Oneill Forebay – still giving it up even in the wind…

I am beginning to embrace windy conditions at the Oneill Forebay. I use to punt going fishing there if the wind lady said it was anywhere between 15 and 20mph north winds, but now that Ive fished the forebay several times when the yellow and red lights have been on at the main lake, I realize that it is sheltered from north and northeast winds. Holding the boat is a bit tricky but the Ipilot Link is the soution to that. It has worked great. The anchor function on the LINK seems superior to the older unit, and the contour follow feature that allows you to parallel a shoreline or depth from the navigational chart is awesome and much better than the NAV function on the old unit. The follow contour does not drift off the heading like NAV did . I find myself playing with the trolling motor controls a lot less while fishing. It would be cool to have a voice activated system.

The fishing at Oneill remains red hot. I learned a few things this season about stripping flies for stripers that seems to make a difference fishing the forebay. I visualize the fly in my mind as if it were trying to get away. Sometimes I can feel a fish following it. a slight tick or resistance in the line in the strip is a hint that a school of fish is pursuing the fly. I think that at that moment of pursuit, the fish evaluates the “bait’s” movement. If the fly isn’t acting scared or moving to slow or at a constant rate, the fish isn’t triggered into pursuing even if they are hungry. I think stripers have a trigger. Watching them come to the boat behind a fast stripped fly, I have caught several stripers by changing the direction of the fly right at the boat by throwing a loop of line away from the boat keeping the fly in the water. The fish would slam it when it would change direction. Unfortunatly, you don’t have much line left to set the hook when this happens and your only chance at hooking the fish is a backcast. Stripers hit the fly at the pause right after a sharp movement. and less likely on a smooth movement – just my “angry stripping” theory. Try to be the striper chasing the fly-be a striper whisperer. And remember that its hard to get a sharp movement on the fly with 60 feet of line out so exaggerate your strips especially when there is lots of line out.

I woke up at 6:00 and it was blowing 30mph. At 8 am, it was down to 15 mph so I left for the lake and was on the water by 9:30. I fished till 2:00 and ended the day with 34 Stripers to 22 inches and a nice LMB. Im headed to Eugene Oregon this Wednesday to fish the South Fork of the McKenzie River with Mark. I love Eugene-especially the Caddis Fly Shop and the Cabelas. I thought I might check out the Sage Salt Rods since Im looking for a 5 wgt San Luis Striper Rod. That means Striper withdrawels for two weeks. I hope its good when I get back.

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