Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lake of the Forest - One Fly Outing 6-23-2012

We had a very enjoyable time at the fly fishing club outing on Saturday at Lake of the Forest in Edwardsville. Most people fished from about 8:00 until noon, when we shared a picnic lunch on the shore. A few folks went back for some more fishing after lunch (not me). That place is just loaded with largemouth bass, blue gill and sunfish (good sized of each). The weather looked like it was going to be iffy but the storms stayed away and it was cloudy and a nice temperature too. Fishing seemed best along the shoreline but not bad in the middle either. The lake level was down a couple of feet as they decided to drain some to clean up all the heavy growth (which appeared to help). This outing is officially called the "one fly" outing, so you try to use one fly the whole time. I decided to go with a woolly bugger this year (size 8 olive) instead of my typical poppers. I was very happy with the choice. I caught tons of blue gill (most 7 to 10 inches), about 15 bass (most 10 - 16 inches) and about 10 sunfish (up to about 9 inches). Very fun on a fly rod. Many others used poppers and had pretty good luck too. I believe one person caught about 44 fish on 1 physical fly and won a prize. I broke off several times and had to replace mine. The water was a little murky but not bad. I think there were about 12 people or so from the club (Heart of America Fly Fishers that is). About half the group was on one person kick boats/float tubes and the rest fished from shore.


Friday, June 8, 2012

White / Norfolk River Ark 6-02-2012

Here's a trip report from Dan from last weekend:


Fishing Report June 2-5 2012 White/Norfork

Rick and I met at Mountain Home around noon on Saturday . We headed up to the Bull Shoals dam for some thin water trout. Fishing was pretty decent, but not easy. The first fish I landed was one of the fattest I have ever landed and was my best for the trip. Here is a photo.

This was the first time I made it up there since the habitat project a few years ago. Here is a shot of Rick fishing near some of the big rocks and tree stumps. It has caused some washouts and is a pretty good improvement overall. All the fish were caught on a sow bug pattern.

We fished further down later on but they started generating before we could really get going.

The next day we did an all day float on Norfork with kickboats. The bite was real good mostly on zebra midges, some of globalls and a few on the scud. Interestingly the toughest place to catch fish was McClellens. Toward the end of the day a major storm was brewing and I was real concerned we were going to be caught on the river in a bad situation. We were lucky to make it off the river in time and drove back to our motel in a major deluge.

Rick has a rough first couple of days. He caught no fish, fell in the river and ruined his phone. I spent quite a bit of time working with him and figured out his cast was messed up, he wasn't mending right and his strike detection was nonexistent. Despite all this he fished his guts out and never seemed discouraged.

On the third day they were running a some water on the White. We stopped in at Blue Ribbon Flies for a few items and a little advice. We found out that the last three years of high water has really hurt the fishing industry and has put quite a few outfitters out of business. There were only about 30 some days with wadable water last year.

We decide to fish below the Norfork dam. It seemed the storm had slowed the fishing down a bit, but we still caught some on sow bugs and glo balls. Rick improved quite a bit and finally broke through the curse.

We quit fishing a bit before generation started on Norfork in the early afternoon. We ended up heading at Rim Shoals but the water was a bit too high. We caught a boat ride up to Jenkins creek which is a little ways up from Rim. It had some wadable fishable water but the bite was a little off. A few fish were caught on woolies. I also found an old .56er that Ray tied up a while back for me and I caught a fish on that. We walked back from there to the Rim Shoals fly shop.

While we were at the shop we found out that the state had obtained an access to The Narrows. Historically, there always seemed to be some doubt whether you could legally access the river at that spot. We drove there to take a look and found out there is a real nice public access there with a small parking lot and trail down to the river. The water was too high to fish and we called it a day. I will definitely plan to come back to that spot.

We got a little adventurous going back and decided to take the Monkey Road back to Mountain Home because it was a much shorter route. I had heard it was a bad road to be on. It turned out not to be bad at all but I don't recommend driving it in wet or slick conditions.

I had to return home first thing the next day, but Rick decided to fish the morning at the Handicap Access on Norfork. By that time he had improved a great deal and I felt there was a good chance he would really break through. When he called me after I was home that evening I had a feeling the news would be good. Sure enough he said he had a good number of strikes on sowbugs and globalls and landed quite a few.

Overall a number of rainbows were caught and a few browns and cutthroats. The Norfork fish were really nice as were the fish caught on the White below the dam. I definitely recommend getting down there when you can.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fly Fishing Class 6-01-2012 Sh Mis Park

I had another sucessful beginner fly fishing class today out at Shawnee Mission Park. We had 4 participants and perfect weather. It also turned out to be free fishing day in Kansas and no license was required. They all seemed to pick it up pretty well, so look out fish!!! They even caught a few today. The first couple were small, but after that, I didn't have a wide angle camera in order to get the whole fish in one picture ;)  Here's a couple of photos during the morning, followed by a few photos of my family picnic we did afterwards (and 3 grandkids).





 First fish on fly rod.  Woo Hoo!!!

Number 2