Art Kaemmer Fly Fishing Trip June 20-23, 2013
The trip began with a breakfast cruise to our mooring site and then we were off in search of surface-striking smallmouth bass.
The guides were Bill Dougherty, Jon Balaski and Kevin Erickson. We started our trip in a large bay that had plenty of water for all three guides to fish. The smallmouth did not wait very long to start gobbling poppers. Fred Kaemmer was using a white/gray Murray Shenandoah Chugger with white rubber legs and Art was using a candy cane Dahlberg diver.
Water levels are close two twenty inches above normal on Rainy Lake this year. We planned on fishing bedding bass but the high water has made it hard to see beds in their normal spots. We caught bass off of the deeper beds and also found beds where they had not been before – shallower which makes them easier to see. It was looking like we might have really good fishing; the bass on beds were striking good as well as the bass tight to the shore.
Candy Cane Dahlberg Diver
The morning action was good but the afternoon was even better. The candy cane diver was getting hit on the back end of the fly and not hooking up real good, ditto with the Shenandoah chugger. I cut off the tail feathers on both. It seemed to do the trick, lots of hookups. The sun came out and it got warm. Art switched to a smaller purple Dahlberg diver, Fred switched to a smaller chartreuse bumblebee Dahlberg diver. The smallies really got active. 19 1/2″ was my boats largest for the day. Art and Fred boated 37 smallmouth between them.
On Friday we went to a river that was very good to Art last year. We only had a couple of strikes so I decided to move on to another bay where we were all by ourselves with no sign of any other boats. Kevin and Jon were in another large bay splitting the water in half. Fishing was incredible for all three boats. The bass hit all day long – on beds, around rock and flat weeds, close to the bushes you name it. After tallying up the count for the day we just shook our heads. Just over a 180 bass for six fly fisherman. Needless to say everyone was looking forward to Saturday.
On Saturday, the morning sky was overcast and a light southeast wind was blowing. The bass started out again with a bang. We fished till 3:30 PM and headed back to the Chairman for a dinner cruise back to base. What a trip! 365 smallmouth bass boated. It does not get much better than that!