That was an awesome weekend! Started off with a trip to the Orvis Flagship Store in Manchester, Vermont. What a great place to spend a day! If you haven't been there yet you really should go- it is VERY cool. I tied flies, presented a Warmwater 101 talk, and helped out with a Fly Fishing 101 class. I worked with an 8 year old boy helping him learn how to cast and then "hook" velcro trout... he had a lot of fun!
I got to meet some great folks down there too. I connected with one of their casting instructors, Peter Kutzer, and spent some time tossing a couple of rods out on the casting pond. I was very impressed with the 10 foot 7 weight Access... definitely a great carp rod in the making... I am also checking out a prototype fly line... so far the thing is really impressive. It will be something that you big fly chuckers (like me) will appreciate a great deal!
Sunday I guided Kenny for the second time this year. We were out after trout and definitely found them. The bluebird skies didn't help our cause much though. Wild browns are pretty spooky to begin with and low, clear water with a lot of sun doesn't help. We did get a couple to play. The big story of the day was the fallfish. Kenny was pretty psyched to get into some bruiser fallies! The first big one was 16"! That was a corker of a fallfish. He got a few smaller ones but also got into two more Master Class fish- both 15" fallfish.
The absolute best part of the day was when he got one of those 15" fish on- I watched the take. I had him fishing a bugger/Eggi Juan Kenobi combo (we were working a pod of big suckers). I watched big fallfish come up and slam the EJK and another similar sized fish started chasing the bugger then grabbed it. He had on two Master Class fallfish at the same time. I got down there ready to land the pair but the two struggling against one another caused the bugger to pop out of the second fish's mouth. Pretty funny!
Yesterday I met up with an old friend and got out after some warm water critters. There were all sorts of everything around. I don't know if I have ever seen as many big panfish as I saw yesterday. There were 8-10" pumpkinseeds everywhere. It was pretty incredible. We both started out with a Master Class pumpkinseed each. Awesome fish! A 9" sunnie is nothing to laugh at. I will be heading back out there this week with my 2 weight to really get into them!
I saw this big bass and I had to have it. It was a big pig of a bucketmouth. I am not normally all that excited about LMB (largemouth bass) but this one was huge! I really worked it and worked it. Finally I got it angry enough that it grabbed the fly. It took off and was actually dragging the canoe around. When I got it to hand it measured 24". My fist fit in its mouth with room to spare. Definitely my personal best LMB. My only regret is that I didn't weigh it but using charts online it is likely that the fish was around 8 pounds. It definitely felt about 8.
I got into a decent gar there too- 42". Got to show Frank what a gar was all about. It was definitely a male in spawning condition. Had the evidence in the boat to prove it. Yuck is the word that sums that up best. Frank was pretty psyched to get into his first pike on the fly! It really hammered the fly!
We hunted for a bowfin all day for Frank. We had a lot of shots at fish. They were acting a bit funky. There was a front coming through and that may have had something to do with it. The water temps are still a bit low in this area so that could have been part of the problem too. We hunted and hunted. He was hooking fish (after I taught him that a dry fly hookset would not cut the mustard) and losing them (holding the line or the reel handle is not recommended if you want to land big fish). There was a lot of just plain bad luck too. A really nice fish turned into a long distance release. I was getting worried. I haven't had anyone blank on bowfin before.
It was getting to the 11th hour... starting to get dark. The fish were in shallow and seemed to be on the feed. Frank spotted one and dropped the fly in front of it and WHAM! The race was on. It fought really well and burned through the weeds and dragged the canoe around. I hopped out of the canoe and netted the fish. I am very persistent when it comes to getting folks onto bowfin. I will work really hard for it! It was a beauty too! 29" and 9 pounds! A Master Class bowfin for Frank!
All in all a great few days! More coming soon!
Things are on fire now! Come out and get into it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website for other contact information www.masterclassangling.com