When I contemplate the extent of this summer’s fishing endeavors, I can’t help but be thankful for the blessing of being raised in the state that is referred to as “the sportsman’s paradise.” Some of these blessings are simply being able to put a kayak in the water only seven minutes or so from my house, to be able to put my kayak in quiet coastal marsh only 2 hours away. While I love chasing finned critters with spots on them (reds and specs), I am also quite at home teasing bream into taking a popper or educating the local bass population about the froggy fly, a foiled pencil popper, or some other concoction made of feathers and fur. The extent of my fishing this summer has been quite fun and most of it has come only seven minutes from my house. I think I’ve caught and released over 30 bass in the matter of 10 days, and all on the fly rod! I have not been able to get down to the coast due to work, family obligations, and weather, but that hasn’t deterred me. Fishing this summer has been a matter of putting my kayak on wheels and walking two blocks to launch in my neighborhood lake.
Speaking of family, I have a fishing friend of mine who is retired and fishes almost every day. The only thing that will cause him to cancel a fishing trip is an opportunity to babysit his grandson. While I don’t have any grandchildren yet, I cannot turn down an opportunity to enjoy “date night” with my daughter. That means I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Texas and Kansas, as she has graduated from medical school in Dallas and is beginning her residency program in plastic surgery in Kansas. Today I stopped at a fly fishing store in Kansas called K & K Flyfishers. I was greeted by a super nice couple and we chatted about fishing, flies, and med school for about a half hour or so. I was surprised at the selection of flies and fly-tying materials that they stocked. I told him that I’d be in a heap of trouble if I lived close, because I’d find an excuse to visit often. I did pick up a couple items and he printed out a map of nearby spots in Kansas and Missouri that I may try to hit in the next couple of mornings while my daughter is at work. I’ll post here on my trip if I do manage to make one.