Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank God for stocked trout

Yesterday, Nov. 22, the temp in suburban Chicagoland topped out at 70 degrees. It poured in the morning on the way to work. But , rather than be dismayed by the crappy weather, my thoughts were "Hmm - this is a lot of 50-60 degree rain hitting the cold ponds. Ought to make the fish a little more active.

Luckily, around noon, the skies cleared up a little, and I made it out to the ponds for one last open water fling. Yes - the same ponds that kicked by butt the last 2 times I was on them. Driving out there, I felt like Charlie Brown, running up to kick the football.

I started out with - and kept on the whole time - a sz. 0 Mepps Aglia with a squirrel tail. The first 15-20 minutes were uneventful - no hits, no sightings. I was fishing the upper few feet in the water column over the deeper (10' - 15') parts of the pond. These areas have been good to me in the past.

First trout of the day

I moved around, and finally got a viscous strike in about 15" of water by the spillway. When the trout came in, it was being followed by another one. Hmmm. I landed the trout, took a picture on my phone (a first for me) and kept casting. then I decided to try another shallow area I had ignored earlier.

Well - the shallows were the key. I landed 3 trout, missed 3 others - including one BIG fish - and saw a few others. All were shallow, and related to wood / brush in the water. It was actually a springtime bass pattern. I have no idea why they were so shallow. Food? Warmth? No idea.

Another one comes in

This will probably be my last Illinois open water fishing of the year. And I really didn't want to end up the year with 3 skunks in row. I'm trying to get out to the Delta in CA or maybe FLA for a day, but we'll have to see how the cards fall.

Finally - please excuse the photo quality. It's a new phone that I am struggling to learn to use. I can barely make a call, let alone take pictures with it.

Finally - a Happy Thanksgiving to all. Enjoy your turkey day in whatever you manner you wish to celebrate.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A much needed, very overdue makeover to Flowing Waters

The look on my blog has been unchanged for the past 26 months. To be honest, I never really cared about the look. The blog was simply something I liked to do. But now that I've been exposed to a myriad of blog looks through the Outdoor Blogger Network, I realize how anemic mine really was. So, I decided to do a face lift. Nothing drastic - just the equivalent of a nose job and a tummy tuck. So far , I think it's OK. PLEASE let me know your thoughts, particularly if you think it sucks.

The other component to the makeover was a much needed re-creation of my Blog List. I broke down my one previous list into 4 lists - one for Fishing Blogs, one for Fly Fishing Blogs, one for General Outdoor Blogs, and one for Photo and Art Blogs. There are a lot more blogs listed than there used to be, and there are many more noteworthy ones who are not found here. Yet.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I discovered a new pattern today

My lunchtime fishing actually happened today. Jesse and I went to the pond for lunch and got in 40 minutes of fishing. The pond was recently stocked with trout, and has the usual assortment of 'gills, crappie, bass, walleye in it. The water was pretty clear and the sun cast its warming rays all over the surface.

And I discovered a new pattern. That pattern:

NEVER post that I'm going fishing with any expectation of success again!!! Every time I do that, I strike out miserably

I've done that twice, and twice I would have had better luck if I had stayed in our company parking lot. This time we could actually SEE trout - they just ignored, or ran from, our lures.

I HATE to end the year on such a lousy note. I may have to try it again tomorrow.

But I'll have NO expectations

Must... Go... Fishing!!!

Temperature is supposed to top out at 70 today, same tomorrow. Might rain tomorrow, though. Then - colder, wintry weather returns, and these unseasonably warm days will be distant memories.

I MUST get out to the ponds today and /or tomorrow over lunch. It will almost certainly be my last hurrah in Illinois for 2010.

(Interestingly enough, I posted a similar piece last November - November 13, to be exact. The weather had warmed up to 55, and I hit the same ponds over lunch. Got a few trout, 2 'gills, and a crappie. I at least know where to start now!)

Stay tuned for the "results" post - I hope they're better than the last post I did, where I built up my expectations, and got beat up by the fish.