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!

Welcoming a New Addition into the Family…

Melodramatic to be sure…but I’d like to introduce the Hardy Ultraclick 4000 reel and the Loop Evotec Cast 9ft 3wt Medium Fast fly rod.

But with any new addition…it deserves a fine cigar and a decent Whisky to welcome them into the family! And yes…that’s the first whisky bottle I’ve ever bought! And I couldn’t think of anything better than one made as a tribute to one of my heros… Ernest Shackleton.

My Dad and I have a thing for good cigars. We used to own a cigar shop together and had a blast with it. Every time I light one up, I think of him. The first COVID shot damn near killed him but he’s back to his normal self now. I can guarantee he’s probably smoking a cigar at this very moment!

Now back to the rod and reel. I enjoy using 3wt rods for contact fishing and opted for the Hardy Ultraclick reel because it’s one of the lightest reels made today. Standing in a stream with your arm outstretched as you’re nymphing through a run all day can take a toll on your arm. Lighter is better. Long leaders (16-22ft) are the norm as is 6X tippet. This reel fits my needs to a “T”. I don’t really need a high-tech disc drag so a simple click check reel works just fine. I’m using RIO Trout WF3F fly line and I can add a RIO Shorty and a long leader, I can connect a regular 9-12ft leader for dry flies, or I can run a Mono Rig if I so choose. Pretty versatile in my book.

Did I mention that this reel is LIGHT? On my scale it weighs 63 grams empty! Anyway, thank you for reading. I must get back to my Scotch and good cigar, and make plans for using this combo…Stay Safe Out There!

How Many?

I routinely catch “flack” about my fishing tackle from family and friends. Comments like “how many rods and reels do you really need?” or “why can’t you pick one and call it good?” And my favorite…”I can’t believe you have a “fishing room” in your house!”

I usually shrug it off or try to explain, but it never makes sense to them. The reality is that as a person gets older, other hobbies fall by the wayside. After a major back surgery and three shoulder surgeries…it’s not a good idea to continue rock climbing and mountaineering! Even kayaking and canoeing takes a toll. So I’ve essentially been left with camping, fishing and amateur radio. I only have one teenager left at home, but soon he will move on to start his life. And I have plans for my retirement that involve a lot of fishing.

I have loved fishing for decades and have no plans to stop until my body gives up. So how many rods DO I REALLY NEED? There is not an obvious answer to that! If all you do is sit on a bank and bobber fish with worms then you can get by with only one or two rods and reels. But you can’t effectively use a trout rod to catch bass or pike. Big catfish and stripers mean bigger rods and stouter tackle.

Fly rods come in an assortment of lengths and weights for a reason. The 5wt is the all-rounder that almost everyone buys as their first setup. But what if it’s windy…which is all too common in Oklahoma? You need a heavier rod in 6wt-7wt as well. And if you want to try tight-line nymphing then you’ll need a slightly different outfit.

I think tackle of any sort needs to suit the application and therefore I purchase accordingly. Certain streams need certain rods, certain styles of fishing require something completely different. And that’s what I do! THERE IS NO SINGLE MAGIC WAND.

Truth be told, I’m leery and skeptical of a fisherman with only one rod. Unless of course its a young angler just starting out.

If you like fishing as much as I do, in all of it’s vagaries, then you’ll need several rods and reels whether you like it or not…just sayin.

My Wife’s TenRyu Rayz Super Yamame Rod

This is a picture of my wife’s stream fishing rod. It is the 2020 TenRyu Rayz Super Yamame RZ6102S-LML spinning rod. As denoted on the blank, it’s a 6 foot 10 inch Light-Medium Light action spinning rod. Max Lure Weight is 12 grams and Max Line Weight is 6 pound Mono or 0.6 #PE.

Fit and finish on this rod is excellent with minimal filler in the cork handle. It is paired with the 2020 Shimano TwinPower C2000S reel and balances perfectly. I think it is a beautiful rod and I jokingly refer to it as “her Yoda rod” since it has some quirky inscriptions on the blank.

-“A Thing Good Commonly”

-“Learn A Lesson From The Past”

That being said, the action is amazing and it fishes very well…

What I Carry in my Tackle Bag…

Today I thought I’d share what I carry in my bag when I go fishing. Everything in the picture should be self-explanatory other than perhaps the Meiho Versus clamshell tackle boxes on the top left. I have a blog post covering those.

But yah, that’s all the gear I carry. Nothing too fancy, just the time-tested items I rely on. The 2 yellow things in the top right, next to the yellow Magpul DAKA pouch, are plastic bags I carry to haul out trash we run across when fishing.

I prefer a modular approach so if I change bags/packs, I can pick and choose what goes inside easily. Obviously colors change with the seasons or species we are after or even what type of fishing we are doing.

As stated previously, we are trying to streamline our gear and eliminate the complexities. Simple is better; lighter weight is the goal…

Outing 25 April 2021…

The wife and I took a quick trip to one of our local lakes this morning. We counted 6 boats on the lake with more arriving when we left. All told, we fished for 2 hours before the wind kicked up and it got kind of crowded. We walked to the opposite end of the lake and in no time we had 5 boats up on us. Guess that happens when you’re catching fish. There was no ill will amongst anyone and I think everyone was just glad to be out fishing and trying to get out of the wind.

Today was the first time I was able to use my Major Craft Finetail Area Stage FAX-B642UL baitcast rod. I LIKED IT! It was a little more limber than I was expecting but worked very well. I ended up catching 6 largemouth bass. Conditions weren’t great due to all of the recent rainfall. The lake was about 4ft high and stained. It was a day of catching “salad” as we call it. Almost every cast forced you to pick grass, weeds or algae off of your lure. But like I tell the wife, “if you aren’t fishing in the weeds then you aren’t where the bass are.”

I took the GoPro this time and tried to shoot some video for the blog. The wind made it tough due to where we were positioned on the lake (facing into the sun)

I managed to catch 2 of the 6 fish on video. Because of the wind, the GoPro wasn’t able to pick up my voice commands very well. The sun felt great and we had a blast just getting out there and relaxing and catching fish…

Area Trout Baitcasting Rod

I wanted to try an “Area Trout” baitcasting rod since I already have a “Native Trout” baitcasting rod. The difference is that “Area” designated rods tend to be a bit more limber. They are whippier and have more of a parabolic bend in the blank. In theory, it should be easier to use the rods inertia to assist in casting a light lure.

I have a cheap BPS Sensilite fiberglass rod that I practice with and kind of liked the action…hence getting this rod. As soon as I can get some free time I will definitely give this rod a shot.

Major Craft Finetail Area Stage Rod FAX-B642UL specs…

-6ft 4in- 2 piece rod

-lure weight 1.0-5.0 grams

-line weight 1.5-5 lbs or 0.2-0.6#PE

-action FAST

I definitely like the low profile and minimalist rod handle. I am excited to try this one out…

Fly Casting Practice…

Like I do every spring, I hit a local park and practice my fly casting. I consider it a “tune-up” if you will. To me, flycasting is somewhat of a perishable skill and I try to set aside time to practice so I’m ready for the upcoming season. Plus, there was a 10-15mph cross wind this afternoon which is normal conditions here in Oklahoma and it was good to work through it.

The Fenwick Aetos 9ft 5wt is one of my favorite rods and I love fishing with it. Yah, it’s not a high end rod, but if you ever cast one, you’ll see why I like it. The Loop XACT 9ft 5wt was a rod I got towards the end of 2019 and haven’t even fished with yet. It has a heavier swing weight than the Aetos but it’s still a good rod.

We have had a lot of rain lately which has made fishing problematic. It’s sunny and 70F right now but will drop into the 30’sF come Tuesday. We also have a chance for some snow…I sure hope it doesn’t though.

Got Out With My Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS…

We waited for the temps to climb this morning and then headed to a local lake. I wanted to take my Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS reel and my Major Craft Finetail Stream FSX-B502L rod. I figured that the only way to become proficient with it was to use it for several hours. I only experienced one minor backlash in 3 hours of fishing so I was pretty happy. I managed to catch 6 fish, 5 Largemouth bass and 1 Warmouth but I didn’t get a single picture. As anyone who is familiar with Oklahoma knows, wind is always a factor and today was no different…it was blowing at 20+mph today.

Due to previous commitments, we had to cut and run after 3 hours.

10APR2021 Outing..

We decided to get out and explore an area for some new fishing opportunities. Unfortunately, due to the rains last night, several of the roads were off limits to our Subaru. We tried a couple and almost got stuck…Thank God we bought new tires!

She caught one decent sized White Bass while I smell like skunk…LOL. She was trying out her new rod and reel she bought, the Major Craft Finetail Stream Switch Style FTX-46/505UL and the Abu Garcia Revo MGX Theta 1000S. She had a lot of fun on that little rod and I apologize for not getting any pictures. By the time I got into position to get a picture she had released it.

The rivers were up and stained due to all of the rain. It was 78F yesterday evening with strong storms and a tornado a few miles north of us. We woke up to 42F temps when we left at 0545. We debated about not even going but decided to anyway. Everything ended up being a muddy mess and the cold wind didn’t brighten our spirits one bit.

But, as usual, it was good to get out and I’m sure I will endure a good “ribbin” this evening since I caught ZERO! It’s only fair…