Thursday, July 14, 2011

Filming and Fishing

Morgan and I were asked to be a part of the television show, fit TOGETHER. The show airs locally here in Lancaster,Ohio. The producer, Mike McNeese, was wanting to do an episode about fly fishing. The goal of the show was to show how fly fishing is not only a wonderful physical activity, but it can also be the stress relief that we all need at times. I am not sure when the show will air, but Morgan and I really enjoyed being on camera and creating a memory that has been documented on video.

We were first interviewed. We were asked questions about why we fly fish, how we were introduced to the sport, and some of the differences between fly fishing and spin fishing. Morgan did an awesome job answering questions while being on camera. We even clowned a little behind the scenes. Angi,the show's host, did a great asking the questions and she quickly put us both at ease.Once the interview was finished, we took a short hike and eventually were able to do some fishing. It was a beautiful evening that allowed for us to wet wade and cool off a bit. We fished a little and did some casting for the camera. It was good fun while being stalked by the camera.

We did manage to catch one small trout for the camera. It was not big by any sense of the imagination, but it was beautiful. Once again we were reminded that trout live in beautiful places. Morgan and I really enjoyed sharing our evening with the camera. We are both looking forward to seeing the finished video. We are sure that Mr. Mike will make us both look good. Although, that will be a little more difficult when it comes to making me look good!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bass, Bluegill, and My Favorite Fishin' Buddies!

My children are two of the most amazing people I know. They are wonderfully curious and amazingly patient when it comes to dealing with Dad. I am so lucky to have such good kids. I am even more fortunate that they love to fish.

They spent all of last week at church camp. Their cabin was right on the lake. Every morning started with them fishing for bass and bluegill. I would get daily reports and pictures as I spent my days at work miserable and jealous.Tonight would be different. Tonight we would share time on the water and make our own memories of bass, bluegill, and favorite fishing buddies!

I am very blessed to have wonderful friends that allow me the luxuries of using their property to fish and hunt. Dr. Timmons is an exceptional person and friend. He has been so good to my family and I am thankful for his friendship.
The kids have been asking to fish since arriving home from camp. We had a strong thunderstorm blow through and the air had cooled. It seemed like a good time to get out of the house and enjoy a little pond fishing on the fly.

This pond is not very big, but it is full of fish. It is one of those can't miss spots that always produces both fun and fish. Tonight would be no different. The kids and I arrived on his elevated dock and immediately rigged up for some aggressive fish. Matthew was the first on the board with a very healthy bass that put up quite a fight. I was very proud at the way he handled that fish.
Morgan would be next with a few bluegill on the fly rod. She then switched over to spinning gear and found a few bass for herself.
With both the kids catching fish, it was Dad's turn to join in the fun. I threw on a big popper and began to cast along the weed edges. The bite was fast and furious and I was soon holding a few stout bass of my own.
We tried to use the camera to capture some video of the bass exploding on the popper, but we failed to capture some of the better bites. The evening was beautiful with the kids both seeming to really enjoy themselves. I was just happy to be there with them, my favorite fishin' buddies, while they were catching bass and bluegill.
Morgan Loves to take pictures of the trees and flowers along the way.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summertime Sunrise 7/10

My morning started hazy and cool. A classic summer day when the cicadas sing and the thermometers climb. It was a morning that felt like fish and I wondered hopefully about the river for a chance to catch trout. I love the mid-summer early mornings. There is just something special about fishing this time of day. Like so many of these days before, this one would hold promise and not disappoint.
It didn't take long to find my first fish of the day. She was sitting tight to a seam along the bank. It was nice to hook up quickly. I moved up and was skunked at one of my favorite spots. However, the next run would provide me with a hard fighting 14" fish. This was going to be a good morning.

I soon had two more fish in the net and was looking to explore some new water. I have been fishing this river for the past thirteen years, but there are still many places that I have not fished. I eased my way upstream to an area that has been channelized.
A local farmer did this to reduce the flooding of his fields. He also has created and area void of trees. However, the banks are undercut and there were several trout in this stretch. I did not catch many, but I did manage to kick a few up. I think this would be a great place to hopper fish later in August and September. I managed two more fish in this stretch and finally reached the point of return. I headed back to the car for a quick stop at Kings Creek.

Kings Creek is a special place for me. The "crick" that I grew up fishing back home shares the same name. My Kings Crick meanders through my family's property and was my primer for trout fishing as a youngster. I caught my first trout there and my son caught his first trout there. It is a creek in which I have fished and walked every inch of, from the springs that start this stream to the Ohio river where is slowly spills. My Ohio Kings Creek is also special. If I cannot find fish anywhere else, I always know I can count on this creek. No trip to the Mad is ever complete without a stop here.

I would only have about twenty minutes before I would need to head for home. It was midday now and the temperature had climbed into uncomfortable air. I quickly found my spot and worked my way upstream to the riffles and runs that have become so familiar. The fish were in their favorite spots and I was able to pluck two more feisty browns from the shallow seams of this beloved creek. These rewards were enough to satisfy me until my next trip. I climbed out of the banks and was once again thankful for another splendid summertime sunrise.

This would be the only thing that I would see rise today!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Smallies on the Fly 7/5

Smallies on the Fly from Mike McNeese on Vimeo.

Tonight, Mike and I decided to hit a local flow that is known for its smallmouth bass. We met at a local shopping center and headed for the river for the last couple of hours of daylight. Although this was a short trip, it was still an eventful adventure.
We arrived on the river before 7pm and quickly rigged up for our journey upstream. Mike was throwing a wooly bugger and I had a small crayfish pattern to toss around the stream. Mike was first on the board with a fiesty smallmouth. These fish aren't huge by any sense of the imagination, but they think they are. I am not sure there is a harding fighting fish than a river smallmouth bass.
I had not had a strike and decided to work a slack pool behind some dead fall. I had to sling shot a cast in between two large dead logs and it was immediately hammered by a broad shouldered smally. It was a miracle that I was even able to get that fish out of that mess, but I did. I am not sure how big he was, but it would be the best fish of the day.
We continued to work our way upstream. We caught some small fish and then decided to switch to top water flies. I was throwing a hairbug and Mike was throwing a popper. We had several strikes and I eventually hooked a fish the grabbed the fly right in front of Mike. I was glad he was able to see it, but no video.
We caught a few more fish before heading back down stream. On our way back to the car, we found a mink hunting through the weeds. We were able to call him close by sqealing at him. He doesn's show up well on camera, but it sure was cool when he caming running down the bank and pooped his little white-chinned head up out of the weeds. Later, we watched bat after bat leave their sanctuary in one of the overpassing bridges.
It was another fantastic evening spent with a good friend, a fly rod, and some fish.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mad River 7/2

Ninety years ago tomorrow, my grandfather was born. He passed away two years ago just after his 88th birthday. I grew up trout fishing his farm in Western Pennsylvania. I learned to wield a fly rod in his bottom. I spent more time on a boat with him than I can remember. He is a large part of why I love to fish so much today. Rather than visit a cemetery and talk to a rock, I make it a point to fish every year on or around his birthday. I thought of him a great deal today.I caught some fish. I took in the sights. I remembered a good man.
The day started with a thunder that woke me out of bed. I did not think it was even suppose to rain this morning, but sure enough the streets were wet. I was going to leave bright and early, but a quick check of the radar kept me at home a few hours longer. I was in no hurry. I was fishing alone today.
The river was busy with other anglers and canoes. So after a quick stop at one of my favorite spots, I decided to head upstream above the canoe hatch. It was a good idea. I arrived at the next spot to find only one car and I figured that this person was fishing the lower water, so I rigged up and headed upstream. I was rewarded immediately for my move. My first fish on my new 4pc 7'9" 3 weight came on the dry. A good omen for a new rod!

I quietly worked my way upstream. I fished small pools and quick runs. I had a couple of misses on my dropper and a quick inspection found me changing flies to something with a sharp hook. On the next two casts, I was rewarded with an 11" and the fish of the day, a solid 15" Mad River brown. Unfortunately for me, the bigger fish would not cooperate for the camera and was soon out of the net and back in the water.
That fortunate feeling of fooling a trout is as satisfying as anything I know in nature. I was good for the day. I could have left and went home, but there were more fish to catch and more memories to remember.As I worked my way upstream some more, I was again reminded of my times with Pap. He gave me my first fly rod. It was an old fiberglass South Bend with a matching reel. I remembered that old rod, my first tackle box, walks along the creek, my first deer rifle, my first trip to Canada,rabbit hunts, my first walleye, and on and on.
At the next nice hole, I caught two more trout and lost another good one. I also saw a nice buck run across the river, jump a fence, and turn to see what had startled him. It was and awesome way to be reminded of my time with Pap.

I caught more trout today than I deserved. I made more memories and was reminded of old ones. I will fish again tomorrow with the family and celebrate the fourth as well as Pap's birthday. It will be another good day on the water! I'll end this with a few pictures of my day.

One of the many GIANT cottonwood trees that line the stream.

Some of the stream side vegetation.