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Living in Hamilton these days, I miss Nova Scotia a great deal. But I do have the good fortune of living near one of the largest bodies of fresh water on the planet. So I've been busy wetting a line on Hamilton Harbour and having fun.

A few weeks back I scored my first fly-rod pike.

I was casting a marabou leech on a 6 lb Maxima tippet when it took. At first I thought it was a catfish or a sheepshead because all it did was pull. But it put a good bow in my rod so I knew it was a decent fish.

Suddenly this log of a pike rolled on the surface and I almost had a heart attack. I wasn't set up for something with a mouth full of razor blades!

After several minutes I felt it was time to grab the net. That's when the fun started! I grabbed for the net and discovered that like a greenhorn, I'd left it in my pack. So here I was fumbling with the pack with one hand while fighting the fish with the other, all the while hoping the tippet would hold. Finally I had the net out, and realize that the fish is twice as long as the net is deep. Oh, well. . . gotta try, I though. So the net went in the water and I started to guide the fish into it. Just at that instant, the tippet finally parted, I yelled Nooooooo! And the fish swam straight into the net.

So I fumbled up onto the bank to get the camera, but the fish was too long for the net. One big heave and it flopped right out. I shot the picture where the fish landed, then went to remove the hook. I reached for my forceps which are always hanging on my vest. . . but they weren't there. I'd been using them while tying flies and forgot to put them back on the vest. So I decided to try to get the fly out using my nippers to grip the shank. I got the fishes' mouth open, but couldn't see the fly. The fish literally had inhaled it! All I could see was about 6 inches of tippet material. The fly was way down in the gullet. I've never had a fish take a fly so deep.

So I nipped as much of the tippet material as I could and returned the fish to the water. After a few minutes of being moved back and forth, it gave a strong kick and swam off.

The next day I went out and bought a second set of forceps for my vest. . . and a bigger net.
 

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Nice fish and great story. I have caught numerous pike on the fly and I just love the strike of top-water! Congrats. What about the Grand, it`s not far from Hamilton is it
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not having my own wheels these days means that I'm pretty well stuck to local water, or places where I can get to by bus, train or the like. I have been up to the Grand a few times though. It is a great river with a good variety of fish. Oddly, I've never fished the Niagara, but I'll be changing that soon.

Last week I also scored my first fly-rod carp, but my camera battery died, so no pictures. Next on the "bucket list" is channel cat. There are at least 15-16 varieties of fish in the area that are worthy of pursuit, ranging from brown trout to rainbows, the various salmon, musky and even gar and sturgeon. You could spend a long time trying to fill your bucket list around here.

But if I had a choice, I'd be home. Nothing matches small Nova Scotia stream for brookies.
 

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Home is where the heart is! There are people down here from Hamilton who would trade off in a second! lol
 

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Terrific story Coachman. I always enjoy reading fishing reports like yours.

I was on the Grand last weekend targeting browns (but catching chubs) when I came upon a pool that was holding a dozen carp that probably went 10-15 pounds each. Naturally, I tried to catch one but they weren't buying what I was selling. Not sure what my plan was if one of these babies decided to play; the 4-weight rod and 5X tippet would have made it challenging at best.

Tight lines,
Paul
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The carp weren't really on the feed last week. . . spawn time, although the odd one would take a minute to forage. Wooley Buggers and any darker nymph will get a reaction. I know some guys who were catching them with just a bit of yellow yarn wrapped on a hook (carp like corn).

My daughter caught this one last summer on a $20.00 CTC rod loaded with 6 lb line. Not the best photo. . . taken with a cell phone cam in very bright light. But a rather nice fish for such light tackle.

 

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My daughter caught this one last summer on a $20.00 CTC rod loaded with 6 lb line. Not the best photo. . . taken with a cell phone cam in very bright light. But a rather nice fish for such light tackle.

Awesome... and a welcome reminder that the fish don't know what you paid for the tackle!

Paul
 
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great story ...nice fish!
 

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The fishing on the Niagara is great. Lots of differnt fish and big. A very good spot is Lake Erie at the Niagara River. The small mouth there are awesome. You can fish from shore wading in 2-3 feet of water. Fish the shore farther down the lake away from the cuRrent. There are lots of parks to get access to the lake. A Belly Boat is greeat. Stay in water 8 feet or less. Fish a sinking Sculpin (sp) pattern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well bass season opens up here tomorrow. There are some big largies in the area. I caught one out of season (and quickly released of course) a couple weeks back that ran about 5 pounds, and I lost one nearly twice that big the previous week. I'm tying some deer-hair divers along the lines of a Dahlburg. They seem to like perch colors and anything that makes a bit of a commotion in the water.
 
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