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This blog is about my life as a fly fisherman, guide, and fly fishing instructor in and around Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friggin Huge Bass | Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary

Maybe it was a sign of good things when I spotted a common loon swimming in the shallows of Roaches Run this morning.

Kirsi and I met Mike and his dad at the lot at 0900. Mike is graduating from college this weekend (good luck on being a grown up when you wake up on Monday, no more spring or summer vacation.) and hid dad is in town for the celebration.

I had three rods strung up:
  • 9' 5wt with full sink line. A shad jig and damsel nymph
  • 9' 8wt with floating line. A curly tail bass fly on there
  • 11' 6wt switch rod with 350 grain floating line. A Popsicle and damsel nymph were on there.
We fished the delayed outgoing tide near the tunnel at the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Mikes dad didn't take long to get into the first fish. A nice schoolie striper.

Nothing huge but any striper is a gift. This one of course took the damsel.

It was a pleasure watching Mike's dad cast that two-hander and it was his first ever striper on the fly.

Next up he hooked into a slab crappie and the crappie progressively got bigger. 






Mike then hooks into his first ever largemouth on the fly. It was a nice specimen and a great catch any day. The bass took the shad jig.

Give Mike a few more minutes and Mike hooks into a herring and a long ear sunfish. That is a total of six species in one day.

One of the next casts was magical. We watched a small river herring take the damsel nymph and take off.







All of a sudden the rod bends double.  The kind of bend of a 5wt that a herring shouldn't do.

Here is a pic of the bent rod.

This was not the most bent the rod would yield. At one point I thought it would explode on him.

I quickly switched the phone to video to capture the moment. More reason to keep the GoPro with me at all times.

Here is the bass. The strange thing is that the fish ate the herring off the line and the damsel nymph was stuck in the bass' jaw.

The fish had a huge belly, presumably stuffed with herring. Its eyes were massive and bulging out at us.





And the crappie kept on coming. They took the damsel and Popsicle left and right.



 This may have been the largest and prettiest black crappie I have ever seen. There were all sorts of blue  hues mixed in with the black.

The tide then changed and the fishing shut down. I did see one of the largest fish I've ever seen in the Potomac hanging out in the fast water. I could not identify it but it was a ham with fins. 

The gar were in mating pairs. Not as many as typical for this time of year.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fly Fishing Constitution Gardens Lake | Ultimate Urban Fly Fishing

If you don't know where this is, you might remember a dude driving his tractor into the water a few years ago. And might I add that the wife and I were at an open bar at Charlie Palmer's that night and traffic was just awful getting to the bar!


So the Potomac is rather flooded today and I wanted to sight cast to some carp. I looked up this article from back in the day and decided to fish the gardens as I was going by Orvis just a few miles away to pick up some repaired rods. The National Park Service also says its good for fishing.

I had the kid with me today. We parked two blocks from the White House. I threw the kid in the back pack and strung up an 8 wt rod. I tied on a typical local leader of 20-12-8lb leader. The fly of choice was a pink goomie worm left over from the Project Healing Waters 2-Fly tournament.

The water was rather green and the clouds overhead didn't help. I was looking for carp. I spotted a nice largemouth bass in the water-nothing was more than a foot deep. I tossed in the worm and stripped it in. The bass inhaled the fly and we landed a beauty. I had some German tourists take our picture.

 One after another we sight cast to single bass. I had to wait for the clouds to clear to sight fish. We found the fish had no fear of us. They would scoot off the wall when we walked by and then stop about six feet away. One cast and a twitch and they ate the worm!
 We sight cast to and landed five bass in a row. This was awesome. We then lost one bass at our feet.  That was six.

Bass seven was along the little bridge. I dropped the fish back in and my kids milk bottle. I don't think I made a cast more than 20'.
 We lost two more fish. And this is some of the best bass fishing ever. And its three blocks from the White House! The final fish we saw tore the fly to pieces. It ripped off one of the tips. We landed the fish. My thumb was all tore up. Free parking was about to turn to change to getting ticketed.
We picked up the pace and ended on a high note. Seven bass landed in 30 minutes. Not bad. Not bad.


Recent Client Pics | Potomac & Rappahannock

Spent Saturday at Chain Bridge. Loads of river herring in the water. Fishing was slower than I wanted. Arnold caught some shad, perch, and a baby snapping turtle.




We bumped into Khalil. He had a good morning. It was full of walleye, herring, shad, and stripers.


Sunday found us down in FredVegas. Peter got into bluegill and shad.
 My new fish eye lens for my Iphone. The biggest fish of the day was this American shad.
 Here is another shad.
 Not Ted Turner caught this herring. The fishing was slower as the day went on to my frustration. Everyone worked on their casting skills and had loads of fun.
 After 12 hours on the water I needed food.

 
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