My first intention was to get some use with the Pflueger reel and Sufix braid that OBN provided me with to review. I tied on a flourocarbon leader, bullet weight, and 7.5" black and purple Culprit worm. On my second cast, I had a hit in some reeds along the shore. Felt like a decent fish. He thrashed once, got tangled in a reed and then my leader snapped.
I took the time to tie on another leader, weight, and hook and got to casting again. Not a dozen casts later I had broken off again. I'm gonna spool up some mono and give the Pflueger reel another chance before passing judgement on it, though I'm much more impressed with it than the line.
I had only two worm hooks going in and I foolishly didn't pick any up before heading out so it was time to switch to the fly rod. I tied on a smallish popper and (anticipating the bluegills) a dropper rig with some kind of nymph thing with shiny copper wire that I was given. For anyone who isn't familiar, a dropper rig is when you tie about 1 1/2ft of tippet onto the hook of the popper and tie on a smaller fly that doesn't float. The idea being that if you attract fish that are too small to eat the popper, they'll eat the dropper fly.
It worked like a charm. I had a quite a few swirls at the popper and a few even drug it down but didn't get the whole thing in their mouths. However, every once in awhile I'd see the popper shoot under, would set the hook and it was fish on. It's like combining the simplicity of bobber fishing with the fun of fly casting.
There were fisherpeople every 30 yards or so along the bank, bobbers bobbing along or poles propped up on Y-sticks. I gave the usual nod and "Any luck?" as I passed each one. No luck to be had, with only one guy with a little bluegill in his fishtrap.
The fishing definitely wasn't as good as had been indicated by my commentor (I blame the varying temperature here lately) but I was getting hits just about every 3rd cast or so. I missed alot of the hooksets, leading me to believe the fish were too small to eat even my tiny dropper fly. The seven bluegill I brought to hand were nearly identical to this:
|Better than what all the bait fisherman were catching|
Eventually, something drilled the popper under and was putting up a good fight when I set the hook. I was convinced I had a bass on the line. Imagine my surprise when I pulled this guy out of the water:
|My first crappie that didn't involve a bobber or tube jig.|
That makes four species on the fly rod this year: Largemouth, Bluegill, Trout (At the Hooked on Fishing event), and Crappie. At least I accomplished one goal that I set for myself. (Don't think I'll be setting goals next year, it makes doing outdoorsy stuff feel like work.)
After the crappie, I worked along the side of the lake with no shoreline trees to get hung up on. I caught a couple of the 7 bluegill, missed a few more hooksets and had a few fish fight their way off the line. A good way to spend a couple hours on a day off.
I realized my fly box is getting pretty bare just in time for fall. I have a bunch of dry flies, a couple poppers, that nymph, and two woolly buggers. I think I might have to invest in a vise and tying equipment in the next couple months to replenish and keep myself sane over the winter months. Any suggestions as to a relatively inexpensive setup?