While we were on track to have the wettest April on record, a few days of reprieve at the end of the month ended up with Indiana experiencing the 4th wettest April on record.
Regardless of our 4th place finish, one side effect of all the H2O has been Lake Monroe, Indiana’s largest reservoir, has just started receding from it’s all-time record level after the dam floodgates were opened by the U.S Army Corp of Engineers on Wednesday.
Early that morning, the lake was at 557.2 (feet above sea level), an all-time record that surpassed the previous high-water mark of 556 feet in 2002. We were solo backpacking in the Deam Wilderness that year and became seriously unhappy when we discovered the loop trail was under 10 feet of water. We eventually bushwhacked back to the trail but not before contemplating the unhappy prospect of either swimming across the flooded valley or backtracking about eight miles.
Are you the nation’s Top Outdoorsman (or women)? If you think so, then plan on being at the Bass Pro Shops store in Clarksville, Indiana, on April 9-10 to take your shot at the 2011 Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge presented by Mobil 1. You could end up with some great gear, a television appearance and $25,000 richer!
The preliminary rounds will take place at 25 Bass Pro stores throughout the country. The top 200 participants from the April qualifying events will then advance to one of four regional events in June 2011 with the winners meeting September 8-11 in Missouri to decide who really is the king of the outdoor sports.
There is also a Total Outdoors Kid Challenge that includes free activities, prizes and giveaways.
The competitors will try their hand at baitcasting, air rifle and archery events. Participants must bring their own archery and baitcasting gear. The final event will feature seven challenges: fly-fishing, bass fishing, rifle, shotgun, endurance, archery and ATV handling.
Today is an auspicious occasion: the first fishing report of 2011.
Though we have heard numerous reports of early-season crappie catches in the initial stages of March, we are publicly prepared to offer information from our correspondents covering other areas of the angling arts:
North– Coho are stacked in southern Lake Michigan like cordwood. Try fishing from shore or small boat from East Chicago’s Marina. Right now is actually the single best time of year to catch salmon from shore in Indiana.
Central– Crappie are hungry and ready to bite on nice days. There are some reports of white bass ‘gettin’ jiggy’ (sorry, we’re attempting to remain ‘hip’)
South– Spring is clearly two weeks ahead of the rest of the state in spite of the late-season snow two days ago. Try fishing in shallows for bass, crappie, bluegill or take a chance on catfish being hungry.
Keep in mind that the best fishing of the year for spawning walleye in the southern 1/3 of the state happens in the first week of April and moves north
Nothing surprises us much anymore but if your expensive fly-tying hackles end up missing, you might check with your wife, daughter or girlfriend.
According to this story on Anglingtrade.com, one of the latest fads in coif fashion is using premium fly-tying hackles as hair extensions.
The feathers are bonded in the hair with carotene wax. The fad started in Boulder, Colorado but has traveled to the alternate universe known as California and is now gaining national attention. Apparently Miley Cyrus is currently gracing some magazine cover with feathers in her hair.
As a side note, that will be the single and only mention of Ms. Cyrus on this website.
Interestingly, the feathers go for about $5 bucks apiece which makes a fly-tying cape worth considerably more money in the beauty parlor than at the tying desk. Whether this whole thing will turn into a full-blown fad, leading to a critical national shortage of Blue Wing Olives, is anyone’s guess.