Feb 28, 2011

A weigh-in on the Oscars

While you were busy "searching the Google" for a deal on knock-off Versace, I was hunkered down in the man cave.  Sipping beers, tying flies and watching the biggest event bass fishing has to offer.  They even finished the show within three hours, a rare feat.

Know you probably missed it, so I found a few images of the telecast to share...

Mrs. Franco isn't too pleased with her meager bag

A true legend proves he can still compete

Billy entertained with a Ray Scott tribute song.

Melissa Leo dropped an F-bomb on the crowd

Christian Bale took big fish honors

Natalie Portman topped of the winning limit with this bronze chunk

This just in: I really need to go fishing.

Feb 24, 2011

Handed Down From the Immortal Ones

Forged under the angry hammer of Thor
Hardness brought out of the fire of Hades
Zeus's own bolts anodized a finish then
polished by Aphrodite's feminine hand.
The wings of Hermes were gifted upon it,
and Loki tricked you into buying one.

When young Dawn with her rose-red fingers shone once more,
God himself handed down to mortal man the final product.
Jesus scowled and Muhammad wept, equals in their jealousy.
Buddha barely noticed and Krishna's flute fell in disbelief.
Then man rejoiced in his superiority over elements and fish,
which are not too difficult to catch, really when you think about it.

The Hardy Zane Ti
is an exercise in excess, the likes of which I have not seen since college. Go Salukis!  The sales pitch boasts a fully sealed drag, large knob (that's what she said) and a hand polishing by Alnwickian engineers.  They even go so far as to brag about how terribly engineered this thing is: it takes six days to hog solid titanium bar stock into the final form.  Won't you be pissed when you drop your new $8000 fly reel to the bottom of the sea?  Tip your glass to Poseidon, maybe he'll give it back.

Feb 22, 2011

Love the One You're With, or Hate the One You Love

I was having a case of the Tuesdays, pretty bad.  Remarking to a coworker, "I need to find a new job" resulted in him providing this link.  I've been trying to ignore the thought, but the question was finally thrown down. Could I fish professionally?

The article brings up some options, so lets break it down:
  • Off-shore commercial fishing is out right away. Downstate Illinois isn't known for it's shore and is much less popular for it's off-shore. Maybe I could squeak by with daily boat loads of Asian carp. Something tells me the government subsidies in that space are about to dry up, so lets move on...
  • Tournament fishing would be akin to throwing money away...or maybe it's more like buying a boat.  The idea is to make cash, not spend it. I'd be better served to meet the real professionals at the ramp and hand them my entry fee directly. I could save money on the boat that way.
  • I might be able to swing being a guide...for awhile. However, I get skunked regularly on the very water I know best.  Word would eventually get out about "that no good guide," and business would shrivel up faster than...well, you get the point.
  • One prospect not mentioned in the article is to go pro in the blog-o-sphere. I ran the numbers and at my current rate of return there wouldn't be much room for content between the ads.  But who needs content when you're making cash-money baby?
Yes, this is real, I was as shocked as you must be now.
Then I got to thinking about whether or not I really want to tarnish my only hobby.  After all, work is work and I believe you will grow to despise it eventually, not matter what you do.  I don't think I could handle the day when I have to drag ass out of bed to hit the lake.  Fishing is currently one of 2-3 pleasurable things I do, I'd like to leave it that way.

I better find something I like about the current situation.  Maybe I need a yacht, a posse, some booze and a B'Dazzled woman with a tackle box crotch.  That would sure liven things up at the old cubicle farm.

Feb 19, 2011

I'd Say We're Just in Time

The season of couch sitting and television watching is quickly coming to a close. Not quite yet, so don't get too mobile. Mother nature can be a tease, and what a tease she was.

"Any luck?" was his question.
"Nothing yet, just been here an hour" my reply.
"I guess we're a week too early"
"It is supposed to snow in two days."
"I heard," he admitted.
"I'd say we're just in time."

Today my shoulder aches just like it has many times in springs gone past. I took the Hoopty Noodle for a swing, the first one ever. She glistened in the sun and "whooped" in the warm air. We broke each other in, but I'll save the first fish for later.

This is still February, and we are due for snow on Monday.

Something Ain't Right

Something isn't right with the Mackinaw River water meter I normally watch.  To the point I'm comfortable saying it is just lying to me....straight to my face.

A peak of almost 4000cfs is pretty impressive (I think 400 is about the max for safe wading), but that is where she sat two days ago.  I believed it because we melted off about fifteen inches of snow in a 2-3 day period - that on top of thawing the ground water.

Then the flow started to fall, so I thought maybe an ice dam was to blame.  Today I check and she's all dried up?  Something ain't right.  In fact, it's the only meter around currently registering a drought...

Anyone have an explanation?  It's almost enough to make me drive out there and look.

Feb 17, 2011

Her Form Leaves Something to be Desired

Got this gem via MidCurrent who got it from Sports Illustrated. May I introduce Bruna Schmitz...

Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

...and the best fishing video you will see today.

If you like fishing, you may also want to check out Leryn Franco, or Kim Glass.  Heck, check out the whole bunch if you really like fishing.

Feb 16, 2011

Video Instructions: Clif's Crawdad Fly

I don't normally do requests...usually because I never get any.  However, I did get one a few weeks back in this post.  Jonn would like to see video instructions for Clif's Crawdad.  So here it is.  Even if you don't chase bass, you will appreciate what happens at 1:45ish.

Sorry that took so long to deliver.  I had to order new hackle, and even then it wasn't going to happen anytime soon.  Strange things happen though and I needed some content for this week in a hurry. I whipped that video up last night, while I should have been packing.  Had I more time, I would have done a better job with camera focus.

Alright water, open up!

Feb 14, 2011

Welcome OBN Type People (and their pets)

While editing, proof reading and finally rewriting my last post, OBN Joe was busy with a post of his own. Very timely of me to post some spanking new content, just in time to be named an OBN Blogger of the Week.

So a big hearty welcome to all those he tricked into visiting.  Take a poke around, be sure to dig into the archived content - there's a bunch.

If you like what you see, check out the "social chicklets" up there on the top right of the screen.  You can subscribe to the feed, by e-mail, on Facebook, and occasionally I publish video.  And of course, you can use the Blogger Follow widget too.  Take your pick, you will only be slightly disappointed.

We have had a legit winter this year in central Illinois. In fact, seasonal snow totals are threatening the all time record. Such a thing makes a fishing blog difficult to manage, but I have done my best and I guess Joe noticed. You'll have to go way back to October to see fish, but I think the 2010 recap is the best place to start if you're new.

Still good, but in a new kinda way

A recent post at Bass Parade jarred something loose in my memory; something I need to share before I forget again.  The old-timey videos reminded me of similar stuff, but with a local flair.

I am pleased to present Bassmaster's Superstars tourney, held in Peoria, IL from '93 until '95. Those guys were fishing the Illinois River - water I now look at every day.

Now I look at the river and wonder just how good the fishing was back then, it is a bit surreal to imagine. You see, the bass fishery is currently a shadow of the hot action they had back then. I've heard talk things are now improving, but I can not independently verify.

However, we are the center of the universe for "aerial bowfishing."  So there's the upside.

Keep reading:
- You can watch the '93 video here ('94 video is strangely absent...do I smell a conspiracy?)
- Official tournament results: from '95 from '94 - from '93.  A few of those names are pretty big these days.

Feb 12, 2011


Someone needs to brush up on his Finding Nemo.  Police report the motive was to avoid leaving witnesses, if only for three seconds.

It remains to be seen how his street cred will be effected.

Feb 11, 2011

Leave the Black Light Off

Encouraging news out of Michigan. The government's educational program seems to be taking hold in the land of Asian carp.  Michigan waters do not yet resemble a seedy hotel - pun intended.
"State officials say tests show no Asian carp DNA has been found in Michigan waters."
It also helps to have Simon doing his best to get the word out.  With a little ingenuity, we would have no need for a carp czar and a $80 million budget. Strip this thing enough and it is bound to block a double-helix or two...if even just by happenstance.

Durex Pike Streamer - Courtesy PFFA
Wait a minute...did I read the article wrong?

I Have My Eye on You

Last I saw it, there were some steel columns stuck in the ground. This week, Bass Pro Shops in East Peoria got most of a roof.

Starting to look like a building isn't it?

Feb 8, 2011

You Missed It Last Year, Didn't You?

Mark your calendars! Hooked on Fishing Park in East Peoria is once again opening their gates to fly anglers.  You give to a good cause and in return you get a crack at the biggest inland trout in the state.  The park is located about midway between Chicago and St. Louis, a short drive for you big city folk.  Here are the details from The Stream Stalker:

In conjunction with Nate Herman, I will be hosting a fly fishing day at the Hooked On Fishing park in East Peoria.  We held an event last year and it was a huge success.  This event is being held to raise funds to keep the park running.  The park is designed to allow kids and senior citizens the chance to fish waters that are intensively managed.  The lakes are full of fish, including the spring-fed trout pond that has the biggest trout you will find anywhere in the state.
The event will be held on March 12th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  Here are the guidelines:
1. Fly fishing only
2. All hooks must have the barb pinched down
3.  Purely catch - photo- and release
4.  A suggested $25 donation will get you into the park (if you can donate more, the park would truly appreciate it).

Hooked on Fishing Park in East Peoria is a local not-for-profit organization doing good. Their mission is simple:
Our mission is to teach the sport and joy of fishing to local children, senior citizens, and special needs groups by providing the equipment, place, and education free of charge.

For this fund raising event, they are opening the park for all fly rodders of any skill level. For beginners, there will be many experienced people to help you learn.  There will be plenty of rods to try out as well.  Did I mention the trout are huge and dumb?  Trust me, you'll get tired of taking pictures.

I went to last years event and had a blast.  These fish are pigs and take large streamers readily, last year I found Clouser minnows (up to size 2/0) to be very effective.

So there you have it.  This is a guaranteed to be a great time, Jonn uploaded some pictures from last year's event and I re-posted mine in this post.  If you have questions, leave them below or on Jonn's blog.

UPDATE: Click here for the location on Google Maps.

And here is the video I shot last year..I'll see you there.

Feb 5, 2011

Illinois: Still Pretty Flat

My new Illinois Atlas and Gazeteer map arrived this week.  If you don't know, it is a detailed topographical map with every gravel road and tiny piece of water identified.  For example, it turns out the nameless urban creek I explored last year actually has a name: Dry Run Creek - a name I find entirely fitting.  I tried to buy this thing at a store but everywhere I went did not carry the Illinois version.  I found one for every neighboring state plus North Carolina, Nevada and Italy. No Illinois maps...in Illinois.

It is full of little blue lines to explore and all the public land is clearly identified.  In a few weeks I will start adding fishy notes, so today I made some security improvements...

"Sir! Please step away from the atlas!"

Feb 2, 2011

This is not an apology

I was on a pretty good tear for a few weeks, saturating the market with blog posts.  You may have noticed I've been a bit absent more recently. If it ain't one thing...

It's another.

I have a back log of post ideas nearly as long as the list of your posts I missed.  Fear not loyal readers, the world will soon regain equilibrium. Shortly after, our water will be wet again and I will be happy.

Now I have to take the garbage to the curb.