Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Current River 2013

Let me start off by saying...I forgot something. haha I forgot my trout net, but we managed to land every fish hooked, so, there were no worries.

We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was in the 90's all 4 days, with a little rain on the 3rd day. That didn't bother us, too much, because, the sun was still fighting to shine through the clouds. We ended up floating Baptist Camp to Round Spring (We rented the canoe from Carr's Canoe Rental. IMO They are the best down there in service, and price.)

My friend HH was using a light baitcasting set up, and managed to break off the first 3 guides of his rod. He was still able to fish, but couldn't feel the lure in the water, and any hits. That didn't matter....He was catching fish. He caught all kinds. Smallmouth, rainbow, gar, a sucker fish, and a surprise brown. That brown was a 17" beefy beauty! He doesn't think too much of trout, but was very impressed with that fish.

I had a difficult time fishing. Just when I thought I figured out what the fish were looking for...I was wrong. They had me guessing the entire time. I still caught some fish, but the fishing was just not the same for me as it has been in previous years. None the less, I had an awesome time.

Every year this river shows us something different. This year we saw a water moccasin swimming to the shore. I had some mink's start emptying out a hollowed out log I was standing next to, thinking I was going to steal their stockpile of crayfish and food. Seen a Red Headed Wood Pecker. The icing on the cake had to be the Bald Eagle who flew towards us, and perched itself in a tree about 30 yards away from us, and took off back up river after I snapped a few pictures of it. What a beautiful thing!

All in all it was a great trip. Next year, I think we are going to venture out and explore some new waters. Possibly some other rivers in Missouri or maybe the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Here's a short video I made of clips and still pictures from the trip.
(It might not work if trying to view it from a mobile device or tablet.)

Note: Maximize the video for best viewing results. You'll see the bald eagle better, and the rest of the video better :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


So, as I plan and prepare what I will be bringing with me on my trip to the Current River in Southern Missouri. I cannot help but laugh at myself for the bone head mistake I made 2 years ago....I forgot my reel. Yep, I had every but my reel. Fly rod, flies, tools, camping gear, food, etc...all packed. We had just gotten dropped off by our canoe outfitter and started loading the canoe. I was putting my rod together when all I needed was the last peice...I couldn't believe I made such a mistake.

This is how I felt, except, I didn't say "D'oh!"

The trip was great, but my fishing was less than spectacular. I ended up tying on a long piece of tippet to the tip top and fishing tenkara style (Way before I even knew that was an actual way of fishing.)

Don't make the same mistake I made. Create a checklist or double check your gear before you leave.

Do you have any similar stories?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Soon to be favorite?

I revisited Poplar Creek this past weekend, and it turned out to be an even better outing than the first. There were 3 of this time - HH, Danny, and myself. HH and I decided that we should check out another stretch, so, we went to a stretch closer to the Fox with hope of finding bigger fish. I was not a fan of this stretch at all. The water was slow moving, no riffles, very merky, and just frustrating. HH and Danny were using light gear with some inline spinners, and managed to catch a few decent smallies, and 1 largemouth. I had my new 3 wt with me, but I wasn't able to hook up with anything on the first stretch...hence my frustration.

So, we picked up and left. Driving to the stretch HH and I fished last week. We didn't even bother taking our waders off...It was quite comical.

We arrived to the first spot, and were immediatly greeted on our first cast. I hooked up with a bluegill, and HH found a nice smallie. The rest of the day was simply, awesome. HH and Danny were hooking up with some decent sized smallies. All of the smallies that I caught & released were small, and definitly not like the one I caught last week. Although, I wasn't able to find bigger smallies, I was rewarded with 19 small ones. What a day!

I love this creek! It's quickly becoming one of my favorite places to fish.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Custom 3 WT Rod

FSA Custom Rods recently finished a 3 wt build for me. I have been using it the past 3 outings to my local lake, and I am in love...and so are the bluegill. I really love the silver wraps that FSA put on this rod. It really makes the rod pop and stand out without it being over the top.

I originally bought a titanium Orvis Access Mid Arbor 1 reel, and it looked gorgeous on the rod, but unfortunatly, I had to return it. The reel was just too heavy for the light set up...Something I didn't think about when making the purchase. I was just excited that it matched the rod so well. I ended up purchasing the new Battenkill 2 classic click and pawl reel. This reel is so light! It balances the rod perfectly when lined up and ready to go. It doesn't look all that bad on the rod, either.

Here are the specs
- 6'6" 3 wt Allen Fly Fishing xA rod blank
- Struble D2 down locking reel seat with a burle wood insert
- Fuji Alconite ring stripping guide
- Hopkins & Holloway tip top
- Hopkins & Holloway snake guides

The action on the rod is fast, and I'm diggin it! It's been interesting getting use to how this rod casts, with it being 6'6" (I normally use an Orvis Access 8'6" 5 wt). It's been handling some very big bluegill without a problem, and I have been having an absolute blast!

All caught with my new rod

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Waters - Poplar Creek

This past Saturday my best friend (We'll name him "HH") and I went out to explore new water. Another friend was generous enough to provide me with 3 places to park and access Poplar Creek. Poplar Creek feeds into the Fox River, so, HH and I were on the hunt for smallmouth bass.

Pretty cool rusted bike frame set up on the side of the creek.
Honestly, I wasn't expecting the creek to be as nice as it was. As we waded, I often forgot that I was, where I was.

Within the first 10 minutes I saw a flash in the riffle I casted to, and after a few casts I changed the wooly bugger from a size 6 to a size 8. The outcome of the switch was "Fish on!" I had my first smallie of the year! After a few more casts provided 2 creek chubs. The day went on to be a great outing. HH was using a light baitcasting set up with an inline spinner, and he was hooking up with smallies left and right.

The nicest fish of the day came to me by surprise. I seriously thought I snagged my fly on something, until, my rod bent and the fish started hauling ass down stream pulling some line from me...I thought Oh $h*t! It turned out to be a 2lb bronzeback beauty queen! I wasn't expecting a smallie that size in the creek. I'm still pumped up about it!

You know how when you're fishing, and you lose track of time...Well, it happens. I looked at my phone and thought...damn, and we have to walk back. I couldn't believe that 5 hours had passed. We both forgot to bring a snack and were starving.

On the wade back to the car. Both of us were just falling apart. We were starving and exhausted. HH took a quick dip when he lost his footing, and we laughed about it. Soon after that, my body started to give, and I fell on my side with my knee hitting some rocks...then not 10 minutes after that I fell again. I wish I was 18 again haha. My legs were shot.

We caught a few more fish on the trek back to the car, and discussed a game plan for next time....bring food, and not walk/wade so far next time.

End of the day totals
HH - 11 or 12 smallies
Myself - 8 smallies, 7 bluegill, and 6 creek chubs