December 30, 1999
Click here for the account of the day's fishing at Bauer's Preserve!
December 19, 1999
What an interesting day. Got a call for help an a Virus Problem and then got a chance to wet some line! Also caught my first Rainbows in Jersey!
Around 8:30 in the morning I got a call from Joe who got a suspected re-infection of Happy99 and was somewhat out of sorts. I responded by checking with my wife whether or not I could be spared the days activities (taking the bunk beds apart and looking for blinds for the girls rooms). After a nod I packed my gear and made sure I had all of the necessary virus hunting utilities with me.
The drive to Seaville, NJ is about 45 minutes from my house and this was a somewhat blustery day. Gusting winds could be seen rampaging through the tree tops. All inhabitants where no where in sight during the drive. Favoring the warmth and shelter indoors to the cool and windy outdoors.
Passing through my usual crabbing spot I noticed that it was high tide and that the rains from the previous days have swelled water levels.
The arrival at Joe's was as usual. I noticed a greater number of vehicles at the Preserve entrance and after having been greeted by Joe I got to meet is son Joey and his lovely girlfriend (I forget... I am sooo bad for names. I think it was Tina?) and Gino who was visiting. I immediately went to the computer and found the virus scan application running with two files flagged as being infected. After determining that they were not in use and that the virus was not memory resident I eliminated the file and rebooted. Three scans later no signs of the virus could be found. That was about 15-30 minutes. I managed to luck out and get invited to breakfast and who am I to say no? That was great. I found out that Joey's Hunting Club had a good trip and I managed to get a deer tail for material. Also once Joey finishes dressing it I am also gonna get some more skin. Joe was also very generous and I got a couple of bags of Trout to take home (frozen and cleaned). This was the first time I saw golden trout and they looked neat! I also got a nice chunk of deer meat. I am not too sure what I am gonna make of it yet.
After breakfast I made my way over to the pond to see if the winds were as bad as I saw on the drive in. Luckily they were not as severe and I decided to take advantage and wet some line. I just got some Orvis Sink Tips and wanted to try them out. I rigged up my 4-5wt rod and attached the sink tip to the line then attached the leader. That stuff is REALLY heavy. it could also be the fact that I selected a sink tip that's designed for a 6-9wt line!!! (Doooh!) I quickly removed it and decided to try a stimulator since I could see some surface action. Wasn't sure if they were chasing stuff on the surface or just tailing shallow. After a few casts and one tree trout with a sacrificial bead head I decided to move to the other end of the lake. The main dock is better to fly cast from anyways. Also less windy at this stage.
Once I got there I made some approach casts to the immediate shallows to check for lurkers and watched the water. Off to the left of the main dock I could see a regular surface motion. Fairly large by the size of it too. I slowly walked onto the deck being careful not to bump or make loud noises as I walked. I worked about 30' of line out and started of with one of my bead head soft hackles that I tied (Thanks to Tom where I first saw the pattern). After the cast I would let the wind drift the line slowly and let the natural motion move the fly and make the hackles wave in the water. I was rewarded with a tug but the cold had numbed my brain somewhat and the three second later reflex was not enough to hook the fish. I continued to work the fly in slowly and prepared for the next cast. I saw a swell in the water about 40-50' away and I started to false cast to get some distance. Once I got the fly in water I did the same thing but I added some quick taps with my rod to make the fly jerk in a short burst and then drop. This was rewarded with a sudden surge and I felt the line go taut. I gave the line a sharp tug and lifted the rod tip to set the fly. From about 35' away I could see a sinewy dance under the surface of the water. Well this wasn't a crappie or gill that's for sure. I thought it may have been a cat but I recall someone telling me that they go deep this time of year. After a few more head shakes I saw a nice sized trout leap into the air. Followed quickly by another surge with a short two twitch tail walk. WOW! I almost forgot what it was like to have a trout on the line.
Trout on my spin fishing outfit was no where near as good as it was on this 4-5wt! I could feel every motion of that fish! I was debating letting him run the line out so I could use the reel but decided to strip him in. Not wanting to fall off the dock I made my way to the shore and landed him that way. Another refreshing thing is that I has forgotten how soft trout are compared to the gills, crappie, and bass I've been catching. He was a pretty specimen. About 13-14" long and nicely colored. I realized that I did not bring the camera down to the water with me so I took of my stripping basket and laid the rod next to the trout for a photo. I ran back to the jeep to fetch the camera. After I got to the jeep I realized that I had forgotten the camera at home (DOH!!!!). I ran back to the beach and found the trout was not too willing to wait and was making his way back into the water the long way! I picked him up and cleaned him off in the shallows. Resuscitated him there and then released him un harmed. WELL! That was fun and made the day for certain! If only I had my camera!
Well got my self together and tied on a bead nymph like the one Sheldon Seale taught me to tie and decided to try that. I watched the sink rate of the bug beside the dock to get a feel for how it would work in the water. I saw another swoosh in the water and cast towards it. WHAM! A nice firm tug. I set the hook and felt a light struggle on the other end. I brought this one in nice and quick. It was a six inch crappie. The next cast was for practice but the following one brought in a small 'gill.
It was cold and the wind was making the time miserable. Around this time another couple of guys came in. These guys were loaded for bear! They had around 6 to 8 rods and looked like they were gonna settle in. They went to the end of the dock I was fishing and I continued to work with my fly rod. It was shortly after they settled in and I got another good surge. Another nice 13-14" trout. I think these are all from the fall 99 stocking that Joe did to the preserve.
I hung in for another 30 minutes and then bugged out. I got my catches in for the day and I did prove to myself that I could make the long casts and hit the targets at range! All in all a great virus hunting trip!
December 9, 1999
Wow! It's been a while since I last added anything here. Not to say that I haven't been fishing or tying of course... As a matter of fact I've added a new page showing some of my latest work. I also have a nice comparison of how my stuff used to look and how it looks now. The comparison flies are about 30 days apart. The next photo project will be my tying bench and the stuff I have collected to date.
Have a look...
It's been kinda weird for me... Being able to fish around this time of year and not needing a winter coat! I've managed to go out in just a light jacket and a sweater! Sometimes I don't even need them! The small pond around my home has produced the first Crappies I have ever caught! Neat looking fish! Kinda like a blue gill with a bigger mouth. They were kinda lethargic and I figure that cause of the cold water. I fought them quickly and released them back so I can catch them again later. Those two really like the bead head I tied. I suppose most of these fish are now running quite deep but I still see them rising for heaven knows what. I know that the smaller blue gill are doing this but I am not sure about the other fish in the water. That little pond is quite amazing! I've managed to catch Blue Gill, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, and Roaches (I dunno the actual species name) there. I am going to start on my small John Boat over my Christmas break and I will use this pond to test it.
Also been prosepecting for other places to try and I think I've found a few more. It's going to take some more scouting to find a place to park to access them however.
I'll keep harassing the fish in the local pond until it gets too cold. If nothing else the casting practice is great! I am reaching over 30-40' distances now with a 5' radius accuracy.
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