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5-19-05 - The typical calm before the storm.
A nice little northern breaks the day's skunk.
Same pike from the other side...at least 2 of the gill rakers appear to have been sliced and yet this fish lives on!
A nice CHUNKY northern makes it 2 for the day.
There's a Tornado Warning to the south...just so happens this is a picture of the southern sky from the pier...um...maybe I should go in?

5-19-05 - Tornado Schmaeto - there's PIKE TO BE HAD!

Waters Fished: Lake Como
Fish Caught: 7 for 8!!!
Outing Date: 5-19-05
Weather: Raining on and off all afternoon
Air Temp: 65F or so
Water Temp: 64F
Water Level: normal
Water Color: typical murky green, less than 6" vis
Fish Species: Northern Pike
Pattern Fished: Flying Bunny
Pattern Color: red/white, black/olive/chartruese
Fishing Quality: simply whacked out INSANELY GOOD for Lake Como

So it's 7-23-05 and I'm writing a report that's 2 months overdue...it'd be pretty tough were it not for the fact that I KEEP NOTES! ;) Granted, my NOTES say I landed 7 fish, but I have pictures of 8! So either one fish was shot twice OR I forgot to write one down!

I remember heading to the the lake in anticipation of a trip to Minnesota with Renee...their family was about to leave their lakefront home on Minnetonka for a more northerly location. I was ready to go but had about 2 days to wait...what better time than to go fishin!

I arrived at Lake Como around 2:30 PM and after taking care of minor things I hit the water around 3:00 PM. Right off the bat I lost a northern...seriously within 10 casts. In short order however, my first guy came to dock. Nothing to brag about, but the skunk was off. Shortly thereafter, a 2nd, more respectable Lake Como Northern fell victim to the same pattern as the first - the Red & White Flying Bunny.

I took a water temp - 64F...right in the sweet spot I suppose. My neighbor came over and informed me that not only would it be raining soon, but more importantly a Tornado warning had been issued for our area in about 10 minutes. I nervously flogged the water while watching the sky....at the first hint of rain I went inside and cooked up some grub while keeping my eye on The Weather Channel.

Despite the fact that the Tornado was "close", it wasn't close enough and there weren't any local reports of any major damage, so the moment the rain let up I was back on the water! Afterall, sometime back in the 30's or 40's we had a tornado - as my Grandmother told me it literally came in over the lake and passed right between our house and our neighbor's. I remember seeing a newspaper picture with some of my relatives standing next to a VW Bug on our property that had been crushed by a tree that fell on it. Well, OK, I'm not convinced that a Tornado can squeeze through an opening of less than 50 feet and not touch either house in the process, but it's a "Grandma" story, ya know? Kinda like the times she'd tell me that Swedish Meatballs were Reindeer meatballs made from a reindeer my grandfather had shot with a bow and arrow. Of course they were regular old Swedish meatballs, but how is a 4 year old supposed to know any different?! Anyway, the whole point of all this is that our Lake Como house had already seen it's tornado...what are the odds it'd happen twice in less than 100 years? Good enough odds for me to go ahead and get right back to the fishing!

I'd say I got in about 5 minutes on the water before the sky darkened again and the rain started pouring.

The rain stopped and all was calm again..for about 5 minutes. Back to another downpour...look at all those freakin' geese!!! Ah, it's finally stopped raining...time to get back on the water even though it LOOKS like a sunset to the west!

OK, once again the rain stopped and I was back on the pier in an instant...heck it was still drizzling but the point is I WAS FISHIN! This move paid off big time with FOUR more Pike!

Pike #3! Good Sized! Not a big one but look at the shoulders on #4! Another Lake Como Northern...nothin' huge but not too shaby when you want something bigger than a trout or a panfish!
A good closeup of this guy! I measured this one - 29" length, 10" girth! That's a 6th Pike...man talk about hot action! The sun is peaking through about a mile away, but more rain is coming!

Pike #7 - right before it rained again! Is this Pike #8 or a 2nd shot of #7...honestly I just don't know!

The action was simply outstanding...this is how it's supposed to be. It probably averaged out to something like a fish every 30 minutes, which considering how murky Lake Como is, ain't too shabby for a fly rodder! Looking to the Northwest I could tell more rain was coming, but that didn't stop me from nabbing yet another pike or two?!

Finally at 6:00 PM it started to rain yet again. This time, screw it, I'd get wet. I spent another 45 minutes getting soaked in search of more PIKE - it just wasn't meant to be. I guess the rain simply turned them off.

Overall size ranges went from roughly 22" to 29" (with a 10" girth)...yeah they're not HUGE PIKE but they're compareable to the average steelhead in some respects. Looks like I may have found a great late spring / early summer fishery in a lake I'd written off for years.

  MP 

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