I was contacted by Cameron about getting his nine year old son, Sebastian, into some "dinosaurs"- the fossil fish of Lake Champlain: bowfin and gar. Two of my specialties! We set up a trip for them and set off on a great adventure.
I was a bit worried about the forecast with the potential for thunderstorms. For that reason we decided on an early morning trip. We met at 6 am and the skies definitely looked like a front was going to make its way through. The wind was up a bit too. We were all really enthusiastic and I had a good feeling about the day.
After getting to one of my favorite bowfin spots it didn't take long before we started seeing bowfin, more correctly Sebastian saw the first one. It didn't take long to realize that this boy has incredible eyes! He was spotting fish easily and getting the fly right in front of them with ease. It was really remarkable. He got a nice 4 pound bowfin fairly quickly and then Dad jumped on a nice one too. The action was hot! Bowfin were everywhere.
I was talking to Cameron and Sebastian got quiet. We both realized something was going on when there was splashing at the front of the canoe. He had a nice fish on! He got into it all by himself! That fish ended up being 24" which qualifies him for a Master Class bowfin in the Youth category (it needed to be 23"). He did that one other time too with a smaller fish.
The bowfin were definitely on the prowl and 6 were landed and about 25 were hooked. Not too bad.
We braved a headwind to move to another bay to look for gar. At first it wasn't very promising. The water was very discolored and it was difficult to see anything. We were getting pushed around quite a bit too. Then a large gar porpoised in front of us, and another. I had Cameron blind cast which is very different than my regular sight fishing for gar. I had a feeling it might be a better option in this situation. I was right. Cameron got a very nice 40" gar doing that. His gar also qualifies for the Master Angler Program.
Sebastian had to get one as well. Time was running out for us too. This boy has some incredible luck and skill though. On a blind cast he got into a nice 39" gar. He got his second Master Class fish and crushed the 30" he needed to qualify for the program! I was pretty happy about that and both of my anglers were very pleased as well!
A great day on the water!