DVD Review: Connect

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 , 2 Comments

Following ground breaking movies Drift, and Rise, Confluence Films has brought us a new fly fishing film named, Connect. Quite simply I think this is the best yet from Confluence. The locations are exotic, the anglers superb, and most markedly--dynamic cinematography. Simply put, Connect is eye candy sure to make any angler weak in the knees.

The documentary travels to Africa for Tigerfish, Yellowstone for Trout, Maine for Stripped Bass, Cuba chasing Permit and Tarpon, Yamame in Japan, and Pike in Alaska. 

Again I cannot, emphasize enough how beautiful this film is to watch. Fishing aside, you want to be where the anglers are just to be able to take in the scenery. Further I felt this film focused less on the personalities of the anglers themselves and more on the locations and angling than the previous films. This means less talking and more eye candy. 

Great film, easily one of the best I have seen. Do yourself a favor and watch it. You wont be disappointed. Below I  have posted a link to the trailer. 

Connect Trailer


Pond Cranking

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 , 1 Comments

With the high winds this month, when I have been able to get onto the water I have been fly fishing less and engaging in conventional styles a bit more. Coupled with the long hours I have been working at my new job, time on the water has been limited. That said I have been visiting my favorite pond quite often and throwing crankbaits with a lot of success until the past week or so. Fish have been ranging from 1 to 3 1/2 lbs. Green, sexy shad, and bluegill have been my dominant patterns, with a slow steady retrieve being the most productive. All fish have been in 12+ feet of water. 

3 1/2 lb Largemouth. 17-20 Feet Deep. Strike King Series 6 Green. 

Little football shaped 11/2 lb Largemouth. Bluegill pattern. 

Another on the Bluegill pattern.


3 lb Largemouth. Sexy Shad Pattern. 15ft Deep. 

As I noted, my last trip was completely unproductive. I have a feeling that with first ice the metabolism of the Bass has slowed considerably, making them reluctant to move for a crankbait. I hope to return later this week or next to test this theory and by using large Texas-rigged worms and Jigs to hopefully catch a few more fish before the pond completely ices over. 


Lake Henry Trout

Thursday, December 01, 2011 , , 1 Comments

After a failed attempt to catch trout at Lake Shawnee I decided to give Lawrence's own trout hole a try. Now I have some reservations about Lake Henry. The idea of a put and take fishery is not exactly appealing for an angler like myself who prides in the catch and release mentality. Its not that I am against stocking fish, that in itself is necessary to meet the fishing demands in many fisheries across the country, however stocking trout in a lake that is unable to sustain them year long is a bit disconcerning when you think about it. That aside I guess I shouldn't be too critical as I do participate in fishing there. 

I spent about an hour and a half fishing Lake Henry, totaled 4 trout, all on a black wooly bugger with fly rod. 

First of the day, quite the acrobat coming in. 

This one seemingly had inflamed gills. Not sure what would cause that. 

Beautiful and largest trout of the day, 1 1/2 lb. 

Another pretty but small Rainbow. 


Fall Wipers

Sunday, November 06, 2011 , , 1 Comments

Wiper are back on at Clinton. Tread out to a point on the windward side of the lake and cast your favorite Wiper lures and you are almost certain to have a great afternoon. For conventional fare, I typically throw rattletraps, swimbaits, beetlespinners, and spoons, and for flies Wooly Buggers and Clouser Minnows always seem particularly successful. On the day I went out, the wind was particularly onerous, so I opted for conventional tackle instead of the fly rod. I was out for an hour and a half or so, landed over twelve fish, lost several others, and had a great time. 

3 1/2 lb Wiper, caught on a Swimbait. Nice fish, put up a nice fight!

1 3/4 lb Wiper, typical of the size caught that day. Beetlespinner. 

Smallest in at just over 1 lb. Rattletrap. 

Last of the day, Beetlespinner. 


White River: Conclave

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 , , 3 Comments

Went to Arkansas a few days after fishing the Driftless, to chase more trout. Had a great time in March and couldn't wait to get back. I again went down with the Free State Fly Fishing Club for the Southern Council Fly Fishing Federation's Conclave. Overall it was a great trip but the fishing was mediocre due to the damn at Bull Shoals running lots of water. During my last trip they were running no generations for the majority of the time which allowed us to wade anywhere in the river and really target specific structural points. This trip the lowest they dropped the water was to 2 generations with as high as 6. This meant the water was several feet higher and with a very swift current which made wading from most points all but impossible. In preparation for this higher water I brought down my Kayak, but had difficulty going upstream anytime the water was flowing over 3 generations. In addition I went with a fellow club member, Rick, in his drift boat and floated from Wild Cat to Cotter on the White. This allowed us to fish lots of water over several hours and by far was the fishing highlight of the trip. Overall I caught only nine trout, all smallish rainbows, but the camaraderie and time spent conversing with club member still made this trip more the than worth it. 

Water was several feet higher than earlier this year, making wadding possible only on the very edges of the river.

My home for four nights. Great view of the river!

When the water was running above 3 generations I could only keep the Kayak on the edges. 

First trout, and only trout of the first day. Rainbow on an Orange Wooly Bugger. 

Early morning allowed club members to wade before higher water levels were released. 

Getting ready to depart for the drift boat float. Wild Cat Access on White River. 

Zim with a nice Rainbow from the Drift Boat, Black Wooly Bugger. 

Rick and Zim in the Drift Boat. Rick did a wonderful job getting us in position to cast into excellent structure. 

Rainbow from Driftboat, Black Wooly Bugger. 

View from the Porch at Copper Johns

Eerie Morning view on the river. 

Big Mike Wading outside Copper Johns

The last day afforded only 2 generations which provided the best full day of wading. Black Wooly Buggers were hot, which meant with my 4 weight I had to open up my loops considerable to cast. 



Monday, October 17, 2011 , , , 0 Comments

Two weeks ago I went to northeast Iowa to visit the Driftless Area. The driftless is a geologically defined area encompassing northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, northwest Illinois, and southwest Wisconsin. It is unique geographically because it has escaped the the glaciers which shaped so much of the midwest, therefore the soil does not contain glacial drift, hence the name "Driftless" The area is characterized by cold spring creeks, deeply carved valleys, and karst topography. However, I didn't go to the Driftless to observe this unique landscape, I went to catch trout. Native to this region are Brook Trout which still maintain themselves naturally throughout the region,  in addition Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout have been introduced with Rainbow's being mostly stocked and the Brown Trout having established a wild population.

This was only my second time fishing moving water for trout and needless to say the Driftless provided quite a challenging opportunity. Small streams, exposed rock faces, and thick foliage made for technical fishing and was a great test of my fly fishing skills. Overall I faired alright and caught five trout, four Rainbow's and one Brown. Regardless, the views were breathtaking and any time you face new water for the first time one will face a steep learning curve. I think my father and I both had an excellent time and cannot wait to try out these streams again. 

We stayed the night at the Old Hospital Lodge in Highlandville, Iowa. Very comfortable and reasonably priced. 

Barn by our lodging. 

View of South Bear Stream in Highlandville. 

Some of the local neighbors. 

Geared up and ready!

Began the morning fishing North Bear, saw many people catching Brook Trout on worms and bobbers but weren't able to catch anything on a fly rod. 

Next we went to the Waterloo River, just south of the Minnesota border. 

First trout of the day, a Rainbow on an Orange Wooly Bugger. 

Gin-clear Waterloo. 

Dad casting to some Rainbow's downstream. 

Second Rainbow, again on a Orange Wooly Bugger.


Waterloo River: Iowa boast over twenty six streams and rivers which are inhabited by Trout.

The State of Iowa has worked out deals with several private property owners which allow anglers to come onto their property in order to fish streams which flow through their property. 

Ladders are provided to allow anglers to access streams on private property. 

Dad throwing line on the Waterloo River. 

Brown Trout, he slipped away before I could get a better picture. Black Stone Fly. 

Incredibly stunning landscape.

Last trout of the trip, Zebra Midge. 


Carpin' and Cattin'

Monday, October 10, 2011 , , , 2 Comments

Ended the last few warm days of summer this year targeting carp and catfish on my fly rod. I had previously tried to catch both species on a fly rod but had proved unsuccessful. At Ron's suggestion I went to the feeder stations at Clinton Lake and cast Wooly Buggers and Carp Candies. I ended up catching several channel catfish and carp. The Catfish were all between 2-3 lbs and the Carp were between 2 and 6 1/2 lbs. Some days you could only trigger them when the feeder went off, other days we were able to catch them using a VERY slow retrieve on the periphery. While I know to Carp purists I still have a long way before sight casting with a fly, it was a great time and a blast to fight some larger fish. 

My first Carp, ever... 2 lb's Green and Brown Wooly Bugger. 

3 lb Channel Cat, First Ever on a Fly Rod. Green/Brown Wooly Bugger. 

4 lb Carp Bret Wrangled from feeder of Dock 3. Black Carp Candy. 

1 1/2 lb Catfish. Green/Brown Wooly Bugger. 

4 lb Common Carp. Feeder by the Marina at Clinton Lake. Green Carp Candy. 

The "magical" Wooly Bugger responsible for so many of these fish. 

2 lb Channel Cat. Green Carp Candy. 

2 lb Carp. Green/Brown Wooly Bugger. 

3 lb Carp Green Carp Candy. 

Thats right, double trouble! Bret and I both with carp on at the same time in the Kayak. 

4 lb Common Carp by Bret. Carp Tease Fly. 

6 1/2 Common Carp. This monster put up quite a fight and was the last one of the season. Good way to end the season. Green/Brown Wooly Bugger.