Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pre-Historic Fly Fishing

By Craig Amacker

I was on my “Annual September  Wisconsin River Float” with good friends Kim and Tony Ferrie  yesterday when I caught this pre-historic beast of a fish known as the Bowfin.  We started our float with the standard rules-fish until you catch one, then it’s your turn to row the boat.  For the first hour or so nothing was happening, then a big fish crushed the Fishstress(my go-to white streamer for Smallmouth bass).   It was a jolting strike that bent my 7 weight SAGE ONE double, and put up an impressive fight with a couple of jumps, runs and bulldog like pulls.    I thought the fish was a huge Smallmouth bass at first, but when it didn't show itself we all thought it was a catfish or anybody’s guess.  When I got the fish to the surface I knew right away it was a Bowfin-a fish filed in my memory bank from long ago while growing up on the Madison Lakes and catching them on rare occasions conventional fishing for bass and walleye.  Once the fish was landed and photos were taken, it was time to remove my fly from the fish's mouth.  The problem here was this fish had jaws like a steel trap and some nasty teeth.   I couldn't pry its jaws apart with my pliers and I didn't have a jaw spreader though I don’t think that would've helped.  So the leader was cut, and the fish was released giving me a big face splash.   The take-a-away here is don’t berate strange fish even though they’re not the respected trout or coveted Smallmouth bass, they’re still a blast to catch.  I had so much fun with this Bowfin that I want to learn more about their habits and habitat so I can go catch more.

Craig offers guided fly fishing trips and classes, to view the schedule and for more information visit: http://www.fontanasports.com/fly-fishing

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