Fishing Journal: Island Lake

Date: 200607252000 – 2100
Body of Water: Island Lake
Weather: Hot, Threatening Thunderstorms

Yesterday, I went shopping at The Fly Angler.  Next week I am going fishing with my dad in Colorado; I thought the trip gives me a good excuse to buy a new 4 weight fly rod.  My daughter was with me, so I really didn't get to look much.  I did learn some interesting things though. 

I was looking for a shorter, 8 foot, rod for casting in tighter spots, but after talking to one of the guys at the store, I learned I should be looking at a 9 foot rod.  A shorter rod will only help me if I am really fighting brush above and behind me.  I also was apprehensive about three and four piece rods, but the guy said the joints are so good the only difference is they have more weight towards the tip.  He wouldn't buy a two piece again after using a four piece.  They only had a few 4 weight fly rods in stock and said they would call me when some more rods arrive, so I could test cast a few.  After leaving the store I started thinking, maybe I should practice some fly casting before I go back so I don't look like a total goof.

Yesterday evening about 7 PM, I drove to Island Lake.  The wind was blowing out of the southwest.  This made it hard to cast from south side of the peninsula.  Also, the water was quite low.  I was surprised at how little vegetation they was on the west and east side. They must have just poisoned the millfoil.  There were some fenced off areas for shoreline rehabilitation projects on the north side. 

At home I had tied on a 4x leader with a short 4x tippet and a small white popper.  I started casting that setup.  Even though the wind was strong, I cast the weeds on the south side.  I caught one small smallmouth before I gave up and fished the west point.  I cast around the submerged rock and got a surface.  So I cast a few more times and hooked a 8 inch largemouth.  Then I went to the north side of the peninsula, right around the rehabilitation area.  I caught a few more in the submerged weeds.  Finally, after casting with more confidence, I went back to the south side.  I caught a few sunfish and bluegills before I left.

Paying more attention to my fly rod, I noticed a few things that I would like better.  I think weight forward line would really help me cast in the wind and with longer leaders.   A longer pole would also help  (my current rod is a 6 weight 8 footer.)  A fast action rod is what I want — a rod that will bend more at the tip than the middle.

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