The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fly fishing adventure - first attempt

I don't know how to fly fish, and have never tried before. Though I have a decent fly rod my son won a few years ago, I never bothered getting fly line or flies for it. I do eventually plan to give it a shot.

In the meanwhile, I found a type of bobber that allows you to cast flies using a spinning rod. It's called the Crystal cast, sold online at: www.spinandfly.com . I originally ordered in early August, hoping to have a last chance at longnose gar surfacing in the warm water. Due to postal delays, I only received them a few days ago.

With 25 degree weather in the forecast, I figure I may have a slight chance at finding some surfacing gars. I tied some crude hookless lures using some rope, added some red color using a magic marker.

I then found some old vintage flies from my dad's old tacklebox, sharpened the hooks until they were were sticky sharp. I figured I may have a slight chance at hooking into some carp if the gar didn't show.

Packed up some pike/bass gear just in case things went wrong. Also packed water shoes and put on my bathing suit under my pants. Knowing that I have a few kilometeres of trekking through dense bushes, I figured it may be easier to wade the shore line, and cool off at the same time.

Took the hottest day of the week off work, with my luck, we had 25 - 30 KM/H winds gusting. After dosing myself in bug spray to avoid ticks, mosquitoes and of critters found in the dense "jungle", I trekked about 1 kilometer. More rain had washed lots of slit into the water, visibility was about 6 inches. Needless to say, between the coffee colored water and the surface chop, I didn't spot any carp or gar where I was hoping to find them.

The forecast also called for thunderstorms, and after about 1 hour of casting the flies with no success, the clouds and thunder started moving in. There is a bridge further upstream, but in order to get there, I had to cross a stream. Off with the pants and hiking boots, water was still relatively warm. The vegetation on the other shore was too dense to make it through, so I opted to wade my way there, as close to shore as possible. This meant wading through lily pads and other assorted weeds. After watching and episode of "swamp people" a few nights before, I was sure happy we don't get gators this far up North.

Manage to slice open my leg on some sharp rocks I couldn't see, luckily it was nothing serious. Finally got to the bridge, and got out of the water. Cleared all dirt of my feet and legs. Made sure I didn't have any leeches attached to me, and stopped to rest.

The clouds cleared as fast as they had rolled in, so fishing was on again. I could go back where I started, but decided do go further downstream to another spot I figured I may have more success. As I got back in the water, I noticed I was heading into an area with very soft mud, almost like quick sand. Being alone, I wasn't about to take any chances. Off with the watershoes, on with the pants and hiking boots. Now had to cross a few hundred feet of extremely dense bullrushes, about 10-12 feet high. I really could have used my machete, as they were so thick I couldn't see 6 inches in front of me, nor could I see my feet. Finally manage to reach a small clearing at my spot, started casting the flies again, despite not seeing any carp.

Hooked into a small perch, and landed my first fish on a fly.

Having that out of the way, I switched to topwater lures. Go a small hit on my Zara Spook, not much else. Decided to trek further, again the bushes were too thick. Off with the hiking boots and pants, on with the water shoes. Waded the shoreline for another 100 feet or so, then finally hit some ground that was mainly tall grass. Back on with the pants and boots.

By now, the winds worked up too much of a chop for my topwater lures, so I switched to a spinnerbait on one rod, and a subsurface Rapala J-11 on the other. Hooked into a small 2-3 lb pike on the spinnerbait, came off right near the shore. Managed a couple more hits from some really small largemouth bass an the spinnerbait, nothing on the J-11. After a couple hours in the sun with slow fishing, I decided to change area.

Trekked a couple kilometers back to the car, stopped to pick up some cold beer on the way. Headed to an area on the St Lawrence River not too far away. The spot isn't too good this time of the year, overgrown with thick weeds. The high winds had the river in big whitecaps everywhere. Managed about a dozen small hits casting a Spro frog very shallow over a thick weed carpet, but none actually came out to take the lure. I fish next to my car, as I heard the storm rolling in. Sure enough, we got about 10 minutes of heavy rain. I sat it out in the air conditioned car, listening to some good music sipping my ice cold beer. More sun and another half an hour of fruitless fishing, I packed it up and called it a day.

No comments: