River Trip 23Apr2022…

We hit the road at 0515 hoping to be on the river by 0700 but we were 15 minutes late. Sunrise was at 0640 and the temperature was 67F with 22mph winds. I wanted to take the fly rod but opted not to since I knew the winds would continue to increase throughtout the day.

Early worm gets the bird

We had a near miss with Zip as he decided to chase after the two geese in the background of the photo above. I called him back and he came running but wasn’t paying attention and fell off the gravel seam into deeper water. He started dog paddling without making progress and he started drifting across into deeper water. I waded in at and the last second (the water depth was quickly approaching the tops of my waders) managed to grab him and drag him back onto the gravel bar. He was much more careful after that.

At least he said “Thank You”
Filling my Sawyer Squeeze water bottle
Nicer than carrying a bunch of water bottles
Refreshingly cold water
A good fishing buddy!

I was using the Daiwa Presso ST 62ML rod with the Daiwa Presso LT 1000 reel. My wife was using her Graphite Leader Bellezza RV 642UL with a Shimano Twin Power C2000S reel. We decided on using heavier rods due to the wind. We experienced periodic wind gusts of 30-45mph while on the river. Sometimes we had to anchor hard with our feet and brace ourselves. Wind AND current can be tricky at times.

This is actually a pretty good rod.
Mrs. Velox Seeker

We each carried a Yeti Panga 28 for our gear. Hers contained dog necessities while mine ended up being filled with trash. Even with all of my fishing gear inside, I still managed to haul out 2 beer cans, 2 plastic bottles, a beer bottle and an empty 5 gallon jug. Leave it cleaner than you found it!

She caught 6 Velox and I managed to catch 12 with one being decent.

The river was in great shape and we can’t wait to return.
River slo-mo

Nothing recharges my internal batteries like being on a river. We had a great time and enjoyed fishing at a leisurely pace. Zip did really good and we look forward to future outings with him. The winds have been a real problem for us lately and we are hoping they will calm down soon.

We’ve been receiving these advisories daily.

I am truly grateful to be married to a woman who loves to fish as much as I do. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time!

Fishing Art…

I was in the fishing room the other day and the wife came in and commented that the walls looked kind of plain. I have maps hanging to remind me of trips we’ve taken and routes we have traveled, but nothing really artistic. She suggested a few ideas and I agreed. She ended up ordering two shadow boxes containing flies from “Classic Fly Tying” and they arrived today. They have several different shadow box versions to choose from.

The Catskills Dry Fly Collection
Old Favorite Bass Fly Collection #1

These shadow boxes are done very well and will look amazing on the wall. I can see myself getting all of them in the future. If anyone is interested in purchasing items from the site, their web address is:

https://classicflytying.biz

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon.

Yeti Water Bottle Holder Size Large…

After a cursory search online, I was able to determine that Yeti did indeed make a larger version of their Water Bottle Pouch/Sling so I ordered one. I was wanting one that would hold the Sawyer Squeeze water bottle since I use that the most when fishing. Plus it would get it out of the backpack and be more accessible.

I added a bit of shock cord since the pouch was a little big for the Sawyer bottle.
I think this option will be perfect for river fishing.

I know everyone complains about the prices of Yeti goods, but when actually comparing similar items, it’s just about on par with everything else. The quality on every Yeti item we have purchased has been outstanding and I feel it was money well spent. I have no affiliation with them and have purchased everything with my own money…I’m just saying that their stuff is pretty damn good. And again, I’m not selling anything, just showing what we use. Fish can’t read so find what works for you and go with it. Take care and Happy Easter.

More Practice…

This morning I got out early and started practicing my fly casting. I feel that one can never practice enough. And since there was very little wind this early in the day, why not practice?

I started with a Fenwick Fenlite 5wt which is a fast action rod. I do not feel that my casting ability is up to the level where I can achieve the full benefits of a rod like this. So I switched over to a Redington Classic Trout 9ft 5wt which has a medium fast action that is more suited to my casting style.

I am really beginning to like this rod.

And before anyone starts calling me out on practicing over gravel…it’s the straightest, most open place I have to practice on. Also, I don’t throw out my old fly lines, but rather save them for practice use.

Remembering the lessons my Dad taught me when first learning to cast…I set up a feed bucket and began practicing. To me, accuracy is more important than distance so I focus on that. In time I will increase the distance.

First distance is 30ft…I moved up to take the picture.

After about 30 minutes I was able to put approximately 3 out of 10 casts into the bucket. The rest were either over and past or right beside. I am trying to focus on accuracy, minimal effort and consistency.

Success!

I’ve probably watched every Lefty Kreh casting video on YouTube which to me is a good thing. That legend could CAST. But everybody is different so it takes time to develop a style you are consistent and happy with which is why practice is so important. I hope to take what I learn to the river and fine tune it some more.

And I agree with Lefty… “clocks are for telling time”

Outing to Local Lake 16APR2022…

Well, the good news is that the wind stopped howling out of the South. The bad news is that its howling out of the North. Temperatures yesterday were 84F and sunny but today it was 51F, rainy and overcast. That’s a typical Oklahoma spring…the weather is always terrible on the weekends.

Between gusts of wind and rain showers, we managed to get out and fish for an hour. She caught 2 little largemouth bass and I caught one. And I do mean little. We figured that the front that moved through would push them back into deeper water and we were correct.

The look on my face says it all

What can I say…it beats staying at home. Some times you just have to go fishing and that’s exactly what we did. The weather looks great next week but my weather app shows more chances of rain for next weekend. Go figure.

Nothing to be done but to muddle through it and wait for better conditions. Besides, soon enough I’m sure I will start complaining about the heat! Catch you on the next one.

WIND…

I apologize for not posting anything to the blog that was fishing related. We have been dealing with high winds for the past 6 days which has made fishing almost impossible in our area. Average wind speeds have been around 17mph with gusts up to 48mph and after this next round of storms moves through tomorrow, we are hoping that it will calm down some.

Below is a quick video I took from our front deck a few minutes ago. Maybe it will give you an idea of the conditions preventing us from getting out and going fishing.

Yeti Water Bottle Pouch/Sling…

Today the wife and I were on a mission. We were trying to find 2-piece Medium Power Bass Spinning rods and weren’t having much luck. We hit Bass Pro and Academy in Tulsa to no avail. The rods they had were either 1-piece or super cheap rods. We like to purchase stuff somewhere in the middle. We ended up heading home empty handed to get some chores done around the property.

Fast forward a couple of hours and I mentioned that I was hungry and sought her opinion on grabbing something to eat. We decided to head over to the next little town to eat. After that, as we were driving to the highway, I offered to drive over to Dick’s Sporting Goods. We both kind of laughed since we’d never had much luck buying fishing gear there. But we said what the heck and drove to it.

We did manage to find an Okuma 2-piece Medium power rod and as we were walking to the checkout stand…we stopped at the Yeti area to see what was new. I told her that she should get the Yeti Sidekick to go on her Panga 28 since it adds room to hold regular use stuff like soft plastics. She snatched one up. As she was checking it out I noticed something on the bottom shelf of the display and asked her to hand it to me. It turned out to be the Water Bottle Pouch/Sling for their 18oz Rambler. I looked it over and we decided to each get one. We have been trying out various methods to attach a water bottle to the side of the Panga 28 but never really liked any of the options.

These are very well made and seem to be really practical. They’re easy to put on and take off and don’t flop around all over the place. Now on to the pictures…

We think these will work out really well and plan to test them out thoroughly. I need to do some research and see if they come in a bigger size. That would be nice for the Sawyer Squeeze Filter Bottles we use a lot.

On a side note: I tried to talk her out of getting a Yeti Panga 28. Instead I suggested she get the Yeti Hopper Backflip cooler so she could carry the ice cold beer while we were fishing but she was having none of it. Can’t blame a guy for trying! Catch you on the next one…

Local Lake 03APR2022…

We decided to fish a local lake that we hadn’t fished in quite awhile. It requires a boat so we loaded up our Jon boat and headed out. I know that I did a post previously where I explained why I don’t own a boat…but I consider this a glorified beer can more than a serious boat. But they do serve their purpose. Besides, we can’t tow much behind a Subaru.

And of course it was windy

This was going to be Zips first outing on a boat and we were curious as to how he would do. It ended up being nothing to worry about as he really enjoyed being out on the lake. I like this dog more each day!

After inspecting the entire boat…he decided to curl up and relax.

I took my new Smith TRMK-423UL rod and the 2021 Diawa Presso 1000 and I have to say…it performed really well. A couple of times it should have broken and didn’t. I’m impressed!.

This bass made multiple runs underneath the boat and the rod held.
Nice Crappie! They were on the beds so we released them to fulfill their duty of creating a future population.
Several chunky little Largemouth Bass were caught.
We each caught several Crappie.
We caught several little bass.
I was constantly manning the tiller. Most of the time I had the stern pointed into the wind and the motor on Reverse #2 just to hold our position to some extent.
We even caught a few perch.
Zip likes boat rides.
Another Crappie
Crappie

Once the sun fully came up, the wind really started building and we decided to get off the lake. We have a storm system rolling in later tonight. Typical Oklahoma Spring weather. We fish every opportunity that “time” and the “weather” allows. Thanks for reading…

See you on the next one!

Smith Troutin’ Spin Multiyouse TRMK-423UL Spinning Rod…

I have been looking at this rod for months and decided to just get it. I want a short rod for some of the creek fishing I have planned. What drove me towards this rod is that it’s fiberglass in the last section. This should allow more flexibility in the tip to make several different types of casts with really light lures.

Fiberglass tip section
Zippered nylon case with end pockets and velcro keepers for the tip sections.
Tip section ends in fiberglass where the rest are graphite.
Don’t ask me…I have no idea why. Youse-guys??
Specs of the rod
Shown with a 500 size reel
Shown with a 1000 size reel

This is the first 3-piece rod I have owned. Supposedly it is stronger than a 4-piece since it does not have an extra junction. Also, It should be lighter because of that. I think at some point we will be splitting hairs when it comes down to specs. Per the manufacturers website, it lists this rod at 74 grams. Although I will note that their spec sheet says it’s FULL GLASS but also states “with solid glass only in one tip section.” I will probably have to pony up for an Anglo&Co. G411 rod to get the full benefit of fiberglass. Maybe someday…

Also, something that I have been kicking around is doing pictures of bending curves for each of my rods. Not sure if there is any interest in that…if so then I will give it a shot. Take care out there and get out and fish.

Lake Fishing- 02APR2022

After a full night of rain, we didn’t have much hope of catching anything but decided to go anyway. If nothing else, we’d be able to stretch our legs as well as letting Zip run all over.

We decided to take our bigger rods since we were hoping for White Bass or even a Striper. In the end, we caught nothing but rays of sunshine.

Her first time out with her new Yeti Panga 28 backpack.
Zip on “Alert”

Interestingly enough…in the picture above, Zip keyed in on a Beaver that we didn’t notice.

Beaver (Castor canadensis)
He wasn’t scared of us and never went far from that tree. We left the beaver alone and continued on our way.
Changing lures.
Zip always stays pretty close…so that’s good!
Retrieving a stuck lure. Water temps right now are around 54F.
Mission accomplished.

It’s still early in the season and our weather patterns are all over the map from 84F down to 31F…and sometimes, that swing is in one day. Factor in the spring rains and its a toss-up if we can go fishing. And being back to work hasn’t made it any easier. We’re relegated to only fishing weekends at this point.

Her setup.
My setup.

Zip is getting better on the car rides so that is a huge plus. I feel like I’m starting to ramble so I will finish this post up and say “Thank You for reading it.”

We’ll catch you on the next one!

Local Lake Outing 27MAR2022…

We had planned to go fishing today as the weather forecast called for sunshine and about 70F for the high. We waited for the temps to hit 55F before we headed to the lake.

I was using my Apia Grandage Lite 61 with the Abu Garcia MGX Theta 1000s and she opted for her Daiwa Iprimi 62UL and her Daiwa Presso LTD 1025.

I REALLY like this rod!

When we arrived there was one other car there, a guy who was taking pictures of the lake. As we were gearing up, another car pulled in and they bailed out to claim “their spot” while their dogs ran leash-less all over the place. We find that weird since there are plenty of good places to fish along the shore. To each their own.

Little bass with voracious appetites.
Water is still pretty cold…but the bass are definitely moving up.
Zip is coming along nicely…
Eventually he went for a swim.
Our total for today was 7 bass in the hour we were there.
He was torn between myself and my wife.

After the wind started picking up and more people started to arrive (it’s a really small parking area) we decided to call it a day. We picked up trash on our way back to the car and visited with a few fishermen along the way. It was great to get out, the fishing is beginning to pick up and the sunshine felt great.

We have had some decent rainfall recently and as you can see in the picture, the lake level has come up about 2 ft. Outings like this are enough to whet the appetite, but we are still waiting for things to stabilize.

On a sidenote, we went to the MLF (Major League Fishing) Expo yesterday that was in Tulsa. We walked around and saw a lot of interesting products. Even though we don’t do that type of bass fishing, some of the items were really neat. I got to talk to the Abu Garcia rep and play around with the new Zenon Baitcast reels (VERY NICE) and the Zenon spinning reels. The Abu rep was very sympathetic in regards to the JDM tackle they make but don’t import into the US. He didn’t understand the reasoning behind it…and like us, orders it from Digitaka and other places.

We also visited the Daiwa booths and asked about their range of JDM gear and got several silly excuses in response. They blamed shipping and other such nonsense. Their US catalog is completely void of the gear we like and use, which is to be expected. But we knew before going that it would be highly unlikely that we would find anything for our needs at this expo. In fact, just inquiring about ultralight rods raised eyebrows in every booth we visited. They were politely dismissive but it was still kind of funny. The tech-centric approach and the sheer cost of gear was astounding. And it blows my mind that there are boat motors that cost as much as my car! If I was still fishing bass tournaments, I’m sure I would’ve seen things differently…it’s just not my thing anymore.

Until next time…

TROOPER…2009?-22MAR2022. R.I.P

He was a good boy!

(This dog was abandoned at a campground. We have no firm idea of his actual age and the vet estimated him to be about 4 years of age, hence the question mark.) It was the end of August and temperatures were over 100F. We noticed him hanging around the bathroom facilities while the entire campground was empty except for us. We put out a bowl of water for him and hoped somebody would return for him.

My wife and I were there to do an ultralight backpacking trip and were staying one night at the campground before starting our hike. This dog wandered over to our tent and slept beside it all night. Early the next morning we didn’t see him and after putting out water for him, we started on our way. We ran into the camp host on our way to the trailhead and asked him about the dog. He said people dumped dogs there quite often and that if this one wasn’t gone by the end of the day, he’d take care of it. We knew what that meant and didn’t like it.

About 2 miles into our hike I heard something coming through the undergrowth and stopped to see what it was…it was the dog. My wife and I looked at each other because we knew we were in for a long hike and were concerned that the dog wouldn’t make it. But considering his alternatives, we opted to let him hike with us.

Needless to say, this hike turned into a disaster. All of the watering holes had dried up as we kept hiking from one to the next hoping for water. With the temperatures hovering around 105F we were burning through water faster than expected considering we were sharing with the dog. At the 18 mile mark I began to develop issues with the iliotibial bands in my legs, which made bending my knees very painful.

The 2-mile long forestry road we used to hike up to the scenic overlook.

We had a quick pow-wow and decided to call an end to the hike. We decided to hike 2 miles up the mountain to a scenic overlook and hopefully catch a ride back to the campground. At this point, I was walking like Frankenstein and carrying the dog the last mile to the overlook. His paws were raw from the rocky trail.

My wife reached the overlook first and waited for us. As she saw us coming up the hill, it must have been a sad sight because she decided to jog the 5 miles along the highway back to the campground to retrieve the car and come back for us. Bless her! I couldn’t have done what she did.

On the ride home, the dog was curled up on the back seat sound asleep. We talked for awhile and decided to give him the name “Trooper” since he soldiered on and covered the 20 miles with me. He was a tough little dog!

When we got home, we could tell he was grateful for a meal, a bath and a soft bed. I’ve never had a dog that snored as loud as this little guy did.

He got along well with the two other stray pups that our daughter brought home, all the while, we were questioning our sanity and decisions.

The Three Amigos
Trooper had a knack for always being comfortable.
He even made Zip feel welcome.

As a family, we mourn his passing and take solace that we tried to give him love and a better life than his previous owners. We had 9 good years with him and know that he’s in a better place, free from infirmities and old age. He was truly a member of our family, a gift out of the wilderness. He always greeted us at the door with his tail wagging and was constantly by our side. He kept a watchful eye out the window for anything out of place and alerted us to everything unusual with a bark that was way above his weight-class. You were a good boy Trooper and we miss you, Love Mom and Dad.