Archive for June, 2013

Friday night I all but guaranteed that Big and Little E were going to dominate the Family Division of the Kids White Perch tournament…

I had gone out the night before, and prefished the site. I dialed in where the white perch were hiding… just about two to three feet off the rip rap all along the south side of the tournament area. I went to the local tackle shop and picked up the gear that last year’s winning family used; and ultimately settled on the spot where they were sitting (a perk of volunteering the year before); mostly because it was closest to the bathrooms, play set, and swimming beach for when Little E lost interest in fishing.

I broke out the spinning rods for the first time all year; because fly fishing maybe about more than just the fish, but tournaments are about the fish; and I was going to maximize our chances of winning. I even woke up at 6:00 AM Saturday morning, made coffee, and drove to the lake to claim our spot before anyone else got up. I sat there for three hours prepping gear, setting up a fly rod in case I needed to switch to what worked the night before, and make sure that no one else ended up in our spot…

At 9:00 AM when Little E and her cousin got there, and we put our lines in the water. I was reminded why they call this hobby fishing and not “catching”…

And then I met my Waterloo.

We fished for a little over two hours… and didn’t catch a single white perch. Not even when I switched to my faithful fly rod.

How disappointing… but at least this was no fault of mine. There were very few white perch that were caught. Nobody on either side of me on the bank caught any perch.

But the day was not a total failure. We did manage to catch three bluegills and a catfish. Since Little E and her cousin were back and forth between fishing and the beach, I put them in a bucket so they see the “shishes” for a little bit. After their first trip to the beach, they came back to check on daddy…

Okay, so we didn’t catch any white perch; and therefore did not do well in the tournament. But the kids did have a lot of fun looking at the fish that we did catch. They would stick their hands in the bucket and giggle as the fishies would splash them and dart around. And of course we stopped to pet them…

After this, the fisherman in my daughter got going, and she wanted to fish too…

That’s my girl!

We rounded out the day with a little channel catfish. Since I only fly fish, the number of catfish I catch is very low. I have caught catfish on a fly, but seeing one come up on a fly is a happy accident, not the norm. Virtually every time Little E goes fishing, we are fly fishing; so she has not been with me when I have been lucky enough to hook up with a catfish on a fly.

But seeing her first catfish sure made her day!

This fish was slimy, smooth, and wiggly… everything a two year old loves!

In the end, we tied for last place in the family division with a big goose egg on the board for white perch. But we did catch fish, and Little E and her cousin thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. Little E went right to sleep on the drive home.

And we did manage to snag some nice door prizes… Little E got a blue ribbon for fishing, a bag of plastic worms just like the ones she likes at the tackle shop, a buzz bait, and an awesome smoked pork sandwich. Her cousin also won a fishing pole that is on permanent loan here at our house.

Who cares if we didn’t win. The smiles on Little E’s face made it all worth it. Even if daddy met his Waterloo…

A special thanks to the Randy from the Nebraska Fish And Game Association (www.nefga.org) for organizing the event, and all of the NEFGA volunteers who showed up to support the event. Seeing this kind of support makes me glad to be associated with this group and volunteer for their activities when I can. The event was an outstanding success; and Little E and I are already looking forward to next June to do it again…

And the next 12 months to figure out what we can do better.

See you as I stand around scratching my head and thinking about next year,

E

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Does this make me a bad person???

I just want Little E to have a good time and take home a nice prize. Of course, all the kids get door prizes; but winning is so much more fun; right? Right?? (I am not a believer in the “everyone gets a trophy” movement… if everyone wins, there’s no motivation to work hard… or at all for that matter of speaking…)

If nothing else, I did get to enjoy the peace of a beautiful Nebraska sunset…

See you while Little E and I are dominating the family division of the White Perch Tournament…

E

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Yesterday, Flies Over Nebraska celebrated it’s first anniversary… Strange to think I have been doing this for an entire year!

I don’t have much time for a long post today… I am in the middle of my last class for my graduate degree, so I don’t have a lot of time for anything… even fishing.

But I thought I would post about the trip that started Flies Over Nebraska all the way back last June. A fateful trip to Grove Lake/Verdigre Creek… that yielded only the above largemouth bass and one other bluegill…

Enjoy rereading my first post and the story of me “Getting Skunked In Paradise“…

And here’s to the next year of casting Flies Over Nebraska!

E

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…Is what Little E said when she saw this picture. Even a 2 year old knows to mock an angler that catches this small of a fish.

But it’s better than getting skunked… right?

Right?!?!

(Maybe I should be embarrassed to post this…)

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Sometimes the greatest things will just show up; if you are willing to put in the time…

As part of my 2013 fishing goals, I decided to try out a new lake. As I was running errands with Little E on Sunday morning, I noticed how every boat in Lincoln seemed to be headed out of town. And not just the power boats… I saw enough Lunds and Bass Trackers on their way out of town to make me realize that most of the common fishing lakes were going to be packed.

I mean it was Father’s day… what father wouldn’t want to spend it on the lake?

So I decided to head out to a smaller lake that I knew about, but never hear much about on the fishing forums. This particular lake resides clear off the beaten path, down several miles of country roads. A perfect place to try to find some peace and quiet by myself. I am going to decline to name this lake… sorry. I am going to turn into a sobby fisherman… I don’t want this to show up on any search engines.

But any local angler who reads this blog I am sure will identify this lake from my pictures…

When I finally found the lake, I was happy with what I found. A quiet, small lake. No wind. And only a couple other people fishing.

Perfect.

I scouted out the bank for a few minutes and found a good spot to launch my float tube. After having to come back in to add more air… I was off and fishing. But the fishing wasn’t off and running at first. I spent the first couple hours without many bites. One small bluegill, and one nice fish that threw a hook and got away.

That is, until my patience paid off…

Casting to the bank and pulling a streamer, I got a strong strike by a weed bed… and a couple seconds later, this was in my hand…

Up comes a 9.5 inch bluegill. Just a half inch shy of a Master Angler award. But a great catch that totally made the trip.

I kept fishing down the bank, and around a family that was doing some father’s day fishing on a rock jetty. After they poked a little fun at my float tube (no offense taken!), and explained what it was to their children, I had the strike of a lifetime!

I wrote on my post “The One That Got Away” that big fish are special. You know instantly when you have one…

This fish doubled over my rod, line flew through my hand, and the fish went on a run away from me! I “reeled it up”, suggested which direction I wanted the fish to go, and back peddled to open deep water to avoid a snag up.

And this time, I was careful to not let the fish try to swim under me…

The man in the family close by yelled out to his family, “Look at him! He has a nice fish on!” After ten minutes of spinning, fighting, pulling, and letting the fish run I final coxed him to the surface. And this is what I saw…

A big fat 19 inch largemouth bass! My personal best!

This fish even had another line hanging out of its mouth. Judging by the shape of the hook and swivel, they had not been there very long. Apparently, someone else recently hooked into this fish… but they where not able to bring it to hand. Makes the victory that much sweater, knowing that I did what someone else could not!

After removing my fly, and cutting the broken line out of its mouth (I was not able to get the hook out), I released the fish back into the wild. I continued casting to the bank… and not more then five to six minutes later…

Another slam on the line!

Only this fish shot out of the water and went airborne right after I hooked up… and I got a look at another nice bass!

After pulling him out to the open water, and spending another ten minutes fighting him, I finally got him up to the surface…

A nice 17 inch bass to top off the day!

Two trophy fish; one right after another. This experience made the two bite-less hours to start off the day total worth it. I guess it just goes to show that a little bit of patience can go a long ways.

After I released this fish, I only got a couple more casts in… a stormy looking southwestern sky chased me off the lake.

But the best part of my day???

A father’s day painting from Little E… that mommy might have helped with a little bit. And going out supper with my family…

Everything together, it was one of the best days of my life…

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I wonder what was pulling at my drag today…

Stop back soon to see!

And ignore that Twitter feed thingy to the side…

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Guess who is in it… check out page 3!

Okay, not the biggest of publications, but still cool none the less… And a great organization providing fishing opportunities in my beloved Cornhusker state.

Check it out…

Capture

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