Monday, April 25, 2022

April 18-22, 2022

 Took a weeklong trip to Arkansas, to flyfish with a friend for 3 days and try to catch my first bowfin ever on a fly rod.  Also hoped to maybe catch Spotted Gar, Snakeheads, and Fliers, none of which I have caught before.  We've been talking about this trip for nearly a year.  Plans and reservations had been made for months.  So, of course Spring rains spewed forth a deluge and flooded out the places we'd planned to fish. the point you couldn't even DRIVE to them.  7-9 feet above where we'd hoped water levels would be.  The part of Arkansas we targeted were in the greater Mississippi River floodplain...sort of. At any rate, all very flat lands.  Rivers were bank full, gushing, and extremely muddy.  Creeks and ditches were backed up, flowing, and muddy.  Lakes and ponds were high and more stained than usual. In short, a disaster and disappointment.

My friend did a HUGE amount of research to find us alternative places to possibly fish and connect with our targets species.  I DID see one Bowfin, and I got it to strike my fly, but was unable to hook it.  I had several Spotted Gar strikes and did hook one or two, one actually stayed on long enough I was sure I was going to land it...before it shook free 3' from shore.

And the middle day of the 3 days we were to fish together, we got a lot of rain as well.  We knew it was coming and I made the decision to skip our plans for that day.  Instead, I stayed close to my hotel, but ventured out and fished during an opening between storms.  Of course that opening closed, and I kept fishing and got soaked, even through my raincoat.  It was all still very fun and interesting.  We even fished roadside ditches!  Saw turtle shells every day.  Also lots of live turtles, snakes, deer, coyotes, wood ducks, other ducks, comorants, great blue herons, snowy egrets, and an American Bittern.  And roadkill armadillos.

I stopped on my way down at a swamp in MO, hoping for many of those same target species...but that area too was flooded, and I came away with just a Green Sunfish.  At the area close to my hotel, I did good...I landed a total of 12 species in the 3 visits I made to it.  So...on with the pictures!

Grass Pickerel...There was even on I caught on Wednesday that I caught AGAIN on Friday!

Green Sunfish:

One of a number of snakes, some were pretty large!

Here's a neat turtle shell I found.

Longear Sunfish...these will be gorgeous when they get their spawning colors!

Striped Shiner:

Black Crappie:

Creek Chubs...some really BIG ones, with some pink spawning colors:

Brown Trout:

Knobfin Sculpins:


Hybrid Sunfish

Rainbow Trout:

Also caught some Largemouth Bass, but did not photograph any of them.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Grass Carp Info

 I'm posting this mainly for myself, but others may also find it interesting or useful.

I posted weight vs length tables & equation in this blog entry:

According to Wikipedia, Grass Carp typically live 5-9 years, rarely to 11 years...although one population in Silver Lake, Washington, has been recorded to be living 15 years or more.

According to one study, age vs length information is:

Mean back calculated total length was at age:

I – 26.9 cm (10.5")

II – 58.0 cm (22.8")

III – 80.4 (31.6")

IV – 94.4 cm (37.1")

V – 109.1 cm (43")

2nd Week of April, 2022

I tried for Grass Carp on flies.  Caught 2 small ones and 1 larger one (34", ~ 15 lbs), and lost another large one after a good battle.

Caught a small bass:

 I tried for Freshwater Drum on flies again.  Caught 2 on back-to-back casts, and they were the only ones caught....just like last week.  Bizarre.

Monday, April 4, 2022

First Week of April 2022

 Badgered the Koi again.  Not very cooperative, but managed to catch 7 on the fly rod.

The one below is the same as the one above....the photo below shows its interesting fins better.

Went looking for Freshwater Drum a couple days later.  Caught 2!

I got hissed at by a goose guarding a nest.  Good thing!  I didn't see it first.
Also saw Goldfinches, ducks, turtles, a frog, 3 snakes, and a Giant Water Beetle.