Wednesday, October 12, 2016

View from the bench...

The local stream is getting a fall stocking tomorrow. Time to get busy. Nuff' said.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Forgotten Trip

I kinda dig the memories feature in Facebook. Once in a great while, I'll come across something I posted that jogs some fun memories.

This picture of Nick was taken on a particularly chilly morning, 8 years ago on the Lehigh River. In hindsight, the hike out to that island in the fog was probably not the safest thing to accomplish.

I still remember that day vividly. Fishing was slow for us. Nick caught a Smallmouth. I caught a single Rainbow. But then there was Jack. He stuck with the same damn black bugger all day even after no hits for the first few hours and then smashed some beastly browns. Persistence sometimes pays off. Any time we want to blame it on the conditions, lack of insects etc, he always puts that to rest. Damn it Jack. :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Where has the time gone?

Time flies. I recently just unpacked all my fly tying items again and realized it's been well over a year since my last blog post. To be honest, I have not been fishing much. 100 fish weeks have turned into 3-4 fish months. I haven't caught a trout since April. 

My children are growing up. Michael is now 7 and in second grade, and Ethan is 4 and in Pre-K. Children require time. I found myself starting to attend children's birthday parties, karate practice, school functions, and started leaning towards other hobbies that they were more interested in such as Star Wars collecting, and more recently, Pokemon Go. We've also traveled all over, everywhere from Florida to Bermuda, to Jamaica, to Maine, to Vegas, and to California. I did catch my first Bonefish on a fly, hooked into an Alligator while fly fishing poppers at Disneyworld, and got chased by 3 sharks in the salt flats of Abaco Island. All these are still tucked into my memory and will hopefully serve as future blog posts.

Fast Forward a few years later, my basement can't handle any more Star Wars items, we've caught just about all the Pokemon, and I sat down at the vise last night for the first time in ages. I realize how bad I am at tying dry flies now. But once I did finish a close to perfect size 18 parachute olive, I'm ready to use it. It's game time. Rods are being restrung this week, and I'm ready to get back into action.

I started revisiting all the old blogs I used to read. Some are defunct. Some are thriving with new fancy HTML 5 templates. Some haven't changed much and just keep spitting out great content. (Mike- stay gold, Pony Boy). There's also a slew of new tools, and tying materials available from all these companies. Looks like I got some spending to do, and some fish to catch.

I'm older, fatter, slower, grayer, and a bit more blind that I used to be, but age be damned, I'm back in the game.

See you on the water, possibly with my Stormtrooper buddies.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Runoff, risers, and FAT BROWNS

My fishing time has been limited but I found some trout rising to olives and midges in a slack section of some high runoff. The big one surprised the hell outta me! Easily over 20 inches on a size 22 fly with 8x! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book Review - My Life in Fishing by Stu Apte

So, I obviously haven't been fishing much since this blog has been a ghost town. Work has been busy and the kids are getting big fast, not to mention the awful cold weather. I'm actually heading out today for a few hours since I haven't caught a fish since November and I always find that Superbowl Sunday is the best day of the year to fish since no one is on the water.

I was approached by Stonefly Press to do a review of "My Life in Fishing" by Stu Apte a few months back, and I finally had time to read through it and I must say, what a great wintertime book! As usual, Stonefly delivers.

This is not a "go here, use this, and catch fish" book. It's not a book of whimsical fishing tales written by an old dude in Colorado. This is straight up fly fishing history. I've heard of Stu's name but never knew much about him and after reading this, I'm jealous.

He's targeted salmon in Europe, Bass in gater-infested Florida swamps, and everything saltwater related from Cobia to Permit to massive Poons.

He's fished with everyone from Lefty to Stormin' Norman and has had the distinct honor of standing on the deck of Hemingway's boat!

The photography is amazing and this book will definitely make you want to go fishing.

You can purchase it directly from Stonefly Press and I highly suggest it. Great addition to any fishing book library. Here's the official blurb below.

"In My Life in Fishing, as only the most accomplished captain and guide can, Stu Apte shares his tips and insights gleaned from his lifelong pursuit for any and every species. These are his favorite personal stories, about world records, and winds, and tides, and patterns, and flies, but also about the remarkable people who have fished their way through his life. There are stories and glimpses that you won’t find in other history books – an amusing episode with Harry and Bess Truman on board Stu’s skiff, an impromptu side-of-the-road meeting with baseball hall-of-famer Ted Williams that led to a forty-year friendship, and an afternoon of drinking Cuban mojitos aboard Pilar with Earnest Hemingway that includes Hemingway’s own mojito recipe. My Life in Fishing is more than a collection of engaging stories and fly fishing pointers; it is a glimpse of the development and evolution of the sport, and of saltwater fly fishing at its highest level, through the eyes and anecdotes of the only man who can tell the stories."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some picky trout to chase.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Product Review + Giveaway - Woolx Lightweight Merino Wool T-Shirt

Hey everyone, it's been a while since my last blog post. Don't worry, I have tons of stories from summer saved up that I'll post up this fall. Anyway, the folks over at Woolx hit me up a few months ago and asked me if I'd like to review their WoolX Lightweight Men's Merino Wool T-Shirt. I've never really owned any higher end moisture wicking gear (Under Armor, etc) so I figured this would be a good chance to try it out.

However, I felt like this was something I'd love to wear as an undershirt so I did wait a while to post this review until it got cooler outside. I did wear it for a run in the summer heat, and it didn't stick to me, make me hotter, or get me soaked. It kept the perspiration at bay like a champion.

Recently, it's been colder in the evenings so I took it out  at night while hunting for smallmouth on the creek. I wore it under a long sleeve tee, and did about 2 miles of night hiking while throwing streamers. It kept me totally comfortable the whole time.

Overall, these are very comfortable, great shirts. The only thing I would suggest is that you order a size up if you don't like really tight shirts. They do run a little small. The XXL was ok for me, but a little more wiggle room would have been nice. It will definitely come in handy for steelheading this winter.

The awesome folks at Woolx offered to give a shirt away to one of our readers (a 67.99 value!) Just drop a comment below or email me using the link above to enter! Winners will be announced on Wednesday.

Here are some more details on the shirt:
You definitely need a merino wool t shirt while being active in the outdoors in warm sweaty weather. Being avid hikers here at Woolx we know how important it is to have a great lightweight merino wool tshirt while exploring the great outdoors.  We recently went on a company outing in the Adirondacks here in upstate NY and hiked a mountain called Bald Mountain, this is not an easy hike.  We figured this was going to be the best way to "product test" the Woolx X-Lite Merino Wool Tee, and boy were we right.  The hike up Bald Mountain involves huge stones, lots of uphill, and treacherous drops, this shirt outperformed itself and earned a spot in our first make up of woolx. 
The temperature was about 70°F and very muggy, there was alot of sweating going on in these shirts for multiple hours, yet when we arrived at the top of the mountain,we were all dry, our shirts were still lightweight and there was no odor what-so-ever coming from this 100% merino wool t shirt.  Absolutely amazing, we knew this shirt was going to be a real winner.
So with no further adieu, we would like to introduce to you our 100% merino wool tee, a shirt we know you will not be able to have just one of.... our Woolx X302 X-lite Tee
  • 100% 17.5 Micron Australian Merino Wool
  • 170 g/m2 jersey construction
  • Non-pill/ No Itch --- (Guaranteed)
  • Our lightest weight superfine merino wool in the Woolx line.
  • No shrinkage
  • Superior wicking to keep you cool and comfortable no matter what the temperature.
  • Flatlock - non chafe seams
  • Heat stamp logo for a non rub interior label
  • Weight of garment (size large) 6.1 ounces -- 172 grams
  • Imported from China
We are so proud of this merino tee shirt we just can not contain our excitement about this, named by many of our customers as the best travel tshirt, we know you will love merino wool t shirts after you try them!
And if you're asking whether or not I had any luck at night with the bass.....

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

All Fisherman are Liars by John Gierach (and book giveaway)

I was recently offer to review a copy of John Gierach's new book, All Fisherman are Liars, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. I have to say I was honored for the chance. I've read all of John's books and I've thoroughly enjoyed all of them, although my brief review of his last work left me a little less than impressed.

This is new book probably what I'd describe as the perfect summer read. Are there hysterical stories of him and AK Best on strange camping trips? Not really. But it is a solid group of smaller stories and that are easily digestible. It's the perfect book for sitting on the beach, or relaxing on a night when you can't be fishing to rising trout.

Some of the more surpising entries to me had to do with some controversial subjects such as Tenkara and Trolling flies. I won't go into all the details, but it's definitely worth the read.

S&S were courteous enough to give me 4 copies to giveaway. We've done a giveaway on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook so far, so now you have your last chance today. Drop a comment, or shoot me an email using the contact link on the blog for your chance to win a free copy! If you don't win, I'd still highly suggest picking it up. You can't go wrong with Gierach.

Also, here's a good video on John's thoughts on Tenkara.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Things are warming up

I'm thankful the snow is finally out of here! It's been in the 60s almost every day and even hit 80 yesterday.

I've been sneaking in fishing trips any time I can...

10 minutes while running some errands to cast to rising stickies with dry midges...

Heading out in the evening for the same stockies and realizing the panfish are waking up..

And some quick 15 minute trips to a small lake near my office on my lunch break for some cruising carp..

It's been awesome to finally get to target some non-trout species. Now i just need to find some bass.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have about 50 hours of yard work ahead of me. At least I have some cold friends to help me out. Happy Saturday.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Opening Day of Trout Season 2014 Top 10

In keeping with tradition, here's my annual post of about shit show that is opening day in Pennsylvania. I decided to stay local this year again, and was planning on bringing my 4 year old.

I spent time prepping the night before, twisting up some small tungsten head buggers which is all you pretty much need for these dumb fish.

Since the little guy would be worm dunking (screw helping him fly cast surrounded by morons), I even put on my headlamp, and walked through the yard at 10pm after a rain and pulled a ton of night crawlers up. I refuse to use that Powerbait stuff.

The morning rolls around and he doesn't feel like fishing anymore. I knew a few inches of rain was on it's way so it would be a muddy mess after an hour so I wasn't too upset about it. I grabbed my stuff, drove about half a mile, and got to the stream by 7:45, ready to go. I hiked about two miles of the stream after the opening bell, and picked up like 6 or 7 fish in under two hours. 

Then the rain crashed down and I called it a day. So without further adieu, is my opening day top ten...

1.Once again, the Palominos continue to attract all the morons. It was a shit show of Cabelas Neoprene, Duck Dynasty Camo hoodies, Powerbait, snelled hooks big enough to hook a Tarpon, and lot of corn.

2.I found plenty of open water to fish and caught the majority of my fish without another soul in site, but when I did find big pods of people, the look on their faces was priceless when I would just walk right in, catch a fish on my first or second cast with a bugger, release it and walk away.  "Dude, you're throwing away meat!"  

3.I should have tied more buggers. I made $20 selling them to spin fishermen for $5 each. Seriously.

4.You may have heard of the Fly Fishing "Brah App" which recently poked fun at the younger fly fishing generation these days, well now there are spin Brahs as well. Flat brimmed Volcom hat, Simms waders, neck beard, stinking like weed, but the difference between these guys and a typical Colorado fly fishing blogger is the choice of fishing method and their feelings toward catch and release. There is no hip fiberglass rod and hot pink Allen reel, but a St. Croix ultralight spinning rod and a Shimano Stradic reel. 

"Hey bro, what color you throwin?"

"Pumpkin Seed Sparkle Bro. Just nailed 3 more"

"word Brah!"

These guys took their stockie fishing serious. They'd surround a pod of fish, and hammer them with nothing but different colored trout magnets until they wiped out every one in the hole. 

5.Watching three stocked fish in an slack eddy rising to cigarette butts from the littering morons upstream.

7.Remembering how ugly looking a stocked rainbow is....

8.Seeing a giant bobber the size of a tennis ball swimming around with no line stuck to it. I put on a big streamer, snagged the bobber, and reeled in a 17 inch brown, releasing him to safety.

9.Cabelas zipper front guide waders. Review coming soon but safe to say I love them.

10.I met some cool spin fisherman as well. These guys do fly fish on occasion, were only using artificials, and releasing every fish they caught. One even released a 20+ inch pally to the dismay of the power bait crew. They earn my respect.

More coming soon. I nailed a few on dries today :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I got tipped off about this event from one of my buddies and OG Instagram fly tier Addison Berry.

Ironfly is similar to Iron Chef, but you get certain fly tying materials instead of food, and there is much more rowdiness.

Iron Fly PA - 4/21 7pm-????
Al's Pizza and Pub
409 N. Enola Road
Enola PA 17025

The beer  selection looks great, and sounds like it's going to be a blast. Ironfly was started by a crazy group of guys who somehow got the crazy idea to ink themselves with really bad tattoos in support of fly fishing. Head on over to Pig Farm Ink to find out more, and check out there videos, and recently upgraded web store with some sweet gear.

Check the video and be prepared to get bitchin'. See ya there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Plunge Pools and Spooky Fish

I always love fishing a new stream for the first time. We were staying at some resort in the Pocono Mountains for my son's birthday, and I decided to venture up half a day early and hit a small mountain stream. I scouted out a few on Google maps, asked for some advice from the locals on the PA Fly Fish forum, and found quite a few options. I chose one that I was told could be tough, but contained a good amount of wild browns and if you hiked enough, a solid brookie population. I stayed up tying some generic dries, a few mini-hoppers, and some small size 10 tungsten head buggers for the trip.

I asked my sister-in-law's boyfriend to join me on the trip. We arrived at Stream X at 7:00am, just after first light. My first impression was that I couldn't believe how much snow was still on the ground. We were only an hour and a half north of home where it has all but melted, but there was still anywhere from a few inches to a few feet depending on where you walked.

As we hiked down the hill side flanked by Mountain Laurel, I was blown away by the beauty of the stream. It was small;  slowly creeping down from the mountain, with lots of small plunge pools and downed branches all over. It was the perfect habitat for wild fish.

He opted to stay downstream, while I hiked a few miles upstream. It was still early, and we saw very little fish movement, until you got within 10 feet of a small pool and spooked them all. I learned quickly that I had to make long upstream casts to a few pools far above me to get any chance of fish. After some trial, error, and lost flies, I picked up a few very small wild browns. I'm talking like fingerling small. Then it was beer time.

I hoofed it back down after about 3 hours and found Dan fishing some water below a bridge. We headed back upstream and he picked up what would turn out to be the biggest fish I saw all day.

This was was challenging, but we did have moderate success. I'm definitely going to hit it up again once the hatches start coming off.