Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Swimming Pool For Flies!

JD met up with dog friend Tony Pagliei recently to check out the Swim Tank now being sold by Tony DiBenedetto of Tube Fly Tech. Almost any swimming style fly or lure can be run in the tank to check out its motion at various speeds. Several different Boa Minnow tube flies were dunked and it was discovered that this pattern has great movement in the water- likely one of the reasons it has been so productive.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Senator Loves Steelhead

Senator George Voinovich is a life-long resident of northeast Ohio. An avid angler, the senator looks forward to the few times a year he can chase steelhead on Ohio's Lake Erie tributaries. He is a strong proponent of Ohio's outdoor heritage and works to protect the state's natural resources. A recent outing to the Chagrin River on a beautiful spring day produced plenty of steelhead action. Thanks Andy Kirkpatrick for this photo!

WRLC Helps Protect Northern Ohio

Andy Kirkpatrick (center), Director of Land Protection of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC), joins Ohio Senator George Voinovich and JD for a few hours chasing steelhead. The WRLC's mission is to "preserve the scenic beauty, rural character, and natural resources of northern Ohio. The WRLC works with a number of organizations including The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Lake County Metroparks, Ashtabula County Metroparks, and more. One project they are partnering on is the reintroduction of brook trout into a number of northeast Ohio waterways. Thanks to Andy Kirkpatrick for this photo!

Steelhead Winding Down, Almost

Steelhead season is slowly winding down on the Lake Erie tribs, but there are still good numbers of fish around. Dog friend Jeff Liskay and JD were able to get out for a few hours the other evening to check out a few rods on the Chagrin River. While using a new Scott A3 13 ft. 8-wt., JD got his best fish of the spring and a few others swinging a white & chartreuse Boa Minnow pattern tied on a Eumer Ballhead tube. The Boa Minnow can be tied in a multitude of colors, but baitfish and leech versions have been most productive. A Nautilus CCF 12 reel with a Scientific Anglers Supra Skagit line and Express 14 tip completed the outfit.

Boa Minnow

Tail- Arctic fox tail or marabou

Body- Boa yarn from craft store, also called Flapper yarn and Eyelash yarn, mix in some of your favorite flash (I love Krinkle Mirror Flash)

Head- Ice Dub or Palmer Chenille

If tied on a tube use a #4 Daiichi 1640 or 1650 for the hook. If tying on the hook use a Daiichi 1710 #4. This fly catches. fish!

Thanks Jeff for the photo!

Fishing With The Senator!

JD had the opportunity to guide Ohio Senator George Voinovich. When he was the Governor of Ohio, Senator Voinovich was the driving force in Ohio's purchase of the Castalia Farms Fish Hatchery. This has become the cornerstone of Ohio's steelhead program.

A number of steelhead were caught and released on the Chagrin River. Here is the Senator and guide with a good fish.

Barnyard Escapee?

JD spotted this turkey in a group of other hens. We're wondering if this is albino coloring in a wild bird or a mix with a domestic barnyard escapee?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time To Talk Turkey

JD came across this gobbler showing off to some hens on a recent trip in Michigan. As usual, the gals aren't paying any attention to the guy showing off! Spring turkey season is full swing around the territory, so there is plenty of turkey talking going on.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The GREAT(Fly Fishing) Lakes!

Friend of the Dog, Matt Zudweg, is a graphic artist, guide, and fly tier from Howard City, MI. Matt specializes in creating and printing a wide variety of fly fishing decals and here is my latest favorite. Here are some Great Lakes facts: the Great Lakes contain over 20% of the worlds standing supply of freshwater, there are over 11,000 miles of shoreline around the Great Lakes (more than the east and west coast of the U.S. combined), there are thousands of fly fishable miles of tributary waters feeding the Great Lakes for a wide assortment of fish species.

All factors considered- Location, accessability of water, variety of species, variety of waters, both urban and wilderness areas, I would rate the Great Lakes, their tributaries, and connecting waters the best fly region on earth!

To check out all of Matt's offerings go to You won't be disappointed!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Marina Pike

Check out the empty marinas on a lake near you. They attract several different fish species and are easily fly fished before boats are put in. Capt Brian Mezaros caught this nice pike on a sunny day when the sheltered water inside the marina was warmer than the surrounding area. The high sun may also make it possible to sight cast to an individual fish.

Release Your Inner Redneck

Trout may get all the glamour, but there are a lot of other fly fishing opportunities available to all of us, no matter where we live. It may be bass, panfish, or even carp that are close by. As Spring progresses and the water continues to warm, get ready to go have some fun and release your inner redneck. Scott's new A3 series rods cover all fly fishing applications and are U.S. made at a very reasonable price. The Warm Water Special rods are specially designed for controlling fish from a boat.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Early Bite

As the ice clears in lakes throughout the northern Midwest, toothy critters are on the prowl. Northern pike are among the earliest targets for lake anglers. Look for areas with a dark bottom that are are a few degrees warmer than the main lake to attract pike. Marinas are also prime spots as they also warm up quicker. Take an 8-wt. outfit with a baitfish pattern and a few feet of 40-60 lb. fluorocarbon as a bite tippet. Capt. Brian Mezaros of Great Lakes Fly Fishing shows an April Lake St. Clair nothern while the Fishdog looks on.

The Colors of Spring

The colors of Spring are dull and drab in the Midwest until vegitation begins to grow. A box full of steelhead streamers stand in contrast to the harsh browns of Spring and match the colors of the wildflowers soon to follow.