Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kayaking the Kaskaskia River, Randoph County, Illinois August 21st, 2011

Kayaking the Kaskaskia River Illinois

This put in spot for the Kaskaskia River is right next to Baldwin Lake in Randoph County.  I had set out on this trip not only to get some miles in, but also to get some fishing in as well.  The river has been channelized (I believe they did that in 1969) so there is the main channel, and a ton of old river channel going in all directions.  My friend Ray and I had made an attempt in the winter to access the river at this point, but this area was frozen over at the time, so I was grateful to finally have a chance to paddle this spot.
The main channel has a ton of ski boat/ pleasure boat traffic on the weekends.  I was able to navigate through this with the kayak.  It was fortunate that the put in area of the river is a no wake area.  I paddled across the main channel and followed the original channel until the end of it.  The place is TEEMING with asian carp.  If you watch the Youtube video below, watch very carefully when the jon boat goes can see a couple of them jumping out of the water on the back end of the boat.  I had one jump out right by the kayak (I was throwing a rat-l-trap lure real fast in hopes of snagging one of them- I scared one right by the yak)
This is an interesting river....I would say that the attributes are more like the Mississippi River than a small stream (same kind of river fare in regards to the fishing).

This would be a river I would like to continue to explore.  I think we could do some major miles on this going into the fall and winter.

Paddle ON!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kayaking Saline River, Saline County, Arkansas August 17th, 2011: Nice gravel bottomed river was some good fishing potential

Kayaking the Saline River, Arkansas

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This was my first shot at the Saline River in Arkansas.  It is just due south of Little Rock, AR.  The river is a nice, slow moving river in most places.  As I kayaked up stream, I came across a nice little run.  I attempted to portage it for awhile (it felt good to get in the water- it was about 100 degrees out) however, the current gets kind of sporty (fairly shallow, but sporty).  So I shore fished for sometime and then I turned around and headed back.

I have heard some great stories about this river in regards or smallmouth fishing.  I just do not think they were on.  I got some nice taps, but could not get anything to connect.
It would be interesting to see what this river looks like either north of the spot or south.  Water had a murky, green-ish tint.  It really reminded me of the James River south of Springfield, MO.

Paddle ON!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

7.8 Mile paddle on the Little Maumelle River, Arkansas August 9th, 2011

This was one of those trips where you leave the fishing gear in the car, and just push yourself to see how far you can go.  I have been "eyeballing" this spot (you can see it from the interstate) all winter long.  They have been building a cycle/pedestrian bridge to connect the shore with the island on the other side.  You could not have asked for any better weather, although be it a bit warm.

Kayaking the Little Maumelle River near Little Rock, Arkansas

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I really enjoyed the houseboats about 1/2 way through the paddle (they are on the video) as well as all the incredible beauty of the trip.  There is something about pine trees next to water with big hills all around it.  Blue herons abound, with the cool old trees sticking up out of the channel.  My goal was to get up close to Pinnacle Mntn., however, in keeping an eye on my watch, I had to turn around at some point.  I think this would be a great all day paddle sometime, and would definitely be a good winter paddle.  Also, I think when I come back next time, I will go for less miles and fish it extensively.

Paddle ON!


Monday, August 8, 2011

6.8 mile Kayak Trip on the Meremac and Big Rivers, St. Louis County, Missouri, August 7th, 2011

Kayaking the Meremac and Big Rivers, Missouri

This was just what the doctor had ordered!  It had been a couple of weeks since I have paddled due to pulling a muscle in my back and the crazy schedule...this was excellent!  It was super hot, so I took my time in the initial put in.  I put in at the Route 66 State park ramp and went upstream.  Caught a medium sized largemouth on a Chomper Hula Grub with a stand up jig in some structure and shade.  I did not have a lot of fishing success the rest of the day.

It is amazing how much the gravel bar at the Big River confluence point has changed.  The heavy current comes a lot further and has some weird undertows.
I took a quick break and did a quick swim....that is the greatest thing about kayaking in the summer time on river.  No matter how hot it gets, as long as you can bring some water and can get in it, you really never have to worry about overheating.

I paddled up the Big River to the bridge.  I got on film these huge carp that were laying in the sun.  I was able to sneak up on them and scare them a bit.  I stopped at the bridge due to an old rock dam/levee.  I could have portaged around it, but I figured it would be good to get back (glad I did- about 15 min after I got out of the water, we had a thunderstorm).

Quick note: the real shame of the Big River is how much man made debris is on the bottom of the river (i.e pieces of metal, concrete stuff, etc).  You can tell it has been like this for awhile.  I would image it got there from attempts by people up river to keep the banks from least I would like to think that is why.

Paddle ON!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Arkansas River, Pulaski County, Arkansas July 14th, 2011: Nice quick paddle before the storm on the Arkansas River

Kayaking the Arkansas River just east of Little Rock, Arkansas

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This was a really great "after work" paddle.  Sometimes you need to just get out and do whatever you do to release the stress of the day- this was one of those paddles.  I did not have a lot of time or mileage on this one due to a storm that was moving in.  I could have paddled up the Arkansas River if I would have had enough time. 

The current did not seem to overwhelming for such a large river (I am used to looking at the Missouri River in St. Charles- much, much faster clip).  I think the kayak fishing here has a lot of potential as well.  I will need to come back here real soon and do some more exploring.  Arkansas is teaming with incredible kayak opportunities, beauty, and challenges...cannot wait to get the kayak back out on the water!

Paddle ON!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

The "Life is better on a kayak" philosophy: Abundance

The Creator is lavishly abundant—wildly abundant. A salmon lays around 3,000 eggs. A typical frog lays around 20,000. A fully grown oak tree produces over 2,000 acorns. A swan can have over 20,000 feathers. And while no one knows for sure, some scientists estimate that the average human body has over 100 trillion cells. There are about 300,000 different kinds of plants. There are over 7,000 different varieties of apples alone! Some experts believe there are somewhere between 1 and 10 million different kinds of insects in the world. The Atlantic Ocean has approximately 17 quadrillion gallons of water. That’s 17 followed by ...15 zero’s. The Pacific Ocean has around 35 quadrillion. That’s a lot. Astronomers think there are over 200 billion stars in the Milky Way. And there are 100’s of billions of galaxies.
Of course we know only a small percentage of those salmon eggs will survive. Same with the frog eggs. That’s the scientific reason there is so much of everything in nature—survival. And that’s true. It is also true that the Creator is lavishly abundant. When the paints come out not only the canvas, but the whole room gets filled with color.

If this is so for the world of nature, and we are surely a part of the Whole, then why would we ever fear lack? Why would we ever fear anything? The Creator lavishes us with a thousand, thousand snowflakes, each different, crystalline, and brilliant. How much more so then with us?

Yes, eventually our bodies will melt away too, dust to dust, but our spirits are eternal. The Creator didn’t just create us to live a handful of decades. We are designed to live forever. Lavishly abundant indeed.

Not only that, but just as the tadpole becomes a golden-eyed leaper, we too pass through our own stages of metamorphosis to become leaping, golden-eyed things, frolicking in ponds of glory. So why fear anything?

There are riches aplenty. There are resources aplenty. Dream your dreams lavishly. Imagine your possibilities with the flair of a giant flock of penguins torpedoing into the breath-seizing water. Visualize your plans with the audacity of the horizon—sun-filled, moon-filled, and lightening-filled—stretchi​ng as far as the eye can see. Lavish your dreams with fearless creativity—then go, make them real, they are flowing towards you already.