Monday, December 14, 2009

Knowledge is Key...

To what? Many of us has heard the lines about knowledge being the key to success and knowledge is power. Well with my 24 years of life, I'm slowly starting to see how this actually does have some truth behind it. But there is more to it. Having the knowledge is great, but if you don't do anything with it, then whats the point? This brings me to my reason for blogging tonight.
I mentioned in a previous blog that I was making two fishing trips from Saturday to Monday. Well, Saturday was a bust...as in no fish were caught, but the ability to get out and roam around uncharted waters is an experience in itself. Today was another trip out, and it was actually to the exact same spot that I walked away from smelling like skunk on Saturday morning.
This trip was originally planned by (I hope) a future longtime fishing buddy Ed. We headed down to the river sharing previous stories and what we were about to get ourselves into. Right away he starts showing me around the spot. I being a fly guy and carp being a nice target to persue, Ed went right to work pointing out some great spots to drift a fly.
We slowly slide into the water, and after we are both all tied up ready to cast, we slowly move downstream. His advice and knowledge doesn't stop there. He talks about his techniques that he's used up and down the shoreline that has produced some good Smallmouth Bass numbers.
This continued for a good hour, two guys, shooting the shit, casting aimlessly in water that neither of us knew what was lurking ahead. After walking downstream about 200 yards from our point of entry, and reaching the target spot, we start casting, I hear Ed talking about a sheet of ice that just missed him by a few feet. The sheet was about the size of a bedroom, and we both agreed it isn't safe out there.
Another trip to the spot, another time walking away skunked. These past two trips haven't been worthless though, not even close to it. Tonight I learned more about a good stretch of a river that flows 115 miles in IL.
The reason for the post was not to talk about a night of learning, but to say thank you. Thank you Ed for having the knowledge, and not only using it for yourself, but passing it on to someone that really hasn't worked this river all that much.
When it comes to fishing, its the knowledge that gets passed on from fisherman to fisherman that makes this hobby that we all love grow. So to that, knowledge IS key.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Carp in the Water


I finally reached that point when it was either I go out and fish, or I lay around moping around. Well I'm not one to really feel sorry for myself, so I decided to toss some flies on a local river. A few buddies and I have been talking about a few stretches of the Fox River that was producing some good numbers of SM Bass. Travis ,a gentleman that I haven't had the luxury to meet face to face with yet but have spoke with him through a few internet fishing sites, did a little adventuring around a warm water discharge when it had a lite snow falling. He did a great job catching a few smallmouth bass. It wasn't what he was catching that caught my attention, it was what he was noticing. Carp, all around him, kept slurping the surface. Travis noticed that caddis flies were in the foam that floated along the surface. This got me excited since it has been a while since I've had some weight on the end of my fly rod (it was actually my last time out, which the weight moved me up and downstream before the hook came out).
I reach my destination at about 10:50am which was much later then I was hoping for, but being 24 on a saturday morning sometimes means sleep is inportant. Now let me give you some information about this spot. I learned about it earliar this week. for anyone that knows the Fox River, there is locations up and down the entire thing that can and will produce fish on a consistent basis. I know two of these areas (and I don't know them well). So after suiting up for battle, I made my way down to the river. As soon as I approached, carp swam off in all areas. As soon as I got a view of the river, I felt relaxed, almost a euphoric feeling come over me. That river smell hit my senses, and when I took my first steps wading around, I just felt great again. I love how being about 35 minutes from my fairly busy suburban town, I feel like I'm in a completely remote place.
I walked out from shore about 20 ft, and worked my way upstream toward the discharge. I started off throwing a dry fly, even though I didn't notice carp hitting the surface at all. I moved up and down the shore from my entry point to the discharge with nothing to show for it, unless you were watching me since I became very proficient in ''ice chunk dodging." After about 2 hours of working this 70 yard stretch of water with random dry and wooly bugger flies, I did what I try to do after every time on the water. I waded over to the shore, put my fly rod down, and just took in my surroundings. I keep a small notebook in my vest so I can write down notes while I'm on the river. I wrote down a few notes, and started back toward my car. I took my time getting my stuff organized and back into the car. I wanted to try and soak up the moment I was in. Fishing has become an escape for me. Not that I need an escape, but everyone that works a full time job, and has pretty much the same schedule on a day to day basis knows that when you get away and do something you're passionate about, well...there is nothing like it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Temp in the Teens

I wonder if all fisherman/outdoorsman spend there free time the same as me when your lungs freeze as soon as you walk outside. I know living in the Chicagoland, a little cold weather shouldn't be something hard to handle, and it isn't. But when all you want to do is get out and get a line wet somewhere, just to be out in the fresh air with nature, it makes it hard. The last thing I wanted to do today was leave my warm spot on the couch. I would love to have been able to stay connected to the Internet all day, reading reports (either old or new) and articles regarding my favorite species or waters to fish. Instead I ran some errands and started reading a book. Now reading for the fun of it is something new in my list of hobbies. And its not because I think reading is dumb or that someone that likes to read is a dweeb. I just have a hard time finding a book that can keep my attention for 300 pages or so. So about the book now that I'm currently obsessed with. The title is, Zipping My Fly, Moments in the Life of an American Sportsman, by Rich Tosches. I'm only a few chapters deep in it, but its a great read and I highly recommend it if your into reading about a hobby as fly fishing, mixed with some humor. This will definitely be my warm spot on the couch hobby til I finish it.
Besides the book, I have a few outings to look forward to. Sometime this weekend, I plan on hitting up a spot on the Fox River to give the fly rod one last chance for the year. The main target will be carp (yes carp). The area is a warm water discharge, so I'm sure it will be loaded with other fish, but carp on the fly is the main goal for that outing.
The other trip is another Fox River outing and that will be targeting the great tasting walleye (not that these will be kept for eating) with a fellow fisherman Ed. This trip is mostly being coordinated by Ed since I'm not too familiar with the waters of the Fox. Either way, getting out, getting a line wet, is something I've been looking forward to do since Black Friday (wow, didn't realize it's been that long since I've fished, but I guess knee surgery will put a setback). I look forward to writing down reports from these outings. Hopefully a few fish pictures will accompany the report.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lost and Found

If anyone enjoys adventuring out around a new or old waterway, whether it be a river, stream, or lake, then you are just like me. I love allowing myself to get caught in the moment and just enjoy myself in my surroundings at that moment. I've fished for as long as I can remember, and just recently really took it to another level than just a hobby (well I'm trying to). I fish mostly outside of Chicago, but do travel out to Ohio and Wisconsin to wade the rivers seeking multi species. A fly rod is my number one weapon of choice, and the smallmouth bass is my number one target, but I do not limit myself to targeting this species or this fishing method. I plan on traveling all over the Midwestern States in search to hookup with anything that is biting. If you enjoy reading about fishing travels and everything that deals with them, then hopefully my posts entertain you. Welcome to Lost and Found, Fishing the Midwest.