoop them up. I was orbiting the northern leg of the lake - hooked into some bass and ten or so Bluegill - nothing spectacular since the spawning season is over (fish have moved out to deeper water). Fun day!

Carp Wrestling - NOT

The wind died down today and the temperature was just about right for paddling. We loaded up the truck and hit BeaverDam Reservoir. We had ambitions for catching carp - flyfishing, hand netting and in a cast net - but those suckers were no where to be found. We did see a Great Blue Heron and a bunch of what I believe to be baby carp (swam around in large schools - about a month after we saw the carp spawning). La paddled our Starboard Blend - I had the fishing crate up on the nose and it looked pretty fast in the water. After a couple of hours, we decided to pack it up - darn carp skunked us!!!!

A Little Bit of Everything

So for the something-something details. We caught a few fish. Managed to land a turtle (they were everywhere). I lost my new titanium fly line. And Noe went zoom-zooming around the Lake on the Uli inflatable. Squeezing the maximum out of the weekends - that's our motto!

Practicing for the Big Show

The big show"down" with some carp!!! Oh yeah!!! I brought the old cast net out - figured it was time to get the kids back on this old horse. This time around, they were throwing the roundee like old pros. Getting them ready to make an amphibious assault on some carp at Beaverdam Reservoir. Watch out carp - we're coming for you... After practice, we went down to Lake Newport and caught a few fish and some something-something... More on that later.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

First Gyotaku Framed Up (completely finished)

So with all the gyotaku I've made, I haven't gotten one framed and done. Until now... I took the big Ulua/Giant Trevally/Talikitok print to Michaels to get it framed and the estimate was gut wrenching - that was back last summer. I recently found a place to take some framing lessons and over the past couple of weekends, I have been working to get a few of these gyotaku buttoned up and hung on the wall. I was on track to get two done yesterday - the darts and the half-eaten barracuda (yes you saw it here first - a half eaten gyotaku) - but I am still going through the learning curve. I did manage to get this one finished and on the wall. Not bad if I say so myself. I should get the big one done next Saturday - that's the one I am looking forward to.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Did Someone Say "Tying Flies"?

So with all the wind outside, I went downstairs to the tying room and made a few more fish fooling apparati. Four McTage's Leather Trouser Worms and a Big Headed Blue Gurgler. I also fixed a bunch of tenkara fly lines and set up three titanium lines - a 12.5', 10.5' and a 7' all with 18" Red Amnesia extension lines and 6X tippet. I hope to get these out this weekend (when the wind dies back).

Check it out Lubbers!!!

Check out the new fishing basket!!! Don't be jealous - go build one for yourself!!! E-Z P-Z!!! Check out the perfect positioning on the angled rod holders - trolling fantastic!!! Didn't get to test drive this today - too windy. Tomorrow is going to be too windy also. The irony of things... 4 day weekend and it too windy (and I can't kitesurf or fish). Time to tie flies...

Bass Ambush and a Swimming Snake

Catching up with some delinquent posts. The kids asked me to take them fishing after school on Tuesday. Marlon caught a few bluegill - but the ones from our normal spot seemed to have some really bad infection on their eyes - bulging and distended. We moved around a bit but the late time of day had the kids wanting to go back to the house. I stayed a little bit longer and I walked to a spot where I could hide behind some tall grass and cast to the medium sized large mouths that have taken up residence on the bank. I landed this guy and out of the corner of my eye I saw the other resident - this snake swimming towards me. Time for me to go home.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Redington Form

If you've been keeping tabs on this blog, you've noticed that my kids and I have been using the heck out of our seiryu-tenkara-keiryu Japanese Fly Fishing rods. The softer seiryu rods have emerged as my favorites with the vast majority of the fish I catch being 6-9" bluegills and large mouth bass. However, I recently felt that I have been ignoring my western style flyfishing equipment and losing what little skill I did have. Well - I decided to change it up yesterday and today. I have two training rods - both the Echo and Redington models. The Echo version uses a yarn based fly line while the Redington uses an actual fly line. Can you tell where I'm going with this? I put perfection loops on both ends of the fly line and attached tippet to the thin tapered end. So I can cast the line out and I can see the tight loop unfurling towards the spot I envisioned the fly landing - about 33% of the time. The rest of the time I caught the bushes on the side of the clearing (not keeping the rod moving along a single plane), failed to get the tippet to unfurl (not finishing with a crisp snap), or getting the line caught on the brush lining the shore (the rod is tiny - not much reach). Noe got the line out a few times as well - anyone can do this! This rod really lets you know what your mistakes are - but it also lets a bull bluegill make you feel like you're bringing in a pissed off wahoo. I still like using the seiryu rods - but pumping a double haul and watching a super tight loop fly away has it's place in cool too - MIX IT UP and ENJOY!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mini-Gurgler Go Go

Friday afternoon break - more flyfishing with the seiryu rod - one fly day. I tied on one of the mini-gurglers I made several weeks back. This one was white foam over chartreuse chenille and marabou. I think the hook is a #6, but I can't remember for sure. So this was a definite break from my usual pattern of #12 and under hooks. The results spoke for themselves - bigger hook, bigger fish. This "manwich" sized Bull Bluegill was just one of about 10 that greedily took the gurgler. I also landed a couple of 9" LMBass - tons of fun and I didn't have to take scores of baby bluegill off the hook. I should keep using bigger hooks...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hypnotized Bluegills

I took the kids to go fishing Wednesday afternoon. The Bluegill were out in force (but there are a bunch of other folks fishing the lake at the 'magic' spot - nesting zone - and they are not catch and releasing; bottom line is we have to fish other 'less-productive' spots) and we got into a few. Interesting phenomena - if you gently lay a bluegill back into super shallow water, they will calmly stay put. Then give them a gentle nudge after a few minutes and they swim away calmly like nothing every happened. True story - believe it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Adventures

We loaded up the truck and drove to DC to ride our bikes, explore the museums and monuments, and enjoy the nice Spring weather on Mother's Day. When we hit the Tidal Basin, I saw schools of Hickory Shad running the wall between the FDR and MLK Monuments. Of course I tried to catch one, but they weren't interested (they were showing spawning behavior). I didn't want to ruin M-Day so I packed up and we moved on. We checked out the Capitol, the Native American and American History Museums and the George Mason monument - then the kids looked really tired. As soon as we hit the truck they konked out. When we got home, you guessed it, I had to get some water time. I tied a Baby Crawfish fly on to Marlon's Kiyotaki and I used one as well - we whacked them again, but that wasn't hard as they are all set up right to the shoreline in spawning pits. I'll take pictures of the nests next time the lighting/winds/water clarity allow. I can also see the spawning color patterns on the big ones nesting close to shore - more vertical stripes used while trying to hold ground against a neighbor, than when airborne with a fly in it's lip. Good fun!!!