Showing posts with label kayak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kayak. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Midwest "Golden Bones" Fly Tournament

The first annual M.G.B. tournament will be held on September 9th and 10th. The event will be based out of Rivers Edge Bar and Grill in Batavia, IL. Entrance fee is $70.00 per angler. Every angler will receive an event shirt, poster, SWAG bag, drinks, and food. Great prizes will be handed out to tournament winners. Live music both nights. Raffle prizes will also be handed out. Entrance fee can be mailed to Kurt Nelson, along with your shirt size, and email address for confirmation of entry. 

Registration is now open. There will be a limit of 35 slots available for the tournament. 


Fishing Area: DuPage, Des Plaines, and Fox River Systems (with Bonus water being added the morning off).

Wading, kayaks, and boats are all welcome to fish. This will be an individual angler scoring system. No combined points between anglers in a boat.

All carp must be taken on fly, photographed/measured, and released. Pictures must be taken of the angler holding the fish and of the fish with the tournament supplied measuring stick/bumpboard. Pics must be texted to tournament staff by 6:00 PM Saturday.

Phone numbers to text pictures to will be provided on angler rules sheet given out at the meet and greet Friday night at Rivers Edge Bar and Grill and at check in at Dupage Fly Co. Saturday morning.
Tournament staff will provide anglers with individual measuring tapes the morning of tournament.
Anglers must be back at Rivers Edge Bar and Grille in Batavia, IL by 6:30 PM Saturday for awards.


The point totals will be based on total length from the day, with additional prizes for biggest and smallest carp. There will also be 1/2 points given to smallmouth bass that measure over 12"s.

Example Scoring:
30" Carp = 30 points
18" Carp = 18 points
12" Smallmouth Bass = 6 points
18" Smallmouth Bass = 9 ponts
Total Points = 63 points

Payment Options:

1.Send check payable to:
Kurt Nelson
email me at
call at 6304290419 or message me on Facebook for address to send checks to.

2. You can pay cash in person at DuPage Fly Fishing Co. as well.

3. Also accepting entry fees through paypal. Send entry fee payment to
Contact Kurt Nelson for details or email for questions.

*A confirmation email will be sent to you upon receiving your entrance fee. It will include details about the event, when and where to be, and other event giveaways.

We look forward to seeing everyone out at the inaugural event! If you have any questions or concerns please message us and we will get back to you ASAP.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hardly, Strictly Musky: Kickoff Party & Day One Fishing


Dave, Chris, and myself arrived in McMinnville, Tennessee, and our agenda looked like this...
  1. Scout the put in's and take out's we had marked on our map.
  2. Store - Pop Tarts, bananas, lunch meat, bread, chips, and beer.
  3. Scout more water.
  4. Find some BBQ
  5. Check into the state park and set up camp.
  6. Foglight Foodhouse for the Hardly, Strictly Musky kickoff party.
Here we have Dave and Chris checking out the map, while I take a picture and ponder how soon our next U-Turn will happen.  We made a couple thousand of them at this point.

What do you think about a U-turn here....
We found some barbecue at Blue Smoke BBQ in Sparta, TN.  I had the brisket sandwich, and it was excellent!  I wanted to get another, but I didn't want to spoil dinner.

Here here piggy piggy.
After some food we did some more scouting.  We arrived at a bridge that overlooked a river we deemed "Plan A" ...but it looked more like a last resort.  I was actually pretty impressed with the color of the water.  Never in my life had I seen an opaque river.  You could have slapped a Yoohoo Chocolate Milk logo on the bridge and I would have believed that's what the river consisted of.

Disappointed, we were.
What did not disappoint was dinner and drinks at the Foglight Food House for the kickoff party.  They served us a Cajun style blacked catfish with some dirty rice, and jambalaya...Damn that was delicious.  Todd Gregory of Towee Boats gave everyone a great big welcome, and layed the ground rules of the event.

"Don't be an Asshole" 

Begin Day One

Up early, and on the water by 7/7;30 AM.  We were fishing from a canoe, and kayak.  Dave constructed some pretty sweet outriggers on his kayak, and it really helped him and Chris stand up, and cast at the same time.  The first 10 minutes of the float, Dave, had a follow from a upper 30's low 40's musky.  That got us all pumped for the rest of the day.

At approximately 10:05 AM we were working this deep pool.  I was casting a 4/0 single hooked fly that I tied to look like a rodent over some submerged timber piles.  Out of one of the piles, a musky came out and SMASHED my fly.  I set the hook, felt the weight, and the fight was on!  1 second later, my line went slack and I felt nothing at the end....  

...My heart sank, and I just thought to myself I just lost a great opportunity to get on the board.

Next thing I know, my rod doubles over, and my rod tip goes into the water.  GAME ON!!!  The musky had swam right underneath the kayak in search of deeper water.  After quite the battle, I was able to wrangle the musky in, and received some help from Josh, Dave, and Brent netting the fish, and even more help from Austin Green and Katie Blizzard photographing and measuring my fish.  Thank you all, for the help!!

After the release, the rules stated we had to text the time, and length of the fish to Todd.  My musky weighed in at 31 inches. I received the following text back, "Right on! You're first!"

I could not be any more stoked than I was.  I just hooked up with the first musky of the tournament!

Later in the day we stopped for a shore lunch.  Fellow flat landers Kurt @Midwest_Waters and Mark floated by us, and we started back up with about 150 yards between each other.  Approximately 10 minutes after I took the picture below, Kurt lost a very big musky.  We all heard and saw the splash.  

I could tell, that it was one helluva fish, and as we floated by them, Kurt just stood on the bow, and Dave said, "Dude."...Kurt, simply said, "I don't want to talk about it."  A feeling we all know too well chasing these apex predators.

We arrived at the take out a little sooner than we expected, but I think we were all pretty happy about that.  Downed a few more beers before taking our time loading up the gear and calling it a day.

Dave and I ended the day with a couple follows each.  For some odd reason Chris did not see any action at the tail end of his flies.  I caught the only musky for our team on Day 1, and that had us on the board.  Looking forward to Day 2 on the water.

Day 1 of the actual HSM tournament is in the books, and we all had to meet at Towee Boats headquarters at 7 PM sharp.  Beer, burgers, and other food awaited us.  There was live music, the beer was flowing, and musky was the topic of all conversation.  Then there was a raffle for all of the door prizes provided by all of the sponsors Patagonia, Monic Fly Lines, Flymen Fishing Company, Costa, Flood Tide, and many more.  This was just the end of the first day of fishing, how much more awesome could it get!

Stay tuned for Day Two.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

2016 Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series

With a new year comes a whole new Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series aka GLKFS is a lot of fun and organized by some knowledgeable kayak anglers such as +Colin Belle and Brookfield Angler.  I have participated in a few of the events the past 2 years, and have always had a great time.  Unfortunately, I do not think any of the dates will work out for me this year, but I highly recommend you give 1 or all the stops a shot!


May 14th - Fox Chain O'Lakes
Target Species - Walleye, Catfish, and Panfish

June 11th - Madison Chain of Lakes
Target Species - Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass

July 24th - Mazonia/Braidwood
Target Species - Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass

September 10th - Manitowoc/Lake Michigan
Target Species - All Trout/Salmon

Tournament entry fee is $45 per event, but if you pay up front for all 4, it's $160, and that nets you a total of $20 in savings.  There are cash and gear prizes for placing in each event, but there are also a ton of door prizes to be raffled away to everyone at the event after the winners are announced.  Like I said, I had a great time at past events, and while I never placed, I walked away with some pretty sweet gear won in the raffle/door prizes.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

2016 Illinois Fishing License

Just a reminder to all from Illinois.  Our Illinois fishing licenses have expired, and it's time to get to your local tackle & Bait, or big box store to get your 2016 Fishing License.

To purchase your Illinois fishing license online click the link below.

...and remember.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

DPR Northern Pike - A Winter Float

My homies UA Dave, Adam Alexander, and their buddy Chris got out the Des Plains River this past weekend.  Being the end of January, the weather was perfect out.  I wish I was around to join them on the float, but I was in SW Wisconsin fishing for trout.

Adam is a professional photographer and usually focuses on still shots, but this outing, he decided to shoot some video, and I think he did an excellent job!  The video is short, sweet, very well shot, and tells a nice story.  Check it out!

Get's me excited to get back out on the DPR.  I miss those toothy snot rockets.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 Year End Review: Part 1 of 2

My 2015 fishing season was outstanding, and not because of the fishing.  It was awesome, because, of the new and old friends I had the honor of sharing the water with.  Lots of good times, fish, beers, and laughs.  I just want to send out a big "Thank You" to all who made time spent on the water fun.

Here's UA Dave and I floating the Des Plains River at the beginning of the year in January.  Click here to see the old post - Winter Pike Float with Urban Assault Fly Fishing.

Looking forward to our trips in 2016, dude!

UA Dave and I floating with I-90 & I-190 behind us.
Later in the Spring I was invited out to float and explore the Fox with Kurt of a Tight Loop Magazine, and Sean of Rushing Waters.  T'was a great time that we definitely need to repeat come 2016.  Click here to see the old post - High Water Floating.

Kurt chillen with Sean on the oars.  I'm rowing next time!
Hunting musky with Mike until Midnight was an awesome experience.  There were no fish caught, but I learned that musky lures can fly into trees and never be returned.  I haven't forgotten about you, Mike!  I'm still on the hunt for that lure! Haha.  Read all about that night here -  We're Huntin' Musky.

Mike casting top water lures as the sun sets.
WCF BBQ at Beck Lake, hosted by the meat man himself, Kevin of Utopia Cigars.  It was great meeting, fishing, and throwing back some brewski's with all of you guys...Keith, Marcus, DanK, Tom, and Tim.  I apologize if I omitted you from this list.  Here's the post - Windy City Fishing BBQ at Beck Lake.

BBQ at my place this winter when the lake freezes over!

Kevin and Keith in the S'canoe.  Such a great water craft!
DanK and I always know how to have a good time.  This was a particularly fun day fishing Popar Creek and the lake behind my house, where DanK put on a clinic, hooking up with some monster bass.  Click here to see the old post - Creek Time.

CARF and DanK doubled up on smallies.
WCF Des Plains River outing.  What an awesome time on some local water with a whole bunch of guys from the forum.  DanK, Marcus, Keith, Todd, Piker Mike, Joe, Sully, Zach, John, Dan P, Saul, and SkiFish...It was great meeting all of those I have not met before, and always good to fish with the guys that I have.  Looking forward to next years float!  Check out the old post and video here - WCF DPR Floatilla.

The after float BBQ.
Keith and I with a DPR double.  This was a fun float that I cannot remember if I wrote about or not, and if I did, I don't know where it is. Haha.  Good times, man!

Keith is a DPR monster slayer!
Shout out to Adam aka The Slaunch Mob aka WindyCityFlyFishing.  Glad you've jumped on board with fly fishing, and I'm looking forward to more outings with you, hopefully, there's fish involved, too! haha  Click here for the post - Fly Fishing with The Slaunch Mob.

Another shout out to DanK.  Unexplored water on the Kishwaukee River is awaiting us.  That float was an absolute blast, and I cannot wait to explore more of that river when you get your new kayak!  Here's the post - Fish Da Kish.

Oh, and I want to wish you a speedy recovery with your achilles tendon!  If you're not fully healed by Spring, I will carry you to your kayak, homie! I got you! haha

Another CARF and DanK smallie double!
Last but not least, a shout out to the one and only, The Fat Gordo.  Let's keep it gangsta in 2016!

The Fat Gordo and I floating down river in my kayak.
Another big "THANK YOU" to all of you who I shared the water with this year, and making my 2015 season as awesome as it was!
**I apologize if I left you off of here, and I hope you call me out for it!**

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Santa Better Win The Lottery

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I would share some items that I added on my wish list letter to Santa.  I have some expensive tastes....

These are in no particular order BTW
(Click on the name to be linked to the websites for these companies.)

Jackson Kayak Big Rig - I'm a big guy, and this is named the "Big Rig"...I think it's a match made in heaven.  I have heard nothing but great things about this kayak.  All of the negative things I have heard, I have zero issues with such as, weight, tracking, and speed.  I'm strong like a bull, so, I just see car topping this kayak as an extra work out, and I welcome that.  I'm not looking to win any races, so, speed doesn't matter to me.  Stability and the ability to stand are what I'm looking for.  Being a bigger guy, it's hard to find a kayak that I would be able to stand up in, but have talked to a number of bigger guys who own a Big Rig and they love it.

"Struck Gold" by Dead Weight Fly - It's an 18x24 print, and I just love it! The colors and uniqueness of this piece really scream out to me.  This would look great at work, and give my boring cube some flare.

Vedavoo Drifter Boat & Messenger Bag - I really love the work that Vedavoo does.  The craftsman ship and thought that goes into each of their packs is unmatched.  This pack would be great to help keep my flies and accessories organized in my car and on my kayak.  I'm also torn between the orange, and woodland camo.

Vedavoo TL Beast Sling Pack - What's not to love about this pack, it's Vedavoo!  I've been eyeballing this pack for quite some time, and loving to carry big boxes for my bass, musky, and pike flies, this looks to have all the space I need.

Regal Travel Vise - I love my Peak vise, but sometimes it is a bit of a hassle to carry around or travel with, even if it's 30 minutes away.  With that in mind, I've been looking at some travel vises.

Other items that are on the list.

  • DLSR Camera.  I still need to do my research.
  • Duckett Micro Magic 6'9" Medium Heavy Casting Rod
  • Shimano Chronarch CH200E7 Baitcaster (They have since updated the design, but I like the older ones.)
  • Drone - I can only imagine the fun I would have with one of these and my GoPro camera.
  • World Peace
  • Pastrami Sandwich for +Howard Levett 
What's on your Christmas list????

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I Hate Cotton Candy

In the Fall edition of A Tight Loop Magazine there is a video of me tying one of my favorite pike/musky predator flies.  I hate cotton candy, and the colors on this fly, to me, resemble just that, so, it is deemed my "I Hate Cotton Candy" fly.

And here's an old video of me attempting to play the jaw harp for the first time.  You decide what I do the jaw harp or tie flies. ENJOY!!!

If I didn't provide you with that description, there's a good chance you would have thought it was me trying to impersonate Arnold Schwarzenegger reciting vowels.  Am I right, what did you hear?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fish Da Kish

     My homie DanK asked if I wanted to fish, and I said, yes.

He asked where, and I said, I'm down for where ever.

DanK said, the Kishwaukee, it is!

He fished the "Kish" for the first time a weekend prior, and the smallies and pike kept him busy, so, he was eager to return.  I, on the other hand, was simply excited to see some new waters.

Having done a bit of homework...I asked my buddy Kurt from "a Tight Loop" magazine about some intel on the river, and he gave me a quick run down of what to expect, and he mentioned 1 fly - a yellow and white clouser, tossed on a 5 wt.

Armed with my 5 wt, a freshly tied yellow/white clouser minnow, and my ultra light spinning rod, with a 1/16 jig and a white twisty tail grub, I was ready for the Kish.

The start of a great day.

Check out that water clarity!!!
The water was low and crystal clear.  The day was started slow.  There were quite a few places that we had to get out of our kayaks and drag them, because, the water was so low.  In the areas the water was not low, you can betcha we caught some fish!!!!

The smallmouth just could not resist the freshly tied yellow/white clouser or the white jig that I tossed with my spinning rod.  It was one of those days where you just couldn't wipe the smile of joy and excitement off of your face.  Thanks, for the tip, KURT!!!

Tons of fun!

One of the bigger ones you'll find in this river.
I just love floating the rivers in Fall.  The change in colors just makes everything so scenic and beautiful.  With the arrival of off the Fall season, there were a ton of leaves on the water, so, between the two of us, we caught well over a hundred leaf fish.  High Five!
Fall on the Kishwaukee River.
I wasn't the only one to hook up with some fishy friends.  DanK found his fair share of smallies with a small jerk bait, and skirted jig.  He caught the biggest smallie of the day on a jig, while I was fighting a 30 lb carp that was foul hooked with my 5 wt.  The carp shook free after a 4 minute fight and sleigh ride.  DanK was also able to find and hook up with 3 pike, and one even stole a hook from his lure, and he didn't even know.  He had a pike hit his jerk bait 15 times without a hook up, and that's when I noticed he was missing one of the hooks from his lure. Ha.

Biggest Northern Musky of the day.
Biggest smalljaw of the day.
Solid fish.  He's been after this one for years!
Oh, I also, caught a chunky little largemouth bass.  Check out those colors!

Love those predominant markings.
It was a solid day of fishing, especially, on new water, and always a pleasure fishing with my boy DanK.  Smallmouth bass galore and 40 minutes from the house, it's a no brainer...I'll be back (Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator voice). 

Thanks, to SkiFish, for showing DanK the Kish, and to DanK, for passing the knowledge.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


This past Labor Day weekend, I got out with a bunch of guys from a local fishing forum -  I believe there were 13 of us that made it out to the Des Plains River with kayaks and canoes.  It was a great time.  I got to meet some good people from the forum that I haven't met, yet.  After the float there was food and drink provided by a few guys.  

Big thanks, to all of them for throwing this all together.

I made a video of the outing.  Everyone contributed to the video, so, I can only take credit for throwing it together.  Hope you enjoy it!  Hopefully, I'll be able to make the next one.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Poppin' for Pike

Got our for a float with some cool dudes.  Met up at a boat launch on a Northern stretch of the Des Plains River (DPR) about 7 AM.  Spotted this at the boat launch out of the corner of my eye, and got a good lauch out of it.  I have a simple humor, and I'm a little upset, I didn't think about this. HA!

Here's looking at you!
The Float Crew this trip......

Urban Assault Fly Fishing - Dave
Marcus - DPR Pro
No Intro needed.
Not pictured are Dan and Saul.
4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Dave tied up some big weedless frog flies, and gave me one.  It's just a super sized version of a Gutless Frog pattern, and they're awesome!  Both Dave and I tossed the top water for awhile.  I had a small pike fly completely out of the water trying to eat it...It was AWESOME!!  Unfortunately, none of us hooked up with any top water pike.  I was 0 for 3 or 4...I forget.  Dave hooked up with 2 pike, and I forgot how the others fared.

9 it too early for a cold one on the river????.................NAHHHHH

Thanks, for bringing the brewski's, Dave!! I got 'em next time.
UA Dave and a solid DPR Pike.
DanK got a good shot of UA Dave and I in his canoe approaching the take out spot, and getting in some lasts casts.  This is the very spot that I caught my first pike on the DPR.  T'was a good float Gents.  You would have thought with the overcast conditions that the fishing would have been popping off, but it wasn't.  Next time!

Friday, August 7, 2015


We've had an extremely wet June and mid July here in the Chicagoland area.  That means that one of my favorite fisheries has been blown out or not to my liking to fish.  Finally, the rain let up for a few days, and the Des Plains River returned to it's normal levels, and allowed me to finally get some fishing in.

One of my favorite shirts to wear out on the DPR is a $3 shirt with a shark on it for "Shark Week."  Well, this past Spring I was checking out the clearance section of a store and stumbled across this gem of a shirt.  It's a Shark Week shirt, and it says "I <3 Snuffy"...I'm not familiar with Snuffy, but someone told me that's what they named one of the seals at the infamous spot where Great White Sharks fly out of the water.  The best part about this find is that it was another $3 shirt! SCORE!!  I couldn't wait to wear it out on the DPR, and I finally received my chance.

There were 4 of us that day...DanK, Keith, and Piker Mike.  We floated a section that Keith was familiar with, and it proved to be tough.  DanK, Keith, and Piker Mike tossed spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and some other lures.  I tossed some flies, with the occasional soft plastic swimbait (I wanted to try something different).

Cleaning up all of the missed pike. :)
I ended the day with 3 pike caught all on a firetiger baitfish pattern of mine on a size 2 hook.  Nothing with crazy size, but the normal hammer handles that love to keep me busy.  I really with all of the ones that missed came back for a 2nd run.  DanK hooked up with 1 little "pickle" and missed about 25 others using a buzzbait.  He was really determined to hook up with all of his pike top water.  Keith caught the biggest one of the day toward the end of the float trip, and missed quite a few others.  Piker Mike finished the 8 beers he brought too early and didn't even see pike.  I'm sure he had some unseen follows, the pike are getting hungry!!

This one exploded out of the water when it hit my sub-surface fly.  Great strike!

DanK got caught playing with his Pickle!
Great company to go on a float with.  Looking forward to our next outing Gents.

Catch n Release