Monday, November 15, 2010

Namaycush Bachelors

Beautiful sight in the early morning
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get out twice with my good friend Kevin to chase some big lake trout in Lake Champlain. I got the inside skinny on where a whole lot of them were hanging out (lets just say that the population estimate in the area is in the neighborhood of 30-40,000 fish). These fish are there to spawn, which takes place primarily at night, so during the day they school up and swim in big circles near their spawning site. No, I won't tell you where this is. 

A great start!
We got out there Saturday morning and near this drop off in about 10 feet of water we started to see fish. The day was calm, the light was perfect and Champlain was pretty clear. It was not too long before I got into a nice fish- 27" and it put up one hell of a fight. For years people had told me that catching lakers was like pulling in a boot. I suspect that is true when you are using a pool cue trolling rod on a downrigger at 100 feet with 200 feet of line out during the summer. Well, lakers on a fly rod in 46 degree water is a blast! If these guys are boots, then sign me up for a few pairs of size 10's!

My second fish came pretty soon after the first.
These guys were a lot of fun on my Hydros 8 wt. Put a good bend in the rod for sure. It was a whole lot of casting practice too. Very different ballgame than is typically played in the 802 with a long rod. I don't want to give away too many details since I plan on dialing this in nicely to offer something different for clients.

It was a while before Kevin got into his first fish. But in the mean time we were definitely getting a lot of bachelors. I can now hear a lot of "huh?" from the readers. These fish were following but not committing- hence lifelong bachelors. Pretty good name for them I think.  Kevin's first fish wasn't big, but his second....  take a look and tell me. Definitely Master Class material. The Master Class program is new to VT. I will tell you all about it in a future blog entry, but for now just know that a MC laker has to be at least 30". Kevin's was 31 and a few pennies. Right on Bullpout Moosecrack! (inside joke)

Me doing my impression of the Bonefish Whisperer
I could not let Kevin get the only fish over 30, so toward the end of the day, after many more bachelors, I got a spawned out fish. Not as fat as Kevin's- you could see more ribs on this fish than you see during a catwalk fashion show- but at 30 1/4" I was pretty pleased. It was on a new style fly that I was pretty unsure of but I have since tied up a few more of that fly and I plan on a lot more in the future. Stay tuned for more on that later.
Just an awesome day on the water! Both of us would have loved to have caught more fish, but they really seemed to be in the bachelor mood. I don't know if there was much we could do about that. We tried different style flies, different retrieves, different colors. Seems like typical salmonid spawn behavior to me. It was crazy to see a huge fish just chase the fly right near the boat then swing and miss.  

I hope to get back before these fish are gone, but I don't know if it will happen. Really weather dependent being on the broad lake in a canoe. We were blown off the lake on Sunday. Champlain is a touchy lady at times. We did get into a couple of fish before that though! And slaying perch over decaying weeds is a fun time too....
This sums up my feelings about the weekend's fishing!


  1. Cool stuff!

    One of these years I'm going to hit some Lakers in Canoe Country. Right after the season opens guys get them on streamers, even with floating lines.