Gas One Spyder Stove…

The wife and I had been looking for a more compact stove. We didn’t want a backpacking stove per se, just something smaller than what we had been using. We came across a YouTube video about this type of stove so we decided to try it.

Standard Butane canister next to stove case.

We like the concept as well as the size. It puts out 8000 BTU’s which is sufficient for our needs. This stove is designed to run on butane but we have an adapter that lets us use propane if necessary. Why butane? Because it’s much cheaper…I purchased 8 cans for $8.99! And butane works just fine during the warmer months. With the appropriate adapters, we can run any of our stoves off of propane, butane or isobutane. It’s nice to have options.

This should work well for us. Space is at a premium in our Subarus so every little effort to downsize without losing functionality is helpful. Hopefully we will be able to put it to use soon when the weather cools down a bit.

Great Day to be Fishing…

The weather forecast called for a low temp in the 40’sF so we decided to go fishing. We left the house at 0445 and arrived at the river at 0645. It was a little chilly to say the least. We donned our raincoats over the normal wet wading gear we use to add a small layer of warmth until the sun came up high enough to warm the river valley.

I surprised myself with how this picture turned out!

I opted to use the TenRyu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL spinning rod and a 2022 Daiwa Exist LT2000S-P spinning reel. Both worked flawlessly and were a pleasure to fish with.

A well balanced outfit.

We didn’t bother taking fish pictures as we weren’t catching anything of decent size. I think 12 went about a pound or a little more. Our total catch for the day was 86 so it’s obvious how many were dinks. They were fun to catch in current, but we would’ve liked some bigger fish. It was still great to get out and enjoy the day though.

As I sit here typing this blog post, Zip is curled up at my feet sound asleep. It takes days like this where we cover several miles of river before he’s completely worn out. We could tell that he was glad to get out too.

We’ll catch you on the next one…

Fishing Conditions…

The first day at camp, we fished for about an hour without ever getting a bite. We were both using titanium leaders since we anticipated catching quite a few Pike. I switched over to a 20# fluorocarbon leader and immediately hooked a smallmouth bass. At that point my son switched over to the same setup. We knew it would be risky and decided to chance it. We ended up catching 6 Pike over the duration and only had one break-off.

We caught several smallmouth in this range.
First Walleye of the trip.

I’ve never spent much time chasing Walleye and when my son started catching them, I asked him what his technique was and tried my best to duplicate it. He definitely has the touch since he caught twice as many as I did. He ended up trying hard to put me on good Walleye and I reciprocated by trying to put him on good smallmouth.

I’ve made several trips up to the Boundary Waters in LateSpring/Early Summer and the fishing was fast and furious. The last several trips I’ve taken in early September were mediocre. Fish just weren’t where I expected them to be. We fished some amazing water without any success.

Our most productive areas to fish were above and below Beaver dams. I’m assuming the oxygenated water had a big factor in that. We could fish the entire shoreline of a small lake and catch two fish, yet at the dams we would catch 10-12.

And true to form, we both packed too much fishing gear. We primarily used a 3/16th ounce jighead and a 4 inch curly tail grub in green pumpkin. That combination caught all of our fish except two. Next time I will pare things down A LOT.

I did have a reel malfunction though. My Shimano Stradic drag gave out which cost me a fish. I surmised that the clip ring had disengaged from the clicker on the spool support shaft. When I returned home I tore into it and confirmed my suspicion. It was an easy fix.

As stated before, conditions were tough and we earned every fish caught. We generally fished for about 5 hours a day and spent the rest of the time in camp just kicking back and talking. Something we rarely have time to do these days and it was nice to catch up as well as strengthening a bond. I will definitely make more time for that in the future.

It was good to see how our son had taken to canoe travel and the skills he had developed and honed over the five trips he has taken. He is a top notch camper and canoeist and is getting better at fishing. There will come a time where I will not be able to make trips like this anymore and it is safe to say that he will carry the mantle forward and pass it on to future family.

Video of a Typical Portage…

I thought I would do something different and so I filmed a complete portage crossing from beginning to end.

This particular portage was 60 rods long. A rod is equal to 16 feet in length. This is one of the easier portages that we encountered.

Pardon my breathing, I was carrying two packs and this was my second trip across the portage that morning.

Portage Part 1
Portage Part 2

Portages are necessary to go around steep drops, waterfalls and/or lake to lake. Everything has to be carried over.

Camping on Lower Pauness Lake…

Normally we paddle and portage a minimum of 10 miles into the interior of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to get away from people. This time we paddled in about 2 hours and set up a basecamp on Lower Pauness Lake. We didn’t really have an itinerary or a time schedule. Our main goals were to fish, explore and relax.

View from our campsite.
View to the Northeast from our campsite.
Relaxing.

Ultimately we would get up around 0530 every morning to see the Milky Way and watch the sunrise. We would eat a quick bite of breakfast and then be off by 0700. The first day, we fished the lake. The second day we paddled over to Shell Lake to look around and scope out campsites for a future trip. We fished Shell Lake as well. The third day we crossed the Devils Cascade portage into the Little Indian Sioux River up to Loon Lake.

General overview of the area we were in.

We saw Beaver, Otters, Eagles and lots of other wildfowl. No Moose or deer were seen on this trip but that was to be expected. Without having a real itinerary it was nice to just travel and explore at our own pace. This was probably the most relaxing and stress free trip to the BWCA that I’ve ever been on.

Back in Town…

I was talking with our oldest son about 2 months back. He had just returned from a trip to the Boundary Waters with a group of friends that didn’t go as well as he’d hoped. I commented about him and I doing a trip together and he agreed. I went about getting a permit as well as a rental canoe and lodging and planning out an itinerary.

Long story short, we spent the past week canoeing and fishing up in the Boundary Waters together and it turned out to be one of the best trips ever. The fishing was tough due to them still being in their summer pattern/deep water. We earned every single fish we caught. I don’t have all of the pictures yet so will only post a few of the main ones.

Shell Lake
Devils Cascade Portage
Resident Trumpeter Swans who sounded off every morning at 0600 sharp.

I am currently surrounded by gear that needs cleaning, drying, sorting and stowing. I have a pile of things to do before I can write a proper blog post but I will do that ASAP. Feels kind of strange knowing that I was in Des Moines at 0530 and home by noon. At least I have 2 more days to get things caught up. See ya soon!

Blog Update…

My apologies for not posting anything to the blog for a couple of weeks. My work schedule has drastically increased to include longer hours and weekends as well. We are still experiencing temperatures in the upper-90’s to 100F+ so we haven’t been fishing at all. The good news as far as I can tell is that the temps will start slowly decreasing next week.

Yes, we could hit the rivers and fish but we haven’t had any measurable rainfall in over a month which will effect water levels. At times like that, it’s like “shooting fish in a barrel,” so I feel that it isn’t very sporting. I prefer to have a sustainable population of fish for the future as opposed to “getting mine now.”

Some people may disagree but I prefer to have an ethic when it comes to this sport. This isn’t a rant, nor am I pointing fingers. Rather, it’s just my ethos and I will not deviate.

I definitely have upcoming blog posts which I think readers may like. They are still a few weeks off but I promise they will be forthcoming. Stay tuned for those and I hope everyone is doing well.

Gomexus Reel Stands…

We have been using Gomexus reel stands for about 2 years now. It is a cheap and effective way to protect your spinning reels. Since we fish rivers and streams a lot, and there are rocks everywhere, these tend to keep the reels off of the rocks when we set our rods down.

We generally use the Gomexus R1 42mm fixed stand but when they released the Gomexus R6 48mm foldable stand, we wanted to try those.

R6 Foldable on LEFT, R1 Fixed on RIGHT.

Since we store our reels in padded cases or neoprene covers, the foldable design has been really nice.

R6 Foldable stand
R6 Foldable Stand screwed down and locked

At first I was hesitant about using any reel stand. I thought it was a gimmick and that they would be unwieldy of even unbalance the rod and reel. But the more I used them the more I liked them.

To me, it’s a cheap way to keep your reels from being scratched and beat up on rocks or gravel. The Gomexus R1 costs $10 USD. If I’m using a $150 reel, then $10 isn’t much to add a level of protection. The Gomexus R6 costs $12 USD and it’s worth it for the foldable feature.

Gomexus R1 fixed on a 2019 Shimano Stradic FL 1000S. No more worries about scratched reels or damaged bails.

I have no affiliation with Gomexus, or anybody else for that matter. I’m just showing a few of their products that we use. They also make knobs and reel handles for both baitcast and spinning reels. Most of their items are produced in a range of colors as well. If you’re interested, check them out.

http://www.gomexus.jp

Or you can find them on Amazon.

Tailwalk Keison Runsback spec * N 56ML Spinning Rod…

After using a Tailwalk Troutia 55L for quite awhile, I decided to see what else this brand offered. Perusing the rod listings, I ran across this rod. I enjoy using Light and Medium-Light rods when fishing streams and rivers because the added backbone helps fight fish in current as well as getting them into the net faster.

Comes in a zippered neoprene sleeve.
Length: 5’6′ -Max Lure: 12g -Max Line: PE 0.8 and 99% carbon/ 1% glass.
“Uniting Various Waters”
Nice hardware. Double down-locking reel seat. Cork is decent.
Accents are nicely done.
Reinforced joint.
Balances well with a 2000 size reel.

I’m looking forward to testing this rod out too. I’ll either get up really early to fish or just suffer through the heat. Time will tell.

Palms Pinwheel PFGS-69UL+ Spinning Rod…

First off, I apologize for not posting anything for awhile. We have been having internet issues and it seems that dial-up is faster than the service we pay for.

With that out of the way…I’d like to showcase a new rod I recently bought. The Palms Pinwheel PFGS-69 UL+ spinning rod. I like how Palms shoots a video explaining their rods in detail. I wish all of the manufacturers did that.

I knew this was a saltwater ultralight rod which was designed for shore jigging. What I didn’t expect was how stiff this rod is. I would compare it to a Light-Medium Bass rod to be honest. In fact, I ended up putting a Shimano Twin Power C3000 reel on just to get it to balance. And that’s fine with me. I fish farm ponds as well so this will be a good choice when I target largemouth bass since this can handle them well. Fit and finish was excellent and I like the aesthetics of this rod.

I’m looking forward to trying this rod out. Prospects are somewhat questionable since it appears that summer has truly arrived. Starting on Monday the weather forecast is calling for 100F+/38C+ every day for as far out as the forecast shows. We’ll see how it goes…

The 2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG Spinning Reel…

It finally arrived! The wife has been wanting one of these for over 6 months. Last Thursday when I got to work, there was an email that popped up on my phone from Digitaka stating that the Soare XR 500’s were in stock. This was at 0504. By 0505 I was on their site ready to purchase two reels but it already stated that it was THE LAST ONE. I bought it instantly and by 0506 I had confirmation of the order. These reels went fast!!!

Rear View of 2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG
2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG Handle
L: 2022 spool and R: 2017 spool
L: 2022 Soare XR 500SPG and R: 2017 Soare CI4+ 500S
2017 Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S
Rear View of 2017 Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S
2017 Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S Handle

Before I list the specs, I will say that the 2022 Soare XR is smoother than the 2017 Soare CI4+. I definitely like the color scheme on the 2022 better but that is just my preference. The handle fits better and has a bit more accents. The handle knob was changed and I’m not sure if it’s for the better or not. Gear ratio was decreased. Line capacity was increased a little bit as well. Maybe she’ll let me try it out.

2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG

-WEIGHT: 135 grams

-GEAR RATIO: 4.7:1

-DRAG: 3 kg MAX

-RETRIEVE: 58 cm

BEARINGS: 8/1

-CAPACITY: MONO 2#-115m, 2.5#-100m and FLUOROCARBON 3#-70m

2017 Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S

-WEIGHT: 140 grams

-GEAR RATIO: 5.6:1

-DRAG: 3 kg MAX

-RETRIEVE: 69 cm

-BEARINGS: 8/1

-CAPACITY: MONO 2#-90 m, 2.5#-80m and FLUOROCARBON 3#-70m

For Perch and small streams, these will be perfect and we can’t wait to test hers out. Stay tuned for that.