CROWLEY UPDATE 5/31/16

by Ernie Gulley Fly Fishing
in Blog
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Breakdown of the weekend at Crowley! Saturday my guide trip cancelled so I was able to go out and fish for myself! Big Hilton and Sandy Point have been setting the pace for most anglers, however I wanted to get away from the crowds and decided to fish Six Bays. Since I didn't have a trip I didn't get onto the lake until after 8am! Once I set up on the deep drop off, anchored in 15 feet fishing downhill into 20+ feet of water, I was immediately hooked up with a beautiful leaping 22" rainbow! These rainbows are super hot at Crowley and will show off there leaping ability every chance the get! Not long after his release I was onto a nice chunky 20" brown and the bite continued to be steady for the next few hours, with all fish in the 19" to 22" range! I ended up with six beautiful fish and after almost an hour without take down, I decided to move back into the North Arm and North Landing/Green banks area! I had not fished this area the entire beginning of the season because Hilton and Sandy were producing well for me! Once I moved back into this area I anchored up in 17.5 feet of water. There were only three other boats fishing, including another guide boat fishing with friends on his day off! I set my depth for 12" off the bottom and made my first cast! Within 90 seconds I was greeted with a beautiful 21" rainbow doing cartwheels out of the water, wow I said to myself, that's a great start! The other guide boat next to me had a double hookup and I knew this had the looks of being special! I landed on more small 15" fish, both on the top fly, then proceeded to miss 6 take downs in a row! After missing that many takes I knew one thing from the past, I needed to move my bottom fly up higher in the water column so the fish could more easily eat the bottom fly and not the top fly. The leader was not allowing the fish to take the fly into its mouth for me to get a good hook set! I moved the indicator so the bottom fly was three feet of the bottom now and hooked a nice 17" fish in less than two minutes time! I went on a solid run of takes, going at about a 50/50 hookup to miss ratio and then the bite died! Not a grab for over 45 minutes and the weather turned nasty and all boats around me pulled anchors and left! I was just thinking about doing the same thing when my indicator disappeared and I was on again, a leaping 19" brown, who said Browns don't jump at Crowley! The bite stayed steady for another 30 minutes and the wind shifted, started to rain and I decided to head in for a meatball sandwich! After my lunch break I went back out and explored about six different areas on the lake, including a 2 hour nap in the north arm and finished up the afternoon with 7 more grabs and no fish to the net! The storm front shut down the bite but I was looking forward to my next days guide trip and the weather looking good for Sunday. 

 

Sunday morning Joe Contaldi and I went out early to fish together, my guide trip wasn't supposed to start until noon, so we took advantage of being able to fish together and I wanted to start in the North Arm! We anchored up, fished for about 90 minutes with only 4 small Browns to the boat and my partner was starting to question my strategy. As we were waiting for any kind of bite to start we noticed now there was at least 30 boats anchored around us, word must have gotten out about how good it was the day before and the bite on the lake in other areas slowing. I said let's stick it out another 30 minutes and then move over to Six Bays. This was a move we never had the chance to make because the bite turned on for everyone in the entire bay! Joe and I started putting on a show, double hookups, fish leaping out of the water but we were not the only boat hooking fish, when I looked around I counted more than ten rods doubled over and the bite was on, Crowley style! As the show continued I received a text from my noon guide trip he was on his way and could be at the marina before 10am. This was great news so I texted back, see you at 10am and Joe and I landed about 6 more fish before we pulled anchor and headed for the marina! Thirty minutes later I had my client, Matt Rubin in the water and immediately the indicator disappeared, it took Matt a few minutes to get into his comfort zone but once there, Matt put on a really nice show for all to see. The bite stayed solid for another two hours and then the bottom dropped out and no one was getting takedowns! I started to switch flies every 10 minutes and this would usually induce one or two takes in a row and Matt would connect with one of them. It was a slow pick but we battled on this half day trip and in 5 hours we had 15 fish to the net with at least 50 grabs! The weather turned sour again, I went back out for a while, moving all over the lake looking for fish but only managed with two more nice 20" fish to the net!

Monday, another guide trip with a single angler that would like to remain anonymous! I was very excited, we were going to start early in the morning and was excited again to get into that good bite we have had in the North Arm! We were anchored up by 7:15, the bite was slow again but I assured my client that this was the norm for the last few days and it would get going soon! Wow was I wrong about that, it was a tough bite, very few grabs, and when your had a takedown, you had to connect! We fished for three hours, making at least 25 color changes for 12 grabs and 3 fish to the net! Brutal!!!!! Are you kidding me, where are all the fish? We made a few moves that didn't help our cause and then we moved to Big Hilton. The point had about 12 boats setup on it, it looked like a parking lot so we moved into the bay until we found some open water. We set up along the drop off and fished in about 18 feet of water! Immediately fish on, beautiful 22" bow and worth the wait. We proceeded to hook two more fish and then nothing for the next 40 minutes. We moved around in the bay three times and then once the traffic disappeared out on the point, I was able to anchor up in one of my productive areas and give it a go! The indicator went down immediately, big bow leaping out of the water for a long distance release! We went on a really nice run for the next four hours, missing just as many takes as hookups but we ended the day with 19 fish to net for a single angler, not a bad day and I was really happy to save the trip at the second half of the day! 

 

Crowley has taken a turn for now at slowing down, the T storms are constantly coming in early in the day and dropping the barometer and the fish don't like that very much at all! 

 

 Black and copper, black and red and any kind of grey combination when the hatch starts was doing the trick!

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will have my new website up and running and I will have a few surprises for you every week, stay tuned!