Took a break from the Carp Crusades to go a-fishing with a couple of good friends. At the invite of my boss and friend Curt Tully, I along with another great friend Francis Rozzel with crappie fishing. Also, Francis's son Mark and grandson Justin went a-fishing too.
I say it was a fishing trip but actually it was more of a friendship trip. Francis has been waging a personal battle the last several months with lung cancer. Everyone involved is delighted that Francis is doing well enough to want and be able to wet a line. Now, you'd have to know Francis to appreciate what I'm about to say. Francis is one of the kindest and gentle souls anyone could ever want to meet... and he's been one hell'ava crappie fishermen for many years.
Our trip was hastily put together so we were ill prepared as far as gear went and Francis was hoping to fish with minnows but we couldn't find any.
The crappie were willing off and on as were the black bass in this farm lake. The water was quite murky today due to recent rains but not murky enough to keep the fish from biting.
Francis didn't have any luck today but his high spirit was evident as it always is. I do believe that it's his high unbreakable spirit that has allowed him to put the beast inside him to the side for the most part.
As Francis would say at the end of the day, "There will be another", and he is planning a trip for us to Cumberland Pool - one of the more famed crappie fisheries on the Prairie Ocean.
A number of years ago I got Justin, Francis's grandson his first fly-rod, but he ran off and forgot it today. However the woodpecker figured out a way to fish a wooly bugger with an ultra light and it was the wooly bugger that would rule the afternoon. Justin used buggers in black and brown, and I used black then switched to white cactus chenille. The crappie fishing was good for quite a while but then slowed down.
Francis tires easily these days so we ended the day after about three hours. It was a great day to be with great friends.
Francis is in the middle of this group photo.
My boss and friend Curt Tully with Francis.
Some of the crappie were nice sized.
The black bass were also active today.
Crappie, crappie, crappie.
Mark, son of Francis with black bass.