Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sunfish and the Eno Clean Up

The hot weather has really killed the fishing for July. Most of my recent fishing attempts have resulted in a skunking. I was wondering if I was going to go a whole month without catching a fish. That isn't unusual for one of the really cold months but in the summer that is strange. A member of TFF sent out a message that there was going to be a clean up on the Eno River. The Triangle Fly Fisher's recently adopted a stretch of the Eno and I felt this would be a good opportunity to get some exposure for the club and do some good. Before the clean up I met some friends to do some fishing. The Eno continues to be my favorite place for sunfish. There has to be 5 sunfish for every square foot of water. I created a video of some of the fishing but it doesn't do it justice. I need to get out with my better camcorder and really show how many fish can be caught in just one small 20ft stretch of water. Here's some of the footage from the recent trip.

After the fishing Chris and Jeff decided to get an early start on the clean up. When we arrived at the clean up site there was about 15 people kind of meandering around and looking for things to do. There was a news crew and table with food for the volunteers. The organizer got everyone together and explained there was going to be 4 teams and people were going to be spread out along the river. The goal was going to be extracting any large unbiodegradable materials. We entered the water armed with gloves and buckets. The wading disturbed sediment and caused clouds of dust to fill the creek. It made seeing the bottom difficult at times but we were still able to find a lot of trash. One tire was severely stuck in the ground. We had 4 people trying to remove it but it wouldn't budge. We think either it was some how intertwined with another tire that was on an axle. It wouldn't surprise me. I did find a racing tire with the rim still in it.It was disturbing how much trash there was in just a small stretch of river. In about 100yds I found glass bottles, cans, a toilet lid, plunger, anti freeze, various metal and tires. Tires of all sizes. The biggest one we found was what looked to be a tractor tire.The size and weight of the tires made us have to get inventive with how we were going to get them out of the creek. Pulling them up the bank with some rope seemed to work well but sometimes the weight of the tire was just too much.

Clean ups take some work and they aren't the first thing you want to do on a weekend but there is a good feeling that comes out of doing them. There's something about knowing the little things you do are making the water cleaner. It's a rewarding experience. It's hard to admit but it's pretty amusing too. You never know what you'll find. Click here for the News Story.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fish Kill near Boone

How fast can the ecosystem of a stream be destroyed? Check out this video of an incident that happened this past weekend in Boone, NC. Construction companies need to be held responsible for actions like this.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dehydration is no joke...

Often times when I fish I forget important things. Sunblock, hat, or a flybox with a better selection. The most important thing I've ever forgot was water. This story began with a hunt for white bass. There was a heat wave from the recent cool spring temperatures. The temp was in the mid 80's, with humidity and wading in deep sediment it seemed like 90. I was with a friend and he was trying to show me a spot where he had caught a bunch the year before. The wading wasn't that tough but at times I got tired of the deep sand and tried to scurry up a muddy bank to find a better spot. This usually ended up with me bush whacking and slipping down an embankment. There were numerous times when my rod went one way and I went sliding a different direction.

The wade was grueling and my friend determination to find a good fishing spot had us hiking more than fishing. We started in the heat of the day at around 2pm. Two hours into it, I think to myself, man I'm thirsty. I see my buddy pull some water out and the smart part of my brain said ask him for some. Ignorantly I didn't listen and pushed on. There was some fish activity, not the kind we were looking for but enough to entertain me and make me forget how thirsty I was. After we were done we decided to try one more place to see if we might have over looked something.

The fishing wasn't any better then where we were at before, we almost were going to call it a day when another fisherman passed us. The conversation was the usual, what's working, how's the fishing? The gentlemen told us of a spot that was about 15min downstream that was supposed to be good if the spot we were at was slow. As tired and thirsty as I was I still wanted to catch some fish so I told my friend let's go for it. The spot was about a mile and a half away and as we neared the bank two other fisherman were coming towards us. I said "You leave some for us?" The reply back was yeah all of them, didn't catch a thing. My heart sank and now I was overcome with fatigue. I cast a few futile attempts and just told my friend I had to get back.

On the walk back I was trying to hurry because I had told my wife I would be home at a certain time so she could get to a dance performance. The pace of my walking and dehydration started to make me feel light headed and I started to feel like maybe I was gonna pass out. I rest for a second, gathered my bearings and calmed my self down. I slowed my pace way down and eventually I started to pass some people fishing. I asked how they were doing not only to be friendly but also give a heads up that I was there in case I was laying some where unconscious on the trail. The more people I saw the less worried I was. I eventually made it back to my car safely. I went to the first restaurant I could find which happened to be a Wendy's. I got some food and the largest sprite they had. I figured this would give me some fluid and sugar to get somewhat re hydrated.

I made it home and my wife left to go to her performance. I was home with the baby and she was asleep for her afternoon nap. I drank some more water and took a shower then sat and relaxed on the couch and watched some TV. About a half hour into it, I felt a tingle in my left quadricep, then it turned into a full blown cramp. It hurt so bad all I could do was yell and try to massage my leg. The cramp hit really hard and I tried to walk it off but that seemed to make it worse. The intensity finally subsided and as soon as it was almost totally gone and I thought my worries were over I felt a tingle in my right quad. The same thing happened all over again this time to the other leg. All I could do is yell and rub my leg. I couldn't even walk right afterwards. When the cramp finally stopped, I went into the kitchen and started looking for any nutrients. I took 2 chewable vitamins, ate some salty tortilla chips a banana and took an adult regular multivitamin. I drank about 3 glasses of water. I was thinking I needed the ingredients of gatorade, which is mostly sugar and salt.

I decided to try to sleep it off and I was happy my daughter didn't wake up through this whole ordeal. I started to slowly dose off when I felt the dreaded tingle again. This time the intensity of the cramp was so bad I almost thought I was gonna have to go to the hospital. The cramps hit both legs pretty much at the same time and after they were over I walked like a monster from a zombie movie. The muscles in my legs were involuntarily twitching. I drank some more water and was so exhausted from the whole ordeal I went back to bed again. My daughter never did wake up and my wife came home wondering why I was in bed. I explained the whole story but when you tell a story like this to your wife, you just get the you're an idiot face.

It was a lesson well learned. Only fished for about 4hrs, but the heat and sweating in the waders made the perfect formula for severe dehydration. I always try to carry water of some kind with me at all times if I'm fishing for more than two hours. In the summer it's a must have. You don't want to go through what happened to me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Time Fishing

July has never been an excellent fishing month for me. It's usually always hot and the fishing is very slow. Unless you're going for bluegill. I've had some luck with bass at a local pond recently and today I went to Falls Lake. We finally had a day under 90degrees. Had to be the first day in a month and a half. I figured the fish might be up to eating since the temperature dropped and there was a chance of thunderstorms. I went with a spin fisherman buddy and he equiped himself with shiners.

We worked a section I had fished before for crappie. I had high hopes but they faded as my friends bobber didn't move for hours and my flies weren't getting much attention. I did catch a few small gills and put them on a spinning rod to see how they'd work. It didn't amount to anything. The day ended up being just a nice time spent with a friend staring at water. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

I'm sure we will fish together again but Falls Lake hasn't been my favorite fishing spot. I haven't heard or seen any great fishing reports from this Lake. I think next time we will try some water that has a better reputation.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Finally Saw a Gar

The Neuse and I have a love hate relationship. It seems whenever I fish there it's either really good or I get skunked. I've been researching catching gar for the last few years. Whenever I talk to people about the best places to see gar the Neuse is always mentioned. The phrase "they are all over" is often used. I've been to the Neuse many times and have never seen one.

I geared up with expectations to hook up with something. I felt kind of funny passing he spin fisherman while wearing heavy duty gloves and carrying a fly that looked like road kill. Rope flies are supposedly the fly of choice for gar and they don't cast or look pretty.I get them from a guy who has caught a lot of gar and has become sort of a specialist. You can find out more at Fly Fishing West VA and Beyond.

I passed some kids fishing and fished right next to a dam where water swirled and seemed to make a deep pool. The current was insane at times I thought I had a fish but it was just the current moving my fly. I worked downstream and didn't see any sign of fish. the fly cast so ugly and I started to wonder if the only way to have a chance at catching a gar was from a boat. Having covered a good half mile of river and not seeing a gar again made me question this "all over" comment people made. If I say a fish is all over some where, it would mean you walk five feet upstream or downstream and you'd most likely see one. Gar are not that prevalent.

I tried a different section walked past the various fisherman and asked if they'd seen any gar. Most said no or didn't know what I was saying. Then while feeling my most frustrated I saw the shadow of a slinky fish moving into deeper water. I didn't get a chance to look at it long but it was unmistakably a gar. I had finally saw one. Now I just had to catch it. I cast and used various techniques. I saw splashes and gulps that I can only imagine were gar feeding and rising for air. I never had any hits on the rope fly. At least none I could detect. It was tough fishing and the weight of the fly could easily warrant using a 10wt. I'm going to change things up a bit and try a different fly material and technique. I think wade fishing for gar takes a lighter fly that drifts slower in the current. I didn't catch any gar but the trip was a good learning experience. I found a place to fish for Shad when they run again. I also know for sure gar truly are in the section I was fishing. I will definitely fish for them again before summer is over.