Lake Vermillion: Walleye and Pike Edition
Day 1 & 2: The Hunt for Muskie
Just got back from what has become an annual trip up north with my Dad to fish Lake Vermillion in Northern Minnesota. This was our third year yet and we did quite well. Started off the trip hunting for Muskie. On Day one this meant throwing some big streamers on the 10 wt after setting up camp. No success for me but my Dad landed a good pike and a largemouth. Day two we headed out with a guide and we would learn that the search Muskie was going to be challenging at best on our own. Due to the weather and the time of year the Muskie were not going to be found in shallow water like we had hoped. Instead they were suspended in open water deep water, 35 ft+, chasing schools of Cisco that were eating Mayfly larva. To catch them on a fly rod was going to be all but impossible so we opted to troll large crank baits and bull dogs with planer boards. Let me add that it was cold that day, in the 40's and raining. While prepared as much as we could with base layers and rain gear it was still a long 9 hours on the water trolling seemingly endlessly and in the end we didn't even get a bite from a Muskie. We did catch two very nice pike, a 35" from my dad and I landed a 33" on a bull dog. Both were new personal bests for us. Frustrating to not even see a Muskie but then again Muskie fishing is almost always a frustrating affair.
Day 3-5: A Change of Focus
With the realization that we weren't realistically going to be able to pursue Muskie with the gear we personally owned and that it was going to be virtually impossible on a fly rod our focus shifted mainly towards two pursuits: Pike on the fly and Walleye. Towards these ends we were wildly successful. All pike on the fly were caught on the Golden Oriole Pike Fly. As for the Walleye, we caught them all on white and orange Lindy rig's, trolling around mid lake humps. Numbers weren't there but size was, especially the last one, a 29" 8 lb Walleye caught by my dad--the biggest I have ever seen in person--and a fish I am certain he won't soon forget.