Sentimentality and Fishing…

I honestly believe that the sentimental aspect of fishing is what keeps me going. Sure, there are social media posts that have the “wow factor” that lights a fire in the imagination, but equally important is the memories of times and places and people I have fished with in the past. Trips with my father to fish for trout in Colorado, or walleye and smallmouth bass in Minnesota and Canada. Local trips with my family and friends. All are special and memorable in some way.

I sit here surrounded by the technical marvels of fishing gear. I don’t do “ugly” and as such, all of my fishing gear has an aesthetic aspect that appeals to my soul. I have reels that are almost 100 years old and some that are fresh off the line. None of them are displeasing to the eye. Some are a perfect blend of current technology and classic design while others are true classics.

It is left up to us to imbue these technological wonders and craftsmanship with mind, body, spirit and ethics to accomplish our individual goals and ideals. And I know that I’ve done it right when time slips away and 5 hours of fishing have passed, yet I feel like I just stepped into the river mere minutes ago.

The gratitude I feel for each fish I catch and the respect given to the quarry. The shared moments of success or failure with companions. The river is a metaphor of life, yet I tap into it to recharge my essence, time slows just a bit and the rat-race is forgotten. Memories are all that are left and its enough for me. Unlike Maclean who was “haunted by waters,” I find that I am healed by waters. And I relish every second of it.

Mrs. Velox Seeker…on Mother’s Day

I wanted to take a moment and thank my wife for being an awesome fishing partner and more importantly, for being the backbone of our endeavours. She is the glue that binds the family and keeps things running smoothly.

She is a very capable fisherwoman and is not afraid to bait her own hooks, handle her own fish and tie her own knots. She has a critical eye when it comes to her personal fishing equipment and enjoys fishing just as much as I do. In short, she is a very capable angler.

Not enough mention has been made about how much effort she puts into our trips. She handles a lot of the logistics and navigation duties. She is the one who takes the majority of the pictures on this blog. We have a dynamic and effective team in large part due to her.

None of my hare-brained schemes are too much for her, especially after we hash out the details together and formulate a plan. Generally it turns out to be a better plan after her input and observations. The result is great fishing and beautiful scenery.

Being able to spend time on the road or water, camping, fishing, canoeing, laughing and forming a deeper bond is truly incredible.

So here’s to you…Mrs. Velox Seeker…none of this would be possible without you and you have my eternal devotion and love. Happy Mother’s Day!

The River is Rising…

With all of the recent storms, tornados and rain we’ve had, we’ve been keeping an eye on the river levels. Some parts of the area were receiving 5 inches of rainfall per hour from a slow moving storm system. The pictures below will tell the story better than I can.

Fortunately, as fast as this river floods, it also drains just as fast. As I’ve stated many times before, these Neosho-strain smallmouth have some tough conditions to deal with throughout the year.

And just when you think you have a river figured out, something like this happens and when you return, you’re starting all over from square one. I’m looking forward to getting back down there to see what changed but it will be awhile since there has been a lot of flooding in the surrounding areas.

See ya soon…

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.

LED Lightbar Fail…

This Nilight 26 inch LED lightbar ended up being a fail on my vehicle. I noticed when I opened the box that the mounting system was completely different than the one that is on my wifes vehicle. Perhaps this LED lightbar has a different application, one that I am unaware of. While installing the LED lightbar I noticed that I could never seem to get the bolts tight enough. I wasn’t trying to crank them down super tight, rather, it was more like just a bit past snug.

Questionable mounting system.
Nut almost pulled completely out of the channel. The aluminum is too soft.

As you can see from the picture above, the nut that is designed to ride inside the channel for adjustment purposes, has almost completely pulled out. All 4 of those nuts were in a similar condition. Again, I didn’t put a lot of torque on these nuts but it sure looks like it. Eventually I decided to just remove the lightbar and figure out another lighting solution. I started looking for a more robust mounting system and decided to give a pair of round LED lights a try.

Two 7 inch Round 51 watt LED lights.

These two lights had a better mounting system that rely on metal brackets to secure it to the SSD lightbar mount. The lights themselves are much more robust and better made. These are surprisingly heavy compared to the LED lightbar. We’ll see how long they last and I’ll report back at a later date.

I may have broken my mantra of “Buy once, cry once” but time will tell.

Vehicle Modifications…

I’ve worked a full week and it was hectic as all get out. Now I know why I was brought back early…due to workload. I haven’t been able to get out and fish unfortunately.

Saturday’s weather forecast was 80F, sunny and winds of 25+mph so I opted to complete a few projects on the Subaru.

First on the list was installing a rear hitch to be able to tow our small trailer when needed. It took about 2 hours and was pretty straight forward. I’m planning on installing a swing-out tire carrier in the near future, so this was a necessity.

Class 3- 2 inch hitch.

Second project was to install an SSD lightbar mount. I selected this one because it bolts to the front bumper frame and it is low enough not to impede air flow to the radiator.

The SSD lightbar mount is 30 inches wide.

I went with a cheap lightbar off of Amazon, a Nilight 26 inch, Triple Row LED pushing an alleged 540 watts. The wife has a 20 inch Nilight LED lightbar on her Subaru and it has proven to be reliable and useful.

The kit I chose came with the wiring harness, relay, fuse holder with fuses and a switch. Install took about an hour and half. One issue I had is that the wiring kit connects the actual lightbar to the harness with spade lug connectors. The quality wasn’t that great and anytime I wiggled the wires, the lightbar would flicker. I cut them off and used higher grade butt connectors to crimp the wires together and added additional shrink tubing over the connection.

I am happy with the progress so far. I enjoy doing little projects like this and had a fun day doing it.

And for those who might be wondering…I didn’t do this to make my vehicle look “cool.” I actually use these lightbars quite often. Since we live out in the country with zero light pollution…it gets really dark at night. It’s nice to turn these on when driving in our area to see deer and other animals before we collide. It has saved me from coming around an S-curve and seeing a black cow BEFORE we hit it.

Anyway, hope you found this post interesting and I promise we will have posts about fishing coming up soon. The Daffodils have begun blooming which means fishing season will be in full swing soon. Take care.

Looks Can Be Deceiving…

The picture above looks like snow but it is actually ice pellets. Here in Oklahoma we deal with ice every winter. Believe me, we’d love to have snow instead.

Ice pellets

It makes driving difficult and just getting around is a pain. This is a minor storm and we have more on the way this morning. We’re glad it was 10F before it started, otherwise we’d have freezing rain which coats the power lines and causes outages everywhere.

I did a post awhile back about “Country Living” and this is a negative aspect. Our county doesn’t do much for the roads out here. They just let them melt on their own over the course of a week unless we have sustained cold temperatures. And due to all of the hills in the area, it’s not uncommon to be stuck at home for several days.

Life is good and life goes on. Stay safe out there…

Back to Work. Warning…graphic images ahead.

My how things have changed. At first, the company I work for would not honor any accomodations. But now, they will. So I went back to work this past Tuesday. I still feel that I have a long way to go before I’m fully healed. I am making progress and hope to be ready for Spring fishing.

One week after surgery.
Elbow as of 24 Feb 2022.
My hand as of 24 Feb 2022.

It is definitely good to see my co-workers and get back into the swing of things. But on the other-hand, I could enjoy being retired!

I had so many plans to go fishing last week but the wind was really a problem. Up to 30+ mph out of the South and then switched to 35+ mph out of the North. Literally 4 days straight of high winds. And you know what that means…more limbs and branches to burn.

Yet another burn pile. 19 Feb 2022.

Anyway, this is just a quick update of what’s been happening. The wife DID decide to buy a Daiwa Iprimi Ultralight rod and I plan on doing a post about that soon. Take care out there..

It’s the perfect day to go…

Yah, it was the perfect day to go fishing but I have chores that need to get done. 65F with almost no wind and full sunshine! Around here, that means it’s the perfect time to burn brush. So that’s what I did…sigh.

Starting the day.
There is a lot to burn.

While the fire was going I decided to walk around and try this camera out by taking some pics.

Dead standing Oak. Still serving a purpose.
Life emerging from a previous burn pile. In the spring, I go back and loosen up the soil and add compost to help the area regenerate. Bio-char helps.
Fungus on a dead-standing Oak tree.
Same fungus zoomed in.
Horse playing Hide-and-Seek.
Enjoying the sunshine. I interrupted her nap.
Bluebird sky.
On Chore Patrol. Might as well be comfortable.
Some downed limbs are so long that I lay them over both burn rings.
This chore is almost complete. On to the next one!

Out here, chores never seem to end. I could honestly burn every day for about a month just to get everything cleaned up. I try to get all of the chores done during the week so my weekends are free.

This is just a tiny snapshot of a “day-in-the-life” out at my place. Take care and we’ll see you on the next one.

Almost Done…

Trash haul.

Most of you know that I am always trying to leave things cleaner than when I found them. And this applies especially to the water I fish. I encourage everyone to do the same.

To date, I am 3/4ths of the way done on cleaning the shoreline of one of my local lakes. With the lake level being down almost 5 ft, I can access more shoreline than normal. Yesterday was a tough day for sure. I cannot count how many glass bottles and beer cans I picked up. I started out with 10 Walmart bags and 2 big trash bags. The end result was I used them all.

I don’t do this for recognition or anything, it just needs to be done. Afterall, this is a retention pond for our local drinking water supply. If I wait for someone else to do it…I’ll be waiting a long, long time.

68F while picking up trash, but there’s still some snow around.

And of course, if I’m at the lake, I’ll being fishing. I took the Major Craft FAX-B642UL rod and the Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS reel with me. Some of you may remember that I really started to try and learn using a baitcast reel last year for the first time. It was nice to know that I hadn’t lost anything over the past few months, I cast without any backlashes or any issues at all.

Great combo!

Obviously I did more trash picking up than casting…but it is always good to get out.

Good company!

Testing out the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra…

So my new phone finally arrived late Monday evening. I’ve been playing around with it and the camera is pretty amazing. Coming from an old Note 9, it’s light years ahead.

So I was out burning a brush pile yesterday morning and decided to try the Slow Motion camera option. Might as well combine chores with a bit of fun. Enjoy.

Slow-Mo Brush Pile Burning

Woke Up To This…

I measured 4 inches of snow this morning and we are expected to get 2-3 inches more throughtout the day. Temps are right around 12F right now with wind chills making it feel like 0F.

I got up early to start shoveling the walkways and cleaning off the vehicles and get them de-iced and warmed up. I don’t need to go anywhere today so that is a plus.

The fire is going and the wood is stacked and ready to feed it when necessary. Zip was a little speed freak when I let him out this morning. The name fits for sure: he was “zipping” around all over the place.

I managed to get fresh water out to the birds and swept off a patch under a tree out front. Spread quite a bit of bird seed around to help them get out of the wind. We easily have 50-60 birds of all varieties taking advantage of the seed buffet.

We did manage to install a radiant heater in the chicken coop and apparently it’s working since we haven’t seen a single chicken this morning. They are quite content to stay indoors just like me.

Looks like it will be a day to relax…