Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mega Carp in Michigan

Bob Story of Feather Craft Fly Fishing displays a hefty carp taken on the flats off Lake Michigan's Beaver Island. Frequent wind and rain hampered sight fishing opportunities, but there were enough breaks in the weather to get some shots at monster carp cruising the flats. Carp are extremely wary when in the shallows. Careful stalking and accurate casting are needed to tempt them on a fly. Crayfish are one of their favorite foods and a matching pattern crawled on the bottom is favored. bob was fishing with Capt. Kevin Morlock of Indigo Guide Service.
Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan and has a colorful history of settlement. It lies 32 miles from the city of Charlevoix and is reachable only by air or boat.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Power Plus!

Smallmouth bass may be the most underutilized fly rod fish around. They are well distributed across the US and Canada, occupying much water that is marginal at best for trout survival. Smallies are normally less selective than trout and will hit a variety of fly patterns. They are also more tolerant of sloppy casts, making them a great target for beginners.

Smallies are well-known for thier fighting ability. Their broad body and wide tail give them plenty of power when they turn sideways. Pair that with an unmatched jumping ability and you have an A+ sport fish. If you haven't chased smallmouth with a fly rod, give it a try!

An Honorable Fish!

Capt. Leo Wright holds a hefty Muskegon river smallie caught in honor of dog friend Kevin Feenstra, who was finally hooked, landed, and hitched last Saturday, July 25. Leo and JD spent the morning on the river and then headed to the afternoon wedding and reception. A great time was had by all. Kevin and Jane Feenstra honeymooned across northern MI.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Winston, a golden retriever, is the main greeter at Baldwin Creek Lodge in Baldwin, MI. Here he does water watch on the Pere Marquette River seated on the front ledge of a 13 foot Stealthcraft Super Sniper drift boat. The Super Sniper is designed to float high and quiet, with maximum manueverability.

Float And Be Stealthy

Check out this new drift boat from Mike Batcke and crew from Stealthcraft Boats! JD and Jeff Liskay went to Mike with a particular boat in mind- it needed to be as light as possible, hold 3 people, float high, be easy to haul around places without launch ramps, and be rugged enough to take river abuse. Stealthcraft was able to build the boat. Team Fishdog will now have a Super Sniper model to work with. At 13 feet long, this Super Sniper weighs in a little over 100 pounds. The hull is made of plascor laminate for extra strength with reduced weight. The bottom is coated with UHMW (ultra high molecular weight) plastic so it will slide easily over river rocks and up and down banks. Built in hand grips will be a big help. The interior has been left open to provide maximum versatility in adjusting to the passenger load. Just in time for prime time summer smallmouth and the start of Fall fishing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Love Those Smallmouth Bass!

Ya gotta love small stream smallmouth bass. These are a native game fish in many moving waters of the Midwest and have been widely distributed across the U.S. They are subject to the same environmental stresses as trout are. Smallmouth can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures and overlap with trout in many areas. Growth rates in smaller streams can be quite slow, taking 6-8 years to reach a length of 12-14 inches in the northern part of their range. This healthy specimen came from a stream in southern Indiana. Take a look at the width of the tail in relation to the body. That is one strong fish! Smallmouth bass are tough fighters no matter where they are found, but stream fish really take it up a notch. In the "Book Of the Black Bass" published in 1881, Dr. James Henshall, a Cincinnati resident and recognized as the father bass fishing says,"inch for inch, pound for pound, the black bass is the gamest fish that swims." It's hard to argue with that.

Lake Erie Fun

JD joins in on some hot drum action on the big lake. A favored outfit for Lake Erie is an 8-wt. Scott X2S rod, a Nautilus CCF8 reel, and a SA 300 gr. Streamer Express line. Finish off with baitfish and crayfish patterns for a good time!

Hot Action On Lake Erie

Jeff Liskay leans into a hefty freshwater drum along the Lake Erie shoreline a little west of Rocky River. Drum go onto a big feed after spawning and can provide fast action on a fly rod.

Drum are often found chasing baitfish high in the water column. This day the fish were hitting emerald shiner imititions around 10 feet down in 20'-24' feet of water. A Streamer Express line was the perfect tool to present a fly to these fish.

Bangin' The Drum

Meet the Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotis grunniens), known in my neck of the woods as Sheepshead. This is one of the most widely freshwater fishes being found from southern Canada down into Mexico. Maligned in the northern part of its' range as a trash fish, it is valued as both a sport and food fish as you head south.

Drum are strong fighters when hooked and can be taken on a vriety of baits and artificials. They commonly reach 5 to 10 pounds and unlike many freshwater fish make strong runs when hooked. Unknown to most anglers, drum hit flies readily and often do some knuckle busting when first hooked. This fish hit a tube pattern tied by Dog Friend Jeff Liskay on a Eumer Ball Head tube.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A New Friend of The Dog

We love fish dogs and here is our newest friend. Winston, a 5-year old Golden Retriever fishes regularly with Mike Batke, of Baldwin Creek Lodge in Baldwin, MI. Mike guides on the Pere Marquette River and is also the owner of Stealth Craft Boats. Winston helps to supervise all activies and is official greeter for guests at the lodge.

Small Stream Fun

A double Fish Dog "woof" to Matt Dunn from J.L. Waters in Bloomington, IN. Matt was kind enough to share some of his favorite water and we enjoyed an evening of small stream surface action for smallmouth. Smallmouth bass, and a variety of other species are the native stream fish across much of the United States and are subject to many of the same environmental impacts as trout are. Agricultural runoff, loss of habitat, and overfishing are several of the stresses on many small river and creeks across the Midwest.

Pretty As A Picture!

One of my favorite sunfish species is Lepomis megalotis, the Long Eared Sunfish. Rarely over 8 inches long, this fish is found through much of eastern North America from the Great Lakes to northeastern Mexico. It is common in slower moving streams and rivers where it feeds on a variety of insects and crustaceans. This one was caught in southeast Indiana. Trout may get the top billing for color, but most sunfish species are also multi-hued.

Why We Call It Red Eye

There are several species of Ambloplites more commonly known as Rock Bass. They are widely spread through much of the eastern and middleUnited States and Canada found in the St. Lawrence, Great Lakes, and mid to upper Mississippi drainages. Other names are Red Eye and Goggle Eye. They max out at 10-12 inches long and may weigh a little over a pound. They love to eat flies we fish for smallmouth. Rock Bass will hit hard, but then their size betrays them and they come in easily. This one hit a crippled minnow diver.