6-25-03 - At least I'm not skunked, but what's
with all the follows?
Waters Fished: Lake Michigan (HOME)
Fish Caught: 1/5
Outing Date: 6-25-03
Weather: Sunny winds from the south
Air Temp: 70's, winds from the south about 7 mph
Water Temp: N/A - just below 60F according to satellite data
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Clear & Blue
Fish Species: Coho, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Perch
Pattern Fished: MP's Perch Bait
Pattern Color: consists of 2 shades of light pearl / greenish blue
Krystal Flash + and underwing of Silver Flashabou, with red marabou
gills and lead presentation eyes (the bigger the better).
Fishing Quality: What's with all the follows?!?!?!
Hey Hey! Tons of Perch were stacked up under the
alewifes by my house! I figured this would be a great morning. Got
to the shore by 5:15 am (barely standing...that's just TOO early).
Well, to make a long story short I got TONS of follows, probably
6 confirmed hits, but all the missed hits where takes from the SIDE
of the fly and for some reason that doesn't hook up! I did manage
to bring one perch to the surface early and LOST IT. Later on while
chasing the large Coho that was cruising I hooked up with a Rainbow
Trout of respectable size (probably not a Steelhead but rather an
Arlee as that's what's stocked by Illinois for SHORE fishing). I
also got a lot of looks from a good size brown that was cruising.
3 hours later I just couldn't take it...it was
warming up...I wasn't getting hits, only follows...and I have to
WORK sometime today. So I packed it up.
And then I came back after work! Bart decided to
fish up @ Waukegan; I tried by Home again...they landed relatively
TONS (minnows, spoons etc). I ended up with ONE and a few more missed
strikes. A few folks on Chicagolandfishing.com
suggested some ideas to turn follows into hits and it may have done
the trick..my hits came on blisteringly fast retrieves...the fly
had relatively large lead eyes that helped keep it a couple feet
under the surface...perch would fly up out of nowhere and WHACK
Also saw my first goby to boot. Fishing overall
was slow, and with the dropping barometer the perch all moved offshore.
A few guys commented on the Fly Fishing aspect on Lake Michigan,
here's my take. Yes, it's tough, but it can be done (as I've clearly
demonstrated). A few things I've picked up to remember:
- Know where you can cast with the
current wind situation, aka. know the locations. One of
the reasons I didn't go to the South Rocks at Waukegan this evening
was that winds were coming in from the south..hence I'd be casting
INTO the wind all day. No good. And if you find your first area
isn't hot, have a backup (see yesterday with Gillson, in some
respects we shouldn't have left home).
- LONG leaders and/or sink tip lines,
flourcarbon tippets in the 8 lb. and higher range - you
need to get DOWN there. The heavy leaders lessen the likelihood
you'll break off when hand-hauling a fish up those steep jetties,
rocks, piers and other sharp concrete & metal structures.
- Lots of LEAD or the equivalent
nontoxic sinking materials - you need to get down!
- Keep your catches to yourself as
much as possible - the problem I've discovered with fishing
by my place is that everyone leaves you alone until they see you
catch a fish...15 minutes after I landed the perch this evening
I had 6 kids constantly peering into my bag of fish, and 2 other
guys FISHING and crowding me out. Not to mention another curious
onlooking adults. It went from 1 person on the breakwater to 20!
- Avoid the common spots, or at least
be prepared to not have the prime lie - again that's what
happens. Bait tossers who are just bobbing can stand shoulder
to shoulder and fish...the only way you can fish with them is
to jig or simply float under an indicator.
- Fish in the Morning - less
people are out at 5:00 am vs. 5:00 pm
- Talk to other anglers - so
far they've all been more friendly than the average fly angler
you'd run into on a trout stream...they don't come to the lakeshore
seeking SOLITUDE! Another example; the posting I did today taught
me a lot about perch, a species I've never targeted before. Even
though folks are fishing them with bait, jigs and such, I still
have a lot of info I can apply to flying for them.
- Cast to sighted fish...it's
a LOT OF FUN! That means WEAR polarized glasses. Watching a school
of rainbows or Coho chase down your fly is a big rush! Fish hone
in on that SPLASHDOWN your fly makes.
- Be prepared to switch up -
if the species you're targeting is not biting, there's probably
something else you can try for.
- Patience - YOU MUST HAVE IT.
First, the baitfishers are usually going to outfish you. Second,
you have to deal with folks from all different sects of angling,
the difference here is that they're much more concentrated at
the lakeshore. Finally, conditions change and you need to be flexible.
Fly fishing at the shore is NOT for the impatient.