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Slumping

May 25, 2014

May 21, 2014

Let’s see.  It has been a cold and late spring in Minnesota so on Sunday, May 18, I decided to try the evening bite on a new lake, Long Lake.  Small, with darker water, I hoped that those elements would result in warmer water and maybe some aggressive walleyes.   First red flag: high Water conditions posted at the access – no wake.  Second: the access was buried in sand, I’m sure from the spring thaw, which made launching the boat extremely challenging.  Third: after launching the boat, parking the trailer, I hopped in the boat and trimmed the motor down, primed the motor and no key.  Great.  Just *#*)*^%) great.  Put the boat back on the trailer and head for home. Just another event that makes me think I’m in a slumpin’ funk.  Athletes have them.  I suppose fisherman can have them too.

The key, how could I forget the key?  Part of the first boat learning process, I guess.   Thanks to my dad, who decided that his 1991 Alumacraft Competitor is too much boat at his age and that he doesn’t have time to use it given his devotion to my mother who is suffering from dementia/Alzheimer’s, I am the owner of a boat.  This has taken some getting used to as evidenced by forgetting the key. I could blame it on the fact that I took the boat to Hyland Lake earlier in the day to fish with my son for bluegills and since it is a no gas motor lake, I didn’t even think about needing the key. But there was also a trip to Lake Minnetonka on May 4, that I forgot the depth finder.  Not good when the crappies are not in the shallows and are suspended in deeper water.  Needless to say we got skunked that day.  I must admit that I’ve never seen Lake Minnetonka that clear and blue.  Looking down into the water I at times thought I could’ve been in the Caribbean, but the cool temps soon quashed those thoughts.  Fortuitously, I was able to drive the boat onto the trailer when we left because the strap broke when I went to tighten ‘er up.

Sunday, May 11, Mother’s Day.  Between gorging myself at brunch with my family and dinner with the in-laws, I decided to hit Mt. Normandale Lake for a little pike action.  I tied countless pike flies during the winter and this seemed like a prime opportunity to don the waders and finally give them a try.  Loaded up and ready to go I found a parking space and threw the waders on.  Moving around the mini-van to the passenger side I opened the door to grab my fly rod and noticed a peculiar thing – my fly rod was stuck in the sliding door on the passenger side.  What the heck? How did that happen?  I knew I was doomed instantly and a trip around the van confirmed my fears: about 10 inches off rod were hanging out the door.  Opening the door I had a sick feeling as my 8 wt. fly rod was now a three-piece rod instead of two.

It hasn’t all been bad.  I caught some crappies the evening of May 10 on Lake Minnetonka before a storm rolled in and forced me off the water.  I snapped the photo of the first fish before tossing it back as proof that I actually caught something.  Lots of small fish but a few around the 10″ mark.  Actually, this was my second trip of the day to Minnetonka as I hit my favorite wading spot at midnight for the fishing opener.  I had two fish hit Rapalas, but missed both.  The water was plenty cold at about forty-six degrees and I called it quits after about two hours.  Pretty cool to be in the water at dark and hear the loons calling as they migrate through.

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The only other trips I had fairly recently were trips to the Rush River in western Wisconsin.  Sunday, March 26, was cold.  19 degrees.  Water low and clear.  I was fishing with a buddy and we saw a huge school of trout in a deep pool that was covered with about a half inch of ice.  Kind of like looking into an aquarium…what are we doing here?  Should have brought the auger I guess.   I suppose it was absurdly funny in a peculiar way.  Having wasted about an hour hiking downstream to explore new territory we headed back upstream to where we fished the week before. There was one spot that I knew to be a bit deeper and headed for that.  Chowing on the Babka I baked that morning I surveyed the ice rimming the pool and decided how to present my streamer.  Finished, I gently stepped into the water and tried to be careful not to disturb the ice.  Second cast, bam, fish on, which in itself presented a new problem.  How was I going to get it over the ice?  Wading a little further into the water the whole shelf broke into pieces as I netted the fish.  This of course doomed the spot because chunks of ice were now swirling around in the eddy.  Oh, well that’s the way it goes sometimes.  Not much happened the rest of the day and I spent lots of time getting the ice of the guides.  Kind of made me wonder what I was doing out there.

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April 2 was my last trip the Rush and despite the water being a bit higher due to some spring run off, I stunk up the joint catching only one fish on a streamer while my buddy caught a dozen or so on a midge.   Other than one 11″ inch trout caught on a streamer the only other things I caught were these pictures of a tube caddis, and green caddis (upper right of rock – 2nd photo) and mayfly nymph.

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Next up opening bass.  Hope I remember everything.

– Hats

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