Archive for bass

The week ahead in fly fishing: July 25

Posted in Carp, Fishing Conditions, Fishing Reports, Flies - Local Favorites, Smallmouth Bass Fishing, Trout Fishing, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , on July 24, 2016 by stflyfisher

This is the first “week ahead” fly fishing report on Southern Tier Fly Fisher. As explained in a previous post, my weekly reports and other fly fishing articles will reside here until I have a new improved site in place.

It’s hot out there, and I should start my report by saying these are tough times for trout, particularly for the resident fish that inhabit local creeks. A recent stop at an access on the West Branch of Owego Creek was enough to remind me that this is not the time to stress coldwater species. My recommendation is to focus on warmwater stuff – brownlining as I sometimes refer to it. Take time to explore the many great warmwater fisheries we have and leave the high octane guys alone for a while.

Summer heat is here although we’ve had a string of cool nights to check the oppressive daytime temps. In our neck of the woods, watering corn fields is pretty much unheard of but I recently observed it in action for some newly sprouted corn. That says something. Some areas are harder hit than others – lawns are a good barometer.

Here’s the fly fishing report for the week ahead:

Catskill Rivers: The West Branch Angler reports that after several days with very warm air temps it was nice to wake up today to a river with some more cold water running through it. The West Branch at Hale Eddy is flowing a nice 822 this morning, a great little cold water bump that will help keep more downriver sections cooler during this heat wave. The increased release is always a good thing, giving the slower moving sections of water a bit more texture throughout the river. The Sulphurs are still coming off consistently starting in the early afternoon hours up around Deposit. Even though it doesn’t look like much cloud cover over the next few days you will likely see a few BWO’s in the 18-22 range as well as some 14-16 Cahills. The Isonychia are still around in small numbers. Terrestrials are always safe bets this time of year so don’t forget the ants and beetles. Nymphing on the upper West has been pretty tough due to the algae in the water but the extra flow should help clear it out a bit. Downriver, say on the lower half of the West, the algae isn’t nearly as bad and nymphing is much easier.

Local streams and creeks: The creeks and small streams in our area are incredibly low, clear, and on the warm side right now. It’s best to leave these waters alone as long as the heat and dry conditions prevail. If you do fish, fish early or late and try to land and release fish quickly.

Lakes: John Gaulke of Finger Lakes Angling Zone reports that Lake Trout action is top-notch on Cayuga and Owasco Lakes. Cayuga will likely provide some excellent fishing over the next 6 weeks at the very least. Cayuga Lake is usually good for all day action in August. Here’s John’s lake-by-lake report:

  • Owasco Lake:  Lake trout action is top notch. Angling Zone friend/client Rick nabbed an 11lb brown here late last week.  It was a 28″er! Bass fishing is decent. There’s no shortage of bait on this lake.
  • Cayuga Lake:  Fishing here ranges from very good to excellent for lake trout. There are good numbers of sizeable lakers throughout the lake.
  • Seneca Lake:  Lake trout fishing should be fair to good. Plenty of weeds are floating around. Angling Zone Friend/Client Andrew nailed a giant brown here recently.
  • Skaneateles Lake:  Smallmouth bass fishing should be good to excellent. Lake trout action should be fair to good.
  • Otisco Lake:  Tiger musky fishing had been good with some very large fish around. Bass fishing should be good.

Ponds: Ponds are definitely dropping and warming. Bass and sunfish are very active and willing partners to fly fishermen under these conditions, but low light early or late is best. Topwater is a good choice and don’t forget the damselfly, grasshopper, cricket, and beetle patterns. Poppers will work well along weedlines and lilly pads.

Warmwater rivers: All of the warmwater rivers are running clear, low and warm. Water temps are in the 75 – 80 degree range and wading is very easy with the low flows. Reports have been mixed. Smallmouth bass can be found hunting around the weeds and structure during the mornings and evenings. You’ll also find them hanging in the tailouts of pools chasing bait, sometimes in very skinny water, but mainly when the light is low. During the day, the bass will be deep and in the riffles and runs. Hellgrammite and crayfish imitations fished like a nymph will work well. Channel catfish and fallfish will also be found in the mix. And carp are now pretty active all day long in the weedy pools and tailouts. They can be caught with buggy-looking nymphs and crayfish imitations. Sight-fishing can be especially effective to mudding fish. The white fly hatch is due to start any time now. I’ve seen a few white flies coming off towards evening but nothing of significance yet. Once the hatch gets going, be prepared for terrific topwater flyfishing.

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The Susquehanna River, shown here, is flowing low and clear. Flows recently dropped below 1,000 CFS, making for great wet wading on these hot summer days.

Fly fishing events: Area fly fishing clubs and chapters take the months of July and August off so there is nothing to report here. However, one noteworthy announcement is the following press release concerning the work that Gary Romanic, VP of the BC Flyfishers has done to secure a large donation to reach out to veterans in our area and offer fly fishing opportunities and instruction:

Binghamton, NY – Broome County Executive Debbie Preston, Broome County Legislators, and Director of Veteran Services Brian Vojtisek joined the Broome County Veterans Fly Fishing Program to discuss details of a recent donation to help the program. Broome County recently gave $10,000 to the program to help offset costs for travel to fly fishing destinations to facilitate fly fishing instruction.

“As you know, veterans hold a very special place in my heart and I’m willing to help them out in any way that I can,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.  “Fly fishing is a wonderful activity and I’m on board with anything we can do to help our local veterans live the best possible life they can after sacrificing a part of their life for this Country.”

The mission of the Binghamton Veteran Fly Fishers is to lift the morale and support the welfare of Broome County veterans. “We want to thank the County Executive and Brian Vojtisek in the Veterans Services Office for this wonderful donation,” says Gary Romanic, vice president of the Broome County Veterans Fly Fishing program.  “This money will go a long way in not only getting the veterans to prime fly fishing areas, but also to provide instruction to those who have never fished before.”

“When we were approached for a donation last year, we were delighted to help,” says Director of Veteran Services Brian Vojtisek.  “This program fits into our mission of helping veterans financially, and in adjusting to a return to civilian life.”This is a one-time donation.

The week ahead weather: The weather for the week ahead will be mainly summer sizzle with the usual thunderstorm potential on Monday and Friday and if you can believe it, showers on Sunday at the end of the week. Highs will range in the upper 80’s to low 90’s with lows in the low 60’s. There will be relief at the end of the week with highs dropping to the high 70’s / low 80’s. Tuesday and Wednesday will have bright sun. And speaking of sun, this is the time of year to be extra vigilant with regards to sun protection. Cover up with protective clothing or lather up with sun screen. And don’t forget a hat and sunglasses. The eyes can suffer on bright days and a good pair of polarized sunglasses will definitely help in spotting fish.

 

 

 

 

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Grippen Pond

Posted in Fishing Conditions, Fishing Reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 7, 2010 by stflyfisher

Grippen Pond is the name I’ve given to an acre and a half of very “bassy” water just 100 yards out the back door of my house. The pond, according to some of my old-time neighbors, has been around a while, and sadly, it is showing its age; the bottom is heavy with muck in many areas. Because of the rich and fertile water, the pond is thick with weeds by August, making it difficult to fish. In spring and early summer, however, it is clear and very fishable. The shallows that extend over half its acreage make great “flats” water fishing, where the bass will hang and chase baitfish when the light is low.

The pond may not be the crystal clear body of water that pleases the human eye, but to the bass and sunfish that call it home, it is just fine. On a “cruise and fish” trip in my kayak one recent evening, I saw many bass and sunfish, lots of baitfish and juvenile fish, and many spawning beds neatly carved out clean in the mucky bottom. Some of them already had bass and sunfish on them. One, directly in line with where I typically put my kayak in, had 2 bass lazily doing their spawning thing…

I spent about an hour casting a brown #6 beadhead wooly bugger along the shoreline that evening and was hooking up fairly regularly. It was truly relaxing fishing – easy graceful casts – slow retrieves – no worries – not another soul anywhere on the pond.

Ole bucketmouth is getting hungry...

The bass are getting more aggressive as the water warms, and it may be possible to catch them with poppers at this time.

Full bodied with that classic largemouth coloring...

Indeed, looking out on the pond as evening closes, there’s barely a moment now when the still glassy surface is not somewhere dimpled, rippled, or sometimes even ripped open with the movement of fish on the prowl. With late spring comes a time of plenty, new growth, and great fishing on Grippen Pond…

Tight lines…

Indian Summer…

Posted in Fishing Conditions, Fishing Reports with tags , , , on October 4, 2009 by stflyfisher

The string of nasty, cold, rainy, overcast, and generally depressing weather finally broke yesterday – a beginning to what may be the shortest Indian Summer on record. The forecast shows another string of cold rainy weather beginning on Tuesday and lasting a good week, but we’ll take what we can get this year.

It dawned clear and cool yesterday with fog in the river valley but a glowing fall sun helped us hit a high in the mid to upper 60’s under mostly bluebird skies with a few fair weather cumulus clouds skirting by.  The autumn colors are just starting to turn on…

The view from STFF corporate headquarters...

The view from STFF corporate headquarters...

For the most part, the rivers are showing a little uptick in flows, most likely due to the rain we had on Thursday and Friday.  Best bets for fishing might be the upper Susquehanna – as it’s the only river that seems to continue to settle – and although the West Branch is flowing at a nice wadeable level, the report from West Branch Angler and Catskill Flies is that it has some murk to it.  They’re recommending streamers, so if you’re not into chucking meat, and you’re gunning for trout, you may need to hit the headwaters.

I decided to spend the day putting some fly fishing cash deposits into the madre’s “emotional bank account”.  For those of you who may be wondering what the hell I’m talking about, days like these that are great weather-wise, but suck riverwise, are the days you want to be extra helpful around the house.  You get to enjoy the nice weather and you’re pumping the madre up with payback points.

So work I did.  The lawn needed cutting, the yard needed tending, and there was this post in the front yard that had to be removed.  But all the while, the backyard pond was calling to me…

Fall on Grippen Pond.

Indian Summer on Grippen Pond.

I finished my work around 5 pm, and quickly strung up my 7 1/2 foot St Croix 5 weight.  Then it was off to the pond – a trip of about 100 steps – and into my Old Towne kayak.  I paddled around to the deep end of the pond.  Here there is plenty of cover for light-shy bass…

Good cover for bass - and the wood ducks like it too...

Good cover for bass - and the wood ducks like it too...

I popped a froggy-looking deer hair bug around all that good-looking wood but the dinner bell didn’t bring the bass out.  I tried a few other spots that were shady and weedy and had a few boils but no takes.  The deer hair bug I used has a weed guard, and I generally despise the things because I believe they lower hook-up percentages, which this outing seemed to validate.  I use them only because our pond gets real weedy once July rolls around.

I paddled over to the sunny shallow side of the pond and with a few casts against to shallow bank water, spooked a few nice bass.  Checking the water temp by hand, I realized the fallacy of my earlier ways.  Bass are generally light-shy and cover-happy, but when the water is cool in the spring and fall, they tend to forgo their fears to bask in warmer water.  And that’s exactly why they were here…

I moved on down the pond shore to a stand of cattail on our end of the pond where I had observed some swirling and splashing.

Thick as sugar cane...

Thick as sugar cane...

I cast my bug as near to all those nooks and crannies as I dare and saw a big bow wave come out from the cover.  It surged towards my innocent popper – I tried to keep my nerves under control – and then it disappeared in a little “sip” of a surface boil.  I strip-set the hook into solid weight.  The fish didn’t do much at first – just sulking in the shallows – then jumped and tail-walked and generally went berserk, which is a big part of what bass do so well.  Even by the kayak, this guy ducked and weaved and danced away, splashing me a few times to boot.

No hawg, but great fun on a 5 weight...

No hawg, but great fun on a 5 weight...

I fished into the early evening, enjoying the warmth of the fading day, the start of fall colors, the mallards and wood ducks, and the kingfishers.  The bass were still pretty spooky – I know this because I got good at flushing them with my false casts.  The wakes on a few of them were impressive – and some exploded like depth charges when I spooked them – so I’m guessing my babies must be putting on the weight.  I also finally saw the grass carp my neighbor added early this year – veggie eating submarines – enjoying the last warmth of the year.  Grazing on all the weeds in this fertile old pond, they should be getting gargantuan in size in no time.  I left the pond planning another shot at some bigger bass, and a future post on fly fishing for grass carp, hoping to hang on to Indian Summer just a little longer…

Tight lines…