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Showing posts from June, 2012

Fish List–Chain Pickerel (Esox niger)

Here is a fish that will aggressively take flies, gives a good fight and can be found from Canada to Florida, west to Texas and the Great Lakes.  While the Chain Pickerel may be decried as a trash fish or eater of game fish, only fit to be thrown up on the shore to die by some, this is a fish I respect and love to fish for.  The Chain Pickerel holds the job of fisheries manager in the waters it inhabits.  As proven by a misguided idea at my local lake that Pickerel are bad and they needed to be eliminated from the waterway because they were eating all the trout.  To this end the fisherman there proceeded to kill every Pickerel they caught.  The end result was that the Pickerel wasn’t there to manage the Yellow Perch population which exploded and ate all the aquatic insects and forage for the Trout.  End result was that all the beautiful 14”-17” trout they were stocking were starving to death in short order.  Even this small Chain Pickerel pictured above was a fun fight and I choose th…

Fish List–Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas)

While not what on would consider a fly fishing target species I have discovered that they will readily take a fly.  With the ability to grow to over a foot long they can be interesting on a light 4wt.The great part about seeing these Shiners is that this is the same water that Brown Trout are in and have taken to eating these in quantity.  When the weather turns cold and the hatches are done for the year this is when you tie on a big meat fly imitation of the Golden Shiner and go to work.

Gills on Glass

What could be better than putting a bend in a fly rod than to have it be a fiberglass rod that really lets them show off?  Having the fish be big Bluegills.  I think every fly fisher should catch a big Bluegill on a fly rod, you set the hook and fell that thump, thump, thump.  Then you realize, I can’t move this fish all I can do is hold on and wait.  Yes the lowly Bluegill, a fish we catch as a little kid and then move on to more serious species is schooling you.  Force the fight and that tippet will break sending your fly line back into your face as an insult.  These big Gills are finesse fish, you have to fight them like a chess match waiting for them to make a mistake then take advantage of it.  That is if you can get one to eat.  Big Bluegills didn’t get that way by being stupid, these are the smartest, toughest fish of their species and they can be super spooky at the same time they are full speed hunting.  Think clear water Carp to get an idea.This is where I like to use a Hump…