Thursday, December 10, 2015

December: Steelhead fishing in Michigan

Pere Marquette River near the Maple Leaf access
My brother has had tremendous success fishing for steelhead trout for several years in December. In the past, we have spent time on the surf at river outlets for migrating steelhead in the month of November. My brother, Kirk and his sons spend time traveling several hours north to fish the Pere Marquette River near Branch in an area called the maple leaf. I have visited these waters many times over thirty-five years, usually in the spring. I made plans to fish for steelhead the first full week of December. Before I left, Kirk called me to discuss the recent rains and the high river levels. So we changed our plans and decided to fish later in the week waiting for the river water to recede. I stayed with my parents for a few days to update their computer and left Thursday to fish with my brother and sons.

Thursday December 10, 2015: I followed Kirk and his youngest son, Turner from Battle Creek to Reed City near Baldwin. Kirk’s second son, Trent drove from Detroit and met us in Reed City. From there we, caravan to Emerson Lake near Walhalla to park a few vehicles and there piled into Kirk’s truck to drive to the Maple leaf access.  It was a cloudy day with mild temperatures, the wind did pick up in the afternoon. The river was in good shape. I was using a center-pin reel with an 11-ft rod for the first time on the river. I did practice in the yard before the trip to figure out how to cast a reel with no drag. It is suppose to work like a bait-casting reel, but the mechanics to loading the rod slightly different. The advantage is a long drag free drift with the line coming off the reel without drag. The reel actually moves backward as the bobber and flies/bait move down stream in the seam of the stream. I watched several videos teaching myself to fish and cast this new set-up. Needless to say, there was short learning curve to get the drift in the holes and hook up with a steelhead trout. The fishing was not great, we all hooked up with steelhead. I lost one mid- day and then landed a five pounder late afternoon. Trend released a steelhead and broke off two others. Kirk and Turner stayed up stream and they hooked a few but none came to hand. We called it a day near dark, 5 PM and returned to Emerson Lake to get a bite to eat. Trent had to get on the road for his drive back to Detroit and left before we ate. After dinner, Kirk and Turner returned to Battle Creek and I stayed across the way and spent the night at the Alpine Lodge for the night.

Friday December 11, 2015: I woke late in the morning, drove to Walhalla to find a restaurant. It was a seasonally warm day, overcast with a light wind. After breakfast, I drove to the river access, paid the daily $5.00 fee and parked the truck for the day at the Maple Leaf access. I decided to hike up to Ackerson’s Cabin and fish above this area. I walked past the old beaver dam, fished this area going up stream. In short time hooked a seven-pound female steelhead and brought her to hand. I decide to take one fish back to Missouri to smoke and swiftly dispatch the fish. I continued up stream for most of the morning and by afternoon crossed the river to fish holes on the retreat working my way down stream. I caught a few small trout rainbows and a few brown trout. I fished until dark, which was near 5 PM.

It felt good to go back to a river I know from years past, the paths are more worn, a few additional trees have fallen into the stream, changing the course of the current. But, the places I know to cross the river and the holes we named a kids remain the same. It felt good to be back on the Pere Marquette River.

Monday, September 28, 2015

September: Return to Kodiak and on to Saltery Lake Lodge

The view from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) - Alaska
Overview of the Alaska trip Sept 18-24, 2015: It was the driest trip to Kodiak Island Rod and I had made. Dave Magoffin said there had not been a significant rain for six weeks. There was a little rain shower on Sunday but for the rest of the week we saw mostly sunny skies. The rivers were very low; most of the silvers salmon are dispersed through the first mile or so in Saltery River up from the estuary. We spent most of our time in the lower Saltery and Rough Creek fishing the brackish waters of the estuary and the salt of Ugak bay. 

Ugak Bay

The silver salmon holding in the stream were struggling due to low oxygen saturation levels. The rivers were choked with dead pink salmon, chum salmon and a few sockeye salmon. The last significant rain for the Saltery watershed was six weeks before we arrived when the sockeye run was on. So, most of the fishing were in the lower Saltery river near the salt water of the estuary. 

Where the Rough Creek flows into Ugak Bay
The silver salmon were much smaller the year, probably in the eight to ten pound range with the fresh sea run fish more lively and bright with sea lice attached. We spent seven days at Saltery Lake lodge and we managed to bring to hand 118 silver salmon. Prior to the stay at the lodge, Rod and I flew in on Friday and stayed two days on Kodiak Island in Kodiak city. The trip was without incident and went smoothly. We flew into Alaska earlier in the day than past years and had an opportunity to see the snow capped mountains surrounding Anchorage. We touchdown In Kodiak before supper time and had an opportunity to stroll the marina and dine at Henry's Great Alaskan Restaurant.

Sept 19, 2015 Saturday: We left at 8 AM to deep-sea fish for rock fish and halibut. We booked a trip with Capt. Dave on Fish Hawk; the Fish Hawk had been upgraded with dual 300 hp Suzuki outboard motors which pushed the water craft to 45 knots on calm seas. 

Capt. Dave's modified water craft, Fish Hawk
There were five paying customers on board with the other three fellows from Switzerland.  Two of them spoke excellent English, with Claude speaking five different languages. The other Swiss was Eddie, he's an architect having traveled the world and this was his first trip to Alaska. We found out there are four official languages spoken in Switzerland; French, German, Italian and Latin. When they found out we were from Missouri; they asked about Ferguson and the races riots. St. Louis made world news and not in a good way. 

The three Swiss: left to right Eddie, Claude and Bruno
Capt. Dave found rock fish and made several passes over the fish before we caught our limit of five apiece. A time later, he moved us to deeper water to find halibut; we caught only five small halibut. We returned to Kodiak harbor by 4 pm and dropped off the fish at Island Seafood Processing with instructions to pick up the box the following Saturday. 

Halibut and Rock fish in the box going to the processing plant for a trip back to Springfield
Rod and I return to the Best Western Hotel, rested and watched a football game for a short time. We decided to check out a sport's shop down the road known as Mack's and renamed Big Rays. When we walked past Kodiak Brewing Company, we spotted a Saltery Lodge vehicle and found Dave Magoffin with a pint in his hand. He showed photos of his Cessna airplane that flipped over after a windstorm a month ago. He plans to move the plane in parts to the beach and barge it to Anchorage and trailer the plane to Fairbanks for his mechanic to rebuild it. Rod and I returned to our room for the night. 

Waiting for our ride to Saltery Lake Lodge
Sept 20, 2015 Sunday: At breakfast, Rod and I sat next to a group discussing their upcoming fishing trip, after inquiring we found out these fellows would be at Saltery Lake Lodge and waiting for Dave to make the trek. The group known as the scientist, they all study/studied endocrinology. Rich is a professor  at Yale. John works at the NIH in North Carolina. Audrey is retired and living in Florida and Kelly a professor in Chicago. We were to meet Dave with over the road transportation to the lodge at 10 AM from the Best Western. Dick Compton was in the lobby, he flew in Anchorage that morning and just arrived. Dave was late 1.5 hours before picking us up.  We made it to the lodge a few hours later. After lunch, we fished four hours in the lake near the lodge. We hooked and landed a few silver salmon, but the fish were very dark. The lake was probably eight inches lower than last year with the few salmon laying low in the deeper water. We did find numerous Dolly Varden in the lake. It was good to get back to Saltery Lake and breathe in the fresh air of Alaska. R 3 k 3 

Trekking the trail along America River to the lodge
Sept 21, 2015 Monday:  We started at the lower Saltery River in brackish water in the estuary. Everyone caught fish with the pinks, chums populating the area with the silvers mixed in from the salt to the crossing. No bears or buffalo seen. Upstream from everyone else near the crossing, I saw several spots were the Bears caught and ate salmon with the remains on the bank. We stayed the entire day at the estuary with Chris and Dave providing lunch at the fishing site; allowing everyone to stay out the entire day. The day stayed cloudy with rain in the morning. R 17 k 12

Thanks to Chris and Dave for a shore lunch
Sept 22, 2015 Tuesday: We started at the lower Saltery near the estuary. It was near high tide with a few silvers caught. We moved to Rough Creek near Ugak bay around 10 AM. Several of us started to move up stream and found the creek populated with silvers, chum and pinks. We were targeting the silver salmon. John and I were the first fishermen up the stream and saw a bear fishing. We retreated and fished our way back. At 2 PM, Kelly met us and John decided to return to the vehicles for some water. Kelly and I went back up steam. Soon, Chris our guide and Tony caught up with us and they move above us sighting another bear. There were several spots with 50+ silvers holding up and one could take a few before alerting the other fish. Chris and Tony saw another bear in a hole with Kelly and I seeing a pair of bears up farther. Rod met us later in the day. We finished fishing at 5 PM and returned to the lodge. We saw buffalo on the gravel near Saltery River and five wild horses near the spot we started to fish that morning. R 13 K 11

Rough Creek looking upstream to Bread Loaf Mointain
September 23, 2015 Wednesday: We started at the lower Saltery with the high tide at 1030 AM. A fresh run of silvers had moved in with the eight of us getting our limit within two hours. A group of ATVs drove and we packed up and moved to the Rough Creek. In a short time, Bill and Doyle brought a church group by ATVs to fish Rough Creek. They took the ATV’s up stream and out of sight of us at the beach. Dick and I fished the mouth of Rough Creek in the salt. Dick took two silvers out of the salt. We both caught and released several sculpins. The day started in the thirties with frost on the grass and ice covering the mud puddles, but the day warmed to the lower sixties. The number of silvers caught on Rough Creek was down with the fish refusing the flies but are in large numbers in a dozen holes. We finished the day driving back and checking out the holes in Saltery River near the lodge. There were silvers holding in holes with four feet of water but the fish were very lethargic and appear to be gasping for oxygen. Even if one could hook up, the silver did not have enough energy to put up much of a fight. There was a need for some rain to fill and flush the river with fresh water. We saw four bears, a doe and fawn with the buffalo standing on the trails a short distance from the lodge. R 6 K 5
There was many opportunities to see the bison
September 24, 2015 Thursday: There was a frost covering the ground with the outdoor thermometer reading 30 degrees. We started at the lower Saltery River with everyone having success. We stayed until 10 AM and moved to Rough Creek. Rod, Dick, Rich and I stayed at the mouth of Rough Creek. Dick and Rod pulled in a few sculpins with Rick, Rod and I catching silver salmon. We fished until 12:30 PM and then grouped together to have lunch on the river. Chris made the extra effort by serving up Rubin sandwiches and soup on the river bank. He did an excellent job cooking for us this week. After lunch we went back to the same spots, I heard later in the day fishing was very good with most of the guest catching silver salmon in the salt. Our guide, Mike took Rich, Aubrey, and me to the mouth of the Saltery River traveling along the berm. We saw a few wakes but did not find fish. After an hour, Mike took Rich and Aubrey back to Rough Creek. I stayed by myself and continued to move up the estuary and came to Hearst Creek. With high tide at 11:30, the water level in the afternoon dropped off. The silvers were moving the skinny water, so it was easy to spot the fish. The seals left the area due to low water levels but the silvers were concentrating the area with holes and Hearst Creek provide them with a holding area. The silvers were taken in rapid succession, with seven taken in two hours of fishing. The buffalo were off in the distance but at 5 PM started to move my direction. I was able to get good video of them. Chris picked me up at 5:30 PM and we called it a day. R 8 k 15 
Wandering bison in the estuary waters of Saltery River near Ugak Bay

September 25, 2015 Friday: The last day to fish. Still no rain the rivers are very low with many spent pink salmon, chum and sockeye. We started the day in the lower Saltery River and fished for a few hours. The catching was down a little and the silvers caught were beginning to turn. I return a couple of the early fish I caught back to the river. We moved to Rough Creek, Rod, Dick, Rich and I fished the mouth of Rough Creek in the salt. We all caught silvers before lunch. We had several close encounters with Harbor seals without incident. Our guide Chris threw rocks at them to keep them at a distance. John had walked the beach looking for moving salmon, when he returned he fished the out flowing waters and hooked a large sculpin.

John showing off a sculpin caught in the salt water near Rough Creek
The day was mostly cloudy with signs of rain for the next day. We all regrouped for lunch and decided to stay put for the rest of the day. High tide was at 1230 PM and it past after we finished our meal. Later in the day, a group went back to Saltery River to finish on the lower section. I walked up stream to find a spot to fish for my last cast last fish. Upstream a few miles on Rough Creek, two years ago,  I spread a few ashes from Sean and wanted some time to reflect on the time we spent here together.
Our guides for the week left to right: Chris and Mike
That evening we did not return to the lodge for dinner. Chris and the girls set up a campfire and provide us with Alaskan surf-n-turf. He demonstrated his cooking skills and we were all impressed with the results.
Setting up for a sea side meal with Chris and the girls

The view from sea side meal; Ugak Bay
Note from Dave Magoffin: 2015 turned out to be another amazing season for Sockeye with unprecedented numbers once again. Over 40,500 Sockeye made the run through the weir and many new fishing holes were born due to some high water conditions during the 14/15 winter. It was awesome to try out new locations while always being able to fall back on the old standbys. We also witnessed another increase in the amount of Rainbow Trout waiting under logs and brush for that perfectly presented fly. The weir consistently reports big numbers in June, and the earlier the better for weather, so the Sockeye season will start on the 26th of June this year. -Dave

The entire 2015 season was very dry and warm which we don’t complain about, but it delayed the Silver Salmon run a bit. This larger species do not like low water conditions so making the commitment to enter the Saltery drainage was not in their best interest. Luckily we found that the Silvers do not give up and the entire run was waiting within casting distance of the Saltery Cove beach. We had a great time catching the freshest, brightest silvers we have ever seen directly from the ocean, on fly rods! The delay didn’t last forever luckily and we were inundated with fish at the very end of the season. After many years of wishing we had guests in October to catch the 20 pounders, I am extending the season this year for the simple fact that the BIG Silvers always wait until then to make their move.

Two new activities that we have always enjoyed but not offered commercially will be introduced. For one, If anyone is interested in a more photography oriented vacation we will have pro outdoor photographer Jon Gurry guiding in August.  That time frame also offers the best sport fishing for Chum Salmon. I am here to tell you that If you have never caught a 25lb Chum on the fly, you are missing out! Also, for the fans of the “cast and blast,” Sitka Blacktail Deer, Bison hunting, along with Silver fishing will be added through the 2nd week of October this year!

As many of you know Saltery as a business took a substantial hit on August 28th when a hurricane force windstorm had its way with our beloved Cessna 185 float plane. N2772J was purchased new from the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kansas in 1969 by my Grandfather, and remained in the family her entire life.  Although the aircraft was not a total loss, she will not fly again for many years, unfortunately.  But... The show must go on! I have decided to use the loss not as a setback, but as an opportunity. I have just taken possession of a 1978 Cessna 206 amphibious float plane. This beauty is quite a bit larger and can hold 2 additional passengers.  She will allow us to land on paved runways, and operate off the main airport in Kodiak so much less ground transportation will be necessary. 

Here’s to another great season of fishing at Saltery Lake Lodge. I do hope you will all join us to make 2016 the best year yet! 

Tightest lines,

Dave Magoffin


Friday, June 12, 2015

June: Small streams and more

Last weekend there was a significant rainfall with many streams in SW Missouri rising 10-15 feet. With NW Arkansas getting pounded with storm after storm, the dam at Beaver Lake had to open the floodgates, releasing water over the top and passing the water through Table Rock Lake, Taneycomo and pooling water in Bull Shoals Lake. Bull Shoals Lake is now at 677.5 feet, I started fishing it in February at 653.4 feet. You do the math, that’s 24 feet of extra water in Bull Shoals. The Little Sac River did come up ten feet and I was wondering if there are any fish left in Stockton Lake to make a run up stream. By most accounts, the white bass run and spawn is done by Mother’s day. But this has been a usually late spring, and if one wonders, load up the kayak and take a day to fish it.

Keith Coffey with a sixteen-inch large mouth bass
June 9, 2015 (Tuesday):I called Keith Coffey, a long time member of the MTFA and asked about his last trip to the little Sac River. He and John Dozier had a good day fishing a few days before the rains. Keith and I spent the entire day covering water from Taylor Bridge to Mackey/Lumpe hole. Stockton Lake came up 21 inches according to the USGA web data. So the lake is past the second power line hole and S-curve. There was little shade and the sun was sending down ninety-degree heat. It left a sunburn patch on my wrist.

We managed five white bass, two channel catfish and Keith picked up a sixteen-inch large mouth bass. I saw Eagle fly off, with deer chased from the water’s edge. There were rabbits scurrying about near the bridge, with turkeys in the fields, and a woodchuck along the road on our drive back to Springfield. The fishing was great, with the catching less than desired.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

May: Bennett Spring SP and Lake of the Ozarks

May 21, 2015 (Thursday): Desmond and I had an opportunity to fish Bennett Spring State Park. This was his fifth fishing trip together and our second time to Bennett Spring. Des has fished Roaring River several times and went with me to the Little Sac River for a white bass outing a few weeks ago. Des is four years old and has more fun collecting rocks and stomping in the water than holding a pole. Which is good, Des is learning to enjoy the outdoors. 

May 29, 2015 (Friday): Warren Wilkerson, Joe Davis and I helped with Discover Nature Women at Windermere Resort on the Lake of the Ozarks on May 29 – 31, 2015. We provided instruction for the construction of a wooly bugger, a DVD presentation (Bugs of the Underwater) and hours of hands on fly tying. There were four classes lasting four hours each with 12-15 participates in each class. Our club has been involved with this event for past eight years. They keep asking us back and we enjoy teaching and helping with the Discover Nature Women program.

Friday morning I walked the water’s edge and caught a dozen small blue-gills and a line bass using a short roll cast and dragging the fly to shore. 

It started to rain at 5 PM; we made the decision to pass up fishing and went to the dining area for our evening meal. The rain continued for an hour after supper. We watched the radar and saw a small window to fish. We put on our rain gear and we walked to the marina to wade/walk the lake’s edge fly-fishing until dark.  I was using a medium size Clouser minnow and small purple jig throwing deep sinking line with a slow strip and caught a 20-inch channel catfish, five white bass and a line bass. Kevin caught thirteen blue-gills and kept them for the fishing class. We finished the night of fishing at 9 PM and used a flashlight to locate a loud tree frog half way up a tree.

May 30, 2015 (Saturday): I took off for the lake after dinner (Bandana BBQ) and fished the lake front beyond the marina. The lake came up six inches from the recent rains and the cove was muddy. Warren and Joe came out an hour later. I caught two channel catfish the largest was 23-inches, two small drum, an 18-inch walleye, four blue-gills and a white bass. Joe drove us back to Old Kinderhook where we lodge the past three nights. We swap stories with the MDC staff before turning in for the night.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April: Time for white bass

April 5, 2015 Sunday: I did have a long weekend but with a 2.5 inch rain days before, the water was running high in most streams and Taneycomo continues to run four generators with the lake up ten feet. Bull Shoals is now at 666.5 feet and the water’s edge is almost over the new road to the Power house at Power site dam.  Even with the water coming over the dam, the water currents are not as swift. The kayak easy moves about. I figured the three trees are thirteen feet to the bottom. I move up and down the east side; still no bait fish. There were a few splashes heard, possibly trout. I did see Jim Stauffer ease a boat in on the west side near the walleye hole. He fish near the dam, probably targeting strippers. I did talk with two fellows from Ava, they were looking for strippers and used six to eight inch soft plastic floppers. They reported the water temperature to be 43 degrees and reported the day before some white caught out of Swan Creek. I finished fishing at 9 PM with one trout released.

April 9, 2015 Thursday: The storms went north of Springfield overnight, with very little rain in the area. I checked the USGA report for the Little Sac River and the gauge was at 3.5 feet with a discharge of 290 cfs. I called Ralph to let him know I planned to fish and may not be back to Springfield for the MSU class. I drove to Morrisville and unloaded the kayak at Taylor Bridge. I paddled up stream and fished just below the power lines. I found white bass in the seams using a purple and orange Clouser minnow. I had fourteen fish in the cooler in short time and went a little farther upstream to fish that water. There I found a few more white bass and made several passes through that stretch of water. It was after 2 PM and I figured one more fish and head back to Springfield to clean fish with plenty of time to attend the MSU class. I was back in Springfield before 4 PM and had a limit of white bass cleaned and ready for a club fish fry.

April 10, 2015 Friday: I returned to the Little Sac early in the morning, awake at 6 AM and at the bridge before 8 AM. There were few locals fishing near and around the bridge. I paddled upstream to the same waters as the day before and found fish along the banks in eddy water. I had a limit before 9:30 AM and returned to Springfield to clean fish. There were eight fly fishing fellows that came in behind me, walking in from the road. The white bass are starting to spawn, thus the start of the spawn and hope it will last a few weeks.

April 16, 2015 Thursday: I drove to Michigan earlier in the week to help my parents with their computer, set up a new printer and checking on their welfare. My brother and I made plans to fish the Pere Marquette River. He had fished it several times this year with moderate success taking several steelhead trout. My last trip to this wild and scenic river was late last November, taking a few brown trout and small trout. I missed out hooking into a steelhead.
Water near hangman cabin Pere Marquette River
I woke at 3:10 AM and was at my brother’s house at 4 AM. From there we drove three hours to Walhalla, met the river at the Maple Leaf access. We walked the path to the river by 7:30 AM and saw a couple of fishermen already fishing. The river was up a foot with stained water to eighteen inches. Many of the places to cross the river would not be accessible. We made our way upstream to the boundary water to start our day. It rained most of the morning with the air temperature in the high forties. I made several passes through this stretch of water without any takes before moving down stream. There was some activity with heads and tails seen along river left, it’s a place where I taken fish in the past. Again, no takes in familiar water. Moving on downstream, I fished a stretch where I took several small trout and an eighteen inch brown last fall. My phone went off at 11:30 AM and took a call from my brother. He reported, one 12 lb steelhead landed and five lost. He caught a dozen browns in slack water and a few small trout. I decided to move to the area, we call the hangman. I could not find a spot down river to cross, so I retreat were I crossed earlier this day. As I stepped out of the water, Kirk met me on the path. He said the hangman had plenty of fish. So, I walked downstream for 20 minutes to finish my day near the waters familiar to me for many years. There were eight steelhead trout seen when I approached the waters, and several smaller trout scurrying about. Within the first 15 minutes I caught two small steelies, one was twenty inches and the other 22 inches, both were returned quickly to the water. I finally, hooked a larger fish and it took me down stream, after a five minute tussle it shook off and it was free. Finally after some coaxing, I hooked into a larger fish which took me down stream and had an opportunity to get a photo before releasing it. 

It was estimated to be twenty-six inches and probably weighed six pounds. I had a few more quick hits, which the hook point missed its mark but all was good. Kirk met me at the hangman at 3:30 PM; he released a few more browns. We stayed until 4:30 PM and returned to Grand Rapids were we met our sister for dinner. It was good to hook up and see a few steelhead trout. Hope to return in the fall.
Taylor Bridge on the Little Sac River near Morrisville
April 20, 2015 Monday: I returned to Springfield from Michigan Saturday night. Sunday I spent the day mowing the lawn and duties around the house. Monday, I took the day off to go fish. I returned to the Little Sac River before 10 AM. There were a few cars in the parking lot and a few fishermen fishing from the banks. The river was up a little with Stockton Lake on the rise. The stream gauge indicated 3.2 feet with the lake at 869.2 feet. It was sunny and I had to slip on some sunglasses. I met three boats going up stream; all were throwing hardware with a spinning outfit. I found a place where no one was around and started to pick up small males and quickly released five white bass. Working the streamer downstream, found some eddy water and found larger fish with half of them being female. Over the next two hours, kept a limit of white bass and returning another limit. It was afternoon and I took to the woods to find a dozen morel mushrooms; which is all a delight to find these taste treats. I left the water at 3 PM and returned to Springfield to clean fifteen white bass. I hope to return to fish on Thursday.

Connie figures out the fly rods were left in Springfield
April 23, 2015 (Thursday): There are days when one fishes; that it is about the adventure, not the number of fish caught. I picked up Rod at his office at 9 AM. We were off to the Little Sac River. Charlie and Connie Erickson were to meet us at the bridge. When Rod and I pulled up to the bridge access, we saw Dan Ditzler walking to the water. 
Dan asking who forgot their fly rods?
We stopped and talked with him briefly and he mentioned Bill Blondeau was with him fishing below the bridge. Connie and Charlie were setting up their canoe getting ready to launch, then Connie asked” where are the fly rods”. To every one’s dismay, Charlie said he left them in Springfield, but he did bring the golf clubs. We scrambled to find extra rods, and Dan and Bill came through with their spare rods. Rod, Charlie and Connie took off for power line hole. I waited for Bill; he wanted to fish up stream. So, I gave him lift. Dan declined to go, as he was about to leave for the day. I took Bill in the canoe and we made it without incident, but he did about fall into the water head first getting into the canoe. I was on the other side and was able to keep him in the canoe. 

Bill and Rod getting ready to make the trip back to the bridge
Rod and I had a short window to fish as he had a client to meet in Springfield at 2 PM. So, we fished until 12:30 PM and left each catching a limit. 

Rod caught a limit of white bass with ten on a stringer
Rod kept ten and I kept eight for a total of eighteen for the freezer. Bill returned with us, when we pulled up below the bridge, I told Bill to hold on to the canoe as I slipped out from the rear into that water to help him get out. Unfortunately, we lean to same way and Bill almost went into the water headfirst. Rod helped to stabilize the canoe and I caught Bill as he got his right shoulder wet. Bill was fine with the adventure and hopefully had a good time. So, the time period to fish was short but a fun day of fishing for all.

April 24, 2015 (Friday): And on some days fishing and catching can be great… the threat of thunderstorms must have kept most people at home. When I pulled in at Taylor Bridge at 5 PM on the Little Sac River, there was one boat pulling out and no one else seen for the rest of the day. I paddled up stream in my kayak to fish the same area as past days. The lake (869.5 ft.) had come up another 3 inches with the stream down a bit (2.95 ft.). I found some small white bass below the submerged tree to the end of the point. I found four white bass of size below the point. It was tough finding fish for the first hour or two as I covered most of the fished water from days past to find the elusive white bass, but had some trouble getting them to bit or maybe the fish moved with the rising lake. I was able to take a few small white bass here and there and as the sun was settling the western sky. 

First walleye of the year

I finally caught my first walleye of the year. It was under a foot and was quickly released. The sun was on the horizon with the glorious colors of visible light reflecting off of nature scenery. I enjoy evening fishing just before dark. 

I was not happy with the number and size of fish and was deciding where to finish this night of fishing. I decided to go up stream and found a pod of large white bass below the power lines. I was able to take one fish after another and in a short time had a stringer of fish 14-16 inches. 

I figured with this limit and releasing 25 smaller white bass that I caught forty white bass; In addition to the white bass, a line bass was released, and snagged a six-inch shad was returned to the water. I left the power line hole at 8 PM and returned to Taylor Bridge, it was almost 9:30 PM when I was home and had some supper. It was a good day of fishing and catching.

April 28, 2015 (Tuesday): Bob Randall and I met at Lowe’s near the intersection of Hwy 13 and I-44.  From there, we traveled in different vehicles to Morrisville and on to Taylor Bridge to fish the Little Sac River. We had our kayaks in the water by 9:30 AM and moving upstream to the power line hole.  There were a few white bass caught in the current of the power line hole, but we moved up into the waters of the S-curve. There were two other fishermen in separate boats moving up stream. Bob and I fished the S-curve for a few hours finding a few fish. One of the fellows that went upstream came back through, he said the waters near the old barn had many fish and it did not take him long to limit out. Bob and I moved up and fished the water near the old barn and did find more fish willing to take a fly.  

Bob and I each limited out on white bass and returned to Taylor Bridge and on the road back to our homes by 4 PM.

April 30, 2015 (Thursday): I met Rod Pennington at Taylor Bridge a few minutes after 10AM. Rod had planned to fish a half day and I made plans to fish with Jenn and Des late afternoon. Rod and I each took a boat upstream. Rod took my kayak and I went upstream with the 14-foot canoe with oars. There were a number (eight) of fly fishermen at the power line hole and above.  Rod and I moved on past them and went up to the area near the old barn. There we caught a few white bass, several measured at 16.5 inches.  We continued to fish upstream and went another quarter mile. We found fish in the shadows along steep banks. I did hook and release a 14.5-inch walleye that appeared to still have an egg belly. Rod and I fished until 3 PM and returned to Taylor Bridge with each having a limit of white bass. Rod left to meet some friends and I stayed until Jenn and Des showed up.

Jenn and Des arrived at 4 PM. The boats were already in the water and we paddled and rowed our way upstream. I decided to fish the area below the Power line hole. 

Jenn and Des did not were not wearing waders and had sandals for wading.  So, we fished in an area easy to wade. Des was not happy with the mud on his feet and felt more comfortable standing in the water with his mother. Jenn caught a white bass within the first thirty minutes and then hooked into a larger fish. She and Des had a good time landing a twenty-inch carp. 

Jenn did not want to get a photo with it, so Des and I showed off her catch. We stayed for more than an hour and then Des announced it was time to leave and we did. We finished the evening by dining at Pizza House on Commercial Street. We all had good time fishing on the Little Sac River.