Monday, September 29, 2014

Winterizing the Outback

Stumbled upon this on one of the Facebook Subaru Outback forums. Someone posted about how the side skirts really have no drain holes, and if removed you will find all kinds of dust, muck, and old salt residue. 

Living in the Chicagoland area, in the winter we go through a astronomical amount of salt. That is bad news for our vehicles, because, of rust. The side skirts in the picture below have almost no drainage holes underneath.

Underneath the side skirt it's all painted metal. That paint is really not going to protect or prevent your vehicle from rust.

After cleaning the all of the dirt, soot, muck, salt, and debris in the side skirt and body, I just used painters tape to protect the areas that I did not want to spray with the Rust-Oleum undercoating.

I sprayed on 2 layers on the side and underneath where the side skirts cover. I just made my vehicle better prepared for the upcoming winter and beyond. I was very pleased with the outcome.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Small Fish

I don't always catch big fish. Here are some honorable mentions. You gotta give the little guys some love, so, they can grow up to be big.
Catch and Release.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I've been busy at the vise lately creating some big ole musky flies. Thought I would just share my flies and some fun names.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Bo Knows Kayaking

Borrowed a kayak from my buddy Bobba-Dood. Took the GF out on a local lake for a spin around, and we decided to take her dog Bo, because, Bo knows kayaking. Bo knows...

The outing started out great. Bo started out nervous, as we expected.

Then he became over confident, and then nervous.

...and then he jumped in the water, in the middle of a weed bed, and came out looking like swamp thing.
(unfortunately, I did not get pictures of this.)

Soon after, we paddled back with a wet dog.

The End.

Other fun facts
Bo Knows....
  • How to hide marshmallows under my bed.
  • How to jump on the dining room chair, table, and grab a bag of snacks for him and Daisy.
  • pooping.
  • How to howl like he's a big bad wolf.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dear Musky

Dear Musky that has my fly,

         I just wanted to let you know that I will be returning soon. I hope that you will be able to hang out for a few short moments, so, I can get my fly back.


An exact replica of the fly I lost.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Musky on my mind, again....

I have been in hot pursuit of landing my first musky this year, so, I took another trip to the Northwoods with my best friend The Fat Gordo.

I was standing on some rocks working a pool, and I heard something thrash on the shoreline behind me under an overhanging tree. My first cast was wide, and didn't stir anything up. My second cast landed under the tree inches away from the shoreline. MONEY. After 2 short strips of the line, my fly was replaced with the head of a musky. After I strip set and felt all of the weight, I yelled out to the Fat Gordo, "I've got a Musky!" 

The fight was short, and as I was stepping off of the rock I was standing on, my fly popped loose, and I watched my unicorn swim away.

I casted back to the same spot to show The Fat Gordo where I hooked up, and as I was telling him about the eat, that same musky came out of nowhere and took a swipe at the back of my fly. We were both in surprised. After more than a few casts into that same general area we moved on. We estimated both estimated that musky to be about 30 inches.

The smallies are my favorite. Every single one I have caught up there has been an absolute brute.
As we waded up river, we came across this area that had a ton of cover with weed mats and lily pads. I worked the outsides of the pads and didn't see any action. Then I turned and looked at the weed mat next to me. I casted past it, and worked my fly back, and as it was about 12 yards in front of me, mass chaos began....

A huge musky shot out from underneath that pad, and engulfed my fly with all of it's rage. A double strip set, and I had a musky on, and it was pissed!! I have never seen more violence in the water from a fish in my life, and I'm not going to lie, my knees shook. I cannot even explain what happened next, but as the fish was thrashing like a manic my line shot back towards me. I dropped a major F bomb. The musky must have caught my line past the leader when it was rolling.

Somewhere in the Northwoods, there's a big 35-40 inch musky with a 6/0 cotton candy looking fly in it's mouth. =(

The Fat Gordo working an area he had a mid 30's musky follow.
Always ready for battle.
Catch & Release

Monday, September 15, 2014

DPR Pike Float

It was a perfect day for some teeth. 65 degrees, sunny, with a light breeze, you just couldn't beat it. The pike on the Des Plaines River are a blast, and I enjoy chasing these toothy predators. DanK was the first to get the pike party started with one in the mid 20's. I joined in shortly after, but the pike that I caught could have been mistaken for a wet spaghetti noodle.

This pike got a hold of DanK's thumb and drew blood.
DanK was determined to catch one using a top water lure after he found a small panfish size buzz bait in his bag. He rigged a trailer hook on it, and added a plastic tube to make his offering look bigger. The pike approved, and it was truly a blast to see.

I was tossing a green spinner bait with a trailer hook, and that seemed to be the ticket for me. I did toss around a buzz bait, but it was getting no attention. I hooked up with a real nice pike on a super fishy bend in the river. One of the best pike I've personally caught on the DPR. 

My personal best on the DPR.
While we were sitting in the middle of the river changing lures, I noticed something floating down river towards DanK's kayak. I couldn't really make out what it was, but it kind of looked like the belly of a fish. I said to DanK out loud, "Is that a dead fish?" DanK turned to look and said, "Holy Sh#t! it's a big pike with another pike in it's mouth!" Right after he said that I was able to make out the 2 pike, as it swam underneath our kayaks and off into some weeds, and we never saw it again. The big pike was about 30 inches, and it had a pike in it's mouth that was about 19-21 inches. It was so freakin' awesome to see with our own eyes! (No pictures of it, because, we couldn't locate the cannibal after the sighting.)

DanK with another top water pike.
Catch & Release

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Vehicle Modifications

I have been very very slowly planning out and making modifications to my new/used Subaru Outback. This is by far my most favorite vehicle to ever own. I cannot wait to see how it handles with the white stuff on the ground.

I've been doing some research and found a lot of people are using this stuff called Plasti-Dip. I am not an overly huge fan of chrome, so, I decided to start by using this $6 can of Plasti Dip that I got at home depot on my emblems.

I couldn't believe how simple it was to apply this stuff, and remove it. All I needed was a roll of a can of Plasti Dip, painters tape, and a few tooth picks.

Here are my end results. I'm really digging it!

Next - I will be blacking out the fog light housing, grill, rims, and adding some stickers to the trunk and rear windows.

......And a car wash. :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bald-Faced Hornet

Hiking around the Northwoods, I came across this small utility shed/building of sorts. Attached to it was the biggest hive I have ever seen with my 2 eyes. There were these huge black wasp looking things going in and out of it. Did some research and they turned out to be Bald-Faced Hornets. I knew it was a wise choice to keep my distance.

I wonder what's in there....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Exploring the Northwoods

On a recent trip to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, The Fat Gordo and I took a walk. Instead of wading back to our camp, we decided to take the unbeaten path through the forest. We actually just followed some deer paths.

There was quite a bit of rain that week, so, there was quite a bit of mud. You would have thought it had rained frogs with the amount of frogs we came across while hiking.

We also, came across quite a few different types of mushrooms. I bought and read a book last year so I could better ID the different types of fungi that I would come across, but I did not do a good job of studying it, because, I couldn't ID any of them. Haha

Can you ID it?

A better picture of that bald eagle. It wasn't part of the hike, but who doesn't like looking at this magnificent bird of prey.
One of the things that we were surprised about on our hike, and our trips up here was the lack of wildlife sightings. Yeah, we did see fish, frogs, bald eagles, and few squirrels, but what we thought was missing were the deer, hawks, minks, and beavers. We didn't see any of those. Maybe next year. I'm really hoping to run into some black bears and wolves next year, a safe distance of course. :)

Another shot of The Fat Gordo crossing a mini swamp on a fallen tree.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Streamside Furled leader

Right before winter last year, I purchased a furled leader from Streamside Furled Leaders at the Early Show hosted by the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance.

Having never heard of furled leaders I was intrigued by this. I purchased one for my 3 wt rod, for when I'm fishing for bluegills.

What a great product! I don't really worry about my leader when I'm fishing for panfish or bass, so, this product was perfect.

The leader attaches with the loop to loop connection, then just tie on a 3 foot (or whatever you like) piece of tippet to the small ring at the end, and you're in business.

I haven't taken it off my 3 wt at all this season, and I'm pretty sure I will leave it on until I'll need a replacement. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bald Eagle

While driving back from the Northwoods of Wisconsin, my buddy Fat Gordo and I passed by a bald eagle eating a doe that was on the side of the road. We quickly made a U-turn, but a passing semi truck scared the eagle off of the deer.

Here's a terrible picture of the bald eagle after the semi truck passed by.
After a short while, the eagle just walked around, and then took off into some nearby trees. We were quick to follow the eagle down the road, and to where it was perched. I got out of the car to take some pictures of the eagle and all of it's beauty. 

As I got closer, the bird started to sway and fidget, like it was preparing to take off. I set my GoPro camera to the burst shot setting with hopes of getting shots of this raptor taking off. As I stood almost under the tree, I could hear my buddy Fat Gordo say from the car, "he's gonna go, he's gonna go!" ....after a few more fidgets and a lift of the tail, he went...number 2 that is.

My buddy and I could not control our laughter, because, we were both so sure that he was going to take off. We both would have put money on it. Shortly after the eagle took off, and I missed the opportunity to get those take off pictures, because, I was busy laughing at what had happened.

Thankfully, I was not directly under the tree during the encounter. Although, I hear if a bird poops on you it's good luck, I wonder how much luck a bald eagle would have brought me. Ha

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Camp food

Just going over some itinerary with Dave (Urban Assault Fly Fishing) for our upcoming Musky Country trip. Got me thinking about food...

I'm always jealous of the meals that Jeff (High Plains Fly Fisher) has cooked up on his trips. I'm curious what everyone else enjoys cooking out there.

What are some of your favorite campfire grilled meals?

Some chicken I cooked up on a Missouri float trip.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Time is flying!

After reading and entering in The Fiberglass Manifesto's weekend contest, it got me thinking. Wow, time really is flying by. There are quite a things that I had planned in my head to do this summer, but just haven't found the time to do so.

Some of the things that I haven't been able to do this summer, yet.

  • I haven't fished or even thought of quite a few of my local lakes.
  • Canoe, camp, and fish on the Wisconsin River.
  • Camping at Lake Shelbyville.
  • Canoe, camp, and fish on the Current River in Missouri.
  • Trout fishing in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin.

I set out this year to explore new water, and I have done so. That's the reason I haven't been able to do some of the things I've been so used to doing the past few years. The change in trips has me missing those other places I once fished. Maybe, just maybe, I will find some time to make a day trip to the Driftless area before the season closes.

Love the streams of Southwest Wisconsin.

I guess if I'm in dire need of trip that will bring trout to hand, I can always explore new water in Iowa or Michigan.

Anyone else have some plans that just didn't happen?

I already know that Mark at Northern California Trout is bummed about not being able to make Half Moon Bay State Beach. Hope you're able to make the best of not going, Mark!