Friday, May 28, 2010


I had a tough time getting time to fish this spring and when I had the time I was faced with some tough conditions especially the due to weather.  Overall the weather was great this spring but as soon as I had some free time the weather would take a turn for the worse...not so this last trip.

The trip almost didn't happen but at the last minute John and I shuffled around our schedules and ended up with with some time for an early Sunday morning trip.  We met along the way at the usual spot we meet at when heading north at 4am and were on the water by first light although it was tough to tell since it was so foggy.  We had what I consider to be perfect fishing conditions; a dark, overcast day with just enough wind to put some ripples on the water.

We took off across the lake in the fog and darkness.  I hadn't fished this particular lake in a few years and once John stopped the boat I wasn't sure where we were at.  John assured me we were in a good spot and it only took me a few casts to prove him right.  We fished along a shallow point with some emergent grass that I could barely see in the dark.  A couple casts along the edge and I picked up this nice largemouth.  Once again on these pike excursions I was catching something other than the target species but I shouldn't complain too much.

We worked our way around the point to the shallow bay on the other side.  In a matter of a few minutes John hooked up and landed the first pike of the day.  It was a little guy but worthy of a picture because of our luck this year I thought it might be the only one we would see.  Thankfully that wasn't the case.

We worked our way along the bay and had pretty steady action.  I tried out a big chartreuse deer hair popper shown in a previous post and on the first cast caught my first pike on a topwater fly.  John switched over to a pretty cool yellow twin rabbit tail deerhair popper and had some good action on it also.  He kept with it for a good part of trip.  Not long after putting it on he had what he thought was the biggest pike of the day take a shot at it but he didn't hook up.

We had some more nice largemouths mixed in too.

Eventually the fog burned off and the skies cleared up.  We thought that the action might slow under the bright sun but it actually improved.  The subsurface flies we used had a lot of flash and really lit up in the bright sun.  The bigger pike started to turn on and we landed a couple of 26" fish and my personal best 30".

My goal this spring was to learn more about the local pike fishing.  I had a lot of fun doing it and it felt good to finally have some decent weather and fishing.  Between the 2 of us we put about 25 pike in the boat in about 5 hours.  I felt like I accomplished my goal and can move on to fishing for stripers this summer although it will be tempting to chase these guys around some more.  There's always the fall once the stripers are headed south again.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What to fish for?

I'm getting a lot of reports of stripers along the coast here and I'm starting to get a little itchy to get out.  I might have to put aside the freshwater for a bit and go after them this weekend.  Shad should be about peaking now too.  Had some great pike fishing last weekend and I'll get to putting up some pics soon along with some flies I've been working on.  The water level and temps on the Saco should be great for trout fishing right now too.  Last year the water level didn't come down until July and by that time the water was too warm.  So much to fish for and too little time. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Recent trips 1

Got out with John for a few pike excursions over the last week or so.  John and I have been getting out when we can which hasn't been that much with everything else going on.  When we have the time we just go independent of the weather, fishing reports, and whatever else. On this day the weather report was for heavy winds and high pressure and for once the report was spot on.  We got an early start and luckily the winds were moderate at first but they built fast.

We headed up to the Belagrade lakes again which is basically the center of pike fishing in the state and tried out a new lake for me anyway.  This one has a big shallow bay with a small inlet that is supposed to be the best spot.  We worked our way around the edge of the bay sometimes casting to the edge if there was deep enough water and structure, otherwise drifting a bit away and covering the flat.  After a few strikes we missed it didn't take John long to pick up this little guy so we figured we were on to something but that was the end of the pike action except for a few half-hearted follows until late in the day.

Thought this guy was a small pike until I pulled it out of the water.

The bay had a soft mud bottom and as the wind picked up the water became quite turbulent and dirty.  We thought that it probably turned the pike off although the smallmouth didn't seem to mind.  We started picking them up in what we thought was pike water.  These weren't the big spawners that we normally run into this time of year but still fun.  With the off colored water we switched over to the brighter fire tiger patterns which are great for smallmouths anyway and they jumped all over them.  These little guys had no problem wolfing down the pike sized flies.

After taking a beating from the wind for a while we headed up to the more sheltered side of the bay and found some rockpiles and ledges.  John was into a fish after a couple of casts and it didn't take me too long to hook up either.   The next hour or 2 was spent steadily picking up some larger smallmouths.

It's so nice that the state of Maine puts out these smallmouth markers.  It makes it so much easier to find the fish this time of year.

Tried another lake later in the day.  The shallow bays were still too tough to fish so we worked some more rocky structure out of the wind for smallmouths.  John ended up catching the biggest pike of the spring so far off of one of these areas.  Once he took the hook out the fish flopped out of his hands into the water so we didn't get a pic. We got some more smallmouths and found some spawning ones also but I don't like to bother them much.  The wind never gave up but eventually we did and called it a day.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Little natives

On the way home from some family stuff Saturday Yudi asked if we could stop by one of our favorite little ponds to try and catch a few little native brookies.  Between gusts of wind fish were rising all over the pond.  At this particular pond the fish seem to be rising almost all the time.  There wasn't any obvious hatch of insects so I tried a small parachute.  I got a couple of strikes but the fish didn't seem too interested in it.  There were a few midges around so I gave a tiny midge dry a try without much luck either.  I went to a softhackle with a little more success and finally what really worked was a natural hare's ear nymph slowly fished subsurface.  They aren't big but they sure are pretty.  Yudi and I worked on her casting for a bit.  Any casting on the pond doesn't necessarily put the fish down but moves them away from shore so she didn't have much luck hooking any fish on her own.  After a while I would make a long cast and let her retrieve the fly and she hooked up a few.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Didn't get a chance to do much flyfishing related activities this week.  The riding mower was I borrowed a push mower and did battle with the lawn.  I haven't touched the lawn yet this year so it was 12"+ high in some places and the mower kept stalling out when it would get clogged up.  After about 2 hours I got a little more than half done.  Mowing has to be the biggest waste of time and energy.  I should have someone come hay the field or maybe I'll just burn it at some point this summer.  Also turned over the garden to get ready for planting.  I don't mind that so much since there should be some sort of productive result form it.

Over the weekend I stopped by the flyshop.  They gave me an order of flies to tie up so I'm looking forward to working on them.  I actually enjoy production tying to a certain extent.  I like the rhythm of tying the same fly.  I'll do some custom tying for people, mostly friends though.  Most of my flies go to the flyshop so you can find some of my stuff there.  It's a must to stop in to check out the shop if you are in Maine for fishing or vacation.  They can help you out for whatever type of fish you would be going for in Maine and have a lot of  experience with destination trips also.

While I was there besides some flytying materials I picked up a Cliff Bugger Beast Jr box The Beast's  I love the Finsport fly wallets for a lot of flies such as deceivers and clouser minnows...basically anything I don't mind storing flat.  There is a lot of other stuff like deerhair patterns, hollow flies, crabs, gurglers, etc. that just don't store well in the wallet.  Plano molded boxes can work well for this stuff and is what I've used in the past but the flies tend to move around and get tangled up when stored this way.  I'm looking forward to filling this box up.  I almost got the big beast but I wanted something small enough that I could take wade fishing but still hold the larger patterns I fish.

I did go out and do a little fishing with my boys Sunday morning.  The weather was pretty nasty though with it being in the 40's with a strong wind.  We went and worked the cove with various tackle where I caught the crappies last week but didn't catch anything.  We didn't stay that long since being in a little boat with a couple of kids on a lake with whitecaps forming in the cold wasn't all that fun.

Sunday is looking good this week.  A friend of mine, John, and I plan on putting in a good day of pike and bass fishing.

Friday, May 7, 2010

More flies

Tied up a few more flies tonight for stripers.  I've been playing around with slight variations of the same style of fly to figure out which way I like them the most.  On this one I added some thinner grizzly hackles, flattened out the body, skipped the marabou on the front and epoxied on some eyes.

After getting in to the crappies the other day I figured I'd tie up some more crappie bugs with the hope of finding some slabs this weekend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Crappie fishing

Yudi sent me an IM at work saying she wanted to take the boat out and go fishing so that's what we did. When I got home we loaded up the little boat and off we went to a nearby pond that we caught a lot of crappie, perch and pickerel icefishing this past winter. I waded in the water to launch the boat and it was surprisingly warm. I could have easily gone for a swim.

We really wanted to catch some crappie but would have been happy to catch some bass or pickerel as well. We cruised to the other end of the pond that is much less developed but as we got there the wind picked up in our direction and was blowing us around pretty good. We hooked up a couple of pickerel but they ended up cutting our line or just getting off. We decided to cruise back to the other end of the pond that was a little more sheltered and started fishing along a bank that led to a nice cove.

It didn't take long for Yudi to hook up and she landed a crappie, the first of the year, then a few casts later a white perch. I wasn't doing much until it got closer to dark and we got into the cove. At that point we really got into the crappies. They aren't big in this pond but there are plenty of them. Yudi mostly used roadrunners on a spinning rod but did catch one on a fly. We caught them every cast until dark and we called it a day. There was a bunch of mayflies and some dark caddis flying around also.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday fishing

Got the little boat out close to home this Sunday to enjoy some of the nice weather.  Since when is it 80+ degrees out the beginning of May?  The goal was to find some spawning crappies or smallmouths but I found neither.  I must have fished about ten different coves and the main lake shoreline casting to all the visible structure and never saw a crappie.  I worked some of the other good looking spots for smallmouth but only managed to catch a couple off of some random trees laying in the water.  I was quite impressed with how the firetiger streamer swam though.  One of the smallmouth I caught struck on the first 2 casts and I finally hooked him on about the sixth cast when he completely engulfed the fly that time.  I definitely need to tie up some more of these flies especially for stripers.  I have a few ideas for color combinations.  The catching wasn't so great but it gave me an opportunity to try out some of my new flies.

I caught this cute little pickerel also.  I wonder what will happen to these little guys as pike continue to spread in the local waters.  They don't grow very big but they provide some good action still and they are actually a native fish!  We don't have many of those around anymore.

I spent some time following this tank around.  He wasn't too concerned with me.  I saw one other almost as big later on in the day.

Hard to believe I'm resorting to posting pics of pickerel and turtles.  I either need to get out after some pike or the stripers better show up soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


One of the all time great color combinations especially for aggressive smallmouths.