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Colt Johnson

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  1. To those of you who regularly fish the Kankakee River I am seeking some advice. In particular, I hope to make a few trips in and around the State Park area, probably solo trips. Years ago, I have fished late Spring with both a small Kayak and simply wading; both with some success. This time, I am considering a float tube or pontoon styled craft. Can anyone comment on their experiences fishing this water (or similar water) using a float tube or pontoon styled craft? I have only used these crafts on stillwater situations. Thanks in advance! Colt
  2. Thanks guys. There are some great crab and shrimp patterns that can easily be converted to crawfish patterns.
  3. Rob, I can't offer much advice on the fly, because yours looks better than the version I've tied. I've tied mine smaller though, size #8 I believe. Here's a sweet video if you haven't already seen it: Colt
  4. I have been studying various saltwater crab patterns for the last couple weeks trying to come up with a relatively simple and realistic crayfish pattern. This is what I came up with. It has dumbell eyes tied at the eye of the hook (hidden on the underside). The hook is a size #6. It's fairly easy to tie. We'll see how it fairs in the water. I've also been tying some EP streamers, also size #6. It's been awhile since I've tied, and I need to polish up my proportions. But they should work fine. I'm looking forward to getting back on some local smallmouth streams! Colt
  5. Mike, Thanks a lot. That is great advice on the seating. I have been looking at Clipper fiberglass canoes a lot. The shipping is the only thing holding me back right now. I have been watching craigslist as well. There have been a few nicer canoes that have popped up, but the good deals sold rather quickly and a few other sellers have unrealistic expectations. I definitely want a rigid hull like fiberglass or Kevlar, with fiberglass being the cheaper option. Colt
  6. Thanks Mike. That is what I am planning on doing. Floating downstream and motoring back. As a follow up, I talked to a very experienced canoe guide in Minnesota (just outside of the Boundary Waters) yesterday afternoon for about a half hour. He strongly suggested that I go with a double ended canoe over a square stern. His point was that a double ender will paddle much better than a square stern, which is consistent with everything I have read. Additionally, he stated that he has spent many years comparing square sterns vs. double ended canoes/side mount setup with everything from an electric trolling motor up to a 4hp motor. He said the performance with a motor is negligible between a square stern and a double ended/side mount setup. His confidence and experience convinced me that I will have much more flexibility with an appropriate double ended canoe in which case I can use a side mount setup on the occasions that I want to use a motor of some sort.
  7. Does anyone fish from a square stern canoe with a small outboard? I have been thinking that it would be nice to explore a few rivers (whether solo or partner) without the need of dual vehicles, floating downstream and motoring back to my vehicle. I am curious if anyone has any experience fishing with this watercraft setup. Clipper makes a very nice square stern that I have been eying. Here is a video of a Clipper with a 3hp Johnson. They will supposedly move around 8-10mph: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRtVC6WbQIU Thanks! Colt
  8. Has anyone been down to visit the shop/warehouse now that they relocated to Springfield, IL? I have a seminar in Springfield in a couple weeks, and I planned on checking it out. Colt
  9. Here are a few photos when I took the rod to a local creek. I caught a couple smallies, a bullhead (not shown) and a small but beautiful channel cat. The family came along and the kids played in the sand. They caught dozens of tadpoles and creek chub. I also caught a colorful longear to round out the day: Colt
  10. Here is a very special rod. Not only does the blank come from one of the masters of the glass community, Larry Kenney, but it was built by a close and very talented friend, Chris Barclay. The blank is unique in that it was a prototype built on a heavier weave glass; however the taper is built around the ever popular 7'2" 3wt. taper. When I talked to Larry about the blank I immediately thought of small stream smallmouth bass. The 7'4" length is a perfect compromise for handling tight quarters and still having just enough length to mend line and reach out in more open areas. The rod handles a 5wt. line and a 6wt. line, but I prefer a 6wt. line. This is contrary to what I would have guessed as the rod flexes pretty deeply; but it is the reserve power in the butt section of the rod (which is more easily tapped into with a 6wt. line) that really makes this rod so special. The rod has power down deep to turn over a 6wt. line, and the 6wt. line is sufficient to carry medium sized poppers and smaller streamers to their destinations within a 50' radius. However, the top half of the rod is soft enough that a medium sized bluegill puts a smile on my face as if I were fishing a 3wt. rod. It's a very interesting taper, and quite frankly a taper that I have been searching for to address a dilemma that I have been grappling with for a long time: How do I find a rod that can cast larger bass flies yet still provide ample fun with an 8"-12" creek smallie? As a smallmouth bass fisherman, I have always been jealous that trout fisherman are able to chase 8"-12" trout with ultralight rods (0wt.-3wt.) as the flies are small enough to allow one to use, say, a 3wt. glass rod. Smallmouth like larger flies, even if they are themselves rather small, and it has never been too fun to chase a 12" smallmouth with a 7 or 8wt. rod. I think this rod is a perfect compromise. Enough words. Here are some photos: I am unsure whether I am going to ultimately pair this rod with a TR2 or a TR3, so here are pictures with both: Joe Arguello provided a beautiful and perfect matching agate guide: Colt
  11. I never use them. However, I do typically mark the tip of my fly line with an easily identifiable color. Whenever I am fishing a sinking fly (whether it is a #18 midge for trout, #12 nymph for bluegill, or a #6 streamer for smallies) I tend to watch the tip of my fly line which essentially acts as an indicator.
  12. Ronk, I know you have, but I had to give you a hard time. Please know that I consider everyone on this forum friends, because we share a very important value: FISHING. I place a lot of value on fishing and I know everyone here does as well. I also understand your aesthetic critique of 3pc. rods, and I have heard similar critiques of 2pc. and 4pc. rods. Everyone is visually attracted to different things. However, I don't buy into any of the ideas/critiques that 2pc. rods are better than 3pc. or 4pc. rods. I do recognize that adding ferrules impacts the flex profile of a rod. Nonetheless, ferrule technology has come a long way, and I think it has less impact than what some people try to argue. I've built about 100 plus fly rods over the last 4 years (2pc., 3pc., 4pc., 5pc., 6pc., 7pc., 8pc. and 10pc.), and I could not say that 2pc. rods are better than 3pc. rods or 4pc. rods or etc. There are way too many other variables that go into making a rod blank that have a significantly larger impact on the rod's performance than the number of sections. I can say that in my numerous conversations with Mark Steffen (the maker of the blank shown above) he seems to really like his 3pc. blanks the most. I did, however, just order a 7'9" 7/8wt. 2pc. blank from Mark. It should be an interesting taper as he has previously only offered his 7/8wt. blanks in 8'6" and 8'3" lengths and they tend to get pretty heavy (physically). I'm sure I will post some photos/review of the rod once it is finished. Cheers, Colt
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