Outdoor Writers Of Kansas Conference

The recent OWK conference gave photographer Jon Blumb and I a chance to explore the Flint Hills area near Emporia, KS and catch a LOT of fish.

We spent Monday May 4th with guide Bill Hartman fishing a ranch pond for crappie and bluegills from float tubes. Being a terminal geezer and a rooky float tuber I had trouble getting into and out of the tube and I never got the hang of steering with flippers. But once I got seated I found it to be a very comfortable way to fly fish. Our supply of crappie filets was down to zero but now, thanks to Hartman, the freezer is full once more.

While Bill and Jon filleted the fish I sat in Bill’s truck, mesmerized by the solar powered hula dancer on the dashboard. She obviously has a sustainable power source and leaves a tiny carbon footprint.

After cheeseburgers at Jay’s in Emporia Bill took us to Noel Lyons’ amazing antique fishing tackle museum. Among other relics of angling days past was a casting rod made from a Sherman tank antenna. You don’t see THAT every day!

If you want to get off I-35, see more of the Flint Hills, and do some warm water fly fishing Bill Hartman is your man. Check him out at http://www.flyfishkansas.com.

Tuesday we spent four hours on Melvern Lake with Rue Armstrong of the Topeka Bass Club. Between the three of us we boated and released over forty smallmouth bass. The lure of the day was something called a Wacky Worm Rig. I had never heard of it but the funny looking rig quickly made a believer out of me.

Some photos courtesy of Jon Blumb.


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About BruceCochran

Bruce Cochran graduated from Oklahoma University in 1960 with a B.A. in design. He worked as a humor writer/illustrator for Hallmark Cards from 1960 – 1962 and has freelanced as a writer, cartoonist and illustrator since then. Cochran drew daily sports cartoon for USA Today from 1983 – 1991. He has 10 humor/cartoon books published by Willow Creek Press and his work appears regularly in Wyoming Wildlife, Outdoor News, On Wisconsin Outdoors, Pheasants Forever Journal, Wildfowl, Gundog, Ducks Unlimited magazine, Delta Waterfowl and other publications. He also writes and illustrates a regular humor column for Wyoming Wildlife News. Bruce won first place in the magazine humor category of OWAA’s EIC contest in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Life Sponsor: Ducks Unlimited. Life member: NRA. Member: Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, OWAA and Outdoor Writers of Kansas.

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