Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sometimes I Always Never

    I realised today that I haven't posted anything in about a month.....oops! Sorry folks. Life lately has been pretty boring, no big fishing trips or any major projects to tell you about. I have one coming up to post but I need a little more time to finish a few details on the project.

    I should report that here in Northern Michigan we have been getting a few cold days and nights which has made for some salmon coming into the rivers. I went yesterday with the fly rod and skunked my dad, I landed 4 to his zero. we were both hooking up on them good but he was having trouble holding them. The fish seem to be a little bigger this year and more healthy which is a good thing. The run that we had yesterday was of very lively fish, the majority that we hooked shot upstream like a hot torpedo, I even had one that couldn't keep itself underwater. It jumped about four times before cutting my line on the rocks.

    My apologies to anyone who actually reads this stuff with anticipation of the next post, and I will try to get a better regularity on here.
The project that has had me distracted

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New Home

    Old computer desk- $7.50
    4x8 sheet of peg board- $10.00
    A new home for all my fly tying gear- Priceless
    It needs a few more "custom" adjustments made, like perhaps a good lamp if anyone has an extra natural light lamp laying around. I would also like to get more Pike fly materials if anyone that ties has any suggestions for some inexpensive materials.

    Thanks for looking,
                       Coyote Luke

Monday, July 4, 2011

To Catch a Pike The Hard Way

All photos on this post are courtesy of Quinn Sherman

    It was an overcast morning. A cool cloudy start to the day, perfect for chasing those toothy northerns. I wanted to go first thing but other responsibilities lay in wait planning and scheming to ruin yet another so called perfect pike hunt. I was determined though and determination pays off sometimes. This was one of those times. After getting my errands done and the canoe loaded, I was able to head out with my daughter in tow. I picked up a bakers dozen worms for her and we headed with angst to the lake of choice.

    The cloud cover and cool air I was counting on for pike fishing had almost completely vanished and the wind had picked up just a little by the time we got out on the water but the shore line was protected enough for smooth water. What fun it is to see the excitement on a child's face when they start catching big blue gill and small large mouth bass, both of which put up a good fight for a little girl. I was having as much fun watching her catch fish as I was catching my own. I have to admit right here that I too was using an ultra light spin cast rod with crawlers for a little while and a larger pole for throwing spoons for pike. The spoons were just not getting the work done so I switched over to my fly rod, third cast with my 8wt and landed a small large mouth bass. I put away my ultra light and crawlers and took out my 4wt with an elk hair caddis, hopper imitation, and 6# tippet. I started pulling in the blue gill as fast as that caddis hit the water. Between the two of us we had a descent amount of blue gill on the stringer for the next days lunch but, I still had not caught a pike, so on we fished.

    I said "one more blue gill from this hole Quinn, and we will move on." I threw out my caddis once more with a wide loop and a light fall and started the ritualistic stripping of line........SLURP! I had another gill, oh wait, "it's pulling awful hard it must be a bass!" I said. "It is dad, I see it!" her excitement echoed mine until I worked it in closer to the canoe and then........I squealed like FR.

    Now in the years that I have been fishing for pike I have seen some pretty neat stuff, like the time one of my buddies somehow caught a pike while we were trolling. Instead of hooking the fish he got his line wrapped around it and tied off so the pike couldn't get away. This however had happened to me, and was like something from a tall tale or something you'd see in the ocean or some other big water. The blue gill that I had initially thought I had caught and then assumed was a bass turned out to be a northern pike which had attacked the blue gill that swallowed my caddis that was tied on a 6# tippet made of mono that was strung up on my 4wt fly rod. Crazy right? I know.

    Being the fool I am, I had been unprepared for such an occasion as catching a northern on such light tackle so I had no net.....Fool!...I eased the pike in close to the canoe and cautiously reached for the back of his neck. With a big splash in my face he raced away with "his" catch and my line. I tenderly let him have his way and lightly coaxed him back up to the canoe. This time I was a little more aggressive and grabbed him by the back of the head and strong armed this 28 inch thoothy grin into the canoe.

After he was securely on the steel stringer with our mess of blue gill we moved on to the next spot where I caught another pike, this time with more conventional methods. A smaller version that swallowed Pikes Pepto, a top water gurgler fly I tied up specifically for pike, this made number four plus one bass for that fly. I think that it's a keeper.
The fish were properly rinsed off and placed in a bucket of water for the transport home

He tried to escape but was too slow

  Have you ever caught fish in an unconventional manner? Tell me about it in the comments.

                                 Thanks for reading,
                                                      Coyote Luke

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Nice Place To Live

    Last Spring I went with my family and a close friend of ours on a long weekend camping/hiking trip. Our destination was South Manitou Island which is a beautiful spot out in Lake Michigan. The camping is all primitive sites, tents only. Only a few sites even had their own burn pit for camp fires and cooking. There were restrooms so I guess it wasn't quite that primitive, but the closest store was an hour long boat ride back to main land, so forgetting something was a bad idea. The Island was really pretty and was a fun place to visit, but the little town where we launched from was really neat.

fish nets drying on a wheel

This place was for rent, I thought about it

    Fish Town. Literally a very small town built around the fishing industry hence the name. This would be the kind of place I could really get used to living in if it was still a productive industry there. It now caters to people of all sorts who are on vacation either passing through or heading to one of the islands to camp for the weekend.
This was the majority of the town

This was the dam

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Essox Lucius

I found this article and wanted to pass it along. I have found a new twist on an old love of this particular species. Fly fishing for these toothy critters is as much fun as dragging a lure with a spin rod.

Friday, June 17, 2011

MDNR Says Kids Should Play Outside

I found this interesting. I grew up spending as much time outside as I could, and when I couldn't, I was planning my next session. I am still always thinking about something outside, usually fishing.

DNR Reconnecting Children and Nature

Top ten reasons to be concerned

1. Children between the ages of 8 and 18 years spend an average of nearly 6.5 hours a day

with electronic media - Rideout, V. and Hamel, E. (2006). The Media Family: Electronic

Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Their Parent. Kaiser Family

Foundation. (Note: Remember this was published in 2006 think of how much bigger

Facebook, iPhones and iPads have become since then)

2. Children under 13 spend only 30 minutes per week in unstructured play time outdoors –

Sandra Hofferth and J. Sandberg (1999), Changes in American Children’s Time, 1981-1997,

University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

3. In one generation, the percentage of people who reported that the outdoors was the most

influential environment of their childhood dropped from 96% to 46%. – Rachel Sebba (1991).

The Landscapes of Childhood – The Reflection of Childhood’s Environment in Adult

Memories and in Children’s Attitudes, Environment and Behavior, Vol 23:4

4. Children who play outside in natural settings are less likely to suffer obesity and less likely to

contract diabetes. - Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2007. CDC funds

registries for childhood diabetes. Press Release from CDC/ National Center for Chronic

Disease Prevention & Health Promotion.

5. Studies have shown that stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces. Even a

view of nature helps reduce stress in highly stressed children. Children with these views also

demonstrate increased attentional capacity - Wells, N.M. & Evens, G.W. (2003). Nearby

nature: A buffer of life stress among rural children. Environment and Behavior (32) 6, pp775-


6. Children who have regular opportunities for free/unstructured play in the out-of-doors

demonstrate greater levels of creativity, cooperation, conflict resolution and leadership. -

American Institutes for Research, (2005). Effects of Outdoor Education Programs for

Children in California. Submitted to the California Department of Education, Sacramento, CA

7. Students who play and learn in outdoor settings perform better on tests, have higher grade

point averages (GPAs) and cause fewer classroom disruptions. - Chawla, L & Escalante, M.

Student (2007). Gains from Place-Based Education. University of Colorado at Denver and

Health Sciences.

8. Ninety percent of active adult outdoor participants were introduced to outdoor activities

between ages of 5 -18. Outdoor Industry Foundation (2004), Exploring the Active Lifestyle


9. A positive experience in nature was a significant factor for those who choose to be active

conservation stewards. Louise Chawla (2006) Learning to love the Natural World Enough to

Protect It.

10. People who are active in outdoor recreation tend to be happier than those who are not.

USDHHS (2002), Physical Activity and Fitness: Improving Health, Fitness, and Quality of Life

through daily physical activity. Prevention Report, U.S. Department of Health and Human

Services, 16(4)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fun in the Sun

I spotted this girl in the top of this tree while mushroom picking last month,

    I have had a good week so far and just wanted to tell you. I have been on the water either in my kayak or in my canoe all but one day this week so far and have caught something each time out. Not only has the catching been fun but I have been able to spend some "quality time" with my family and a good friend in the past week. Its amazing some of the beautiful creatures I get to see when I'm out alone.
A medium sized moss back snapper
I was able to float up to within 30 feet of this blue heron
before it flew off
     OK, the porcupine was not from this past week, but I wanted to show you what different animals I come across in my outings. I've been trying to find her for a couple years now but I'll save the reasons for another time.

    The Snapping Turtle was one of four I saw on the road to the lake I fished this morning, they are an interesting animal and when cooked right can be very tasty. Blue herons are amazingly pretty when you get close enough to see the different feather styles they have, some look almost like a mane or a long scarf.

   I was finally able to hook up on a Northern Pike, a delicacy to some of us Northern Michigan folks but not to all. The Pike has to be one of my favorite fish to catch next to my new found favorite the Steelhead. Pike are extremely aggressive and are found in most lakes in my area. A very worthy adversary for the fly rod and top water is a literal explosion of fun. I tied a top water fly specifically to target pike and landed one and had another grab for it but I was unable to hook it.
Pike's Pepto is the name of my top water gurgler

The beginning of a good pan fish dinner
   I also caught my first Small Mouth Bass yesterday along with a handful of Blue Gill and other various pan fish. All very fun on my 4wt fly rod.

    Thanks for stopping by,

                                    Coyote Luke