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Brian Jones

Full circle and back to where it all started

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Back in the day, this was my favorite float on the river but I think I'd only fished it twice in the past 15 years.  This stretch was one of the reasons I had purchased a solo craft and up until that big August rain I thought that a trip this summer had eluded me. Long story short; I floated 9 hours.  Had 21 "keepers" split almost 50/50 between largemouths and smallmouths.  Probably caught another 20 or so shorts but wasn't keeping track of them.  Of the "keepers", 7 of them were over 15 inches including a 15, 2-16s, a 17 and 18 inch smallies. Two of the many positives of the day:  the 18 inch smallie had a pretty fresh hook mark in his upper lip; a definite sign that at least some of the others who float this stretch are starting to buy into C&R fishing.  Also, in the excitement and rush to get on the water, I went off and left my truck unlocked at the take out point.  Not a thing in it was missing or tampered with when I got back.  

First pic is one that my wife took after dropping me off at the put in.  

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Pic of my "nused" Old Town pack that I purchased in February.  This was the first float I'd ever made by myself and I absolutely loved it. Still have a few kinks to work out and HAVE to get better organized.  But I now understand why so many on here enjoy their solo rigs so much.  I may never float in a tandem canoe again..

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A couple of runs through this stretch of river

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A road block.......100_0560.JPG

Though not the best, here are some pics of the better smallies I caught.  I definitely need a little more practice with this new camera...

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Sweet!!!!!......very cool report. You did well and I love that your wife got an action shot for ya hahahahahah.

 

   So the Pack wasn't too tippy for ya???

I like mine but, I have loaned it out to friends and they have pretty much all flipped it but, they were all extreme novice when it comes to paddling so I should consider that.

 

   I really like the seat in yours....one thing to watch is how high you mount those, I think I may have mine too high for most to feel comfortable but, that's how I like and what I'm used to.

 cool report Brian.....and I agree with you on the 18......that is good news to me as that stretch is my home waters

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This my set up on my solo. 

I moved the seat back and lowered it. I also repositioned a thwart so that I can lay  my rods on them and still be inside the canoe. 

I can fit a full sized cooler in the very front and put my tackle bag in between me and the cooler. 

I still have room for a trash bag and any miscellaneous items right behind the seat. 

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15 minutes ago, Chief Grey Bear said:

This my set up on my solo. 

I moved the seat back and lowered it. I also repositioned a thwart so that I can lay  my rods on them and still be inside the canoe. 

I can fit a full sized cooler in the very and put my tackle bag in between me and the cooler. 

I still have room for a trash bag and any miscellaneous items right behind the seat. 

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sweet rig and cool little Beagle :)

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11 hours ago, Smalliebigs said:

   So the Pack wasn't too tippy for ya???

Not at all smallie.  If you'll recall, I got off to a rocky start with this rig (http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/topic/53157-solo-craft-update/?#comment-437480) and I solicited and received a lot of good advice from members of this forum as well as a couple of others.  Most pack owners suggested that I move the seat forward and one on another site even said that he had widened his which really increased stability.  So I crafted a new seat and two new thwarts out of some 5/4 ash that a local sawmill owner had given me.  I positioned the seat about six inches to the back of center and centered the new thwarts half way between the seat and the ends of the canoe.  I was also able to spread it out a little over 2 inches making it 34 1/2 inches wide at the center.  When I took the "practice float" in it a month or so ago, the front pushed water leading me to think that maybe I had the seat too far forward.  However, with the cooler positioned in the back as shown in the pic, the boat appears to be fairly well balanced and didn't seem to be nose heavy or push water.  Other than initial stability entering or exiting the boat in knee deep water (which Gavin warned me about) floating in this rig wasn't all that different than in the old Alumacraft Camper tandem.  In fact, it was probably some better.  

 

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  I really like the seat in yours....one thing to watch is how high you mount those, I think I may have mine too high for most to feel comfortable but, that's how I like and what I'm used to.

Wasn't sure how high to set mine so I went with the same height as the original seat, sat the folding seat on top, took it down to the pond and paddled it around. Felt good so I came back to the house and fastened it permanently.  Gonna store the boat inside underneath our garage so it will never be in the weather except when I'm floating.  

5 hours ago, Chief Grey Bear said:

This my set up on my solo. 

I moved the seat back and lowered it. I also repositioned a thwart so that I can lay  my rods on them and still be inside the canoe. 

I can fit a full sized cooler in the very front and put my tackle bag in between me and the cooler. 

I still have room for a trash bag and any miscellaneous items right behind the seat. 

I like it Chief.  Looked all over for one of them back in January and couldn't find one new or used anywhere.  Even begged siusaluki to sell me one of his at one point.  As I originally said, I still have some tinkering to do with mine; especially when it comes to organization.  I also had too many rods Saturday.  Took five with me and though I used them all at some point only two did most of the work.  So I'm gonna scale that back to three-maybe four at the most.

One other thing.  After nine hours my shoulders were shot.  In fact, it took a couple of rounds of Aleve and most of Saturday evening before they started feeling good again.  So I doubt I do any super long or overnight floats that would require me to carry much gear or a super big cooler.  

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7 hours ago, joeD said:

I know you have a right to wear a sleeveless t shirt, but I've seen better arms on a beanbag chair. The 70s called and want it back.

Otherwise, splendid. The Big River.  Those who know....

Joe:  I stopped caring about other people's opinions of my wardrobe 25 years ago.  As far as the arms; consider this an official challenge to a bicep curl contest anytime you're feeling pretty good about yourself...........:P

Also, a man your age shouldn't be staying up so late reading and posting on a silly internet message board......:D  

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1 hour ago, Brian Jones said:

Joe:  I stopped caring about other people's opinions of my wardrobe 25 years ago.  As far as the arms; consider this an official challenge to a bicep curl contest anytime you're feeling pretty good about yourself...........:P

Also, a man your age shouldn't be staying up so late reading and posting on a silly internet message board......:D  

And to add add to this.....bicep curls are for guys who aren't tired enough after doing a full day's work! ??

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