Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 8th - Where the Yellowstone Goes

Seems like just a few weeks ago we got to see the Fly Fishing Film tour...and now we can go to another fishing movie. Next week on November 8th! Same place as before so you hopefully remember where to go, if not check out the details below.



Canandaigua Lake Chapter of Trout Unlimited
Presents

The Documentary
Experience a soul searching and inspirational 30-day drift boat journey down the longest undammed river in the contiguous United States. Connect with colorful characters, get lost in the hypnotic cast of a fly rod, and savor silhouetted moments of fireside stories on this heartfelt river adventure.  View Trailer

When
November 8th at 7pm

Where
The Little Theatre - 240 East Avenue, Rochester, New York 14604 - Directions

Tickets
Buy Tickets ($10) at the door or at http://wtyg-rochester.eventbrite.com

Proceeds benefit the Canandaigua Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Friday, September 21, 2012

Last Kayak Float of 2012...Maybe

My plans from Monday took a few days to come together, but today I got out in my kayak....the first time in a few months.

I had researched a new place online and planned my attack. I'd sneak in at a public access point and float downstream about 1/4 mile and take a sharp turn right....right into a small pond that is rumored to be man made. I figured that since it's right off the creek it would have potential to have pretty much anything in it.

But Google unfortunately doesn't use up to the minute images. I got there and the water was very low.

The put in, water 40 feet away
As you can (sort of) see in the photo, the water is way off in the distance.It should be just past that blue whatever it is there.

Someone was more adventurous than me
I found tracks through the mud, and drag marks, showing someone else was more determined than I was going to be. Looking at it now....those might be only tracks OUT, and not back IN....good luck whoever is out there, your car was not waiting in the parking lot for you.

I drove to the mouth of the creek and found the lake level low too, and too much mud to fight through to get out into the creek from there.

Stop #3 took me back to my favorite place, Buck Pond. It's in complete weed anarchy. I pushed off was able to find a few fish to play around with. I scared something real big at one point. I imagine there are plenty of carp and bass still in there, but with the weeds it would be pretty hard to fish for them.

Bluegill belly
 I ended up catching about 4 or 5 bluegill.

Foam fly holder
My new foam fly holder worked great.

When I got out I found my butt wetter than expected, and then I was cold. I think today might be the last float for 2012. If I end up lifting it up to it's winter spot in the garage, it's likely it will be there until 2013....but, we'll see if I get that motivated before I get it out again.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Nice Inland Trout Trip

For anyone that follows Guys, Flies & Pies on Facebook, you might know that I was planning on sliding my kayak into a local creek to see what I could find. Honestly, it was a toss up between going solo in the kayak, or calling my friend Brian to see if we could attack together somewhere else. The only reason the kayak won out over Brian was because the kayak is a fair weather fishing companion, and I know Brian doesn't cry at the site of snow.

But plans change.

I got the 2 straps out of 4 on the kayak on the top of my car.....and fate prompted Brian to call. He offered an invite to an inland trout stream. I accepted. "40-45 and I'll be there." I quickly took the kayak down and put it back in the garage. Yes, it put up a fight and called me a traitor, but I didn't care, I had trout to go catch with a friend that knew how and where to catch them.

Sure, I've been to the creek before....that's kinda how I got to use the name of the creek in my email so many years ago when Al Gore first invented the internet. I just don't get to the creek often.

45 minutes later I'm on the side of the road squeeeeezing into waders bought over a decade and 50 pounds ago. Yep, I don't wade nearly enough.

We hiked in, past cows, turkey, vultures, trolls, over mountains, and a bunch of other things to throw you off our scent. We were in search of one pool. One pool that is deep enough to hold trout and covered by a tree and fed by a cool spring. Paradise...if you are a trout.

We traded back and forth in the prime spot where I saw at least 6 fish shoulder to should in a 12 inch space....and 6 fish was just a small sampling of the fish that were in that one spot.

14.75 Brown trout (photo: Brian Bradfield)
I foul hooked a fish and we found a fly left behind by some unlucky angler (if you are reading this, your bead head prince nymph worked....he was fair hooked.) We claimed the hook and I tied it on and proceeded to catch a beautiful 14.75 inch brown. Likely this is the largest inland brown I've ever caught. 
(photo: Brian Bradfield)


Brian managed to catch 2 and foul hooked 2 others. Foul hooking was expected because of the way the fish were so stacked up.

One thing I love about the Guys, Flies & Pies event I put on each year, is the people I meet. I've met some great people and had the pleasure of fishing with a few of them. It's a great by product of such a fun event.

Thanks again Brian for the good time out fishing! 

Brian's fishing reports can be found at Brian On The Fly.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fly Fishing Film Tour

Wild Water Fly Fishing is hosting the Fly Fishing Film Tour on September 12th 2012 right here in Rochester NY.  THAT'S NEXT WEEK!!!

For $15 you get into the show and a chance at winning some of the prizes in the raffles.

Here's the official write up from Wild Water:


What: The Fly Fishing Film Tour
Location: The Little Theater (240 East Avenue, Rochester, NY)
Date: September 12th, 2012
Time: 7 - 9 PM (Doors open at 6:30pm)

Approximately 1 1/2 hours of short fly fishing films. Come with your fly fishing friends or just come to learn and have a good time.

Scheduled Films:

Riding High - Following tarpon along their annual migration through Florida

Sipping Dry - Amazing dry fly fishing in Craig, Montana

Hatch - Brilliant footage of chalkstream fly fishing and insect hatches in England

Fall Bullies - Bull trout fishing in British Columbia

ReVerb: A Punk Rock Love Story - Chicago Punk Rock Band Goes Fly Fishing.

Doc of the Drakes - Moving story of retired doctor's fly fishing experiences in Idaho

The Arctic - Unreal arctic char fishing on the Tree River, Northwest Territories, Canada

FLY: a Legacy - An angler's reflections on a life spent fishing for Atlantic Salmon in Scotland



Doing Good and PRIZES!

There will be a brief intermission where we will present a donation to Project Healing Waters and have a raffle of fly fishing prizes. Raffle is open to ticket holders in attendance.

We will have a few Wild Water Fly Fishing rods, some Sage hats and a few Scientific Angler's fly lines to raffle off.

The first 20 or so people will receive a souvenir magazine courtesy of The Fly Fishing Film Tour.

Thanks in advance to everyone that attends. Your ticket sales make it possible to donate the gear to Project Healing Waters and support their work with our veterans.

Come join the growing fly fishing culture in Rochester, NY.

Links:
flyfilmtour.com
http://youtu.be/8tl6nYVzoeM

Ticket's can be purchased at the door or online from Wild Water at http://shop.wildwaterflyfishing.com/product_p/f3troch.htm

It's been years since this tour has been close to Rochester, and now it's IN Rochester. I hope to see you there!!! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wet Wading

This past week a friend of mine invited me out to go fishing. I picked a local creek that usually gets all it's pressure during the lake run of salmon, browns, and steelhead. I don't know if I've ever heard of anyone fishing it any other time. I did fish it a few times years and years ago with some success. We met up at my house and headed out.

Truth is, I rarely wade....wet or dry. My waders don't really fit and most of my fishing is from the shore at local ponds, or recently out of my kayak. So with a pair of shorts and my sons aqua socks I stepped into the creek and was glad it wasn't ice cold. In fact, it was quite warm.

We fished for a few hours and caught likely 30-50 fish each. The largest was a 12 inch largemouth. Others included smallmouth, rock bass, bluegill, shiners, and chubs. Will saw either a pike or gar, but couldn't get it to take.

It was great to get out and in the water....I hope to have only a few days/weeks go before I do it again, no need to wait 10 years again. In fact....another friend invited me out for some late night fishing.....and that might happen this week.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Friends First Float

Last week I put out an Open Invitation for anyone to join my long time fish buddy and myself out on the local pond. Let's just say....it's probably good no one else showed up. The fishing wasn't that spectacular.

5:30am rolled around on Thursday and my son (who was awake and ready for school) helped me pull my kayak and a borrowed blue friends kayak out of my garage. Che showed up minutes later and we started loading kayaks on cars and rods in trunks.

Buck Pond is only about 5 minutes from my house so the drive and anticipation was short. We pulled in to an empty parking lot....which is good since it's a small lot.

We unloaded the kayaks and put the gear inside and then got ready to push off.

Locked and loaded
Last year when I went on my first kayak trip with the fishingpoet, after we were finished for the night he told me he had prepared himself mentally to the potential of having to give me an hour worth of paddling instructions before the fishing could even start. Thankfully for him (and me) that didn't happen and I just took off. Not a huge accomplishment, because I think it's fairly simple to kayak. Thankfully Che was able to paddle this kayak easily too, and it kept on track better than mine.

First few minutes
We likely pushed off around 6:15am. We saw a lot of carp going crazy! They were splashing all over the place. Che tried to hook some, but the closest he got was getting soaked when a few came close and danced on the water next to his kayak. I would have loved for him to catch a carp, but with all the weeds in this pond, it's not likely he would have been successful landing a beast that size.

Just as 7am rolled around I finally had a nice bass surface and inhale my popper. I yelled "FISH ON!!!" and Che came paddling over quickly to get some photos. Unfortunately, even my $25 zip lock bag can't take great pictures, but does protect it from water....and Che's actual zip lock back isn't really any better at clear photos. But, these are the photos of the fish I caught, so these are the photos I share.


Good morning Mr. Bass
16 inches of bass that saved the day
We paddled around for probably close to 2 miles total, and explored some places I had wanted to. Unfortunately none of those places did anything for us as far as catching fish. We did manage a few other hits but besides the few seconds they were on, we caught nothing else. We did find different types of weeds which may sound boring, but in a pond that has either reeds or rock shoreline, any variance is nice. The pond apparently averages 6 feet deep. I put my paddle down a few times and found it even shallower than that where we were. It's a perfect habitat for the bass I've caught, and the pike I've heard rumors of. Someday I hope to verify the pike by catching a few!

Even though we only brought one fish to hand, I dream of the day I get back there in my kayak again!

So......after getting home, I got out of my wet shorts and headed for the shower. A few hours later I realized my knife was missing. I'm a stickler for making sure my son knows where his knives are (currently in my closet since he didn't know where there were last time) and so I was upset I had lost mine. I searched every where I could think of. Every place I put my wet shorts when I got home, any place it could have fallen and slid under. Ever place was checked, and double checked. I even drove to the pond and asked all the fishermen at the parking lot. Nothing! On a whim I sent a message to Che asking if he had found it. He replied "right on top of my truck where I left it." I had forgotten I had loaned it to him to cut a strap. He placed it on his truck....where he wouldn't forget it....and then drove off. It stayed on the roof of his truck for at least 5 miles...even after we unloaded the kayak at my friends place. I was amazed it was still there, but it made my day to know that my $60 knife would be back in my pocket soon!!!

Here's Che using a MonoMASTER from Guys, Flies & Pies sponsor Grasshopper Outdoors! With all the use this place gets from drive up fishermen, we could use a MonoMASTER the size of a garbage can! 

Mastering some mono!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Open Invitation

Tomorrow morning around 6am (that's Thursday May 24th 2012) my long time fishing buddy and I will be putting kayaks into Buck Pond to harass some bass. I hear by invite anyone that would like to join us...with no explanation to why I said "I hear by...."

Click this fancy link to see the place we will park and launch from.

The launch
Buck pond is only about 100 feet from Lake Ontario, so you can explore the pond or head towards the lake (something I might try for the first time tomorrow if the lake is calm enough.) The pond is pretty large and offers plenty of places to fish, but note there are weeds to work around.

While there is a lot of shoreline to fish from, the weeds in this pond are pretty extensive, so shore fishing might be an issue. So, while this invite is open to everyone keep in mind I'll be out in my kayak, and you might wish you were too.

If you make it, look for me in my yellow banana kayak, and my friend in his blue one. I'll be the one hauling in all the fish!

The forecast is for 60+ degrees at 6am with 4mph winds.....should be just perfect.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Early Saturday Morning

Yesterday I had my alarm set for 5am. Friday night I put my kayak on the car and left the straps loose but at the ready. My plan was to get up at 5am, eat, tighten the straps, and head off to one of my new favorite spots for fishing from my kayak. 5am rolled around and I jumped into action.

2 microwaved hot dogs provided my breakfast (good food choices are often thrown out the window when fishing is on the plate.) I grabbed my water bottle and wallet and locked the door on my way out. My kayak was slightly wet from the morning dew, but she was ready to rock.

I made the last few tugs on the straps to tighten everything down then started up the car and took off. It was 48 degrees and I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and a pair of sandals. The reason I was dressed for summer is because I have a sit in kayak, meant for river runs, and ultimately I get wet. Plus the foot rests were put in by the original owner who was considerably shorter than I am, and they are as far back as they can go...so even wearing sandals would make the cramped conditions even worse. It is amazing however how quickly being under dressed doesn't seem to matter when you are fishing. After the short drive I completely forgot about it barely being 50 degrees out.

When I went to bed Friday night I didn't know if I would end up at Buck Pond or back at Durand Lake. I took some time to think of the benefits of one pond over the other and realized the narrowness of Durand Lake and the high hill sides with trees keeps it shady longer than the openness of Buck Pond. So, in hopes to have the sun help warm me sooner than later I went to Buck Pond.

6:01am
 I put in just before 6am.....it was perfect. The water was completely calm and there was fog floating around. I paddled out past the shore fishermen and made my way out to the furthest point I've been on this pond, hoping to find new shoreline to explore. The shoreline is all pretty much the same, so I paddled around finding the biggest holes in the weeds. This pond is FULL of weeds. I brought my new weed guard flies and found this to be extremely useful in keeping the fly from getting weeded, and from having to de-weed (is that a word?) way too often.

Guarded Condition
Within about 30 minutes I had hooked a nice sized bass. I reeled in all my slack line and started to fight him. He took a few jumps to show off his skills and then tossed the hook. It always sucks to lose the first fish you catch because you never know if you'll get another shot. Thankfully, I got another shot. Just after 7am another bass hit. I reeled in slack line and he dove for the weeds......

This should have been a bass
....it also sucks losing your second fish, because you don't know if you'll get another shot. Thankfully, I got another shot. A while later another bass decided to play along and after a nice fight I brought him in and got him all dressed up for his photo shoot. Recently I got a waterproof case for my cell phone so I'm excited to have the chance to photograph what I catch while in my kayak. So I get the phone out, tell Mr. Bass to smile, he then says "Cheese" and I take the picture and let him go. Then I went to check out the picture of my bass.....yeah....I was disappointed. Here's the awesome photo I somehow screwed up.

For $500 I can photograph your wedding too!
Apparently my new, awesome, Bending Branches Slice Angler paddle photobombed this shot. Let me just tell you I love this paddle. It's only a few weeks old but I've used the hook removal slot at least three times and with the bass above, I was able to use the measuring marks. The bass was 13 inches.

It was a great time on the water and I'm already planning the next trip out...hopefully this week with a friend of mine. It will be his first time in a kayak but I think he'll love it too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Durand Lake

This morning as birds started to sing and my kids got their last few hours of sleep before another day of school, I loaded up my kayak and headed out to fish Durand Lake. For the second day in a row I was able to steal a few hours away and get out to fish from my kayak. Yesterday was a trip to a section of Buck Pond that is secluded from the main part of the pond, cut off by cat tails. Today, it was a trip to a new place for my kayak. Although I've fished here from shore....which there isn't much access from shore, this would be my first time in the water.

I pulled in about 6:30am and got the kayak and my gear ready. Slipping my sandals off I clumsily made my way into a kayak that clearly is better suited for a guy weighing 80 pounds less than I. But, this is the kayak I have and so this is the kayak I use.

If you haven't seen or been into Durand Lake it's a nice place to fish. With a shoreline completely covered in trees and a narrow body of water, the sun was easily blocked by trees, which could be useful during hotter months. These close trees obviously also bring great fish hide outs when the trees fall. There was all kind of shoreline character to explore and fish.

For my birthday last month my wife got me a Bending Branches Angler Slice kayak paddle. It's got a little cut out for helping aid in hook removal. It has been used both days I've used the paddle and at least 2 or 3 times just today! I love the paddle.

As far as fish are concerned....one guy I talked to said he saw a guy carry out a huge bass (not today), and I caught 2 small largemouth bass and about 5 crappie. I can imagine on the right day the place would be awesome. I plan to go back for sure.....so Paul, Matt, and anyone else with a kayak get yourselves ready for an invite one of these days.

A crappie way to start the day
One of two largemouth for the morning
I had a nice surprise visit from my wife and son as I was finishing up. They wanted to see me out in the kayak....my wife after all is the one who bought it for me years ago. My son tried to convince mom to push the kayak into the water after he climbed in. He's only 2 years old and not quite safe enough to go alone in a kayak. 

The reason I think the photos are blurry: I bought a phone case at LL Bean a few months ago. It's been great for keeping water off the phone while out, but I think the plastic window for the camera blurs the images. If I could get the plastic to stick to the lens first, maybe it would work better. So, I'm starting to realize that the case will let me mostly take my phone, and not necessarily take pictures like I had hope. That however doesn't meant I wont, and then share those terrible pictures with you. You've been warned.

I added a section of pool noodle to the case to help keep it afloat should it go in the drink....so far it hasn't.

Phone case and float

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4 Ponds in 2 Hours

After being sick for a few days I was able to get out and fish.

With 2 hours before I had to be home, and no place for sure in mind to end up, I took off to just look at an old favorite pond. It was unfortunately weeded up pretty good and not worth fishing. I ended up about a mile away at a new pond I found just a few days ago. I rarely "find" new ponds because of the few hundred ponds in the area I've seen most in person or at least on Google Maps. This one however was new to me. I got there and had low expectations from seeing it in person a few days ago. Lots of weeds in the water. I found a few open spots and didn't catch a thing, and worse yet, didn't see a thing...besides a turtle. I suspect this pond might be one of the few that actually don't have fish.

There she is
A pond like this, apparently fish-less gets me wondering how much work it would take to clean it up and make a habitat for bass and panfish to survive in. Maybe someday I'll find such a pond that I have enough desire to clean up and try to make a good place to fish....but for today it was on to the next pond.

After this pond, I stopped by another favorite pond I've been fishing for a few years. With the recent rains the pond was muddy and not as clear as it usually is. I fished for about 15 minutes and headed out.

A quick stop at the corner store for a drink and some Combos and I was off to a tiny puddle that I fished 6 or more years ago and caught nothing then either. Caught nothing there again today.

The final stop was at a pond that again I haven't fished for probably over 6 years. It sits at the back end of a housing development and is one of two ponds. Both ponds are much bigger than the one pictured above....probably 10 or 20 times bigger. Big enough that if you lived right there a kayak would be a useful tool for fishing. Houses line one side of both ponds and a nice overgrown grassy field about 200 feet wide separates the two bodies of water. The far side of the ponds has a small section of woods hiding the next set of houses. To live on this water would be a wonderful place to live. Large enough to kayak but small small enough to be a pond, with enough woods and birds to almost make you forget you live so close to the city.

It was great to get out and fish 4 places and see a 5th one. Next time I hope the water is warmer and the fish more ready to bite!

Next week on Wednesday May 2nd I'll be tying at the Upstate Fly Fishers meeting. The Upstate Fly Fishers meet at the Pittsford Rec Center (Spiegel Community Center), 35 Lincoln Ave, Pittsford. Meeting starts at 7pm. This is only my second meeting with the group, but I understand this one will have a few guys doing tying demos but traditionally they have something after the demos, like a guest speaker. I hope to see some of you there. I'll be showing my bass poppers and some articulated streamers. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Sunday Hike and Exploration Trip

Having a delayed start to church this morning, we loaded up the kids and went on a hike. Being a former Boy Scout (who made it to Life, not Eagle) I only worried about the temperature (mid 30's) and the wind (almost nothing) and failed to check the threat of rain (threatening). So, as you can imagine, we got hit with rain about 1/2 mile from the car. Not a big deal, but we got wet and didn't make it the whole way down the trail. It was still good to get out and away from the TV for a bit.

All the ducks in a row

After a quick snack at the van we buckled up and started to just drive. We live close to Lake Ontario and some ponds that are just across the street from the lake. Those ponds have been there my whole life, and I've fished them a bunch, but since my recent adventures last year in a kayak, I'm more interested in the ponds. I see water that once was out of reach from the shore and now see water that my kayak can get me to, and hopefully fish that haven't seen a fly...ever.

I launched my kayak from here twice last year


On the drive we just scouted around and took a few pictures. I did find a nice easy, close, place to launch my kayak into Braddock Bay. Having never had a boat before I never knew it was there, and what I was missing. This summer I hope to get into a few of these places and see what I can catch. Of course, this will only fuel my "need" for a different kayak....the Diablo Adios is what I dream of someday.

Definitely heading here with the kayak this year

My First Articulated Flies

Here they are.....my first ever articulated flies!

Fish....you've been warned. We're coming for you!
Each of these have 2 hooks that are connected with mono, a few beads, and the connection is super glued. I've seen beads on the mono on many other flies like this, and I was told it helps keeping the back hook from fouling up on the front of the fly. I like the look and figure the practicality of it can't hurt either. I hope to try these out this week. I've only fished one other articulated fly and I really liked the action of it in the water.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Never Name A Pond...

...before you see it in person.

Yesterday my 2 year old son and I decided (well, I decided, and he tagged along because he had no choice) to go explore and find a new pond I had discovered from Google Maps. I love Google Maps!

On the way to the parking spot, and on the first hike in I was trying to think what I'd name the pond. Yep, I name ponds. Some ponds have names that are know, that I use, other ponds are only a few years old, have no official name that I'm aware of....and so I name those. I was trying to think of a good name for this pond before I had even ever seen it. 

The pond is only about 5 minutes by car from my house, but another 5 minutes through thick brush (likely hiding ghosts and outlaws) and you're at a pond that isn't seen from the road.

After a quick hike down the wrong part of the trail, and a quick "where the heck am I" question to my smartphone, we were back on track and heading to the pond.

We found it. There it was, a small pond only about 30 feet across, and 100 feet long....and no obvious signs of fish.

G at the pond


We fished the whole length of it...and were done in about 10 minutes, with no real clue that there are fish in it. I don't give up easy on a pond, because I know most have fish in them....but this one might just be empty. I'm still not giving up on it, mostly because the bigger pond just 50 yards away does have fish, and I can't imagine the small one was actually empty. It was however small and likely shallow, and that could be it's doom.

One cast across

What I did find that was encouraging, was some small....2 feet wide like small...trails through the cat tails leading to the bigger pond....but not really the bigger pond. See, "the bigger pond" back 100 years ago probably was much bigger than it is now but do to cat tail overgrowth (is there such a thing?), it's got sectioned off parts of the pond. These small access points through the cat tails give access to parts of the pond that are probably inaccessible from the main part of the pond....that has the boat launch.  I would dare say, that except for the occasional bird watcher, or duck hunter, this part of the pond rarely gets people in it. That will hopefully change. You see, I've got a disease that inflicts me....I HAVE TO FISH WATER THAT IS NEW!!! Although I've fished the bigger pond, the main pond, the same overall water, this part is new, and I've found a "simple" way into it. Simple in this case means a 1/4 mile drag of my kayak through the thick. I've done a little poking around the internet, and it looks like a deer dragging harness would work great....and they are only about $8. So, yes, I'm thinking of making this happen!

A way in?


My son had a great hike, a fun time fishing, and enjoyed the snack he packed in.

Snack time

And now about naming a pond before you've seen it. I think names should have some meaning, and you don't get meaning by looking at a map....usually. When we got only 100 feet past the car we started seeing spent 12 gauge shotgun shells along the path. More than one, more than two, more than a dozen....and this was just on the trail in. Once we got into the clearing we saw a nice "Please Do Not Litter Sign" and tons of busted up clay pigeons and litterally thousands of shotgun shells. Seeing this place is used for duck hunting, I guess I'm not completely surprised, but I was still somewhat surprised since I'm pretty sure it's not legal to target practice back there. So, after seeing the pond, the area, the mess....it's now know (if only just to me) as 12 Gauge Pond. I'm glad I didn't name before seeing it, or it could have ended up something less meaning full like Oprah's Pond Of Rainbows And Butterflies....and that would have been ridiculous.

12 Gauge Pond....the reason for the name.


Friday, March 23, 2012

The Bass Are Ready

I'm calling it the official start to bass season. OK, not technically "bass season" if you are a keep and eat it kinda fisherman....and not really even "bass season" if you are a catch and release kinda fisherman. NY a few years ago opened up bass fishing for all year....but keeping them for the table is still only an option part of the year.  ....but that's all a tangent....I'm calling it the official start to BASS SEASON!!! Meaning....it's worth your time to get out.

Either out of ignorance, or wimpyness, I've never really gone after bass until at least April. And even then I didn't expect much top water action. Well, this winter decided to play in my favor and was nice and mild. Heck, my wife and I only shoveled the driveway 3 times this winter. The lack of snow was a blessing considering we had bald tires on the van. Those tires are replaced and the weather in March has been fantastic....even bordering on too hot for a few days.

I took advantage of this great weather (although today was a bit chillier) and got out for one my famous 1 hour trips (1 hour-ish trips.) I met up with my longest surviving fishing buddy and hit Twin Rock pond. A nice little pond that I'd likely never tell you the location of even if you asked. See, I think as much as it's great to share fishing spots with people, and I often do, there are some that I'm going to keep for myself. Suffice it to say that this pond is easily found on Google maps, and even has an updated image showing the current shape and size of the pond. Like many of the ponds I fish it has houses surrounding it. See, I've already given away too much info.

We met up about 9am this morning and started having success! I hooked the first two before he started catching some.

Thanks for playing, Mr. Bass

Yes, top water bass in March
Using his go to favorite fly, the white foam ant (this one with extended legs) he found himself wrestling some bass, and a huge bluegill!

So tiny....nice try punk!

A decent sized blue
Before he met me at Twin Rock, he was fishing Lions pond. Using the Fishin' Clips from Grasshopper Outdoors that he won at the Guys, Flies & Pies fly tying party last month, he had an easy way to break down his strung up rod for a quick ride to the next pond. Notice (above) how easy the clips stored away on his pack while fishing.

Ready to rock, ready to roll
Although we only fished for an hour, it was a good way to get out of the house (full of sick kids...myself included) for a bit. I can't wait till the bass heat up even more!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Topwater Bass in MARCH!!!

I got out fishing today for an hour with my 5 year old son. We hit a pond we found a few years ago that has been really good to us. It's a simple retention pond in a fairly new neighborhood and I don't think it gets much pressure at all. I've only seen one other kid fish it....I think.

We started off close to the car and saw a few fish. After trying for a few minutes I was able to catch a bass on a fly I tied months ago.

First fish of 2012
"Dad! I gotta pee!" is never quite what I want to hear when we've only been fishing for 10 minutes....especially since we were right there in a neighborhood. So, we hiked around to the back of the pond where there is a dirt bike and snowmobile (for winters when we actually have snow) trail and he was able to find a little privacy.....then it was back to fishing.

We made our way around the pond to the smaller section, which was shallower, and saw some movement near the shore. I switch up to a gurgler and started casting. Immediately I was getting hits...likely from bluegill. Not many casts later however, I had a bass explode and take my fly! It was game on! For the first time EVER, I was catching bass on top in freaking MARCH! Not March after the official day of spring.....but March BEFORE the official day of spring! I was loving it! This is my kinda winter! Shovel 3 times and start bass fishing in March! Bring it on every year till the end of time! Thank you global warming!

My son got to reel him in
After that first bass we ended up catching 2 more on the surface, and missing 4 or 5 others too. Crazy they were hitting like that. I suspect the shallower water, close to the inlet from the runoff from the neighborhood, got that water to warm up and get the fish active.

Splash!
Besides catching bass on the surface, something else I never thought I'd be doing in March was kayaking....especially in Lake Ontario. A friend of mine brought up a second sit on top kayak 2 weeks ago and we went out. The temperature was in the mid 40's and I stayed pretty warm. It was great paddling again, especially in a comfortable sit on top....I definitely need to figure out a way to get one of those!

Miles and miles of open water

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vote for monoMASTER

Right now, Walmart is running a contest to get new products on their shelves. One of the companies that is in the contest is GFP long time supporter, the monoMASTER.

Do you use a monoMASTER? Then you might be thinking this has no benefit to you, but consider what Ian at Grasshopper Outdoors has said..."Walmart sells thousands of miles of monofilament each year.  In my experience much of the waste mono I find in the bushes and on the bank..."

Help support one of the events longest supporters by giving up some votes. Yes, votes, with an "s". See, it appears that "each person can vote for all three products in single day and then they can vote again every 24 hours." Keep in mind Grasshopper Outdoors has three products in the running, and you can vote for ALL 3 each day. Rumor has it you can even vote 3 times with texting and 3 times with Facebook....that's 6 votes per day...if the rumor is true.

So, although I hope you support our sponsors (who without, our event wouldn't be as much fun and successful) all year long, here is a great chance to help them achieve some larger success, which could only mean more awesome products could come out of Grasshopper Outdoors! Win, freaking win situation here!

Here are direct links to each items page for voting.

www.getontheshelf.com/product/3051/monoMASTER-Waste-Fishing

www.getontheshelf.com/product/3049/seatMASTER

www.getontheshelf.com/product/3526/Fishn'Clips

Thanks for helping out our sponsors!




Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thanks! GFP 2012 Was Great!

I'd like to thank everyone who joined us for the Guys, Flies & Pies event yesterday. We had a great turnout and everyone seemed to have a great time. I'd also like to thank our sponsors for all the great products and gear they provided. It's always great to have awesome prizes for everyone.

Every year there seems to be a few guys that stick around to the very end...and help clean up. I appreciate this every year. Yesterday I turned around and it was almost all done. Thanks guys for making the clean up go real easy last night.

For all of you that won something, feel free to post photos of the gear in action on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/guysfliesandpies or email me at mike[at]guysfliesandpies.com and I can add it. And as always, when possible, let our sponsors know you saw their stuff at Guys, Flies & Pies. Anyone with photos from last night, feel free to send those my way too.

Here's a few photos from last night, I'll go through the rest and post more another day.

Doug winning the JP Ross rod setup, with Landmark tube

Craig doing a demo

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Look For These Signs

If you are coming out to the event today, look for these signs on the NORTH side of Latta Road.

The access road says it's a private drive, but you are authorized to be there!

See you in a few hours.


The house in the back of the next photo is NOT the building you are looking for...go down the driveway.



 
Here's the building!


Click here for directions

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Saturday!!!

Just to remind everyone, the big event is THIS Saturday...February 18th 2012!


I've been getting some great gear in the mail lately that will be part of the door prizes and raffles this year. Everyone gets a chance at the door prizes just for showing up, and you can choose to get in on the raffles if you'd like.

Just today I got a rod tube from Landmark Components and a sweet 6 foot 2 weight rod from Midwest Custom Fly Rods in the mail. These are very nice products from these companies who have been very generous to support our event for many years!

Custom built 2 weight
So, don't forget to pack your vise and materials and join us for the areas largest fly tying party! I pre-ordered the sheet pizzas yesterday so please come and help me eat them!

One last thing, the last day to pay in advance for a discount is Friday. See the website for details.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

13 Day Notice, and Angler's Workshop Report

Consider this your 13 day notice about the big Guys, Flies & Pies fly tying party coming up in less than two weeks, on Saturday February 18th 2012. It will be yet another great year!

Yesterday I attended Angler's Workshop as a sponsor. Craig from Fly Fishing Chronicles puts together this event ever other year, and even though it was only the second year, he did a great job once again. It's event devoted to all aspects of fly fishing. There is a full schedule of seminars which included such topics as fly tying, knots, destination fishing, and women in the sport. There were plenty of raffles to get in on, which had some really great prizes donated by many of the sponsors that were on hand, and some that weren't able to attend. At the end of the day I got a chance to run a casting competition...that was a first for me. Even though the doors only officially opened at 8:45am for the public to come in, I was having a great time by 8:56am.

As a sponsor I got some table space and was able to show off some poppers I'm working on, sell a few, and tell a lot of people about the Guys, Flies & Pies party coming up in 2 weeks. I really enjoy this kind of stuff...tying flies, talking fishing, and meeting great people.

Tying a popper
Craig was very kind and hand some pretty sweet "thank you cards" made up for the sponsors. This bad boy is going up in my fly tying room so I can enjoy it and have it as a reminder to the wonderful time I had yesterday at Angler's Workshop.

Some weird guy with a sweet plaque
It was also great to run into lots of old friends and a few of the GFP sponsors. JP from JP Ross Fly Rods was there and had a great new fly rod holder for his table (I should have gotten a picture). Carl from Mad River Dubbing Company was also there with 12 feet of fly tying materials. Both JP and Carl gave me their donations to the event coming up. JP donated a very sweet 5 weight fly rod and reel that someone is just going to love to fish with this spring. Carl again generously donated lots of fly tying materials which many of you will get to go home with.

Keep in mind, it's because of our sponsors that our event is able to be so awesome, so when you're looking to buy, have a look at them and let them know that GFP sent you.

I'm looking forward to Angler's Workshop 2014...2 years will go by fast, but maybe not fast enough.

See you all in 13 days for Guys, Flies & Pies!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tie Like A Girl t-shirt

Sure, it's called Guys, Flies & Pies, but the truth is we have women that attend the event, women that are great friends and even better fishermen (than other guys....NOT me...seriously, I'd never admit to that, so don't expect it.)

Now there's a shirt designed for all the girls. For $20 you can own your very own Tie Like A Girl t-shirt. The Seriously Shop not only will ship this anywhere in the USA for free, but Guys, Flies & Pies will let you into the event next month for the prepaid price ($10) if you are wearing one...even if you pay at the door (otherwise $12 the day of the event.)

Tie Like A Girl t-shirt
 To order yours go to The Seriously Shop on Etsy or click the Paypal link below.

Size