Sunday, February 26, 2006

Back to Your Roots

Sometimes you have to go backwards in order to go forward.

I headed out to Lake Evans to get some "exercise" and to see if I could tag a couple more largemouth bass for the study. The day had turned out pretty nice - mid 60's and sunny with just a slight breeze.

I figured the water and the fish would start warming up pretty quick as the water level is down and it's time for the fish to move the the shallows to spawn.

I tried a new Bass Bug - a brown conehead streamer with rubber legs on the flyrod. I got one slight take but wasn't able to hook up. I don't think it was a bass but who knows?

The sunfish were popping the surface as there were some craneflys getting blown onto the lake.

I fished a red & white deer hair popper and even switched to a Royal Coachman to try to catch some sunfish but everything hitting the water was too small.

I switched to the BGW on the ultralight and made a circuit around the lake but nothing doing. I did notice a couple of big splashes near the shore and guessed that the bass were cruising around looking to ambush some baitfish in the shallows.

I finally got paranoid about getting skunked and reached deep into the past for some inspiration.

Mark this one's for you!

These green sunfish just needed a rubber worm and a smaller hook to make them (and me) happy. I caught several of these little guys and never get tired of that "tug" "tug" on the line.

I kep hearing the big splashes along the shoreline so I finally decided to do something different. I chucked the flyrod and the BGW and put on a gold floating Rapala minnow - "The Original"

I don't know how many fish I have caught over the years with this lure but I'm never without at least one or two in my tacklebox.

I tossed it out in the vicinity of the next big splash and was rewarded with a nice 13" bass.
I nicknamed him "Newt".

Tag ID 05 - AKA "Newt" was caught at 4:25PM. W=1.0lb, L=13"

I tried again in the same general area and just a few minutes later had a 15" 2-pounder on the scales.

This big girl is "Clara".

Tag ID 06 - AKA "Clara" was caught at 4:35PM. W=2.0lb, L=15"

This last photo shows the location I've been using for the tagging program. It is out of the way but readily visible and I think this is a much more durable location than on a fin.

It will be interesting to see when I catch my first tagged fish!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hot Lips

I returned to Evans Lake today to continue the fish study.

The weather was overcast and drippy with a chance of a full blown shower at any time.

I only had a couple of hours to fish before lunch but since wet fishing is better than no fishing I took advantage of the time. The fish are wet anyway.

I caught one fish an nice 16" bass that weighted 2 lbs even.

I'm not sure but I think this was old "Hot Lips" I caught back on January 15.

This picture doesn't show it very well but she had the same red coloring on the rough pads of her mouth.

I attached the tag to the corner of her mouth instead of to the fin. I think it will have a better chance of staying on.

I finally had to quit when the rain got too heavy. One more for the book!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hopeless Romantic

Who says I'm not romantic?

This year for Valentine's Day I bought my wife some candy - chocolate no less.

You would think that would reveal my true feelings and demonstrate that life is about more than fishing. After all, I've heard that spending too much time on any one thing is unhealthy.

Sure, I looked at the Whitman's sampler and I studied all the heart-shaped boxes but I've just gotta be me!

Hey - last year I gave her a sheepskin! This is a step up.

We did do a little yarn shopping over the weekend and enjoyed a nice dinner together on Monday.

I got a couple of new fishing books and a great card.

She also honored me by posting a story about my parents on her blog: Wool Windings

Roses are red and violets are squishy
I'm a happy husband but the candy is fishy!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bass Bugs

I'm getting ready to continue the fish study in Lake Evans.

This weekend I got to add to the collection of bass flies. I picked up a couple from Gander Mountain and tied up some marabou jigs.

This is a diver made from deer hair and rabbit fur.

This is a classic deer hair popper. It has some green & white marabou and some feathers and is supposed to imitate a frog as you retrieve it across the surface.

Rabbit fur and lamb's wool make up this leech. The rubber legs add movement.

This one will fish sub-surface.

This cone-head zonker has some rubber legs that will draw attention to this fly.

A yellow & red deceiver. This may be tied for salt or fresh water. It is an attractor pattern.

These marabou jigs are tied on a 1/16 oz round jighead hook.

I want to try this in different sizes and colors.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Green River Day

Somewhere between Groundhog Day and Valentine's Day is the holiday known to avid fishermen as Green River Day.

The"A" section of Utah's Green River is one of my favorite fishing holes.

Known worldwide for it's beautiful unspoiled setting, this tailwater is always consistent and a prolific producer of big and colorful trout. This was to be my third visit and I've been waiting for this chance to return.

Some people think driving three hours away from one of the best ski areas in the country (Park City, Utah) to go fishing in February is nuts.

My motto: "I'd rather be fishing than swishing".

The weather had been COLD in the morning but warming up with the sun. We started out at 6AM with temps in in the teens and while stopping for gas I tried to wash the windshield. The washer fluid was like smearing icy paste on the glass and it took some defrosting to finish the job.

Trout Bum 2 has a 1/2 day trip this time of year and we had two boats reserved. Our guides Tom & Charles were on time and ready to go.

After getting rigged up and decked out we were ready to catch some fish!
In our boat we started out with a nice brown.

Tom & I with one of our three doubles!
Here Tom has a nice brown and I have a rainbow.

Joe and Mark had some luck too. This cut-bow won the prize for the best dressed fish.

Check out the colors on this beauty!

Two Toms and twin browns. The colors on these fish ranged from butter yellow to blue-green with characteristic red spots.
Tom took the size-prize with this big rainbow.

After fishing tiny midge larva all day, our guide Tom Knight handed me a 9-1/2' Sage 6-wt rod with a sinking tip line and a huge wool head sculpin streamer.

He instructed me to "pound the banks" and strip in erratically. He also said "Big fly - Big fish".

My other motto: "Always listen to your guide!"

We all had a great time and for the record - Lord willing - "I'll be back"


It's that time of year again.

I was in Utah for the week and after traveling all Sunday afternoon from Houston to Salt Lake City, I got up early and drove to Vernal and back on Monday. The business meeting started Monday evening and went late into the night. Up early again on Tuesday for the marathon day of flip charts, goals, planning, and discussions. It was a productive time but by Tuesday evening we were all needing a break.

I took the last few minutes of daylight to visit the Heber Valley and to see if the "confidence bait" could tempt a brown from the pool at the "not-so-secret" spot.

I got to see the Heber Creeper a historic steam train that runs through the valley.

Once again the white Roostertail came through.

This one's for you Paul!

Sunday, February 05, 2006


My brother sent me a link to this website:

Obsessive Compulsive Fishing or a condition identified in Ely Minnesota.

They sponsor the website to assist those stricken with the disorder.

I think I'll soon be a card carrying member.

Even Trade

It pays to read the fine print.

Earlier this year, I received an e-mail from my former boss - recently retired - asking me if I would be willing to sign for the retiree luncheon. He also said that I could make a brief presentation about Safety if I wanted to. I didn't quite get what he was asking me to sign but I replied, "I'm available - and willing! ", expecting to show a couple of our recent PowerPoint presentations on Safety and see some old friends.

Imagine the surprise when I received this note in return, "I'm delighted that you are available and willing. What type microphone do you need? I know the group will enjoy your music and any information on Safety."

Wait a minute, did I miss something? I do play guitar and write songs... and I did send this guy a couple of my latest home recordings around the holidays...

I went back to the original e-mail and sure enough there it was. He had misspelled "sing" as "sign"!

Oh well no harm done. I was pretty rusty but as one fine gentleman told me, "It won't matter. None of us can hear very good anyway!"

I was able to get through a few songs and really enjoyed visiting with some old and new friends. I have some songs posted on a blog, Home Made Music.

My biggest surprise came when Floyd handed me a token of their appreciation - a gift card to Bass Pro Shop. Floyd knows all about my passion for fishing and he felt this was a sure way to support his local economy of Katy, TX and to prevent me from blowing cash on anything but fishing gear.

Now the good part. I purchased a new fly rod!

I got a White River Classic 3 piece 4-wt medium fast rod for fishing small streams. It is only 6'9" long and will be perfect for tight brushy areas like Daniels Creek. It will handle up to a fair sized fish 1-1.5 lbs and will cast short distances in moderate wind conditions.

I know, you are probably thinking that I recently bought a new TFO TiCrX so what gives?

I have a couple of 5-wt rods and a 6-wt now. All are long 8'6" and 9' and all can handle the reels and lines I have assembled. This new addition will also work with the 5-wt lines as I won't be casting very far. Since I won't have as much line out, the 5-wt line will load the 4-wt rod and it should cast great.

One day I may get a new reel with a 4-wt line for calm quiet days and delicate presentations.

The new rod came with a protective sock and a rod tube so it was the perfect addition to the collection.

Thanks Floyd & all the retirees. Your generosity is appreciated!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Fish Study

I've been thinking about doing a study of the bass in Lake Evans.

After catching several fish you begin to wonder, " Is this the same one I caught before?".

Other reasons for doing a study are to measure the health and vitality of the lake and to make management recommendations to the owners.

I've read several papers written about farm pond management and from everything I have seen this pond is in great shape. The fish are healthy and fat and there seems to be plenty of them.....that is unless I'm just catching the same ones over and over again.

One way to identify and track fish is to tag the fish with small numbered metal or plastic tags.

I found a supplier of tags designed for fish, National Band & Tag Co. out of Kentucky.

I purchased 100 small tags and the applicator pliers.

These are referred to as "Conservation Tags" and are designed to be attached to the fins of the fish without causing harm or interfering with the fish's ability to swim.

The tags are made from Monel - an alloy that does not rust. Each bass caught will be tagged with a unique number and the tag ID will be recorded.

The study will also include recording the weight and length of each fish and other details like the time of day, weather conditions, location, bait, etc.

I purchased a digital scale to record the fish weight. I think an important part of this study is to determine if the fish in Lake Evans are growing. Length is not as important as total weight when you are talking about largemouth bass. Here is where the term "Chunky" has real meaning!

Clich here to read a review on the Berkley 20 lb digital scale.

I had a couple of hours to get started with the study before sunset this evening so I grabbed the UL and a big green worm and headed for the lake.

The day had turned out clear and sunny with temps in the high 60's. I had some trouble finding the fish and finally was able to pick up three small bass in the cove.

Tag ID 00 - AKA "Lippy" was caught at 5:35PM. W=0.9lb, L=12.5"

Tag ID 01 - AKA "Wormy" was caught 5 minutes later. W=0.7lb, L=12.0"

Tag ID 03 - AKA " JR" was caught at 5:55PM. W=0.9lb, L=12.5"

You only get one shot to attach the tag and I messed up Tag 02.

And so it begins.................