Monday, May 06, 2013

Sturgeon on the Fly

So yeah...this happened yesterday.

As usual, I was on the flats chasing carp with my buddy David (pictured) and Mark (the man behind the camera). A good day quickly turned into an incredible day. As we walked along looking for tailing carp I spotted a big tail breaking the surface and a cloud of dark black (and big) fish. I frantically pointed the spectacle out to Mark and David, and then like a complete idiot, I cast at a roughly 15 lb carp. With me hooked up for the next few minutes, David and Mark stalked the fish alone.

As they got closer, they knew it was a group of four sturgeon, feeding and basically tailing on a thigh deep gravel bar. David slipped into position and cast a size 8 hybrid to the lead sturgeon. Unbelievably...the fish ate the fly.

By this time I had joined them (silently cursing the 15 lb carp I had just released) and the three of us sort of stood there stunned while the fish headed for deep water. We knew that we were not even going to think about keeping the fish, so David absolutely put the wood to this fish. Rod straining and 10 lb floro tippet creaking...he pushed his gear to the limit trying to bring the fish to the shallows. I took off my camera and got ready to wrestle with this fish if necessary. On the second trip into shallow water I got a window and managed to stick my woefully small carp net over the head of the sturgeon, and then quickly jumped onto my knees and got ahold of the tail. We got the fish under control, snapped a few pictures and smiled as she darted back out into the river.

 

What a moment...a feeding sturgeon eating a size 8 hybrid carp fly in the shallows. Unbelievable catch by my friend, and something I won't forget. Thanks David and Mark...what a day!

38 comments:

Morgan Kupfer said...

Moldy Chum Slab of the Month!!! Sick!!!!!!!!!

Brent Wilson said...

Unbelievable John!! Nice work.

Trevor Tanner said...

Yes! That is incredible, coolest thing ever.

Chris said...

Ha ha ha, "yeah, so this happened yesterday." ha ha love it John.

Blake Frautschi said...

my god, that's F@%#ing AWESOME!

John Montana said...

@morgan, pretty sure David is submitting the fish to Moldy Chum. Certainly slab worthy!

Pretty unbelievable thing...not sure I would have believed it if I hadn't been there. Crazy.

trashfisher said...

Fly fishing moment of a lifetime!

Mark VanDehey said...

It was pretty amazing to watch this unfold. Im just glad the pics turned out decent.

Thanks again for the invite, it was certainly a day of fishing i wont ever forget.

Mark VanDehey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Schaper said...

Very very nice catch on the fly. Here these fish are more often also these days. People put them out of there ponds (gettong to big) and dump them in the lakes. Nice fish, never cought one yet. Greetings from Holland again

John said...

A rare fossil caught on the fly. And captured with some great pics. Way cool!

Brookfield Angler said...

Absolutely stellar!!!

spearyhopper said...

That is a great story. Who will ever get the chance to re-live an event like that? Once in a lifetime...

Ron said...

Unreal! that is freakin' unbelievable!

Ron said...

Unreal! that is freakin' unbelievable!

Gregg said...

That is too neat John!

In Idaho they may not be removed from the water and in one place (Hagerman) they are stocked as a recreational fishery and I've seen them many times, but never had a shot. Not surprised it took the fly, they do have eyes after all, and after seeing those caught by the gear guys I bet it strained his tackle! Good job!

Gregg

Kevin Frank said...

Dude, that is an accomplishment. I've heard sturgeon are hard to catch period.

Scott in PA said...

One of the best reasons to fish - at any time you could be on the verge of an unforgettable memory. Kudos.

Tim Gerke said...

Can't wait to read your new blog: Sturgeon on the fly! Let me know when it's up and running. ;)

Justin Carfagnini said...

Wow, that is awesome!...WOW!

Schollmeier said...

Awesome - once in lifetime doesn't even come close, way harder than that. Sturgeon have eyes but can not see well, they can't see anything at all near their mouths. They feed by touch and taste entirely.

Given the battle a 50"+ Sturgeon will give me on heavy levelwind tackle I can only imagine hooking into on a fly rod...

BOSS said...

Awesome!

Doug O. said...

Crazy stuff! Totally "OFF da Hook"

JM said...

What Blake said.

Wendy Berrell said...

Rules. SOTM or the contest burns.

Gregg said...

Right Jim,

Own many of your writings. The 3 footers that pass by close will flare if you move, perhaps the eyes only for protection. As with carp then fly placement is crucial.

Gregg

Schollmeier said...

I assume you are talking to me - my name isn't Jim, sorry for any confusion. I'm just a Sturgeon-junkie and a medicore fly angler...

Yeah they do use sight for predator avoidance, especially when they are smaller. Probably more so with your White Sturgeon, I've never found our Lake Sturgeon feeding shallower than 8 FOW.

I've had Carp move several feet to take a fly at times (though not always), I doubt a Sturgeon would move off course at all. You'd have to be right on the button.

Do you guys out west see White Sturgeon feeding in such shallow water commonly?

Mark VanDehey said...

No, we dont.

John Montana said...

We saw 5 this day...prior to that I hadn't seen more than 3 ever when out carping. It was a crazy sight.

Zach Janssen said...

That is beyond incredible. I don't think I've EVER heard of sturgeon on the fly.

Zach Janssen said...

That is beyond incredible. I don't think I've EVER heard of sturgeon on the fly.

Gregg said...

Mr. Schollmeier,

I gambled and lost on who who you may be. I see those white sturgeon often only because they are stocked, however, their behavoir must be the same as those in the Snake R. nearby. Those I've only seen breach, awesome it self. You obviously have more experience than I. I have heard of guys targeting unseen whites on the Columbia with a fly, big rod, lead core line, not sure the specifics.

Gregg

Schollmeier said...

Gregg -

One of these days I'll out to that end of the country and try to catch one of those Whites, cool fish. I've read about guys using "sponge flys" soaked in squid juice on leadcore take Whites. At that point I'd rather just use my conventional gear -but that's just me. Would be cool to sight fish one on the fly though...

The breeching is awesome. Our Lake Sturgeon do it too. 100lbers sound like railroad ties dropping, I can't image what a big White sounds like...

Auggies Guide Service said...

I totally agree with them, its pretty unbelievable catch. Only few can do that with that kind of method you used. Columbia river sturgeon fishing

David McKenzie said...

Extraordinary catch on fly! Thats awesome

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