Friday, December 27, 2013

Finally, my Vision rod review!


I've had the privilege of knowing Brad Hodkinson for over 20 years now. We've been fishing on the Maitland for at least 15 years together and still manage to get out at least twice a year even though he has moved up to the Soo. Two years back he ask me to join his Pro staff to help promote the Soo and his fly shop even though the quality of fishing and Brad's knowledge of the sport sells itself.
Last spring Brad teamed up with Visions Fly Company. Brad called me looking for someone to test drive their rods and give him feedback. He wondered if I was up for a challenge. I agreed to temporarily put my float rod aside in order to give the Vision rods a legitimate trial.
The Vision Siks is a 6 piece rod measuring 13' 4" in length that breaks down to 74 cm which is useful for travel. This rod would have been beneficial when I went steelhead fishing in Alaska. Instead, I was stuck lugging around a very large and heavy rod case, seen in the  picture below. Two rods broken down in cases like this Vision rod would have been all I needed.

 The guides are high quality Pacific Bay Portuguese cork rings made of wood and it has aluminum reel seats. This rod is classified as medium fast.

Initially I was a bit sceptical about a 6 piece rod.  I wasn't sure how it would affect my casting abilities and how it might handle the fight. I have never owned a rod that consisted of more than 4 pieces. The engineers for Vision have seemingly done their home work and created what I think is a master piece. I discovered that casting was effortless. I was fishing in tight quarters and used it with a single handed back cast and not a lot of effort was required.

It's amazing how the six pieces melt into one. The rod feels like my 3 piece, 13' float rod and it has the back bone to lean on the fish if needed, feeling every head shake similar to a noodle rod.
I believe this rod is comparable to any of the top of the line two handed spey rods. It's great for big river fishing as it has a long cast but with the spring of a noodle rod. This is a great rod to use when trying to finesse a silver slab to shore. 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Family Derby

Well here we are again with the annual Christmas Maxfield fishing derby awards. This year was exceptional with maybe one of the best years for big fish. So I might as well start with the bass category. It was an amazing year with at least 4 bass over 4lbs and 2 of the winning fish caught a day apart weighing in at 5lbs 1 oz. so the shared award went to my son  Kory and my brother Cricket.

The boys were late getting off the lake and Bill was in such a hurry, had a prior appointment that they forgot to take a picture of Crickets big bad ass bass.
Here is Kory and Cricket receiving the Bass Award from brother Bill.
Kory and Wade all ready planning for next year to try to take this trophy on their own 

The next category is the trout trophy which I destroyed with a 12lb 8 ounce trout that I caught on the  Alaskan Situk river.


  Just to add a little insurance and get the trophy within my grasp I caught this Manistee giant that we figured was at least 14 pounds.
The salmon award went to my nephew Joe Steward with a 24 pound west coast salmon.
Being out west poor Joe was not able to attend the awards night.  
The miscellaneous Award went to me with no surprise!!  Below is the extremely ugly 18 lb. Alaskan halibut. 

Here are a few of the monsters that didn't make the podium this year but they still produced an exciting fight and challenge to land in the boat.

Lindsay's nine pound walleye caught at Silv'ry Moon Lodge

My 10 pond Muskie caught again Silv'ry Moon Lodge

Kory's 6 pound pike caught in a local 4 acre inland lake

My dad and two brothers Bill and Cricket fished hard this year trying to repeat last years success winning the Sarnia Salmon Derby. They came close with Cricket landing this 18 lbs salmon securing them with third place with another great team effort.


Kory and I went out on our local honey hole landing two huge bucket mouths, I landed a 4 pounder and Kory landed this bucket that tipped the scales at 5lbs.

Konnie caught this Lake Erie 1 pound plus perch.
and Dave with a ugly west coast ling cod.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Michingan Steelie-Pearsonal Best

After a long day of work couldn't wait for the day to end fast enough to head north west to try to figure the secrets  the Manistee has hidden away. Didn't get away as early as we like and getting to cottage very late at night it was a slow start in the morning to get to the river, but that's what nice having the boat never the pressure of rushing to find a place on the bank to fish. We launched the boat and decided to fish downstream of Tippy

with a little side bet on, Brian got out with a quick start and produced a small brown then lost a decent steelie or we think never did to get a glance at this bruit as it made a mad dash upstream pulling drag then came unbuttoned. A frustrating start to the day, then I stepped my game up and landed 2 nice Michigan fish.
the rest of the day was slow with the bet tied and  the sun getting low in the sky thought we head up to the dam and if not too crowded try just off the coffer. Well good call on Brian's part and wasn't more then 20 minutes later I tied into what turned out to be my personal best. The fish hit my roe bag like a locomotive and decided to make 3 leaps just to scare the pants off me. Brian quickly pulled the anchor up and as the fish screamed down the river with a one way ticket back to lake Michigan we finally caught up to it to get control of this fish,  I work it back towards the boat . With the lost of day light Brian took a stab in the dark at the fish just as it decided to take a dive below the boat . Great net job by Brian to help land a personal best. After couple quick pictures we  return her back to river to carry her genetics for future generations.
Well this big brute won me the daily bet.  
The next day I decided to swing flies with my Vision Spey rod and had one good hit but all I got was a couple head shakes,
 before Brian tied into to a nice brown.
 Well 3 fish later setting me way behind in day two bet and Brian catching one fish on one of my olive jig to rub salt in my wounds,
 we decided to move down river where it was hard to cast the big fly rod so I switched back to the float rod and hooked up with a couple more fish.
Sunday forecast of big winds we decided to pack, clean up and head home before the storms came. All in all was another great weekend on the mighty Manistee

Monday, November 25, 2013

Deja Vu no, No float rods, Vision Rods only

I get a call form my good friend Brad from the Soo to let me know he was coming to Goderich  late Oct and to do some fishing. With a busy work schedule I told him I was good for the 31st and to meet me at Timmy's with a large black to go. Well like old times Brad being a  punctual guy was already waiting with coffee in hand and his GT Four Vision Spey rod in the other. We've been friends and  fishing for over 25 years now and back in the day it was a float rods wow have times changed. We headed out to our old fishing holes with Spey rods cocked locked and ready to rock looking for some great lake steelies.
Brad positioned himself in the river where he could swing flies I went to the faster water and  positioned myself  beside a float fisherman I have gotten to know over the years and started to swing flies  but was hard to get the flies down and maintain a swing on the bottom properly. After watching a few fish being caught by my  float fishing friend  I decided to switch over to a nymphing set up with strike indicator . Good decision  five drifts later and a nice great lake steelie decided to take my presentation.
Its been a long time since Brads been back to fish the Maitland and in his own way he decided to sit back and smell the roses, something we don't do enough of.
But the rest was short lived and like a machine he was back casting and producing a few fish of his own.
But like all good friends the only video I got of him was loosing a fish. With friends like that may want to keep your enemies close

Vision Rod Moment from Just An Aging Steelheader on Vimeo.

All kidding aside it was a great day. Both of us caught fish and it was like old times.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Nov Rains in Oct

I have  been busy with work, still trying to get some fishing in and fighting all the rain. I was lucky to get out before the rains came and drove the river levels dangerously high. Here is a small video of me float fishing before the river got to high. Now I guess it  be a good time to get caught up with tying some yarn flies.


Nov rains what in Oct from Just An Aging Steelheader on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Early Fall Season Steelie

Last night I went to bed early with the intention of sleeping in on my day off, being that the rivers are a little low for fishing. But being a creature of habit and an early riser for work, as usual I was automatically wide awake at 5 a.m. Lying there, I thought, what the hell, I am up, I might as well head out and test the new Vision fly rod my friend  Brad from Soo North fly shop sent me.

That ended up being the right decision. I had a good test on the rod landing about a 5 pound steelhead. I have to say that my initial impression of this rod, very positive. When I get a few more pictures and more run time, I'll do a complete review, but its looking good.

Not being quite as organized this morning I had to dig into my waiters to retrieve my Go Pro and managed to get some footage of the fish. Here is a small video of me landing my 1st fall fish.

Swinging Early Fall Season Steelies On Vision FlyRod from Just An Aging Steelheader on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fall Morning Fun

Well its 1030 Saturday night, just got back from the local theater and I get a text message from my son . "Dad I forgot my IPhone charger at your place, bring the charger  and I will meet you half way. Bring the canoe we can do some fall fishing at a nearby lake. Oh yea could you grab my lures and rods ". Well like a good dad I pack all his fishing gear got the canoe and headed out next morning to meet him to get him his charger. Thank God he forgot it wow what a day.

Here is the 1st of four fish with this bad boy 4lbs.. 
 Kory land this bucket mouth 4lb. 15 oz.
He finished the day off with a couple nice pike 
I was so unorganized that I didn't even have the GoPro out for my fish caught with the fly rod. Here is a small video of our morning outing.

Fall Morning Fun from Just An Aging Steelheader on Vimeo.