Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Whiskey, Dessa, and Fly tying

Once again it's been a while, but once again I've nada to report.  Chicago isn't what I was expecting.  I have neither money nor time to explore too much.  I've played with the lake and river and pond or two and haven't had any luck.  I finally broke my skunk streak a week ago with some gills out of North Pond in Lincoln Park.  Not too exciting but I was actually really happy.  Reason #524 to love bluegills!  I picked up a Cabela's Three Forks 3 wt last fall and I've gotta say it makes the bluegills a lot of fun.
I know Cabela's rods aren't the greatest (or so people say) but I actually really like them.  For the price I don't think they can be beat.  To qoute Fishing Jones..." We fish econo."  Sure I'd love to have a brand new Helios or Z- Axis but it aint gonna happen on my salary!  I'm glad I found my Orvis Clearwater 9 wt on Craigslist.  
Cool thing though is that I met the guy who runs Chicago Trout Bum by chance the other day.  Works at the Orvis store down on Michigan Ave.  I've been in there once or twice but I avoid Mich Ave when I can.  Their average clientele are a bunch of rich jagoffs but the guys who work there seem pretty cool.  Anyways, David was a really nice guy.  We talked local spots for a few minutes and I learned a bit about why I've had such a hard time up here.  It seems there isn't a whole lot going on in this city.  
I hope over the summer (if it ever shows up) to go to more county parks.  Reports may be more about cylcling or "hiking" than fishing but I'm trying.  The wife an I have decided to set in motion some actions to possibly move back to Atlanta in the next year.  This just doesn't seem to be working for us.  If that does happen, I plan to become much more involved and try to do some things on a larger scale as far as the Urban Outdoors thing goes.  Here's hoping.  Until then I'll likely be very sporadic as far as posts go.  
Thanks to everyone who follows this blog and thanks for all the support and encouragement I always get from you.  I hope to meet everyone of you one these days.  Good luck and get the hell outside!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Killing a February afternoon

Trying to prep a little bit for ice out in a month.  Cabin fever is kiling me and my motivation to tie.  I just want to fish.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sleeping in the Dirt

Another new digital mag has been born and it's great.  I've been following this blog for a while now and it's obviously a labor of love for this guy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


It's winter in Chicago which means damn near everything is frozen and it sucks.  I've been able to get a bunch of OT at the new gig (which is good though it seriously cramps my fishing time).  Though it kinda kills most hopes of ever getting out ice fishing this season.
But there is hope.
1.)  I finally picked up some new glue so I can at least get some stuff tied up for when the temps rise a couple more degrees.
2.) My friends googlemaps, the VX, and I have been doing a teeny bit of scouting.  So I at least have a few places on my route to/from work that I'm ready to check out if it's ever still daylight when I leave.
3.) I got a new camera for Christmas after losing mine last summer while kayaking some rapids in a tunnel in GA.
4.)  The Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo is next weekend!  Finally something to do!  It's out in St. Charles since the Chicago convention scene has pretty much killed itself but I can't wait.  There's going to be some really good seminars involving Musky, Carp, Pollution, Smallmouth, and Chicagoland waterways.  If you're in the area try to check it out.  I'm hoping to have a halfway decent report the week after.  Check out the website at http://www.greatwatersflyfishingexpo.com/ there's also a show in Minneapolis in March.
So here we go getting ready for spring.  Warmer temps are on the way and even if I lose a finger or two, I'm going fly fishing soon!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I know I've fallen out for a few months and I'm sorry.  We completed our move to Chicago back in early Sept and have spent the last 3 or so months trying to find some decent work.  Well it finally happened.  Starting Jan 4 I'll finally be in a good position.  Then Hopefully I'll be able to start working on figuring out Chicago's waterways.  
I've spent a good deal of time on the water since I've been here.  Being unemployed and 2 blocks from the big lake gave me a lot of time to play.  And during the salmon season no less!  Unfortunately, no dice.  I have no idea how to fish the lake.   It's Fucking huge and I have no idea where to start around here.  
There's also the river.  Which most of the time is lined with currogated steel and you're standing on a "bank" 10 feet above the waterline.  Makes it interesting to say the least.
But that's what the winter is for.  Research, research, and fly tying.  And some ice fishing (which I haven't done in years)!  
So hopefully next spring I'll be able to get a new camera and start getting more regualr with this thing.  I'm hoping to hook up with some more area fly guys so if anyone knows anyone in the area, hit me up.  
Hope everyone enjoys the winter.  Good luck and I'll see you next spring.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Our base camp for days 3 and 4 was right below Lower Basswood Falls.  We spent our first day there exploring our little point and fishing the falls and island.   We caught a good number of smallmouths on both fly and spin,  and lost even more.  

We kept a few for dinner.  Sometimes you've just got to.
I cooked these up wrapped in foil with butter and Jack Daniels.  We even put some crunched Pecans in with it for a twist.  Usually I put in onions but we forgot them.

And Mike caught the smallest fish of the week!

So day 3 was a great fishing day.
Day 4 not so much.  Dad and I decided to go back up Horse river to a couple of pools we had seen on the way up.  It had rained that night and I think it changed the rules of the game on us.  We tried everything but the smallies were no where to be found.  It picked up in the afternoon though and we brought in a few smalls and pike.  Dad hooked up with something big that straightened out the treble on his rooster tail and shook it.  I lost a decent pike on a black wooly bugger.  I wasn't expecting pike and he cut my tippet.  Crazy part was that I watched the same fish try to hit the spinner I ran through the pool 5 times!  I could see the black bead head in his mouth!

The campsite was great.  We had the sound of the falls in the background,  a great open view across the lake, and the best neighbors ever:

And one more photo just because I like it:

Friday, September 18, 2009

BWCA '09 Part Dos

We arrived in Ely, MN. It was a group of 5 of us rolling into town at about 6 am after driving all night. I had moved to Chicago about 4 days earlier and was glad to be there. So I pulled into a park, everyone else got out of the car to walk around and I stretched out across the middle bench seat in the Suburban to try to get a little sleep before breakfast.
That Saturday was spent getting hooked up with the outfitter Canadian Waters, walking around town getting any last minute supplies, and trying to find someone, anyone who had a decent fly selection. (By the way, there's no fly fishing shop in Ely so if you go, take EVERYTHING you need.)
Canadian Waters was a great outfitter. I highly recommend them. They're a family business with a lot of experience. We stayed in their bunkhouses instead of springing for a hotel with is an awesome cheap alternative. Plus we got a free breakfast next door on Sunday morning right before heading out for staying there! Pancakes, eggs, and bacon and all I had to pay for was coffee.
Sunday morning we headed out. We used Mudro Lake as our entry point. The trip started with a 30 rod portage to the put in thanks to low water levels. Gave us a little taste of what was to come.

From Mudro we paddled up to Horse Lake. 3 portages and a couple of small rapids and we made it to our first camp. After pitching tents and gathering firewood, it was finally time to fish!
We were situated on the face of a hooked point with a small protected cove off the back of the point. Myself, my cousin Mike, and my new friend CJ headed towards the cove to try our luck. I ended up getting a hold of a decent little Pike but that was it for the night. We got a couple of strikes, but the curse of the week had begun-- short strikes.
The next day we headed up Horse River towards what would be our base camp for 2 days. Upper Basswood Falls. Right at the Canada line. Horse River was unlike any river I'd ever seen. It was a grassy, reedy river. Just one single path about 3 canoes wide through marshland. Beautiful. It flows right into a lake that looks like it would be amazing pike habitat in the spring. Reed and weed beds all over the place. Then portage through Canada around the falls. They're not huge but there's a lot of water moving through them. Back in below the falls and to our camp.