The Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming.
I grew up fishing western South Dakota bass ponds within sight of the cool Black Hills, mountains filled with trout ponds embedded in the ponderosa pine timber. I enjoyed fishing trout streams and bass puddles in the morning, and then driving the beatup ’57 Chevy pickup a short distance after lunch to fish the hot afternoons fishing Iron Creek Lake. Please click photos.
It is the best of two different fishing worlds: I fish a few hours for hot bass and Mirror Lake trout action near McNenny State Fish Hatchery west of Spearfish; the trout congregate in two deep holes in Mirror Lake, feeding aggressively in the deep natural artesian springs bubbling up water that rained down on earth over 500 years ago, now filtered throught the schist, shale, and clay to eventually form Red Water River.
SEAEAGLE – I am a shore fishing expert on Mirror Lake, but I knew there had to be a better way to land those largemouth bass lunkers lazing in the far reaches of the cattail bogs. I found the answer at the 2001 American Fishing Association ICAST show in Las Vegas.
The new inflatable SeaEagle catamaran canoe/kayak is slim, light, inexpensive and paddles with stealth. Bass see only a gray SeaEagle cloud gliding effortless overhead.
Bass, cattails, and a SeaEagle catamaran go together naturally. I can get in close to the cool cattail cover meeting the murky reed-free deeps. The big boys bask in the cattails, and then they dart out for juvenile sunfish and bluegill baitfish, before dashing back into their lair.
Cattails produce enormous amounts of oxygen during bright, sunny days, and bass love oxygenated protection, as do baitfish. Cattails reverse the oxygen generators at night or on cloudy days, devouring oxygen, driving bass and baitfish into deeper water.
Bass do not lurk under dead, decaying brown cattails, again because of hypoxia. They love O. I only cast upon green cattail cover where there is the most O. During heavy bloom. cattails produce alkaline mats, eating up the O, moving the bass out to deeper water. During cattail blooms I paddle my new SeaEagle to the trout springs on the other side of Mirror Lake.
BASS BAITING – I have used hoppers and flies to draw the bass out of their hideouts. I came across a unique Fly Trap fly case from Waterworks (800/435-9374) that clips anywhere on your clothing, even your pants. It comes with an unusual clipping feature that is easy to operate, and my flies are right where I need them. Waterworks also makes a nice, no-slip grip glove called the Fighter, offering UV protection in non-fish scaring, non-reflective colors.
If the bass are not fly happy, I have plenty of live grasshoppers i captured shore side. With a hopper on a Murad hook and a water bobber clenched 18 inches up the line, I cast onto the cattail cover to avoid baitfish gobblers, and the water bopper keeps the hopper from sinking. Jerking the rod tip slightly makes the bass explode, and I usually catch “keepers” on each cast
After the bass action drops off in the long hot afternoon, I paddle the SeaEagle to the trout springs on the far side of the lake, mirroring the red clay bluffs. Like loaves of strategically placed French rolls, the trout gulp artesian bubbles in their own private oxygen bar. They love O too. The more oxygen the more active the fishing.
KING HAWK – With my new, revolutionary gold OX-530 KingHawk, I reel effortlessly. I have never used such a smooth reel. I grew up with $5 reels that were always tangling. The premium priced KingHawk is manufactured with five ball bearings for a smooth, quiet and precise retrieve. There are six models in the KingHawk series, including saltwater rigs that are slightly heavier than the fresh water. Because the KingHawk is so light, I can feel every trout tug on the line with an unusual sensitivity. For more info on the KingHawk line firstname.lastname@example.org
WEATHER OR NOT ?
Big black anvil thunderclouds often build up in the Black Hills in the late summer afternoons, hammering the hills with rain showers, bringing out the night crawlers, which trout love to gobble up. I recently acquired a Syclone flashlight from Streamlight.
The Syclone has many unique features, such as polycarbonate lens, and a spot-to-flood beam, and it fits handily in the hand, and in the tackle box. The 105 degree pivoting head is great, but what I really like is the back-up amber LED for night vision backyard crawler crawling. Then it is a worm blast with the 5,000 candlepower main Krypton beam. With a 72 hour run time, the Syclone lasts all summer.
BOMA GRILLING – Later, that night I open-fire grill my catch-of-the-day in my stainless steel South African boma cooker. I have never seen many of these Boma’s around. It is a cylinder tube with a tenderbox in the side and a grill on top and is only one foot in grilling diameter. It does not take many coals to grill on a Boma. The sides heat up fast, and the fish or steaks grill in no time at all, and I can thow the 18-inch-long Boma in the back of the Chey with no cleaning so I can be off to the next angling hideout.
— By Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine.