Hit Lake St. Clair last night. The weather had blown through around 6 PM on Saturday
evening. Leaving the lake calm and quiet. I took a friend of John's, from Flymart
Flyshop, out to chase Mr. Muskie on a fly rod. John mentioned that he should give
it a shot before he heads back to France. I was in the shop grabbing a few odds
and ends and had planned on going out solo that evening. I welcomed a chance to
have someone else join up since it always is a great opportunity to learn something
new or to at least swap fish stories.
We met up at Harly Ensign DNR access on Lake St. Clair, which was as empty
as I had seen it on a Saturday night. I guess the weather had put a lot of boats
off the water on Saturday. We headed up north into Anchor Bay and visited a
few of my haunts.
We cast large muskie style streamers for about 2 hours, targeting weed beds
around anchor bay and working some of the deeper channel edges. With no success
by dusk, we decided to target bass the rest of the evening.
We rigged up for top water action in Anchor Bay. Both of us tied on deer hair
flies to entice the fish. Things were going pretty slow for us and it seemed
that we could not buy a fish. The lake was almost dead calm and there was little
or no apparent surface action. There was a pretty good size caddis hatch that
turned on just after dusk. It was not getting any attention from the fish. I
was getting a little frustrated has I had heard that the lake had turned on
this week. This happened to conicide with the data in the Flymart Online Solunar
Calendar. I knew that were off by a day but I thought that things would be going
better than they had already. Well that's fishing.
We just moved till we found some willing participants and I ended up landing
a small Largemouth bass on a fruit basket deer hair. Now that the skunk was
off, my new fly fishing partner had a splashing miss on a Dalberg diver about
10 minutes later in the same area. He put the next cast out in the same area
and was startled by an explosion on the surface.
He swung fast and hooked the fish. I figured that he had a nice bass due to
the sound of the disturbance. I was putting down my fly rod to offer landing
assistance and he kept saying that "this does not feel like a bass".
As he worked the fish closer to the boat, I flipped on my Tikka LED headlamp
and saw the unmistakable glowing eyes of a very nice Walleye. To say we were
suprised is an understatement. He had nailed a nice 26" Walleye on that
top water fly, a green and white Dalberg Diver.
Safely in the boat we snapped a couple of picks with the Dalberg still firmly
hooked in the Walleye's lip and my new friend with a large smile on his face,
holding it. I explained what nice table fare a walleye is and he quickly decided
the fish would serve as a nice meal. Keeping a fish is a rare thing for us,
but I really don't think Walleye fall in to the catch and release category when
using a fly rod. I hope his wife will accept the fish as payment from me, for
keeping him out late on a Saturday Night :)
This was his first Walleye and the first I had seen on a top water fly. I have
caught quite a few Walleye this season on clouser's. Most of them in deeper
water and usually after dark. So he chalked up another species that has has
taken on the fly rod while here in Michigan. I mentally added Dalberg Divers
to the list of flies you can use to entice Mr. Wally.
This works out great as I am learning to spin deer hair in a fly tying class
at Flymart. At Tuesday's class we will be spinning up that same fly. I will
bring the story to share with the class. I will bet that Bruce, our teacher,
will not be suprised. He has been spinning and stacking deer hair flies for
many years and has probably seen everything. Well maybe almost everything.
Have fun! -- We sure do.
Jeff Selser - AKA "Netdoctor"