Friday, April 12, 2013

Big Crappie | Agressive Shad

Fished with a client yesterday for half a day. It was his first time with a fly rod and he did fantastic.

If you didn't read about the first shad of the season, you can read about it here on OrvisNews 

The Potomac was very clear (not after today's rain) with visibility down at least a rod length in spots.
We fished around the mouth of Pimmet Run. Loads of herring at the feet in one spot and dark shadows of shad moving around the bottom. Major schools of shiners were hugging the bottom. They would chase the flies but were probably more interested in feeding on shad eggs.

It took a while to get into some fish. Several lost fish due to the learning curve of setting a hook with a fly rod and with fish with soft mouths.

The fly set up was a shad jig with a damsel dropper. My client got into some very aggressive shad. I was standing atop a rock and could see these fish coming up from the deep, two at a time, to slam the flies. I was able to witness the largest crappie I have ever seen landed on a fly rod. Not a minute later he got another.

By now I was super dehydrated. I'm not ready for this summer time weather. I was about to drink from the River. It was about 90 degrees with no wind. I kicked off cowboy hat season yesterday and after we fished I kicked off Slurpee season.

Back to the fish: It was several lost and missed shad before we got a nice hickory to the net. My heart jumped several beats and the adrenaline rush from watching these fish chase the flies was pure awesome. One of my favorite parts of this job is not only teaching fly fishing but the things I see on a daily basis.

Everyone including me says 'fish deep' for shad. These fish were coming up from the deep to just about 2' under the surface to attack the flies. We had a full sink line but could have gotten away with a floater. I still prefer a sink tip or full sink. 

I do take issue with all the stoneflies about. They were all over us.  On my neck, face, in my shirt. On my sunglasses etc.

Ok, you waited long enough. Here are the fish pictures. You really had to be there to experience how big that crappie was: 

I'm taking tomorrow off to fish with Producer Jason. Sunday should be fine with the recent rain. The river is expected to jump up to just past 5'. No worries. Sunday is a full plate for me, 9am-6pm.

And if you are not watching the Shad Cam, you are missing out:


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