Wednesday, July 29, 2015

PSA - save the fish

As the water and air temps get stupid hot, don't forget to revive any fish you plan to release.   It's something that should always be done....but especially important now.  A popular technique is holding the tail and slowly moving the fish back and the water!  Don't forget that part.  You'd be surprised.  When your victim is strong enough to swim away, on it's will.

A less popular method is "mouth-to-mouth".  Not sure how effective it is...but this guy made a bunch of money doing it, so I guess it's worth a try.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My fascination continues

Anything and everything, "driftless", catches my attention.  The more I learn, the more fascinated I become.  Which means more searching, reading, and watching.  Check out this cool documentary.  It'll take 26 minutes of your life to watch, but I think it's worth it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The kitchen sink...

It's silly hot outside, but that's not what's keeping me from fishing.  All the rain that fell in MO and North AR had a huge impact locally and on the trout waters.  In short, the lakes in the northern part of the state are high...which means lots of generation.  No kayaking on the Little Red or the White.

favorite SMB fly's

Felsenthal NWR, which is my local water was also high, not now,'s located in the southeast part of the know what they say...S$#t rolls down hill.  And I don't have time to travel.  So...

This weekend, not putting my kayak in that!

Should look like this but Sh1t rolls south

It's time to start training for my next marathon, up to 39 miles this week.  Gonna run the Tulsa Route 66 marathon in November, this will be my 8th state (10th total)...hope to cross off all 50.  Obviously, I'll be fishing those states as I travel through them (so you want to subscribe to my blog  to see cool stuff).  Running and fishing through 50 states...that's the plan!  I like running in the heat...but I stay on the trails and bring the camelbak.  Earlier, I said it was silly hot, I really meant STUPID hot.  I'm an idiot for running in this, but I do dumb things when I can't fish...

If your running in the afternoon in July or August, stay near water and in the shade!

After I run, I bang out a few patterns.  Hoping to cash in on hopper season.  I know it's getting close when the grasshoppers start bouncing off my legs when I run...starting to happen!  Plenty of high water....get'n excited.  Put a few of my favorite SMB patterns at the top.  The popper is on it's last leg, literally.  Its been money early and late.

Fish'n is in the forecast...check back in to see how it goes (road trip planned).  In parting, I want to say....the cubs got "no hit" yesterday but I'm a Cubs fan for life.  Go Cubbies!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekly Man Therapy

In case you were under a rock and missed this...

If your name isn't, "Mick Fanning", you need to watch.

I've watched a lot of shark encounter (hate the word "attack") videos on YouTube, "Sharkweek" (my favorite week of the year), the news...I can't, not watch (but I'll never watch Sharknado)!  They all have a few things in common, lots of screaming, crying, and panic are seen/heard...understandable!  Check out Mr. Fanning's reaction..."cool as the other side of the pillow".  The only thing I question is his decision to climb aboard a jet ski when there's a 25' boat beside him....I'm get'n in the boat!

Who can honestly say, they wouldn't have been screaming like the "scapegoat" in...

He's got my vote for President.

On a side note, this is a perfect example of why, I don't eat anything, that can eat me.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Essential Gear for summer activities

No kidding around, it's hot and fishing in this weather can be dangerous.  Don't forget to hydrate.   This isn't new information.  But carrying a bunch of water in a cooler and stopping has always been my challenge.  It's easy to pack what you need in a kayak but taking a break from fishing or paddling is where I usually slack off.  Plus, if you're wading and walk away from the kayak...what do you do?  Carry a bottle in your shorts or clip it to your belt.  Both are better than planning to walk back when you want a drink....that could be too late.  Another option:

The last few years, I've been using my Camelbak for fishing, wading, and kayaking.  I love it and consider it essential gear for anything and everything I do outside.  The CamelBak has been around for years, but if you're not familiar.  It's basically a backpack with a 2 liter reservoir and a 2 foot straw.  I strap it to my kayak's seat and wrap the straw around the chair.  I can drink while fishing or paddling.  It's out of the way but there when I need it.  Very convenient.

When I stop to wade, I take it off the seat and wear it.  It's got a few pockets if you want to pack snacks or fishing stuff  (like your fishing license, sunscreen, phone, etc).  My fly line never snags on it and it's not heavy.  The biggest advantage is where you carry the water and having ready access to it.  You can pound the pads with a baitcaster or keep a fly in the drift while you're hydrating and never look away or put the rod down.  Fish more and be more productive, while you avoid dying from heat stroke...AWESOME!

Be really cool to see a kayak manufacturer come up with something similar for their kayak seats. Until that happens, this alternative can help you avoid getting dehydrated while your fishing/kayaking.  The water is literally sitting on your fish and drink on!  Stay hydrated my friends.

**Other models have lots of pockets, bigger reservoirs, and can carry a lot more gear.  I prefer the lighter set-up.  I've owned this one for about 10 years and had to replace the reservoir twice.  I consider that pretty durable.

***Store the reservoir in the freezer to cut down on mold that might grow (can be hard to clean)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Time for a change

I don't typically manipulate any of my photos, I'm sure that you're already aware of that fact.  Today I decided to change the look of the blog and goofed around with some photo editing software.  I was impressed.  Hope you enjoy the look of the updated blog and a few enhanced pictures.

See the antenna?

I've really got to go fishing, I obviously have too much time on my hands.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Weekly Man Therapy

Saw this a few days ago and thought of a few guys that need to see it.  If you're on the list below, you need to watch this now and again before you go to bed.  It does have some colorful language...

1.  If you've ever "grinned" in a "grip-n-grin".  Nuff said.

2.  If you've ever fished in a "Bright Peach" colored shirt. (My wife owns a shirt in this exact color...just say'n)

3.  If you own a boat but don't know how to back it down a boat ramp.

4.  You're at a bar and say to your buddy, "You fly, I buy", then you ask for a Smirnoff Ice.  (You're wrong for ever drinking that and there's no chance in hell, I'm asking the hot chick behind the bar for a Smirnoff Ice.  Hope you like whiskey)

5.  Take the Keurig on a camping trip!  Last year a guy asked if I wanted a cup of coffee.  Sure, I love coffee.  He then, showed me the Keurig and the many flavors he had.  He was a scout leader on a BSA trip...lawd help us!

6.  You haven't been fishing in a month. (I'm getting close)

7.  You still can't tie a "Palomar" knot w/o watching YouTube first.

8.  On a recent fishing trip you told your wife you'd be home by dark, and you were!  (If your wife hasn't called the game wardens and reported you missing at least once.  Then you're coming home too soon!)

9.  Don't believe the SEC is the toughest conference in college football.

10.  Don't own a kayak.  Just messing...but seriously!

Friday, July 10, 2015

PHWFF event at Lilleys' Landing - how you can help!

Haven't been able to fish in a while, it seems anyway.  So I've been catching up on some fishy reading.  Today, I stumbled upon a Project Healing Water event being held at Lilleys Landing Resort on Lake Taneycomo in Branson, MO.  See below:

"Wanted: Ozark Anglers fly tiers to tie trout flies for supporting the upcoming Healing Waters Project in Lake Taneycomo.

Lilleys Landing has sponsored the Healing Waters Project for the last 6 years (in August) to provide a day and a half of trout fishing for approximately 27 returning wounded warrior vets. They have also provided some meals and lodging. Some local businesses have provided food and a show for these vets.

Several of the local guides and a few individuals provide their time and boats to take the vets fly fishing for this event.

It would be appropriate for Ozark Anglers fly tiers to participate and tie a box or boxes of trout flies for this occasion. Only one box of flies would be given to a participating vet. Any extra sets will either be saved for the next season or given to the Director for dispersal for other needs.

Provide a box or boxes of approximately 24 common trout flies you normally use when fly fishing Lake Taneycomo. I would suggest tying 4 flies each of 6 different types of flies such as midges, scuds, small jigs, soft hackles, egg flies, fry flies and/or san juan worms.
Put a label on the bottom of the box tha
t reads "tied by -- add your name" and send them to:

Phil Lilley -- Project Healing Waters
Lilleys Landing Resort
367 River Lane
Branson, MO. 65616

We need these no later than the first of August.

Who will join me and contribute to this worthy project."

I don't have all the details, didn't really need them, but I'm mailing a box of terribly tied flies.  I'm publicly apologizing to whoever gets stuck with my flies, next year they'll be better.  If you want to participate or need additional info give Lilleys' a call @ 1-866-545-5397.  Additional links below:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lesson learned (Grand Isle, LA TR)

So today I was cleaning up from the last 3 weeks and I ran across something that reminded me of the day of fishing I endured while in Grand Isle, LA.  In all the travel, fun, and upcoming travel planning, I had forgotten something really important...a lesson learned if you will.

The set-up:
The day I picked to fish, there wasn't much tidal movement and the weather was not ideal, scattered thunderstorms every morning.  I kept it pretty casual, I ate breakfast, made coffee, packed a light lunch...that's casual by my standards!  Didn't get moving until after I got the family set for hang'n on the beach while I was gone.  When I made it to the water at 9, the weather was just getting kicked up.  Clouds were building and the wind was swirling.  Headed out...

An hour later, I was listening to ESPN on the radio waiting out the 1st round of storms.  Everything was look'n good at 10:45, so back out I paddled.  I must have had a big flashing sign on my head that read "this dude wants to cut you", b/c every red I saw spooked before I could lay the paddle down...seriously, reds that were 2 ponds over were bailing, like drunk drivers jumping from cars, at a sobriety check point.  I started questioning everything I was doing, how I was fishing...what I needed to change.  Redlining the brain function, it gave me my answer in one word, HAT!

Today I ran across the Beach hat (left), fishing hat (right)

I had left my fishing hat in the van!  I'm not, or wasn't superstitious...I'm not sure now.  I didn't head back right away, not wanting to believe it could be the big wide brim hat I was wearing.  But another round of storms moved in.  Having been in NWARK a few weeks prior, during this trip, when I guy was struck and killed by lightening on Beaver Lake.

Got caught in the same lightening storms while I was in the wasn't fun.

I headed back to the van at the first sight of lightening.  As it stood, I had caught exactly 2 reds.  Easily my worst fishing trip in SELA.  30 minutes later, I headed back out for a 3rd time, armed with my fishing hat (not calling it lucky...just my fishing hat) and spinning gear.  I decided to pack up the fly rod.  With the wind, the clouds, and the schizophrenic reds, it just wasn't happening from a kayak.

Tide is OUT!

The little tidal fall that was going to happen, was due to arrive any minute.  I had a feeling, that change would save the day, if anything could.  I started to hear reds crashing bait...finally!  The sweet sounds of feeding fish.  It's amazing, I had crossed the same area 2 other times heading for refuge in the van, but on the 3rd trip back out...the fish had moved in.

At one point, I saw a group of reds swimming.  Made a cast, hooked/netted a red.  I watched as the group continued to circle the yak.  So close, I could almost hear them hollering, "marco", waiting for the return "polo".  Instead, I offered them the same gold spoon...near double on same bait.  At times, it can be that good in SELA, especially if your wearing a fishing hat.

Good eats

I fished the same area until 2, when I got the, "are you headed back yet", call from my wife.  My response..."of course, I left 5 minutes ago" (what would you say).  Dropped everything and started paddling!  Make your own call about the hat...but I'm only fishing in my fishing hat.  Lesson learned!