I got out this past Friday, but running behind on my field journal so I'm combining it with two mini gear reviews. This summer I’m putting emphasis on finding closer water to take advantage of those times I only have an hour or two to fish. So Thursday night I digitally scouted all the lakes in a 5 mile radius. The MN DNR does a good job of providing sampling reports, shore fishing details and topographic maps to make it easier. Coupled with that knowledge and local web chatter I decided to fish Holland Lake just north of me. This lake boast some of the best water quality in the area and a stocking program which includes brown trout along with a variety of warm water species. Shore access seemed plentiful and if all else fails a fishing dock.
I headed out at my customary 2:00 and made the short drive to the lake. I intended to fish for bigger game so I packed my 6 wt with SA’s SharkWave GPX line to field test and a bag packed with an assortment of streamers & poppers. The fishing dock overlooked the deepest part of the lake, but was occupied by a couple folks. I could have found some casting room, but decided to explore the bank. A small trail led me to a slight clearing where I set up shop. 40% of the lake was covered with algae so I had to pick my spots. Across the lake looked opened, but I didn’t have the ambition to find out, maybe next time. I started with a popper then a weedless streamer. Quarters were tight, but I made the best of it. After a bit I found myself amused by the blue gills darting in and out of the weeds.
Remembering I brought along a leader with a Strike Foundry coiled indicator I tied it on attaching a rubber leg stone to a section of 5x fluoro. A 6 wt was certainly overkill, but didn’t take away from the fun. This was the second time out with the GPX and while I know nothing cast like a new line I’m really impressed with it. It’s weighted a little heavier helping me feel the rod load. The package claims to casts flies of all sizes and in one trip I stretched it from a #12 Copper John to a #2 Clouser. The other product I really enjoyed was the coiled strike indicator. These things float, cast and detect strikes extremely well (as evident by the "below average" size fish I was able to catch). This coming Friday I hope to get them on moving water for trout. I’ll get full reviews out shortly, but so far these two products made solid accounts of themselves. It has been a while since I made a trip out of catching pan fish, but it was a blast.
As I search for more local water I realize the need to get a water craft. A couple years back I had a 14 ft fiberglass boat I pieced together, but since got rid of it. Now I’m looking for something more portable. There are a couple options I’m considering; Colorado Pontoon, Cuda Kayak and Northwood Inflatables. Open to any other recommendations or cautions. Not sure if it will happen this seasons, but will certainly open up more opportunities close to home.