Showing posts with label gulf of mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gulf of mexico. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 was a good year.

One of my main fishing/outdoor goals this year was to explore new water, and I did just that. Here are the posts that prove it.
  • Gulf of Mexico - Fly fished the Gulf of Mexico and caught my first salt water fish.
  • 31st Street Harbor - Lake Michigan - It's a brand new harbor on Lake Michigan.
  • Orlando Florida - Caught my first gar on the fly.
  • Fox Lake - Fished for the first time from a kayak. Explored new areas and water.
  • Illinois River - Fished for the first time, and from my kayak. The river is HUGE!
  • Northwoods Part 1 - Explored new waters up North.
  • Maumee River Ohio - Wet a line for an hour and found a new place to fish when visiting my best friend.
  • Northwoods Part 2 - Returned to the same area, but explored new sections. I love it up there!
  • Northwoods Part 3 or 4 - Finally hooked up with my first musky. Cannot get enough of the Northwoods!
The Northwoods would definitely be my pick for favorite trip this year. There is just so much water, and wildlife. I would be happy just getting lost in the wilderness for a few days, without my fishing gear up there.

I was also, successful in catching some new species. One of them has been at the top of my list for years, and I finally did it, I caught my first musky! I'm still jazzed by the thought of that beautiful fish eating one of my flies.

I also, caught my first salt water fish in the Gulf of Mexico, a speck/sea trout, and with my fly rod and on one of my flies. Looking forward to visiting Florida, again!

I even hooked up with my first gar on the fly. It was a nice surprise, and definitely a rush, because, I didn't have a proper leader tied on, because, I was bass fishing. I didn't think I was going to find anything with teeth in the lake that I was fishing.

My biggest smallmouth and largemouth bass of the year. I don't weight my fish, so, I'm just guessing, but I'm sure both of them were between 4-5lbs. I can tell you that both were definitely 20+ inches in length.

Looking back on all of my adventures this year, I can only smile and think about all of the good times. 2014 was great, and I'm looking forward to what 2015 has in store for me. I know that it already has a new job lined up for me, and I start the first Monday of the new year. Exciting!

I'm going to continue my 2014 outdoor/fishing resolution to explore new water for 2015. It's amazing how much of it is out there.

I would like to wish all of my friends out there in blogger world a Happy New Year! Cheers to 2015! (Sorry if I forgot anyone.)
I'll end this post with some of my favorite photographs from this year.
Gizzard Shad - Lake Michigan.
Northwoods Smallie ready to be released.
Wading the Gulf of Mexicco. Such an awesome experience!

My biggest DPR Northern Pike of 2014.

The Fat Gordo and I, taking a break from all of the fun.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Badaxe Design

Stopped by one of my local fly shops - Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters - just to look around and kill some time. Sure enough I walked out with a few items...hooks, forceps (mine were bent out of shape), and a zinger for my Abel nippers.

I also, was surprised to see that they carried a few items from Badaxe Design. Jonathan is a real cool dude, who has some serious artistic talent. I ended up picking up the same hat I bought from him a year ago. It will serve as my back up, in case something happens to my favorite fishing hat.

I've had the first one for over a year now, and it has seen a lot of water. This hat's been through everything, and it's gotten quite a bit of character along the way.

How can you not like the patriot trout design!?!
I don't think I have to tell you which one is which.

Here are some of the outings it has helped me look good.

Small creeks of Illinois
Current River in Missouri
Driftless Area trout streams in Wisconsin
Various lakes of Illinois
Flambeau River in Wisconsin
Gulf of Mexico in Fort Meyers, Florida
Looking forward to bringing it along on many more fishing adventures.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Salt

Fly fishing the Gulf of Mexico....

What an experience.
I stayed in Fort Meyers for 3.5 days, and I fished the Gulf 4 times. I was at the beach gearing up every morning as the sun would rise and illuminate the sky revealing the vast water I intended to fish.

Day One
I was very timid getting out. I started casting from the shore, based on the knowledge that was shared with me from friends. There were 2 guys that were far out, about 300 yards away from the shore, and at first, I thought they were sitting on paddle boards or float tubes...I was wrong. They had waded all the way out there following the shallow sand bar that went for miles up and down the coast. There was another fly fisherman there who was on vacation there (His daughters spring break) from the Midwest (Indianapolis). He gave me some more tips, and even showed me the way to wade out to where those other 2 guys were. I caught no fish that morning, but I did find a horseshoe crab. Zero fish were caught.

I went back to that spot in the evening, and had a bunch of follows from some sea trout. I even managed to hook up with one, but I was unable to bring the speck to hand. Usually, I don't mind losing a fish, but this time...pleased, I was not.

Day Two
Decided to fish the same area (It's only 10 mins away from where I was staying...I wanted to maximize my time on the water). The fishermen the day before were local guys, who told me that, that area we were fishing is normally a happening area in the morning, and you can spot boils in the water up and down the beach line. Success!! I hooked up, and brought to hand my first fish from the Gulf of Mexico, a sea trout. I couldn't have been more excited about the catch. I was quick to lip it using the grips I borrowed from a good friend (Lucid Grips). That fish was going no where! After admiring the beautiful fish, snapping some photos, and releasing it, I felt relieved. Goal achieved....catch a salt water fish.

Day Three
The wind was fierce, and completely blew out the area I intended to fish. So, I payed the toll and fished on the backside of one of the islands on the Sanibel Causeway. I did not catch anything. The Indianapolis fly fisherman had the same idea and arrived an hour after I did. He was able to hook up with a few lady fish before calling it a morning. I unfortunately did not catch anything but a tan.

My salt water adventure was a success. Big thanks, to the sea trout that gave me a salty smile!

I kayaked and fished Lovers Key State Park. I floated under a tree and was 20 ft from a beautiful Osprey.

I made a few casts at Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island. I also, got to see a wild manatee, Florida alligator, and a two person kayak share the same water way.

Can't wait to return, and catch some more salty species.

I would also like to say a big "Thank you!" to Tim Adkins over at Critical Angling. Tim has helped me a great deal with the flies that I was tying for the Gulf. Search the hashtag #yetmmoreunsolicitedadvicefromtim LOL!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fake food for the salt.

I've been pretty excited for my trip to Florida.  It's given me a fresh mindset at the tying desk.  Here I thought I was going to be tying up some big bait fish flies, boy was I wrong!  I've been asking around and have been told that small flies are the way to go when fishing the surf. Size 4, 6, and 8....I never would have thought that.  I'll still be bringing some big meaty flies with me, because, I just have to! :)

I would like to say thanks to the following people, for providing me with some knowledge about fishing the area I will be in, and saltwater in general:

Captain Austin Adduci of Grab Your Fly Charters

and my buddy Dom. (Who introduced me to fly fishing.)

Here's what I've cooked up at the vise, thus far.
Red and black Gurgler
EP Fiber bait fish...mullet?
Some small white EP bait fish for the surf. Snook Candy
Fly inspired by +Luis Santiago whose fly was inspired by Waters Edge Fly Co.
Orange bucktail and craft fur shrimp pattern.
Size 6 Fox fur shrimp.
Size 6 Fox fur and zonker strip shrimp. 1 is weighted and the other is not.
Hopefully, these will end up in the face of a saltwater fish, and I'll be able to cross some new fish off my species list.