Yeah, don't let all of my recent salmon trolling posts fool you into thinking that musky on the fly isn't still an addiction that runs through me like...well, like something that's addicting.
The actual clean-up didn't start until 11 so we got there early in order to fish for a few hours. Colin and one other beat us out there but they hadn't really seen that much fish activity. When I got there, I learned that this lake had a pretty sizable fish kill so I had a feeling that one of two things could happen. The first is that all the musky were dead. The second is that since a lot of the bass and carp that the musky eat were dead, the musky would be extra hungry. I was banking on scenario two.
I quickly headed toward the deepest parts of the lake with the most distinguishable edges that I could find and started casting. I continued to cast....and cast....and cast...and cast...and cast....Nothing. Not a follow, no big arches on the fish finder...nothing. I was quickly beginning to think that my optimism for scenario two was somewhat foolish. What I did notice, though, were the wildly varying thermoclines all over the lake. In some spots they were just a couple of feet deep and in others they were ten feet deep so I decided to switch it up a bit.
I put the fly rod away and started throwing an orange craw rattle trap instead. I figured that if I could at least find some bass, then the musky wouldn't be too far away since bass are one of the main food sources in that lake. Plus, plenty of musky have been fooled by a rattle trap - especially early in the season.
I cast...and cast....and cast...and cast...boom! Twelve incher! OK, OK. I found one, now let's see if I can find another to try to put some pattern together. Yeah...that second fish never happened and before I knew it, more volunteers had shown up so it was time to start the clean up. Perhaps this could work in some good karma from the fish gods.
Most of the volunteers were on foot so I let them work on the shore closest to the meet up spot while I jumped in my kayak and headed to the opposite shore where I had seen a TON of trash earlier in the day. I think I spent a good hour there and found so much trash that I had to come up with the most efficient way to get the majority of it. What I ended up doing is starting at the farthest concentration of trash and just threw it towards the beach. I guess you could say I kicked the can down the road a bit. I mainly focused on things that don't really break down naturally. In other words, things like plastic, styrofoam, glass, and aluminum cans. By the time I made it back to the boat, I had enough of that stuff to fill two 55 gallon trash bags. I loaded them up on the back of the kayak and started the paddle back to the meetup spot.
|Oh yeah, I also found an old degraded plastic lawn chair half buried in the mud|
Once the clean-up was over, I decided to stay at the lake and put some of that good karma theory to the test. I hit a few new areas with a gold jerk bait hoping to entice a musky into thinking there was an easy carp meal but it just never happened. In the end, it was a nice day on the water, I got a sunburn, I did something good, and I was able to finally put a couple things to the test.
Test one was standing in the Hobie Outback. I absolutely loved how easy standing and casting was in my old kayak and have been sort of concerned that I wouldn't be able to do that in the new one. That concern is now gone!
Test two was to see if I could actually go backwards in a Hobie Outback! The answer is a resounding yes!! It's so stupidly simple and obvious, too. The trick? Turn the mirage drive backwards and then adjust your peddle arm length. Normally mine is set on five so I set it to two! I was so excited that this actually worked that I forgot to make a video of it. I'll see if I can get one up later in the week but in the meantime, flip your mirage drives around and go backwards!!
All for now