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Joe R

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  1. I fish year round if I can find open water. Waders/shore fishing/kayaking.. - wear neopene waders even when kayaking, i'm too cheap to buy a drysuit but I wear a super flexy wetsuit coat over or tucked into the waders (front zip so easy to take on and off), carry multiple pairs of water proof gloves on outings. Gloves should range from lighter neoprene to waterproof ski gloves when its cold and windy. Pack a small or medium size dry bag for extra emergency items (shell coat, shirt, hat, vest, whatever makes sense for case you swim or just want to dress up or dress down). Winter weather fishing requires you to prep more and carry more...on foot it always means a backpack comes along, with yak one or two waterproof bags for extras. If in yak and your getting real cold get out and get moving on the shore for awhile that or paddle hard for awhile.
  2. Wow. Rare good news in Illinois it's great in the dismal financial state that they have funds to do so. At some point it would be good to see the boundaries on a map
  3. Thanks John! So i see first left there is a big parking lot a short ways down the road i can look for trails there. So safe to assume if I dont take first left and keep going straight there are lots closer to the river but there may not be trails down to river due to bluffs?
  4. Visiting my two college kids in Iowa this weekend and will take a long yak and waders. Was thinking about driving out on the I80 corridor and if weather and gauges cooperate get some fishing in Friday and Sunday coming and going. Was looking for like 3 hour outings... Vermillion: I see an area or two where I could launch a yak to snoop around. Was wondering if the lower Mattheissen parking area (off of park road) is possible to hike down to the river and wade? Green River: Down closer to the Rock confluence the river looks less channelized and had some nice turns ..worth fishing yak in lower section? fish species prospects? Thanks for any responses... Last time out I fished Sugar river and that is a possibility also...
  5. Fishing was slow on the South Branch, in comparison last time I floated that section several weeks back I had a 40 fish day. Water was lower than expected (Ben you turned around right before the river got more interesting, Ken it was great to meet you and you were able to make it to start of what I'd refer to as a more productive section). I stayed out little to long, went too far, and although I carried a 64ounce water bladder in the backpack I sucked it empty and the couple mile slog back upriver rather sucked (partly since I had 32 ounces of sweat sloshing in the waders LMAO). I missed a couple fish on the fly rod so after a few hours I switched to the 2pc spinning rod I had strapped to my backpack. I started picking up smallies rotating through different plastics and spinner baits later in the day but nothing on topwaters or crankbaits (well actually a couple pike on buzzbaits). Probably ended up w/20 smallies (all 14" or less) and a couple pike but I'd consider that slow for an all day outing. When several go to spots aren't producing any bites you know you are on a slow day...
  6. Late night for me but when home i will try and load up car quickly at 1am and try and get to the diner at set time. Hopefully the biological clock will be working.. Joe
  7. I look a gauges for a bunch of locations and rivers and I don't keep track but seems like the same warnings pop up every year...
  8. Good. That means an unreliable last minute guy may make it in Iowa this weekend but weekend of 25th I'm clear. I'd like to wade section I've never fished before that or show folks a section they never been before.
  9. Sorry I was both 24hrs early and 24hrs late for the Saturday outing. Couldn't fish Saturday but I Kished-it Fri and Sunday total of 10 hours on the water way upriver from the groups. Friday was smallies on paddle tails and jerk baits. Sunday only caught fish on flashy jerkbaits. Fishing was slowish maybe 25 bites total and caught half of them but was nice I'd say all medium to larger size fish I don't think I caught any dinks (< 13" that is)
  10. Don't have but a few minutes but I will ramble quickly... #1 consideration is what kind of water you are fishing and get a hull design that best matches that; are you fishing lakes or rivers and if rivers are you doing upriver paddles and in some case that sections with super fast water. Many yaks you should rule out just by that consideration. You rule out many yaks if you want to stand also (not important to me since I take a more efficient hull design for longer upriver paddles at the sacrifice of not being able to stand up). River fishing will expose bad traits of hull designs. Some yaks track way too poor while fishing and too many paddle corrections are needed whether fishing upriver or downriver. Some deeper V type hulls track great when paddling but will grab with the current when sideways and you will get pushed downriver more so. Weight is definitely a consideration but there are ways to overcome weight with more involved loading and unloading methods. A dolly is a must if moving yaks of any distance or if heavier. Dollys are cheap. Go with a SOT don't consider a sit-in unless, as Eric mentions, light and cheap are important. That use to be my mindset but weight turned secondary over comfort and fishing convenience (and the fact that you could store things in a SOT hull and SOTs are safer and easier to deal with if you overturn. Aside from a place like Rocktown, which I'm all in favor of, the internet will provide you much more yak options. For internet shipping, huge selection, low ship costs, good service, these are the best choices for sure: I've bought yaks from both of them. https://www.austinkayak.com/ https://www.paddleva.com/ For local stores that have no cost for "ship to store" places like REI, West Marine, etc Sierra Trading Post has great prices for cosmetic seconds or discontinued yaks and their shipping costs are low. (Those Ocean Kayaks are great for river efficiency and big swell great lakes fishing, and are good for river fishing also, great example of kick-ass hull design for anything - they really cut through water I had one) I just sold two yaks to friends cheap and bought two cheap new yaks this year that have quality hulls; West Marine Pompano 12' yak on sale for $399; its essentially an older model Wilderness systems Tarpon 120 or a Perception prescador 12'. Why did I buy this yak? Cheap and it's only 28" wide and longer this will be the yak I use for upriver high water paddling. Lots of good reviews on its paddling performance (speed and tracking). So far I like it. Third Coast Avalon 10' yak on sale at Blains farm and fleet for $429; its essentially a relabeled Evoke kayak they sell at Cabelas but a lot cheaper. Why did I buy this? Cheap and I wanted a 10' yak to fit in my van and it's light enough and has a couple big hatches, comes with yakattack rails, and fits the purpose of being a lake and downriver fishing yak and to be used for slower current upriver paddles. If you want a SOT and weight is a factor you could also go with thermoform yaks and if you do two choices are: Eddlyline or Hurricane. For older folks with back issues these are easier to load on top of a vehicle. These may be in my future although you have to be more careful since hulls are less robust and they are pricey. Don't discount canoes also, I've been kicking that around. Kevlar solo "pack" type canoes. Why? geez at 25-30lbs great quick hit vessel. Pricey but very cool I've spent a lot of time fishing with a buddy who has one so easy to handle.
  11. I'm a definite solid maybe LOL. Gauges stay the same I'm better than 50/50 to make it, which is pretty good for a last minute change your mind fisherman like me which ever way the wind blows literally. Haven't fished Kish yet this year that's unusual for me.
  12. I wade in winter if you wade cool waters plug the pin holes with aquaseal. Or before fall. Pin hole water in the waders is no big deal in warmer months any pin hole with water nov through march is nasty. If needed use it on sketchy seams that arent looking so great.
  13. Expert means you can do it for a living and quit your master forger job.
  14. Set a reminder in my google calendar just now, just need to not to have yet another 12hr work day.
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