Friday, June 29, 2012

A Nice Day for a Float

Yeah right , maybe if you like 104 degree afternoon temps and a thirty mph South wind that makes it feel like you're stationed inside of a furnace duct. Oh well , it was the only day I had to work with this last week so you just make do sometimes. The plan was to head to a local river that drains into an even bigger river and try my luck once again with hooking up a gar.
 I couldn't find any able bodies that were willing to join me (wonder why?) so I loaded up the boat and hit the road on my own. If you've been following along you know that I got out a couple times last summer on this same river and tried to catch my first flyrod gar , unsuccessfully I might add.
Turn the page a year and at the end of the day the results were unfortunately the same. A lot less water in the river this year and I only saw a total of three gar the entire afternoon , didn't get a fly in front of any of them.
I did try out a new gar fly given to me by a fellow Drakian here recently , this one utilizes a treble hook instead of nylon rope for the business end.
 The thing looked fantastic in the water , great action and suspended at just the right depth to keep it visible. Definitely a winner and I'll be back out giving it another shot as soobn as I get the opportunity.
The bright point in the afternoon was having the company of three bald eagles for almost the entire float , an adult and two juveniles.
 With no one else on the river but myself they didn't seem to mind me too much and went about their business as if I wasn't there. The juveniles were constantly vocalizing every time "mom" flew off downriver to scout out a new fishing spot , soon after they'd follow and when I rounded the next corner they'd all be sitting in a tree branch together.
Pretty cool I thought , I've seen lots of bald eagles over the years but never had the opportunity to watch a family of them like that. I got a couple of shitty pics from my P&S camera but they stayed just far enough away to never allow a good in-focus shot.
Even with the lack of fish and almost unbearable heat , at the end of the day I was still glad I made the trip. You just can't have experiences like that if you're sitting home on the couch....

Monday, June 25, 2012

6/22 - Bass , Carp and Drum...A Day Fishing the Homewaters

After spending the first few days of my weekend helping a relative move, I decided Thursday night that Friday would be a "me" day. I had some plans on Saturday that were keeping me from taking a roadtrip down South , but that's allright we got a few fish in Kansas as well.
Joe and I started off the morning at the crack of dawn and headed out to a small county lake to try our hand at some bass fishing. The morning was beautiful , you just can't beat watching the steam rise off the water and listening to nature waking up as the sun peaks over the surrounding hillsides.
This small body of water is loaded with bass and while I've been told there are some nice ones as well , I just havn't found any of them on previous trips. We started off the morning catching a 10 inch bass on the second cast and the action just continued on from there.  I started off with a small baitfish colored popper and enjoyed watching the little guys attacking that for most of the morning.  I caught fish on a couple of other flies as well but had the most fun fishing the topwater baits. I suppose that could be part of my size problem , if I'd leave the little ones busting the surface alone and dredge the deeper waters I might change my luck , I just can't pass up a good topwater bite though. Unfortunately that first 10 inch bass was as big as they would get , I might have had one or two pushing a foot but that was about it.
Still good fun,  but after awhile the time comes to throw in the towel and go try for something that can put a little more bend in the ole rod.
Joe and I decided to pack it in about mid-morning and head back North towards a local reservoir to try our luck with a few carp on the flats. With the entire day to kill we weren't in any hurry so we stopped off and did a little re-con around a couple of other areas I had wanted to check out for carp activity on the way. They both turned out to be a bust on this day , muddy water and no fish visible. One of the spots I know had carp because I could see the signs of some feeding activity , mud boils , but without clear enough water to actually see the fish and the eat it just wasn't the same so after a few casts we decided to pack it in.
As luck would have it we were pulling into the small town just down the road from our intended destination right around lunchtime.
 An old bank that's since been turned into a BBQ joint resides here and we took advantage of it and grabbed a bite to go and then headed for the State Park and a picnic table to enjoy it on.
 Some good que and a cold one sure hits the spot after a morning on the water , I'm pretty sure Joe agrees.
After sitting in the shade and letting our lunch settle in for awhile we grabbed the rod and walked down to the shallow flats surrounding the area. Conditions were much more favorable here and we immediately began to see feeding fish , lots of drum and a few carp mixed in with them. I tied on the same fly that was working the last time I was out and instantly hooked up with a small drum.
 These small guys were just everywhere and relatively easy to get to eat. I probably landed close to twenty drum altogether , most of them just an average size , but I did have a couple of real pigs come to hand today.
 Even a two pounder puts up a good fight on the old flyrod but when you get one hooked that's pushing 10+ it's a battle royale.
The carp weren't quite as numerous as the drum but when I did spot one I could generally get him to eat , I ended up with six total and a couple of them weren't too shabby either.
At the end of the day I'd have to say it was about as good as it gets for a flyfisherman in Kansas.....Carp , Drum , Bass and BBQ!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

6/6 - 6/8...Last Minute Getaway

P1010966 Three days and two nights spent camping and fishing on the river with my favorite fishing partner , nothing I'd rather be doing and no one I'd rather be doing it with. This was one of those last minute trips thrown together without much planning on my part , nothing wrong with a little spontaneity every once in a while. I got off work Tuesday and after watching the local weather report that night told the wife that Joe and I were gonna wake up in the morning and hit the road. I wasn't even sure where we'd end up ,but I knew the general direction I needed to head to give me several different options for fishing. One of the best things about having a fishing partner like Joe , he's always ready to go on those last minute trips and he never has an issue with the chosen destination. Now if I could just get him to pay for his half of the gas.... P1020044 After several hours on the road Wednesday we ended up at one of my favorite rivers. Along the way we had stopped at a couple of other streams to check out the water conditions and crowds but decided to keep on driving. This hot , dry weather as of late had some of my sweet little wild trout streams running precariously low for this time of year so I decided to give the fish a break and move on to bigger waters. P1010972 Other than the last minute planning, this outing was no different than any other fishing trip. With the summer like temps we fished early and late and sat around camp (in the shade)tying flies and keeping hydrated with a few adult beverages during the heat of the day. P1020096 The fishing itself was pretty damn good , didn't catch anything of any size but the rainbows were stacked up pretty good in the faster water and deeper tailouts making them easy to find. Small streamers , nymphs , even a dry fly bite one morning that I was able to take advantage of and pluck out a couple small fish , everything seemed to work equally well. P1010955 That's pretty much the rundown for the entire three days ,I'm feeling a little short on words today so I'll just let the pics tell the rest of the story..... Even this river was running extremely low for this time of year. P1010953 P1020057 The fish didn't seem to mind though , we still found a few willing players P1020050 P1020034 P1020022 P1020148 P1020059 P1020071 P1020158 P1020065 Although a little less prepared than usual due to last minute planning , we still managed to find time for a decent meal. P1020125 P1020052 P1010982 P1010987 We spent the hot part of the day just kicking back at camp and relaxing. P1020094 P1010990 P1020089 Not a bad way to spend a couple of early summer days if I say so myself , I might just have to do that again. Until next time.... P1020153 P1020151