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Everything posted by asherman

  1. LL Bean just replaced my West Branch Aquastealth soled wading boots with a new pair after mine wore out after four years of use. The Aquastealth soles have worked fine for me in midwest rivers including slick boulder rivers like the Menominee and upper Wisconsin rivers in northern Wisconsin. The new pair has siped soles so they might even be a bit better. For ninety dollars these boots provide excellent value and good ankle support. The new Simms Vibram soled boots probably provide better traction, but they cost twice as much money and are not necessary if you are fishing in Illinois. My link
  2. My approach depends upon the water that I am fishing, the current conditions, and how much time I have available for the day. If I have the time, I have no problems with getting some exercise. The "exercise" that I get fishing is more of an endurance thing than an aerobic sprint. If I am wade fishing new water, my approach is to cover water and fish for active fish. If I happen upon a good spot for the conditions (such as a deep eddy or pool in October), I will slow down and fish the spot thoroughly if I have time. I might also walk through such a spot after I fish it if that is possible to determine the depth and bottom structure so I will really know how good the spot's potential might be the time that I fish it. If I am wade fishing a section of river that I am familiar with, my approach is usually different. In familiar water, I tend to concentrate on spots where I think that the larger fish hang out. In warmer conditions where the fish could be anywhere, I will search cast but my objective is to target certain spots. In pools and eddies that I know could hold multiple fish, I sometimes use less aggressive lures or flies because sometimes a loud popper might catch one active fish, but it could also put the other fish in the pool down. In rivers where the fish holding spots can be far apart (like the Kish in the spring or the fall), I want to avoid spooking the fish in the good spots. Of course, sometimes a more aggressive approach is what it takes to get the fish to hit so a popper or a spinner is the ticket.
  3. The guys in this article have a great approach for problem solving.
  4. Fishing small streams or small isolated ponds with light tackle is one of my favorite things to do. It seems that whenever I fish a small creek with a light fly rod, that is when I catch an "accidental" carp. Any sized carp on a four weight fly rod is a blast.
  5. It is cool seeing birds of prey in a residential neighborhood. I have seen both red tailed hawks and great horned owls in my yard at different times. The local rabbit and squirrel population has gone down quite a bit since the raptors have been hanging around the hood. The owl looks like it is big enough to kill the neighbor's incessantly yapping miniature pinscher. I reluctantly warned my neighbor to not leave his dog outside at night alone.
  6. asherman

    9-12 Kish

    I fished a section of the Kish on Saturday. I entered the river at a bridge and started fishing a pool just downstream of the bridge with the plan of working my way upstream. Soon after I started casting, another fisherman entered the river and started moving upstream. I hate when that happens. I had never fished downstream from this bridge, so I decided to do some exploring rather than get into the car and drive to another spot. I worked my way pretty far downstream, and although I caught several 10 inchers, this section of the river was pretty shallow so I probably won't fish it again. I made my way upstream and when I started casting around the bridge (where I am sure the other guy had fished) things started getting better. I caught a couple of small bass around the bridge and lost a good one. I caught several more dinks as I worked my way upstream. I finally got the to pool that I really wanted to fish and got into some decent fish. I caught three smallies ranging from 14 to 16 inches, and lost a couple more. I caught all of the fish on the same fly. I am not sure what the name of fly is, and the fly that I used in the only one that I have. I will have to spend some time figuring out how to duplicate it.
  7. I sharpen hooks when I notice when hooks are dull and/or if I remember to do it. Some hooks, like Mister Twister keeper hooks or Eagle Claw 413 jig hooks need to be sharpened out of the box.
  8. There are plenty of options for getting flies deep, but being both a fly fisherman and a spin fisherman, I think that spinning tackle is much more efficient when you need to get lures deep. To drag a fly along the bottom of five or six foot deep eddy in the middle a river with current on both sides requires that I have just the right rigging on my fly and I have to be able to cast from just the right spot. If I have been fishing with poppers, I need take several minutes to re-rig with a sinking leader and heavy fly and then move to the just the right spot to make the cast. To do all of that takes some time. If most of that river is shallow, I then have to re-rig with a standard leader after I fish the deep eddy. To achieve the same thing with a spinning rod, I cut off the popper, tie on a heavy jig with a plastic bait and make a few casts through the spot without moving. Once I am done fishing the eddy, it takes a minute to tie on another bait that is appropriate for the next spot on the river. When I gone out with the fly rod only, I have passed up deep spots or fished the spots relatively ineffectively because I did not want to take the time to re-rig just to fish that one spot. That is why I often wade fish with both a fly rod rigged to fish shallow wader and a spinning rod rigged to fish deeper spots.
  9. I have had some of my best big fish days (most big smallies in a day) in the fall, but I am not sure if that constitutes a binge. I think that if you happen to be on the water when the smallmouth are active, you can be in for a binge. Sometimes the "binge" window might be for several hours and other times it might for only ten or twenty minutes. I have fished quite a few times in the fall where I have been lucky enough to be fishing in the twenty minute period when the fish get turned on and that is a blast until the fish instantly turn off.
  10. I looked into short floats and available on the the Flambeau earlier this month. I was looking for someone who could provide shuttles for some 3 to 6 mile floats. I did not find any that short. Most of the standard floats on that river that are offered by the outfitters in that area were 11 to 12 miles at the shortest. If you go to that area now, check the water levels and ask the outfitters a lot of questions about the water levels. Northern Wisconsin has been in drought conditions for two years and most of the rivers up there are pretty low. Some are barely floatable or not floatable at all. I can tell you from recent experience that it is not fun getting caught up on rocks, dragging a pontoon, and trying to catch bass in 2 inches of water.
  11. My suggestion is to do whatever you need to do to take your fly rod even if it means packing less underwear or leaving your casting rod at home. You can go out during the day and fish hard with conventional tackle for walleye, pike, and bass. Then have an early dinner and make it your goal to find some areas where there is an evening smallie top water bite that you can hit with your fly rod. Mid summer can be the peak time for top water smallmouth fishing. That is, in my opinion, one of the advantages of fishing in a place like Eagle Lake in mid summer. If conditions are right and if you can find the right spots, you could have some of the best top water fly fishing that you will ever experience. I have been lucky enough to hit it right two times in Canada (both times in July) where I caught smallies like crazy with fly rod poppers and out fished my non fly fishing buddies by an 8 to 1 margin. You will want to kick yourself if you come across a good top water smallmouth bite in Canada without a fly rod. I have been on several fly in trips to Canada and I have always been able to find the room in both the car and float planes to carry at least two conventional rods and a fly rod. A fly rod and reel and and couple of fly boxes don't take up that much room.
  12. If you want to get some type of sinking line for river fishing, you should consider a sink tip line. I use the sinking leaders, and they work well for me especially in relatively short lengths, such as five feet. The sinking leaders are OK to cast, but a good sink tip line casts much better than a sinking leader on a floating line. The biggest down side for the sink tip lines for wade fishing is that you have to change spools if you want to switch to a top water fly. Sink tip lines, by the way, work very well for fishing with floating/diving flies like Dahlberg divers. The flies dive pretty deep when stripped and then slowly float back to the surface. I have two sink tip lines, a Teeny mini sinktip (five feet) and an SA 10 foot sink tip. The Teeny line is great for wade fishing in rivers around here, where depths are relatively shallow. The ten foot sink tip is limiting for wade fishing in shallow rivers because the sinking portion is a bit too long except for deep holes. I have used the longer sink tip line when fishing from a canoes/boats in rivers and lakes where I need to get the fly deeper.
  13. Here are some a few pictures from the Flies of the ISA event yesterday. The turnout was great and John did an excellent job of organizing the event. Thanks to One More Cast for hosting the event.
  14. If you are fishing in rivers in Illinois, I think that using a sinking leader (5 to 10 feet) will work fine and cost you less money than the 15' interchangeable sink tip lines. With a fast sinking leader, a fluorocarbon tippet and a lightly weighted fly, you can get your fly banging the bottom in most rivers around here. If you are fishing in deeper rivers or in lakes, then a longer sink tip line with different sink rates makes some sense. I cast the RIO interchangeable sink tip lines four or five years ago and it was OK. It seemed to get caught in the guides pretty easily, but they might have improved the looped connection since then. If you want to use a sink tip line that works well in rivers around here, check out these: Teeny Mini Sink Tip Teeny Mini Sink Tip Plus I have a the regular Teeny Mini Sink Tip lines and it casts well, sinks quickly, and makes a terrific line for fishing in windy conditions.
  15. Unless you are fishing the same river in the same place in the same conditions, you need to be able to use a variety of flies with a different retrieves to be successful. Many times when I'm wade fishing I wade upstream using one set of methods (like casting upstream a la Tim Holshlag's method) and then use different methods (such as casting across and down using sinking leaders) when I fish the same stretch of river as I work my way back downstream. On some days, I get better results working upstream and on other days the downstream approaches work better. I think that one of the biggest challenges of fly fishing is that positioning (where you are fishing from) and presentation is much more important when you are fly fishing than when you are using conventional tackle. If you are fishing with a spinning rod and if you are fishing with soft plastics, you can present your lure from just about anywhere on the river effectively just by adjusting the weight of the lure. If you are fly fishing, you need to be in correct spot to make the right cast to get your fly to your target area,especially if you are fishing deeper water. It just takes some experience to determine what works best in different spots so you need to get out and fish to figure it out.
  16. With a spinning rod, a 3" red/smoke twister tail fished on a 1/8 oz. jig. With the fly rod, a white/pearl #4 sparkle grub.
  17. Dustin, Based upon what you have said, you have pretty much what you need with the exception of some backing. You can use Power Pro line or fly line backing, as the backing doesn't make much difference. Cabelas Bass leaders will work just fine. I use them because they work well and they are inexpensive. For tippet for smallies, you can use 8 or 10 pound test mono line or fluorocarbon line. I buy 200 yard spools of Fluorcarbon fishing line and spool that onto smaller spools. Fly fishing tippet in 2X or 3X will work, but it is more expensive and depending upon the brand can be softer than what I prefer to use for tippet. Once you get rigged up to test cast and to fish with some basic flies like clouser minnows, wooly buggers and some Sneaky Peats, which you can buy at most the places/sites that have been talked about in this thread, I wouldn't buy too much more stuff until you actually start fishing. Once you are out fishing with a fly rod, you will quickly figure out what your really need/like. That might help to prevent you from buying a bunch of stuff that you end up not using later on. You might want to consider attending the Great Waters Fly Fishing show on February 20th through February 22nd in Schaumburg. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn about fly fishing there and the ISA will have a booth there. There will also be vendors selling flies, too. If you attend, make sure to stop by the ISA booth. Here is the link to the show: Great Waters 2009"]Great Waters Show[/url]
  18. It was a fun event. John Loebach deserves thanks for coordinating the event as do Corey Gale and Michael Taylor for serving as instructors. We should also thank One More Cast for letting us use their shop for the event. I learned enough to go home and use my newly learned skills to tie a passable muddler minnow. It will take some practice to get decent at tying deer hair flies. Here are a few pictures from Saturday.
  19. I sometimes fish for panfish using a popper with a trailing nymph, and it is not unusual to get doubles. It is a pain to cast, however, and tangles are frequent. I have also used double nymph rigs when trout fishing, but the casts were relatively short and tangles are still a problem. The double nymph rig is effective, though. Casting with enough line speed to move a smallie sized popper along with another fly big enough to entice smallies to hit sounds like a pain to me.
  20. There is a big difference between the flasher type fish finders like the Vexilars that are designed for ice fishing and the LCD fish finders designed for use in boats. The ice fishing flashers are great for ice fishing because they give you you an instantaneous view of what is going on. You can tune a Vexilar so you can see your ice fishing jig and fish that are close to your jig. You can "see" a fish coming up to hit your jig. Many ice fishing fish finders come with narrow cone transducers with nine or ten degree cone angles, which are not the best transducers for fishing from a boat, where a wider view of the bottom is preferable. Many transducers on standard LCD units have 19 or 20 cone angles. An LCD display fish finder gives you somewhat of delayed view of what is going on below, but it "saves" the view for a minute or two, so if you are not looking at the display, you can still see bottom structure or fish that you passed over. All but the least expensive LCD display fish finders should give you an easy to read display that will enable you to interpret whether the bottom structure is hard, soft, or weedy. If you use a Vexilar type ice fishing fish finder out of a boat, you need to be looking at the fish finder constantly. I know guys that have both types of fish finders in their boats. The pre-packaged travel fish finders usually come with a suction cup transducer. As other posts have stated, you can make your own transducer mount that can be attached to the transom of a boat. If you plan on using your fish finder in a canoe (Boundary Waters, Sylvania), then you will want to have the suction cup transducer. It might be worth your while to visit one of the fishing stores around here to actually look at the units.
  21. I'll be there. Do I need a hair packer? I am always looking for an excuse to buy more tools.
  22. I'm pleased that Craig wasn't unhappy that I took liberties with his fly, which has worked very well for me. It is easy to take a good fly and change it by using different materials. It is quite another thing to come up with a fly that is way different than anything else that other people are using. Craig is far more skilled at tying than I am.
  23. A weighted salt water fly could be fished with a light to medium light spinning rod depending upon the weight of the fly and size of hook. There isn't much difference between a 1/16th or 1/8th ounce hair jig and a fly tied on a similar hook with lead dumbell eyes. If the hooks are larger hooks, you need a spinning rod with sufficient backbone to set the hook. Using Fireline or some other non stretch line would help to get good hook sets with a spinning rod and heavy gauge hooks. I saw a Larry Dahlberg fishing show on TV a few months ago where he was fishing ice out pike someplace in Canada using bunny leeches and spinning rods. He was fishing in windy conditions with three people in a boat and he explained that in those conditions, it was safer and more effective to fish the bunny leeches with a spinning rod instead of a fly rod. He caught some huge pike on medium light action spinning rods in that episode.
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