Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Champlain Flats Slam!

Some carp yummies for testing- I'm a proud Deer Creek Pro Staffer!
I was expecting to have a client on the water today. Really looking forward to that but the weather guys had forecasted gloom and doom- an 85% chance of thunderstorms with the possibility of crazy hail and even tornadoes. He and I talked and decided to postpone. I felt badly but it was a situation where discretion was the better part of valor (thanks for that phrase Shakespeare). I thought I would try to get a bit of time in before the weather world came to an end (or so it was predicted- but Nostradamus wasn't always right either weather guys...).
Love the colors on these scrappers!

Well, rain came down for less than 5 minutes. It was overcast, light wind and there were fish everywhere. By the end of the day I was seriously annoyed... at the weather people... Lake Champlain was great to me! 

I tried out a few new carp patterns... they seemed to be doing the trick. The gray seems to be the one the fish like the most. After losing both the new gray ones to fish I went back to the old standby. That did the trick as well.... Here are the results:  

The photo doesn't do credit to the colors on these fish!
Smallmouth were all over. I landed about a dozen or so of various sizes. I didn't get the biggest I saw but they were very acrobatic (the one pictured did a 4 foot leap). They are such spunky fish. Any time I saw one and threw something near it I had a fish on. 

Drum- hooked 3 landed two. Nothing huge but even the little 14" drum put a great bend in an 8 weight rod. They were all about eating today and a fly near the bottom got the job done. The bigger one came in around 19". I still haven't seen any of the real big ones in shallow  yet but that is coming soon for sure!

Champlain bonefish!
Carp- went one for two. The first one got me into my backing in no time flat then broke off. Seriously hot carp! Loved it! Most of the fish I was seeing were pretty spooky and on the move. I saw a lot of them so it wasn't the end of the world. The last fish was up close and personal. I dropped the fly in front of its face and watched it hammer on it. It was off to the races then!  That thing plowed through weeds like they weren't even there! Just went all over the place. Tore off. After I got it out of the weeds it still took another 10 minutes or so to land it. It taped out at 31". Very nice fish. A quick aside here: The leader was pretty ripped up after the time in the weeds but that Mirage 3X held up strong. I did change it out as soon as I landed the fish. Just a little friendly advice for anyone that deals with fish that burn through weeds- check your tippet!

Big gar... note the upper jaw
Gar- got one nice big ol' gar on a carp fly! That guy was HUNGRY! I can totally tell why... the top of its mouth was broken off. It still managed to grab the fly after chasing it down though. Big guy, over 48" ( I taped it to 30" and it flipped out and got away before I could finish, but there were at least 18" more fish after that). I am not sure how this fish ended up like this- I have seen boat hits before but the other thing it could be (and I hope not... but if it is true I hope to run into the person who did it in a dark alley...) is someone intentionally breaking the beak off to keep the fish from feeding. Yes, there are anglers out there, notably some bass guys, who think that gar destroy other fish populations. Well, they don't ya jackholes, and let me also point out to you guys that longnose gar are NATIVE to Lake Champlain while largemouth bass are NOT... if you ever see a guy doing that please feel free to rip off his lower jaw and throw him back to live out a long lingering death... It does tell you something about how tough these guys are though... and still trying to make a living eating anything it can!

I consider a Lake Champlain Flats slam to be a drum, carp and a smallmouth and I call a drum, carp, gar and bowfin a Champlain Oddball slam... so I was close to both today! Nick, you are on deck for the next one!

Champlain is hot right now! I can get you on fish if you let me! Hit me up at

Obligatory dropped drum picture!


  1. Simply awesome fishing! We have guys who treat native whitefish, a salmonid, and pikeminnows in similarly brutal fashion. Scum of the earth, don't get me started on bow fishers.


    1. Gregg, I can't agree with you more... I was just sent a picture of a pile of rotting carp from bowfishers... gets me really fired up!