Playing with Panfish

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 , , 7 Comments

Nothing too sexy, just an afternoon chasing panfish on the fly. Wouldn't touch topwater but nailed the nymphs. Always a good time. Leave tomorrow for Arizona for some hiking and fishing for Wild Rainbows in Lee's Ferry. Stay tuned.


Hiking Konza Prairie

Thursday, July 10, 2014 , 10 Comments

This has been on my to do list for years and finally my girlfriend and I made the drive and hiked Konza Prarie. Managed by Kansas State University, the prairie is 3,487 hectares of native prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The primary purpose of the park is to study the ecology of grasslands, the effects of burn management, and also the relationship of grazers (Bison) on the landscape. While we went with the hope of seeing Bison on our hike, the area open to the public is limited and there were no Bison in our vicinity that day. 

The trail itself is very well maintained, easily traversable but does have a few notable moderately inclined areas, but otherwise is easy to navigate. You can choose three different loops once there: the nature trail which is  2.5 miles long, the Kings Creek loop at 4.4 miles, and the Godwin Hill Loop at 6 miles total distance. We had intended to hike the entire trail system but the Godwin Hill Loop was closed at the time for renovation so we ended up hiking the Kings Creek Loop. In total it took us a little less than 2 1/2 hours to complete. The landscape is beautiful and easily transports your imagination back to how Kanas looked prior to man. Well worth the hike if you are in the area or live nearby. 


Lil' Wacky Rigging

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 , , 10 Comments

Played around with a Wacky Rig for an hour today, no monsters, but it was fun. Threw a frog around as well for kicks and had several pop it out of the water but no solid commitments.


Abu Garcia Revo SX: Baitcaster Review

Abu Garcia has done an excellent job in recent years defining itself as a leader in the low profile baitcaster market. Further, they offer a wide range of products that can fit a variety of budgets and fishing styles. I recently picked up a Revo SX, played around with it for a few weeks in a variety of conditions and have the following thoughts on it. 

First the specs: the reel weighs in at 6.7 ounces, offers 9 + 1 ball bearings, has a max drag of 10 lbs, is offered in either a 6.4:1 or 7.1:1 retrieve ratio, and has an MSRP of $159.99. 

Aesthetically the reel is very sharp looking with tight tolerances. It is a pleasure to hold and will look sharp on a variety of rods with its matte black modern look. Ergonomically it feels light enough in the hand and palmed well for me. 

Performance: I used this reel up north fishing for large pike and also here in Kansas for bass. In testing I  used a variety of crankbaits, frogs, spinnerbaits, and buck tails. Overall I was moderately happy with the results in how it handled the retrieve of these baits but did notice it seemed to be lacking some force when it came to deep-diving crankbaits and double bladed buck tails, nothing terrible but for larger baits one would appreciate something with a little more backbone in her gears. Casting was as expected. Nothing extraordinary nor disappointing either. Braking System: Unlike the STX, the SX only has magnetic brakes instead of a dual system. However, they are easily adjustable, seemed quite responsive, and it was easy to dial it in to get the results I wanted. 

Conclusion: A good mid-range reel from a very reputable company. I enjoy fishing this baitcaster and it  didn't break the bank. Anglers wanting to throw oversized baits or win a casting competition should look elsewhere. That said I have no doubt this reel will serve me well for several years to come and bring many bass to hand. It is an excellent reel for general purpose fishing and for me will fit the niche of a frog/spinnerbait reel.


Lake Vermillion: Walleye and Pike Edition

Day 1 & 2: The Hunt for Muskie

Just got back from what has become an annual trip up north with my Dad to fish Lake Vermillion in Northern Minnesota. This was our third year yet and we did quite well. Started off the trip hunting for Muskie. On Day one this meant throwing some big streamers on the 10 wt after setting up camp. No success for me but my Dad landed a good pike and a largemouth. Day two we headed out with a guide and we would learn that the search Muskie was going to be challenging at best on our own. Due to the weather and the time of year the Muskie were not going to be found in shallow water like we had hoped. Instead they were suspended in open water deep water, 35 ft+, chasing schools of Cisco that were eating Mayfly larva. To catch them on a fly rod was going to be all but impossible so we opted to troll  large crank baits and bull dogs with planer boards. Let me add that it was cold that day, in the 40's and raining. While prepared as much as we could with base layers and rain gear it was still a long 9 hours on the water trolling seemingly endlessly and in the end we didn't even get a bite from a Muskie. We did catch two very nice pike, a 35" from my dad and I landed a 33" on a bull dog. Both were new personal bests for us. Frustrating to not even see a Muskie but then again Muskie fishing is almost always a frustrating affair. 

Day 3-5: A Change of Focus

With the realization that we weren't realistically going to be able to pursue Muskie with the gear we personally owned and that it was going to be virtually impossible on a fly rod our focus shifted mainly towards two pursuits: Pike on the fly and Walleye. Towards these ends we were wildly successful. All pike on the fly were caught on the Golden Oriole Pike Fly. As for the Walleye, we caught them all on white and orange Lindy rig's, trolling around mid lake humps. Numbers weren't there but size was, especially the last one, a 29" 8 lb Walleye caught by my dad--the biggest I have ever seen in person--and a fish I am certain he won't soon forget.