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8 – Weight Rediscovered

September 21, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013 – Having read tales of warrior cats, espionage, and Percy Jackson to my kids, I tucked them into bed and turned my thoughts to fishing.  So many places…. St. Cloud for Mississippi River smallies?  Nope. Too far away.  Bass fishing on one of the local lakes?  Check.  I needed something different.  Something a little more exciting.  Something a bit edgier and hair raising. Musky fishing?  Hmmm…I haven’t done that this year.  That’s a heck of an idea come to think of it.

With that thought in mind I sat down at the computer to check on the forecast, as it would have a bearing upon lake selection and whether I’d wade or fish from the Pelican Bass Raider.  Overcast, with steady winds from the NW, I considered wading Lake Harriet my best option. The only problem: a running event around the lake that would have the surrounding roads closed for hours, much like my last trip to Lake Nokomis.  Thank goodness I checked the events calendar of a local running store, thus sparing myself the frustration of again being unable to reach the lake.  Back to the drawing board.  The winds forecast for the next day seemed a bit much for Calhoun.  Nokomis seemed a challenge to wade given the high water conditions. What to do?

Glumly, I decided to peruse the Internet to see what other fishermen (people?) were writing about. Interestingly, all three blogs,,, and, all focused on fly-fishing.  I encourage you to check them out.  Humbly, I must say their tales seemed infinitely cooler, the flies flashier and the fish better looking than my posts.  Carp, musky, trout, smallmouth and more.  Impressive fish. Impressive story telling.  Inspiring.  Inspiring enough to get me out into the garage to dust off the old 8 – weight fly rod tucked away in the corner and to rediscover the deer hair frogs, streamers, Clouser Minnows and Dahlberg Divers languishing in my tackle box. So I wasn’t going musky fishing, I was going fly-fishing, for bass on Bush Lake.

The conditions the next morning seemed ideal for top-water action in the pads and I started off with the deer hair frog.  Frustratingly, nothing was happening in the shallow slop and after about 20 minutes of casting away I lost the fly to a large mass of lily pads that conspired against me.  Next, I tried several different streamers to no avail, which left me pondering my fly fishing aptitude and casting abilities.  In need of a confidence boost, I put down the fly rod and picked up a different rod that I had brought.  First cast, bam a 10-inch largemouth nailed the Little O crankbait that I had tied on. A few casts later a northern pike.

IMG_0047 IMG_0050

Confidence restored I picked up the fly rod, tied on a brown and orange Clouser Minnow, and began flailing away.  Rusty at best, my fly casting has probably always been a bit suspect but I felt like I was getting enough distance to get at least a nibble.  Sure enough, I found a willing dance partner in this scrappy northern pike, which was soon followed by a largemouth bass.  I must admit that landing these stout fish on a fly rod is a lot different than traditional bait casting tackle and is a lot of fun.



The most surprising catch of the day though was this nine-inch crappie, by far the largest crappie I’ve caught on Bush Lake.   This must have been a mutant as the Bush Lake crappies I’ve come across have generally been of the stunted,  four-inch variety.  I thought maybe I’d catch a few more crappies since they tend to hang out in schools but this one must have also been a loner because it was the last fish I caught before heading for home ten minutes later.


Note the twist starting to form in my leader – another sign I need to work on my casting.

Next up – no idea.

– Hats

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