Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Starting the Summer Off Right!

This past weekend was one of the nice long, relaxing weekends that I look forward to all week long. Lauren and I started it out by heading out to the Farmers Market at the new Farmers Park on the South side of town. If you find yourself in Springfield for the weekend this is a must do cultural experience that every foodie will enjoy. We ended up walking away with a couple of bags of veggies that we picked up from various producers and a package of bison hamburger patties from Elkhead Ranch which is located East of town in Bruner, MO. We ended up grilling the burgers for dinner on Sunday evening and they turned out amazing. Bison is a lot leaner than beef, but still packs a ton of flavor. Talking with the guys from Elkhead Ranch really sparked an interest in me. My family has always had cattle, but the thought of raising bison- an icon of the American West- is something that is truly intriguing to me. I will definitely be looking further into this.

Sunday afternoon I had the chance to hit the James River for a couple of hours. The water was still a tad high from the recent rains, but I was able to wet wade to several good spots. I have been almost exclusively fishing with my fly rod the past few months, so I decided to change it up a bit and do a little spin fishing. On the water I'm guilty of being a little stubborn when it comes to lure selection. It's an awful habit that I need to break if I want to be more productive, but when you have your favorite lures it's hard to not throw them. I'm still very new to river fishing, but I have become very partial to Zoom Speed Craws when targeting smallmouth, spotted bass, and rock bass in the local waters. Zoom is my go-to for soft plastics. They're tough, come in a wide variety of colors, fairly cheap, and found just about anywhere. During my time on the water I was able to hook up with a descent size green sunfish, my personal best spotted bass for this stretch of the river, and about a 15-20'' longnose gar. Luckly, the gar ended up biting through my 6lb. after 2 huge leaps and a quick run down a fast moving riffle. I would like to purposefully catch these living dinosaurs someday, but at the time I was not in a good position to safely land one of these toothy critters.

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