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Fall is in the air.

August 29, 2016

August 28, 2016

It’s way too early to be thinking about winter but fall is in the air as evident by this maple tree which is starting to show it’s colors.

And speaking of colors; the morning sky was impressive.  Hitting the road this morning I thought for a moment of heading to Lake Minnetonka but I saw lightning way off on the horizon and thought I’d stick with my plan of fishing Lake Ann.  I was greeted with a beautiful sunrise and a weather system that stayed just to the north of the lake.

Fishing was slow at first.  I tried a black Jitterbug in the shallow weeds and worked it around some lily pads.  There were bait fish schooled up but nothing was attacking it other than panfish.  Tried a frog in the pads.  Nothing.  Spinner bait.  Nothing.   Crankbait.  Nothing.  Bucktail. Nothing.  Wacky worm nothing.  Rattle Trap. Nothing.  Pit boss creature bait – strike and a miss on the first cast.  A few casts later I caught a snake northern pike but the pattern went cold after that.  Switched back to the bucktail and caught a larger pike, about 24.”  Back to the crankbait, a Storm Wiggle-Wart, which I was ripping through the shallow weeds in about 3 – 7 FOW.  This tactic resulted in the first LBM of the day, a scrappy 15″ fish.  A few minutes later I caught another small pike as the bait bumped off some weeds.  Half a dozen casts later another strike and right away I knew I had a nice, heavy fish on. A couple runs later I brought it to the net for a quick measure, 20″, and back into the water.

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After two more bass and two more pike, I needed to call it a day. The thing that stuck with me was that I thought about past experiences and I kept trying different tactics until something clicked and then stuck with it.  I knew that given the water quality that the fish weren’t deeper than probably 15′ and once I got past 7 FOW there were no weeds, so the fish had to be between the weed line and the shoreline.  I periodically tried the slop but had no takers.  Therefore, they had to be in the weeds or on the break.  I didn’t need an underwater camera, side finder, or HydroWave unit to emit sounds of a “feeding frenzy” to catch fish.  I couldn’t believe the article I read about using a Hydo Wave to help catch fish.  Basically it is a sound system with  an underwater speaker that emits sounds of spawning bait, feeding frenzies and schooling baits and is designed to stimulate feeding activity.  I love to catch fish, we all do, but I’ve come to realize there are times when I’m going to get skunked.  That’s part of the mystery, the lore, of fishing.  With all of that technology at hand, where does skill, art, persistence, intuition, smelling the air, and thinking come into play.  Am I really a fisherman if I drive around in my $60,000 metal flaked fiberglass bass boat watching my electronics and only fishing when I see a school of fish and then turn on my Hydro Wave and watch my underwater camera to see how they respond?  Seems more like a video game than fishing to me.  We are already superior creatures, do we really need to stack the odds so heavily in our favor that we leaving nothing to chance?  Sometimes I think that is the beauty of fly fishing.  No electronics.  No cameras.  Just your eyes. Your brain.  Your senses.  Find a seam, find a pocket, find a little eddy.  Now try to match the hatch and present it in a way that fools the fish.  Fishing at its purest.

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– Hats

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