I awoke to the alarm at 5 am, gulped down half a pot of coffee and met Tackle Shop at the curb by 5:30. Twenty minutes travel farther east, pick up Treefrog, and then north on highway 35/115 to our first location by 7am, just a few miles south of the town of Lindsay.
Using his direct "It couldn't hurt to ask" approach, Tackle Shop found that $5 each granted us access to the owner's docks. In what has become somewhat of a comical routine, the three of us all geared up with our current "go to" baits; TS with his rubber crawdad, me and my #4 Mepps, and Treefrog with his... well... rubber frog.
It didn't take too long for things to get interesting. On my fifth cast a 20" slender shadow violently slashed at the spinner right at my feet, missing the hooks but sending a surge of adrenaline through my system that left my hands shaking for a minute. There are no pike in the central Kawartha Lakes so obviously I'd just had a not close enough encounter with their bigger cousin the musky. Several casts later another encounter, this time a tapered torpedo closely following my bait all the way in only to turn away at the last second. Walleye! This continued for a while until the rising sun revealed the expansive weed flats we were casting over and it actually took 45 minutes before any of us landed anything, a 7" perch by yours truly.
I'd come to this area with the hopes of adding a few new species to my list of fish caught on a fly, namely musky and walleye, and I probably should have started the day fluffchucking large streamers, but better late than never. I spent the next hour playing with the schools of panfish, catching them at will until finally I felt something different on the end of my line...crappie! As it turns out it was a lone fish and there was no school to educate in all things artificially buggy.
Cross Creek Marina and Resort for over 20 years and offer complete services for the day trippers to vacationers with lodging, mooring, boat rentals,gas bar & supplies.
Our return to the bridge found a thinned out crowd and more of a surprise, a friend of Treefrog's, David and his friend (sorry dude,never did catch your name). In the same spot the day before, David caught over 40 bass and 3 musky, the largest just over 40"! We spent a few more hours there flogging the water...but seriously... when it degenerates into a contest of who can hook the largest crayfish... it's time to move on.
|Scugog River from Cross Creek Bridge|
|Treefrog in his natural element|
It was turning out to be a long, hot, fish less afternoon so I made the suggestion of driving south to Lake Scugog with an ulterior motive in mind; visiting the Perry Island First Nations Reserve and, more specifially their smoke shop! Revenuers be damned! Why would I care to pay $80+ for a weeks supply of cigarettes when the natives are selling the same number in a ziploc bag for $20?
After securing a months fix we made our way around the south end of the lake to the town of Port Perry. Much like Barrie, Port Perry has an intimate connection with it's lake and the entire town's shoreline is devoted to public use. TS needed to restock his cooler and I was considering my empty fridge at home, so we stopped at the local grocery store and who do we find parked in the back lot beside the lake? Our recently lost new friends Dave and ? (again... sorry dude). Of course when we come out of the store they've already f**ked off so we had a nice snack in the rear parking lot, beside the lake, listening to a live blues band echoing across the bay.
We finally decided to call it a day an hour and a half before sundown. While driving south on Hgwy 12, I noticed a sign for Mud Lake. I'd been curious about this lake for years but could never find out any info on it and never had the opportunity to visit. As we approached the square mile of mirrored surface, the first thing I noticed in the murky water was an 8" goldfish. Larger carp, and what I'm sure were largemouth bass, were regularly jumping farther out. Armed with our usual "go to's" we set out to discover what else this tiny isolated lake contained. My fifth cast with the Mepps flew over a low slung willow branch and just before I could flip it over I got a bite. As I tightened the line a small 4"panfish rose out of the water, dangling from the branch. I deftly flipped the rod tip and the fish came sailing towards the shore...CRAPPIE! That was my cue to assemble the fly rod again. Over the next hour (until we couldn't see anymore), we worked that shoreline,catching large numbers of small crappie, sunfish, and rockbass. Even Treefrog managed to dredge up a few bullhead catfish! (not with the rubber frog though)
PS: Last month I issued a challenge to all you bloggers out there to post pictures of Telephone Wire Ornamentation, or TWO. Here's another example I shot on the causeway near Port Perry.
This post took all morning to write and I was hoping to make it over to the Rouge River today and expand on my local knowledge of all things fishy. I'll let you know what happens for the rest of this Simcoe Day long weekend.