Hopedale on the fly, 2-27-2016

Fishing Report

Date: 02/27/16

Place: Hopedale

Wind: 5-15 mph from S (surprisingly gusty – wind forecast at 5 mph was a miss)

Tide: not much forecast, but E and S wind pushed the level up. Water rising during the afternoon, about ¾ foot

Moon: waning, over half full

Solunar period: major period at 3:45-5:45 p.m.

Sky: SUNNY!

Temperature: 60 F for the high

Water Temperature: 60 F or so (water in the shallows felt warmer than the air)

Water Level: a bit low, and rising during the afternoon, about ¾ foot

Water Clarity: muddy, a foot or less visibility

Time on the water: noon to 5: p.m.

Water covered: About 4 miles

Other fishers: solo trip

I combat launched the Hobie Outback near Breton Sound Marina. I brought 2 fly rods, one with a crab fly (gift from A.J.R. Thursday night at the NOFF meeting) and the other with a chartreuse “fire tiger” clouser minnow that I tied up the night before. The wind was supposed to be light, so I only brought the fly rods today. Surprise! Well no need to worry about mosquitoes or gnats. I was able to pedal the Outback most everywhere I went today.

I headed down a bayou to a pond where I had had luck when the water is low. This spot has some oyster shells on the bottom, and I’ve found fish there before when the water is cool (it was about 40 F in the morning, and I waited to let the fish warm up). As I came to the area with the shell bed in about 4 ft. of water I got a hit on the clouser. It was a 14” trout that came in pretty easily. I took a photo and then fished the area a bit more without any luck.

So I moved on through a little neck and into a larger pond, blind casting as I went along. I did not see any fish activity, but did see that I was spooking decent sized fish as I went along. I stood up in the yak, but could not sight any fish due to the dirty water. But I knew they were around so I switched to A.J.’s crab because I had a feeling they would like it. It was a very light crab that would not sink too fast, which was key for fishing the shallow and weedy water in the pond. I started blind casting. It only took a minute until the line went tight and I fought a nice redfish for about 5 minutes. I got it in and took a picture of the 28” fish. I paddled upwind and spooked some more fish that were sitting on the bottom in the shallows (about 2.5 ft.) to warm up. I quickly hooked up on a 24” fish that gave a nice battle before I got it with the lip gripper. I was able to free the hook without removing the fish from the water (I have been trying to do this release method to reduce stress on the fish). I began to drift back with the wind and missed a couple of reds and then finally connected with a 20” fish (again released without bringing it into the kayak).

As I drifted back through the area with the shell bottom I got a bite on the clouser and it was a decent speck of 15 ¾”. I drifted a bit more and got another 11” speck. I was pleased that the trout bit on my new fly. It was about 4:30 and the wind was making me a bit cold, so I headed in. Ended the day with 3 specks and 3 redfish. It turned out to be a decent day of fly fishing in the wind with muddy water.