Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Freedom 12 Ultralight

The Freedom Hawk 12 Ultralight has become my favorite PFD (Personal Fishing Device). the boat is hybrid kayak/canoe design that is super stable and will carry a lot of gear and weight (i.e. me and the Fishdog with room to spare). It is easy to put on and take off the car and get to the water. I normally stand and brace my back against the bar to cast. This allows me to strip line onto the seat in front of me and cast any direction. Even standing, you can manuever easily with a regular kayak paddle or the optional stand-up paddle.

Kayak Demo Dazed

Here is a flock of kayak testers on the water at Lakeview Park in Lorain, OH. The Backpacker's Shop/Ohio Canoe sponsored the on-water event last Saturday. The Freedom Hawk 12 made itself at home among a full lineup of brands and styles of boats.

Another One for the List!

Have had a chance to fish the Arctic Wiggler tube in some other situations with success. Here is one of the latest addtions to the species list for this pattern. Walleye are not a common catch on flies, but can be taken under the right conditions- mainly early, late, or on a cloudy drizzly day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Garrrrrrr- Check These Out!

My buddy from Maine, El Pescador, has a great blog- Way Upstream. Check out these recent links from his blog.



Ya gotta love Nick Pujic from Canadian Fly Fisher magazine. Way to think outside the box and have some real fun with a fly rod!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another Species on the Wiggler!

The species list continues to grow on the Wiggler tube fly whenever I fish it. Just added yellow perch into the mix. This jumbo yellow belly hit an olive Wiggler I was stripping for trout at Two Mile Run Lake near Franklin, PA. So far the Wiggler has tallied steelhead, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, and now perch. Can't wait to see what's next!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cleaning Up The Creek

Canoes were dropped over the hillside to clean up an old tire dump in Conneaut Creek. Numerous trips were made filling up the canoes, floating the tires down to a pick up point, then paddling the canoes back upstream to load them again. In addition, a number of bags of trash were also collected and taken out. Thanks to the Friends of Conneaut Creek for organzing the clean up and manpower, the Ohio Division of Watercraft for the canoes, organization and manpower, and the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders for manpower and being concerned anglers who want to make a difference on one of the best steelhead streams in the U.S.

Conneaut Creek Clean Up

A joint effort by the Friends of Conneaut Creek, Ohio Division of Watercraft, and the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders went into yesterdays clean up on Conneaut Creek. About 30 people showed up on a cold, blustery, rainy day to attack trash and garbage at access and parking areas.

Several tons of material were collected and transported for disposal. Here, Jeff Liskay is shown as he assigns work crews to the different areas.

Many Thanks to all who participated!

Friday, May 7, 2010

More On The Arctic Wiggler

Here is a new version of JD's Arctic Wiggler tube fly. This crayfish version has proven successful on both smallmouth and largemouth bass. The same materials are used as in the original pattern with the addition of rubber legs. The Eumer Ballhead tube is still the base of the fly. It would probably make a useful crab pattern, too.

Both the original baitfish design and the new crayfish version have application for a very wide ranges of fish species. Somebody please try these out in saltwater and let me know.

Pictured colors- Olive (left), Softshell (center), Brown (right).

Our Favorite New Brew!

Team Fish dog has a new favorite brew. From Thirsty Dog Brewing Company out of Akron, OH, check out their Labrador Lager. It is a great warm-weather refresher and particularly good if you have just been retrieving Frisbees or tennis balls. Check it out and tell them the Fish Dog sent you!

Doc Hangs A Hawg!

Long time dog friend, Dr. Fred Brindle, shows a Lake St. Clair smallie that hit the magical 5 lb. mark. This fish took a white on white Half and Half streamer. Doc and JD spent the day dodging the wind with Capt. Brian Mezaros.

Lake St. Clair is a perfect place for warm water fly fishers- 3 species of bass, pike, muskie, drum, carp, perch and other panfish are all available. The average depth is around 10 feet and it is loaded with gravel bars, rock piles, weed patches, and other fish holding structure. American Angler magazine listed Lake St. Clair as one of the "Top 50 Fly Fishing Destinations" and there is almost always a place to hide out of the wind and still catch fish.

Back On The Big Water!

It's that time of year to shift gears and start to pursue some of the other opportunities the Great Lakes area offers to fly anglers. Did an R&D trip with Capt. Brian Mezaros of Great Lakes Fly Fishing on Lake St. Clair to test out my Arctic Wiggler tube fly on warm water. Managed to add white bass, largemouth bass, and a number of sizeable smallmouth to the species list.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Tiger By The Tail

Here is a good shot of a seldom seen hybrid. This is a tiger trout, a cross between a brook and brown trout. To my knowledge, this does not occur naturally and must be done in a hatchery. This fish was caught by Bill Gill at Rockwell Springs Trout Club. Thanks Bill for sharing the photo with me!

The Lakers Are In!

No, not the lakers from LA or the the ones that are trout (actually char!). These are lake-run smallmouth bass that ascend Lake Erie tributaries to spawn, and then drop back into the lake to grow big, fat, and fiesty. This little-known phenomenon occurs around the end of April and into the first week or two of May every year. There is often a short overlap with dropback steelhead and the opportunity to catch both on the same day.

These fish take a swung fly well, and provide some additional opportunity to fish switch and two-hand rods.

Photo courtesy of Jim Linehan

Team Castapalooza

Here is the rogue's gallery of cast-addicts that helped make the first Northeast Ohio Castapalooza a succes. From left to right- top row: Jim Linehan, Wael Dardir, our Canadian buds- Neil Houlding and Julian Van Gorder. Bottom row- Jeff Liskay, the Fishdog, and JD.

Not pictured- Spey professor, Will Turek.

Thanks very much to all you guys for helping out and thanks to everyone who attended!

Next years event is tentively scheduled again for the last Saturday in April and there will be additional Castapalooza events throughout the region. The next one is June 12 on Presque Isle near Erie, PA. On August 28, we will be at Leeper Park in South Bend, IN, on the St. Joe River.

Thanks again to Jim Linehan for the photo.