Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Return To Prado

My first bass of the day, a 1.75 pounder
Much needed rain came the past few days and today was one of the first days of fishable weather.  With a  forecast of clouds and Chul off at 6am, it was a good idea to hit up some local largemouth water and try our luck at some popper action.  The plan was for Chul to text me when he got off work around 6 and that would be my cue  to head out and make my way to his house.  I programed my alarm wrong and awoke an hour earlier than planned.  When it came past 6 with no text from Chul which is very unlike himself, I wondered if he forgot or his phone died.  So I called him and went straight to voicemail.  Now about 6:40 I called again and again no response.  I decided to head to his house anyways figuring his phone probably died.  On the way, I got a text from him that he was forced to do OT and would be out of there in 20 minutes.  With the sun starting to peak out of the haze , any chance of topwater action looked unlikely.  Halfway to his house he called me and let me know he was leaving. 

After waiting for him to make it back home and now more than an hour past our planned start we packed the pram into his truck and headed to Prado.  Despite the sun poking out we were adamant on trying our poppers.  Chul with a frog gurgler and myself with a Webb's Folded Foamhead, we started banging the banks.  After about an hour of futile casting, I changed to one of Chul's rubber legged woolly bugger monstrosity that he had great success with the last time he fished here by himself.  I believe I managed a bump that I missed.  After a while Chul gave up on topwater and tied on one of my olive clouser flies tied the way Bill Calhoun suggested I tie them with flashabou lied flat on the top.  In no time Chul got the skunk off the boat, a bass at the time I thought it was only a three quarter pounder.  Later though after comparing it against a bass we actually weighed I now think it was much bigger maybe a pound to a pound and a quarter. 
My version of the Wedding Veil, Bluegill colored.
At this time I realized I left my XXL C&F box in his truck.  There were two flies I specifically tied wanting to try it on bass.  We made our way to the spillway and fished on our way back working the tulies as we made our way to the truck.  Luckily Prado is a tiny lake so it wasn't a big problem.  When I got the box I tied on a modified Wedding Veil tied with bluegill colors.  Within a few casts my line went heavy and it initially felt that I snagged submerged structure until I felt a head shake.  The bass tried to run back into the structure but I had enough backbone on my Scott S3S 7 weight to prevent that.  Once lipped I bogaed it, I guessed a pound and a quarter and was proven wrong.  Surprisingly the bass weighed a pound a three quarters.  My gauge for bass lately has been way off.
My second bass to hand
We made our way to the other side of the lake and I managed to bang the tulies with my new favorite bluegill imitation.  I've struggled throughout the years to find a fly that has a proper bluegill profile and I think I found it.  I managed to lose at least three in this small section.  I saw each fish come and attack the fly.  The first I was too slow to set the hook.  Once I realized my contour camera was not on I turned it on and missed the next bass that I saw charge the fly coming out of the weeds.  I blew my load too quick and pulled it right out of its face.  The next bass I saw take hit the fly hard and I didn't set the hook enough and spit the fly.    By this time we made our way into another cove.  I threw my fly beneath a tree and a small bass bumped it but was too small to actually take the fly. 
The Wedding Veil Bluegill fly proving it's worth
While in this cove the clouds began covering the sun and Chul returned to topwater.  After a while he was blown up when he was not ready and missed a very nice bass just after starting that he was bout to quit and go back subsurface.  Continuing our drift Chul and I made a cast toward a submerged structure that I commented it looked like a log and soon enough my line went tight.  Angry this bass was not happy.  I guessed it was about a pound and a quarter.  We made our way to the other side of this cove and we both missed a fish practically just side by side.  Chul missed the fish with his popper and I missed on my bluegill fly right when it hit the water.  After that the fishing died down even though we tried about an hour or so more.  Despite the fact that the fish went tight lipped, I love this style of fishing.  Banging the banks with either a popper or streamer and floating lines watching the fish take on top or just under the surface.  It's exciting and very interactive.  Fishing at Prado is a joy.  The deepest part of the lake is no more than 14 feet (at today's level in low water year) so a sinking line is really unnecessary.  Most if not all the fishing will be done working the shallow weeds trying to coerce a bass to come out of the darkness.  I prefer it much more than the concrete swimming pool that is MVL.  
These unknown birds doing their German Eagle impression
We finished at 1pm and hit the Orvis store at Pasadena to use up our $25 off coupons that Chul gets and I don't for whatever reason.  I'm a little pissed about that since I've been a  customer longer than him and have spent more at Orvis in the past decade or so than he ever has.  Now that's bullshit. 

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