A few days back, my father-in-law and friend, and I traveled over to a new place to fish. My friend had a float trip on the Huron River a few weeks prior, and I had really wanted to get over to try out the fishing on this warm water fishery.
I’ve heard stories of the late-August hex hatch combined with a river full of smallmouth bass, and I had dreams of hooking into a slew of smallies. The reality was we had a fun time exploring some new water, stopping at a new fly shop, and hooking into a handful of fish.
We stopped at Colton Bay Outfitters before we hit the water, because I wanted to pick up a couple hex flies just in case. I also picked up a couple streamers and a book on the Huron written by local fisherman Dirk Fischbach.
We headed out to one of the metro-parks that lie along the river north west of Ann Arbor, and found a nice little spot with a short hike to the river. After a long while, my father-in-law caught a giant creek chub a ways down from where I was standing.
Both him and my friend hooked into a smallie, but I came up empty handed as we decided it was time to move onto a different location. We loaded up in the car and headed down to the next metro-park, and hopped into a nice section of the river. My father-in-law hooked into a little smallie right away, and I decided to wade into a section just above where he was fishing that looked promising. I switched over to a black conehead rabbit-strip streamer, and after about 20 casts I hooked into a nice little smallie.
The sun began to sink, and we continued to fish alonga nice section of the river. My friend said he started to see a hex spinner fall as dusk hit, but I don’t think we had any more bites the rest of the time there. We decided to pack it up as the light dwindled, and headed back home. It was a great time learning new water, and hooking into some fish as well.
It would appear that our “friend” the sea lamprey is greatly affected by the smell of dead lampreys.
You can read more about this in this article from MSU: http://news.msu.edu/story/9636
And the really amazing part is when you watch this video showing the reaction:
I haven’t posted in a while on this blog, as I’ve been focusing my fishing efforts over at my new blog. However, I went on a short trip over to the west side of Michigan. I got to visit a couple coffee shops and picked up some good coffee.
In Saugatuck, I picked up some Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from Uncommon Grounds in Saugatuck (http://uncommongroundscafe.com), and another batch of coffee from Ethiopia from a cafe in Holland, MI called Lemonjellos (http://lemonjellos.com).
Even better I was able to get pour over coffee in both locations as well. It was some amazingly good coffee, and I wish there were some cafes like these in the metro Detroit area.
Also, right next-store to LemonJello’s in Holland, is a cool music shop called The Full Circle. Owner loves what he does, and provides a good selection of used CDs, a better selection of vinyl, and a promise to get you almost any other music you may want very quickly. I was able to pick up a copy The Elms, Truth, Soul, Rock and Roll. Good stuff.
So, I have decided to embark into another realm of the fly fishing world. I have decided to build my own fly rods. Well, at least I’m going to give it a try. I ordered up enough parts to build three rods as “trial builds”, and so that I could lump the shipping costs together and buy some of the materials in bulk.
I ordered the hardware, glues, thread and tools from Hook and Hackle and Janns Netcraft. Based on some recommendations I found on several rod building forums, I ordered the blanks from Sevier Manufacturing. Lastly I found a web site for a company called Cork Specialties where I was able to get the grips for a very good price.
While the parts where on the way, I decided to build a rod wrapping jig. I found plans on some different web sites ranging from fancy wooden jigs to modified show boxes, and I figured it would be easy enough to come up with something decent. I bought two pieces of poplar and some screws from Home Depot. Combined with some scrap wood, my hole saw, and a chop saw, I was able to put this together in about an hour.
The parts started to arrive, and I decided that my first rod built would be for my first daughter. I began building a pink and purple 6-foot 2/3wt for her. I found a purple aluminum reel seat on Ebay to match, and the first thing I did was installed the reel seat and grip using U-40 Rod Bond paste.
Next I began wrapping the hook keeper and guides onto the rod. I choose purple thread on black hardware, and I think it is turning out pretty good so far. There are a few fuzzies showing up on the thread wraps,but after some epoxy goes on I should be able to shave them off.
I purchased a rod drying motor from Janns Netcraft for around $12, and am planning on building a drying jig next based on my wrapping jig. I am almost done wrapping the the guides to the rod, and then I will put some decorative wraps in, and then I should be able to begin the process of applying the epoxy to the guides. I will try to post more updates to the blog as I finish the rod up and start into my next one.