Jan 23, 2010

Little Boat Library



A Native Watercraft Native Manta Ray 11 arrived earlier this week. I have tried her on the driveway and she fits, but comments about comfort and stability are reserved until the maiden voyage. She comes rigged a little better than a standard kayak, but I consider this an entry level fishing yak.



One stipulation of the purchase was it would fit in the garage with both cars, or it wouldn't be her car on the street.  So today I spent some time building a rack to hold the yak above my boat.  The kayak only weighs 55lb, which is light enough to lift but heavy enough to find reasons not to.  To solve the dilemma, I rigged up a pulley, which reduces my load by half.  Damn, I'm handy.

 

Now I can go to the boat stacks and pick something out before each trip.


Jan 19, 2010

The interstate carp fight continues


Today, we're seeing a flurry of activity involving the suit filed by Michigan, four other states and a Canadian province against Chicago/Illinois regarding Asian Carp and the Great Lakes.

The stakes are impressive:  The Great Lakes is home to a reportedly $7 billion commercial fishing industry (think salmon and trout), which could be damaged by the potential Asian Carp infestation.  On the other hand, the suit seeks closure of the link between the Mississippi River basin and the Great Lakes, which will likely cause far reaching economic concerns for much of the country.

First came word the US Supreme Court handed down a one sentence ruling rejecting Michigan's request for a preliminary injunction to close the locks until a more permanent solution could be found.  The ruling didn't go far enough to shed light on the court's reasoning.

About two and half hours later, it was announced environmental DNA (eDNA) of Asian Carp have been found in Lake Michigan.  eDNA is genetic material that floats around in the water and by testing for eDNA a scientist can reach conclusions about the species likely to be present.  Samples collected December 8th in Calumet Harbor tested positive for Asian Carp eDNA.  According to Dr. David Lodge, director of the eDNA project at the University of Notre Dame, the positive tests provide "indications of likely presence, but it does not yet provide infomation about Asian carp quantity that may be present, age, size, how they got there or how long they may have been there."

Think we got enough?

I can't begin to know the story here, and I don't know the regulations.  In fact, I'm not going to comment on this other than to say I hope they have big families.

It's a little long, but you only have to watch until the 50 sec mark to see everything.


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.

video

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

video

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.

video

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.

video

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.

Jan 13, 2010

Tandem hook bunny streamers are reproducing like



Ask and ou shall recieve. Jonn asked so here is a step by step instruction for the tandem hook bunny streamers I featured a couple posts ago.  

Firstly, plan ahead. You'll need two different colors of zonker strips, some body material (dubbing/chenille/yarn/floss) in a coordinated color and some flash.  You'll also need a small hook, a big hook, some monofilament or wire and some thread.  I intentionally wasn't detailed on the ingredients because I encourage artistic expression.  Read through this before starting so you can get an idea of the materials you'd like to use and how much of it.

Starting with the trailer hook, tie in.  In this example I'm using 210 denier black thread.  The hook should be small (by our standards); I'm showing a Mustad #4 nymph.  After tying in, wrap the thread to about the position shown.

 

Next thread some mono or wire through the eyelet, if your eyelet doesn't turn down like shown do not thread it through.  Mono will have some curl on it from being on the spool for so long, I straightened it the best I could but it is still a little curled.  Make sure the curl is "in plane" with the hook so your trailer hook will follow straight behind the main hook.  Locate the mono so that it extends past the thread postion shown above, then wrap tightly forward to the eye.  I used 40lb mono simply because thats what I keep handy, but something lighter should work and might be easier to work with.

 

Take the extra length of mono and bend it forward over the wraps you just made.

 

Tie down the "doubled over" mono tightly and advance the tread rearward to the hook bend. Add a glob of superglue to the thread covering the mono and let it dry.  Drying time is a good to make another one, cut zonker strips, drink some beer or take a leak.

 

Take a zonker strip that is a little longer than the hook shank and tie it in as shown, leaving a short tail.  I prefer a short tail to help avoid annoying wrap-ups while fishing.  You'll have to "part" the hair before tying it in so the thread doesn't hold it down.  Make sure to orient the strip so the hair "lays down" toward the rear of the hook.  I've used a white/orange rabbit zonker here.

Pro tip: In one of my trials, the strip I used was a little skinny and not very full and the fly looked anemic.  I recommend I nice wide (1/4" or so) strip with nice thick hair.

 

Tie in a length of body material.  It could be dubbing, floss, yarn or chenille or something else.  I've used olive colored chenille because the color matches my pattern and I happen to have some in stock.

 

Wrap the body material forward and tie it down.  Leave enough room behind the eye to allow you to tie down the zonker.

 

Fold the zonker forward over the top and tie down.

Pro tip: In one of my other trials I skipped the chennile and palmered the strip forward over an empty hook and tied down.  I didn't really like the way that looked.  That is an option for you, but I recommend the above procedure for a more streamlined looking fly.

 

Finish it off like you would any fly and add your favorite head cement.  I like to use whip finishes and superglue.  Be warned, the mono adds a degree of difficulty in whip finishing.

 

Set the trailer hook aside, you'll need it in a minute.  Next clamp a big hook; size and shape doesn't really matter much.  For these flies I'm using a Mustad #2 steamer hook but a #1 aberdeen or 2/0 plainshank would work well.  Tie in your thread, if you want to change thread color you can, but I'm sticking with the 210 denier black.

 

Tie in your trailer, do it just like you tied in the mono on the smaller hook.  I found the distance between the large hook and the trailer does matter, you want it located about like shown below. Make sure you have enough mono sticking out the front to fold back and tie down.

 

Again, fold back the extra mono and tie down securely.

 

Add some superglue to the thread and advance the thread to the hook bend.  You'll probably have some extra mono to trim off.  Go tie another fly, cut some more zonkers, get another beer or take another leak because the glue should be dry before advancing.

 

Tie in a zonker of the same color you've already used, making sure the hair lays reward.  The strip should be long enough to extend back to the trailer hook and then be palmered forward.  To do this, I decided on a tail length and folded the strip at that mark.  Then tied in the strip over my fold.  Advance the thread to about the half way point on the hook shank.

 

Palmer the strip forward to the thread and tie down.  Cut of excess.

 

Tie in a few strands of flash, keep it located on top of the fly.  The kind of flash doesn't matter as long as it sparkles and matches your pattern.  I used pearl flash and like a lot on my streamer flies, so I trimmed it as long as the fly. I also trimmed the ends irregularly.

 

Tie in the second color of zonker, again making sure the hair lays reward.  Leave a little tail to sit on top of the flash and make sure it's long enough to palmer all the way to the eyelet.  I used my folding technique again to tie it in

 

Tie in some weighted eyes, leave enough room to get a few wraps of the zonker in front and behind the eyes.

 

Palmer the zonker strip foward, make sure to get a few wraps in behind the eyes.  Wrap over the eyes and get a couple more wraps in front and tie it off. You can be done here or...

 

...add an optional weed guard using some more of the 40lb mono.  Fold it over the shank and tie it in with figure eights.  Finish the fly and add super glue to the head.  Presto you've done it!

 

Disclaimer, as of press time I haven't fished any of these.  I have even seen them in the bath tub.  Let me know if they're worth a damn.  I'm wondering if some lead wire should be added to the hook shank, all that rabbit skin is going to make this pretty bouyant.

Jan 11, 2010

Evolution of an Angler or Art on the Riverbanks


A River Runs Through It - This makes me smile

Rebecca, The Outdooress, recently wrote a  blog post that provoked some thoughts I need to write about.  This might get wordy, but please bear with me.  She closed an article about her first fly fishing trip by summarizing

"Someday I’ll get to the point when I can slice a line through the air as quietly and involuntary as the act of breathing. Someday I will perform art on the riverbanks."
Such a statement likely sums up the thoughts many have when they decide on a hobby. Whether it is fishing, soccer or crochet, everyone dreams of “performing art.”  I am guilty of similar thoughts; especially when I started fishing, but even more recently I’ve dreamt of the day I can perform art on the riverbanks.

Rebecca’s comment caused me to pause and consider if I’m any closer to being the expert angler I’ve dreamt of becoming. I’m relatively young and haven’t yet logged as many hours on the water as many of my fellows, but I can truthfully say I know more about catching fish than most average citizens of this world. But am I an expert? To understand, you have to know just how I got here.

Humble beginnings


The Great Gar Harvest of 03

I began fishing, really fishing, when I was in college. One summer, a friend and I fished many times each week, much to the chagrin of our girlfriends. We had a favorite spot in the backwaters of the Illinois River where we’d throw crankbaits for hours and land a few fish. Sauger were the main target but many other species filled in as bonus material. I can recall also catching a few northern pike, many sheephead, one particularly large brown trout and countless gar. That year was also the first time I laid eyes on an Asian Carp, a Bighead. This too was the summer I spent an afternoon learning how to cast fly line using a friend’s Grandpa’s bamboo pole, a skill that would come in handy six years later.


Good times catching fish

But this was just the beginning. This was a time when I wasn’t yet dreaming of mastery. My friend and I were just out having fun, getting sun burnt and occasionally a little drunk. The summer ended and I carried into the fall semester just a mild interest in fishing. My college was seated in the middle of a smattering of great fishing opportunities and even had a lake on campus. To this day I regret not making the most of my time at Southern Illinois University.

Maybe there is more to this

Sometime later, while fishing solo on the Illinois River for catfish, I struck up a conversation with an old timer. He lived just down the street and we walked to his garage to check out his home-made aluminum boat and some tackle. We talked for a while and he showed off a tackle box stuffed to the gills with Slug-Go plastic worms; I made a mental note.


Fad baits

A couple weeks later I hit a farm pond armed with a bag of Slug-Gos - four inches long, in the Arkansas Shiner color I believe. My hot tip had not come with any instructions for use, so I started experimenting. I noticed it didn’t sink fast and was heavy enough to throw unweighted. I noticed irregular motions resulted when I jerked the rod tip and, most importantly, I noticed it caught fish. The first fish I caught on a finesse worm came when I cast a Slug-Go from shore onto a pile of weeds. The bass exploded through the green curtain and inhaled my lure. We caught many fish that day, and I remember our jubilation like it happened just yesterday. We were onto something good.

Thus began the period in which I realized fishing was more than throwing a crankbait and reeling it in. It was about presentation. It was about weather fronts. It was about water temperature.  It was about to get complicated.  I soon amassed such a collection of gear that I outgrew my tackle box. Then I outgrew it again. Then I needed another rod, rigged and ready with a different pattern. Then I outgrew my tackle box again. This was the period when I realized I had much to learn about catching fish. I now had my first inklings of what it meant to be an expert.

Every angler’s accessory of necessity

Fast forward a couple years. I bought a house almost five years ago, with the house came lots of room, a garage even. So I did the first thing any angler would do in my situation: I bought a boat. This is note-worthy because buying a boat opened my eyes to lakes I had never dreamed of fishing. Suddenly my choice of location wasn’t limited to bank access sites. The Illinois River became a thing of the past as I discovered local treasures such as Banner Marsh and Snakeden Hollow.


The Good Ship Clif

My first boat was no chick magnet. I bought it from a coworker for $75, and he threw in a noisy trolling motor and an ancient dead battery. The boat was a two man bass boat - an heavy old fiberglass model with swivel seats mounted to milk crates. The coworker had gotten it for free after the previous owner unloaded it on the interstate at about 65 mph. With some fiberglass patching, a new camo paint job and a couple Skoal Bandit stickers, he resurrected the beast and fished that boat for a few years…but along came two kids. Baseball and soccer practice left him little time to fish, so when he heard I was in the market he spoke up.


New boat, not yet christened


I’ve since traded The Good Ship Clif for a bigger one, and I am now weighing my options for yet another. However, she’ll always hold a special place it my heart; for she was the distinction between two of the three major periods in my fishing career - a transition from “learning” to “technique perfection.”  Technique is often the difference between a skunking and catching fish, and I pride myself on the ability to land fish when others struggle.

How do I work this thing?

In October 2008, I borrowed my father-in-law’s fly rod and went fishing with it. I didn’t have much to work with other than the single afternoon's practice so many years ago. It was a dismal day of fishing but it was a splendid day of fishing just the same. It was the start of my fly fishing career and I had much to learn. I soon started to pour over the web in search of information. I found many fellow anglers who, in writing about their experiences, provided mountains of information.


As close to art as you can get


Fly fishing, and subsequently fly tying, was a perfect fit because I had become bored by my fishing hobby. There had to be something missing and I decided fly fishing could be it. Fly fishing represented a new challenge, many new lessons waiting to be learned. Fly fishing fixed my problem and seemed like the next logical step in a soon to be illustrious fishing life. However, after I started fly fishing, my yearning for something new was still alive and well as evidenced in an April 8th, 2009 post. I wrote the post about how the experience, not fish, was important. I wasn’t entirely wrong about these things, but I now know the act of fly fishing itself was not what I missed and it was not about seeing a musk rat.

Lunkerhunt goes on line

My first blog post is dated June 13th, 2006. I started my blog as a way to share fishing pictures with my fishing friends and that is all it was for two and a half years. If you read the first two years worth of entries, you’ll agree my primary objective was not to create an interesting blog (a particularly good example is dated July 12th, 2007). You’ll also agree that I’ve caught some big bass and I’ve probably packed on a few pounds.


You can see how happy this fish has made me.


In December 2008, I got a wild hair up my ass and decided to devote some time and effort to blogging. I created an account to track visitor statistics and, most importantly, from that point forward I blogged much more often and put some effort into authoring interesting, coherent and relevant posts. Blogging became less about showing off fish and more about creating the art I was looking for.

That day in December ranks highly on the list of pivotal moments in my fishing career. Needing good blog material is a good way to find myself in situations I wouldn’t otherwise find myself. These situations grew me as an angler, a writer and a person. In certain ways, my blog now drives my actions instead of just documenting them.

Where the grass is greener

Last season I joined a private fishing club. The intentions were good, private water is where you go to catch big fish. Right? While often a true statement, it turned out to not be true for me but that isn’t what mattered.



Joining the club, and having little to show for it, opened my eyes. I saw the error of my ways. Up until now I only wanted to catch big fish. I still would like to catch big fish, but I’ve discovered there is more to it. Some people like to get out and see the world, others want to spend time with friends and others just like to get outside. Joining this club was the catalyst I needed to kick me out of the “technique perfection” phase and into an “endless” phase.

The endless phase

In my professional life, I long ago learned the value of a good challenge. Without a challenge we mortals stop learning and we cease to grow. For me, a lack of professional challenge also results in low productivity and apathy. Challenge forces me to learn and develop my abilities. After a period of hard work, I usually manage to complete challenges but I have not learned everything I want to know. That is where the next idea walks in the door and the cycle continues ad nauseum. It took me a few years to make the connection between my need for professional challenge and my need for a challenge in angling.  Really, this cycle holds true for most things if life outside of professional development and fishing; I'm a little disappointed in myself for not seeing it sooner.


Get it?


Thanks to Rebecca, I’ve put a lot of thought into it over the past few days and I’m now ready to officially recognize the next phase in my fishing life. This phase has been unofficially ongoing for a while and I haven’t realized it. This will be the phase when I decide to learn about fishing. I will learn by getting out and doing, getting in over my head a digging out.

As an example, while it might seem uninteresting to say “I want to catch a six pound bass,” or “I want to win the tournament,” I would argue it is a worthy challenge. Catching a six pounder or winning a tournament is no easy task and both will take either a dedication to the craft or just dumb luck. When most people say they want a six pound bass they’re usually counting on luck. During one of my early phases, if you asked me about my fishing dream I would have given you a similar line about big fish. If you ask me now, you might hear the same answer but between the lines I've said something else.

If it never ends, when can we see the art?

I’ve realized my entire fishing career has always been about learning. The common thread among the phases I shared with you has been learning. When I first started out, it was learning how to work a reel. Then I learned about finesse presentations and how valuable a boat can be. Fly fishing and tying provided much to learn about, and blogging helped to facilitate the lesson. I won’t say it’s the final lesson, but now I know I’ll never be an expert; I’ll never perform art on the riverbank.  There is always much to learn.

The next step

I’m not really sure where it goes from here. I’m thinking of buying a kayak. I’ve been playing around with the idea of using only light tackle and targeting big fish. We own some land that doesn’t have one but could use a pond, and that pond would need to be managed to grow big fish. I’ve never been ice fishing. All of these represent the next big challenge and I'm not sure if I want to bite off anything else.


Cold fishing


For now, I think I’ll continue to learn about fly fishing and fly tying, I’ll still go out and try to catch lunkers and you can bet I’ll blog about it. That is all the challenge I need right now.

Jan 10, 2010

Afternoon Snacks

It all started with a misguided attempt to tie Circus Peanuts. I heard about Circus Peanuts in the comment section of Stream Stalker's blog.  My attempt was bad enough that I won't be posting a picture here, but I learned a new tying technique: adding a trailer hook.  Then the creative juices flowed and I tied some much easier simpler flies using trailer hooks.

I started with a #4 nymph hook for the trailer and added some rabbit strip.  I connected the trailer hook to a #2 streamer hook using 40lb mono and added some more rabbit strip, pearl flash, a pair of eyes and a weed guard.  I'm pleased with the results.







I never looked up instructions and instead used trial and error to figure out how to connect the two hooks using mono.  Maybe a video of what I did is in order, any interest?


UPDATE: Click here for tying instructions

Jan 8, 2010

Somewhere in Japan, a man parties



Technically, the 77 year old Perry record didn't fall today but room at the top is less decidedly less plentiful.
Congratulations go to Manabu Kurita for officially tying the world record largemouth bass record. See what the IGFA had to say here.


Kurita also keeps a blog, see it here.  He hasn't updated it yet... must be out drinking.

Jan 6, 2010

Winter is a time for dreaming

We're looking at up to 8 inches of the white stuff tonight.  Good thing I got a link today to help divert my attention.  Check out Jan Bach Kristensen's Fly Fishing photo gallery, guaranteed to leave you dreaming of waters not frozen.

Jan 2, 2010

Cold, windy and full of feathers.


 On Christmas morning, a suspicious package sat under the tree. The writing indicated it was for some guy named Cliff.  Seeing as I was the closest thing there was in the room to a Cliff, I picked it up.  From the farm...apparently with love....light enough to be an empty bag....hmmm.  My first thoughts was this had to be some sort of gag.  After looking into the bag, it became clear it wasn't a gag and was indeed sent with love.  My sister-in-law had the good idea of collecting some chicken and guinea feathers - she claims no birds were wrestled in the process.  I'm not sure how she thought of it, but I'm glad she did.  Hopefully by next Christmas, those birds will have provided some more - I really like the guinea feathers (hint hint)



I didn't realize it at the time, but this Christmas was going to turn into a great feather gathering time. A few days later, I found myself shooting pheasants at Moser's Pheasant Creek near Boonville, Mo.  Moser's offers guided hunts, or bring your own dog and have a go at it on your own.  Seeing as we hunt about once a year and have no dogs, we opted for a guided hunt.  The picture below shows my father and Red the Hungarian Vizsla.  Red was a pretty good dog and it was a pleasure to see him work.



They set out 18 birds for our party in a field I'd guess to be about 15 acres. Red sniffed out 17 of them and we bagged 14.  This was my third time hunting at Moser's and the first time we had good bird hunting weather - cold with snow.  The birds we sitting very tight, only a couple flushed early.  Here's a pic of my father, my uncle, our guide Dakota and a nice view of our well manicured field.  Sometimes I struggle to call this hunting, because it's just so easy.  Easy? Yes. Fun? Absolutely. Hunting? Maybe.



Shortly after that, I found myself cleaning pheasants. A pile of bird carcasses sat before me, and it was difficult to not just bring the whole pile home, a full skin goes for about $10 at Cabelas which would cover a major portion of my hunting costs.  Unfortunately I wouldn't know the first thing about finding a buyer.  Instead I brought home the following assortment for personal use.  I already have plans for the tail and wing feathers...the others look like they'd be good palmering material.


Jan 1, 2010

Out with the mold

2009 was a pretty good year for me.  It was the first full season I focused on a the new challenge of fly fishing, John was probably wondering how long I would keep his kayak and it was the first full year I focused on growing my blog.  What will 2010 bring me?  It's hard to say but I think it will involve more kayaking, more fly fishing and perhaps a new challenge (more on that later).

In an effort to close out the year, I'm going to run through some of the highlights.  Perhaps you found this blog mid-year and never bothered looking back.  If that's the case, I've boiled it down to a thick syrup for you.  Below you will find what I found interesting while cruising the year's posts, click on the link in each description to see my original writing.



Jan 5th, 2009 - My first post of the year showcased my first carved popper and step-by-step pictures to help you make one too!



Jan 8th, 2009 - I stumbled upon what would soon become one of this blog's biggest draws and my absolute favorite bass fly.  Googlers seeking guidance on how to tie Clouser Mad Toms were in such abundance, I later followed up with an instructional video.



Feb 11th, 2009 - In a case of unintended foreshadowing I expounded on the benefits of small fishing boats.  At the time I had yet to experience my first kayak fishing trip, looking back it was just a matter of time.

Mar 17th, 2009 - My desire to try kayak fishing was coming to a head thanks to Dave and his incessant need to send cool videos



Mar 23rd, 2009 - This was a day of extreme ups and downs.  After spending the day not getting called to serve on a jury, I went out and caught my first bass on the fly.  After the adrenaline wore off, I was successful in hooking a 190lb hog.



Apr 15th, 2009 - Tax day proved to be good to me.  I managed to catch the fish that would become my heaviest bass of the year - on a Clouser Mad Tom no less.  I also started experimenting with video, something I intended to do more of but didn't really follow through with.  Maybe next year.



Apr 18th, 2009 - My love for the Mad Tom was solidified as I discovered it can also catch crappie.  Three days after catching my heaviest bass of the year, I landed my biggest crappie of the year.  I was also able to confirm the weight of the previous bass.



May 9th, 2009 - The Illinois High School Association held the first ever state finals for competitive high school fishing.  The first day was called early due to weather and West Frankfort claimed the title on day two.



May 20th, 2009 - My engineering professors would be so proud.  I used a free body diagram to lay waste to Dave during a heated office debate regarding fly tying strategies.  Not my proudest moment, but fun none the less.



May 29th, 2009 - I borrowed John's kayaks for "a day" of fishing.



June 8th, 2009 - I returned to work after being on a one week lay off. Lets say I made the most of the time off.



June 14th, 2009 -My life as a professional plug carver and fly tier started with a lopsided trade.  To date these were the only flies for which I have received compensation...still waiting to be discovered I guess.



June 25th, 2009 - I received a free coaster for my "almost free" beer.



July 6th, 2009 - I set out with a single goal: to catch a pickerel.  I succeeded by catching the fish that currently graces the Lunkerhunt logo you see at the top of this page.  I even gave driving directions to where you too can catch a pickerel.



July 7th, 2009 - I provided my thoughts about fish consumption advisories. Blinky agrees.



July 8th, 2009 - With Dottie's passing, we could only bide time until another monster was caught.  In July the bass fishing world was abuzz with news of a monster in Japan.



July 18th, 2009- I pilot Dave's Hobie Mirage kayak and my desire for a kayak has intensified to the point I make an appeal to the reader.



July 27th, 2009 - In yet another kayak oriented post, I once again proved engineering can be useful in the fishing world.



Aug 5th, 2009 - My first try at true fly fishing can best be summed up by the following exerpt: "I spent about four hours standing in one spot, trying to catch just one of those damn fish."



Aug 19th, 2009 - The third annual widow maker weekend came to a close. This year the trip nearly created a widow but we all returned safe and mostly unharmed.



Aug 27th, 2009 - I dug through the parents' photo albums in search of old pictures featuring yours truely fishing.  Check out those tube socks!



Sep 21st, 2009 - Dave learned the key to having a good fishing trip is to remember your rod.



Oct 14th, 2009 - I recapped my last kayaking trip of the year in John's kayak that I borrowed for "a day" of fishing back in May.  Thanks John!



Nov 15th, 2009 - Scott and I went on my most miserable outing of the year.  We were cold, wind blown and got a little wet.  In the comments section Tami Curtis Jennings wagered it wouldn't be my last outing of the year...I can now officially inform you Tami that you lost that bet.



Dec 21st, 2009 - My last post of the year.  The battle against asian carp came to a head when Michigan filed suit to close the connection between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River.  We'll see where this goes...the Surpreme Court should review the suit on Jan 8th I believe.


Those are my note worthy posts of 2009.  In 2010 I'll try and bring more of this and less of the dribble that filled the spaces between.