Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter fishing

Last night we went to Easter vigil mass and today on Easter Sunday we spent the entire day with family, had a great lunch, and the kids had the traditional Easter egg hunt. Later that afternoon I took my son and youngest daughter out to the YMCA lake for some more practice with his fly rod.

Not surprisingly there were some families out there enjoying the park as well as fishing. We found a spot in the shade and my son proceeded to cast and fish. During all of this, I tried offering advice to correct issues I saw but otherwise he was fishing. It didn't take long before the first bluegill hookup!

He caught another fish and we moved around a bit and worked on the casting in the meantime and tried a few different flies.

After discussing some strategies about fishing the edges of weed lines, my son caught his third little bluegill. This one was the smallest of the bunch and this is the one he wanted a photo of to show just how small it was.

Check out my cool fish bone polo shirt!

We started getting hungry so after walking around the park for a bit checking out future fishing spots, we headed home for dinner. It was another successful and fun trip.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Son's first fish on the fly rod

I went with my two youngest kids out to the small lake by the local YMCA to give my son some additional casting lessons with his fly rod.

While my youngest daughter ran around and played, my son assembled his two piece 5wt and I showed him how to properly pass the fly line through the guides and we selected a fly and tied it to the end of the leader.

It had been some time since we had last tried casting and we had to focus once more on the pickup, sudden stop, line control, keeping the loop intact, removing slack and stripping. Lots of things to remember.

One lesson that was learned was to mind your backcast as the first fly was lost to an oak tree behind us. We then moved to a small fishing platform along the shoreline.

The platform offered better casting and we decided to cast towards the shore where we saw small baitfish getting spooked. As I was showing him to how to get the line right up to the shore, I got a nibble so I was positive we would get a hookup.

After a few casts my son hooked a small bluegill! First fish on the fly! He was pretty happy and so was I.

We spent some more time casting but we received no additional bites. He started jigging the fly along the edge of the platform and we could see brim approaching the fly but no commitment. We tried several different flies yet nothing worked for him.

It started getting dark and I rounded up both kids and we headed home. Both declared they had fun so that made me happy. I would love it if we could get more rain so that I can take my son on a river trip where he try for some bass on the fly. That would be very nice.

TV Fishing Personalities I like

A while back the guys over at Fat Guy Fly Fishing brought up a TV outdoor person, that well, wasn't quite liked by a lot of folks. It got me thinking of who out there in TV land I do like. Here is my short list:
The number one guy in my book for the best TV fishing show personality has got to be Bill Dance. The guy has a great sense of humor. He's incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to fishing for bass, a species I really enjoy going after. Oh yeah, he's had his show since 1968 for goodness sake! More than just watching him fish, the guy gives you a serious and professional education on all the variables that go into fishing. His tips are gold in my opinion. I have watched his show for years and am kind of interested in seeing his new saltwater show where he will be targeting saltwater species such as redfish and speckled trout that I also like to go after.

Another guy that explains a lot of what he is doing and looking for while fishing is Al Linder. However, as great a guy as he is, I just don't get the same vibe as I do with Bill Dance. Maybe it's his Minnesota accent. I don't know. He also fishes for species like musky and walleye that we don't have here in Texas so I don't really have much interest in those shows. I still think he is great instructor though.

Larry Dahlberg is a world class fisherman. While I am not as interested in the big fish he goes for, I am more in awe of his tenacity, versatility and inventiveness. He is a guy that will throw a plug from his baitcaster at one point and then switch it up with a fly the next moment. Of course he invented some of the best big fish flies like his famous Dahlberg Diver. I have seen him create molds and pour his own top water plugs. The man knows his stuff. He is a great guy to watch fishing. I just wish he would speak more about what is going on in his mind. I know the guides he goes out with learn a lot from him.

What can I say about Roland Martin? He's a really likable guy. He has a cool song about him on his show. He is of course knowledgeable about fishing. You could have a drinking game based on how many times you catch him saying "Son!" and be drunk my mid-show. He is also an excellent fisherman. Though his show is mostly about bass fishing, he has ventured out into saltwater fishing from time to time which is cool. I also have seen him cast a fly a few times on his show as well. He is another guy that gives good tips though some of the products that he pushes are sort of weird (like the Rocket Fishing Rod for kids). His son, Scott Martin, is trying to follow in his steps with his own show though I have seen it a few times and it really isn't as good as his dad's. One thing about Roland that I really like is that he is truly an old time gentleman.

On the saltwater end, I really like Flip Pallot. He is also an amazing saltwater fly fisher. I dig watching him go for sharks, tarpon and billfish. These are fish I have never personaly gone for. It is just neat watching the guy. He reminds me of the old weathered salts I sometimes come across at the fishing table when I am at the coast that are fishing machines. They have so much experience and know precisely when to go out and when not to and where they can find the fish and what the fish want. That's what I think about when I watch Flip.

I know I missed a few such as Hank Parker as I haven't really seen his show all that much. One thing I know about Hank is that he has fished out of a kayak before. I wonder if Bill Dance would ever go kayak fishing with me? It would probably be another infamous blooper opportunity as I expect he'd flip it or paddle right into a hornet's nest or something. On second thought...