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June 25, 2011 / flogginwater

Gonzo Fishing

This week was pretty good for me, fishing-wise. Tuesday night, I took my nephew night fishing – in downtown Portland, at Waterfront Park. This was a bait fishing trip, mostly. I *tried* one of my rabbit strip jigs for a little, then a crank bait – just to see if there were any bass active. Nada. Switched over to a bait rig, a sliding slinky weight and a single, largish hook on a 12lb mono leader. Bait for the trip was fillet strips from some trout & bluegill. In just a couple hours, I managed 4 fish – two FAT yellow bullhead, and 2 weird, giant sculpin looking fish that seemed more suited to an aquarium rather than in our salmon and steelhead waters.

I had a great time. Tyler, not so much. He didn’t catch a fish. He broke his rod. He had two relatively cute, but drunk girls hitting on him (oh, the horrors, right?)

Wednesday we fished again, in the afternoon. This time it was fly fishing, first at my Secret Pond from last year. The panfish were perky and willing. The largemouth bass were providing a hell of a show, and I even caught a chunky 10 incher on a deer hair bug.

We spent hours chasing the warm water fishes, and I spent a goodly portion of that being driven mad, yet laughing my tookus off, from the largemouth bass. These are smart fish, smarter than any LMB I’ve seen before.

These fish, they were clever all right. They learned to watch and wait for the bluegill and pumpkinseed to turn their attention to the dry flies and nymphs Tyler and I were flinging. When the sunfish would focus in on the tasty artificial morsel, the bass would burst from the algae blooms near the bottom and consume them. More than once I got to see a bass blast from the depths with amazing speed, open their jaws, and eat the unsuspecting bluegill. Sometimes the gillies would see the bass and flee. Sometimes the sunfish that were targeting our flies wouldn’t be the meal the bass sought, instead their small schools would be shattered by another fleeing sunfish, with a big bass nipping at his tail.

I flung deer hair divers, poppers, epoxy minnows, and rabbit leeches – the bass would chase, but turn away at the last second. Did I mention it drove crazy?

It was still a great deal of fun, revisiting the pond. I’m going to make a return trip soon, before the season gets much warmer, and the water much lower.

After a few hours of whipping the pond to a froth, we hiked a little ways away and began fishing the small trout stream near by. As Tyler was fixing his leader, I fished the run, literally right under his butt, and caught a 7 inch cutthroat.

We were wading wet, and I rediscovered why I normally *don’t* wade wet, especially in sandals. This stream hs a fairly soft bottom, very silted in, with a LOT of woody debris. We worked our way downstream, and I was getting stones, snail shells, and sticks caught between my foot and my sandal with every step of the way.

After hiking to the end of a long slow pool, I stopped to fix my feet, and promptly lost a sandal to the creek. Attempting to grab it with my fly rod didn’t work. I tried giving chase, but was denied by sharp woody debris. Tyler came to the rescue, damn near drowning himself but he got my sandal back. Twenty feet down stream I impaled my left ankle on a sharp piece of hidden woody debris. Took a fat chunk of flesh off my ankle, which hurts like hell still. We fished our way another hundred or so feet down stream, until we came to a deep stretch that would’ve been nipple deep on tyler (about belly button deep for me) and we decided to bag it and come back another time, wearing proper wading attire.

Gimping my way back upstream, I caught two tiny little squawfish on a dry fly. We returned to the pond for another hour of chasing bass and bluegill (and catching the later.) We called it a day about 9:30 PM. I wound up catching 5 species of fish that trip, making for 7 species in 24 hours. Not too shabby!

My foot hurts, I might be coming down with a cold (I hope it’s just a cold, and not some sort of zombie infection from wading in dirty water) as I’ve had a tickle in my throat, and starting to feel sinus pressure today at work. Nasty. I hate being sick, especially in the summer time.

This weekend I think I’m going to take another stab at night fishing – hopefully Tyler doesn’t break *another* one of his fishing rods (he’s snapped a few in the last couple months).

Oh, and we’re almost to 3,000 hits, and I’m up to 18 followers – looks like the word is spreading, spreading like the slow burning embers that shall become a wild fire and let me usurp even Owl Jones as World Fly Fishing Dictator.

Can’t wait to get back on the water.

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2 Comments

  1. Cofisher / Jun 25 2011 18:18

    Sounds like Tyler had a nice time even if he didn't catch any fish and broke a rod. I could throw in a broken ankle as well when two relatively cute drunk girls hit on you.

  2. Sanders / Jun 28 2011 15:47

    Anytime you get some cute girls hitting on you…(tyler) a broken rod is a small price to pay…ha!

    7 species and a bum ankle…not bad 🙂

    enjoying the blog, glad to be following along! Keep up the good work, and Owl Jone's self proclaimed fly fishing dictatorship will soon be yours…

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