Fishing with Glen, the Gobbule Getter :)

Each year, I try to make a trip to the frigid north (that’s anywhere north of Alexandria, LA for those of you not from Louisiana) and fish with a good friend and fly fishing buddy of mine, Glen Cormier. Most people just know him as “Catch Cormier.”  I may have posted this on an earlier post but it’s worth mentioning again that Catch first got me into the sport of kayak fishing.  I taught his daughter for four years at St. Michael High School and he would sometimes pick her up from after school band practice with one or two kayaks strapped to the top of his car. I was a bay boat fisherman at the time and I asked him what were the kayaks for. He told me that he fished out of them and I asked him where? He promptly replied, “just about anywhere I can.” After pestering Glen for some time about what kind of kayak to buy, he helped me pull the trigger on my first kayak, my Wilderness Tarpon. I used to call it Doc’s Yellow Submarine. It’s a great kayak that paddles very fast and tracks well.

Anyway, I kept trying to set up a trip to fish with Glen so I could pick his brain (he is a walking encyclopedia about fishing and you’ve probably seen me reference some of Cormier’s Laws about Fishing on this blog) but we couldn’t agree to a date until I decided to jump in and purchase a fly rod. I think it’s no coincidence that Glen finally made his calendar clear when I offered to fish with him and leave the “Commie” tackle back home. By the way, Commie tackle refers to anything NOT related to the fly rod. 🙂 Well, we’ve been fishing buddies since then.

As long as I’m explaining a few terms here, the word gobbule, as defined by Catch himself, means: Any sunfish.  The term sunfish is too passive for this hard-fighting members of the Centrachid family.

Last week, I ventured to Glen’s home in Boyce to fish the Kisatche lakes (Valentine, Cotille, and Kincaid). Since I was getting there the last week of June, our expectations weren’t very high for bass, but we hoped to get on some of the great bream or gobbule fishing those lakes have to offer. It took us a while to find them but when we did, we were rewarded with a bunch of these hard fighters


Many of these fish would have been “frying pan” worthy, but we were just releasing them this week and thanking them for the fight. Speaking of fight, there were several bream that made Catch’s 6 wt. double over. You can only imagine how much fun it was to catch these “bream with an attitude” on a 3 wt!

Another thing that makes fishing with Glen is the scenery. Glen and his wife are now retired and they have some of the most picturesque waters and woods in their back yard.

Even in the extreme heat, I was able to land one nice bass on a crease fly popper. It’s the largest bass that I’ve caught in PUBLIC waters this year, which means that it is…well would have been eligible for the Massey’s CPR Tournament. Sad to say, that after I took this picture, it flopped back into the water.



Nice bass on the crease fly

Here are a couple pictures from the rest of the trip
Glen used his son’s Jackson. It looks like we’re on Pro Staff for Team Jackson! 🙂



Good Intentions

With a week of my “kiddie camp” completed, I was looking forward to doing some fishing this weekend. I had a church gig scheduled for early afternoon, so I knew that I would be limited to a morning trip somewhere very close by. My intentions were to make the five minute walk to my neighborhood lakes and harass some bream. I intended on catching enough bream for a quick fish fry for lunch, but my plan went array because I ended up catching 7 bass.

I started my morning at dawn by hitting the banks with one of my crease flies. These new poppers have been my “go to” flies for bass this spring.

crease flies

The trouble is, I caught a nice bass right off the bat and had two others break me off. Determination set in and I made sure the fish weren’t going to make a monkey out of me this morning. I promptly managed one nice one


And that was followed by a few more. I was down to my last popper and it had gotten so mangled by the last two bass that I had to abandon it. I switched to my rod loaded with one of my shad flies and I caught this 18-inch fish that weighed right at 3 pounds


I quickly reminded myself that I intended to catch some bream, so I hopped over the levee and decided to hit “old reliable” for some summer chinquapin. I had a hard time getting any bream at all on a fluff butt but I did manage a few small (7-8 inch) bream early on. The big bite definitely wasn’t on, so I decided I was not going to keep any today. I worked another point that usually produces a big bream or two and my strike indicator disappeared. I strip-set the hook and knew right away that that wasn’t a bream. I was only using my 3 wt at the time so I knew that I’d have to finesse this big baby in if I wanted to land her. After a hard fought battle, I landed this one that weighed  3.1 pounds and measured 18 and 1/2 inches.


Oh, I did end up catching 7 bream that would have been worthy of the frying pan but I decide to make a bream run another day. One of those was this chunky goggle-eye.



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Following Doctor’s Orders

So I went in for my follow up check up with my hand surgeon and when I asked him about physical therapy he said,”anything you want to do.” “Go fishing, play your horn…go fishing.” Well I did just that. I had a couple of hours to spare before getting supper ready and going to our dress rehearsal with the incomparable, Rene` Fleming so I went fishing in the neighborhood lake. I took only my 3 wt, and another 5 wt rigged with bream flies. I must have landed about 2 dozen small bream but nothing to really brag about.

The afternoon did get interesting when I made a good cast by some cypress knees and immediately got a small 7-inch bass to eat. No sooner had I hooked the juvenile bass than a larger behemoth bass inhaled my fish. It took off and made a pass under my kayak. I let him run for a while but it decided to spit the baby bass back out. I landed it. It had a few scales knocked off but I think it will make it. I revived it and sent it off on its way. I continued to make a couple more casts in the same area and hooked another small bass and a couple of bream when my phone rang. It was my wife, so I figured I had better take the call. She was wondering where I was and what was for dinner. You know. The usual 5 PM phone conversation. After a couple minutes on the phone, I picked up my 3 wt. and went to make a cast when I realized that something had eaten my #10 frog popper. When I got the slack out, I realized is was big. I made sure to strip set the hook but the dog gone thing rose to the top and spit my popper back at me. It must have been over 20 inches! Oh well, I know where I’m going to start fishing the next time I hit that lake 🙂

On the way back in, I ran into a guy who was bank fishing and he pointed out that there were monster red-ear bream on beds. Sure enough, I saw some nice big bream on beds. Try as I might though, I couldn’t get them to eat anything. They were definitely set on guarding the beds and were not in an eating mood. I’ll be back for them too. I just have to catch them before they head out of the area completely after the spawn.

Sorry no pictures this trip. I’ll try to get back on the water somewhere this weekend.

Spring Break Pond Hopping

Spring Break normally affords me several opportunities to get on the water. With a band trip to Disney schedule for the back half of the week, I made sure to get as much fishing in during the front part of my break as I could. I started with and after school/Good Friday trip to the lake behind a friend of mine’s house. The wind was a bit strong but I was determined to find some sacalait. I targeted the usual downed limbs and stumps and was able to land two nice ones on a fluff butt. FullSizeRender
On Good Friday, I was determined to catch a few more to fry for supper. I was able to catch one 14-inch sacalait and an 8 inch bream so Lisa and I had more fish than we really could eat. I caught and released dozens of small bream but wasn’t able to get one bass to play.

I woke up Easter Monday with the intention of trying to go down to Leeville for some speckled trout and redfish action. When I got up though, the wind was blowing just a little bit too hard for my taste, so I decided to hit the dam by my neighborhood lake to see if the bass wanted to play. After the heavy rains for Easter, there was a considerable waterfall by the dam. For about 20 minutes the bass action was crazy! It was like someone had thrown feed in the water. The “feed” was actually schools of tiny shad. I tied on a crease fly (Bill Laminack version) and was able to fool three hungry bass.

This one was about 19 inches and was pretty close to three pounds!

Later that morning, I found myself up to my ears in work for school but I put everything down, decided not to answer any more emails or texts from band parents, and I went to my cousin’s house to fish their neighborhood pond. That pond has been “money” for me during past spring breaks. It was a very slow afternoon of fishing, but I did manage three bass, one sacalait, and about a half dozen nice bream.


Shows pond bass

Tuesday morning, I decided to try a new fly that I had been working on. I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to “match the hatch” with these shad and I came up with this

I had a hungry bass eat my new creation on about my fourth cast! I then hooked and lost a really nice one. The bite wasn’t as fierce as Monday’s (the water was only at a slight trickle) and I ended up breaking my fly off on the concrete dam itself. No worries, because I had the rest of the morning to explore the upper lake to see if the chinquapin bite had started. They weren’t plentiful but the six I did keep for supper were chunks. Three were over 9 inches and three were 10 inches plus! With the predicted rain for tonight and tomorrow, my spring break fishing is over for 2016. Time to take my band to Disneyworld for competition! Hmmm, maybe I can bring my fly rod! 🙂

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Warm Water Fishing is Good Fishing

Again, we had storms move through our area (tornado warnings and everything). Once I got the debris cleaned up and put the icing on the year which has been a productive one at school, I finally got on the water to chase some willing warm water species. The bream in the local ponds and lakes have been hungry and are easily fooled on a chartreuse fluff butt under a VOSI. I even got a few bass this afternoon that were willing to eat a fire-tiger popper. Most of the fish are being caught on the fluff butt though. I even kept a few big 9-10 inch bream for the frying pan.

On a sour note, I sprained a tendon in my fighting elbow at school (really poor decision on my part to try to move a loaded soda machine to plug in a wire by myself). I’ve been having a tough time trying to fight some of the big bream and bass with my elbow. Anyway, I am looking to get down to the coast to target some redfish and speckled trout, but if my arm doesn’t get any better, I will have a heck of a time trying to set the hook on any big girls that may be interested in my flies. Oh well, I may have to rest it for a couple of weeks. 😦  In the mean time…lots of ice and therapy hopefully will do the trick.

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I’m a Believer (in the Hare’s Ear Nymph)

I had one of those kind of mornings. I got on the water later that I wanted to, I forgot my camera (ran back to the house though to get it), and I forgot my reading glasses. I realized I had left my glasses after I got on the water. I well, I had to have faith that I wasn’t going to break off and have to retie today. 

The weather was hot, humid, completely calm. The calm was a problem because there were all sorts of biting insects (gnats mostly) that gave me the devil of a time. I would have gone in and given up had I not started catching some of the biggest chinquapin that I’ve caught on a fly rod…ever! The largest measured a tad bit over 11 inches. I am now a firm believer in the hare’s ear nymph!Image
That’s an 11-inch bream in my hand. It hardly even fit, which made getting my hand around the fish to remove the fly a problem. Oh, how I long for those kind of problems 🙂

I didn’t catch the numbers today as I caught last week. I probably threw back a dozen at most. I ended up keeping 11 for the frying pan.

So when I got back home I measured these fish. Of the 11 fish I kept, 2 measured in at 11 inches or better. Five were 10 or better and the remainder were all over 9 inches with the exception of one teeny little 8 inch. Toward the end of my morning adventure, I was fishing a bank that I haven’t worked yet this summer. The wind had picked up and I was standing in my kayak to stretch my back a bit. I cast my fly toward a promising bank. A breeze picked up and started moving my kayak. I grabbed my paddle to adjust my position along the bank. When I went to pick my fly up, I had a huge bass on! Naturally I didn’t set the hook because I was just trying to reposition the fly. That thing looked to be over 20 inches!  

Well, Dustin and I are going to be eating fried fish fillets tonight!


Summer Bream or Bust!

Image Another week of summer band camp is in the books and I’ve got time to do some pond hopping and will go south soon to do some fishing near the coast. This is a compilation of several short trips where I’ve been targeting bream on my 3 wt. With all the catch and release I usually do, it’s been tempting to do some catch and release into a hot skillet! Catch Cormier and I made a trip to Toledo Bend and Lake Cotille a couple of weeks ago but the bass and bream were small. Since then, I have been able to catch a few nice ones and I put together a stringer of several fillet-sized bream. This morning, I was able to catch a freshwater slam (bass, bream, and catfish) on a new fly that Glen turned me on to called a hare’s ear nymph. Hare’s ear’s are popular flies for trout in cold water fishing conditions but I haven’t tried them for warm water. It seems to be just ticket for bream once the morning warms up and they quit hitting poppers. Image I put together a short video called “Ode to the Summer Gobbule.” It seems that gobbule is another name for bream. You can check it out here:

Summer Fishing 2014

Now that school is out, I’ve been getting more opportunities to fish in-between “honey-dos” and other chores. That means quick hour-and-a-half jaunts out to the neighborhood lakes either by foot or by kayak. If I get out very early, I can usually find some bass willing to eat a fly. By early I mean 5:45 – 6:30. After 6:30, they get lockjaw but I can usually get a few bream to play.

I did make a cool trip with my friend, Glen “Catch” Cormier last week on up to Lake Cotille and Toledo Bend, via Pirates’ Cove. We brought only the fly rods. The bream bite was pretty good, but like I told Catch, if I don’t see another 3-inch bream for a long time, it won’t be long enough! I did manage to catch 6 bass and get an entry in the Massey’s Tournament at 13.5 inches. Image

It’s nothing compared to the 18-inch bass I’ve been catching in my neighborhood lake but those aren’t eligible for this tournament.  I have been using shad flies on the neighborhood lakes early in the morning with some success. As for the bream, small poppers and a hare’s ear nymph have been the ticket. I tried my hand at tying the Cormier version of the hair’s ear and came up with three very ugly flies. I had a concert to play at White Oak Plantation today and I threw my hare’s ear at some bream today between my rehearsal the the performance. The baby bream were very willing to play as I caught and released around 25 small bluegill. I couldn’t believe the fish were eating my UGLY fly. I really need to post a picture here but I’m telling you it’s embarrassing. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures. I’m hoping to try my hare’s ear on some bigger bream in our neighborhood lakes. I’ll try to post some pics up when that happens.


School’s Out for Summer…

Now that school is out for summer, I hope to be able to sneak in a few more fishing trips between “honey-dos” and music camps. I fished Lakes Cotile and Valentine earlier this week with my friend “Catch” Cormier in hopes to land a real trophy bass on the fly rod. All I managed were a couple of sinks and some tiny bream.

This morning, I got up early and headed out to our neighborhood lakes. I caught 4 bass on a variety of flies. The largest came one a crappy candy while I was fishing for bream. The bream bite hasn’t begun yet and I just can’t figure it out. I’m planning on hitting some new spots to see if I can get a bass entry in the Massey’s Tournament.

I was the guest tier at the Kisatchie Fly Fishers Meeting this week. It was great meeting some new faces. I hope those guys are able to catch a lot of bream on the slow-sinking spiders I showed them. I was able to catch about a dozen small ones this morning on the spider, but I’m still waiting for the bull bream to start eating with reckless abandon. 🙂


The bream are officially on the beds

After work today I did a buddy of mine a favor and brought my yak over to his pond where he was trying to install an aerator. We put the aerator on the front hatch of my kayak and I paddled out to the middle of his pond, where I eased it down into the water. He is hoping that this aerator will help to end the “dead zone” we think is in his pond. Those of you who follow this blog may remember that I have caught some pretty skinny, tiny bass in this pond and have not caught anything over 13 or 14 inches in there. I’ve even caught some bass during the summer that look like they don’t even have a stomach.  Well, after installing the aerator and getting it turned on I decided not to pass on an opportunity to fish one of my slow sinking spiders. The slow sinking spider (with a twist) is one of my fly-tying buddies, Stephen Robert’s, creations. I tied a few over the winter in blue and in orange and I’ve been looking for an opportunity to harass some bluegill with them.

Well, my tally for the hour and a half I fished was 13 bass (up to 13 inches) and 15 fat bluegill…12 REALLY nice ones! I’m sorry I didn’t get any pictures. I left my memory card in my computer during my last upload and was out there with a camera without any memory.

After dinner with my wife and our friends, a cold stout, and good music and conversation, we spoke about having me come over one day next week to catch some bream for a fish fry! Some of these big girls were fillet sized!

Slow-sinking spider