Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Late July Flyfishing in St. Louis, MO

We are here in St. Louis, MO!  Just in time for their annual 4 week ultra heatwave (or so we were told).

There's still unpacking, organizing, decorating....and getting "situated" to do.  I made a big dent in it, but the rest may get metered out over a longer period of time.  And those fish aren't going to catch themselves, so....I've gotta go introduce myself to some of the local finned residents.

Its all new to me.  I got some tips, and did some research.  I decided I want to try to catch a Longear Sunfish soon.  They seem to be abundant south of the Missouri River, and I've NEVER caught one, as far as I know.  They don't get very big, but can be really colorful when the males are spawning. Gotta start somewhere....gotta have a goal.  I've been doing some research on the Missouri Department of Conservation website too.  Lots of good info there.

In the meantime, I'm just trying to catch some fish here.  I visited a conservation area that has some ponds listed as "Catch & Release Only" and "Artificial lures live bait or scented plastics".  Cool!
I didn't catch anything very big, but I caught some fish.  My first Missouri fish since moving here...a Redear Sunfish!  I think those are pretty cool fish, so I was VERY pleased to start my fish-catching here with one of them.
I caught at least one more Redear later, along with a few Largemouth Bass, some Bluegills, Green Sunfish, and Hybrid Sunfish (specifically Redear/Bluegill hybrids). 
I'd never seen a Redear with an orange eye:

These were some of the Redear/Bluegill hybrids:

This bass was very dark-colored:

I actually saw some Bluegills that are spawning...this is really late, so I assume this is their 2nd or 3rd spawn of the season?

Some of the Green Sunfish have been very colorful, and some have been pretty good-sized....some in the 8"-8.75" range!

I've fished at least 3 other bodies of water so far, and have caught Green Sunfish everywhere.  Most places also have bluegills and bass.  I've seen some Redears that I just couldn't get to strike (and missed the hookset when they did), and I've seen some decent catfish swim by.

I noticed the first couple Redears were really light-colored with no discernible cheek markings.  At another lake, I did catch a darker one:

Moving can be stressful.  Its nice that my wife lets me get away and enjoy being closer to water and nature.

2nd Week of July 2020

The sale of our house closes this coming week.  We've closed on the home we purchased in Missouri.  This is our last week in "Temporary Housing" in Iowa, before moving to St. Louis.

Lots of stuff to do, but I still managed to get out flyfishing a time or two more.
I caught one more big Goldfish, my 18th big Goldfish of the year.

Also caught more channel catfish and black bullheads.

I've lived in central Iowa for 45 of my nearly 52 years.  I'll miss it.
I'm looking forward to exploring the fishing near our new home.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

First Week of July, 2020

As I compose this blog entry, I've got about 1 more week before I move from central Iowa to the St Louis, MO area.
Still just flyfishing a couple very local public ponds, and enjoying the variety of species that can be found.

More Goldfish (common and comets):

The above and below fish were each between 12 1/8" and 12 1/4".  Jumbos!

And some more natural-colored bronzish ones:

So excited to catch a 2nd Grass Carp here.  This one hit a chartreuse microjig about 8" beneath a strike indicator.  I had chummed first with cat food, but couldn't see the fish before it still pretty much luck!

This is my new SMALLEST Grass Carp... 27" and @ 9 lbs.

2nd biggest Channel Catfish of the year so far, 19":

Black Bullheads:

This Green Sunfish is almost completely black!

Hybrid Sunfish:

Caught a few decent bass, nothing much over 16", though.  In fact, this one had apparently been caught before, mishandled, and now sports a gill outside its cheek.