Jan 17, 2010

Never Stop Rolling

We're riding high on a heat wave in Illinois; with a high of about 33 degrees today it made me want to dust off my fly rod. But what is a fly fisherman to do in the middle of winter? The thought of jigging an nine foot long 8wt through an ice hole might make for an amusing video; I wasn't in the mood. Good thing a guy like me knows where to find open water in the middle of January.

Dave and I bundled up and headed out today around noon to one of two open water options I know of. The chance of catching fish here is far less than Powerton Lake, but with Powerton's fish comes the crowd. Fishing was slow today with the fly rod and with a minnow under a bobber, but we still had some fun and never saw another soul for four hours. We ended the day with nothing more than a single nibble, which I failed to turn into a caught fish.

It's hard to catch fish when you're not fishing.  A lot of the time was spent behaving foolishly, under the guise of a fishing trip. We took some video of our fly casts to take home and analyze for possible improvements. I discovered I stand almost completely still and open my mouth on the forward cast. No wonder my throat is always dry after fishing, add a little tongue and I'd be Jordan. For Dave, casting is more of a full body motion.  He's always sore after fishing, but it might be his age. Neither one of us have ever received formal instruction and we're not sure who is more right. We're not even sure if there is a right but we both know how to get the fly out there, and that's where we focus.

Here's me, it's hard to see my gaping mouth in this particular video but trust me, it's there.

And here is Dave. His mouth stays closed, a potential disadvantage.

Apparently we just missed a flood. The entire area was blanketed in four to five inches of ice and left some pretty impressive formations and some pretty tricky footing.

You could tell the water froze while it was high because ice was sticking to trees about waist high.

With some slow fishing, seeing ice on the trees lead to a genuinely brilliant idea.  Don't look Mom.

And the genuinely brilliant idea lead to a genuinely hilarious moment that occurred just moments before I pressed record on this video. Never stop rolling, you might miss something - I'm sorry I missed it.

After that we spent some time throwing huge chunks of ice in the water and then closed out the day with a little more fruitless fishing.

Good times....good times.


  1. Nice to get out anyway! Cool pics of the ice at high water. You'll probably find a "ring around the tree" where the ice damages the bark.

    'Sposed to be some more nicer weather hanging around. Hope you get out!

  2. Good to see you guys having some fun with it all anyway. The ice formations was interesting.

    I also can appreciate your comment "It is hard to catch fish if your not fishing".

  3. Great start to the 2010! Glad to see it never gets old thowing stuff in the water! Good Blog and I love the videos.

    ~Scotty P

  4. Hey Clif. I knew there was a reason I didn't miss those Mid-Western Winters. Great pictures and fun times.


  5. Oops, did I forget to mention Dave was fighting wind in his video? Might explain the ducking and weaving.


    Wandering Owl, if you look at the picture you can see rings even higher on the trees

    Mel, the whole point was to get out and do something. Success! Glad you can relate.

    Scott, does it remind you of playing rock baseball?

    Tubeman, the mid-western winters miss you.


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