Itís been a while since Iíve managed to get on the water twice in one week. Itís nice, real nice and with luck fishing several days a week will become the norm. Iíd fish today, but baseball with a close friend is in order. Next to fishing, watching baseball with a cold drink in hand along with dogs and peanuts for eats is a favorite thing to do.
Recently Iíve been shore fishing, something I rarely do these days on lakes/reservoirs, as a float tube makes access to all areas easy, and it opens up so many options. Shore fishing is actually a pleasant and challenging way to fly fish and I really should do it more often.
However, my recent shore fishing is due to stupidity on my part. Simply, I failed to adequately deflate my tube while it waited in the car for me to go fishing. Heat has a way to pushing the air pressure way beyond the safe limits. In my case, it blew the seam on the tube and from past experience (yep, Iíve done this more than once), patching seams is generally a lost cause. So I have a new set of bladders on the way, including a spare as Iím a slow learner. Consequently shore fishing has become my favorite way to fish these days.
Thursday evening I fished Loveland Reservoir with Cody. As Sue was heading over to help Jennifer with a sewing issue, I figured that was as good an excuse as any to fish. Itís been a while since Iíd been there and I was more than a bit amazed at how low it was. All the south riprap was out of the water, something Iíd never seen before.
We fished ďoffĒ the riprap, literally, and waded wet as that is one of the better ways to approach these muddy shorelines. However, Loveland is fairly firm footing. While the 26 inch carp was the only fish of note, in a couple hours we catch a couple dozen small bluegill, smallmouth bass, and perch. Fishing was good enough that we were thanked for providing a bit of entertainment for those walking by.
Yesterday, I started out sight fishing for carp at Wellington #4. A frustrating experience, as the few carp I saw actively feeding were associated with heavy weeds, as in right up in the weeds munching away. While approachable, they wanted nothing to do with my offerings and soon left. I tried blind casting for a couple hours with no success. Given no one else fishing Wellington was catching, I decided to move to Douglas.
Douglas is a water that I have a love/hate relationship with. I almost always catch a few fish, but mostly small ones. And when Iím about ready to give up on it, it gives me a trophy and I keep going back. According to Bill with the CPW (heís been working on gathering data for a study), several folks have been doing decent of bass and crappie. My interest was piqued.
Turns out I had a good time catching large numbers of bluegill on my pheasant tail dropper and even managed a few decent crappie. Twasnít the day for largemouth, at least not for me, and I only heard of one being caught that day. However, fast action, especially after the slow time at Wellington made for a nice finish.
Both these days, I fished floating lines, with a three fly system. The point fly was always a clouser to get my flies down a couple feet, which is more than adequate under these low water conditions from the shore. The biggest issue facing shore bound fly fishers is their casting. The keys to long casts, in my opinion, are as follows.
Stop the rod tip high, remember the line comes off the tip perpendicular so if the tip is high, so will line be off the ground. This is especially important on dam faces, where I often stop the rod before it passes my shoulder, this forces the line to go high versus parallel to the ground.
Consider using a stripping basket (I didnít) as it will keep your line from tangling with stuff on the ground, and save wear and tear on you line.
Learn to shoot line, you should be able to shoot a good ten to thirty feet of line on your final casting stroke. You donít need to be able to ďhaulĒ to do this, but if you can do a single or double haul it will assist you in getting even more distance. Also, single flies are easier to cast for distance than multi-fly rigs that I love to use.
Finally, and not casting related, vary your retrieves. The bluegills at Douglas loved a slow retrieve, whereas at Loveland I did better with a fairly fast, stop and go retrieve.
I hope to be on the water a lot more the next few weeks, so say Hi if you see me, as I love to visit with Fish Explorer members.