Friday, March 27, 2015


The eyes glowing in the headlights started out near the ground, like rabbit height. As my truck approached the eyes raised, and raised, until they were almost level with my own. The body of the elk became visible just as I drew even with it. Luckily, the highway swerved away and I didn't have to try and stop. Holy crap they're big. Like total-the-truck big. Talk about a rude wake-up on my drive! Not that I was really asleep, just mulling over all the crap that Spring brings with my job/the house/kids/etc....

The night should've included a little more sleep, but the vice was calling for a couple new brainstorms that I hoped would help to unlock the reservoir where my headlights were pointing. I've only fished there a few times, but never really had the success that I felt like I should - which may or may not be realistic. 

Simi-seal jig
Trust me, it looks better when it slims in the water
I like the look of these, but I haven't caught a fish on one yet...

Once I arrived at the water I tried to find a decent place to launch the kick boat, because I'm too cheap to pay for the launch over at the State Park. I knew of a couple spots that would work, and it being early morning and still midweek, I had my choice of them. I brought the arsenal today in terms of rods, with my spinning rod and three fly rods: one floating line, one intermediate, and a full sink type III. 

Early on it was obvious that the wind was going to be an issue, and of course I had forgotten the anchor, again. I need to make a list of everything that I use out on the water for whatever fishing I plan to do on any given day. Maybe I'll make a new tab on the blog for it. I know that most of you won't be interested in using it, but at least I'll be able to find it when I'm packing up. 

Quite a few of these 12-14" fish kept things interesting
With no anchor, and the wind getting increasingly annoying, I trolled quite a bit early on. I tried to keep mental notes on where the fish were, and what I was doing when getting any hits. The transition zones between shallow and deeper water were key today. When I found active fish, they were pretty willing to come to a bugger trolled slowly.

Best fish of the day, 19" and really heavy.
The day hit a slow stretch so I decided to head back to shore for a lunch. Once I turned to start kicking in that direction a large trout made an appearance about six feet to my right. Just as quickly as he appeared from the depths, he disappeared back into them. Lunch would wait as I casted, and trolled around the area to no avail. Accepting defeat, I headed to shore for a sandwich and some much needed thawing. Once I backed onto land and stood up I spotted another (the same?) fish hanging just fifteen feet away. I made a quick cast that landed too close and spooked him. Dang. 

In between the gusts of wind it was a great day to be out
Lunch didn't hold my attention for long, and I decided to head back out for a bit longer. I turned my attention to deeper water in hopes of getting some action on my jigs. The wind made life a little difficult when it decided to change directions several times over the next hour. At one point I directed my attention to untangling a knot on my flyrod and ended up about 100 yards away from where I was trying to fish. With the knot in order I picked up my spinning rod and had a light hit. After a short, uneventful fight (like dragging in a stick with the occasional head shake) I brought a decent smallmouth bass to hand. With the water at 48° he wasn't in much of a fighting mood, but it was still pretty cool to see him. A little later in the year another option will be quite a bit of fun...

With the light fading, the wind persistent, and the temperatures beginning to drop I decided to head for home. A good day of fishing. I don't usually seek out opportunities to fish alone, but I do enjoy a good day of solitude. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.
- Kidder

I'm sure it was calm right after I left...

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