Showing posts from June, 2015

My Favorite Native Watercraft Accessories Part 1

Since I started fishing from a Native Watercraft kayak this season I have fallen in love with a few well thought out accessories from their product line.  I intend for this series of posts to grow over time as I test out and rig up different Native Watercraft components.  This post (part 1) will focus on 2 items that I almost didn't purchase.  At the time I didn't think they were really needed, however I have come to really depend on them when I'm on the water.  Which items am I talking about?  The First Class Seat Pack and the High/Low First Class Seat Organizer.
The First Class Seat Pack is a great addition to my Slayer Propel.  It's already formed to fit the seat, and attaches quickly and simply with some velcro straps.  The top of the seat pack has a zipper for easily accessing small items or a jacket while seated.  It also includes two adjustable pockets that can hold just about anything.  I use it to hold my Backwater Assault Hand Paddle on my left and my Hawg Tro…

Skunked with Friends

It all started out as a simple fishing trip idea with my buddy Richard and my son Tsion.  Soon it kind of took on a life of it's own.  We were going to head up to Lake Columbia and try to land a flathead catfish.  I imagined sitting on the bank eating a bag of Doritos and lazily watching the steam come off the water.  Then hearing the click of my reel, my heart would pound as I raced towards the water for my fishing rod.  Pulling back hard on the line I would set the hook and battle with a 30 pound monster.  Finally it would all end as I triumphantly hoisted him into the air, took some quick pictures, and then released him back into the darkness.  At least that's what I pictured in my mind.  Suffice it to say, it didn't work out exactly I had imagined, but I'm getting a little ahead of myself.
Wednesday night at work I mentioned to Richard that the conditions seemed perfect to chase some catfish on Friday night.  He said he was free and we made some quick plans to meet …

Orvis Encounter 8 wt Combo Review

I am constantly on the look out for affordable gear that performs well.  That is exactly what I was up to when I found the Orvis Encounter combo at Orvis of Madison.  Guiding clients for carp and bass on the fly I needed a backup combo for those that didn't have an 8 weight of their own to fish with.  Also having a spare rod in the truck sounded nice since I seem to break a lot of fly rods.
The first thing you notice out of the box is the rod tube.  It's pretty sweet for a budget combo.  Inside it has four dividers to keep the rod sections separated and scratch free.  The outside of the tube has the Encounter logo embroidered on canvas (fancy) and features a carrying handle and zip closed top.  It is really well thought out and has a solid feel and build.  The rod is a 9 foot 4 piece, and has a cork handle with fighting butt.  The guides were nice and straight and the up locking reel seat doesn't have that cheap feel you normally associate with budget combos.  The reel appe…

Building a Reputation

Tight Lines.

2015 Scout Fishing Derby

This year marked my 5th year of hosting the scout fishing derby here in Madison, WI.  It has grown every year since it's inception and I have had an absolute blast with all the participants.  I always plan this event over the free fishing weekend to make it easy for families to try angling without the investment in a state fishing license.  The event was attended by boy scouts, cub scouts, and girl scouts,  and just about everybody landed a fish.  This years outing had a new scout winning a division (he was thrilled) as well as a rod and reel combo for smallest fish.  Instead of giving you a play by play of the event as I have in years past I am just gonna share some of the photos.
A big thank you to all the scouts that attended this years event.  I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to regularly introduce children to fishing.  If you get the chance, invite a neighborhood kid and their parents out fishing sometime.  Your interest in the outdoors could be the spark that ligh…

Madison Musky Addict Guide Service

It's finally happened, John started his guide service!!!  For those that haven't been in the loop, John (JJ) is one of the best musky anglers in the Madison area.  He is the one that got me started on my musky fishing journey.  With his early instruction, knowledge of the area, and dedication to the sport, he put me on the fish.  All I had to do was get them to eat the lure.The reason I say finally is that JJ has taken his time starting his guide service.  He wanted to make sure that he was doing everything right.  He is insured, has all the necessary gear, and has fair prices for your time out on the water.  I love the fact that he allows you to drink coffee on his boat!!!  The biggest thing that has stopped me from booking trips with other local guides is that they don't allow you to have coffee on the boat.  Seriously?  How hard is it to run a steam cleaner over the carpet on an off day (sorry for the rant). Long story short, JJ will provide you with a great day on the w…

Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Tournament Series Part 2

My alarm went off at 2:15am, "This is way to early" I thought to myself.  I poured some coffee and wandered out the door to my loaded truck.  A quick check of the straps on my Native Slayer and I was on the road.  On this stop of the Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Tournament Series we would be chasing bass.  Largemouth, smallmouth, white, yellow, it didn't really matter as long as I had four fish by the 1pm cutoff time.  Arriving in Ottawa, IL I swung by the registration table to check in.  Waiting for the captains meeting to begin I couldn't help but notice the amount of Hobies that were pulling into the parking lot.  It soon became apparent that I was gonna be the lone Native owner on the water today.
After the meeting I unloaded my kayak and headed for the launch.  This would be my first time fishing the Slayer in a river environment.  Looking at the Garmin display as I pedaled along showed that the marina was pretty featureless.  It averaged about 8 feet deep, and the …

Ulterior Motives

It all started with a simple request, "Dad on Sunday can we go to the zoo?"  My daughter was asking, but I already had plans to do a bit of fly fishing.  "I can fish with you" she said, "I can even help you catch the flies!"  I chuckled a bit at the last statement and explained to her that I already had the flies.  She honestly had no idea what fly fishing was or how it differed from the kind of fishing she had done with me in the past.  All she wanted to do was visit the zoo and dad was her best chance of getting there.
When we arrived at the parking lot I went about setting up the rods.  I tried to explain how the gear works, but she had no interest.  She could hear the lions roaring in the distance.  I showed her how the 5 weight St Croix rod went together.  Explained the differences in lines, tippets, knots, and flies.  Occasionally she even looked over at me while I was talking, but it's hard to focus when you can see the zoos carousel.  When I ha…

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