Showing posts with label smallmouth bass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label smallmouth bass. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Smallmouth Bass Float

Got out in my Flycraft to do a solo smallmouth float down a river in Wisconsin.  It was a beautiful day, and it was the first time in a long time I was able to get out on the water to just do some fishing, and it was awesome!

The CARF Flycraft ready to float.
Morning coffee on the river, taking in the sights and sounds.
The smallies seem to eat literally everything I tossed their way...clousers, other various streamers, and I even brought my spinning rod and tossed some paddle tail plastic baits.  All of my offerings were crushed!

One of the many smallmouth I hooked up with.
Of course I lost track of time out there, and was late getting back for dinner.  I think we've all done that once or twice...or 100 times.

Links to gear used/seen in post

Thursday, July 6, 2017

I Still Fish

Just a little reminder to all of you, and me, that I still fish.  In fact, I have become a master of catching small fish.  #icatchsmallfish - It's my new thing.

In the picture below, my white sunglasses are still alive and well.  You will all be happy to learn they will soon be making a return.  Superglue is a wonderful thing.

Casting for small fish with my 5 wt.
...and below is a random picture of a water tower near my place in Saint Paul.  It has a moon attached to it.  I believe I shared a picture of this water tower, but it was at night.  Well, here it is during the day.

Friday, September 30, 2016


Upon my arrival to my favorite Northwoods area, I was slow to get the day started.  Exhausted from driving through the night after playing at an open mic took it's toll on me, but that's okay, I wasn't in a rush.  I had 4 days off, and nothing but time.

The morning weather was cool, in the high 50's, and some of the leaves had started to change into their beautiful red and orange colors.  Get those hoodies out, because, Fall has definitely arrived in the Midwest.

Fall has arrived.
The fishing at my first spot on the river was slow.  The smallie's were biting, but each one I caught lived up to the "Smallie" nickname.  On my way to some other spots I marked on the map, I grabbed an always refreshing PBR, because, it's good to stay hydrated, right?

10:30 AM - It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?
Feeling energized, refreshed, and hydrated, I began to chuck my lucky Northwoods fly that has been a favorite of the tank smallmouth I come across in this river since last summer.  I also caught my musky down in Tennessee in the Hardly Strictly Musky on the same fly back in May.  The fly did not disappoint, and wrangled up a few bigger smallies, and the tank you see below.

Hiking through the forest in this new area I came across quite a bit of bear scat.  Being by myself, I just started to do what I normally do when I'm hiking by myself, I started to sing songs from the Lion King soundtrack.  Hakuna Matata and I Just Can't Wait to be King will always be favorites of mine.  They work, because, I haven't come across any predators singing those songs, yet. 

It's Football Season.
Continuing to fish the same fly, I came across a stunning section of river that just screamed "Musky" to me.  It was time to focus on what season it was - Musky Season.

Chuckin' Chicken.
After 2 follows from a huge huge musky, I moved down river a little bit more.  There was a big tree branch in the water extending out from the bank, and I tried to carefully cast near it, but instead, I snagged it.  Ugh... I gave the fly a hard strip and it broke a branch and became free, and as soon as that happened a musky came out and annihilated my fly!!!

Here's the dialogue from the encounter

Strip Set! Strip Set!! (Yes, I said this out loud.)

What a fighter!!!  She gave me a run for my money and as I was trying to land the beauty, I fell down, not once, but twice.  I tailed her, and then dropped my rod and grasped her with my other hand, she shook her head, and my fly popped out -  WOW!!!

I was ecstatic!!!  Roughly 4 hours of fishing on my trip and I have already accomplished mission number one - Musky.  It was easy sailing from there on out.  Everything else was considered a bonus.

I didn't get a measurement on the emerald green beauty, but I estimated her to be between 36-38.

Whoever invented tripods - THANK YOU!

Finished day one with another follow from that huge huge musky I had encountered earlier.  Just couldn't get her to commit.  Caught a few more smallmouth, hiked, and just enjoyed the beautiful fall weather.  Ended the day with a drive to a nearby watering hole to partake in a good old Friday Fish Fry.  

Today was a good day.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hardly, Strictly Musky: Final Day

Day Two of fishing was looking promising.  We were on pace to get on the water earlier than we did on Day One.  We got to the gas station where I had planned to take our friend, Adam Alexander Photo's advice of, "F the pop tarts.  Eat a hot breakfast, and be happy."  He also recommended the biscuits and gravy, and mentioned the cheap prices of the diner, but I had a slight problem - I couldn't find my drivers license or debit card.


After quickly doubling back to our campsite, and returning, we were able to get on the water before anyone else, and about the same time, as the day before.  I also, opted out of getting the hot breakfast.  Bummer.

On the water, I had a follow from a micro-ski 15 minutes into our float.  Then I had a mid to upper 20's musky follow out from some cover.  Funny thing about this musky is he gave me 3 follows the day before, but he kept on letting me down.

Then in a spot about 10 yards from that musky, I had a low to mid 30's musky come out HOT and take a swipe at my fly, but missed.  Then it just watched as I went into the figure 8, before it slowly swam off into the deep hole behind me.  Was never able to get that fish to come back a second time.  Damn.

The rest of the day went as follows:

Casting, figure 8, casting, casting, figure 8, beer, cast, chips, cast, figure 8, beer, more casting, and a whole lot of nothing.

Hey Dave, anything? ....Nope.

Hey Chris, anything? ....Nope.

Same here

Let 'er rip!
After some leisurely floating, drinking beer, and taking pictures of Chris and Dave, I decided to wet a fly.  Soon after, I hooked up with a decent smallie who put up a heck of a fight.

When you're the only one catching fish, your friends use sign language to say congrats.  Birds everywhere!
Catch.  Picture.  Release.

That was the end of the final day of fishing.  Few follows for myself and Dave, and Chris, yet again, did not see anything.  I was really hoping he would get at least 1 follow, but that's musky fishing.  No matter what region you're in.

Before heading over to the Park Theater in downtown McMinnville for dinner and awards, we had to make a quick pit stop a few blocks away and check out the musky mural that we've only seen in pictures.  Pretty damn cool!

Dinner was outstanding!  Todd had catered out to a local BBQ joint, and they provided some fantastic meal that I'm sure everyone had seconds of.  Costa Del Mar had Jungle Fish playing on the big screen, and the same as the night before...the beer was flowing and musky was the topic of conversation.

I'd like to say congratulations to Katie Blizzard for winning biggest fish with a 42 3/4 inch musky that she worked her tail off for.

I would also like to say congratulations to the winning team who boated 3 musky - Blane Chocklett, Mike Schultz, and Chris Willen.  Blane had a 40, and Mike hooked up with 2 musky - 41 3/4, and a 36 incher.  What a day!!

Such an honor to be on the board and help put my team in contention.  I'm just super stoked to have gone to Tennessee and hook up with a musky, and be apart of this outstanding event.  I'm not the only guy from Illinois that hooked up.  Our buddy Adam Alexander Photo (Mike Allen on the sheet) hooked up with a gorgeous 32 inch musky on Day One, as well.

Another great thing about this event, is that I was able to meet and chat with so many awesome people.  Some of those whom I follow on Social media, and some who follow me.  It's good to put faces to screen names.

It was great meeting all of you!!
(I apologize if I have forgotten to list you below)

Greg Morgan - The Most Interesting Man in the World!  Hands down one of the nicest and coolest dudes you'll ever meet.  If you're looking for a guide in Georgia, Greg, is most definitely your man - G.R. Morgan Outdoors.  I've never fished with him, but I can promise you, that you'll have a lot of fun.

The Most Interesting Man In The World - Greg Morgan.
Team U-Turn. Left to right - Me, Chris, Dave.
Hats off to Todd Gregory (owner of Towee Boats) and the Towee Boats crew for all that they do to organize such an awesome event, and for wrangling in such great sponsors like Patagonia, Monic Fly Fishing, Costa Del Mar, Flood Tide Co., Temple Fork Outfitters - TFO, and Flymen Fishing Company, and the city of McMinnville.

Thanks again, Todd!

Sweet Home Chicago.

Looking forward to next year!!!!
Hopefully, fishing from a boat.

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.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CARF's Renegade

I've been working on a new fly pattern, and trying to come up with a name for it.  I have finally decided.  

I present to you, CARF's Renegade.  An articulated streamer that will surly get the attention of both large and smallmouth bass, meat eating trout, and bluegill with big cahones.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Flies Flying Off The Vise

T'was a busy night at the vise.  My buddy UA Dave and I are thinking about getting a table at an upcoming fly fishing show in Wisconsin - River Falls Fly Fishing Festival.  So, I've begun to stock up on some of my favorite patterns, and make them ready and available to purchase at our table.

Below you'll find 6 - 2/0 Musky/Pike/Bass baitfish in my favorite color pattern, I Hate Cotton Candy.  These just need to get eyed up, clear cure goo'd, and they're finished.

Reminder - If there is any interest in purchasing some of my flies, please feel free to shoot me an email at

I recently won some stickers from the ever so generous The Fly Trout.  These are some great stickers, and really wish the world would take note from the "Make Bugs Not War" sticker.  Check out their website for some really cool and fun apparel, hats, and stickers. 

Thank you, again, for having the contest The Fly Trout!!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Jigs Up

After work yesterday, I made it home with day light to spare.  I quickly changed, grabbed my already lined up  3 wt from the laundry room, and rushed outside to wet a line in the backyard.  Shortly after my 4th cast, the sun began it's decent.  I wasn't complaining about it, either.  It was a beautiful sight.  It almost seemed like there was a fire in the sky.

10 casts, a beautiful sunset, 2 skunks (wandering around near me), and 1 skunk of my own, I decided to call it a night and head in for dinner.

After dinner I sat down at the vise and began to tie up some more jigs, but not without some fly tying fuel.  I sure do love IPA's.  Didn't have high expectations for this one.  I bought it, because, it was made with one of my favorite punk rock bands growing up, NOFX.

Here's the end results of some jigs that will pair well with spinning rod and some winter fish.  Nothing fancy.  Just materials that get the job done that fish enjoy.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Float The Fox

Floated the Fox River with my homie UA-Dave (Urban Assault Fly Fishing) and his canoe, in search of anything that would bite.  While driving in the morning my car thermometer was saying it was 32 degrees outside, and it felt every bit of it.  I knew the catching was going to be tough.  Dave ended the day with 1 smallie caught in a great section of water that would more than likely produce a fish every cast, and I finished with 2.

It was a fun float on an unfamiliar section of the river, we both caught fish, and we found a great bar with awesome food and drink to end the day.

Here's a short video of the outing.

+Howard Levett  - I came across something in the middle of the river that you would enjoy seeing.

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 23, 2015

Fly Fishing with The Slaunch Mob

My buddy Adam aka The Slaunch Mob (Instagram - @theslaunchmob) decided that he wanted to pick up fly fishing.  We were finally able to get out and fish with one another, and since we both have a love for smallies, we decided to wade a stretch on the DPR that he fished the day before with minimal luck.  There were some storms that rolled through, so, the water was high, but that didn't stop us from getting out and getting some casting time.

We were skunked, but it was a good time none the less.

Here's a short short video of the outing.  Basically, it was just me playing with different camera angles and working on my editing for future stuff.  Turned out pretty cool.

Enjoy the skunk.

Here's an awesome shot that Adam took while I was casting into the morning fog with the sun peering over the trees.  If you're on Instagram, I suggest you give him a follow.  You certainly won't find fishing shirts quite like his anywhere else.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Northwoods Exploring: Part 2

Forever exploring the North.

2 lane roads, tall trees, endless amount of rivers and lakes, and no ambient light to hide the stars at night.  These are just a few of my favorite things.

There's just something special about finding beautiful places like this at random.

Smallmouth, musky, pike, trout, New Glarus beer, and cheese curds.  A few more of my favorite things.

I fished a few places along this river with some great success.  I was able to entice some fish at 3/4 spots.  The next time I head up, I'm going to spend some more time at these areas with my kayak and waders.

Here's a small pike that came out to play.  I asked where Mom and Dad were, but his lips were sealed.

Another spot warrented some hefty bronze smalljaws.  Oh how I love these river brutes, and the fight they put up.

This one had some real battle wounds.  Hawk?  Eagle?  Snapping turtle?  Musky?  Pike?  Whatever it was, the wound was fresh.

Cannot wait to get back up there.  I know my Subaru Outback enjoys the dirt gravel logging roads. 

Until next time.