Oct 23, 2010


I'd like to start this one off by wishing myself a happy birthday, I've earned it after all.

As 2010 winds down, I've found myself with a vacation day surplus, which is an oddity.  We operate under a "use it or lose it" policy, so what better way to celebrate the big day than to make it a three day weekend?  A plan for the day formulated quickly; I decided to hit the Mackinaw and finally write my name in the Illinois record books with a record longear sunfish.

In a move reminiscent of drinking school college, I kicked off the long weekend with a Thursday fly tying session.  From experience, I know the longear sunfish like the Adams dry fly so I tied a few wingless versions to try as well.  I also whipped up a weighted few I thought the carp might like if I were so lucky as to find them where I left them.  This picture will also mark the beginning of the 2010-11 fly tying season - time to stock up!

I started off the vay-cay-day by sleeping all the way until 7:00am and then taking my sweet time to eat breakfast, drink coffee, watch TV and load the truck.  By the time I made it out the door around 9:00, the mercury had finally crept up into the 40's but I packed a hoody - just in case.  What a terrible reminder about the beginning of the end, there is so much I have left to accomplish this year.

I made my way to the spot I think is the most likely hole to catch a longear.  Things started off cold and I was glad for the hoody - the wind blew, I couldn't bear being in the cool water and tying knots was difficult.  I resolved to not wade again this year without a minimum of thermal socks and flannel-lined jeans.  Eventually the air warmed up, but the fishing never did.  After trying the Adams, the spinner, a pencil popper, and a bass popper I finally struck pay dirt with a white and yellow woolly bugger.

It is the nicest bronze I've managed in a long time and it felt good, but it was no longear and a tinge of disappoint was beginning to set in.  I fished a total of eight hours and tried about every fly I brought. I also missed a few takes...longears no doubt.

The quest will continue. We picked up some rain today and yesterday's 18cfs has almost doubled now...string a few of those together and there might be enough water to fully submerge a nymph.


  1. That is a nice Smallie. No state record this time out, but, I think it is only a matter of time for those Longears.

  2. Happy B-day, hope you enjoy your long weekend.

    Best of luck with your quest of capturing a record longear!

  3. Happy birthday! Sorry the weather had to be so crappy for you.

  4. Happy Birthday, Clif. Always best to use those "Use 'em or lose 'em" days. Wouldn't want your employer to take advantage of you.


  5. Happy birthday. You'll get that record, I'm confident. Tight ties BTW.

  6. Happy birthday, Clif. Glad you got to go out and enjoy it.


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