The next morning was calm and sunny so my brother and I went exploring on the main lake with our fly rods for walleye, bass, and musky. We started out throwing bugs for bass and walleye but I only had one strike from a quick smallmouth who somehow managed to escape the hook. The sky was full of what the local weatherman calls popcorn clouds so I made a few attempts with the camera to take a panoramic. This was the best of the bunch and I can’t tell where the camera stitched the three pictures needed to make the panorama. Pretty cool I think.
After getting shut out for walleyes and smallmouth, we went back in the bays looking for shallow water Musky on the fly. My brother managed to get the skunk out of the boat with this fish.
After lunch, I decided to stay in and take a nap but woke up pretty quick. The lake was like glass so I went down to the dock and pulled the canoe out of the boat launch. On the way back in from the morning fishing, I had spotted two smallmouth that were pushing four, maybe five pounds just out of casting range of the dock. I rigged up the five weight with a leech pattern and paddled out to the area where I had seen the fish. A couple of minutes later I spotted the larger fish and made a nice cast leading him by several feet. The fish spotted the leech and went over to investigate. He got right up on it like a bream, and opened his mouth. Somehow, I again missed a fish. After that, he wouldn’t even look at another fly. I continued to paddle around out in front of the cabin, casting at smallmouth whenever I would spot one cruising the muddy bottom. I changed flies constantly trying all sorts of patterns but only had refusals. I decided to go further down the bank and came up on a musky, maybe 35”s, laying motionless on the bottom. I still had a hefty leech on so I cast it a little behind him and stripped it past him coming from behind his sight. This is a proven technique throwing other gear at Musky that just seems to trigger a strike. As the fly came from behind and entered his sight, a quick flick of the tail and he inhaled the articulated leech. A light hook set and the 3X was cut by his razor teeth and he headed for deeper water. About that time, I noticed my brother and dad coming back so I paddled back towards the dock. The smallmouth were still there and my brother asked if I had thrown a crawdad pattern at them. I hadn’t thinking there wasn’t likely any crawdads out in the mud flats in front of camp. I tied one on and the first cast one of the bruisers picked it off the bottom. I didn’t stand a chance with this fish. He was pulling the canoe around and I couldn’t even turn him. A little too much pressure and the tippet snapped. A little discouraged, I tied on another crawfish pattern and cast to the next cruising fish. A poor cast landed the crawdad right on top of the fish. In an instant the smallmouth rose straight up and inhaled the fly as if it was a popper. Again the fight was on and this time the fish took me straight into a tree on the bank. Shortly thereafter, the tippet broke and I was left in defeat. My brother couldn’t have been amused anymore as he sat laughing on the dock, soaking up the sun, and enjoying an ice cold beer. That sounded good to me too so I paddled back to the dock.
Day four of the trip, hump day, and we decided to go to the other end of the lake and portage to the lake trout lake.
It is an easy walk over and again it was pretty windy out on the lake. The plan was to troll for lakers with lindy rigs and minnows until we found a school of fish and then jig for them with light tackle. Fishing was average for the lake and after a couple of hours of trolling, we (my brother and dad) had boated four fish that probably averaged 16”’s with the biggest being 25”. For the last hour, we broke out the spinning rods and jigged road runners and bucktail jigs where we had caught the other fish. I felt a bump as the jig fell and set the hook. I was into a nice fish that was really peeling line off the reel. The same thing had happened last year and I was excited to be in on the battle. The fish are suspended about 35 feet down in about 60 feet of water so the fish I had on had a lot of water to move through. After several minutes, I managed to get him to the top and had him in the net. This was a nice fat lake trout and measured 27”. It was almost identical to the one I managed to land last year.
After fishing Shrub Lake, we headed back to the main lake and fished for Musky. I think we managed to catch three small fish before heading back for dinner. On the way back in, my dad decided to stop and make a few casts where a creek comes in from another portage lake. This creek always has a good bit of water running, a lot of times, there is a musky around. Sure enough, he spots a quality fish cruising towards the creek mouth and he pitches his mepps in front of it. The fish turns and follows to the boat. A couple passes with a figure eight motion of the lure to get the fish hot and he strikes. My dad felt the fish and set the hook. This is the fish you see him fighthing in the video that has already been on for several minutes before I got the camera rolling. This fish was pissed off and was doing all that it could to throw the lure. As it turns out, when the fish turned on the lure, my dad snagged it on the outside of the head right by the eye. We manged to land the fish and it measured 41” but was really heavy and looked even bigger than it was. I wish I would have gotten a picture of it but didn’t.