Thursday, March 31, 2022

Wading with my Epic 476 fly rod.




Waded an urban creek Sunday before last.  

Nice to finally get out this year. It’s my first time on the water for any species this year. Fished a creek that’s had stream bank restoration. One of the photos shows root balls that are added for such purposes as a physical barrier and habitat. 


Due to those efforts, habitat and better stream bank environs has contributed to better fishing. However, due to more businesses and homes being built in the furthest reaches of this section of headwaters that I fish, litter has increased due to runoff issues and flooding - mainly due to loss of farmland and Ozark prairies and bad city drainage and planning of large parking lots.

But I try to enjoy it as it was about 17 years ago when I began fishing this creek. Before runoff issues didn’t require this stream to have riparian restoration.  

‘Twas a good day out. 77° and sunny. Lots of conversation and looky-loos from the bike path. Smells from restaurant lunches filled the air. I fished up about as far as one could for it to be productive. Several bass and panfish came to hand. I do enjoy my Epic 476. One that I built. I do miss my 4 wgt CGR though.
 

Friday, March 11, 2022

Simms Flyweight Shoes - review

 


I’m not seeing the felt sole Flyweights on the Simms site but I’ve seen them in stores and online.  The rubber soles are still available.  So, I’ll still have a review.  

Having purchased these shoes in August 2019, it wasn’t until the next summer that they began to really break in.  It may be the felt sole that makes these shoe so tough to bend and soften at the creases.  I started wearing them in the Fall of ‘19.  That’s when I typically do a lot of wet wading.  

Why did I buy the felt sole shoes and not the rubber?  Lots of limestone and slick areas - and a history of bad knees.  As a matter of fact, I had knee surgery last Spring.  I thought the shoes would become comfortable fairly quickly.  But no.  They are pretty rigid in construct and will occasionally run a raw spot at the very top and edge of the laces where the foot enters the shoe.  But they grip well and protect from stubbing my toes.  

I also owned the Simms Rip Raps and wore those h til they began to fall apart.  And I’m tired of wearing wading boots with socks or sandals that let stones under my feet or sand blister my feet.  Last year, the shoes really began to feel more like tennis shoes or kind of like the Rip Raps.

Are they worth all the money?  They are if you do a lot of wet wading.  The neoprene has faded but they shoes have held up and the felt looks as if it could handle a few more years.

When wet wading, I used to wear my Korkers boots with felt soles.  Not a fan.  A bit clunky and they slowed my down.  I don’t like having to wear neoprene socks and get that odd tan line on the leg, ha ha.  

I do think Simms had it down with the discontinued Rip Raps.  Rubber soles with integrated felt.  A lighter build and easier break-in.

The Flyweights seem to be built like a freight train and will last.  Not the most comfortable but beats wearing wading boots or sneakers that won’t grip.




Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Crittermite - Smallmouth fly variation

 


Having trouble posting the video I made for this pattern.  Here is a link though.  https://twitter.com/panfish74/status/1501262935061979141?s=21

You’ll need to purchase popper tails for the head and Hellgrammite tails from Eastern Trophies Fly Fishing.

I’ve had a lot of success this pattern.  I use different size eyes based on what I’m casting.  You can even cast this pattern with a spinning rod.  Materials are straight forward.  The wing is some craft hair material I bought ages ago.  I stopped tying it in last year.  Panfish will also pounce on it.  I use an Allen B10 hook which may not be available anymore but you find one that will work.  Make sure it has a decent gap.

Have fun tying.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Review - Honest Amish Beard Balm

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1TB2LxY0s2p0Uc5y14p766ruZKq2f7QD9

After using beard products for several years - probably since ‘18,  I’ve come to better understand them.  I say that because Honestl Amish was one of the first beard balms I purchased.  

To me, Honest Amish beard balm could be described as more of a butter.  A beard butter.  I’ve seen or handled some butters and I’m not a fan of beard butters.  Be also owned beard balms that break down fast in the hand and can be applied almost like an oil or butter because of the consistency of the product when broken down in hand.

Honest Amish does provide some hold and if applied properly, isn’t greasy or very oily. It does provide a light hold. It is not firm such as the balms from Luxurious Bastard or Honyocker. It is definitely not as light of a hold as some of the other products I’ve used such as Grave before Shave and some other smaller local brands. 

With the scent not being overpowering and being of something like licorice and cloves, I do like it. And a little product goes a long way in the beard. I am looking to purchase Honest Amish Heavy Duty. I have washed a couple of videos online about the heavy duty bomb and it is not a firm hold but then but it is a stronger hold than the original which is what my beard needs sometimes. I have gone from using this product every now and then to probably just about every day this past week.  It has grown on me.  I have several brands and do like to use them all.  It’s either because of the scent for the hold or it’s just the product my beard needs at that time.  Not all balms are the same and I do try to stay away from corporate brands.  Mainly because they contain ingredients that can dry out of beardOr just cause it to be frizzy or have issues. Anyways, leave a comment if you have any questions. I hope that this will help someone out there because I struggled with my beard for a whileUntil I started watching videos and doing more in-depth reading and research.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Wade fishing for Smallmouth Bass

 I don’t always fly fish for smallmouth bass.  Sometimes, I do a little spin fishing .



My boys will fish every now and again but prefer spin fishing to fly fishing.  So, I decided to do a little spin fishing too.  Growing up, I had a Kmart Sportfisher spinning rod.  I did a little bass fishing with baitcaster but didn’t do so well - mostly because I wasn’t too focused on it at the time.  

I’ve done really well with a spinning rod this year.  Mainly, I’ve been casting flies but also a few soft baits.  This year has been a good one and with a lot of outings.  So, I just don’t know where to begin.

I’ll just post a few photos and then follow up with another post or two sometime soon.  I even built a spinning rod and updated my son’s old spinning rod.  More posts to come.  

Cheers.