Simms Flyweight Access Wading Boot Update…

I have about 25 full days using these boots and have grown to like them more and more. In the beginning I had issues with sand, micro-gravel and pebbles entering the boots, but I have remedied that problem.

By running the gravel guard as far down onto the boot as I possibly can, I have managed to keep all of the detritus out of my boots. As the name suggests, they are very lightweight and allow me to wade-fish all day without worry or discomfort.

The traction provided by the Vibram sole is pretty good. It definitely boosts your confidence when crossing sketchy barriers and these have been better than any other wading boot I have used except for felt soled versions. If you are fishing around Didymo covered rocks then felt soles and studs would be the way to go. But for walking trails, going up and down hills and over downed trees, wading small rivers and what not, these boots are great.

However, the increased traction from the softer Vibram sole does come at the cost of durability and longevity. I knew that going into the purchase so I accept the wear and tear.

Beginnings of wear.
Lugs worn off.

I used these boots as my portaging footwear up in the Boundary Waters. Wet landings, sand, mud, bogs, beaver dams, rocks etc and they performed flawlessly. For me, I can honestly say these were the best option I have ever used up there to date.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I would gladly buy another pair of these for the type of fishing I do. If durability and longevity were your primary concern, then there are better options out there. Thanks for reading.

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 http://www.classicflytying.biz 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.

Fly Fishing Brushy Creek…

I gave the Loop Opti K2 9ft 4wt fly rod a good workout. This is a very easy and forgiving rod to cast and was a pleasure to fish with.

Squirrel Tail Leech BH #8 flies

Last time we were here we were stopped by a deep pool that prevented us from going further upstream. This time I found a way across and continued up about another half mile. The fishing was good and if we return, I’d like to push up and see more of the river.

Where I needed to cross
On the other side
New water to fish

We both caught a lot of fish until the sun and heat drove us off the river. We headed back to camp for lunch and a cold one and to set up the solar panels to charge the battery pack.

Zip liked his fan!
We weren’t the only ones recharging batteries.

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!

Loop Opti K2 9ft 4wt rod and a Loop Opti Creek reel…

I have wanted a 4wt fly rod to fill a gap in my fly rod collection. Sometimes a 3wt rod isn’t enough to cast certain flies and a 5wt is too much. I firmly believe in having the right tool for the job.

I found this rod and reel on sale over at the Loop US website and decided to get them. I like the fact that the Loop Opti Creek is a silent reel. There are times when I don’t want to hear a reel clicking away all day and that’s why I chose this one.

I have been impressed with Loop Tackle from a function and aesthetic standpoint. To date, I have only been able to wave this rod around in the yard and I really like it. As I’ve stated before, a Medium Fast action such as this rod has, suits my casting style well. Once the weather clears I will definitely take it to a local pond or lake to test it out fully.

Excellent balance as you would expect.

I plan on using this rod to fish the Cossatot River soon and can hardly wait. We are in the process of finalizing our itinerary and accomodations and the excitement is running high. Stay tuned for more and have a great weekend.

River Trip 15MAY2022…

We were awakened last night by a strong thunderstorm and a heavy downpour. We debated about continuing with our plans to fish the river on Sunday. Needless to say, we headed to the river a little later than normal. As much to fish it, as to see how much it had changed from the recent flooding.

This gravel bar is new!
It narrowed some areas whilst widening others.

I took my Loop XACT 9ft 5wt MF fly rod and the Loop Opti Dryfly reel. I caught 5 fish on a #6 grey and olive squirrel tail Bunny Leech with a 3mm bead head. The rest I caught on my Tailwalk Troutia 55L spinning rod. Zip was really curious about the fly rod and I was afraid of hooking him since he tried chasing the fly.

Mrs. Velox Seeker hard at it.
The river level was around 7.25 feet so MVS felt comfortable wading across at the same spots I did.

The whole time I was fishing, my phone, which was stowed in the backpack, kept announcing a Thunderstorm Watch was in effect til later this evening. So we kept an eye towards the sky as we fished.

I did manage to figure out two river crossings but will need a full day to figure out the main stretch. Hopefully we can get that done soon. And Zip actually swam one crossing which was something new. I’m glad he’s becoming more comfortable around the river. It’s no fun wading across while carrying him.

If you remember in my last post from this river, you might recall the picture of the tree that had been washed out. Well, it’s completely gone now and more than likely several miles down stream.

Watching Mrs. Velox Seeker fish.
Worn out pup.

I guess we had two milestones on this trip, Zip crossing the river on his own and also, not getting car sick on the ride! Although we caught 19 fish, the above mentioned milestones were the highlights of the trip.

It has gotten hot here quite a bit earlier than normal. It was 70F when we arrived at 0815 and by the time we left at 1300, it was 91F. It was actually too hot to wear waders as we were both soaked with sweat. And that’s fine by me as I prefer to wet wade.

All of the practice that I’ve put into my fly casting has paid off. It was really fun today and I hope to keep improving and learning. Have a Great Day and we’ll catch you on the next one.

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.

Dometic Go Water Jug 11L…

While we were over in Fayetteville last weekend, we stopped into Pack Rat Outdoor Store. While wandering around the store we came upon a Dometic display containing 12VDC refrigerators, chairs, blankets and a water jug. We kind of liked the design philosophy of the water jug. On the ride home we talked in depth about the jug.

We ended up ordering one and it arrived today. Our reasoning behind this purchase was that our 6 gallon water jug that we currently use is a bit too heavy for us to carry any distance. It also takes up a lot of room in the vehicle due to its shape.

The Dometic is listed at 11 liters or approximately 3 gallons of capacity. It seems really well built and functional.

Top of container.
Nalgene sized opening with a good seal.
Main opening. It’s big enough to get your hand inside so you can clean the inside of the container.
Air vent on Left, quick disconnect fitting on Right.

This particular model has a quick disconnect fitting that is designed to work in conjunction with their new battery operated faucet system. What I saw was a quick disconnect fitting that works with our Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter pump. We can plug straight in and refill the jug from an available water source.

Built-in handle on the bottom to help pour the contents if necessary.
It does come with a pour spout too.

The handles are made of nylon webbing and are removable, not sure why I would remove them but everyones needs are different. This unit is compact enough that it will easily fit behind the driver or passenger seat of the vehicle. I tested it and can confirm that it does not leak at any angle. We have high hopes for this addition to our gear and look forward to using it soon.

We probably won’t buy the faucet system but we really like the design of this jug. Dometic seems to be serious about producing thoughtful, useful gear. Thanks for reading.

DirtCom Trail Swing Spare Tire Carrier…

I have needed a way to carry a full size spare tire on my Subaru for quite awhile and decided on this particular carrier.

I chose this model due to the fact that it was constructed of Chrome Alloy steel tubing so in theory should be very durable. I wish I could carry a full size spare inside the vehicle but our after-market rims and tires will not fit the factory made space. I have been lugging the spare tire around inside the rear hatch which drastically reduced my cargo capacity.

I like that it swings out of the way of the rear hatch so loading and unloading the vehicle will not be impeded. It has 4 settings: 90 degrees, 120 degrees, 180 degrees and free swing. There are accessories available such as a fold down table or RotoPax holders for spare fuel jugs or water jugs. As you can see from the pictures, it has a Class 3 tow hitch built in so I can still tow a trailer.

What makes this hitch unique is that it is angled so it doesn’t drastically reduce my departure angle going up hills. As I’ve said before: sometimes it’s the little things that make a product stand out.

Installation took me about 45 minutes. The unit weighs 70 pounds and is rock solid. Zero wobble or bouncing. It even comes with a beefy license plate holder that is pre-wired with a light. I still need to permanently wire the license plate light and make the wiring look neater, but it’s my daily driver so I needed a quick solution to keep from getting pulled over.

This should make a great addition to our fishing vehicle due to where we go and some of the roads we drive on. Having a full-size spare gives me peace of mind. And it’s nice to have my full cargo area back.

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!

Road Trip 07May2022…

My local area does not have a fly fishing shop so we decided to drive over to Fayetteville Arkansas on Saturday morning to check out one we found online. With all of the rain we’ve had lately we knew the rivers would be un-fishable so this was our “Plan B.”

The name of the establishment is McLellan’s Fly Shop and is run by a husband and wife team. When it comes to niche items, the wife and I prefer to shop local and support small businesses. So off we went on a 2 hour drive.

We also planned to visit a store called Pack Rat which is one of our favorites for various camping/outdoors gear. And along the way, I had dropped map pins of likely river access points for fishing.

Our first stop was the Chambers Springs Road Access Point but as soon as we turned off the highway we noticed a repair crew working on the washed out bridge. Without being able to continue further, that kind of squashed our river recon plans. Arkansas has experienced the same flooding that we have and there was high water, standing water and damage everywhere.

Eventually we made it to McLellan’s Fly Shop and proceeded inside. It was refreshing to see a legitimate fly shop after not having access to one for so long.

I was a bit gobsmacked at all of the stuff in there. When you don’t have a store like this and go inside a legitimate fly shop, it’s awesome. The co-owner who we will call Mrs. McLellan was full of knowledge and very helpful. And since they had recently got a puppy, we had a lengthy discussion about that. We also talked about supply chain issues, river conditions, fly selections and various other topics. It was a great visit. And I will say that their customer service is excellent.

Simms Flyweight Access Boots.

This boot was my main purchase. I had been looking at these online but being able to feel them in-hand and to try them on was the deal clincher and they ended up going home with me. I also bought a small Fishpond landing net, a few flies and a fly box and a couple of hats and extraneous items.

We also stopped in to look around at Pack Rat Outdoors Store but didn’t find anything we wanted or needed so we began the drive home. It was a long day but a fun day and we will definitely return to McLellan’s soon.

I apologize for not taking more pictures, especially of the flooded out access areas, but I was keen to get to the fly shop. Thanks for reading and 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…