I measured 4 inches of snow this morning and we are expected to get 2-3 inches more throughtout the day. Temps are right around 12F right now with wind chills making it feel like 0F.
I got up early to start shoveling the walkways and cleaning off the vehicles and get them de-iced and warmed up. I don’t need to go anywhere today so that is a plus.
The fire is going and the wood is stacked and ready to feed it when necessary. Zip was a little speed freak when I let him out this morning. The name fits for sure: he was “zipping” around all over the place.
I managed to get fresh water out to the birds and swept off a patch under a tree out front. Spread quite a bit of bird seed around to help them get out of the wind. We easily have 50-60 birds of all varieties taking advantage of the seed buffet.
We did manage to install a radiant heater in the chicken coop and apparently it’s working since we haven’t seen a single chicken this morning. They are quite content to stay indoors just like me.
Received a package from Digitaka yesterday. In talking with my wife, I asked why she didn’t use her trout spoons more. Her response was that she was afraid to lose them because she only had a few. So I ordered some more spoons. Problem solved.
I also ordered a couple of packages of plastic lures to try out. It’s nice to have various options in case a maker goes belly up or they are sold out.
I’m not even going to attempt to explain or understand the names. Catch you on the next one…
I had read various posts on the forums about Shimano discontinuing the Soare 500 size reel. I was over on http://www.jpfishingtacklenews.com and noticed that Shimano WILL release this reel in March 2022. UPDATE: The reel has been delayed until May.
I own the CI4+ version of this reel and it is a little beast. The new 2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG reel should be even better.
We spend time each year chasing perch for the fun of it and this size reel is perfect.
I just might have to order one of these when they become available. I know that the wife needs one!
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.
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.
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!
Today was gorgeous! After dealing with two appointments this morning and being out in the sunshine, I decided to go practice my flycasting.
The wind was up a bit, around 15mph, but it was 67F when I stopped at a local lake. I decided to practice with the Loop Opti Dryfly reel and the Loop XACT 5wt 9ft rod. I try to practice casting every chance I get and in conditions I will experience quite often…such as wind.
The Loop 5wt was definitely the way to go. I also brought along the Loop Evotec 3wt 9ft and the Hardy Ultraclick 4000 to practice with. I figured it was a suicide mission with the 3wt due to the wind but gave it a shot anyway. I must say, I didn’t do to bad. Never thought I’d use a lot of “Kentucky Windage” while flycasting!
I will shamelessly admit that I really got into fly fishing after seeing the movie “A River Runs Through It.” I thought that this method would make a great addition to my fishing toolbox. It only took about 30 years before I managed to afford a halfway decent setup and decided to actually fly fish a lot.
With the weather being really nice this weekend we opted to work with Zip on traveling by car. He still gets car sick so we have started taking really short trips with him. He has never seen a pond or lake before so we decided to begin there.
Also, we are still working on the basic commands and he is responding well. He likes to explore his environment so he and I will get along great.
And it would be silly of us not to fish while we were at these lakes and ponds. My wife finally tried out her TenRyu Rayz Integral RZI50UL-4piece rod. She liked it and stated that it didn’t cast as far as some of her other rods but would make a good creek fishing rod. I cast it a few times and concur with her assessment. Definitely not a long-range casting rod.
It has been a relaxing weekend so far. Zip is curled up at my feet as I type this blog post. The weather will be taking a drastic turn soon. It is slated to be 71F later today but we have ice and snow as well as 5F temperatures moving in soon. We try to enjoy nice weather while we can. Stay safe out there…
This is an Ajing (Horse Mackerel) rod and as such is relatively stiff. I ran across this rod while looking at UL Saltwater rods and decided to give it a shot. If you remember, my TenRyu Lunakia rod is also a similar rod. There are a couple of categories besides Trout that I look at such as Rockfish, Light Game and Ultralight Saltwater rods.
When it arrived and I removed it from its zippered case and put it together, I was concerned that it might be too stiff. After casting it for over an hour I can say that it is fine and casts a long ways. I’d put it right there with the TenRyu Lunakia as far as casting distance.
What drew me to this rod was the reel seat. As you know, I prefer minimalist style reel seats. The fact that it weighs 56.5 grams was another factor. It does have a solid tip for the last 3 rod guides and that tip is very thin.
I can definitely see myself using this rod a lot. I paired it with the Shimano Vanford 1000 and it balanced nicely. The Vanford is loaded with 6lb Daiwa J-braid which created a lot of noise throughout the rod. I will more than likely respool the Vanford with nylon line soon. Some Japanese rods are line specific…nylon, ester, fluorocarbon and braid. Something to be aware of when looking at JDM rods. This rod was an absolute joy to cast and even using a 2 gram trout spoon, I could feel the lure flutter as it was retrieved. To say I am impressed with this rod is an understatement!
Apia (Anglers Utopia) makes a wide range of rods in the Grandage series. I noticed they make the Grandage Lite in a 6ft 8in 5 piece rod too. Hmm…..
They’re here and my rod is complete again. I’ve been waiting impatiently ever since I received shipping confirmation.
Since I spent a large portion of today running errands and getting chores done, I plan on going fishing tomorrow. Supposedly the local trout pond was restocked this morning so I plan on heading there tomorrow morning.
If all goes well and the weather holds…I have a surprise for tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
Something I wanted to try for the 2022 fishing season was the NiteIze Runoff Pouch. There were times when we hit the river/stream with only a few jigheads and a package or two of plastics. This little pouch will fit the bill. Waterproof TruZip zipper and IP67 rated to 1 meter should suffice for us.
I think this might work really well. It’s thin and unobtrusive. This waterproof zipper is a lot easier than the TiZip on the Yeti Panga and Patagonia Stormfront slingpack. I may just make a little 1/2 inch webbing belt for it instead of using the single belt loop on the back. I think that would keep it from sliding around better.
An issue we had last year was waterlogged packages of plastics and some corrosion on the jigheads. This will alleviate that. I prefer to keep my most used lures such as these readily accessible.
Can’t wait for Spring to fully test this idea out…
So many rods and reels…so little money. Being a curious person by nature isn’t helpful at times. With the multitude of technological advancements happening in the fishing industry, it is difficult to choose that ONE rod that does it all. It doesn’t exist and never will. I know this and yet I keep fighting it and keep searching for the perfect setup.
Honestly, I could spend weeks just doing research and refining my needs and wants…but that doesn’t catch fish. But with all of the “Graphite Wizardry” coming out of Japan, It’s hard to settle on one rod anyway. In a land of specialization and variety, the choices are endless. And that doesn’t help my cause. The concept of “perfection” is very subjective anyway.
And as I learn more about JDM fishing rods, the wider and deeper the “rabbit hole” gets. Area Trout, Native Trout, Ajing, Mebaru, Rockfish, Light Game etc etc equals more options, more decisions. Factor in lanquage translation and videos, for an outsider, it appears to be an obsession.
I plan on doing a group photo of all all the JDM rods we have, which might be a bit disconcerting once we actually have them layed out. The plus side is that we do use every single one of them. And we haven’t bought a bad rod yet, which is nice. How’s that for rationalization?
And I will state emphatically that this gear has definitely made our fishing better both in catch-rate and fun. And I haven’t even started looking at Japanese made fly rods! Hmm…Beware the Rabbit Hole!
I purchased this pack several years ago to use when fishing streams. You can find it on their website http://www.zimmerbuilt.com under “Tenkara Gear.”
-Capacity: 1300 cu in.
-Height: 19.5 in tall
-Width: 11 in at the top and 10 in at the bottom
-Depth: 6.5 in
-2 external Tenkara rod holders with shock cord retainers up top.
This is a very well made pack and runs $95.00 on his web store. This is the lightest pack I own for fishing, coming in at 8.75 ounces. Perfect for carrying a rainjacket, water bottle and lunch, as well as some fishing lures or small tackle pouches/boxes. The back is unpadded so I added a piece of half inch closed cell foam to protect my back from sharp objects. It is not waterproof or submersible but rather highly water resistant. I can attest to fishing in light rain for 6 hours and everything stayed dry.
I don’t do Tenkara fishing and have never used the rod holders on the side. Instead, I break my rods down (4-5 piece) and store them inside.
I like to have several options of gear to choose from so I can tailor my needs to the trip.
I had pre-ordered this rod back in December and it arrived today. I’ve been hearing good things about the Presso ST rods and decided to try one for 2022.
Specifications: Daiwa Presso ST 62ML
2 piece rod
97cm break-down length
Line weight: 2-5lb
8 rod eyes
Fit and finish is decent and the rod feels good in hand. The accents were nicely done without being too over-the-top. The balance was excellent with the 2021 Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P. The Daiwa Presso LTD 1025 balanced well also.
I believe the Daiwa Presso rods are designed for Area trout fishing in Japan. These types of rods are designed for light lines and have a more limber/parabolic action to them as opposed to the stiffer Native trout fishing rods that are designed for stream fishing. This was the reason I opted for the ML (Medium Light) action rod to increase the stiffness a bit. This rod has a good action for our type of fishing. I would say it has a Moderate Fast tip with a stiff butt section. That will help fight fish in current better.