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Canandaigua Double Grand Slam

Pete Collin

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Hello All,

I must admit I was confident as I head to Woodville this morning. It is my favorite time of year on that lake, I knew where the fish were, and the weather conditions were perfect - slight south wind and partial overcast. threat of rain that never came while I was out there.

I have been banging at rainbow trout, but didn't want to miss out on the lake trout bonanza. So I ran two bottom bumping rigs and a lead core with a rapala to start. I figured i would troll my way along a contour until I reached the big rainbow spot and then switch to a rainbow trout program. My first fish came quickly and led to a small disaster. The tiptop of that rod is a roller guide that needs replacing. The line got pinched between the roller and frame as I went to land the fish, and it caused a breakoff of the 1 pound meatball plus my last spin doctor. Poor fish is down there dragging around a ball and chain. Re-rigging a Seth Green setup takes a long time and isn't fun while piloting a boat.

The leadcore fired with a dink brownie.

Since there were no more spin doctors to use, I rummaged a big paddle-type flasher to put ahead of my fly. The fly was kind of special. A relative of my Mom's was a commercial fly tier. When I was nine, he gave my brothers and me a big pile of flies, among which were some tandem hooked trolling flies. I have a few of them still. This was one of very few times I trolled with them. I hoped the paddle would work as well as a spin doctor.

Next fish was a lovely 18 inch rainbow. Aha - catch a laker, and I will have my very first grand slam. Next fish was another brown - a bit bigger, maybe 16 inches. I can count on one hand the number of brown trout I caught on Canandaigua before, so that was kind of cool. So here I am targetting lake trout and 3 of my first 4 fish are browns and rainbows! I quickly trolled my way into a big group of lakers, and the action began. They were all big - 20 to 26 inches, and hungry. I had a double at one point. It's a wierd kind of triage, deciding which rod has the bigger fish to reel in first!

Nearing one big point, i hooked one and cut the wheel deeper to concentrate on the battle. Right after that release, came the BIG BITE out in deep water. It hit that antique fly from my childhood (what am I saying?) and we had some give-and-take with the drag. It was a 26 ich rainbow, a tie for my biggest in the finger lakes, that hit the BOTTOM leader, 60 foot down.


I can't get over how fat they are this year! I went back to the concentration of lakers and tried jigging. They weren't that responsive, but I did get a 26 inch laker that really swallowed the lure. I went back to trolling through the same pod, and got 3 fish before making it out the other side.

I quit around 1:30. I expect no sympathy whatsoever when i tell you that I caught so many they threw my back out. Pretty hunched up and sore right now. I landed 12 fish and lost several others. That's a lot of times to lean way over the gunwales, pulling those heavy rods out of the holders with thrashing fish. No wonder it hasn't happened before, tweaking my spine like this. Still, one of my best days ever on Canandaigua. I bet they would have kept on biting until dark.

So there was one last really cool thing to happen today. i see jumping fish on the fingers all the time. Most often, they don't show themselves and you wonder what it was that made the boil. Every so often I will see a small salmon or rainbow jump clear of the surface. On my way in, while under full throttle, a big rainbow, maybe 5 pounds, did a fantastic "Free Willy" style of arcing jump, two feet high, right in front of me. What a show!

Pete Collin


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Great job Pete....what a beauty of a flx rainbow !!! I guess you'll be tying up some of those special ole time streamers.....it might be your new, secret, big rainbow fly!!! Keep us posted...... (btw I trolled north east lake ontario friday evening ,landed a beautiful 26 " walleye before engine problem ended my weekend ....bummer...long drive for 2 1/2 hrs fishing...take care of your back, some of the best fishing of the year now and for the next few months!!!!...choo-choo steve

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