- - roughfisher.com: June 2009

June 30, 2009

More gar on the fly

Thanks to viewer comments, I was recently put in contact with guide Chris Stiles, who operates out of the southern Adirondacks. Even though Chris works and lives inside the "Blue-line", he still finds satisfaction pursuing trash fish like the gar. He was gracious enough to share some video that he shot on his maiden voyage for longnose gar.



We like it dirty.


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June 29, 2009

Gar on the fly

Gars are badass. Having swam in North American waters for over 50 million years, these living fossils still have what it takes to live in the modern aquatic ecosystem unchanged. The only other native fishes to North America that can even hang with the gar are bowfins and sturgeons. Toothy mofos.

longnose gar
Longnose gar, Lepisosteus osseus, image courtesy of cornell.edu


The buzz on catching gar with a fly has been glowing as of late. Uncommoncarp's recent tango with the dinos, and countless photos of fly caught gars showing up on facebook et al. just add fuel to the fire. I need to catch me one. Before this season even started, I set off with hopes of catching a longnose gar this year. If the opportunity comes along, I won't pass up the chance at a shortnose either.

Catching a gar can be quite tricky; their extremely bony mouths can prove difficult to set a hook properly. Thankfully, fellow roughfisherman Carpstalker passed along some solid info regarding the pursuit of gar with a fly. Rope flies are the only way to go to ensure a solid connection between gar and angler. Fairly easy to tie too. Just get yourself a tippet ring or a split ring, some garland or tinsel and a nylon rope. Run a length of rope and tinsel through the ring eye and double it back. Tie in just behind the bend to form a head section and tie off. Pull the threaded section of nylon rope apart, so that the body is frayed. This is what will catch the gar: the gar's teeth will get caught in the nylon fibers. Be sure to bring a heavy duty glove and a stiff brush to help release the fibers from the teeth after catching a gar; their skin is sharp! Just be sure to keep a solid grip on these fish as they have a tendency to play 'possum on you.

The hot, dank steamy days of July are perfect for gar fishing in Minnesota. Fish float up to the surface in shallow vegetated bays like stacked cord word. Spooky, much care is need to stealthy drift upon a school undetected. I hope to harvest a specimen this season. I'm looking to dry a fish and bleach the skeleton for display, celebrating the mana and beauty of such a beautiful creature. Underappreciated.

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June 27, 2009

Toasted

It was hot out there. 91°F isn't much for most people, some may even be used to it, but us northerners aren't cut out for those temps. I damn near melted out there in the unrelenting sun. Thankfully, fellow fat guy Alex passed along some sage advice on keeping my unmentionables nice and dry. I could of used an entire body dip in Gold Bond.

bigmouth buffalo
Flows are still ridiculous; the water was nice and turbid, and sky high on the banks. I don't forsee flow dropping anytime soon, especially since Fargo is gripping with the Red River leaving its banks yet again. Fishing is tough in these conditions, coupled with the fact that there were knuckle dragging bowfisherman chucking freshly shot carp in to the brush, it doesn't help my chances any. I think I could use the assistance of Primalfly's Anti-Zombie Unit.

Shitty conditions aside, I dealt with the heat and my limp ass line and dredged up a nice channel cat right off the bat, running somewhere in the 2 to 3 pound range. I also managed a few pity smallmouth bass before finally hooking in to a nice buffalo.

bigmouth buffalo closeup
River conditions have left little to be desired so far this season. I haven't been impressed. But when life gives you hops, time to brew some beer. I should take this opportunity to explore some new water, and scout some streams outside the watershed. A little variety never hurt anyone. Chez.


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June 25, 2009

Dingleberries

Dingleberries
I love the guilty pleasure of a simple tie. Makes it easier to build up your arsenal of warriors while your other obligations try to gather your attention. Time is always at a premium in the summer, and fishing never seems to get enough of mine. Or at least as much as I would like.

hemorrhoid
Fishing the bottom does not come without its caveats. Rocks, deadheads, and other snags mercilessly devour flies like Oprah at an all you can eat buffet. In some reaches it seems you're losing flies faster than you can tie them on. Time to get busy at the vise.

TP dingleberry
The same acrylic latch hook yarn from MCG Textiles that I use for creating custom dubbing blends make up the tail and body sections of this pattern. A wire rib helps secure the wrapped yarn to the hook. A simple glimmer chenille thorax and a beadhead finishes off the pattern. For a different look, I tied a few with bead chain eyes and a peacock herl wingcase. Maybe the brown colored ones will resemble larval crawfish? At any rate, they are damn close enough to resemble simplified swimming nymphs. Hopefully they will fish just as effective.


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