Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day & Fishzilla

I spent the long weekend thinking about Abrek and doing some fishing.

Friday night was spent cleaning out the fishing gear closet and organizing my tying material. Saturday morning was spent further cleaning the guest room and recording a podcast. The dog interrupted the podcast and I will leave his barking in for character. Sunday found us in Reston with the canoe.

I took out my brother and his oldest son on the lake. That was the first time my brother and I have fished the lake since we were kids and the first time we have gone fishing together since he went off to college.

My nephew got bored easily and wanted to go home. I fished for a few hours solo and got into some nice largemouth bass. I was throwing my scorpion fly which is too big for the small fish. They tried but the fly was just too big. I managed to pull out two largemouth out of the shady sections. It was about 90 degrees in the sun with a mild breeze.

I am constantly amazed at how many boats are on the lake that are never used. Canoes, kayaks, and of course the pontoons. Some of the pontoons have trees growing on them. That is a shame. Let me use them!

I paddled to the mouth of the lake where the stream dumps in. The watershed goes all the way to Dulles airport. A recent stream remediation has changed the flow and a tiny waterfall is now the point of input. There is not much current and lots of leaves and debris have clogged the mouth. Not to mention all of the sand from the roads from the past 3 blizzards. I spotted a fish tailing in the shallows by one of the lake's most productive spots. I cast to the fish with no luck. My guess was a large catfish.

I crossed the end of the lake and started to work the bank on the way back. I passed over some HUGE carp and got this shot of the mess they made when spooked.

The mobile rang and it was time to paddle across the lake to pick up Dale. This was his first outing on the lake and first time fly fishing. I picked him up and paddled back out. We spotted these jerks. What makes them jerks if that is the right term, is unloading a whole round of pellets from an air gun on a goose.
We called the police.

Dale was a bit hesitant with a sharp hook flying past his head. I set him up with a 10' 8wt rod so the weight of the line and the length of the rod would do most of the work for him. He had no problem getting the hang of roll casting and a simple water haul and back cast followed by dropping the popper near the shore. He had several hits and lost a few sunfish with too much slack in the line. 

We paddled down the bank and threw flies at the shore, docks, and behind pontoons. Then we saw the fin.  There in front of us was a huge fin going left and right in the air. The sun hit it and we could see that it was from a HUGE fish. A goose swam by and was dwarfed by the fish. We began to film the tailing carp.
The thing looked like a nurse shark on a flat. It lazily went back and forth in the shallows. There were other carp nearby but none were finning like this.  We followed the fish up and down and took several shots. No takes. 
Several shots later the line went tight and we were into the fish. It became apparent after the fish got close that it was foul hooked. We paddled over to the fish to release the fly from its shoulders. We got a close up picture of the beast and it almost flipped the canoe when I picked it up. The fish was released to go play with its mates.

Dale and I gave a high five and paddled off. He landed several nice sunfish and lost one tiny bass. We both had a great time out on the water. Being able to get close up to such a large animal, see different herons, turtles, and bugs up close was another treat. 

I am looking forward to getting out on the lake next weekend with a client. He is preparing for a trip to the Au Sable river and needs a tune up on his casting. Maybe we'll get a carp to eat a fly!


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