Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Small Smallies-Rocks-Chubs-Forgotten Birthday-Mean Friend, Fun Float Weekend

   We got in the first smb float trip of the year, and it was on my birthday!!  My friend, Dan, and I planned the float, and he didn't learn it was birthday Saturday until we were finishing our supper that evening at the air-conditioned restaurant (sitting there in all of our 91* stinky, exhausted glory). My 3rd partner in fly fishing fun, Jeff, was alerted of this 51st annual day of celebration (and I've spent all of them on the water since 2008 when I first started fly fishing) through Facebook and shared this factoid with Dan, who thought it was later in the month. Dan was disappointed because he didn't have my dirty birthday card with him, but I got a free meal plus tiramisu, so my life was good. Life briefly got bad when Jeff posted a picture of me eating tiramisu. I had just told him I frequently don't take good pictures just as he was taking a picture of me. I saw the picture and told Jeff he was mean. I did all I could to banish the pic from Facebook via my phone: untagging it, deleting notifications for it, and restricting Jeff as my friend on Facebook(temporarily). It wasn't a bad picture. It was just horrendous. I looked older than my 51 years, and it looked like I'd lived some hard years with nasty bad drugs and lots and lots of alcohol.  No one "liked" the picture, so I only hope that means they didn't see it...
*Pictures from our trip are posted at the bottom of the page, but not the one of the tiramisu-eating-incident. Click on picture to enlarge it.

  Musky remain my first love to hunt and hook on the fly. BUT, smb floats on small rivers (some would laugh and say they are streams) in our little pontoons and kickboats are my favorite way to fish. And, smallies will probably rank, someday, as my favorite fish to fight on the fly. Currently, they hold the #2 slot. Why do I love these floats? The rivers (or streams) are usually beautiful, we are targeting the ever-feisty smb, sometimes we end up with trout and other species, solitude --some lil rivers don't have many aluminum hatches, and it is great to fin with the feet OR walk the boat like it's a wheelchair while casting and keeping cooler with legs mostly in the water.

   I debated sharing the river's name. It's in Iowa. Sometimes you can find trout in it. We didn't on Saturday. That's about all you're going to get. Why? Greedy? Maybe a little. BUT, small rivers don't handle much fishing pressure. And, while we caught a respectable amount of fish, the smb were small. I caught 2-13 inchers and 2-11s, and the rest were smaller than that. Of course I missed many fish but landed 18 rock bass, 17 smb, and 16 creek chubs. I think my friends had similar results, but a couple 16" smb might have been slid into the net. I think we want to try other waters or just go downstream and see if that is where the bigger boys and girls hang out.  I only saw a group of 4 kayakers during the entire 830-615pm trip. 

   So, if you get a chance, do some exploring on your local waterways.  Consider practicing catch and release so we can all enjoy catching more or bigger fish (and pinch your barbs too, to lessen fish mortality!). If you take a fish, eat the fish and don't waste it. Take time to pick up a bit of trash you might find along the way and please don't litter.  Yes, dropping your tag ends in the water is littering. Leaving strike indicators at the parking lot is littering.  Smile and give a hello to other anglers.  Be courteous on the waterway and don't crowd others.  Think your dirty thoughts if someone crowds you, but don't push em in, and give them the benefit of the doubt... maybe they weren't taught good fishing manners like you and your friends were. Also, stay hydrated or you will end up like I've ended up... yelling in pain off and on for hours in the suv while tent camping after a day of fishing. Dehydration leads to the nastiest leg muscle cramps!!!! It could also lead to embarrassment if someone takes a walk on a path and finds you hanging out of your suv after passing out (or falling asleep, one might argue!) from pain. Luckily, last year I woke up before I was spotted! I remained well-hydrated this weekend.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. 

Toons and tents

Limestone bluff. Not as many fish here, but it sure is pretty!

Smb bed

Jeff rows out of the bluff.

Leaving the limestone bluff and entering the first large pool

After a lack of sleep due to the partying drunkards tenting next to us, we got up early and drove a while to two trout streams. Dan caught browns and bows at Richmond Springs.