Hammer Handles

Goals are good to have, but if they never make it any further than the piece of paper on which you've written them, what good are they?

For the last couple of years, I've had chasing Northern Pike high on my list of fishing goals.  The Midwest is chock full of them and I've loved chasing them with spinning gear.  So when I heard some talk of chasing them locally here, just a couple of hours away from home, I couldn't say yes fast enough.  

We managed to for the most part, to avoid the rain last Saturday and had a great day tossing ten weight rods and sinking lines to hungry Spring fish.  The invitation came from Bill Katzenberger, of Skinny Water Culture fame, to fish out of his Boston Whaler, with him and his buddy Mike Timmer.  Mike was new to the fly fishing game and mainly stuck with the bait casting gear and massive plugs, but still managed to move and land just as many fish as us fly guys.

With the weather holding off, we made our way around the lake looking for some good water and nice weed lines.  We found some early and we knocked the skunk off the boat with a nice follow and take on a perch pattern.  We had a handful of follows, couple more takes and fish to the boat before we high tailed it to another spot, searching for these guys' big brothers and mommas.  

A few hours of pounding casts and working around other boats pan fishing without another bite, and we all decided it was more fun chasing hammer handles and getting some action than just working on our casting.  

We finished strong, with Mike hammering a couple of fish, and showing it wasn't just flies they were after.  

Watching all the follows we got throughout the day - fish coming from the depths to attack the fly, or slowly stalking before engulfing it at the right time, had my knees shaking and senses on high alert all day.  

With a full summer ahead of us, and some new info on a phenomenal fishery, I think we're finally going to be able to check northern pike off the list and finally get in the game.  It's something new for me, but something I'm really looking forward to digging in to.