Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fish Selfie

As I was cleaning out some of my memory cards and viewing footage and pictures before deleting them. (I have quite a few memory cards for my cameras.) I came across a video that is short and sweet. I was attempting to take a selfie, but I clearly did not change the settings on my camera and I took this video. =)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Winter Pike Float with Urban Assault Fly Fishing - Part 2

My buddy Dave (Urban Assault Fly Fishing) shot me a text message on Friday asking if I wanted to float the DPR on Saturday morning. I was in!

I was about 15 minutes late arriving to the launch, because, I had forgotten my waders at the house, so, I had to do a little back track. All this talk of "Geezers" is starting to get to me (Howard & Mel). It was sunny, and the temperature was in the mid 30's, the weather couldn't have been any better - Who am I kidding! It could have been 80 degrees outside, but with it being mid January, 30 is the new 80.

We floated a section that both of us haven't done before. It was a local part of the river, that I have shore fished extensively. It was really interesting and awesome fish places I couldn't reach from the shore. One of the highlights of the trip was floating under a major expressway in these parts, I-90. There were all kinds of things going on, because, this section was down the street from O'Hare Airport. Planes, trains, and automobiles surrounded us. 

Photo by: Dave
Here is the very same low head dam I posted about in my previous post about racing stick boats. The river seemed to be flowing at normal levels. The banks were icy and muddy. There was a lot of animal activity. We saw a group of 5 female deers, a huge red tailed hawk/owl (Debatable...we couldn't figure out what it was when it flew across river, but it was huge).

Dave was the only one to hook up. He was tossing an articulated double hook fly he tied the night before that had 2 tungsten beads, to help better work the deep pools. Sure enough this pike came from the bottom and took his fly. I had one strike on the day, and that pike was super lazy. It only went after my fly, because, it needed to play its predator role in the Eco system, but I did not hook up with that pike. It gave a half hearted tail flap/wave to me and drifted away.

Dave jamming on the pike guitar...and getting pooped on.      (Check out his knee. HA!)

Looking forward to the next outing!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sun drunk and stick boats

The 3rd installment of - Bored and going through old photos.

I cannot count how many times Bobba-Dood overstayed our welcome in the sun, and became silly sun drunk fools. We've all been I right?..please tell me I'm not alone. Haha

Our fishing outings use to last all day. 6+ hours of baking in the sun fishing multiple times a week. There were multiple outings where we would reach a that point where we became silly, stupid, and laughed at everything. 1 part sun, 2 parts exhaustion. During those times, the creative side of my mind would get going. I distinctly remember 2 occasions where I just randomly started to make something that resembled a watercraft of sorts, not human size, but something you could put a lego person on. 

On the first occasion we were fishing at Mallard Lake. I made a small watercraft the size of a post card out of sticks, grass, leaves, and vine. Whatever was around. I set it out to sea. It floated. I was proud. I then had the grand idea of trying to sink it with small rocks, pebbles if you will. I didn't want to cheat and use a big ole rock, where would the fun be in that. My accuracy was terrible and eventually just tossed a big ole rock, and defeated my very own Eco friendly battleship.

The 2nd time we were fishing the Des Plains River, and catching a skunk. I decided that we both create stick boats, race them, and see which one will survive falling over the low head dam.

Bobba Dood started making a Mark Twain'esk type stick raft. As you can see in the picture below, it shows he has just started the frame. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate pictures of the final product. I do remember it was no match for my ingenuity.

Here is what my mind is capable of when I'm exhausted, and had too much sun. Pure genius! How can you not say to yourself, "Wow, that's impressive! Is it for sale?!?!"

I was extremely pleased with the outcome of this vessel, that I contemplated changing careers, and devoting all of my time building stick boats, and starting a stick boat river racing league, but I didn't want the fame and fortune that came with that territory. I'm a humble guy. Plus the world wasn't ready for that kind of excitement at the time.

...and there she goes on her maiden voyage. What a beauty. The only fixture that did not survive the fall over the dam, was the sail. She kept on going down river, and didn't miss a beat. She's probably made her way around the world a few times by now. 

I know everyone has a few stories similar to this one. I'd love to hear them, so, please, do tell!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My first Northern Pike

Another installment of - bored and going through old photos.

My first Northern Pike - It was Spring of who knows what year. I could probably look it up on the photo details, but I'm lazy. I remember meeting up my buddy Frank aka Bobba-Dood, at a section of a small creek that forms a rather large pool. The pool is home to a plethora of fish that fall over the dam of a big lake in the area. Musky, Pike, Largemouth Bass, Catfish, Walleye, Crappie, and other panfish. I wouldn't be surprised to find sharks and mermaids/mermen living in there.

I was tossing a white spinnerbait with my baitcaster.

Here's a little back story. I was just learning how to use a baitcaster, and all winter I was watching KVD (Kevin Van Dam) videos on YouTube. So, needless to say, I was pretty jazzed and inspired to get out there.

I took Mr. KVD's advice and let that spinnerbait sink to the bottom before I started my retrieve, slowly brought it in, hitting everything I could, and sure enough...I got a hook up! ...and to my surprise it was a Northern Pike! For me to say I was excited would be an understatement. 
Smile for the camera!
For so long pike and musky eluded me (musky much longer...until this past year). No matter how big or small your first fish of a certain species is, you'll always remember the story. I know that goes for me. Maybe that only goes for me, because, I'm not a geezer, yet. =) 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Night crawlers and Cats

Ah, the good 'ole days, baiting a hook with a fat juicy night crawler, casting it out to what you think is the deepest spot on the lake, and waiting. I was rummaging through some old files on an external hard drive of mine, and came across some old pictures.

I haven't caught a catfish in so long. Makes me want to set aside an outing to dunk some bait this summer. With the lake right behind my GF's townhouse, I just might have to do that, while I fire up the BBQ and grill some steaks.

Thee biggest catfish I have ever caught.
(No idea why I'm wearing a batting glove. HAHA)
I had a different system. I always thought adding the bobber helped keep the bait off of the bottom a tad. The fish never minded it. In Illinois, you're allowed 2 rods per angler. I used to soak some bait with my spinning rod, and cast lures with my baitcaster or other spinning rod.

Nice little Channel Catfish at Mallard Lake.
Catch and Release
These photos are probably 10+ years old, and they brought back some really good memories. If I find any more good ones, you can bet, I will most definitely share them!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Winter Issues

One of the things that keeps me entertained on the web other than blogs, are the many free e-Magazines that are out there. There's a plethora of them, and they all offer a ton of informative and entertaining information. Two of my favorites just released their Winter issues. You should definitely check them out. 

Fly Fishing the Midwest

Follow the link - Slip Sliding - Winter 2015

Southern Culture on the Fly

Thursday, January 15, 2015


One of my favorite things to photograph while out fishing or hiking are mushrooms. I was going through some of my old photos and came across these 3. I have since purchased a book off of "Mushrooms of Illinois" so I can better understand the different types.

I am horrible at IDing these things, which is 1 reason I will never take them home for my own consumption. 

Going through this book, each good mushroom seems to have a doppelganger just waiting to trick you, and the outcome is not favorable.

No idea....can anyone else ID these?

This next picture below is my all time personal favorite fungi photo. If I am correct, these are called "Velvet Foot" (Flammulina Velutipes), but what the heck do I know. I'm just a fish bum.

I am almost 100% positive that the fugi below are Oyster Mushrooms. 

(PLEASE correct me if I am wrong with any one of those mushroom IDs.)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Need some motivation

The start of a new job, adjusting to a new schedule, learning new things, and trying to remember all of it....exhausting! I've been nothing but a bum, when I get home from work.

When I'm at work I stare at my Yeti rambler and think about all of those smallmouth bass that are just waiting to say hi. Then I get home, and I cannot wait to say goodnight.

Winter, you're winning.

Friday, January 9, 2015

I'm a sucker for t-shirts.

I'm a big fan of t-shirts. Especially, ones that you really cannot find in stores, and if you're a small business or someone that I follow through social media, I'm all for supporting what you're doing. I'd much rather wear a t-shirt that has the logo or name of something that I enjoy reading or viewing, rather than a shirt that says "Old Navy" or any other type of store. Boring!

Here are some of my most recent purchases.

The first 2 shirts are from the artist Ryan Sharpe of Dead Weight Fly. I've been following his work for quite a while now, and his art just keeps on getting better. If you like what you see check out his website - Dead Weight Fly.

This next shirt from Dead Weight Fly is my favorite. The headpiece the skull is wearing is made up of streamers (looks like the Game Changer pattern). It's very creative and unique.

This "Bass Bum Diaries" t-shirt and stickers are from a friend I follow on Instagram. His name is, Hiro, and his Instagram name is @bassbum. Hiro, is from Japan, and is a very creative graphic artist who enjoys fly fishing and fiberglass rods. Definitely, one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram. ----

I should also note, that if you're insterested in, Hiro's, stuff shoot me an email, and I could possibly hook you up with his contact information.

Front and 2 stickers.
And here is a shirt that my lovely GF gave to me as a Christmas present. I just love this shirt, because, it has 3 of my favorite animals on it....a shark, bear, and wolves. In case you're wondering where the wolves are, check out the t-shirt the Tommy gun yeilding bear is wearing. HA! I love it!

I love stuff like this!
And speaking of t-shirts and animals riding sharks. I have just added t-shirt to my collection with the purchase of a Troutrageous! Tenkara Sasquatch T! Shirt. I just ordered it, so, I have not received it, yet.