MEIHO Tackle Boxes Fr0m Japan…

I stumbled across a guy on YouTube who has a channel named TSURINAN; and that is where he introduced his viewers to these boxes. I immediately decided to track these boxes down as I really liked the compact layout and functionality. I also shamelessly copied his idea to put magnet tape in each compartment to secure the contents from accidental opening of the box. The tape is a great idea from the standpoint of an angler standing in a stream and not having to worry about dropping things into the water.

The bigger box is a MEIHO VERSUS VS-388SD. If I had a chance to get another one, I would opt for the clear lids instead of the smoked lids. The smaller box is the MEIHO VERSUS VS-355SS with clear lids. Both have a clam-shell design and a beefy hinge to keep them closed. I am very impressed with MEIHO boxes and haven’t found one I didn’t like.

For those interested, I found them on Amazon.jp

Shipping was reasonable (I bought several items) and they arrived in 6 days. And did I mention that they were A LOT cheaper than using Amazon in the US!

Holistic Fishing Part 2…

As I sit at my desk trying to put my thoughts down on this blog post, I realized that this is a topic that is so vast that I don’t think I will ever be able to convey it all.

For me, and the type of fishing I prefer, I believe the best summation is “COMPLETE EXPERIENCE.”

When I’m driving to my chosen fishing destination, I rarely think about the actual fishing. I focus on driving and taking in the scenery, the fishing is all but ignored until I’m finally on the water.

And then…I tend to focus on a few key concepts such as…

-Attitude

-Contentment

-Connectivity/Immersion

The first one is huge! A great attitude goes a very long way. I don’t want any undue, outside influences interrupting my time on the water. No pressure. I turn my phone to silent as I hate hearing it “ding” when I’m on the water. Also, I slow things down and take my time, being meticulous on my foot placement and casting targets.

The second concept is that I’m OK with not catching a fish. Seriously…any fish caught is a bonus. Just being out there is enough for me and any failure is a great teaching tool if you’re open to it.

The final portion is total commitment to the outing. Immerse yourself in the entire setting with no distractions and take it as it comes. Fish unscripted! That’s why I’m not doing fishing videos anymore…it takes my focus off where I want it to be… enjoying the entire experience from start to finish.

I sincerely hope this makes some sense…perhaps it’s just the ramblings of an aging fisherman.

Leave No Trace…

This is a picture that we took when we made it back to the car. Although we didn’t catch any fish, we were still productive.

We both carry plastic grocery bags in our packs just to pick up garbage on our way out. We each filled one up. Surprisingly, we ran across another person out there who was picking up trash as well so that was great!

And honestly, it wasn’t near as trashed out as we thought it would be. I still wish Oklahoma would put a 10 cent deposit on all cans and bottles…I think that would help tremendously.

We are stewards of the land, and as such, we should all do our part.

A Quick Shot of the Wife Fishing…

The wife fishes just as hard as I do! She wanted to test out her own rod, reel and line today.

She has a TenRyu Rayz RZ6102S-LML Super Yamame spinning rod which she received for Valentine’s Day. She absolutely loved it and was very happy with the handling characteristics.

The reel she used was the Daiwa Presso LTD 1025 spooled up with Daiwa Presso Type-N nylon line in 4 pound test. Both worked flawlessly for her.

She could cast bank-to-bank easily and was impressed with the sensitivity and action. Handling and balance of the rod and reel suited her very well and she liked the line, which was a big question mark for both of us. She had zero issues fishing with it.

She carried her Abu Garcia One Shoulder Bag and was pleased with all aspects of it. Think we have some winners as far as gear choices for 2021 go.

The Rod, Reel and Line I was Testing Out

Today I wanted to test the TenRyu Lunakia LK6102S-ML-T rod coupled with the 2020 Shimano TwinPower C2000S spooled up with Varivas Super Trout Advance Twitch Master VLS Nylon in 4 pound test. All performed brilliantly.

I chose the TenRyu Lunakia as my stream rod because the action, length and weight are perfect for the stream fishing I do and the target species-the Velox. I could easily cast bank-to-bank if I wanted to. The sensitivity was superb since I could feel every rock, stick or reed I swam my lure through or over. And for me…the Nishijin weave in carbon fiber for the reel seat is classy.

The 2020 Shimano Twin Power C2000S seemed to pair much better with the Lunakia than the Daiwa Presso LTD 1025. The balance and swing weight were spot on for me.

I’m always leery of spooling up a reel with line I have never tried and taking it fishing. But this time, it worked extremely well and I experienced zero issues with it. I am VERY impressed with this line. And I was pleasantly surprised that Varivas US carries it. The cost is $14.00 per spool which isn’t bad for this level of quality.

As a bonus, the Abu Garcia One Shoulder Bag Waterproof (quite a mouthful) worked very well. We fished through intermittent rain and everything stayed dry. I can attest to the fact that it floats because I stepped in a hole and went up to the tops of my waders and the bag was fine.

Exploratory Trip 14MAR2021

We said to heck with the weather and went to a nearby river to see if the White Bass had moved upstream on their spawning run. Of course we were checking to see if the Neosho-strain smallmouth had decided to come out as well.

The stream was in great shape with a decent flow, but it was still in the low 50F’s. Still a bit cold for things to start properly moving but that will begin to change soon.

Unfortunately, no fish were caught, although we did run across a few fingerling smallmouth bass romping around in the shallows.

Needless to say…we just needed to get out!

A Donkey!

This is a picture of my wife holding the largest Velox smallmouth I have ever seen. I would consider it a trophy size Smallmouth Bass for the streams that we fish.

In the background, over her left shoulder, where the water next to the bank is the deepest, is where she caught it.

I had moved past that section to make room for her and was casting when I heard her drag go off. As I turned to look I noticed her rod was bent really deep. Decent sized fish! I put my rod down and broke out the camera and started snapping pictures. It was great to see the process from almost start to finish, especially when she realized it was a BIG Velox!

We kept the fish in the water and marveled at its size, I checked lighting and background and we snapped a quick picture before releasing it back into its natural habitat.

We fished that section multiple times during 2020, but that spot was gone…dry as a bone. The main portion of the stream is much further to her right and it was a fluke that we decided to explore this little branch.

Definitely a great day and a lucky day at that.

Holistic Fishing?

I was tasked with “riding shotgun” over our chickens today to make sure they were safe while free-ranging, and while sitting there on the porch, I began thinking about what my style of fishing might be called. The only concept that I kept coming back to was Holistic Fishing.

Definition…”Holistic”-adjective-Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

Makes sense to me. Fishing is such a multi-faceted sport that I don’t believe you truly stop learning during the entire lifetime of your endeavors.

I drew upon the Celtic Knot for the simple reason that it personifies the uniqueness of “perpetual endings and beginnings.”

There are an infinite number of parts that make up the Whole… some we are aware of and others we are not. I factor in the Mind, Body and Soul aspect when I go fishing. Again, it’s about the Whole. The weather, stream flow, season, water depth and clarity, who I’m fishing with and why I’m fishing on a particular day. How is my physical strength, am I stressed or relaxed, do I feel pressured by time or other people? And more specifically, how do these all inter-connect to produce a desired result? Do I actually need a result?

Everyone has heard the reference to “Being in the Zone,” and that is something I strive for whenever I fish. That to me, is the culmination of a good day. When I take in all of the sights, sounds and smells and my situational awareness is pegged. When the fish cooperate and I truly feel that I am in my element.

Being “One with the Fish” is such a cliché, but it is a valid sentiment. But it is bigger than that. Much bigger! Sometimes I feel as if my vocabulary isn’t polished enough to come up with the proper words to convey the message so other people might understand.

I need to do some more “thinking” on this topic and as such, I will consider this subject a Work in Progress…

Hurry Up Spring…

It’s February 27th and it’s still Wintertime, and we still have to get through March before its safe to say Spring is right around the corner. But I’m ready for it and wishing it comes sooner rather than later.

The picture above is of me from last Spring. I love wet wading a small stream chasing Velox smallmouth. I do other types of fishing; but stream fishing is what gets me fired up the most.

If the world was perfect and I didn’t have to worry about some low-life breaking into my vehicle, I’d stay on the river for days on end. Retirement is years away, but I already know how I’ll be spending my time. That’s where my hope lies…the future. I put up with useless meetings, silly policy directives and questionable management decisions because it pays the bills and grants me some retirement options. I fought the “silver handcuffs” as best I could…but with mouths to feed it was an inevitability.

I’m not complaining; I’m actually content with my decisions. But I always focus on the future and the freedom that I will hopefully have with it. All of life seems to be a compromise in one way or another. Friends say “I’m wishing my life away.” I say, “I’m wishing my work life away so I have time to live.”

Being surrounded by fishing tackle helps me stay focused, it calms me and fills me with purpose and more importantly, it fills me with hope. When I can’t fish I resort to sifting through old pictures and reading my fishing journals, looking at maps and making plans. I wonder if my father realizes how hooked I became on fishing? He got me into it, but I will never place blame on him, quite the opposite. I sometimes wonder if he felt the same way.

So I will “ride the ride” until I can get back out and do some serious fishing. It won’t be much longer…

I Thought I Wanted to be a Fishing Guide

After my first fishing trip up North, I thought I “might” want to be a fishing guide. In my mind it was my dream job. On several occasions throughout the years I have been offered guiding positions with several outfitters. Believe me, it was tempting. I truly felt honored by their offers, but the timing was never right.

But the “timing issue” was a cop out. In reality, I just couldn’t stomach being around people who truly didn’t belong there, in what I considered God’s Country. They belonged in a National Park setting or KOA…not deep Wilderness. Ask anyone who has fished with me a full day and they’ll tell you that I don’t say much. I don’t suffer fools very well either. If you talk the talk then you’d better walk the walk.

I’ve seen a grown man throw a hissy fit because they didn’t have enough milk for their cereal. Nevermind that we’re 60 miles from anywhere. I’ve seen grown men sit in a chair for a week reading the same Wall Street Journal and drinking themselves into oblivion when they professed to be hardcore fisherman.

In 25+ trips up North, I’ve had the pleasure to fish with four REAL fishermen(women). They fished hard, all day long. They didn’t complain, they did what needed to be done and we had great days on the water. We bonded around the evening campfire by reliving the day’s events. Those folks passed muster! And to be clear, I made it known to any and all that went with us what was expected of them and what the conditions were like. Zero Lodges, Zero Room Service. Everyone had a job to do.

Our trips were Spartan affairs. We roughed it and earned every fish we caught. We portaged and paddled everywhere we went as if we had to pay our dues and show respect to the Fishing Gods. Those three gentleman and one lady earned my respect and gratitude. They earned every bit of those adventures. (In fact, I married that lady!)

So it boils down to people skills! I’m a loner by nature and changing diapers and wiping noses isn’t something I’m willing to do for an adult. Not happening. My initial thoughts of becoming a Fishing Guide were doomed to failure from the start. I’m just not Guide material. And realizing that was a good thing. And I’m sure it was a good thing for everyone else to. My passion for fishing is still intact and never became a job I hated.

Velox Seeker

So why did I start this blog?

To begin with, I enjoy fishing and would like to share some of my adventures. Secondly, I am by no means a social media expert and have always enjoyed blogs rather than videos and so forth.

I am not a tech-whiz when it comes to video editing or high-end professional photography, and as such, would rather spend my time fishing as to getting the perfect photo op. I figured that a blog might be an easier format for me to share the adventures with you.

I have been fascinated by our Neosho-strain Smallmouth Bass for several years. Their uniqueness as well as their habitat and fighting ability was enough to sway me to seek them out almost exclusively these past few years.

Along the way I will share some of the gear I use as well as techniques.