The Past Couple of Days

After having such a great time fishing the Henry’s Fork last Friday, I decided to give it another go on Saturday afternoon.  This time I planned on hitting the lower river.  When I showed up the fish were already rising pretty regularly.  I got rigged up to throw dries and slowly worked my way towards the river.  I watched a few of the fish rising and picked the one I wanted to work.  Unfortunately, whatever fish was rising was not interested at all in what I had to offer.  I continued to work at a few other risers but couldn’t get anything to take.  There were so many bugs on the water and in the air it was hard to tell where my fly was.  It has been months since I have thrown dries and I am still pretty rusty.  After flailing the water for over an hour, I decided to head a little further up river.  I rigged up to nymph and went at it.  On my first cast I hooked up with what felt like a great fish.  I pulled it closer and got a look and realized it was just a huge sucker fish.  Somehow I had foul hooked it and this made it 10x harder than usual to land.  I ended up chasing it downriver and eventually got it in.  Although it was foul hooked, it was fun to have a fish on after no luck for a couple hours.  I worked the river for a while but I couldn’t seem to pick anything up there either.  I decided to try one last spot before calling it a day.  On the way to the next spot I wanted to try I noticed some people fishing in a canal.  I pulled over to see what they were up to and found that quite a few fish had been trapped in the canal.  The fish were spooking real easy and they weren’t catching anything.  After they left I decided I’d give it a go and try to get the skunk off.  I threw out a Globug (egg fly) and ended up catching three and losing a few others.  There were a couple really nice fish swimming around the canal with a lot of smaller ones mixed in.  The best one I picked up was 18″.  I decided since they were trapped any ways it would make a great lunch or dinner sometime in the next couple days.

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I’ve really been wanting to get the float tubes out since all this warm weather has started and today I finally got around to doing it.  I would really like to fish Island Park Reservoir but it is still frozen solid.  Hopefully the edges will start opening up here in the next couple of weeks. We headed down south to where we knew we could find some open water.  We arrived at the reservoir around 8:30 AM and were in the water and fishing by 9:00 AM.  I couldn’t believe how many people were fishing there for a Monday morning.  By the time we left, there had been over a dozen different people fishing, most from pontoons or float tubes.  The fishing started off pretty slow.  We didn’t even get a bite for the first hour and a half.  Finally around 11:00 AM Kyle landed the first fish.  It put up a great fight but you could tell it was a planter when he pulled it out of the water.  It was missing some fins and had a real blunt nose.  Quite a contrast to the wild rainbows we have been catching in the rivers lately.

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We kept fishing for a few more hours and Kyle caught one more fish.  Compared to the last few weeks, it was an extremely slow day of fishing.  It was still great to get out and enjoy the sunshine and float around. I can’t wait for the reservoirs a little closer to home to ice out!

President’s Day Perch Success

After the great success on Friday and Saturday, I was excited to have a whole day to devote to perch fishing at one of my favorite reservoirs.  My friends Gabe and Kyle met me at the reservoir and we were on the ice and fishing by 7:30.  Within the first couple of minutes we were already getting fish to bite.  I ended up with the first perch of the day, a fatty around 12″.  Gabe started catching fish soon after as well and even hooked into his first large mouth bass.  Kyle forget something in the truck so he started a few minutes after us but as soon as he dropped his line he started getting into the fish as well.  The morning bite went like this for half an hour or so and then things started to slow down a little.  We continued to pick up a fish here and there and decided to go grab some lunch around noon.  We were back on the water by 2:00 and back in to the fish again almost immediately.  The fishing wasn’t fast and furious but it was good enough to keep us all entertained.  We continued to pick up perch and even a few bass here and there.  I also managed to pick up a couple of trout, both around 2.5 lbs and great fighters.  One of the trout hit the rod so hard it nearly fell down the hole.  Around 4:30 the bite really started to pick up again and we couldn’t keep them off the lines.  We had a couple of cameras down and could see that the school was traveling through on a regular basis.  At times it took the school over a minute to pass through.  This went on until it was too dark to see.  All together we ended up with over 40 perch, averaging 11″-12″ (1.25 lbs), a dozen bass, all around 12″, and a couple of nice trout.  We all kept a few perch for a meal and threw the rest back to get bigger and make a few more perch.  This was one of the best days of ice fishing I’ve ever had and was a great way to finish President’s day weekend.  Between Friday, Saturday, and Monday I caught more nice perch than I ever have before in such a small period of time.  It is great to see a healthy reservoir producing such great perch.

My Haul For The Day

A Few More Perch

This weekend has provided another great round of perch fishing.  I have spent a lot of this winter focusing on learning how to be a better perch fisherman through the ice.  One of the key things I have learned is how important your location is.  If you aren’t getting into any fish in the first 5-10 minutes, there probably aren’t any perch where you are fishing.  This is not always the case and a camera or flasher makes it much easier to determine if you are fishing in the right spot.  With that said, I decided to hit another one of my favorite lakes for perch the past couple of days.  It took me a couple of hours to find the fish but as soon as I did the fishing was pretty fast.  Last night I kept four and through the rest back.  They were averaging 11″ and up.

Since the fishing was so great last night I decided to go back again early this morning.  As soon as I dropped my line down I started getting into the fish.  I ended up landing a dozen or so perch and a nice trout.  Around 10:15 or so the fishing started to slow down and I packed up and headed out with another four that I decided to keep.  I’ll be back again Monday and I am hoping I can catch some over the 13″ mark.