Monday, June 2, 2014

Fly Fishing The 2014 Potomac Snakehead Tournament

I'll have more details on the podcast. For now, I'll tell the story through pictures. 

I started to prepare flies a few weeks ago. I was going on knowledge from last year's tournament. We got lots of bites in the giant lilly pads and at the edge of the spatterdock.
 Reaper flies based on Pat Ehler's flies. Flies HAVE TO BE WEEDLESS in Mattawoman creek as there is a lot of submerged aquatic vegetation and ridiculously fibrous spatterdock and lilly pads.
 This one turned out fantastic. I kept looking at this picture thinking how well the legs folded back.
 My assortment of flies. Snallygaster worms, splat rats, some sort of frog, and reapers. I have included UV materials into the reapers and tie them on what are called 'worm' hooks.
 Reels all set. FAT lines for casting. With an 18  hour fishing schedule there is not enough time and energy for false casting. One haul and launch that fly.
 Weighted reaper. I had hoped to put this on the pads and drag it across.

 The 8wt rods are all missing as they were packed. I still want to get my paws on a TFO Mangrove but with enough Orvis Access 8s I can't justify one.
 We had the pixie's 3rd bday party on Saturday am. I left at 3pm to get the boat and head to smallwood. I spotted Forrest Gump on my way in.
 I go there at about 4pm and parked next to the pavilion. I was able to get my extension cord to an outlet to charge the boat.
 I bumped into 'Was'. We grew up together in Reston. He got his own boat and fished with Porter.
My phone case was dirty so the pics looked like a Barbara Walters interview. My team was made up of

- "Producer" Jason Reif
- Andrew Holt
- Rebecca Davenport
 It took the outobard a few minutes to go. We headed out to the pads around 7pm. They had not grown in much. We were however able to maneuver through them with ease. The new StealthCraft boat is my new love.
 I like to throw these weedless frogs on my fly rod. Use a Rio Outbound short and you can 'throw' them with ease.
 A few cold beers, junkfood, and a clear sky. Night fishing is fun. We then turned on the boat lights. How cool is that! We had headlights on bow and stern, navigation lights on the boat, and internal LED green lights. We fished until about 1am. Holt was the only one to land a fish. We went all over the 'creek' with no luck. You would think the structure which is beyond ample would hold fish. We did have several factors against us:

  • FLW tour with hundreds of bass boats that day
  • Poor water quality
  • Lots of bow hunting boats with mega bright lights.
 We dropped Holt off so he could go home and let out Yoda and Chewie his hounds. We fished around the docks a bit. Davenport had a MONSTER fish hit her lure (yes we did both types of fishing) right at the boat. We then called it a night. I slept in the boat (it was 42 that night with lots of dew) while the others either slept in cars or at home.

We got on the water around 6 and motored up creek to pick up Holt at Slavins.
 I got my first and only fish of the trip. It ate that purple/orange/black reaper. It was on the edge of the weeds.

 Boat full of gear.
 We didn't see a single confirmed snakehad. A few gar.

 Seriously, how is this not FULL of fish????
 Was on his boat.
 Davenport outfished everyone.

 I forgot to mention I hooked a tree at midnight. I reached into the tree to get it, turned on my lamp, and realized I was elbow deep in poison ivy!

A wet reaper is a good reaper. Hope those who bought my flies at the Fly Fishing Show have the same luck. Note the weed guard, made from crafting wire. 
 We called it at 11:30 and headed back to the docks. There was mass snakehead carnage. I think the tourney 3 years ago had the most kills.

 Dalton and Holt check out what was the winners.

 I was extremely hungry. All they had was fish and oysters. I was not in the mood for oysters (I prefer them with a mignonette and bubbly)
 Chef Chad cooking for the masses.
 Jason digging in.
 38" specimen that was shot with a bow.

 Hard to see but there are lights all around this boat.

 Largest and smallest snakehead. You have to be a good shot to kill that little one on the right.

 The largest fish. 17lbs. It was dripping slime and blood all over.

 Raffles. She won the Capitol Snakehead print.
 Holt won a mug.
 Conflict of interest I say!! Team member from Urban Angler won the Urban Angler Sage rod.

 New boat name.
 DSLR images.

 Lots of steam.

 Say No To Crack
 Ok, who is this jokester?

Until next year.

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