Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hello Summer Pattern!

Wow, where did this heat come from? One day we were are foggy, wind and drizzle. Next thing you know I am fishing in 80-degree temps. Colorado weather usually keeps me on my toes but this year it has me darn near schizophrenic. Some days I don’t know whether to bring an extra jacket or a dog sled.

The warm weather over the weekend however shifted things beautifully into more of a summertime pattern that was explosive. High temperatures leapt from high 60’s and low 70’s to mid 80’s catapulting activity across the spectrum. Bugs are going crazy and so are the fish. I could see fish suspending on the surface looking for that airborne snack. My mouth salivates in the early summer bliss.

(Above: Spectacular panfish! In the lower right of the picture you may or may not see the thick yellow fly line. No biggie.)

Reaching for the long rod first, the fly is technically a shrimp pattern that I am trying to pass off as a minnow. There is only one of these in my box of four or five flies. Second roll cast and I pull out the panfish shown above. I believe this to be a sunfish\bluegill hybrid…open to debate)

(Above: White crappie on the fly. The white crappies are not impressive in this pond for some reason and one of the many things that I ponder in my Zen-like state. White crappie can be extremely brilliant fish in the 14’er range. This guy is barely 8-inches nose to fin.)

(Above: Chunky bass on the fly. He was mixed up with the panfish, this may be a case of identity crisis or just another wannabe bucket hanging with the forage until it is large enough to eat them.)

At this point I am working a combination of rods and gear from the pontoon boat. I purchase an additional rod stamp every year so that I can legally transition two rods in the water at the same time whether it is trolling or even letting one rod bounce the bottom for a while as I rig something else up. After a handful of fish on the fly the bites stop coming. Switch back to the jig combo and get a spastic bite. Turns out to be a slab of a black crappie.

(Above: Fantastic black crappie slab that hit the spin gear. I don’t come across crappie like this very often. Amazing looking fish. Did I mention that I drove 100 miles for these guys earlier in the year and completely blanked!?!)

What is nice about the multi-rod transition is being able to bounce from one scenario or setup to another on the next cast. When the panfish bite is a no go I fall back to bass or vice-versa. I may find success on one pattern or another or I can work the area pulling two different types of action out of the same spot. Being versatile is something I try to improve on every year. Hopefully my fish pictures over the years reinforce the fact that improvement is always possible.

Sure I caught a few bass along the way. The jig combo seemed to pick up bites from anywhere. These are some custom jigs that I have been tinkering with after some of my favorite commercial brands have been eliminated from the market. Close but not perfect.

(Above: Casting for bass is not just a sideline sport for me. It is pure addiction.)

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


Anonymous said...

Nice Black Crappie, Matt. I wish Idaho would kick into the (70) degree area let alone the (80's). As always, enjoy the photos and the post that goes with them.

Bigerrfish said...

Exelent post Matt!! Way to show the diverse ways of angling..

Basspastor said...

That sunfish is a pumpkinseed, which are about the prettiest of all sunfish in my opinion.