Lake Vermillion 2013
My father and I returned to Lake Vermillion in northern Minnesota last week for some great father son time on the water. It was our second time to Vermillion, last time we focused primarily on the east end of the lake and this time we focused more on the west end. The lake has a width of 24 miles and a surface area of almost 40 thousand acres, so needless to say, despite now having traveled to entire length of the lake, we still feel like relative newcomers to this impressive body of water. You can find a link to our first Lake Vermillion trip here.
We pulled into our campsite just after 8 AM, set up our tent for the weekend and headed out on the water immediately. We only had a few hours before we were to meet up with a guide so we stayed close and looked for Smallmouth. Ironically, all we caught that morning were Largemouth, a species we never caught the previous trip.
Largemouth on a Meal Ticket Fly.
My father with a nice 3 1/2 lb Largemouth. Caught on a Squarebill Crankbait.
Following our brief bass fishing trip of the day we loaded ourselves into the car and drove to Tower, MN where we met up with longtime guide Cliff for Walleye fishing. We fished lindy rigs over humps in about 20 ft of water using night crawlers. The Mayfly hatch was in full force so fishing was tough but we still caught a few fish. Unfortunately, the guide didn't fully appreciate that I had a fishing blog and needed pictures of my Dad's fish. Alas, despite my best efforts I didn't get a picture with my father and his favorite species of fish.
Nice Starter Walleye. First of the year.
Oh did I forget to mention, I also caught a 26" 7 lb Walleye. The biggest of my life.
The second day centered on one family of fish, Esox. We started the day throwing flies for Northern Pike and as the temps cooled a bit we moved to chasing Muskie. Unfortunately, no Muskie were caught that day, nor the entire trip. Not even a follow. Disappointing yes, but thats part of what makes Muskie such an alluring fish: their elusiveness.
This guy had a chunk taken out of him by a pike on the way in. 3 lb Largemouth.
No trip to Vermillion would be complete without stopping at the Wolf Bay Lodge for a drink.. or two.
This Yellow Perch was a bit over ambitious.
Pike on a fly. Always a great time.
The theme of the third day was exploring the rest of the lake while also throwing for Smallies and Muskie. Again no muskie were caught and no football Smallmouth but we did catch fish and had a nice time seeing the quieter end of the lake.
Our fearless captain through the rain.
Decent Smallie on a Clouser.
Whether you call these little pike hammerheads or slime rockets they are still a lot of fun on a 6 wt, especially when they hunker in the weeds. Taken on Lefty's Deceiver.
I couldn't resist. I had to put down the fly rod and catch a few smallies on my favorite technique, the wacky rig.
It started to rain and with a tent to tear down we headed in to end our trip. I am sure you can all appreciate the joys of tearing down camp in the rain. All in all it was a good trip. Much different than last year: no Muskie, but then again last year we didn't catch any Largemouth or Walleye. I think it speaks to the diversity and immense opportunity this lake provides. We will definitely be back next year. Can anyone say Lake Trout....