Friday, July 24, 2015

Sometimes All It Takes Is One

I've been working some really long hours lately trying to finish up a proposal. I figured I should decompress a bit and decided I've been cheating for too long on the fishing front (spinning gear with bait). Don't get me wrong - I love catching and the best way to do that is using bait and spinning gear (if you are hitting it from shore). Thursday evening I decided to use the flyrod. I broke out the Orvis Helios and used the RIO Bonefish line spooled up on the Hatch 7+. I tied on an Enrico Puglisi micro crab and waded out around 6pm. I had intended on using this setup to hook into a bonefish, but in the late afternoon light, it is nearly impossible to see those fish. I saw a few tailing, but by the time I made it over to them, I had lost track of their position. The neat thing about the EP micro crab fly is it closely resembles the flats crabs I keep finding in the bellies of the papio I harvest (and I only take ones that get mortally wounded when they get hooked which is rare for me). After a few casts where I increased my stripping speed, I had one on!!! The class of papio I have been catching are all roughly the same size - likely because they were all born the same year. I spoke with some fishermen and read some blogs and people are saying last year there were a ton more papio when compared to the several years before. They attributed that to some changes in the offshore currents and that brought more fish back from their larval/planktonic stage. I'm just glad they're here. Since I've been back on Oahu, I've caught so many of these fish and they've just about doubled in size. The weird thing is they are all the same class - I haven't seen the next group of smaller fish coming through, and it's rare to see bigger ones out here because those are the legal size fish that folks can take, but also those fish start to swim and forage in deeper waters. It'll interesting to see what fish are being caught in the January time frame to see if there is a generation coming up behind these current fish. This fish was the first fish I've caught on the fly out here that took my line all the way out of the stripping basket and I got to bring it in on the reel! Great catch and glad to see it swim off strong! That turned out to be the only fish I caught, but I found myself really trying to cast out well formed loops with more consistency. That's whats awesome about flyfishing - even if you are catching on every cast, you are still casting which in itself can be even more rewarding than bringing in a fish. I won't say I'll only bring out flyrods to go fishing, especially since I do enjoy fishing with spinning gear - but what I will say is everything has it's time and place. Yesterday evening was definitely a fly fishing evening. Also of note, yesterday was the first time I got to use the stripping basket I got to replace the bucket shooter that got stolen with my truck. I got it from the same company that made the bucket shooter - Sea Level Fly Fishing. This one is the Belly Bucket and you can see it is curved to fit the hip. I love the way it kept the line from knotting up. It is a solid piece of gear and the bottom doesn't come out like the bucket shooter's did - so it is a little less portable if you are flying to fishing spots. It does a really great job of helping to manage flyline.

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