Reports 5/12 to 5/13
Had a busy weekend guiding after a high wind cancellation Friday. Here’s how things went:
5/12 AM – Owasco Lake: Met Drew, Zach and Alex at the launch around 6 am. Drew bought a place on the lake last year and was looking to add some patterns and areas to his repertoire. We started with one of my favorite lures for just about anything that swims in Owasco Lake, the alewife tube. Working them on the north end flats resulted in a hit or two and a nice perch. Down lake areas proved slow with an occasional hit. An X-Rap resulted in Alex getting a chunky largemouth bass around 13″ or 14″. But overall AM fishing was slow.
The laker jigging went better with Zach nailing 3 or 4 solid lakers in around 50′ to 80′ fow. Drew also got one. The laker condition is clearly improving on this lake now that stocking numbers have been reduced. The fish are fatter and also look better with more color. In what might be a case of missed fin-clips, one of our lakers did appear to be wild. My buddy Jarrod also nailed a non-clipped laker this weekend. Prior to this weekend I’d seen one laker unclipped out of hundreds upon hundreds landed!
We gave the tubes another try after an hour or two of laker jigging. Weather conditions had changed. Zach landed a solid pike around 29″ and Alex landed a smaller one.
5/12 PM -Skaneateles Lake: I’m not too into “lake hopping” this year, but today I made an exception. Met Al and Matt at the State Launch at 2 pm. I was very pleasantly surprised to see very few vehicles parked there. We launched and headed N. for bass. Al’s had a place on the lake for years, but usually fishes Black Lake. He wanted to start fishing Skinny and cracking its code a bit. I’m a big green pumpkin tube jig fan here. The guys saw why in short order. The pre-spawn smallmouth bass bite was very, very good. I had the guys get used to feeling or sensing the tube hit bottom on some shallower flats and rocky areas. The bass were around and hitting well.
We ran south to an area across from Al’s camp and continued the good bass catching. A lot of yellow perch were also landed – fish to 14″+. The guys were kind enough to give them to me for dinner, which was nice. No lakers today – just one rock bass, but the guys fished well. I expect plenty of lakers in the mix over the next two weeks. Water temps were in the low 50s.
5/13 – Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock: Guided Chris and his dad Robert today. Chris took my “Intro to Fly-Fishing” Class at Cornell four years ago as a freshman, primarily to get some fishing in away from campus. He was already an accomplished fly-fisherman. I did manage to get him casting with his opposite arm, which he now likes better, which is great to find out! Graduation time is looming ahead and what better way to celebrate than a guided trip courtesy of Dad!
The plan was salmon fly-fishing and laker jigging. The weather forecast was all over the place prior to this trip and I didn’t think we’d have the winds we needed for good salmon fishing. The lack of wind in the AM didn’t deter the guys from landing a solid 18″ brown (Robert on a stickbait) and a stockie. Other hits were had. After the AM fishing slowed, we worked the area N. of AES for lakers and found better numbers on the west shore. The guys landed some solid fish there in water ranging from around 50′ to 85′ deep.
The north wind came up perfectly and we wound up with some great fishing with Chris nailing a couple salmon and a solid 20″ FAT brown on the fly! He used my Type 3full-sinking line and really was casting great with it. Robert caught a few salmon as well as a big perch and a good smallmouth. We saw plenty of nice fish under the flies and lures. A couple good ones were lost as well, which is typical salmon fishing (that’s why they’re gamefish!) Water temps ranged from 51 to 56. I expect another week or two of decent salmon/trout fly-fishing, though I don’t usually bank on it this time of year. Fish are all over the lake and the right area with the right temperature can provide some compelling action.