Sunday, November 30, 2014

Muskie Madness

At the end of September a friend at work invited me out to join him and his cousin in a fishing outing on Lake St. Clair. What a beautiful day it turned out to be. Phil and Steve set out the planner boards and loaded both sides of the boat with four rods. Once the boys had the  boat organized we set off on our adventure. Ready, set, fish!

About a hour into the day and I had the honors of hooking the 1st fish. The pressure was on, I couldn't  afford to loose the 1st fish . My 5 minutes struggle produced a nice  muskie.

Next up was Phil and now the pressure was on him. A hour later and he was on to the next fish .

The day turned out to be a very successful one. We caught 11 fish in 6 hours. My biggest measured out 46 inches just edging Phil's personal best of 45 inches.

Here is a pretty neat device call a recovery trough where water is added at one end and you place the fish facing the flow allowing them to get fresh oxygenated water to help recover before we put the fish back in the lake.

Here is a small video of a couple fish Phil caught. Forgot to film any of my fish but always another time for that

Muskie Madness from Just An Aging Steelheader on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Soo Trip 2014 Vision Rods, Steelhead, Steelhead and Steelhead "Part 2"

 We arrived back at the Soo around noon, Nick and Jay headed off to book a room for the night. I drop Brad off back at the Fly shop and headed back to book myself a room with the understanding we all meet to head out to the rapids at 2 pm. The Soo rapids are the head water from Superior spilling into the St. Maries River and with Superior just officely being ice free that week the water was dam cold. We just came from rivers with temps ranging around 15 degree Celsius (59F) to 2C (35F).  With  6 gates open to the main rapids we could not fish with so much water  which also forced all the fish to be concentrated in the manmade section of the river.

Brad and I fished my favourite pool using strike indicator working the drift like a float rodder would. This hole is deep slow and a natural drift is how you want to attack it. Nick and Jay fished the run above look for a spawning fish then while not disturbing the hen they fished the 5 or 6 fish waiting behind her to gobble up any spawn or bugs that she kicked up while digging her bed up and that drifted away from her . The worst thing you can do is disturb the female. One reason is she need to complete her job to relpenish the resource and second she why the five or six fish are sitting behind her which are usally drop backs or males trying to stage to be the dominate fish.

Now Jay coming from a spin casting background, had never caught a steelhead on the fly rod ever. First cast he ties into his first ever steelie on the fly. Well being a virgin on the fly rod the fish kicked his ass and wave at him with its tail as he dove for more secure dephs. But 3 fish later Jay was able to master the fly rod and landed his 1st steelie on the fly. By the end of the trip Jay had improved so much it was like he had been fishing steelhead on the fly his whole life. He got the technic of nymphing down to a art as if he was a pro. Now the sickness of steelie fishing  had grasped Jay's inner sole and when Nick was ready to leave he couldnt get Jay off the water, "One last cast" I keep hearing.

Jay was so impressed with Brad's teachings of the finner art of fly fishing he sent this letter to the much appricated Brad  

  Just wanted to shoot you a quick email to say thanks buddy! I have done a bunch of fishing over the years but this was EXTREMELY memorable! You taught me how to Spey cast in 5 mins and maybe 15 mins after that, I had a nice Speck! You did a great job putting us on to fish the whole trip! I have NEVER seen such a big run of huge steelies! I cant wait to come back! I have dreamed of it nightly! It will be sooner than you think 😉
Too think...I had hooked, and played, a WAY bigger fish than the one below! I thought I hooked a f*#king TUNA!!!
P.s say thanks to the Red Dragon for me, It was great to watch him fish. I learned a lot watching.

Sent from my iPhone

Jays Letter to Brad says it all on the fun we had on this trip

Oh the Red Dragon came from me biting into a hot saugage just off the gril and the steam that came out of my mouth look like a fire breathing Dragon. The boys were impressed lol.

Well as Jay puts it 2015 is being planned already.

Soo Steelies from Just An Aging Steelheader on Vimeo.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Soo Trip 2014 Vision Rods, Kayaking, Speckle Trout and Steelhead "Part 1"

A trip has to start from somewhere

Well-being a very unproductive spring for me  in Southwestern Ontario for steelies, it was time to do my annual spring trip to the Soo but this year Brad planned a little twist. He invited a couple other guys from the southwest and planned to head off to Superior Provincial Park to kayak and fish for Speckle trout and steelhead. It meant camping in a tent which I hadn't done in something like 30 years but thought what the hell my boy got me heading to Algonquin in August better tuffin up. Now if you never travelled highway 17 you are missing out on one of the most beautiful scenic drives.

Telling there is a lot of beautiful country in Canada to explore there is no need to travel abroad. We finally arrive at our camp ground and set up camp we decide to go out to a nearby lake and fish off the Kayaks for some speckle trout while we wait for Nic and Jay.

Lake Superior Provincial Park Camp Grounds

View out to Lake Superior from our camp site

The fishing was slow but Brad managed a couple bumps using his  silver and cult vision rod with a sinking line. I used a GT four vision rod with a floating line which was silent for this lake making it a nice kayak ride for me.
Brad Kayak fishing for Speckle trout

The boys finally arrived set up camp and we decided to head off to the Agawa river to try for some steelhead. Brad had been up to this river a week earlier hitting it in its prime with a good catch and release of fish. The river had warmed up and dropped a couple feet from the previous week on our arrival. By the end of the night Nic caught and land a nice steelie by nymphing and Jay caught about a 1 1/2 pound speckle trout using the same Technic
Nick's Agawa Steelie

Jay's Agawa Speckled Trout
The next morning we decided to try some rivers an the northern side of  Superior Provincial park for some steelies and speckle trout. The night before we got a lot of rain and finding a river that had not been effected was tuff. Brad and I decided to hit a small lake again for Specks and Jay and Ncck went off to try to find a river fishable. Brad and I fished Rabbit lake and being the nice guy Brad is he asked which rod I wanted to use. I decided go the silver and cult vision rod with sinking line which turn to be a good choice. I had a few fish on but ony landed the one.
Rabbit Lake Speckle Trout

Nick and Jay fished their way back to the camp hitting a couple river stil fishable but rising fast. Nick again nymphng was able to pick up a couple steelies on the mouth of coldwater river.

 Lake Superior Wild Steelhead
Well that night trorrental rains ended this leg of our trip with all the rivers rising fast the next morning so we decided to pack up and  head back to the Soo to fish the rappids which I will describe in my next blog Soo Trip 2014 "part 2". Even though the weather forced us to head back to the Soo I still enjoyed the senery, camping and fishing for specks which I hadn't done in over 30 years and  was very rewarding.



Friday, June 6, 2014

Fun Day Kayaking for small Hammer heads (pike)

Well the weekend plans were set to get the deck painted and a few chore around the house. Kory came home for the weekend to get out of the big city of Toronto and he wanted to get into some fishing. Mom informed him if he helps out and gets most of the chores done he could borrow me for the morning to do some Kayak fishing. Six am Sunday morning came quicker than we thought (Kory being a young guy was out at a stag and Doe until one in the morning) we loaded the Kayaks up to head out to a local stream we knew had an abundance of hammerheads (small Pike) in this water system. Before I could get the Kayaks unloaded Kory was already out casting his favorite spoon for pike called Cyclops. 1st fricken cast he has one on, I hadn't even unloaded the camera gear yet. Well that was the prelude to a good fishing ahead of us.

I stayed at the lower end of the river where we had caught pike previous but Kory being the explorer, ventured 3 k down the river to less traveled area and popped 12 .

 By the time dear old dad made the trek the fishing had pretty much slowed because of  the time of day. Plus we had promised  to be home by 1pm to get  back to work on the deck.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pike Opener On the Kayak

Finally pike opener is upon us so Kory and decided to hit a local inland lake with the kayaks. To be honest it was a slow day and after talking to one of the locals we were informed because of the hard winter there was a little bit of a kill this year on this lake. To add insult to the wound they also told us they keeping everything they caught. Now on a 6 acre lake doesn’t take long to desecrate the population on a small lake like that. This lake in the past usually we are lucky to see 1 or 2 other boats on it but today 8.

Enough of my rant Kory and I both ended up with a couple bass each released back to the lake and Kory had one follow up from a pike about 30 inches but he just wouldn’t take



Well here is a video of me catch a large mouth on my pike fly off the kayak

Largemouth off Kayak from Just An Aging Steelheader on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Skunk Finally out of the Kayak

This has to been one of the toughest springs in  years, thought I get out and get some good spring fishing but that went south fast in April. Two weekends with weddings Easter weekend taking up the 3rd then the 4th weekend the river to high as shown in the picture below


Late Sunday afternoon after just geting back from Niagara Falls Kory said "dad let get the Kayaks out see if we can hit some steelies being its the opening week. Who was I to argue so we loaded up the boats hit a local stream.
To be honest it was a slow day fishing but finally I pulled a nice walleye out of the river. Being out of season in Ontario I had to release it back to the river but was so cool to get my 1st fish fishing out of a Kayak. 


Here is a small video of me catching my 1st fish out of my Kayak. I could have edited it more, specially when I dropped my rod into the river but hey, want to keep it real. Watch the video of my epic 1st fish from a kayak

Skunk Out of the New Kayak from Just An Aging Steelheader on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kayaking, Steelhead, Bass, Muskie, Pike and Walleye all on my Bucket List this Year - Stay Tuned

Sat View of the Great lakes of Ice Coverage

Well with most of the great lakes frozen over its been a long quiet winter for me, but thinking spring is just around the corner, so starting to plan some great fishing adventures this up and coming year. I am getting into kayak fishing this year and hope to get some good videos for the blog.

Jackson Kilroy Kayak
Planning a trip to Algonquian for 5 days fishing for bass and walleye. I will be experimenting on fly fishing for walleye hoping to be able to consistently catch them on the fly.

Algonquian Park

Tippy Dam Manistee
Of coarse the Manistee, lake St. Claire and Sault Saint Marie are all on my bucket list again this year.