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sunset switch session
got the call from deano of the nwff crew to go practice casting the switch rods this evening at hickam afb. our other friend dean and his cousin carry also came out for the after work (pau hana) session. i don’t get to fish with these guys as much as i would like to, so it was a great way to end the day for me. dean and carry both fished beulah 7 and 8 wt. guide series rods and deano and i fished the 7/8 and 8/9 switch rods. there were lots of fish shallow, as there has been pretty much everywhere lately. i don’t have the love for sight fishing bones with the two handed rods, preferring the single hand for that kind of work, so i just enjoyed their presence as i made my way to deeper bomb-a-rama waters. dean and carry stayed on the shallower side and did quite well spanking three or four bones a piece. i managed to hook a couple of rats on the sunday orange number 8 and deano got a nice pao pao (golden trevally) as well as a few boney bone bones. i got to watch deano in action with his switch rod which is inspiring and always a treat for me. we fished until dark (sorry lana). the sunset was awesome as was the company, thanks guys.
bit on the switch.
when it comes to switch rods deano’s got the golden touch.
it was real... and it was spectacular.
thanks for all the photos and a superb evening d-notes.
it was a stormy day...
i told stan, “ only an idiot would go out on a day like today... fortunately, you know one.” so away we went for a quickie to see what all was what at the ole fishin’ hole. we spent the first hour or so running around wahiawa looking for a place that would do a safety check, not an easy thing to do on thursday in wahiawa. we went to two official safety check stations where the “safety checker” was not there. apparently not just anyone can check if tail lights work, god bless the state. we finally found a place and it took about forty five minutes from inquiry to actual sticker sticking. i have to say, though, i was quite pleased to find a bit of small towness still alive and well in pockets of oahu. it was cool, and with the weather, neither of us were in a hurry to get on the water.
new day, new fly is how i like to roll, so this morning i tied up a couple of super simple flies that i call clay’s ghost minnow. i took some colored beadchain that had been sitting around for years in the shop. apparently, no one here has the love for colored beadchain eyes. tied the eyes in, wound on some mylar tinsel for a short body. added a wing of arctic fox or indigo fox or some kind of animal hair from a giant bag of assorted tails that i got from deano (craft fur or craft fur plus would have done just fine). tied in a single mono weed guard, sat back in my chair looked at it and said... “that’ll fish”.
it did fish. stan and i caught a bunch of red devils, black devils, some tucs, and bluegs (bluegills). i used the clay’s ghost minnow and stan used his “you know that gold fly that you tie?” there are lots and lots of fish on beds now, however, they are not that easy to get. because of the low water, the fish don’t have many places to hide and lots of them are out in the open. i think many of them have been beat into non aggression by the nest busters already. of course if you really work at them they’ll still eventually bite, but i feel sorry for those guys and just let them be. we did find a few really aggresive fish that we couldn’t avoid hooking. but could not find any non spawning “eaters”.
if you are into catching lots of fish, the lake is still going strong. not the schools of summer “eaters” yet, but tons and tons of red devils and peacocks on beds. it was nice to get out on the water today after a long hiatus due to illness. thanks as always to stan for the ridiculous pics and good times.
the afore mentioned “idiot”. note the red blood spot on the sock from a red devil he dropped on his foot... watch that dorsal fin!
the light bite of the non aggressive spawner...you gotta be alert.
the devil is a bit more into stuffing its mouth.
and in da morning, when get hooked, strong!... but i work da buggah out.
the flies of the day. clay’s ghost minnow and stan’s “you know that gold one that you tie?”
the giant needle
been out of commission for the last week due to a cold, but i should be back in business later on this week. the weather is great and the bite appears to be on like donkey kong. many reports of good size bones coming up all over the island and the lake is fishing very well. now’s the time and all signs point to it being one of those ridiculous summers. i was tempted to get out myself, despite my cold. nwff crew member deano sent this:
“Just wanted to let you know I landed a decent sized Giant Needlefish. This one measured about 4 ft long and put up a great fight. The fish did not make a fast run in the beginning but made several leaps and flips out of the water. At the end the fish made one super fast run to the open water and then ran out of gas. In all a great battle. The only thing I regret is not having it on video. Hopefully this one will be the first of many.”
way to go d-notes... that thing looks like a dolphin!
two handed session part deux
after a pretty healthy run of fishing, i settled down today to finally get some work done. my “flies to tie” list has been growing steadily, so i decided to spend the day just cranking on the vise... what is that saying about the best laid plans? i knew that craig wanted to fish again because he had left me a message the night before. i was half hoping that he wouldn’t call, but of course he did. “eh, what’chu doing?” i explained to him that i had a lot of work to catch up on and that i wasn’t planning to fish today. after a little coaxing (a very little) i found myself trying to cram two days of work into a few hours. fortunately, craig was cool enough to let me use his beulah 6/7 switch rod set up so i didn’t have to spend much time getting my stuff together. i worked feverishly up until the time craig was outside of my door, grabbed my stuff and was out.
the winds were variable and it looked like some weather was forming over the mountains at hi kai just waiting for the winds to shift. i fished craigs beulah 6/7 switch and craig fished his beulah beach rod 9/10. We both fished a new fly i tied which is now called orange sunday number 8. why it is called that, you gotta ask craig. i told him to name it. its just an orange version of teannaki’s flats pink shrimp special, which is just a craft fur version of a clouser. we saw a few fish and tails on the inside but the light was bad so we passed them up to go bomb the edges with the switch rods. the casting is getting a little better i managed a few okay switch casts, double speys, etc. and i think i’m beginning to get the theory.
i made one of those “wow how did i do that!” switch casts and was standing there analyzing what i had just done, when bam the orange sunday number 8 got slammed. i knew that i needed to put the gas to the fish at this spot or there would be some fly line wreckage. i instinctively started palming the reel with my right hand which left me palming the reel frame for a micro second because craig’s reel is left hand wind. that lead to me trying to palm it with my left hand and i ended up bruising my left hand on the handle (amateur maneuver... sort of). so i ended up just tightening the drag, something i never do while fighting a fish. i was able to survive the first long run relatively unscathed, which is all you really gotta do on the bigger bones, and got a nice fatty.
tip of the day for the new guys... the bigger bones will make one extremely long run and pretty much burn themselves out. it’s much like a fat, out of shape guy, like me, running for my life. i’d probably get pretty far pretty fast but once i was done, it would pretty much be game over. if you put enough pressure on the fish on the run and see the fish break the surface you should be able to land it all the time. all you have to do is keep the presure on as it comes in, this often involves reeling extremely fast. most big bones are lost either on the first long run or the hook pops out from the angler reeling too slow and not keeping enough tension on the fish. try to keep a good bend in your rod throughout the entire fight. don’t try to back up. remember, you are standing on the spot that has fish! keep your movements to a minimum so you don’t spook other fish in the area. there have been many times that i have pulled a half dozen or more bones in a row from one spot without even taking a step. i have also fished with guys that run half way to the beach trying to keep tension on the fish... don’t be that guy. it’s much better to learn to reel fast.
anyway, craig got broke off by a bone (at the same spot). being the clutch guy that he is, craig managed to get one right before we left despite getting a knot in his running line. both the beulah rods and the sunday orange number 8 performed flawlessly. the winds did shift to trades and the weather did slide in from the mountains. the day ended up pretty rainy and cold... but another couple of hours of serious casting practice for me and as always good times.
clay’s first “switch cast” bone. look out deano, i’m coming!
the cast deserved a fish... and got one. good casts do pay off.
clutch craig... pulls one out at the twilights last gleaming.
05/15/09two handed session
today i wanted to take my new sage rod out for a spin so i went out with my buddy surfa boy craig for an afternoon/evening two handed session at hi kai. i fished my sage z-axis 12’ 6” 5wt. rod with a rio 5/6 afs shooting head (for the first time) and craig used his beulah 10’ 6” 6/7 switch rod with a 9wt. rio outbound short. i had the z for a while, but just never had the time to take it out. the original plan was to go out and blind cast for bones with the evening rising tide. as we were walking out we were surprised by some bones up shallow. even though it was tough fishing for bones in shin deep water with a 340 grain shooting head and a twelve and a half foot rod, i managed to get one to take my pikachu fly. the pikachu is fast becoming a favorite of mine for sight fishing bones as the body count adds up. as the tide came in and the sun got low we went back to the original plan of blind casting and deano joined us with his beulah 10’6” 8/9 switch rod. deano is one of the nwff crew and pretty damn handy with the switch rod. we bombed and got a few more rats and omilu, but more importantly we got to practice our spey casts (which at least for me, is in dire need of practice). despite the less than stellar spey casting on my part, it felt good to get out on the water and throw around the long rod. we all ended up with a few fish and more hours of casting practice under our belts. we tried different rods and different casts until dark. i’ve got a long long way to go with my spey casting, but that just makes me want to get out there again even more...
first time using the z-axis two hander... must be a good sign. maybe it was just the pikachu.
palm size omilu... ambitious little fella.
craig with the first fish of his beulah 6/7 switch.
deano shows what a switch rod can do in the right hands... i told you i felt a bite.
the sun sets on another day in the life of nwff fly guyz.
the chase for whites part 2
jumped in the boat with greg, didi, and my nomination for grom of the year, eugene. the goal for the evening session was to get bit on the fly (by something other than bones) as well as get eugene that much more critical, dues paying, time on the water. so i whipped out a few foam poppers, brushed off the dust from my 10 wt. rod and charged out to meet greg and eug. the bite was a little slow and sporadic. we spent the slower times pounding, joking around and teaching eugene our intangible philosophies of the fishing gods. eugene catches on fast as he quickly claimed the title of hot hand of the day and hooked more fish than greg and i combined. he fished many different lures with supreme confidence and added a little more to the bag of tricks he’ll take on the water with him from now on. greg and i chucked the fly and managed to get one fish to crack the “impromptu popper”. the fish were short striking and we lost a bunch of fish. we still managed some nice papios and awa ‘auas. pinched one on the fly and eugene’s a few hours closer to profo status. mission accomplished. an absolute success to me and as always good times and more to come!
the “impromptu popper” gets bit.
clay peers from behind the stars of the show the white and the ten weight, while didi gives the fish a sniff of approval. thanks greg for giving me the fly guy spot for most of the evening.
greg gets another white, while eugene keeps pounding... pros don’t stop for photo ops.
grom of the year nominee, eugene, cast into the dark and his persistence pays off... that many casts closer to the ulua eug!!!
the crew is going off!
got a couple of pics in from the brother greg and jose of yesterday’s goin’ons. also word on the street is nervous water guide, et got his client shane into some hot bonefish action (pics of that coming soon to a website near you). the weather’s here and the bite is on here, there, everywhere!
after conking a bigeye the day before greg realized that he forgot his kagami out there and went back to get it. the king jose on his throne in alaska. jose says “The lake fishing is warming up!! it'll do ‘til the salmon roll in.”
it’s why we gotta do it... boys and girls... we got no other choice.
the fallen comrade
i just received word that sean also got out yesterday. he had mothers day duties to attend to so the plan was for us to pick him up in the afternoon for the evening bite. due to the late night for greg and et and the early start. we could not last until evening.
sean, the trooper that he is, managed a quickie with his buddy mike for a short time and squeezed out a couple of fish... way to go bro. sorry about that sean, but when et and greg are beat down you know that’s quite a beating. i think we were pretty much done by noon but pressed on for a couple more hours...for “scientific purposes”.
After wishing mom a happy Mother's Day, Sean decided to spend the afternoon with some less savory characters: baby barracudas, dirty water papios, and Mike from Nankos.
the chase for whites!
i’m writing this with one eye closed and half asleep so please pardon the beat down rambling.
how does that saying go, “all work and no play makes clay a dull boy”? well today was sort of a mix of both. et, our buddy greg, didi, and i decided to put down the fly rods and go out with conventional gear and fish some of greg’s favorite spots. just a fun trip horsing around with the guys, my personal favorite way to spend a day. while not fly fishing directly (we threw assorted lures and jigs) it was still indirectly related in that in hawaii, many times you gotta find the fish first before you can fly fish for them. This is why some of the most successful fly fishermen in hawaii are the ones that have spent their entire life on hawaiian waters just fishing... any kind of fishing. fly fishing is just another way of catching the same fish they spent their lives from hana butta days chasing.
so we went out to find some fish and find fish is exactly what we did. numerous white papio (small giant trevally... if that makes sense) were caught in the two to five pound size, bluefin trevally, as well as awa ‘aua or ladyfish. greg got his first ulua of the season, an eleven and change bigeye trevally or menpachi ulua. we lost alot of gear and fish to the tax collector of the sea (we all took our turn keeping him “occupied” once greg kept him busy for the better part of an hour). it was just one of those good fun days with friends, lots of laughter and on this occasion at least, lots of fish. greg and i are plotting our strategy to go out again and get some of those whiteys with our fly rods, maybe this week... will we succeed? stay tuned and find out!
we caught big fish, smaller fish, and fish with dogs attached to them.
didi knows how to lick fish as does her owner.
the last thing a baitfish sees... sucks to be a baitfish.
chillin’ in beautiful wahiawa!
spent a couple of hours this afternoon up on the lake... a little bit of fishing but mostly just to hang out with stan who was waiting to take his son’s clients back to waikiki. nothing really new to report. still lots of spawning peacocks and red devils. there are spawning peacocks on every stretch of the lake that i’ve looked at, so the next generation looks to be in good hands. i took stan down to the south fork to show him how low the water was. the winds picked up a little from the last time i was out there on wednesday, so the water was really brown and murky. a nice day that wasn’t as hot as i thought it would be due to the breeze. thanks stan, as usual, for all the pics. fun little afternoon holoholo.
clay removes a fly from his pants... no it wasn’t stuck there while casting!
lake guide chris wright putting his client on the fish.
another happy www.hawaiibassfishing.com client.
see... i told you there was a pair there (had to hook one, stan was calling me a liar). trust me i’m an expert in my field.
a tip for new fly fishers. when at this point in the fight always be aware of how your rod is bending. note the outstretched arms and the bend in the rod. too much bend in the tip section of the rod and el snappo...
look at the knot on this guys head. reminds me of those prehistoric dinosaurs.
north fork bridge.
south fork tressel... my boats draft is not quite shallow enough to get past it.
when the tide comes up just a little... the bones should be tailing there.
the spawn is on!
the peacocks at lake wilson are apparently on the spawn. lots of boats out patrolling the shorelines today. i spoke to a few of the spawn busters. they are catching tucs on beds in good numbers and sizes, up to five pounds plus. there are definately beds out there as we saw a bunch of nests and hooked a couple spawners while fishing for red devils and non spawning tucs. there are still some “eaters” in the woods that are probably too young to have the family thang on their mind. also still some fish busting shad for those looking for a little more challenge. still tons of red devils that make for ridiculous sight fishing with light fly tackle.
if you do catch fish on beds or hook one inadvertently, make sure you put it back close to its nest so it can go back to doing what it’s gotta do. if you are not sure if the fish is spawning there are a couple of ways to tell. the spawning male will often times have that trademark bump on their head, the size will vary (as many male parts do) from a slight welt to a vein popping growth on the older, larger fish. spawning fish will also display more mottled black blotches that i call their “summer colors”. some will have shredded fins from making their nests. their fins will also be more bright orange than at other times. as the season goes on many will have hook holes in their mouths from being caught. if you catch one like this go into the spot where you cast your line and you will probably be able to see the nest and the fishes mate.
i fished with my buddy surfa boy craig. we used 3 weights up to the sage smallmouth rod. the grand slam fly is still conking red devils as well as some “eater” peacocks. we also did well with the beadhead peacock cracker. the summer colored tucs will hit anything now so it’s a great time to use all those flies and lures that you get no love from. they’ll all get bit. also on the water was stan and ken. ken just bought a sage bluegill rod from a fly shop in honolulu that shall remain nameless. this was kens first time out with the new outfit... the sage bluegill rod may just be the ultimate lake wilson tool!
the weathers looking fantastic so get out there... the fish are waiting.
craig with a nice two pounder... better than a south swell!
white is always a good choice on the lake.
there are some “eaters” around.
craig took this cool photo of a red devil... i know, i know too much red devil pics, but i thought this one was cool.
clay “man hands” an “eater” doesn’t it look big?
another giant eater.
a few more feet of water would be greatly appreciated by all.
ken gets the stink off his new sage bluegill rod.
i think that rods got the juj... now he just has to work on his photo taking... you gotta hide your hand behind the fish or the jig is up. another eight pound red devil lie uncovered.
this stray dog knew where the action was at and jumped right into stan’s boat
anybody loose a dog?
whose that “fly” guy?
the lakes fishing so good now even this dork caught fish.