A Rare Species
May 23, 2009
Mike & his son Ryan joined me today on the lake for another crack at the salmon. The cool air of 40 degrees this morning had me feeling that we might get lucky with the fly rods in a couple of areas. With no wind, I was more concerned with the possibility of debris on the surface but decided to give it a try nonetheless. We made three passes over the first location varying the depths from as shallow as 8 feet to as deep as 100 plus but no takers. Oh we did have a few busting the surface around the boat and they were either rainbows or salmon based on the silver flashes they left behind. The water temps were barely above 50 degrees and I knew it was perfect for what I was doing, but we still only washed flies! I was however marking bait clouds up in the mid range areas and plenty of larger hooks as well. The second location wasn’t much better with plenty of bait marking over deep water but it was all pressed to the bottom and that’s not good. I tried the first pass close in and had a rip almost immediately on one of the high, long lines that went silent as fast as it went off. Damn drive bye! The fly was all rolled when I checked it and back out it went. A little while later another high line also started pumping and line went out once again. We had more frustration with another drive bye leaving us wondering what we had to do to lock up! We couldn’t catch a break and I began getting the other lines ready for planers and a downrigger when a third rip was also had on the high line over 100 feet of water. Three strikes and you’re outa here and so we were! We ran a couple of boards and one rigger over the area that I had caught the two lakers the last couple of days, but only managed a tiny salmon on one of the lines when we were bringing it in. After a long run to our next location, we were casting jigs and ripping lures over open water shoals and only having followers under the minnow baits. Several times, a laker came up behind the lure only to turn and dive back to the depths from where he came from. We did have several fish take the baits however, but as usual they weren’t what we were after. A few of the bass were quite large and we thought they might be trout when they ate the jigs in 20 to 30 feet of water where we had the followers. Another first was had today when Mike hooked into what I thought was a lake trout over 30 plus feet of water on a drop, only to find out that it was a northern pike when I grabbed it with the boga. It took a while to clearly identify the pike as it actually looked like it might have been a muskie at one point. I’ve caught plenty of chain pickerel on this lake before, but never a pike! The winds kicked up in the afternoon and we decided to troll along some of the wind swept shoreline, looking for a possible taker. No trout, but many more other species from perch to pickerel and both smallies and largies. All fish were between 15 & 30 feet of water. What a messed up year this is as the water temps are moving every day with the switch in wind directions. Yesterday I had a strong N wind blowing at 15 to 20 knots and today it went S at 20 plus in the afternoon. No wonder the fish are all over the place with conditions like these!!