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Everything posted by asherman

  1. Breathable stocking foot waders are the way to go. They won't be as durable as rubber or neoprene waders, but you won't sweat to death in warmer weather. Any breathable waders will leak sooner or later, so getting waders with a company that will replace your waders when they fail makes a big difference. Getting waders from Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas is a good idea, because they will usually replace items that fail and they sell plenty of waders in your price range. LL Bean will always replace anything that fails or that you are not happy with no matter how long that you have used the item, so they are a good bet if you can find waders from them that fit. I have a pair of LL Bean West Branch wading boots with Aqua Stealth rubber soles that have provided excellent traction for me everyplace that I have worn them.
  2. For fly fishing, an olive wooly bugger will catch just about anything that swims in Illinois rivers. Clouser minnows in white and olive are a close second. For spin fishing, a Mepps spinner is a good universal bait.
  3. I've used Thill Rivermaster floats as part of Float N Fly setup with good success. These floats handle well in current and are very sensitive. I originally used the Rivermaster floats for steelhead and brown trout fishing in power plant discharges, and these floats along with the nine foot noodle rod that I used to use for steelhead works well with the Float N Fly for smallmouth bass. The long spinning rod makes it much easier to keep the line off of the water and out of the influence of river currents than a shorter spinning rod or a fly rod.
  4. I've never had much luck fishing hopper patterns for smallmouth bass in rivers. I have done very well with hoppers for trout and bluegill. There are lots of good foam hopper patterns out there that do not require foam cutters. I've tied the Klodhopper Klodhopperand the Charlie Boy hopper Charlie Boy Pattern
  5. I have the Orvis Hydros in a six weight tip flex fresh water model. I love the rod and I use it for river smallmouth fishing in smaller rivers. It is not the best rod for fishing big, heavy flies, but it casts great and feels good with fish on the line. If I were using it to target carp, I would probably get the same rod in a seven weight.
  6. I did not see the 2012 Blowout on the event calender. What is the date of the 2012 Blowout? I am attempting to avoid schedule conflicts.
  7. Terry, thanks for your dogged pursuit of this issue. I used to fish Kilbuck creek and it has been shocking to see what has happened to it. Keep fighting the good fight.
  8. My go to rod for smallmouth is a nine foot seven weight St. Croix Legend Elite. I use either a RIO Clouser seven weight line or an eight weight bass bug taper line. I used to fish a six weight but I've found that the seven weight handles heavier flies better. I use sinking leaders quite a bit.
  9. I made my first fly fishing trip to the Driftless in mid September this year, and came back hooked on fishing that area. I'll be looking for fishing partners for next season. The landscape is lovely and the small streams are full of trout. I've always liked fishing small streams, and that is what the Driftless is all about. I fished in a variety of Driftless streams using an 8 foot rod, which worked well in most spots. It seemed to me, however, that there are places where you could make the case to use short, medium, and long fly rods. I fished in tight, overgrown spots where a rod shorter than my eight footer would have been welcome, and in a few spots I could have used another 6 to 12 inches of rod length to keep my back casts above the vegetation.
  10. Try tying up some Murdich minnows. I've caught bass and pike on them, and they should work for Muskie especially if you tie them in bright colors. My link
  11. Any fly that has a spinner is clumsy to cast, but sometimes flies like that will work when standard flies don't. I have tied a few Spinerd Minnows at ISA tying meetings and I have caught fish on them. I have only used them as a last resort.
  12. asherman


    I used to get gnawed badly by chiggers when I went to Boy Scout camp in the Ozarks, but I have not run into them much around here. Clear nail polish and cortisone cream ought to help.
  13. John, The Orvis shop in Lombard (Yorktown Shopping Center) probably carries some flies. I would call first. You also could consider ordering flies via the Internet. It costs less to have a few flies shipped to your home than to drive more than a few miles to buy them in person. I have purchased trout flies from Fly Shack. My ham handed tying works OK for bass flies, but I am a butcher when it comes to tying tiny dry flies.
  14. After the storms last night, the Kish went up 2 1/2 feet. It will be a while before the Kish is fishable. Yuck.
  15. Fly fishing is not nearing extinction. It might seem like that to some people because there are way fewer fly shops out there than there used to be. The reality is that the fly fishing market has always been a small market compared to the general fishing market and the smaller fly fishing market has changed a lot in the past few years. There are fewer brick and mortar fly shops, but then again there are fewer brick and mortar bait shops and other places to buy standard fishing gear than there used to be. The internet and the down economy has affected a lot of small businesses. For anyone that wants to buy fly fishing gear or fly tying materials, the reality is that you have have to buy at least some of your stuff via the internet. The good news is that there are lots of places on the internet to buy an increasing amount of quality gear offered at reasonable prices if local stores are not carrying that type of gear. Temple Fork, Echo, and other companies offer excellent fly rods for less than $250. You can easily spend that much money and more on GLoomis, St. Croix, and Kistler spinning and casting rods. It might cost a bit more to get set up with a moderately priced fly fishing setup than a moderately priced spinning setup for smallmouth bass, but that difference gets much smaller if the spin fisherman starts to buy Lucky Craft Jerk baits that cost twelve to fifteen dollars. I use both spinning tackle and fly rods, but I wouldn't spend fifteen dollars for jerk bait that I could lose in a flash any more than I would spend $700 for a fly rod.
  16. Just because fly shops are becoming extinct that does not mean that fly fishing is in danger of going extinct. Fly shops have gone out of business due the the economy, the internet, big box stores, poor management, and a variety of other reasons. The same thing has happened in other industries where mom and pop stores have gone out of business. There are fewer bait shops than there used to be just as there are fewer gas stations that do auto repairs. Things change and everyone has to adjust. The market for fly fishing gear will always be a smaller than the general fishing market. I think that Joe Cornwall is correct in stating that the fly fishing industry is not doing a good job of promoting local warm water fishing and cost effective fly fishing gear. Despite that, there are a lot of us that fly fish. Just look at number of fly fisherman that are active and participating in the ISA now compared to four or five years ago.
  17. I am usually pretty lazy with leaders. I often use Cabela's 15 pound tapered bass leaders, which work well and cost around $2.25 a piece. The knots on hand tied leaders tend to collect a lot of junk. When I tie my own leaders, I have found that saltwater leader material works very well for leader butt sections. The saltwater leader material is relatively stiff, is abrasion resistant, and is inexpensive. The larger spools also give the line less memory. I use the hand tied leaders when I am fishing big, bulky flies. Saltwater Leader Material.
  18. The last time that I went to Sylvania with my daugher, I filled a five gallon plastic water container and put the container in the freezer before I left home. The ice melted slowly and we had nice cold water to drink. We had some water left after 2 and a half days so Paul's idea should work well.
  19. I have a pair of lightly used, Canadian made Sorel Dominator boots for sale. You will not find warmer boots for ice fishing. You literally cannot buy boots like this anymore, as Sorel has moved most production overseas. These have thick wool felt linings and were rated at 100 degrees below zero. Boots like this have sold on Ebay for over $100. I am selling mine for $80 including shipping. I can email you a photo if you are interested.
  20. Unless you are willing to drive to Chicago Fly Fishing outfitters in Chicago, which is an excellent fly shop, you pretty much need to order online except for the limited basic stuff that you can find at Cabelas or Bass Pro Shop. Taking classes is a great idea that will not only help you to learn how to tie, but you will also learn what tools that you need/want to buy. In my opinion, your toughest initial decision is what type of vise to start with. The best thing to do is to borrow one to make sure that you really like tying. If you buy an cheap starter vise and really like tying, the chances are good that you want to quickly replace your inexpensive vise. That is what happened to me. Chances are good that in a few short months you will start accumulating increasing amounts of feathers, hooks, and sparkly materials. Here are some links to articles about vises. Vises1 Vise2
  21. I use the fly rod around 80 percent of the time. I use a spinning rod for wade fishing in the early spring and late fall when I want to fish slowly with or when I am fishing with float n flies. I also use the spinning rod when I am fishing in lakes.
  22. Float N Fly fishing is pretty simple. Any fixed float that suspends the jig will work. I have Power Pro line on most of my spinning rods, so I use an eight to ten feet leader of 8 pound test fluorocarbon leader at the end of my line. Mono would work just as well. A longer rod works better than a shorter rod, because the longer rod makes it easier to keep the line off of the water which means better control of the float and the jig. Last year I pulled the cobwebs off of my old nine foot noodle rod and it worked well. Some of the best results that I have had with the Float N Fly have occurred when I found deep pools or eddies where I could keep the float/jig stationary and twitch it.
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