Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's Laker Time!

These lakers aren't trout and they aren't from LA. The annual run of Lake Erie smallmouth has started in the tributaries. These fish show up in most of the tribs and allow river anglers a shot at real trophy-sized bronzebacks. Matt Hines shows a big Elk Creek smallie that hammered a swung fly that was targeted for steelies. It's the best of both worlds when you can get big smallies and steelhead on the same day. The time is now if the water levels cooperate.

It's April On Lake Erie!

A brief water window opened again yesterday and we were able to get April Vokey out to swing for Lake Erie steelies before she had to head home to BC. Here is our favorite Fly Gal with a fish that grabbed an olive-colored pattern swung on a short tip with a switch rod.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Old (Fish)Dog Learns Some New Tricks

British Columbia, Canada, fly gal, April Vokey, made a stop in town on her way back from a Belize trip and held a fly tying class at Chagrin River Outfitters. April showed a variety of materials and techniques used to construct the BC-style Intruder patterns that she fishes on her waters. Of particular interest was the use of Arctic fox and rhea feathers. The idea of this pattern, originated by Ed Ward, is a fly that presents a large, visible profile with lots of movement, but is still easy to cast. Here is JD's interpretation of the BC Intruder. At nearly six inches in length, maybe it should be called a Super Intruder.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We Had a Grand Time!

Despite the recent monsoons, Saturday was warm and sunny for the 2nd Grand River Castapalooza. High water didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm. We had plenty of attendees who saw various presentations and received instruction on single-hand casting, Spey casting a fly tying. Here Scientific Anglers Pro, Jeff Liskay discusses Spey lines with a group of casters.

A special "Thank You" goes out to Jeff, Eric Lindstrom from The Backpacker's Shoppe and Dan Pribanic from Chagrin River Outfitters for all their help making the event a success. Both of these shops are also Scientific Anglers and Scott Rod dealers.

Castapalooza Chromer

A weather window opened briefly allowing Team Fishdog a day on the water before the Grand River Castaplooza. The boys found a few willing takers for swung flies like this chromer sporting a black and copper moustache

JD & the Fishdog

JD and the Fishdog took a timeout during a recent on-water adventure for a sit down photo. At 12 years old, Aspen is still going strong. JD is still in training.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sun, Sand, & Golden Bones

Warm water discharges around the Great Lakes continue to attract big fish as this mega-carp caught by Jeff Liskay shows. High winds had the shoreline flats off limits to sight fishing, so we went to plan B and fished the channel with sink-tips. This fish hit a size-6 brown Stonebugger.

Just another of example of the super fly fishing available in and around the Great Lakes.

Afterpalooza Steelhead

Jeff and JD stayed around to fish a few hours on the St. Joe and found a few willing accomplices for their efforts. Leeper Park, right in downtown South Bend, was a great place to have a casting event and then fish afterwards. A cold, steady rain had the river empty of anglers, but the steelhead willing to hit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Soggy on the St. Joe

A hardy band of casters showed up on the St. Joe River in South Bend, IN, on Saturday morning for the first of this years Castapalooza events. Wind, rain, and cold were the order of the day. In spite of the elements, we were able to get guys to try their hands at Spey casting and more.

The dog even had a great time!

Jeff liskay and I also managed to hook a few steelhead after the event was over. A big double-woof, fish dog thanks to Tim Scott and the whole gang at SJRVFF for their support!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Action Keeps Getting Hotter!

Things can happen quickly as Spring progresses. Any flows entering the Great Lakes are attracting all kinds fish. Capt. Austin Aducci of Grab Your Fly Charters is having some hot action on Great Lakes Golden Bones (aka Carp) on the south end of Lake MI.

The Beat Goes On

JD hoists another super-sized, knuckle-busting freshwater drum taken with Scientific Anglers and Scott Rod Pro Capt. Brian Mezaros. This is just a sign that the action is really beginning to heat up across the southern Great Lakes with a wide variety of species including pike, smallmouth, white bass, and walleye coming into the mix along with drum.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Superior Steel

Capt. Brad Petzke holds a solid Lake Superior wild steelhead from an unnamed tributary on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Steelies are taking the front seat right now all across the Great Lakes region. Nice hat, too! That's the new Scott digital camo.


JD did a quick Lake Erie shakedown trip with Scientific Anglers Pro Staff Guide Capt. Brian Mezaros and the guys found a group of super-sized freshwater drum feeding in shallow water. Several days of NE winds had the nearshore water muddied up, but held warmer water temp on a sunny day and allowed a closer-than-normal approach to these usually skittish fish in 2'-3' of water.

JD's Arctic Wiggler Tube pattern in olive and orange produced the most fish, including this 14 lb. (on the Boga) beast held by Capt. B that made a knuckle-busting run way into the backing when first hooked

Monday, April 11, 2011

Very Fishy Art

My buddy, Ted K. is retired from the Forest Service and lives in Ashton, ID. A true Renaissance Man, he is can do just about anything. He does fish carvings and paintings on cedar planking that are fabulous. Here is a steelhead that I got from him. length on this piece is 23 inches. Note the unique fins and jaw mandible. All painting is very detailed. Ted can do pretty much any fish that swims. I've seen everything from trout to musky, bonefish, redfish and even tarpon. Very cool stuff!

Castapalooza Events Start!

I will be holding two Castapalooza events this month. The Castapalooza is a celebration of all things fly fishing, but concentrates on rods, lines and casting. There will also be fly tying demos and the chance for anglers of all ages and skill levels to try out gear and receive instruction. These events are free and open to the public!

Scientific Anglers and Scott Fly Rods are the main supporters along with a great team of helpers including Jeff Liskay, Will Turek, John Rochus, Charlie Chlysta, and others.

The first of these will be next Saturday, April 16, at Leeper Park in South Bend, IN, on the St. Joe River starting at 9:00 AM. This will be held in conjunction with the St. Joe River Valley Fly Fishers.

On Saturday April 23, Team Castapalooza will be at Hidden Valley Park on Ohio's Grand River. this event is incooperation with Lake Metroparks Annual Canoe and Kayak Race, so there will be a big crowd. Hidden Valley Park is on Klasen Rd. 2 miles south of I-90 of Rt. 528 (Exit 212). Again start time is 9:00 AM and we will be there all day!

Pass the word and stop out and see us! More Castapalooza events being scheduled, stay tuned!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Frozen Steps

This spring entering Conneaut Creek and flowing over step-like layers of shale, froze when overnight temperatures dropped into the teens. Winter is slooowly releasing its hold on NE Ohio, but not without a fight.

Ice Sculptures

With temperatures continuing below freezing at night and warming up just enough during the day to get some ground melt started, some interesting ice formations can be found along Lake Erie's steelhead streams. Here is a interesting group of icicles I saw along Conneaut Creek.

To give an idea of size scale, the distance from the base of the cliff to the tree line is 30-35 feet.