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tie flyer

Ice Out Panfish

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I visited my family down in central Minnesota this weekend. I didn’t know whether I’d be able to fish but I brought my 4-weight that I built this winter, just in case. It was difficult to rationalize driving three hours away from the looper/steelhead run that is just beginning up here. It ended up being alright.

The ice just came off the lake last week. Once Saturday’s wind subsided I canoed over to a little cove and cast a clouser minnow - yellow over white – toward shore. Pretty soon I hooked a spunky bass, which proceeded to tailwalk and jump violently. I caught a few more and lost one or two that really bent that light rod. I was targeting crappies and they cooperated when my fly wasn’t intercepted by aggressive bass.

bluegill-4-10-05.jpg

Yesterday it rained on and off. Between rainstorms (and during one) I caught a mixed bag of sunfish and crappies. Most sunnies were males coming in for the prespawn. I caught half of them on a dragonfly nymph and the other half on an orange humpy. On shore there were thick clouds of midges hovering wherever there was a wind break. The olive dragonfly represented a midge larva (or cluster of them) closely enough for panfish.

When the coldwater options aren’t available, it pays to be an opportunist. In about two sublime hours my new rod got the feel of three new species. In all I caught about twenty-five or thirty fish yesterday, mostly sunnies. I released more big ones than little ones and kept a dozen for the frying pan. Mmm…those are going to taste good tonight.

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Nice Job! I am just waiting for the ice to go off. Then I'm going to hit the Gill's and Crapps myself.......now you've got me even more pumped.

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Nice photo, nice fish, nice report! I'm looking forward to fishing for some panfish from a float tube on a little lake with a no-motor rule near my house.

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They were a nice change from the stubborn steelhead and loopers up here. Other than the clouser my gear consisted of no lead. It's so nice to go out with one fly box and one rod and catch thirty fish.

Good luck when you guys make it out. Tomorrow and Thursday should help melt those lakes.

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Very Nice! Congrats!

-Critter

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