First Attempt at European Style Nymphing…was a Fail.

We got up early and drove to the river, arriving by 0700. It was 46F and we could see our breath as we geared up to fish. We started the outing surrounded by cows and a curious bull. After several attempts to run them off, we finally succeeded.

The river was a foot higher than last weekend due to the rains. It crested at a little over 14 feet on Wednesday and was at 8.25 feet when we stepped in.

This wasn’t there last weekend.

I decided to only take my Syndicate P2 ESN rod and give that method a solid go. After 3.5 hours and losing two smallmouth I needed a break. I felt like I failed at Euro nymphing even after trying multiple configurations and flies. I definitely have some homework to do.

I tied up a leader late last night and it worked OK. I was able to cast pretty well after about 15 minutes with me untangling my flies twice before I figured it out. I just never felt that I could get my nymphs/jigs down deep enough so I need to do more research. The current was much stronger than last weekend for sure.

Mrs. Velox Seeker opted not to wade across because she felt it was outside her comfort level so she stayed close to shore which limited her fishing. If I’m being honest, I don’t blame her. Wading back upstream was a struggle for me and I was out of breath when I came ashore.

Fishing some pools

After a quick snack and sip of water, I grabbed her spinning rod and put on one of those new 4.5 gram jigheads we just bought and waded across the river. First cast and I hooked a decent smallmouth. They were hugging the bottom near the edges of the gravel bars and would attack from there. It was cool to see them surge up and hit the lure. That’s why I wanted to increase the weight of the jigs we were using. I needed something to drop deep in current and these worked. After Euro nymphing for 3.5 hours and not bringing anything to hand…this was a nice confidence boost. I caught 3 more good smallmouth before handing the rod back over to my wife and returning to the Euro nymphing rod. She attempted to wade out to that spot but the current repulsed her and she came back. It is a combination of the flow rate and the gravel under your feet being swept away with each step. It can be a little unnerving to those who don’t wade a lot. Not to mention, she doesn’t weigh as much as I do.

Yes, I cheated.

We each fished for another hour or so and decided to call it a day. Total catch for the day was 6 with three of them being decent. I love testing theories and trying new things. It helps when you’re proven right 😉 We both got a good workout and are already feeling the results of the exertion. But it’s a good kind of pain.

And of course, we have more storms coming tonight and tomorrow. May is always a rainy month in Oklahoma so we are not optimistic about our chances for going fishing.

Thanks for reading!

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…

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…