Daryl came up for Turkey Day. Friday we hit Becker on a beautiful clear, calm day. Water temps were 45 and we had the lake to ourselves. DW pulled out his bass gear….a 335 grain head on a 7 wt, fishing a 3″ simi seal bugger he ties up to imitate crayfish for bass???? I rigged up my intermediate with a mega simi seal leech. I think he landed 6 before I was able to switch out to a type 5 sinking line and bummed one of his big buggers. They were very aggressive, looking for something big to munch on before the ice hit. You could actively see them in the shallows cruising like sharks at times. We must have landed 35-40 between us (once I got in the game). It was my kind of fishing…strip fast and hang on.
Most of them were in great shape and fought very hard. We actually landed a few that looked as though they were spawned out. Maybe the very last remnants of the diploid fish???? A couple went 20″s but most were in that 17″-18″ slot
The lake is crystal clear now and has a ways to go before icing up. Go hit it while it’s still fishable. Bring a fast sinker and some big buggers and hang on.
Back from our annual back east trip for steelies and browns. This year the water flows were exceptionally low and most of the waters we normally hit didn’t hold many fish so we did most of our catching on one small no name creek in NY.
Daryl and Brian hit New York a couple days before Tim and I did. They fished the Niagara for a day and Brian got a few lakers to play center pinning.
We all tried to find steel in Eastern PA and Western NY but the lack of water in the system just didn’t bring the fish up from the lakes yet. DW and Brian headed back to NY and found players in the small creek. Tim and I kept trying to find fish in PA and Tim did. I was good for netting and taking pic’s.
One of Tim’s friends had his son Nate up and he landed a nice steelie
By far the most fish caught were in NY. There weren’t quite as many fish this season but they were bigger. Here’s some of the pic’s
Jason from NY caught a nice brown
Clearly Tim and I should have spent more time in NY but that’s fishing. Another great successful trip.
I got an invite from Kevin Krai, one of my old business partners from AZFF, to fish Apache this morning with him and his wife, Kris. As you can see we started out small and worked our way up. Whoever said smallies weren’t aggressive??? I actually had another one that size eat my fly as well. We switched to the old standby’s and caught a few on the Helmet Heads again.
It was a nice few hours this morning and really nice to fish with Kevin and Kris again. It wasn’t epic but we banged a few and missed a lot more. I think the bite is changing. The fish seemed to have moved, maybe getting more into a Winter bite. One thing for sure….they eat that fly really well.
Kevin is now running the fly dep’t at the new Orvis store down at Town and Country Mall on 20th and Camelback. Go look him up, he’ll square you away. The grand opening is Nov 5. Come on down and say hi. I’ll be tying flies and chatting about the WMLF along with a couple other members. Good time to sign up and maybe get some free flies.
Daryl came up for the weekend. We hit Reservation early Sat morning looking for cruisers. Didn’t see much and was surprised at all the people. We headed to Big Lake. Big has been pretty much the most dependable water up here this season and it turned out to be the right move again. DW was stripping his shellback Callibaetis and I was dangling a midge under a bobber. Both techniques produced fish.
We hit South Cove this time and the fish seemed to average a bit bigger and surprisingly less crowded than Railroad. Next day we hit Horseshoe…again looking for cruisers. We didn’t find much there either. Friend, Ren Wilson has been hitting it pretty hard the past couple weeks and finding more players than we did. He was there along with another buddy and they picked up some decent fish.
DW picked up a 3 lbr stripping a small Helmet Head and a couple small rainbows. Finally got a pic.
It’s still too warm up here. 54 at my place this morning. Supposed to start cooling down later this week. When that happens and the water gets down into the 40’s the bite should really turn on. I’ll try and do a better job posting. Been fishing, just not taking any pics. The annual steelhead/brown trout trip is coming up in a few weeks so I’ll have some time to try and get into some good fish before then. Usually after that trip….it’s back to bass full time.
Daryl and I hit Apache Sunday. It took us awhile to find some players but once we did they were all over the shad Helmet Heads again. We must have landed 20-25 smallies and lmb’s. Most of them 2 to 3 lbs that fought really well. We both found a 5 lbr each so that was a nice bonus. Man, do they pull.
Sure been fun. It’s getting cool up here so I’m sure the trout are gonna start happening soon. I’m gonna miss the bass pull.
Had a WMLF meeting this weekend in the valley. Decided to stay an extra night and hit Apache with Daryl the next day. Fishing wasn’t as non stop as with him and Ron but when they got going there were plenty of good fish to catch….both lmb’s and smallmouth. They ate the same flies as before…Helmet Heads in shad colors about 3″s long. Funny thing happened this time. I lost one of the eyes on my shad and the fish would not touch it. I put another fly on and they were on it again. I see that on DHS’s but this is the first time it happened with these flies….always something to learn.
Here’s a couple pic’s
Gentry and Michele and DW came up for a few days over the Labor Day weekend. The weather has been a tad windy but we hit Becker just the same and it was definitely manageable, although the fish weren’t quite as much so. Water temp’s were down around 68 but the fish still had Dog Days attitudes. We all fished different patterns with different techniques as well and we all caught fish …even though there weren’t many and most not very big. Gentry tagged the most using a sinking line and a fly Joe Staller makes imitating a Callibaetis nymph. Fun weekend and always good to get out.
Here’s some pics
Hit Apache again Thursday with Daryl and Ron, fishing in Ron’s new boat.
We fished from about 9 to 4 and as often the case with Summer bass we didn’t put a fish in the boat for the first 4 hours. We don’t catch them until they want to play. Around 1-2 they turned on and we couldn’t keep them off our flies. I can remember having at least 2, maybe 3 doubles landed and not sure how many we had on that we lost. All of them but maybe 1 or 2 went over 2 lbs. No giants but heavy healthy fish that put a good bend in our fly rods. I was fishing the Sage LM bass rod and DW and Ron were using DW’s 7 wt steelhead rod with at least a 300 gr sinktip line. I know we all had fish break us off on 1 x tippet. Once it started we probably could have tied the fly on a rope and they would have inhaled it.
One time I was releasing a fish and dropped my fly over the side of the boat. When I picked it back up to recast I had another fish on. I immediately attributed that to a GREAT cast.
Not sure how many we actually landed, at least 24-25, maybe 30. We just kept trading off rods and had two flies in the water as much as possible.
All the fish were caught on Helmet Heads in shad colors….another great day on Apache. I very seldom hit the bass lakes in the Summer but Dog Days have hit up here and this has saved my bacon. My bass fishing keeps expanding….love it!
I hit Apache a couple times the past couple weeks with Daryl. He has been doing really well on the lmb’s and smallies at times if he hits it right. Some days he will land 20-25 bass with several in the 5 lb range. He’s throwing a fly I call a Helmet Head in shad colors. It is basically a DHS with a Fish Mask on it. They are pretty much bullet proof and they catch fish. I have been playing around with them for awhile now and they work on trout just as well. We hit it for 6 hours yesterday and landed 13 between us….not an epic day but enough going on to make it worth the drive. DW landed the only good bass with this 4 lb’r that pulled really hard. These lmb’s fight almost as hard as the smallies…..almost. I’ll keep on hitting it until the trout turn back on up here. One of these trips I’ll hit it right.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Fishing has been pretty limited up here to Becker, Big and Carnero….so there has been little new to report. Becker Triploids are holding up well with the 70+ degree water temp’s. These fish seem to handle the warmer water much better than the Diploids did. I haven’t been for a week or so but we were still getting them on top with hoppers and ants. They are still fighting hard and swimming away with no floaters. Looks like AZG&F found a winner with those. A few 13″ Tigers are showing up both on top and under an indicator. Big has been getting tons of rain and I haven’t fished it for a couple weeks. There was a start of a bloom and the fish are pretty much on the bottom but you can still get a few cut’s in the shallows. I finally enticed one to eat an ant the last time I was there….fun. Carnero is pretty weeded up but hopefully with these Monsoon rains it will fill back up again like last year.
I have been trying to fool some of the bass up here….without much luck I might add. The monsoon has cut both my trips short with the lightning so I headed down to good old Apache yesterday and fished with DW and Steve. Fishing was tough for us. We fished about 5-6 hours and landed 5 between us. I had a hard time with the 100+ degree heat….which I am not used to after being up here for three years. Nice day though…beat making dubbing.