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I spent the majority of the day inside watching it rain. I did take the time to spool up a reel with new 10 weight line and mount it on a 10 weight rod I had forgotten I bought last fall.

That might be the first sign of a problem. I was thinking about buying a 10 weight for fishing bass in heavy cover and for pike fishing. As I was shopping around trying to figure out if I could spend the money at the moment for something of decent quality I realized there was a fly rod in my garage I bought last year. I went out to take a look at it and sure enough it was a 9/10 weight. I bought it from a snagger that needed money so it had a 7/8 weight reel that was spooled up with monofilament.

I started looking for a reel on ebay hoping to maybe find one spooled with line already. Then it clicked. I have a 2 handed 5 weight rod and reel in the garage that I don’t use and the reel is too big. Again there might be signs of a problem developing here but I am just going to ignore that.

So today I swapped reels put the 10 weight line on the larger reel and spooled the other with a brand new switch line that I had forgotten about in my office. Perfect 2 fly rods all ready to go and both new to me in one way or another.

It was still raining when I sent my friend Jamie a text asking if he wanted to go fishing in the rain. I knew he would say yes. He is always up for fishing in the worst weather at the worst time of day.

I told him where to meet me and put the rods in the truck. I was excited to try out this 10 weight and hoped to find larger bass in a pond I just started fishing last week. My first trip to the pond I only had small poppers and a 5 weight. Today I had bigger flies and a heavier rod.

It was still raining as we strung up the rods. I gave Jamie the 5 weight with a smaller foam bug that I knew would catch something. As I tied on a fly that was given to me by a fellow guide and friend I pointed out how, well let’s just say not pretty it was. We had a little laugh but I said what my friend always says “It doesn’t have to look pretty, it just has to have the right shape and

size.

” In the case of top water bass flies the right movement is also very important.

It only took two casts to prove that statement true. I soon was releasing a Largemouth. I didn’t end up landing any big ones but I did see one that was over 2 pounds caught by a guy with a spinning rod. That gave me more hope that there may be some true lunkers in this water. After only fishing a short time I caught 3 bass and Jamie caught 2 crappie. We missed a bunch more strikes and will be back there with a boat in the near future.

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of guiding Cherie, her son Ben, and his friend Luke. The boys are both 11 years old. They fished with me back in the fall for salmon and the boys worked together to land the one salmon we managed to hook that night.  This time they wanted to catch lots of fish even if they weren’t all that big.

I took them to one of my favorite spots to go just catch fish. I knew they wanted to take fish home for dinner so I hoped we would get into some Crappie and Rock bass which we did. I also knew that the smallies would keep them very busy.

Keeping kids busy is the most important part of taking them fishing. If kids get bored they won’t stay interested in fishing for long.  Don’t take young kids to a body of water that doesn’t hold a lot of fish or holds fish that are difficult to to catch. Find some place that holds panfish that can be caught with a worm or minnow and a bobber.

I chose minnows and bobbers for our trip. I also had night crawlers and wax worms just in case. As an added bonus my minnows were a split of fat heads and rosy reds. The red/orange minnows not only caught fish but the boys thought they were really cool.

Though out the afternoon we landed 7 crappie, 4 rock bass, a big blue gill, and over 20 smallmouth bass. We kept the crappie, the 2 bigger rock bass and the blue gill which provided them a delicious dinner the next night.  This is another way to get kids interested and keep them interested in fishing. If they like to eat fish take them fishing for a species they can keep and eat. Catch and release can come later in life for them.  Keeping what they catch allows them to show off more than just a picture and it is rewarded for them to eat fish they caught.

If you notice the kids getting bored or restless it may be time to switch it up. Skip rocks, look for frogs, or even call it a day. I can’t stress enough you must pay attention to how they are acting and if it is time to call it a day call it a day. Don’t keep them out there when they don’t want to be there just because you aren’t ready to go home.

If you want to take your kid fishing but don’t know where to start or have the equipment give me a call. I offer discounts for take a kid fishing trips. I will provide all the gear and bait. I have the patience to help teach how to cast and to untangle lines all day if needed. I am willing to bet your kid will not be the worst fisherman that has been on my boat. I have a few good spots weather your want fish to take home for dinner or just want to catch and release a lot of fish. We will have a good time and your kid or kids will go home with stories to tell all their friends.

 

 

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First off I would like to say good luck to all of those headed out for opening day tomorrow. As I write this I am sure on some streams there are people already lined up waiting for midnight to start casting.

Opening day is a holiday for many. For those that have to work they will most likely spend the day doing their job while secretly planning their attack for Saturday.  I am sure there are some that will even call in sick if they haven’t already.

I am going back to work tomorrow after being out for 3 weeks due to having my gallbladder removed. I know going back to work on opening day is crazy but I have guide trips Saturday, Sunday, and Monday so I needed to be back to work before I can be guiding.  Also there is the fact that my home water, the Salmon River, is open for trout fishing all year. We have been chasing giant rainbow trout, steelhead, all winter long and will continue to do so through April. In fact the bite just started to really get good while I have been out of work and unable to fish so I am really looking forward to this weekend. I do still have a couple dates open but my April is close to being fully booked.

In between working and guiding for steelhead this month I will be organizing my fly vest and tying more flies. Just waiting for May when I will hang up the steelhead gear and start chasing brookies, rainbows, and browns. I have already been following the line blue lines on my topo map and searching for new places to try. There is a beaver pond I have been meaning to hike to for two years now and this is going to be the year I finally do it. I have never been a still water fly fisherman but that is going to change this year.

I am also planning a trip to my favorite trout stream the West Branch of the Ausable river. I introduced my friend Jamie to it last year and he had a blast even though we were only able to fish one evening. This year we are planning a 4 day trip filled with trout and craft beer which happen to be two of my favorite things.

I am looking forward to seeing the Facebook and Instagram posts tomorrow as the mild winter has left most streams in prime condition for the opener.  Even the Tug Hill streams that normally have snow lined banks are in great shape as all the snow has already melted and run off.  Again good luck to everyone that is fishing tomorrow or this weekend.

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I had the pleasure of guiding Tom and Joe today. I decided yesterday I was tired of playing the who can get on the river earliest game. Last Saturday I pulled in to the Launch at 3:50 am and was not the first boat in the river. This morning we launched the boat at 5:30. I knew we wouldn’t get the spot I wanted but I also knew we could still get a good spot. We anchored up in a spot I like, started the heater and waited for day light.

Once it became legal fishing time we started casting Finger Lakes Tackle spinners. On Tom’s third cast the spinner stopped dead then took off upstream in the mouth of a nice 6 pound steelhead. Tom did an excellent job fighting the fish and it wasn’t long before it was in the net. They had decided they wanted to keep one to eat so this one went into the box. It was a good thing it did because the rest of the day we had a lot of trouble getting them to the hoop. We did land a nice little brown trout later in the morning though.

Spinners and egg sacks took all the hits today. Talking to people as we made our way down the river it seemed that most people were having a slow day. There were a few drift boats that had a pretty good day though. I know Tom and Joe thought it was an excellent day, as did I. We battled snow, wind, and cold all day yet still managed to hook multiple fish and land a couple. That is a good day in my mind.

Tom and Joe also enjoyed the comfortable seats and the warmth of the heater. Multiple times they complimented the Pavati especially using the doors to get in and out of the boat. I am definitely looking forward to fishing out of it this winter.

Finger Lakes Tackle Spinners doing work

Finger Lakes Tackle Spinners doing work

Happy Customers

Brown Trout and Cigars

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This review is very late as it was mid August when I had the pleasure of visiting the Reno Fly Shop. I figured late is better than never and I must share my experience with this awesome fly shop.

The Reno Fly Shop is located right in Reno, Nevada. It is walking distance from the Truckee River. The guys that run this shop are great. I was headed to Reno to visit some of my wive’s family so I of course googled fly shops in Reno, Nevada. It turns out there is only one and it is the Reno Fly Shop. Looking at the map I could see it was walking distance from Circus Circus where we were staying so I put it on my must do list.

Our first day in Reno my wife, son, and I went for a walk around. After checking out a few shops we made our way to the Reno Fly Shop. As I walked in I could tell I was going to like the place. We were immediately greeted by one of the owners. (I am horrible with names.) We told them we were in town visiting family and I was interested in fishing for at least one morning while I was in town. We talked about fishing in New York and Nevada for a bit.

I asked about hiring a guide as I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to fish and wanted to make the best of my time. They told me that if guided back home I probably didn’t really need a guide there. They would rent me the equipment and point me in the right direction. This was a shock to me as most places want to get as much money out of you as possible.

I came back a few days later to rent a fly rod for the next day. The basic set up was $20 a day. That included fly rod and reel, a hip pack, leader, tippet material, fly floatant, and basic tools. All I needed to buy was some flies. They picked out a half dozen flies that would work, gave me directions to a good section of the river, and told me how to fish it. I couldn’t wait for the next morning.

The next morning my wife, son and I arrived at the river around 7 am. I was going to fish and she was going to go for a run through the park with our son. I rigged up the fly rod and headed to the river. On my first cast the dropper became snagged on a rock and when it came loose the line tangled on the end of the rod. I placed the reel on the rock next to me as I made my way up to the tangle on the end of the rod. As I untangled the line the reel fell off the rock leaving me holding just the last 8 inches of the rod. You can probably guess what happened at that point. The rod snapped in my hand. I couldn’t believe it. I sent a text to my wife and headed to the car.

After breakfast we headed back to the shop to tell them what had happened. I had full intentions on paying for the rod I had broke. When I told them what happened they told me not to worry about it it was covered under warranty and they would just send it back. Not only did they not charge me for the next days rental because I didn’t get to fish that day but they wouldn’t let me even pay the shipping to send the rod back. These guys are fisherman and understand that things happen. Of course this caused me to spend extra money in the shop on clothing and a fly box that I have been using this salmon season and am very glad I bought.

The next day I did get to fish the Truckee River which is a beautiful river. I didn’t land any fish that morning but I didn’t hook into a very large trout that go off after making a down stream run around a very large boulder.

If you are ever in Reno I highly recommend that you stop in the Reno Fly Shop. Even if you don’t have time to fish while you are there I am guessing you will at least want a tee shirt as they have a great logo.  If you are planning to fish while you are in town this is a must stop before you fish as they guys really know there stuff. There is no doubt in my mind that your day on the water will be better if you stop in the shop the day before.

 

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There is nothing worse that waking up early after staying up late preparing for a fishing trip only to find the wind blowing way to hard to get out on the water.  If you fish Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, or any similar water there is no doubt you have had one of these mornings.  This has happened to me the last two days. The wind and rain have been to intense to get out on the water.

I normally take advantage of these days by getting work done around the house.  After all a happy wife is a happy life.  Some days I just can’t get the fishing bug out of my head though. These days I like to spend tying flies, putting new line on my reels, or writing about fishing.  There is also the most expensive blow off day activity buying new gear. I try to stay away from this last one even though it is the most fun.

What do you do on blow off days?

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Today was my first ever day fishing open water on Oneida Lake New York. Yes there are a few bodies of water in the Central New York area that I have not fished. Until today this was one of them. I have fished it through the ice a couple times but never open water.

I have been getting reports of the Walleye fishing on Oneida Lake being hit or miss. Some days guys have been crushing them and then getting nothing in the same spot the next.

Today I was fishing with my friend Mike Tankersly aboard his Lund boat. Mike fishes Oneida Lake regularly so I was excited to be out with him. We launched out of Oneida Shores boat launch. It was my first time at the launch and I was very impressed. I would recommend using it.

It turned out today was one of the miss days, although we did have some action. Shortly after we started fishing Mike caught a perch around 8 inches. Many places I fish this would be a keeper but anyone who has fished Oneida Lake for perch knows that this is a small one there. It wasn’t long after that I felt a hit on my black and purple buck tail jig. It was a nice walleye about 18 inches or so. As we continued our drift we noticed the boats around us where moving to other spots and not drifting back through the area we where in. We fished for a bit longer and then decided to do the same.

At our next spot Mike caught another perch, this one even smaller then the first. We both caught big small mouth bass. Another fish that Oneida Lake is know for.  I also managed to hook up with and land 2 pickerel. One of which was the smallest I have ever caught. I didn’t measure it as I wanted to get it right back in the water but I am guessing it went about 10 inches.

We only had a few hours to fish this morning so we quickly went and unsuccessfully tried one other spot before it started to rain and we decided to call it a day about a half hour earlier than planned. Overall I was happy with my first trip to Oneida Lake walleye fishing. After all my one walleye would be enough for dinner for my wife and I. Mike said next time would be better though so I can’t wait to get back out there and try it again.

 

 

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I fished Sandy Pond last night for a few hours on my friend Nate’s Boat. Nate is a local Charter Captain specializing in Walleye and Brown Trout.
We ended up hooking 2 and landing this nice 24″ fish. Both hits came on my secret walleye lure.
Our goal last night was to try out a couple spots including one new one we where recently informed of. The new spot proved to be a good one as it was where we hooked both fish. I believe if we had stayed there we would have caught more but again the goal was to try a few different places so we kept moving. Now that we have the new spot dialed in I can not wait to get back out there.
Walleye fishing on Sandy Pond has drastically improved over the last few years. The best part is that not very many people know about the great fishing that can be had on Sandy Pond so most nights you can have the whole pond to yourself. If you are interested in a walleye fishing trip contact me. Nate or I would be glad to take you out there.

This walleye was caught while fishing Sandy Pond New York.

This walleye was caught while fishing Sandy Pond New York.

Sandy Pond New York has some nice walleyes.

Sandy Pond New York has some nice walleyes.

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Spring had come early. The early spring brought on some excellent Brown Trout fishing in the end of March and it continued through the month of April. Now it was May and water levels were lower than they should be for that time of year. I had a guide trip booked for opening night at midnight and was worried.

I spent the day time rigging rods and shopping at Gander Mountain. I was worried with the low water I would need some different lures to put fish in the boat. I purchased multiple small jigs and smaller stick baits. Now that the boat was all set it was time to take a nap until 8 pm.

As I drove to the river I kept going over my game plan in my head. I was very nervous as I had never fished this river at this level before. As always I wanted to put my clients on good fish. They had called me because they normally fish for Walleye on Onieda Lake and wanted to catch bigger fish then what they are use to. I had told them I could put them on 6 pound plus fish and I was determined to do so.

I had asked them to meet me at 11 pm so we could get in the water in case there were other boats fishing that night. I arrived at the launch around 10 and there was no one there. I launched the drift boat and put all the gear in the boat. My clients arrived a little before 11 and there was still no one else there. We talked about fishing and hunting as we waited for legal fishing time. The season didn’t open until midnight. They had plans of Turkey hunting in the morning after we finished fishing and joked about being done in time to take a nap before hunting. Finally it was quarter to twelve and we got in the boat.

I rowed us out into the river and anchored up where we would start fishing. I then explained how the reels worked and what my plans were. At 12 am I had them put the lures out and pulled anchor. I started up the middle section of the river where I knew the water would be the deepest.  It wasn’t long before the left rod doubled over… FISH ON!!!.

I dropped anchor and netted a nice 5 pound Walleye as he brought it to the boat. We put the lures back out, pulled anchor, and started up the river again. It wasn’t more than a few minutes and I was yelling left rod left rod again. This time we brought a Walleye in the 6 pound range to the net.

Time to change the lure on the right rod. I put the same Rapala on it that was on the right rod. Normally I would run different lures but it was obvious tonight that was the lure the Walleye wanted. We started pulling the plugs again in that same fast deep section and it was game on.

At 2:30 am we put the 6th Walleye in the fish box. They had hooked 8 fish landed 7. One was not big enough to keep. In just two and half hours they had limited out with 6 fish all in the 5 to 7 pound range. They were very happy with the trip and had time to get back to camp for a nap before Turkey hunting.

Turns out there was no reason for me to be worried about this trip. I should have known that the low water was just going to stack all the fish in the one deep area on the river and they would want the same lures they always do.  To this day I still have not used that tackle I bought.

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