Euro Nymphing Setup…

I ordered a euro nymphing specific fly line this week and it arrived on Friday. It is the Rio Euro Nymphing FIPS #2-#5 line.

I also have both the RIO Shorty and the Scientific Anglers ESN kit so I can keep my standard fly line if conditions warrant its use. I have a 3wt WF fly line on my Danielsson LW4 reel with the Rio Shorty installed. I’ll just carry two reels in the event I want to fish dry flies or something. I plan on tieing up some leaders today with formulas I’ve found online. I’d be curious to hear what others are using, so if you want to leave a comment please do.

I am excited to try these out but with the recent weather we’ve had, I might be delayed. For the RIO ESN FIPS line, I wanted to try the Danielsson F3W 2six reel so I put the main line on that reel.

Danielsson reels are an incredible value
Danielsson F3W 2 six-FULL CAGE!

I also ordered some nymphs from Fulling Mill but those won’t arrive until next week. I chose some Perdigons, Duracells, Coca Colas, Okie Dokies, Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears as well as a few jig streamers.

We have had two serious Tornado Watches in the past few days as well as thunderstorms, rain and yes…more wind. I don’t ever remember a Spring that has been this windy. We’ve been keeping an eye on stream conditions as well.

At least the levels go down quickly.

It’s somewhat frustrating to get some new gear and wanting to test it out right away, but Mother Nature has her own plans and I have to react accordingly. Patience is the order of the day and since it rained last night…maybe we can get onto the water by Sunday.

Thanks for reading!

Sand Bar Access on the Cossatot River…

Next stop was the Sand Bar Access and Campground. With it being after 4pm we opted to grab a campsite. There was only 2 other sites taken when we arrived so we grabbed one that was away from everyone else. Again, no running water and only pit toilets for $15 per night. The campsites were spacious but poison ivy was everywhere.

This area also has a Day Use Only Area and it was packed! Apparently it is a favorite swimming hole for the locals and they were everywhere on both sides of the river. With it being our last day, we opted to hang out in camp, cook dinner and get organized for the trip home. We would have preferred fishing this section but there was just too many people around.

It didn’t take long for the campground to fill up with all sorts of people. I’ll never understand why people have to drive through a forest and into a campground with their stereos maxed out. Campground etiquette was out the window! Some guy decided to start chopping wood at 10:30 pm. It literally sounded like he was building a log cabin.

We slept fitfully until 1:30am when some locals in a truck showed up, again with their stereo blasting and were trying to party at the river. Someone at the other end of the campground got up and started screaming at them at which point they promptly turned the stereo off and left. Finally we could get some sleep. NOPE!

From two tent sites away a little girl woke up screaming that she was afraid of the dark! And I do mean SCREAMING! Her mother ended up packing up and leaving.

We slept till 5:30 and packed up and headed home. If I ever camp there again it won’t be during summer. Probably early Spring or Fall.

Again, sticking to our original tenet of exploring new roads and areas, we chose a route home that was off the beaten path. We gathered a lot of new information on this river and thoroughly enjoyed fishing it. We became familiar with the GaiaGPS app which was a definite asset to the trip, especially since we didn’t have cell service for most of our trip. We consider the cost of the upgraded app money well spent. I’m sure we will be back.

I hope you enjoyed this series of blog posts. There will be a few additional “addendum” blog posts to cover some of the gear we used and why. Thanks for reading!

More Exploration..

We are not anti-social per se, but when you have an idea in your head, you try to see it through. We were trying to escape people as much as possible and when fishing the river we were completely alone. Camping was another matter.

There are 6 camping sites at Cossatot River State Park and we had grabbed #5. There were 2 other families camped there when we arrived but when we came off the river after fishing all day, we were the only ones camped there. We were stoked!

For dinner we switched to freeze dried meals to conserve water. We had Pad Thai and used our 2 long handled spoons to share the meal so clean up was simple. While relaxing after dinner and making plans for the next day, two vehicles drove up and parked at #6…RIGHT NEXT TO US. It kind of took the wind out of our sails.

Out hops a family with kids and chaos ensued until they decided to go for an evening swim. I don’t own this campground, I get that, but come on! Spread out a bit…we were the only two groups there. After listening to the vehicle running while inflating air mattresses for over an hour and the other assorted noises of camp setup as well as the evening quiet being shattered by 4-5 kids playing in the river, we pulled the maps out again.

I had always wanted to check out the Glover River in Oklahoma. It is the last un-dammed river the state has left and from what few reports I have been able to find on it…it’s chock full of smallmouth. We each had to buy a $40 Land Access Permit to even go there since the surrounding land is owned by Weyerhauser. With that permit we could camp anywhere.

Reports stated that during summer the river is really low and kayaking/canoeing is almost impossible. To me it sounded perfect for wade fishing. I had dropped pins on GaiaGPS beforehand knowing that we wouldn’t have cell reception or internet access.

We decided to head to Pine Creek Lake Campground to set up a base camp so we could explore the Glover River area.

Cossatot River…

This river was awesome! The more we journeyed upstream, the more it reminded me of Colorado. The river rock and the smell of pine was a nice change of pace.

Wading was a challenge. The rocks were slippery and you had to place your feet on pockets of gravel nestled in the nooks and crannies of the boulders. It was doable but required constant focus to keep from falling. This was the only time I have ever wished for felt soled wading boots and studs.

We had great luck here and were finally catching decent sized smallmouth bass.

This fish made her day!
The little Walmart rod did just fine!

I normally keep detailed records but on this day, we were catching so many fish I lost count. This is a river I would have to spend a lot of time on to fully understand the fishing. We could see schools of smallmouth of decent size swimming circuits but they were never enticed by anything we threw at them.

And I can tell you…it was really nice to just submerge yourself in a pool of cool water during the heat of the day to cool off.

We are making plans to go back to this river for further exploration and fishing.

Cossatot River State Park, Arkansas…

Before we got to the actual river we stopped in Mena Arkansas at an old Walmart. I perused through the meager fishing section there and ended up finding a rod. It was a Shakespeare Micro Series Blue BMG2SC 4’6″ single piece rod that had the action I was looking for. So, $25 and 2 bags of ice and we were on our way.

We drove through Wickes Arkansas until we found the forest road that would take is to the Cossatot River State Park ( South End ) and had a “fun” drive to the river. When we arrived, we instantly bailed out of the vehicle and started scouting out the river before deciding to grab a campsite.


The tent sites were nice and spacious. They are built on an elevated platform with a railing on the front and steps leading up.

If you go, remember that there are no other amenities. No water and they only have pit toilets. Fees were $15 per night. We carry a 6 gallon water jug and have a pump filter to resupply our water as needed. During summer, A LOT of people show up to the swimming holes during the day. We only encountered one other fisherman during our entire trip. The rest of the people we met were trying to escape the heat.

Staying in a place like this during summer is a trade-off. We had lots of shade to get out of the direct sun, but there wasn’t much of a breeze to speak of. I rarely use insect repellant but the biting flies were a nuisance so I applied some. We encountered a few mosquitoes and never saw a tick on our entire trip.

So Where Have I Been?

This will be a brief overview, followed by more in-depth blog posts…

We had planned a two week trip for the latter part of June, but neither one of us could get away for a full two weeks. So we made it happen in one week instead.

I did a blog post awhile back on “The Thin Blue Line”, and that came to fruition for the most part. Our initial plan was to camp for a few days at Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas and explore/fish Lee Creek. Next up was to head south and check out the Cossatot River, then head over to Pine Creek Lake Campground in southeastern Oklahoma to use as a base camp to explore the Glover River.

We stayed three nights at Devil’s Den but it was way too crowded for our taste so we left. We fished Lee Creek and Ennis Creek but just couldn’t find anything of decent size.

We got up early and headed to the Cossatot River to fish and look around. We had heard of this place from a fellow traveler and were curious to go there. The fishing was good to say the least. The Cossatot River State Park Campground had decent tent sites, but there was no running water and only pit toilets.

Up early the next morning we headed to Pine Creek Lake Campground across the border in Oklahoma. When we arrived, we were met by locked gates and CLOSED signs due to flooding. Once we backtracked and drove across the dam we could make out the tops of power poles with the power lines being underwater. The other campsite we picked was closed too. We drove across the Glover River and it was bank to bank! Usually, this time of year, its low and you could wade fish it. Needless to say we hit the road again.

We managed to find a campsite at Queen Wilhelmina State Park and stayed one night there before deciding to head back to the Cossatot River for further exploration. We spent our last night at the Cossatot River State Park Sand Bar Campground and headed home the next morning.

All in all, we had a great trip even though we had some “bummer” moments. We fished new waters and explored a lot of new roads.

Stay tuned for more fishing pictures…

J W Young & Sons LTD Beaudex 3.5inch Fly Reel…

Just thought I’d share a few pics of this vintage fly reel. Very impressed with the shape of this reel considering its age. I especially like that it is simple, has a full cage and even has line guides. Very well thought out and build quality is great. Sometimes simple is better!

Full cage with line guides

Simple design with minimal parts
Pairs well with the Hardy Palakona “Halford Knockabout”

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the pictures…

Vintage Hardy Palakona the “Halford Knockabout” 9ft 6in 7WT

Introducing the latest acquisition to my collection. I have been looking for a vintage bamboo fly rod for quite awhile. I hadn’t been able to find one that was in great shape at an affordable price until now.

For its age…it is in great shape!

My hat is off to the fisherman/woman who cast this rod. It is heavy, but with the slower action I’m sure you could get used to it.

I was absolutely stunned when I removed it from its protective shipping tube…this rod is gorgeous! I’m guessing this fly rod was built somewhere around the late 1960’s-early 1970’s. Hope you enjoyed the rod pics…

My Fly Fishing Vest…

After a lot of trial and error, I decided to go back to a fly fishing vest for the times when I am fly fishing. I know it probably “isn’t cool” in 2021 but I don’t care. It works better for me than anything else I have tried.

Speaking of trial and error…I tried a hip pack but got tired of dealing with the zipper. I tried a sling pack and the result was about the same. I also tried a chest pack and it was too awkward for me. Besides, I couldn’t see well enough when I needed to watch my foot placement when crossing a stream. So, I decided a fly vest was my best option.

I chose the Patagonia Convertible Fly Fishing Vest because A) it was minimalist (I don’t need 50 pockets) and B) was mesh fabric based. And since it hits the 100’s F every summer, I opted for something a little cooler than the other options I found.

In all honesty, I haven’t fished with it enough to give my thoughts or opinions on it yet. But so far I think it will fit the bill. Stayed tuned for an update on it…


I was really looking forward to getting out this weekend but that didn’t happen. I had quite a few chores I needed to get done instead.

Besides, the weather crushed any plans I made. Saturday was partly sunny and in the 80’s F but it was the wind that killed it. It was blowing out of the south between 20 and 30mph. This morning, 55F with winds gusting from the northwest at 15-25mph.

It’s no fun staring out the window watching the trees rock back and forth. In fact, a friend of mine just bought a brand spanking new bass boat and he’s suffering the same problem. Wouldn’t be much fun getting blown all around a lake while trying to fish.

Oh well, it is Mother’s Day after all so we will just hang out and enjoy a rare leisurely day together. We have a trip that needs to be planned so we might as well get started.

2021 Clean Ups So Far…

Looking through my fishing journal for 2021, it shows we have made 13 outings so far. The picture is of all the discarded fishing line we have recovered so far in 2021.

Discarded/Lost Lures

The image above is all of the lures we have recovered so far.

According to my records, as of May 2nd, 2021, we have picked up 31 bags of trash so far and have no intention of stopping! BE A GOOD STEWARD…

Loop Evotec Cast 3wt…

The wife and I went to a local lake in-between rain showers this morning. I really wanted to try out the Loop Evotec Cast 9ft 3wt rod. The gusts of wind made it difficult at times so patience was the order of the day.

This rod has great action…

My casting stroke needs a lot of work, but it was fun using this rod. The Evotec casts far better than I do and I definitely have room to “grow” with it.

I was surprised when I caught this Crappie…

I enjoy grabbing a fly rod and reel and a small selection of flies and hitting some local water. It’s a bonus when we have the entire lake to ourselves.

We each caught 2 fish and then the wind kicked up and the rain started moving in. We decided to pick up some trash before heading home. We do this every time we go out. I know it sounds like a broken record, but if word gets out and everyone leaves the waters cleaner than they found them…we’d have stellar fishing areas.

4 bags of trash!

I made it a point to pick up as much broken glass as I could. We fished bottles out of the water and beer cans out of the weeds. It really ticks me off since there is a trash can RIGHT THERE!