By: Trois Jeter
When it comes to fly fishing, it’s mostly about the experience. To be catching fish definitely makes it a better experience, in my honest opinion. Well this past spring I was able to partake in the best fishing experience of my life time. It’s all thanks good people with the right insight for the industry.
My story begins actually the better part of 2 years ago when I met Esoxulator through Instagram. We had similar interests on and … off the water. Months went by of small talk and abundance of questions from me with nothing but answers from him. Then one day he said it.
“Dude, just come up here. See how we’re living”.
I said, “I may take you up on that brother.” I’ve never actually fished the Great Lakes, I’ve got paid time off…fuck it right? I’ll see you in 3 weeks, pal.
There I was off to drive 11 hours for 2 days of fishing to see new water, meet new friends and see how the 716 does it.
Now, I’m from Richmond, Virginia. The South. I believe in southern hospitality. I had no clue what to expect when I arrived in Buffalo. But I was literally blown away by the kindness from the people of Buffalo and from Esoxulator and his friends right off the bat. Everything seemed to mesh and just roll. They showed me the town and the best eating I’ve had, by far, in a very long time. If you enjoy Buffalo wings, New York pizza, and beef sammiches with salty rolls dunked in au jois. Buffalo has the best of them all and that’s just what I sampled in two and a half days. Honestly, it ruined wings back home for me. Literally, haven’t had any since I’ve returned.
The food alone was worth the trip… the fishing just made the experience one I’ll remember forever.
Before coming, I was asked if I had experience throwing sinking line. I replied that it had been awhile but I’ll be fine.
So I thought.
We awoke early the next morning to get on the lake early, we launch the boat as the truck is being parked. I’m standing on the dock looking at Lake Erie literally in awe of how massive it is. It’s as if you’re starring out over the ocean. It’s remarkable, and so is the color. The water is as clear as the Bahamas flats.
Emerald and beautiful.
We motor into the spot, I grab a rod and start peeling line. After struggling with sinking line with small 40 to 50 foot cast Esoxulator had to give me the low down.
“Shovel snow in the back cast”
“Flick potatoes with the forward cast”
I said “ok”, with a puzzled look. After getting quick casting pointers. He picked up the rod. With a swoosh, swoosh, smack. I was staring at a 100 foot cast like it was no big deal. That smack was the backing knot hitting the first guide. I was fucking blown away. I realized then, what he meant by “we shit standing up around here”.
After getting the casting and getting over the beauty of the water (crystal clear 20 feet down). I managed to pick up some nice fat smallies and a new personal best. Let me tell you dredging up 16 to 20 inch smallies from 20 feet down is no joke. It’s quite the experience to feel the power these fish have on open water when you’re only used to river fish.
He wanted to show me new water. I said let’s go. Not knowing he meant…the Niagara. 250,000 cfs. Big boy shit. As we’re motoring up he slowed down to point out how fast the water is moving, then said to me this is where he musky fishes. I looked at him and started laughing, rather hard actually…Ya he was serious. I can’t fathom fishing water like that. This truly is big boy shit.
And to think – Before seeing this, I thought – when my local waters were high – that was a lot of water. Ha.
After catching smallies we went to an inlet with a strain of shiner that pool up near the surface and smack flies with aggression. 60 foot cast with floating line? Now we’re talking my game.
Esoxulator and I wore out our arms catching fish and then headed in.
After 22 hours of fishing in 2 days, a lot of the musky whistle, hospitality like I’ve never had before, meeting new people and friends I hope to keep for a lifetime, I realized this was the experience of a lifetime. It’s not always about the fish but about the experience and simply having fun. And let me tell you I had a fucking blast.
Buffalo keeps it pretty real.
Get out there, go where you don’t know. Find new water. Just have fun when you do it.