Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mom's Catfish

From my experience August has always been catfish month.  This most recent fishing trip just confirmed that even more.  My mother is still getting the hang of fly fishing.  She recently took a Orvis Fly Fishing 101 class where she learned the basics of casting and how to rig the rod herself.  This was the first trip where she rigged up her fly rod and tied all the flies on herself.  The only help I provided was suggestions on fly selection.  The trip was really a test for my new toy.
  I have never used a fish finder before and I have always been interested in how exactly they work.  If nothing else it would be neat to see what the bottom of the lake looks like.  I wanted to cover a lot of water so I decided to rent a canoe.  I haven't fly fished much from a canoe and my mother hadn't done it ever.  She hasn't had much experience in a canoe in general.
  We headed out and the weather was almost perfect.   The fish finder didn't mark much and it was amazing how much of the lake bottom was featureless.  The finder showed the water was 81 degrees and the average depth was around 8ft.  I set the fish alarm to only go off if it signals medium to large fish.  Not really sure what that means but the finder went off at various points that made sense.  Any indention's or obvious changes on the lake bottom usually registered at least one fish.  The fishing was slow and as we we let the wind drift the canoe I heard a familiar sound of a fish feeder.  At first I wasn't sure if that was exactly what I heard but then I saw the splashes and fins from fish feeding underneath.  We headed over and started to fish around the feeder.  By the time we got there the surface frenzy had died down but you knew the fish had to still be there.  The fish finder started to go crazy registering fish all over.  I'm not sure if the fish alarm is a good or bad thing.  It was kind of hectic looking through my fly box and being distracted with beep..... beep beep..... beep in the background. Each beep signaled a fish and one showed up as a big one.  I knew something that looked like a fish pellet would probably work but I had nothing similar.  I decided to go with a carp crack fly my buddy ties.  I hucked my line near the feeder waiting for a tug.  It didn't take long.  After a few stips I felt resistance and had a fish on.  I figured it was a catfish and I tried setting the hook a few more times.  That was my mistake, the fish came loose right under the boat.  We circled the feeder a few times and as I was looking across the lake I heard "I got one, I got one!"   I looked over to see my mom's rod bent over and almost pulling the tip into the water.  I remembered she only had a 5wt and this fish was pulling hard.  I thought if it was a big cat it might break it.  I tried to position the boat and give her directions to have the fish tow the canoe.  That way it could get tired on its on instead of making the rod do all the work.  In the riot I grabbed my mom's phone and started to record her first big fish with a fly rod.
You can tell from the video I had more fun watching her catch it than if I had caught the fish myself. She did a great job fighting the fish and I could tell she was stoked the whole day. It was a really nice catfish and a great accomplishment to catch it with a fly rod. If this is an indication of the fishing in August, bring on the catfish!


  1. Kev
    Really enjoyed the video; Think you just picked up a fishing partner for life. Your Mom did a good job of the landing the catfish. I have one of those depth finders exactly like the one you have. I finally turned off the fish alarm because it was so annoying. I only use mine for depth and temp, they are really handy for both of those functions. As for the fish alarm I am a little skeptical because sometimes it will pick up leaves floating down under and think it is fish. Great Post!!

  2. Thanks Bill, I'm happy with the fish finder. I'm skeptical about the side finder. Seems like it picks up everything. I do love being able to see what the bottom looks like.

  3. Perfect! Mom is a fly fish fool now and you are quilty! Fish feeders are uncommon to non existent here, would be interesting to be near one.