A few shad have been coming through the past few weeks. This has been an early morning event sometimes lasting only a couple of hours before the water has been shut off. A few times the shad came through floating on the surface which of course is the most fun of all during a shad kill. Hooking up with a nice size fish on the top of the water is always an adrenaline rush for the fly fisher much like the terrestrial or hopper action of the summer.
This has been an unusual shad kill in that normally the water temps on the lake generally hit the 41f temp for the shad to come through. But that did not happen this year. My guess is the shad balled up pretty close to the intakes and came through. I am happy they did for both the fish and the fisherman. A shad kill makes for some exciting action on both the surface and throughout the water column.
A couple of flies that has been successful for me the past few years during a shad kill are the Mink fly and one tied on a #8 jig hook with a slotted white or pearl white bead. Dress it up pretty much any way you like. They are both versatile and can be split shotted to make them sink faster or slower. The mink fly is very simple to tie and can be fished on the surface or split shotted and fished on the bottom. Strip it to get it a bit wet and it will sink very slowly. Keep an eye on it and a fit will often take it a couple of feet underneath the surface.
I don’t know how much longer this will last and I would’t call it an outstanding shad kill by any measure but some is better than none. The action was short lasting only a few hours and when the water was shut off or dropped the catching was pretty much over most days.
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