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.

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!

First Rainbow Trout of 2022…

We have a winter storm approaching but the weather was going to be decent for the first half of the day, so I drove an hour and a half over to the Illinois River to try my hand at catching some trout.

We had scoped out the Simp and Helen Watts fishing area last year and I wanted to return so that’s where I went. Cloudy skies, 59F, windy and high humidity greeted me when I arrived. There was only one other car in the parking area so I was excited. I was flying solo since the wife had to work so I packed light.

I donned my waders and laced up my wading boots. My rod of choice for the day was the Apia Grandage Lite 61 with the 2021 Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P reel. I wanted to use a fly rod but chickened out due to the wind. With this major front approaching, the wind was steadily building.

I started with a jighead and a B-vibe and didn’t get so much as a bump. I then switched to a trout spoon and received the same treatment. Next up was some inline spinners. No takers either. I dug out my swimbait box from the Yeti Panga and selected a Lucky Craft Humpback Minnow 45SP-Suspending and attached it to my swivel. First cast and I hooked up. I gave the trout too much slack and he slipped the hook.

The hero of the day!

Second cast and I hooked into another trout, only to lose it at the riverbank trying to get a picture. Third cast and I’m onto another one. I put the boots to this one, never letting up until it was in the net. That’s the little trout in the first picture. That’s when I realized how hard it is to get photos when you are fishing by yourself. From that point on I didn’t even try.

Next thing you know I have two guys up on me. Literally one standing almost next to me and one in the water wading and casting right in front of me. We exchanged words and I held my ground ready to square off. I can’t stand when fisherman do that! They moved off shortly after and I continued to fish. Damn near a mile of riverbank to fish and you have to try and wade and cast right in front of me. That’s a JACKASS move if there ever was one.

Anyway, I ended up losing 4 and catching 5 before the bite turned off. One of them went 16 inches. I released them all, not even taking them out of the water. I decided to call it a day and head home before anything happened or got out of hand.

I took my time getting out of my wading gear as there were several Bald Eagles flying over the river hoping for an easy meal. They tend to over-winter in this part of the state and it is always good to see them.

The Apia Grandage Lite 61 rod allowed me to cast to the other bank.
Relatively peaceful.

For the record…I’m not really into “Hero Shots” when the trout are stockers. Seems kind of lame in my mind, but that’s just me.

I took the scenic route home so I could relax and enjoy the outing. I did miss fishing with my wife and felt guilty about going, but she assured me she was fine with it since she had a pile of work to do and couldn’t get away. Believe me, I tried talking her into going!

Until next time…

2021 Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P…

I couldn’t resist!

I like the specifications on this reel, but I like the aesthetics the most. To me it is a good looking reel which creates a well-rounded package. I can’t really find anything I don’t like about this reel other than using chrome colored accents as opposed to the gun metal grey on the previous version. Horses for courses I suppose. The gear ratio is 4.9:1 which I prefer since a lower gear ratio allows for slower presentations.

I was absolutely stunned when the FedEx driver rolled down my driveway Friday afternoon. I had no idea what the boxes could be. I placed the order with Digitaka on Tuesday mid-morning, I had received shipping confirmation Thursday morning, yet here it was…my reel from Digitaka. And free shipping to boot! Those guys never cease to amaze me.

I plan on spooling it up with Varivas Super Trout Advance Bush Trail VEP nylon line. Besides, the reel kind of screams “fill me with orange line.” But seriously, I have been impressed with Varivas fishing line over the past few years so I figured I’d try one of their offerings for 2022.

Now for my next project… training Zip to stop waking me up at 3am to eat!

It’s way too early dog…

Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that once awakened from a deep sleep, I simply cannot go back to bed. So the coffee gets poured and I start my day, getting a blog post or two out for the day while the pup is curled up at my feet sound asleep. All complaints aside, he is coming along nicely and is a very intelligent dog. Come Spring, I plan on introducing him to the streams and creeks hoping he will become a good fishing companion. Time will tell…