Not the best way to start a weekend. That is my car's glove box. It was broken out of my car while fishing.
Friday started of with a humid weight in the air around Chain Bridge. I took a friend to the river for his first attempt at fly fishing. He landed a fish in the C&O Canal and one on the Potomac. Both fish were tiny yet memorable. Brian took off and I fished for another hour while the tide went out. I packed up around 7 and headed to the car.
I passed several carp in the canal. Normally a good thing, but my rods were packed away. I strung up one rod and by the time I had a fly tied on the fish had gone. I walked back up to the car to find the glove box torn out and its contents all over. I was driving the Miata. We do not keep any valuables in the car and have never locked it. Normally I would have been pissed at this unfortunate event. However, that glove box was broken and the replacement came in the mail a few hours prior. These jerks saved me the time and trouble of having to uninstall the glove box.
A quick stop at the Italian Store for some food to eat during the UEFA Champions League final and I was home and in bed early.
Saturday morning was spent with a client on Lake Barcroft. This lake is awesome. It used to be a reservoir for Alexandria and now is a private, residential lake. There are over 6 miles of shore line. We took off around 0830 on the pontoon boat and worked the shoreline for bass. No large mouth, only sunfish. Lots of sunfish. We fished for about 2 hours and I headed home to start cooking and preparing for the match. Lots of rain during the afternoon and late evening. I heard Dulles Airport got over 2".
Sunday morning was a quick stop at the parents house to check in and then a casting lesson on Lake Audubon. The skies were dark and ominous. The lake was beautiful and fish were rising. The client arrived and we took off on the foot path around the lake. There was no sign of the overnight deluge.
The client wanted to work on roll casting and being able to cast in tight quarters. We worked on the roll and slingshot cast and caught a few fish. The large mouth and sunfish (technically, large mouth bass are sunfish) were all over the place and eagerly chasing poppers and damsels. Before I knew it the hour was up and it was time to get over to Lake Accotink for a 3 person casting lesson. The weather looked like a turn for the worse. Somehow it managed to not rain! I walked around to check out the conditions. The rain had made quite an impact on the water quality.
There was a huge difference in the two lakes with regard to storm-water runoff. Audubon was clear, Accotink was nasty. Muddy water washed over the dam and made all sorts of gross bubbles and foam before it flowed into the delayed harvest section. It was completely blown out. I climbed up to the dam to get a better view. Lots of litter and flotsam and a lone blue heron. BTW, there were once crocs in this lake.
I strung up the rods and waited for the guys. They were on time and we walked up to the sandy beach and avoided the people feeding geese next to the 'do not feed wildlife' signs. These clients were learning to fly fish to prepare for a vacation to a lake house in Pennsylvania. We worked on over hand casting, roll casting, single and double hauling and line management. A good time was had by all.
I'm looking forward to next weekend and maybe getting out on Audubon for a solo bass trip.
Busy weekend with 2 groups of clients on Sunday. In the meantime, I have carp on the mind since the tides are not in my favor tomorrow, I plan to fish the C&O Canal. I have my scanner back up and working now and will slowly start to digitize some old photos from pre-digital camera days. Back when I carried 3 cameras at one time. Now I'm down to 2 at the most. Here is a random photo for you today. This is a grey squirrel swimming across the Rappahannock River in Virginia. I was hoping a fish would eat it and I could thus start tying squirrel patterns. No luck, it made it safely to the other side.
I will be able to accept credit cards in a day or so. In the meantime, allow me to remind you to de-barb your hooks. A quick video clip to demonstrate the 'mono' method of removing a barbed hook. The wife's first reaction to seeing my arm bandaged up was 'how much is this going to cost me?'. Well, I say that the video is worth more than the bill from the Frisco, Colorado emergency room on July 4, 2009:
I returned to the Potomac to again try and land a snakehead. I was distracted on the way to the river by carp mudding in the C&O Canal. There is not much water in the canal right now and the water is already brown. I spotted one carp swimming by the surface and cast to it. The fish turned its head toward my fly and I lost visual on the fish. No luck. I continued down the towpath and saw another group mudding. I cast my damsel and clouser combo in the mud and got a crappie. My guess is the crappie was in there to eat whatever the carp were kicking up. Here is a video of the event:
And here are some photos of a net made from trash from the river. I'm not sure where someone learns how to do this. It looks like it would work for scooping out some migratory fish.
Wow, what a day. One of the most memorable days on the river in 30+ years. Started off at an eddy above Chain Bridge and had to cast between baby ducks and big blue herons. Got one schoolie striper on the swing. At this point I am thinking the stories of snakeheads in the river at this section is hogwash.
I decided to move down. I rock hopped to the next eddy down stream and started casting. Got a small white perch on a damsel nymph right away. Then out of nowhere a huge silvery head comes out of the depths, turns to the side, mouth agape and gulps a breath. As soon as this fish came up, the tail slapped the surface as if a bowling ball had been heaved in the water. The snakehead was gone as soon as it arrived. I would estimate the fish at 30" to comply with the other sightings. It was huge, no less than 2'.
I proceeded to catch several more white perch and some HUGE black crappie. The snakeheads proceeded to gulp air all over this pool and my goal of catching one on a fly came a bit closer to happening. We had to take off for mother's day. You will know where to find me until I report one was chain bridge landed and photographed.
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