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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I was in the fishing room the other day and the wife came in and commented that the walls looked kind of plain. I have maps hanging to remind me of trips we’ve taken and routes we have traveled, but nothing really artistic. She suggested a few ideas and I agreed. She ended up ordering two shadow boxes containing flies from “Classic Fly Tying” and they arrived today. They have several different shadow box versions to choose from.
These shadow boxes are done very well and will look amazing on the wall. I can see myself getting all of them in the future. If anyone is interested in purchasing items from the site, their web address is:
After a cursory search online, I was able to determine that Yeti did indeed make a larger version of their Water Bottle Pouch/Sling so I ordered one. I was wanting one that would hold the Sawyer Squeeze water bottle since I use that the most when fishing. Plus it would get it out of the backpack and be more accessible.
I know everyone complains about the prices of Yeti goods, but when actually comparing similar items, it’s just about on par with everything else. The quality on every Yeti item we have purchased has been outstanding and I feel it was money well spent. I have no affiliation with them and have purchased everything with my own money…I’m just saying that their stuff is pretty damn good. And again, I’m not selling anything, just showing what we use. Fish can’t read so find what works for you and go with it. Take care and Happy Easter.
Well, the good news is that the wind stopped howling out of the South. The bad news is that its howling out of the North. Temperatures yesterday were 84F and sunny but today it was 51F, rainy and overcast. That’s a typical Oklahoma spring…the weather is always terrible on the weekends.
Between gusts of wind and rain showers, we managed to get out and fish for an hour. She caught 2 little largemouth bass and I caught one. And I do mean little. We figured that the front that moved through would push them back into deeper water and we were correct.
What can I say…it beats staying at home. Some times you just have to go fishing and that’s exactly what we did. The weather looks great next week but my weather app shows more chances of rain for next weekend. Go figure.
Nothing to be done but to muddle through it and wait for better conditions. Besides, soon enough I’m sure I will start complaining about the heat! Catch you on the next one.
We decided to fish a local lake that we hadn’t fished in quite awhile. It requires a boat so we loaded up our Jon boat and headed out. I know that I did a post previously where I explained why I don’t own a boat…but I consider this a glorified beer can more than a serious boat. But they do serve their purpose. Besides, we can’t tow much behind a Subaru.
This was going to be Zips first outing on a boat and we were curious as to how he would do. It ended up being nothing to worry about as he really enjoyed being out on the lake. I like this dog more each day!
I took my new Smith TRMK-423UL rod and the 2021 Diawa Presso 1000 and I have to say…it performed really well. A couple of times it should have broken and didn’t. I’m impressed!.
Once the sun fully came up, the wind really started building and we decided to get off the lake. We have a storm system rolling in later tonight. Typical Oklahoma Spring weather. We fish every opportunity that “time” and the “weather” allows. Thanks for reading…
I have been looking at this rod for months and decided to just get it. I want a short rod for some of the creek fishing I have planned. What drove me towards this rod is that it’s fiberglass in the last section. This should allow more flexibility in the tip to make several different types of casts with really light lures.
This is the first 3-piece rod I have owned. Supposedly it is stronger than a 4-piece since it does not have an extra junction. Also, It should be lighter because of that. I think at some point we will be splitting hairs when it comes down to specs. Per the manufacturers website, it lists this rod at 74 grams. Although I will note that their spec sheet says it’s FULL GLASS but also states “with solid glass only in one tip section.” I will probably have to pony up for an Anglo&Co. G411 rod to get the full benefit of fiberglass. Maybe someday…
Also, something that I have been kicking around is doing pictures of bending curves for each of my rods. Not sure if there is any interest in that…if so then I will give it a shot. Take care out there and get out and fish.
After a full night of rain, we didn’t have much hope of catching anything but decided to go anyway. If nothing else, we’d be able to stretch our legs as well as letting Zip run all over.
We decided to take our bigger rods since we were hoping for White Bass or even a Striper. In the end, we caught nothing but rays of sunshine.
Interestingly enough…in the picture above, Zip keyed in on a Beaver that we didn’t notice.
It’s still early in the season and our weather patterns are all over the map from 84F down to 31F…and sometimes, that swing is in one day. Factor in the spring rains and its a toss-up if we can go fishing. And being back to work hasn’t made it any easier. We’re relegated to only fishing weekends at this point.
Zip is getting better on the car rides so that is a huge plus. I feel like I’m starting to ramble so I will finish this post up and say “Thank You for reading it.”
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.
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.
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.
We finally managed to carve out some time to make a reconnaissance run up to Missouri to check out the Elk River.
Again, this idea started with a blue line on a map and subsequent research showed that it had potential. We like to visually check out an area before committing to an extended trip.
Access is limited to this river from what we could observe along our routes. There are canoe livery’s everywhere and renting a canoe seems to be the best option if we decide to commit to fishing this river.
We proceeded to head on over to Pineville since my wife found an access point to the river on a map. I think it was called the City Of Pineville Elk River Public Access.
In all honesty, we weren’t super impressed with what we saw and it looks like this will be a madhouse during the summer. The sheer number of canoe rental companies was astounding and hints to our trepidation. In all likelihood we will fish this river at least once. If we could find a long section to fish without staring into peoples windows things might be different. Who knows, maybe our first impression was wrong. I hope so anyway. It was still fun to get out and explore new waters. Hopefully the weather will begin to stabilize some and we don’t get too much rain in a short period of time. But the fishing season is definitely right around the corner and we’re ready for it.
This is my Kryptonite. I have failed so many times when managing my expectations. I plan something to the nth degree and nothing goes according to plan. Then I get really frustrated and sometimes angry which doesn’t do me any good.
I have made plans to recon fishing areas only to be informed that “we” have other plans for the weekend. I tend to just withdraw and stop making plans for awhile. And that’s not healthy.
I need to figure out a better way to manage my expectations. I don’t want to use the military style PACE plan. Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency to where I have to develop 4 separate plans for a single outing. Obviously this isn’t a life or death scenario for me.
Perhaps I should just focus on priorities and effective communication. Maybe I should just create a “rough outline” and go with the flow. Maybe I should just step back and postpone it. Or decide to go it alone.
So many factors go into a simple scouting trip. Weather is a critical factor in my area. As an example, we were in the 50’s on Thursday but received 3-4 inches of snow on Friday with temps in the teens to 20’sF. And we will be up near 80F later in the week. These narrow windows of decent weather make you squeeze stuff in when you can.
My wife has to return to her office after 2 years for no good reason other than a ” because I said so.” I kind of figured that a road trip might do us some good only to realize she wanted to relax and hang out on her last weekend. Frustrating but understandable.
However, I do need to figure this out and get better at managing my expectations. If you have any suggestions feel free to share them and thank you for reading this.