Saturday, January 28, 2006

Boise Extreme

Idaho is known for many things, including I'm sure some extreme sports. Whether it's snowboarding, river rafting, or some other outrageous pursuit, those from the "Spud State" have seen many who take things to the extreme.

That being said, I'm not sure they have ever seen anything quite like what appeared on the Boise River near the Boise State University stadium this morning.

Several skeptical Safety Reps, one Tech Dev trooper, and a wild-eyed former dairy farmer from "North Mexico" showed up to go fishing! Now to be fair this may not seem too extreme for a Saturday morning except for the fact that it was January, COLD, windy, and snowing so hard that we had abandoned "plan A" which was to drive out of town to fish near the dam. We were all up for the crack of dawn but it never really cracked. It was still dark when we headed out at 7:30AM and never really got very light all morning.

We were all freshly trained in the art of being "Dynamic Presenters" but there wasn't anything in the class that said how to steer a crazy fisherman off his course. You see, I was going to fish. These companions of mine had heard of some of my fishing trips where weather did not stop me but now they were along for the ride.

I'm not sure I can accurately describe the situation. I'm regularly accused nowadays of having a one-track mind. My brother Mark assured me that he is quite familiar with this form of fishing-fever and he warned that it is highly contageous. He is concerned that an outbreak may require the CDC to issue a Global Pandemic warning to unsuspecting onlookers but I think I can set him at ease.

While the "lure" of fish-fever is pretty dangerous when the weather is fair and the fish are biting at anything you throw at them, it's not quite so toxic when the temperature is near or below freezing and the snow is blowing so hard you can't see your lure hit the water.

I was hoping to fly fish but as luck would have it the water release into the Boise River had been increased to the point where that was not recommended. I had packed my ultralight and a box of White Roostertails just in case so I decided to brave the conditions and at least try something.

Sandy bundled up and came along for moral support and the rest of the crew walked down to the water for a few minutes then headed back for the vehicles.

I tried a small RT with a sinker but the current was really swift and I decided to change to the BIG MAMA 1/4 oz honker Rooster Tail.

I was casting as far out as I could and letting it swing downstream with the current then making a slow steady retrieve against the current to cover the shoreline. On about the third cast with this heavier spinner I hooked up and was it ever a fish!

Photo by Sandy Fishler

Not official but - 20"+ and close to 2lbs.

If you are only going to catch one fish this is a good one to catch!

I'm not much for urban fishing but this day on the Boise River with fresh snow on every twig and a new fish story I can't complain.

Blessings are all around if you keep your eyes open.

The Lord blessed us all today - He just gave me a double portion!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dr. Pungo's Aqua-Therapy

I took the day off on Monday for a visit to the dentist.
I also scheduled a session of aqua-therapy with "Dr. Pungo".

Paul & his boys gave me a homemade business card refering to this type of treatment in case I was ever questioned by any Law Enforcement officials or other curious parties.

Paul had also been released from work so we loaded up his kayaks, (Wildneress Systems Pungo 120 & Pungo 140 models) and headed out for the white bass in the East Fork of the San Jacinto river.

This is a great way to cover some water in a hurry but to still enjoy the peace and quiet of the afternoon. We saw a big light colored hawk and some herons and ducks, and we heard some owls hooting up a storm near dusk.

We had a refreshing paddle upstream for about 20 minutes and, other than a speeding bass boat, had the river to ourselves.

Paul out fished me 2 to 1 but I still added 15 nice whites to the stringer. These babies really fight for their size and they are found in groups so when the bite is on they can really be fun to catch!

The river isn't clear and most of the vegetation this time of year is pretty dull, but Paul found this leaning tree trunk useful in framing the shot. Nice Cast!
In all we took 40 keepers to the cleaning table. Not a bad afternoon and just what the Doctor ordered.
How much can you ask for - moderate temps, no rain, day off, fish biting , and spending the afternoon with your brother!
The Bass Battle will have to wait. When the two oponents are on the same side there is an unfair advantage.

Boys-40 Fish- 0
" Looks like a fish fry is heading our way!"

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Could This Be The Legend?

For some people, going to the bank means a financial transaction.
For me it has a two-fold meaning.

It's Saturday morning - cool and cloudy with a pretty good breeze. I am up fairly early (for a Saturday) and enjoying a cup of coffee and a light breakfast with T. after Matt has gone on to meet the school bus. He will be performing in the all-region band later this evening.

Though T. is still still fighting off a cold, we make plans for going to town after lunch and to the concert later in the afternoon. I have a fishing show on on the TV and am thinking about what I need to get done today, deposit a check, get a haircut, go to the store - but a thought keeps nagging at me.

"Is she out there and can I reach her with the new fly rod?"

You know who I'm talking about - the Legend!

I decide it's worth a try and head to Lake Evans with a plan. I do stop off to deposit the check but I'm thinking about a different bank now.

I wanted to try the 6wt sinking line on the new TFO TiCrX 5wt rod fished deep.

I don't have the 'toon ready - it's in the bags - and don't think I really want to take time to get it together so I'll be fishing from "the bank". I can cover nearly the whole water fishing from shore with the ultralight spinning rig but I have a limited casting distance with the flyrod especially in the wind.

I had in mind to use a green and black conehead wooly bugger tied on a #10 gold hook Paul gave me last year. I've used it before in this lake with some success and it is similar in color to the deadly green worm.

I was making long casts to the deep water where I have hooked the Legend in the past when I noticed two young boys putting the sneak on me. Their dog barked and gave them away and they showed up just in time to see me hook and fight a BIG bass.

photo by Logan Evans

The Legend?

This was the biggest bass I've landed from Lake Evans (18" plus) and it was nice to catch it using my new rod. It was also nice to have two witnesses and a photographer. Thanks boys!

I continued to fish with the flyrod but didn't hook up again. I felt that I just wasn't getting out to the fish. I decided to switch to the UL and the BGW (big green worm) to confirm my suspicions.


Oh Yeah!

Here We Go!

Fish On!

That's What I'm Talking About!

Fish Eye

See Ya!

I ended up catching seven nice bass in all. It was getting near lunchtime and I knew I needed to go. "Just one more cast", I thought. "One more fish before I go". I tossed out a beauty - right where I wanted it. I had been thinking about how I had been using the same hook for almost a month, ever since paul introduced me to the BGW back in December when teh tip of my rod thumped forward twice. I leaned forward and gave some slack then gave a mighty pull to set the hook. "POP" there went my line just like that. Immediately I thought "That could have been Her".

It was definitely a big fish and as I was slapping the grass with my hookless rod I decided that I might start changing out my terminal tackle after catching and fighting a few chunky bass.

Live and Learn... anyway - it makes for a nice fish story.

Monday, January 16, 2006

My Fishing Places

Check this MAP out!

Click on the sites listed on the right and zoom the map to see some of my favorite fishing holes.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bass Battle

Paul made the drive across Houston this morning to attend Bible Class & Sunday services with us.

It was a real blessing for our family and for many who were finally able to put a face with the name. The prayers will continue Brother!

Not that he was in a hurry to leave, but he did show me some pictures of the White Bass he had caught just yesterday and said he needed some more aerobic exercise in the kayak. When I said something about sending me some pictures he replied "Just check my BLOG!".

I guess I had that coming. Paul has been posting regularly and I'm afraid that before long his fishing adventures may overtake my own.

I still have some competitive spirit left in me and so begins:

"The Bass Battle"

Week to week we must compare notes to see not just who has been fishing, but who has been able to post the best pictures.

My latest entries from this afternoon:

New design for Southwest Airlines

Hot Lips!

Budda Bass - no food shortage here!
Bass in Grass


"Sun" fish

Chunky As you can see, these were all caught on the big green worm at my favorite fishin' hole, Evans Lake.

I've got to get Mr. Evans and sons in a fish-off soon.

Christmas in January

I went shopping yesterday.

Now I don't want it to seem like this is an unusual occurence for me. I go frequently to Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and the yarn stores with my wife and you can catch me in Lowe's or Home Depot from time to time but this trip was designed around one thing - fishing equipment!

I was on the hunt for a new fly rod & reel. The research was done and I knew just what I wanted - now the challenge was to get it for the best price.

We started out with lunch at Whataburger which for the un-initiated is only the best burger chain in Texas.

Next stop Bass Pro Shop at the Katy Mills Mall. (see I even go to mall from time to time)

I had decided to get a Temple Fork Outfitters TiCr series rod in a 4wt four piece for taking on the road.

My existing rods are both medium action, two piece White River rods. (Bass Pro signature brand)

I started out with a 6wt Hobbs Creek outfit that I received for my birthday several years ago and it has been a great rod for learning how to cast and for getting into fly fishing.

Last year Paul and I found a deal on a White River two piece 5wt for 50 bucks and we each got one prior to our trip to the Green River.

I was ready to get a faster action rod and thought the TFO 4wt was what I wanted.

I was also ready to spend $120 on a new reel - the Orvis Battenkill Mid Arbor III.

This beauty is a lifetime reel and with the centerline drag system, should handle any type of fish I'm likely to get hold of.

Bass Pro didn't have the rod and they only had the BKMA III in black. Of course I wanted the titanium model so I settled for a couple of other items instead.

They were having a sale on waders so I was able to pick up a pair of Simms Freestone Stockingfoot waders for a good price.

I also bought a wader bag that had been on my list for some time. The FishPond Yellowstone model will hold all the gear you would ever need for a fishing trip. It also has a fold-out wader-mat and a ventilated bottom compartment for wet waders and boots.

After leaving Bass Pro it was a straight shot down I-10 to the yarn store and T. still had a gift certificate to spend so off we went.

As it turns out I must confess there was alternate motive involved. This was also the general direction that would put both iFly The Angler's Edge and the Orvis store in our path for the ride home.

I had seen the TFO 4wt rod at the iFly shop a couple of weeks before and thought I would be able to get-it-n-go. I was also aware that they had my second choice the Echo 2 which is a nice rod that comes with two tips - one for power & one for accuracy.

I had a brief letdown when I found that the 4wt TFO TiCr rod was gone. They did have the TiCrX model which costs a little more but is not made in anything less than a 5wt.

I've always liked the looks and the specs of this rod. It is a 9 footer finished in a rich blue color, high grade cork, titanium oxide stripping guides, and an aluminum reel seat. The 5 weight has a reversed half wells grip, single up locking rings and a matte black graphite insert. Each section has color coded alignment dots.

I decided to put some line on the TiCrX and try it out. I intended on casting the Echo 2 to compare but after questioning my salesman about which rod was faster he said definitely the TiCrX was the fastest of the three that I was considering. Fast action was the main driver for my new rod purchase and after a few casts I was hooked. This rod is so smooth and powerful I felt like I had just what I was looking for.

By purchasing a 5wt rod I would be able to swap reels and lines between all three of my rods.

I ended up putting a 6wt 3M Scientific Anglers Wet Cel sinking line on the 6wt Hobbs Creek Reel.

I put a 5wt Orvis Wonderline Generation 3 Double Taper on the new reel.

I'm ready for some fishing!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pescado Blanco (White Bass)

It pays to listen to your big brother.

I thought I might beat Paul at his own game by substituting a different lure than the white roostertail.


Paul out fished me two to one and even though there were fewer fish than earlier in the week, we caught about 25 between us in a couple of hours.

The White Bass have been running up the East Fork of the San Jacinto River in deep East Texas for the past week.

I know Paul wished we could have limited out but these six will make a nice meal.

Note the big one on the end of the stringer - I'm sure that was one of mine!

Evening Trials

I had to try - one more time before the year was over...

No Legend but it wasn't a total loss!