Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat Wave and Fly Fishing

Its  hot out there. Hotter than the average temperature of the human body. In the winter they warn  you about hypothermia (below temperature) in which the body temperature drops below 98.6 and bad things happen.  However in the summer they warn of overheating and heat exhaustion. Why not reverse the winter term and warn us about hyperthermia?

Anyway, when its this warm, the water gets warm too. Water takes a bit longer to change temperatures based on its characteristic of temperature moderation. Throw in the lack of rainfall and the local waters are heating up. Additionally, warm water holds less oxygen. Don't forget that fish are the same temperature as the water they are in, they are exothermic organisms. So fish that are 80+ degrees are going to be lethargic and won't have enough oxygen to move around-like us at high altitude. They can't sweat as we do to maintain our homeostasis (same body temperature) so the are left to their instinct and creativity. Fish will find deeper water this time of year as cooler water is more dense and will settle/sink. They will find shade where less thermal activity is warming the water molecules, speeding them up, and causing heat. They will find sources of cold water from springs. And as humans do, they are more active this time of  year when the sun drops and things cool off. Think about all of those crazies out at night in the city.

So what do  you do to catch more fish this time of year? You fish deep, you fish slow,  you fish the shade, and  you fish after dusk or early morning. Simple right? Well not so much if you are a fishing guide and  you rely on your client's schedules to fish. Most of what we are doing now is during the heat of the day. Fishing will be good in the morning, taper off in the mid hours, and then pick up again in the evening. So basically if there is traffic on the roads, you should be fishing. Think of it this way, if 495 is congested near Tysons Corner, get out and wet a line. That only applies to local folk. When I'm stuck on that nasty snarl of traffic as of late I like to roll down my window and smell the restaurants at Tysons as they pump grill flavors into the air, nom nom nom.

Our luck thus far since the past blog post has been a combination of  my standard set up for this time of year, a foam bug of some sort with about 18" of mono hanging off the back with a bead head nymph dropper. I'll fish some generic patterns that I come up with (silver bead head, calf tail for tail, sparkly body dub, flash back, partridge soft hackle) and some standards like copper johns, holy grails, pheasant tails, hares ears, and princes.

Some green herons working the shoreline

 Jim and his fly fishing experiment success
 First fish on a fly
 More green herons
 Proof of trout in Reston's lake Audubon
 Smallest fish of the day
 There were 4 baby ducks to this momma duck, now there is only 1. Where did the others go? Snakes? Snapping turtles? Bass ?
 Todd with his first Potomac fish on a fly
 Jack wit his first fly caught fish

 Point of Rocks
 Bald eagle (see an average of 5 a week)
 Check out this car, looks like my first, an 93 honda accord
 First egret spotted this  year
 Russell and his first fly caught fish. He was stoked and his enthusiasm was energetic
 Abbi lands some nice bluegill

 Big bait ball on Burke lake
 1st bass caught on Burke for the season so far
 More bluegill

We also got 2 muskie out of Burke. The first was a 6" fingerling that threw the hook at the boat !
The second occured when a muskie was busting bait along the weeds. I had the client cast to it and it got the size 10 red copper john fly. We got the fish to the boat and it threw the hook. I had no way of getting it landed and I was distracted filming with my new HD Flip.

Thats if for the past week. We also had a fish break 20lb leader last night on the Potomac. What was it? We'll never know.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Recent Fly Fishing Trip Pictures

There has been a reason I haven't been posting any blogs recently, her name is Kirsi
When I'm not home changing diapers, letting mom get some rest, tying flies, or answering e-mail, I'm out fishing with clients. Here are a bunch of pictures of people who had never picked up a fly rod in their life. 

 This is a bluegill next to my bluegill fly. They could be brothers, no?
 This pretty fish took the foam depot fly.
 Pictures don't always show how big a fish can be, this one was huge.
 A big client makes a big fish look small.
 Father and dad double hook up.

 Some caddis with their representative imitations.
 One of several fish caught in just a few hours. Notice the visor? That was the last of the lot to be sold.
 Look at the way a sunfish (bluegill, brim, shellcracker, sun perch, etc) can bend a 4wt.
 Wet wading the Potoamc. After today's storm of 2" an hour with lots of flooding along the Potomac Gorge, we won't be doing this for a while.
 Hellgrammite next to imitation.
 Big sunfish.
 More big sunfish.

 One of the bigger bass caught in the past few weeks.
 And a big sunfish to boot.
 A big family out for a mornings fishing. The brothers, sisters, and dad caught some fish.


 Two sisters out on the boat. One is pre-med and was talking about all of the skin infections she sees at Georgetown Hospital from people who have been in the Potomac.

A painted lady butterfly (nymphalidae) landed on my nose. Love my new Costa Del Mar sunglasses! Apparently the hat I purchased for $70 in Kauai is available for $20 at Cracker Barrel.

 Tiny largemouth bass.

 Learning to fly fish before being stationed in Oahu with bay-front property with sea kayaks outside. You just have to feel sorry for some people don't you!

Pulled this out of the Potomac at Riverbend. Not sure what species it is. Juvenile smallmouth, largemouth, or snakehead. ? 

Big potomac crayfish.
 I feel terrible about this pic, don't let the smile fool you. My client wanted me to show him some casting techniques and to fish a little so he could observe me. I tied on a green wooly bugger that I picked up somewhere, a fly that I would not normally use. I put it on so I would not trash one of my good flies. I had the fly swinging in the current as I talked to him and Bam. The biggest smallie I have ever seen takes my fly. It was an awesome fight on my Orvis Clearwater 905-2
 A gigantic click beetle that landed on me while out in the middle of the river.
 After falling in the river up to my neck I must have gotten some hitch hikers. I felt a tickle on my belly and lifted my shirt. I found this hellgrammite crawling around on me !
 Jacob with his first smallie. This kid is great. He came out to the beer tie the other night and tied up a bunch of flies.

 These ladies were the last clients of the day. They had gone out with a guide on the Snake River named 'Kevin' who apparently taught them more about tracking animals than fishing. After a quick casting lesson the ladies were throwing line out and landing fish after fish.

 Big ol' mayfly

 Parts of the Potomac this day reminded me of fishing the Amazon

 This kid doubted if there were any fish were he was casting. Then he tossed the foam depot and pulled in this gem.
 This smallie was hanging out under a tree along the bank.
 We pulled in this spinning rod. There was still a worm on the hook.
 Confirmation the smallies eat hellgrammites.
 Summer fly fishing patterns

big dude , little fish