Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chequamegon Bay Trip Update

Anglers All - Ashland, WI
Just returned from my trip to Chequamegon Bay in Ashland, WI.  Prior to the trip I had no idea what to expect, now I have more insight and thought I'd share with all of you.

Thing's I learned in Ashland:
  1. Angler All is a great outfitter/guide service on the Bay.  Really a great place with a ton of fishing knowledge.  I booked another trip with them next year.
  2. Captain Luke Kavajecz is an excellent guide.  Luke put us on fish even in some less than favorable conditions.  Plain and simple...the guy knows his stuff.  
  3. You never know what you are going to get on Chequamegon Bay.  The weather changes on the hour.  Big body of water = unpredictable.
  4. Not all smallmouth hits flies like a ton of bricks.  The fish on this trip were "nibblers", it took me some time to get the feel down.
  5. I am/was a terrible trout setter.  Strip setting is the key.  If you raise the rod tip to set the hook you pull the fly out of their mouth and their zone.  Practice strip setting before you go out on the Bay.
  6. When the guide says to cast 10' off the bow at 11:00 he literally means 10'!  I tended to do the polar opposite he asked me to do...not on purpose...I just did.  Luke is a patient man.
  7. Not about speed here.  Stripping slowly was critical on this trip.
  8. Practice casting before you go.  May be obvious, but I didn't and it really showed.  Again...Luke is a patient man.
  9. Layer your clothing and be prepared for in-climate weather.  Rain, wind, cold, hot...all are options even in summer.
  10. The Bay is kind of like a river.  I was surprised to see the current.  Amazing amount of current pushing things around...
  11. The smallies are brutes!  Not super long fish, but they are meaty and very strong.  I suspect the current in the Bay keeps them on their toes.
  12. Just because you book a trip doesn't mean you are guaranteed to fish on that day.  The weather conditions change so much you are kind of on call like a doctor delivering babies.  
  13. Make sure to bring polarized glasses!  Luke is like a bald eagle on this elevated platform...but it would be nice to see the fish yourself.
  14. Leave your big flies at home.  No need to throw the pike flies....sparse Clousers are just fine.
  15. You'll learn a ton if you listen and keep an open mind.
Captain Luke Kavajecz - Photo Courtesy of Anglers All Website

The Fish are NICE!