The Weather Hasn’t Been Great, So…

The temperatures have been fluctuating, we’ve had several days of rain and of course the wind has kicked up. It is March after all, and winter just isn’t ready to let go. Dogwoods and Daffodils are harbingers of seasonal shifts and if a person is patient, Spring will arrive.

In Oklahoma that means rain and wind. And usually lots of it. The state seems to magically turn green overnight, even then, everyone has their eyes on the forecast because there is usually one more cold snap in store for us. Time will tell.

River conditions have not been conducive to us going fishing. Lake levels are much the same. Fish begin to stage for the spawn, only to be pushed back out to deeper water. Rinse and repeat.

So, since all of the above happened last week, we opted to visit our daughter and son-in-law and the the two grandchildren. We have not seen them since the second grandchild was born in January.

They grow so fast and time flies by. It sure brings back a lot of memories. It seems like yesterday that we brought our daughter home from the hospital, and she turns 28 this year! Anyway…I’m rambling on.

We are ready for the 2023 fishing season and hope to be on the rivers soon. We just need to be patient for a little bit longer.

Japanese Fishing Gear Fascination…?

I get asked this question all the time. And I try to explain it as best I can but generally it falls on deaf ears. I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing or what. But I do like Japanese fishing gear better than US Domestic stuff. It could be that I am just tired of seeing the same old thing. Even the “flavor of the month” brought to us via corporate marketing juggernauts seems lame anymore. I don’t see a lot of innovation outside of anything that is not Bass Fishing related. Even in fly fishing…we are beat over the head by “Influencers” or other “Cool Kids” telling us what to buy and use while fishing ultra-exotic destinations most of us will never go to. And true, there is some of that in Japan, but I see a lot more innovation and craftsmanship in all aspects of fishing.

Take the Abu Garcia Cardinal 3 image at the header. This is a VERY popular reel in Japan complete with an entire cottage industry surrounding and supporting it. This goes for the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 2500 and 1500 baitcast reels as well. I have seen the Cardinal 3 go for over $1250 USD for a completely upgraded reel. I’m sure they go higher than that!

The Japanese anglers love quality and it shows in their gear selection. But at the same time they like to individualize/personalize key components of their gear.

You can find a plethora of handmade nets in various niche tackle shops that are found all over the country. Crafted with care, attention to detail and soul. I like that and can appreciate that.

When selecting fishing vests you might be surprised that the Filson Fishing vest is wildly popular in Japan.

It is an interesting blend of high tech and old school. Handcrafted wood handle knobs for the latest Shimano Stella reel, your choice of fiberglass, bamboo or graphite for a rod blank, custom thread choices and hand selected handle options. When was the last time you saw a bamboo spinning rod? Some things shouldn’t be built to a price point!

Examples of “outside the box thinking”

Lures and lure design are another facet of the Japanese. They aren’t afraid to make wild designs or material choices. All of which piques my curiosity.

I could go “on and on” about this topic but I won’t. I already feel like I’ve beaten the proverbial dead horse, and I’m not trying to convince anyone to switch to Japanese gear. I’m just saying there is a whole new world out there for anyone who is curious about this subject. It will take some research, some serious digging and a lot of translating…but it’s worth it. Cheers!

Random Musings…

2022 was a great fishing year for us. We were able to explore a few new areas with success. We’ve been pouring over maps as well as searching through various online posts seeking new areas to explore in 2023. We have found 2 areas that have a high potential for our type of fishing.

As far as prospective new gear purchases go…we haven’t seen much that really trips our trigger. I had high hopes for the new 2023 Shimano Vanquish but they added the super-slow oscillation system to it. I have that on my Stella and the jury is still out on that. I haven’t given up on my Stella, but I’ve had line issues that I haven’t resolved yet. I plan on re-spooling it with braid to see if that fixes the issue. If anyone follows “Angler Saito” over on YT enjoyfishingchannel, then you would’ve seen how he preferred the 2022 Daiwa Exist over the 2022 Shimano Stella…and I couldn’t agree more!

The 2023 Daiwa Airity does look interesting and I might pick one up. It’s a good looking reel in my opinion. We will see what the street price ends up being. I tend not to be an “early adopter” or “influencer type” and prefer to wait a bit so the kinks get ironed out.

There are a couple of rods that I’m curious about from M&N and M-Aire as well as TenRyu but I’m in no hurry to research them further. And lures…I’m trying hard not to become a collector. I have a thing for handmade lures but if I can’t bring myself to use them, then there’s not really a point in buying them. We spent a lot of time stream-lining our gear to make it lighter and more efficient so I don’t want to undo that effort.

We have pre-planned for 2023 and have purchased plenty of hooks and jigs as well as plastic baits. I’m sure at some point we will have to replenish those, but for now we are good to go. We really don’t see a reason or need for any drastic changes.

Mrs. VeloxSeeker will probably order a pair of custom waders since she has had a hard time finding a pair that actually fits. Simms offers a custom service so that will allow her to upsize her stocking foot booties yet retain a petite wader size. She’s a size 4 which equates to a Womens Small but to get her foot size correct she would have to order a Womens Large. That’s NOT gonna work. Last time I checked the price to do that was reasonable so 2023 will be the year we get it done.

All of this is probably not very exciting to read but we are excited for the 2023 fishing season. Plans are being laid as we speak and we hope nobody does anything stupid on the global stage that wrecks everything. Time will tell. See you on the next one.

I’m Feeling Old Today…

I have been an early riser for decades. I am always up before the sun peeks above the horizon. Part of it is driven by habit and part is driven by physical pain. I have had 8 surgeries through the years to repair damage from use and abuse. On an average night I manage one to maybe two hours of fitful sleep. The rest of the time I just toss and turn trying to find a modicum of comfort.

With the recent Arctic blast and temps hovering around 0F I have taken it upon myself to keep the fireplace going all night. Every few hours I will stoke the fire and add another log or two. Zip will usually sit with me for awhile and watch the fire burn before returning to bed on his own accord.

It’s a great time for reflection. Sitting there watching the flames and replaying events in my mind. I am not stuck in the past by any means, but I do miss several things that I used to be able to do. I spent decades rock climbing, mountaineering and caving among other things, and I miss the mountains. I have a closet full of climbing gear that will probably never be used again. Crampons, ice axes, ropes, packs, helmets, boots, carabiners etc.

But now, my hands don’t work like they used to, and they sure don’t like the cold anymore. I don’t possess the stamina or fortitude to suffer either. I have indeed become old and relish a warm fire and a dry, comfortable place to sleep. But the things I have seen and done stay with me. Always reminding me of what I used to be. And that’s OK.

I am a fisherman now. And I take great pride and joy in that fact. I can slow down and enjoy one hobby and not worry about racing off to the next route or adventure. Perspective always changes when you are closer to the end than the start. But that is life. We might as well make the most of it!

Thanks for reading and stay warm out there.

Reasons That I Like Being In My 50’s…

Reflection is a big deal to me. How else would I learn from my mistakes or realize that I should be grateful?

Being in my 50’s allows me to see things more clearly and make decisions based on life experiences. I don’t worry about what other people think of me and I don’t compete with anyone but myself. I find that I am content and try to be humble in my daily life. I have nothing to prove and fully enjoy just being at peace with myself. And that has a huge impact on my style of fishing. We’ve blanked several times and I could care less. It is always good just to get out.

I don’t subscribe to the “Alpha Male Fallacy” (read David Mech and Marlene Zuk for a dose of reality) preferring instead to be more like Benjamin Martin in the movie The Patriot. I will not stand in public beating my chest boasting about how great I am, but when it comes time to stand up and be counted I will be there. Granted, we are all captive in one way or another. How we mitigate that is most important.

More importantly, I enjoy seeing my children flourish in their lives and careers. We are also expecting our second Grandchild soon and couldn’t be more delighted. We help where we can and give advice when asked.

The more I embrace my age, the more I can embrace a semblance of freedom. Instead of dwelling fully on the past I look forward to the future so I can continue to grow as an individual. I’m not sure when altruism became a form of weakness, but I wholeheartedly reject that position. Being a decent human being is crucial to moving forward.

Be kind, be humble, help others and enjoy your time doing what you love. That is exactly how we fish! From the bottom of my heart, I would like to extend a THANK YOU to each and everyone who has visited this blog. Here’s to a GREAT 2023 to all of you! Cheers

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.

Fishing Art Pt. 2…

Although I don’t fly fish as often as I’d like, I can still appreciate hand tied flies. The wife and I purchased two more sets in the series from Mr. Wilson over at and proudly display them on our wall.

Beautifully tied!
True classics tied with skill.

I catch myself staring at these quite often. I’ve pondered whether to learn to tie my own flies but I don’t need another hobby. Instead, I’ll leave it to the real masters who pour their heart and soul into each fly. These are incredible.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend…

It has been a hectic week for us and we were looking forward to the weekend holiday. We had 3 full days of rain earlier in the week which killed any chance of us getting out to fish.

We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary as well as my 25th anniversary at work. We also had family in town for a few days. The calendar was full.

Saturday looked promising but we awoke to thunder, some rain showers as well as high winds.

The video doesn’t do it justice because this went on all day long.

On a side note, I got a wild hair and decided to get a centerpin reel for float fishing the rivers. I fondly remember beginning this fishing journey by using a bobber on a small pond with my father and catching crappie, perch and eels.

From all that I have read, centerpin reels provide the absolute best drift possible while using a float. As is typical, I will have to configure this method for catching smallmouth even though the gear available in the US is predominantly designed for salmon and steelhead.

Raven Matrix centerpin reel.

I like learning and as such, this should be fun and will add “another tool to the toolbox” in regards to fishing skills. I guess anything that has to do with fishing has my attention. But there are far worse addictions other than angling!

Take care and thanks for reading.

2nd Lt. Miller…

Yesterday we had the privelege of attending the commissioning ceremony for one of our Eagle Scouts and a family friend.

This young man recently graduated college and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.

We have watched this young man grow through the years into what he has become today.

The picture below doesn’t tell the story of a trip with young Scouts to the Boundary Waters. Some of them were too young in fact, and the older Scouts had to carry the majority of the load. And they did it without complaining or making judgements. They just did what needed to be done to make the trip a success. It is that attitude that helps make a person successful in life.

I was fortunate enough to welcome this young man into the Eagle Scout community, and now being able to welcome him into the US Military community.

Pinning the gold bars on
Thanking everyone who helped him on his journey

I wish this young officer all the best on his career path and a bright future. I am positive that he will be an asset to the Marine Corps and will serve his country well.

Semper Fi Marine and Godspeed.

Congratulations to Hardy on their 150th Anniversary…

I would be remiss if I didn’t say “Congratulations” on a monumental milestone such as this.

Hardy has been at the forefront of innovation for decades and decades, and is a household name worldwide. Their name is synonymous with quality.

As with any company, they have endured the ups and downs of this industry and have made tough decisions, but they still exist.

And here’s to hoping that 150 more years are in their future. Cheers!

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 it’s 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!