Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a great holiday and was able to spend time with family. We have a lot to be thankful for.

We’ve been really busy with trying to get ready for winter. Bringing in hay, stocking up on horse and chicken feed, as well as filling the bird feeders. It has already snowed twice and I realize I still need to increase my firewood supply. We will get it all done in due time.

All of the discarded/lost fishing line we have recovered in 2022.

I would especially like to give a shout out to all of the people who are trying to make their fishing areas a better place. Those who pick up trash and other detritus without being asked or told. Those are the people who make this sport and our world a better place. And I am thankful for them.

Conservation is a key component in fishing, whether it be stream/river/lake management, selective harvests or volunteer outings. We can all play a role no matter how small, so help out where you can.

I am also thankful for my readers. I appreciate each and every one of you! Until next time…take care and be safe.

Still Kicking….

Happy belated Veterans Day to all who served. Time is getting away from me, that’s for sure.

Fall is upon us which means we will probably switch to trout fishing instead of fishing for river smallmouth. We have visited the local trout pond twice so far but haven’t caught anything as of yet.

I’ve been playing around with an old-school Abu Cardinal C3 lately. I’m not going to lie, I prefer modern spinning reels! But it’s fun to pull a vintage reel out of the display case every once in a while.

I have looked at the stocking schedule and it appears that they will stock the pond once a month. I am not sure about the size and quantity but will keep digging for more info. We used to do really well at this pond but it has been abysmal the last 4-5 times we have fished it. But then again, as soon as the trout are released, people flock to the release point and beat the water to death. We usually pack up and leave at that point. I’d rather give the trout time to disperse throughout the pond/lake, but that’s just my opinion.

As a side note: We have opted to try out Instagram and both of us have pages there…#Velox Seeker and #okfishingwife. We hope everyone is doing well and getting a chance to get out and fish. Stay safe and we will see you again soon.

Outing to Local Lake 30OCT2022…

After receiving some much needed rain Friday and most of Saturday, we awoke to a very light breeze and partly sunny skies. We decided to hit a local lake and fish for a bit.

Last outing I was using Varivas Bush Trail VEP Nylon line with my Stella and was having some issues. My wife hadn’t tried out her Stella yet so on Thursday we went to another local lake for her to cast and test it out. Hers was spooled with Varivas Super Trout Advance Twitch Master VLS line and performed flawlessly. I re-spooled mine with the same line she was using and today was the first chance I had to try it out on this reel.

It definitely solved all of my line issues. My guess is the Stella didn’t like stiff monofilament too much. In the short time we were there, we managed to catch 6 fish, although nothing of size.

As the season advances deeper into autumn, our fishing options narrow down quite a bit. We decided to buy a permit for another lake that stocks trout during the winter so that will extend our fishing season quite a bit. I honestly don’t think they stocked it too often due to the pandemic but we’re hoping they will get back on track.

And what would one of our outings be without picking up trash.

The plaque was laying up on the shoreline and I brought it home. Seems to really fit the current time we are living in!

It breaks my heart to see so much trash, especially after all of the time and effort we put into cleaning that area up earlier this year. Now…you can’t even tell we did anything. Looks like I’ll have another winter project.

On a side note- The Stella is amazing.

Goal Met…

Back in early January, I set an arbitrary goal of 35 fishing trips for 2022. Looking back through my notes I met and exceeded that goal on Friday with 36 outings for the year.

For me, that was quite an accomplishment with our busy schedules as well as the weather working against us. We had a very minimal spring ( 3 weeks maybe! ) which included floods. Then we went straight into high temperatures and drought coupled with a prolonged summer.

And Friday was a classic example of Oklahoma weather! 34F in the morning and climbing to 85F later in the day with increasing winds. Saturday and Sunday each exhibited high winds of 25-40mph which made our type of fishing almost impossible.

Year to date we have managed to catch and release approximately 525 fish. But that doesn’t mean much to me other than looking through my notes and trying to develop a pattern on when and where is the best time to go.

But with an ever-changing river and seasonal variations, it is still a “crap shoot” or “best guess” scenario. And that is what I love best about our type of fishing.

Soon, winter will be upon us and opportunities to fish will diminish. It is a time for planning the next season as well as restocking tackle and searching maps for new areas to explore. I can’t express enough that the sum of the parts makes up the whole.

And we both managed to catch some Personal Bests so there are zero complaints. We are definitely looking forward to the 2023 season.

River Outing 21 OCT 2022…

I have a few days of vacation that I need to use before the end of the year so I decided that today was as good as any other day. The morning started off colder than I expected with it being 34F when I stepped into the river at 0730. I was wearing my usual wet wading gear and opted to just suffer until the sun came up. The forecast called for temps to rise into the mid-80’sF by afternoon.

Autumn is upon us as the leaves are starting to change.

I decided to take 2 rods today, both TenRyu’s. A TenRyu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL and a TenRyu Rayz Integral RZI50L. The first one is a 2-piece “Light Light Action” and the second one is a 4-piece “Light Action. The Spectra was wearing a 2022 Shimano Stella C2000SHG and the Integral had a 2022 Daiwa Exist LT 2000S-H reel.

This was my first outing with the Stella and I had several line issues throughout the outing. It might be the type of line, I don’t know yet. The Exist performed flawlessly. They are both spooled with the same line, the Varivas Super Trout Advance Bush Trail VEP Nylon.

TenRyu Rayz Spectra with the Stella
TenRyu Rayz Integral with the Exist

It was good to get out and go fishing, but it wasn’t the same since the wife and dog weren’t with me.

Soto Amicus stove boiling water for coffee.
Need to come up with a better way to carry a rod on the Yeti.

The water was crystal clear and lazily flowing its course. The temperature climbed rapidly and I happily fished along. I ended up catching 15 decent smallmouth. I figured with the recent cold snap we’ve had, the fishing would be more difficult and it was. It sure beats working!

Masters of Camoflage.

A Much Needed Outing…

The alarm went off at 0345 and I wasn’t having any of it. I ended up hitting snooze twice. We were out the door by 0515 and stepped into the river at 0720. The starting temperature of the air was 48F while the stream temp was 72F. Needless to say, we both wore hoodies this morning.

First cast! I felt a butt-kicking coming on.
I thought her and the dog had a plan and were working together.

I damaged my leader while rigging up at the car and only had about 8 inches of fluorocarbon to work with. I ended up stopping and tying on a new 3ft section of fluorocarbon and immediately started connecting with fish.

Due to the flood we had last May, the river had completely changed. We had not fished this section of the river at all for 2022 so we were re-learning it as we moved upstream.

Was using a new jig head and a 2 inch B-Vibe.

I wanted to try a 3 inch B-vibe in green pumpkin since I was testing a new jig head. First cast into a deeper pool and it was instant hook-up. I ended up pulling 5 fish out of that small pool. I even managed to catch my Personal Best Velox (Neosho-strain Smallmouth Bass) and was really excited.

For a river that rarely produces a fish over 2 pounds…I was happy. Most people around here will tell you that a 3-pounder is a trophy.

2020 Shimano Vanford 1000 and a Daiwa Presso ML 62 rod got the job done.

Due to other commitments we had to bail at noon. I wanted to fish all day but that wasn’t in the cards. But still, I caught several good smallmouth and may stick with the 3-inch B-vibe from now on. Out of 17 fish that I caught…only 3 were under a pound. I’d call that a good day on this section of the river.

Spinning Reels…

It has been a hectic 2 weeks. The Mother-in-Law is back in the hospital so we are taking care of two households. Last weekend we completely revamped the wifes home office. Workloads have been steadily increasing for both of us as well. On a positive note, the weather has finally cooled off so I think summer is over. We desperately need some rain though and we are hoping we will get some soon.

Anyway, I got up early this morning and decided to clean and oil some of my spinning reels. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some pictures when I was finished.

2017 Shimano Soare Ci4+ 500S
Abu Garcia Revo MGX Theta 1000S
2017 Daiwa Presso LTD 1025
2021 Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P
2020 Shimano Vanford 1000
2019 Shimano Stradic 1000S
2022 Daiwa Exist LT 2000S-H
2020 Shimano Twin Power C2000S

The only spinning reels that I have modified/upgraded were the Vanford and the Stradics. Upgrading the bearings to hybrid ceramics made a big difference. I also upgraded the handle knobs on a Twin Power and 2 of the Stradics. The Twin Power was super smooth out of the box so I didn’t feel the need to upgrade any bearings. The Vanfords and Stradics really benefited from upgraded bearings.

Gomexus handle knobs.

We are hoping to be able to fish the river tomorrow as we both need to get out and away for awhile. As usual, I will post a blog if we do! Thanks for reading.

Gas One Spyder Stove…

The wife and I had been looking for a more compact stove. We didn’t want a backpacking stove per se, just something smaller than what we had been using. We came across a YouTube video about this type of stove so we decided to try it.

Standard Butane canister next to stove case.

We like the concept as well as the size. It puts out 8000 BTU’s which is sufficient for our needs. This stove is designed to run on butane but we have an adapter that lets us use propane if necessary. Why butane? Because it’s much cheaper…I purchased 8 cans for $8.99! And butane works just fine during the warmer months. With the appropriate adapters, we can run any of our stoves off of propane, butane or isobutane. It’s nice to have options.

This should work well for us. Space is at a premium in our Subarus so every little effort to downsize without losing functionality is helpful. Hopefully we will be able to put it to use soon when the weather cools down a bit.

Simms Flyweight Access Wading Boot Update…

I have about 25 full days using these boots and have grown to like them more and more. In the beginning I had issues with sand, micro-gravel and pebbles entering the boots, but I have remedied that problem.

By running the gravel guard as far down onto the boot as I possibly can, I have managed to keep all of the detritus out of my boots. As the name suggests, they are very lightweight and allow me to wade-fish all day without worry or discomfort.

The traction provided by the Vibram sole is pretty good. It definitely boosts your confidence when crossing sketchy barriers and these have been better than any other wading boot I have used except for felt soled versions. If you are fishing around Didymo covered rocks then felt soles and studs would be the way to go. But for walking trails, going up and down hills and over downed trees, wading small rivers and what not, these boots are great.

However, the increased traction from the softer Vibram sole does come at the cost of durability and longevity. I knew that going into the purchase so I accept the wear and tear.

Beginnings of wear.
Lugs worn off.

I used these boots as my portaging footwear up in the Boundary Waters. Wet landings, sand, mud, bogs, beaver dams, rocks etc and they performed flawlessly. For me, I can honestly say these were the best option I have ever used up there to date.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I would gladly buy another pair of these for the type of fishing I do. If durability and longevity were your primary concern, then there are better options out there. Thanks for reading.

19 September 2022- Return to the Elk River…

The wife has every Monday off for the rest of the year so I decided to take a day off too. We talked and decided that we should go back to the Chambers Spring Road Access to the Illinois River in Arkansas and the Elk River outside of Noel Missouri. Neither one of us had caught Smallmouth bass in Missouri so we made a day of it.

Old Chambers Spring Road Bridge
Rockfish!
What are the odds?
Illinois river

We stopped at Chambers Spring Road Access just to see if we could get access to the river and wade-fish here. Yes we can! At least if we head upstream. We ended up catching 5 fish here before we decided to head on up to the Elk River. Our goal was catch smallmouth in Missouri and we weren’t going to get it done by fishing in Arkansas.

It didn’t take us long to reach the Mount Shira Access on the Elk River.

First things first…we made coffee.
The river was really low but that was to be expected.

It was a good trip and we had fun. We both caught Smallmouth bass in Missouri so that was great, which brings my total up to 4 states that I’ve caught Smallmouth in this year. The total catch of the day was 17 and 2 of them were decent. The sun was intense at 94F and we are both tired of summer. This access point gets a lot of traffic and we picked up 2 bags of trash on the way out. Even Zip spent an inordinate amount of time swimming in the river and he slept most of the way home.

I have a couple of gear review updates coming soon so stay tuned for those.

Weather…

2022 has been a weird year in regards to weather. We really didn’t have much of a Spring season here in Oklahoma. I’m sure a lot of other places experienced the same thing or worse. We’ve had many more days over 100F than I ever remember and we’re still experiencing those temperatures this late into September.

Like several other places, we need some rain. We haven’t had any meaningful amounts in months. Our vegetable garden has not produced much in the way of food all summer. In fact, we are just now beginning to see tomatoes on the plants. Even our Okra, which usually does well in sun and heat has suffered and is only about 24 inches tall, which is odd.

Our fishing has suffered as well due to high temperatures as well as low water conditions. Fortunately the Velox is a resilient species and we hope they continue to thrive.

We did manage to complete one of our projects and that was getting a solar power system out to the barn and shed. It is a small scale system at the moment but we will expand it as funds are available. I was tired of running extension cables out there to do any work. I still need to get a pure sine wave inverter and one more battery but I can at least charge tool batteries and have lighting out there. It’s a start at least and moving incrementally forward is still better than going in reverse. Solar is far from perfect, but maybe it will help in some small part.

As stated before, I am not a climatologist and have refrained from making statements or announcing my “position” because I don’t have all of the data. But just by using pure observational skills, it is clear that something isn’t quite normal. We already try to reduce or conserve what we can and with the supply chain issues around the globe, this situation can and may get more “interesting.” And I am sure it will probably impact our fishing even more. Time will tell.

Great Day to be Fishing…

The weather forecast called for a low temp in the 40’sF so we decided to go fishing. We left the house at 0445 and arrived at the river at 0645. It was a little chilly to say the least. We donned our raincoats over the normal wet wading gear we use to add a small layer of warmth until the sun came up high enough to warm the river valley.

I surprised myself with how this picture turned out!

I opted to use the TenRyu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL spinning rod and a 2022 Daiwa Exist LT2000S-P spinning reel. Both worked flawlessly and were a pleasure to fish with.

A well balanced outfit.

We didn’t bother taking fish pictures as we weren’t catching anything of decent size. I think 12 went about a pound or a little more. Our total catch for the day was 86 so it’s obvious how many were dinks. They were fun to catch in current, but we would’ve liked some bigger fish. It was still great to get out and enjoy the day though.

As I sit here typing this blog post, Zip is curled up at my feet sound asleep. It takes days like this where we cover several miles of river before he’s completely worn out. We could tell that he was glad to get out too.

We’ll catch you on the next one…