Home buying sucks. I should have been a nomad. I’d be a nomad if I didn’t really like my wife. Started my weekend off with a brake upgrade on the FXT with most of the work being done by my homie John. He’s got skills that I’m trying to learn. It feels good for the RosieO’DonnelMobile to be able to stop. Damned good.
It’s warming up in Indiana and so is the fishing. The fly fishing club I belong to, Tippecanoe Fly Fishers, had their annual casting clinic on Sunday. The turn out was disappointing, but with a massive lake full of big bass to yourself, you make due. I lost some huge fish. I caught a lot of the normal chunky pond bass and even a few bluegill who were ballsy enough to try and eat a fly their size.
Oh and here’s a real river monster.
Finally got out with the kayaks last week after some crazy amounts of rain. The creek is finally starting to return to normal. The new Jackson kayak is getting broken in and it’s doing nicely. It’s taken some getting used to, but now I’m feeling pretty comfortable with it. That extra 3′ of boat and the extra weight is harder to get used to that I thought it would be, but the trade offs are awesome. I’m able to carry more gear, stow fully assembled rods inside the boat, store camera gear, and still have room for camping equipment, food, and everything else I could ever need. Oh and we didn’t catch a fish. I moved one smallmouth. My excuses: That water is cold. Gravity. Aliens. Turbid and high CFS. Aliens.
I also found some awesome plans for a DIY kayak cart. Since the DIY ethos is part of this blog, I jumped on this. It’s a genius idea and it’s super cheap to build. You can’t beat that! Seriously, less than $50 at the hardware store, a hacksaw, measuring tape, and some pvc glue. In less than an hour you’ll have a badass kayak cart that breaks down in seconds and stows inside your boat. http://palmettokayakfishing.blogspot.com/2011/04/diy-bulletproof-kayak-cart-build.html
While you’re on Palmetto Kayak, check his other DIY’s. Very cool stuff going on over there.
Two weeks ago I had high hopes for a spring full of fish. I had dreams of fishing my local streams, searching for those fish I knew by name, hoping they made it through another long Indiana winter. I know now that spring is a tease. Spring is that girl in high school who lets you in for a second base slide but throws you out at third. In these past two weeks we’ve had storm after storm dump rain on our heads. What really gets me is that by July I will be begging the skies to open up and spit just a little of that precious liquid into these creeks. There are places that are now ten foot under and by August will be a trickle.
Today I went out just to see how two local spots were looking. According to the experts, we last had this much water in the 1950′s. Fields were flooded, the Wabash river is still out of it’s banks. Our smaller waters have gone down a bit, but not nearly enough to fish. The waters are moving triple the speed they normally do. I noticed some massive log jams but couldn’t get close to take a photo, the banks I normally walk on are gone, sitting a few feet down right now. We’ve got another two weeks before we can really think about fishing here. Two weeks if the skies don’t turn on the faucets. In case you were wondering, hope is on the surface reality is down below.
p.s. – watch out for anarchist love nazis when out on the water.
FINALLY. It’s been a long winter. Longer than what should be allowed in any fishing person’s life. I’ve patiently (ha!) sat and tied flies to fill boxes. I’ve given a lot away and my boxes look empty to my eye. It’s a vicious circle. My buddy Don sent me a text yesterday. Let’s fish. Wes sent me a message. Let’s fish. It seemed people wanted to fish and when I stepped outside into 70 degree weather I could see why. Got to the river, geared up, and I wanted to sprint to the water. The water looked awesome. Clear, good levels, and no people standing in it. One of the best thing about Indiana fishing is the huge amounts of water and the lack of people fishing it. The fools can go to combat waters and fight tooth and nail for a spot to slang flies at stressed fish. Give me empty waters with fat fish any day all day. I grabbed a few flies and stuck them in my hat for safe keeping. My Fishpond bag broke last season. Zippers. I have bad luck with them. I took a few patterns to test and lost two right away to smallies. Bad tippet? Bad knot? I’m blaming the knot for one. That sucked. I hate losing flies I’m testing but I love knowing they work.
Losing the white and chartreuse flies these smallmouth love was a kick in the head. Time to crank some out and make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I tried other colors but no reactions. Finally tied on an olive articulated fly I use for browns and stuck a nice fish. Don and I landed a few fish during the few hours on the water. Having bass thumb feels damned good. Really good.
I do have a few things I need to pick up for this season. Switch rod. I’m gonna do it. I need a sling pack too. I want something waterproof that I can toss a camera in and two of the foam inserts for flies. A little room for two or three tippet spools, nippers, and pliers would be nice. I just gotta find that kind of pack. It’s gotta be out there. There are so many talented people making amazing gear so the search begins.
I never posted these after Jordan and I fished northern Wisconsin for musky. I found them and am kicking myself for not posting them back then.
This pretty much sums up how awesome that was. These are the kinds of pictures that get me through the winter and looking to the spring, summer, and fall.
Sometimes you walk a long ways in snow to stand in chocolate milk colored water. Sometimes you have awesome folks with you to keep you company. New friends and old. This is what fly fishing is about.
Don’t really have words in my brain this morning. I will say I’m quite lucky to live in a town with a great shop full of super talented artists.
Filed under Photo, Tattoos
Winter fishing can be a fickle mistress. December 2nd in Northwest Indiana should mean snow and ice. Not the nice white fluffy snow but that dirty grayish snow so common to steel towns.
It’s 61 degrees with a south wind changing randomly to west south west. Overcast, the sun tries hard to burn though the veil of fog that shrouds the lake. A stealth bomber makes a random appearance during the day, banking over the lake to our north before disappearing into the fog. Rain keeps threatening, but can’t deliver.
It’s always a gamble with fishing. That’s why we do it, I think. Then again what the hell do I know?
A lot less than I think I do. That’s for sure.
We were after browns and carp. There’s always carp here, it’s what it’s known for in local fishing lore. Not a single golden bone was seen and the water is still too warm for the trout. These are what we call excuses. The shad were plenty. We snagged a bunch. On almost every retrieve was a silver fish spiked on a hook. Stupid shad. They have no excuse. Evolve or die.
One brown was caught. It needed to grow for a few years before it came to play again.
Winter fishing also means one thing. You start the day in pitch black and end it in pitch black. This leads me to another thought stolen from Douglas Adams, “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so”.