Tag Archives: fishing

Ready To Go

Spent a couple of hours this morning going through all the fishing junk and getting it ready to go.


Hardest part was finding all of the fly fishing parts. It’s been at least two years since I used any of it and I came up short one fly reel. Was looking forward to putting that one to use since I’ve had it for around 15 years and only used it twice.

It’s in a box somewhere. Or a drawer. Or it’s now a cat toy and in a dark corner of the basement somewhere. It will probably show up the next time I move.

Oiled up the spinning reels and immediately put the heavier one away. Didn’t use it at all last year and unless I destroy the lighter one, I don’t see using it this year. I prefer fishing relatively light using light line and small lures. It’s always worked for me, see no reason to attempt anything else.

I do have quite a few flies.


Notice the pattern in the next shot? Go crayfish or minnows for smallies or go home.


Some just stashed in your typical Plano boxes and that took a bit of sorting. I think I came up with the beginning of a lovely selection.


Yes, I plan on tying on those plastics and using them. Not much of a stickler for tradition or getting any real satisfaction out of catching a fish on something I tied. I’d just as soon buy them.

Like the helgies, from Orvis, they’re killer.

Some of them I think are hand me downs from my friend Bob Long, Jr.


Others seem to appear out of nowhere. I know guys that tie flies. I admire them. They give me a few.



For some reason at the end of last year I came up with the idea to use a fly rod this spring. Dumb logic tells me I can do just as well with a fly rod as I do with my spinning gear. Over a decade ago I proved to myself that I can walk into the Fox or Apple River and do as well as I do with light spinning gear and little lures.

I should have never mentioned this idea in public. Now I feel committed.

We’ll see how it goes. The first time I get into one of my usual tight casting situations on a creek I know I’ll give up.

The car is all cleaned out and organized. I put away the wispy wand and two fly rods are in the trunk. Spinning gear in the car. Lures and flies all ready to go. New waders in the trunk waiting to be baptized.

Now I wait.

Did some scouting today. I probably could have got in the river for a couple of hours, but I think I would have been lucky to catch one fish. And that would have been on spinning gear.

I don’t like that time to fish ratio.

One more week if this weather keeps up.

Maybe two.

I’ll know when I go down to the river or to a creek and smell fish.

Then it will be time.

Good Riddance 2013

After a nearly disastrous start to the year, the wife and I were both ready to say good riddance 2013 by midnight last night.

March 1st I was finally hired for a full time job after a little over three years of scrounging for work. It’s going to take years to crawl out of the financial hole that was created, but there was now potential for improvement.

Then the wife, who was in the final stages of recovering from rotator cuff surgery, was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of rheumatoid arthritis and had to quit working. She’s a tough lady and though it’s hurt her ability to work, she does her best to keep going, sometimes to a fault. There are those moments where she just collapses into bed in pain.

Then in November she had a mild heart attack.

Boy, did that piss her off.

She still refuses to let these things get the better of her and she pushes and pushes. One of these days that will either kill her or cripple her, but that’s the way she wants it.

I’m not going to argue with her, won’t do any good.

So, we’ll see what 2014 brings.

We’ll be moving soon, something smaller and cheaper. That should help a bit. Nice part for me, besides being cheaper, I’ll still be less than a two minute walk to the Fox River.

One must have priorities, even if they are self-serving.

My goals are simple this year.

I hope to enjoy all of these, every day.

And to catch more of these out of smaller and smaller creeks.

I told you my goals are simple.

At the top of this post is one of my favorite images, Leap Into the Void by Yves Klein.

Sometimes, what else can you do.

Of course, there will always be music playing somewhere in the back of my head while I watch those sunsets and fish those creeks.

There always is.

If you’re going to Leap Into the Void, you may as well Jump Into the Fire.

Really, sometimes, what else can you do.

Before I Blew out my Back

Before I blew out my back, the fish bite I was waiting patiently for finally happened.

In the first 2.5 hours, 26 fish were hooked.

I was already day dreaming of sunset cruises and squeezing in an hour before the sun disappeared. I was looking forward to the following day where I was going to comb a stretch that had the potential of a 50 fish day.

The long term forecast looked good for the following weekend. More stretches were being played out in my head. Twenty fish, thirty, the possibilities were endless.

Then I went home, bent over slightly to pick a basil leaf and blew out my back. Bad. Details are in Dale Bowman’s river fishing reports in the Chicago Sun Times if you care for some details. Scroll down to the Fox River report.

Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers Around Chicago Fishing

For some reason the wife is very concerned about this one. She’s banned me from going fishing. Unusual for her, she usually lets me destroy myself however I feel like. I must look as bad as my back feels this time for her to issue such an ultimatum. Maybe she sees something I’m missing so best to heed her concerns.

This is almost touching. Brings a little tear to the corner of my eye and I sniffle a bit.

I am going nuts though and I told her today I have to go on Sunday…

“No, you’re not going.”

I’ll be fine, I can walk.

“And if things screw up I can’t come out in the river and get you let alone find you.”

She has a point there. Then she relented. If someone was willing to meet up with me I could go. At least she’d feel like there would be someone there to help me.

There’s that tear in the eye and the sniffle again.

I have sucked at getting out with others this year. I keep blowing off getting together. I really shouldn’t do that, but I needed the solitude this year. Then I got an email from Dick Velders wanting to meet up and get out, something I had planned on and off all summer. I let him know what my wife said and he agreed to come out and hold my hand as we fished down the river.

You know, I make light of this stuff and make fun of my predicaments and I sometimes wonder how people take me, but it’s hard to describe the desperation I feel when I know I can’t get out like I’m used to. You have no idea how bad I am at asking others for anything, let alone help. And yet, here’s a guy I know only via email and have yet to meet in person willing to meet up just so I can go out fishing and not scare the living daylights out of my wife.

For that, I’m grateful beyond words.

In return, I’ll show him where I caught these.

It’s the only payback I know.

AHOY the River

Where’d everybody go?

That’s right, it’s after September 1st, the time of year when 90 percent of anglers give up for the year.

Summer is over, the fish won’t be biting.

So they think.

Since I’ve only run into three or four other anglers out on the river and another three on the creeks in well over 60 trips, I guess it will be getting even more empty.

Not sure that’s possible, unless all the wildlife goes away too.