Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Outdoor Blogger Network prompt: Why do I blog?

If you haven't had a chance to check out the Outdoor Blogger Network, I suggest you head on over there. It's a great site full of information and links to blogs that are all about sharing the outdoor experience.

The site does writing prompts for it's bloggers and I'm going to participate in my first one right now.

The prompt is "Why do you blog about your Outdoor Experiences? What got you started with that first blog entry? Are the reasons you started blogging the same now as when you started? Has blogging changed anything for you?, etc"

My first experience with fishing blogs came from two places. The first one was Troutrageous. I'm regular poster on the EPFR forum, and I noticed a few posts from a guy who had a link to a blog called "Troutrageous" in his signature. I started to read his blog almost daily because it combined a sense of humor, with some good insight on fishing.

The second was a blog called "The Slippery Trout". I found this blog by google searching for fishing at Mud Run (a small limestone in the Poconos that has wild and stocked fish). This is another great blog which I still read to this day. The thing that made this one stand out was the fact that he kept a running total of fish caught and flies used.

It was well over 2 years ago when I found these blogs but it did prompt me to start a blog of my own. I had people constantly asking me how many fish I thought I caught in one year. I kept saying that if I had to guess, it would be close to a thousand. At that point in my life I was mostly spin fishing and pulling in at least a dozen bass a week, so I didn't think that was stretch. From there, was born. It was supposed to be a journal of my personal goal of hitting the 1K mark. Unfortunately, at that point in my life I was about to become a father, my work was really stressful, and I didn't have the time to dedicate to blogging so I think it might have lasted a dozen or so posts.

Well, time passed and I found myself starting to pick up my fly rod more than my spinning rod, and then I realized that I spent more time tying flies than actually fishing. I figured that starting another blog might be a good idea, because I wanted to keep a journal of my progression in fly fishing and tying. I think in that aspect, my blog has been a success (at least personally). When I look at my patterns that I've been posting recently vs. the ones from 3 months ago, I already see a big change. I told myself that if I'm going to be posting my patterns for people to see, they better start improving and not look like sh**! Showing off the bugs on here has made me pay attention to detail, and I think it pays off with the fish I catch.

Another reason I enjoy this blog is for the memories. I can look back and remember that we set up a moon bounce in my kitchen for my son on Christmas day, or recall a 40 degree day in February where I was taking trout around 20 inches on size 22 dry midges (Damn I wished that happened on every outing). There are a ton of great times to be had while fishing, and this is a great place to remind me of them.

So, in a nutshell, that's why I blog. Although 1000fish is now defunct, I'd like to share with you some of the memories and fish that would have made it on there, both from spinning and the fly rod.

My first striper from the surf
I caught this fish in 2008 on the 4th of July in Sea Isle City NJ. If you've ever spent time at the Jersey Shore in July and early August, you'll know that about all you can really catch in the surf are some sand sharks, skates, and an occasional short flounder. Most of the stripers and blues are off to much cooler water. I was sitting with my wife and friends, drinking and having a good time. I just threw a line out with some squid on it and it sat there for an hour when my surf rod just bends almost down to the ground. I was surprised to find that I pulled in a striper in July. It wasn't a huge fish, but it was still really fun to land. I went on to catch two more of them that weekend. I guess they didn't get the memo to head up to New England.

The day before opening day, 2010
This is a bittersweet story. It was a dreary Friday afternoon. Nick and I were both off work because it was my aunt's funeral. She lost a long battle with pneumonia and passed away way too young. We decided that we needed to go fishing to take our minds off things. We got to the Little Lehigh and the place was just ERUPTING with fish smashing olives on the surface. The funny thing is, we didn't even have any olives with us. We started fishing nymphs and eggs and it was the only time ever where I hit the grand slam. I landed a brookie, brown, and a bow, all over 16 inches in about two hours. So why didn't I call it a triple? Because I also landed an 18 inch sucker! Nick caught one fish, but to this day I have yet to see a brown trout with such beautiful coloring. This thing was a fat slab and had a big hooked jaw. I'm going to give him the credit here and spare you the pics of my 4 fish, especially the sucker.

New Year's Day and a gorgeous baby trout
This was on the Little Lehigh, New Year's day 2009. I fished with my stepfather, Jack. I only landed this one fish, but the coloring on it just blew me away. I'll never forget it.

My first Mahi Mahi
I talked my wife into a deep sea trip for Marlin in the Sea of Cortez while we were in Cabo San Lucas in 2008. We didn't land any Marlin, but we did come across some bruiser Dorados. I wanted to release this fish but the deck hands gaffed him before I had the chance. I gave the fish to the captain as a tip. Little did we know that the next two days would be the worst days of our lives, being stuck in a giant hurricane in a foreign country. But that's a story for another time.

My first trout on a fly rod
October 2009. The Little Lehigh. Two days after my birthday. My stepdad gave me a St. Croix Imperial 6 weight for my birthday. I hooked up with bass and gills the day after he gave it to me but I was determined to catch my first trout. I remember totally sucking at casting and hooking myself constantly. I did see this brown holding in front of a small feeder stream and I remember being totally lucky with a perfect cast and having him quickly smack a pink san juan worm. He fought like hell. Looking back, he wasn't as big as I remembered him to be, although his coloring is amazing.

First Steelhead

This was in March 2010. After getting the skunk on three trips, Nick and I FINALLY hooked up with some Steelhead. I think we landed 5 or 6 fish between us over the weekend. Nick's first one was actually his first fish on a fly rod ever! I'll never forget getting this fish into the net. I was shaking so bad from all the adrenalin that I could barely hold him. I felt like a god.

Fishing at Disney
In 2007, I attended a business conference with my former boss. They put us up at the Dolphin, in the Disney park complex. The conference ending on a Thursday and our flights didn't depart until Friday. If you've never been to Disney, the whole place is connected by a series of canals and lakes. This water contains some of the biggest largemouth I have ever seen. We decided to pay like $220 each to charter a small bass boat for 2 hours to fish the canals. It was pricey, but my god, was it fun! We were just fishing with live shiners, no weight or bobbers. This guy was over 6 lbs, and I'm still made until this day that his tail flipped up. I also had another fish around 8 lbs on right in front of Epcot Center but he broke me off under a dock. I still feel guilty about all the swear words I screamed while families were waiting in line to get in the park.

Drunk fishing

Sometimes you need to just drink a lot of beer, get drunk, and sit on the side of a lake with a few friends. The only difference is, we don't start until well after dark, and catch massive channel catfish. I have too many stories about our nights at the Cat cave, some of which could probably get me arrested.

and finally..

"The Lake"

I found "the lake" accidentally about 4 years ago while driving around, trying to find an access point to a trout stream nearby. I made a wrong turn and found a massive body of water that I decided to fish. This place is loaded with largemouth, crappie, and pickerel. In fact, my first picks ever came from this water. My personal record bass was around 8.5 lbs from this lake. There are too many pictures I could post from here, but here's a fatty that took a woolly bugger last fall.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Featured Fly Tier - Kevin Compton

This post will be the first in a series of monthly posts spotlighting some fly tiers who I think have some great patterns. I'm going to post their biography, some of their patterns, and have them do a quick interview.

Up first, we're going to feature Kevin Compton. I met Kevin for the first time earlier this month at the Valley Forge Fly Fishing Show. After checking out some of his fly patterns and buying some materials off his Performance Flies website, I thought it would be nice to do a small feature on him and his creative patterns.

Kevin started tying flies 15 years ago. He is a commercial tier, author, speaker, tying instructor, and a fly designer for the Solitude Fly Co. He is also a member of the International Pro Team for Partridge Hooks. His company, Performance Flies, distributes select tying materials, tools, and hooks, including the DOHIKU European barbless hooks, throughout North America.

Kevin lives in the Great Lakes, in Cleveland, Ohio where he ties patterns for the steelhead fisheries of Ohio and Michigan and for the trout waters of central Pennsylvania. He also spends part of each summer in the Colorado Rockies, fishing and tying patterns for guides and competition anglers.

In 2006, he was the runner-up in the Team USA National Fly Tying Competition sponsored by Fly Tyer magazine. In September of 2006, he traveled to Portugal to the World Fly Fishing Championship where he contributed flies to the US competitors. In 2007, 2009, and 2010 he tied for members of Team USA at the National Championships and at the America’s Cup.

In September of 2010 Kevin was the runner-up (to Charlie Craven) in the first annual Ironman Fly Tying Competition at the Denver Retailer Show.

Kevin's flies have been featured in magazines such as Fly Fishing and Tying Journal and in collections such as Rick Takahashi's Modern Midges. His article "Going Barbless" appeared in the August 2008 issue of Hatches Magazine. He also writes an online tying journal,, and is currently at work on a fly-tying project with Stackpole Books, entitled "Styles of European Fly Patterns".

How long have you been tying flies?
15 years

How did you get started with tying?
I was handed a Regal Vise on my birthday 15 yrs ago

What is your favorite fly fishing technique?
Nymphing & dry/dropper fishing

If you could only fish one fly for trout for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
A nymph of mine, The Tungsten Torpedo...I have a lot of confidence in this pattern. It produces for others & for myself wherever it is fished

What's your favorite fish to target on a fly rod?

Any advice for people who are first starting out with fly tying?
Only use the best materials & tools you can can reasonably afford; sit down with an experienced tier at some point early in the game; and always strive to understand tying materials & fly-tying methods. In other words, learn to tie flies, not particular patterns.

Fly Patterns
Callibaetis CDC Floating Nymph
Hook: DOHIKU Dry Fly HDD 301 #10-12.
Thread: FLY DK 80 Denier, Tan.
Tails/Shuck: Coq de Leon Fibers, Dyed Medium Dun.
Ribbing: Xfine Gold Wire (0.10mm).
Body: Natural Biot from a Kori Bustard Primary Wing Feather.
Wingcase: 3 Natural Tannish-Dun CDC feathers.
Thorax: European Hare Fur (spun in a loop & wrapped).

Copperhead Brush Hog
Hook: DOHIKU Standard Nymph Hook HDN 302 #8-16.
Beadhead: Tungsten Bead, Copper.
Thread: FLY DK 80 Denier, Black.
Tails: Coq de Leon Fibers, Medium Pardo.
Ribbing: FLY DK Synthetic Quill Body, UV Pearl.
Body: Tungsten Wire Dubbing Brush (Red Fox Squirrel Guard Hairs,
Copper & UV Flash Fibers).
Thorax: Seal's Fur, Black.

CDC & Hen Western Green Drake Emerger
Hook: DOHIKU Wet Fly HDS #10-12; or Dry Fly HDD 301 #10-12.
Thread: Giorgio Benecchi 12/0 (70 Denier), Olive.
Tails: Moose Body Hair.
Ribbing: Euro Thread 8/0, Yellow.
Body: Jack Mickievicz' Hare's Ear Blend, Blackish Olive (Dark Olive).
Hackle #1: CDC Fibers, Yellow-Olive (spun in a loop & wrapped.)
Hackle #2: Hen Saddle Feather, Grizzly Dyed Olive.

Opal X-Caddis Emerger (Craig Matthews; modified by Dennis Potter)
Hook: DOHIKU Dry Fly Hook HDD 301 #14-16.
Thread: Giorgio Benecchi Ultra-Strong Thread (50 Denier GSP).
Shuck: Strands of Amber Crinkled Zelon from Blue Ribbon Flies.
Ribbing: Sulky Invisible Mono Thread, Clear.
Body: UTC Mirage Tinsel, Opal Medium (lacquered with Fly-Rite's
Fly-Tite Head Cement).
Wing: Coarse, Short-tip Early Season Yearling Elk.

I'd like to thank Kevin for this time and info to make this post possible and if you are looking for a lot of the materials used to tie his patterns, or the stuff I've been using over the past few weeks on the flies I've posted, check out Performance Flies for a great selection of tying supplies, and probably the only place I know of in the states to pick up some Jan Siman dubbing and UV quill body. He can be reached at

Also, I know Kevin mentioned the Tungsten Torpedo, but I unfortunately don't have pictures of it. I did however find a Youtube video of it that was filmed by one of our followers, Fly and Fin.(Who also has a great blog for you to check out!)

I hope you all enjoyed this post. Feel free to drop some comments with thoughts for future installments.

Skunk streak = over!

Rubber legged CJ. He had some fat spots.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jigga who?!

I'm definitely not talking about Jay Z (although Mr. Troutrageous has a great post about him apparently owning a trout stream). I'm talking about a pack of Dohiku jig hooks I bought two weeks ago and forgot about. In theory, jig hooks for nymphs make perfect sense, since the hook point will always ride up, reducing snags. The problem is that they are pricey!

I started just messing with them tonight and knocked out some attractor nymphs. I want to try these for Steelhead. The only common thing with these is they all have a .015 leaded underbody and a tungsten bead.

Well, I'm getting ready to hit the water. I haven't caught a trout in about a month and I need to break the skunk streak. Will post results later.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some tasty Saturday morsels ( least the fish will see them as tasty)

I spent today over at the Calvary Outdoors Expo with my son. Unfortunately, the only fly fishing stuff there was a booth by Mainline Fly Tyers. There was lots of camoflage, dead stuffed animals, and soft plastic fishing baits, none of which are really my thing. I did pick up a really nice LED flashlight for $4 though.

I am a little tired, partially because I was up last night tying like a madman. Here's a couple that came off the vise around 2am.

First up is a BWO looped wing emerger. I wanted something different to trail a BWO dry so I thought I'd give this a shot. I tied a similar midge emerger pattern that cleaned up a few weeks back.

Size 18 emerger hook
Green goose biot
olive 12/0 thread
CDC - light dun
Z-lon, dun (tail)
a tiny bit of Jan Siman peacock bronze for the head

Next up, here's a pattern for carp that I recreated from looking at Roughfisher's website. He calls it the carp crack. I won't list this recipe here because if you really like it, you should go buy a few from him :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Friday

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Czech yourself!

Here's a couple of new patterns I'm toying with.

I got word that pink worms are killing the steelhead right now so I figured I'd try to work in some new patterns in hot pink. Here's a pretty straight forward czech nymph. I used a tungsten scud body to keep it heavy, and I kept the profile really slim so it sinks quick. I also add a few strands of shaggy dub for legs, and a tiny bit of movement near the thorax.

Size 10 scud hook
Spectrablend pink nymph/scud dubbing (rear)
Fly D&K UV body quill - pink rose (under rib)
4x monofilament tippet (over rib)
Sybai diamond braidback - pink (scud back)
Sharpie marker to color in the diamond braid near the head

Next, I was reading this month's Fly Fisherman magazine and there's a great tying article from Charlie Craven mentioning the use of CDC on nymphs. He had a sweet looking pheasant tail in the article. His had a wing case and CDC out the sides for legs, but I decided to hackle the head with CDC on mine. I went with a tung bead and skipped the lead to keep the body a little more slim. This one will definitely move in the water.

Dohiku barbless nymph hook size 14
french tinsel gold (rib)
4 pheasant tail fibers
Coq de leon (tail)
Jan Siman UV peacock bronze dubbing
CDC natural
Gold Tungsten bead

You can click on both of them for larger images. The czech is a little sloppy because it was my first one, but I'm sure they'll clean up after I knock out another half dozen or so.

Also, I had my 2nd fly tying class last night. I brought my nymph box in to show the teacher some of my patterns and I received a lot of compliments from the guys in the class on some of my flies, which was really cool. We tied two patterns. The first was a greenie weenie (which took about 15 seconds to finish!) and the 2nd was a grey hackle peacock, which is a classic wet fly. I think this thing will definitely pass for a caddis pupa on the swing.

I'm going to wait until the class is finished and then post all 60 patterns we learned at once so you can see the progression each week (unless we learn something that is truely badass)

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go weave an entire ringneck pheasant skin into my hair.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Woven patterns and woven hair feathers

Nick showed me some of his new woven patterns he's been working on last night and I had to take some pictures of them to post because they are freaking awesome. I've been trying to weave for a few weeks now and while I'm getting better, I still don't feel confident enough to post some of my woven patterns just yet.

His flies are big fat attractor nymphs and I want him to tie me some for my Steelhead trip to the Salmon River in two weeks. I especially love the woven prince nymph. He even keeps true to the original with the peacock collar.

He also has some for sale. Drop me a line if you're interested and I can get you in contact with him.


In other news, if you're looking to get some grizzly hackle this year, you're out of luck. Apparently the fashion industry has decided to buy it all. Montana Fly Company is saying they won't be able to fufill new hackle orders until 2012. I heard about this from Bill at my local fly shop last week and thought it was a bunch of BS. Then I saw this website and video.

I'm all for watching videos of hot chicks, but I just want to rip those feathers out of their hair and knock out some parachute adams.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Well, I won't need to tie eggs or worms for a while

Just stocking up for the season. Tons of size 18 eggs, and resupplying some of the san juan colors that were running low.

Holy cow, I tied a lot of flies tonight.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Pattern - The Skullpin

I took the framework of a slumpbuster, added tiger-barred zonker, and a FishSkull head. This one will imitate a big sculpin and take some chunky browns, I'm sure of it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to paint and install chair rail in our dining room all day. Urgh.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I would have caught a carp, but.......

I'm on my way home from work tonight and stopped dead in traffic. It appears that everyone and their mother in a 20 mile radius had to go to this one bar to celebrate the fact that they aren't irish but are wearing green anyway (for the record, I'm about 30% green blood). I pass by the park with the pond and creek that is full of carp and figure I might as well wait out rush hour by scouting for fish.

As I'm walking down to the bridge under the road that is backed up with cars, I notice a pod of fish holding tight against the concrete wall. I see two really small bass, a handful of bluegills, and then I see a carp, probably about 5 lbs. I was peaking at the fish from around a tree and they didn't notice me at all. This was the first really warm day we've had so far this spring and the fish were just starting to wake up, but still pretty lethargic. I darted back to my car, grabbed my 4 weight (which is the only rod I had in the car) and headed back behind the tree. I figured that something big would spook the carp, and that since they are still in quazi-hibernation mode, something small and easy would be the ticket. I rigged up a tiny san juan worm, trailed by a glass bead head pheasant tail. I figured that would sink really slow and give the carp a chance to take notice.

I get a perfect roll cast around the tree and a perfect drop near the only fish over 6 inches long. the PT starts to drop, and I see the san juan just holding sub-surface. After about 10 seconds, it starts to slowly drop as well. Visibility was only about 2 feet and they were holding in 4 feet of water. As soon as I see the flies drop out of site, I watch the carp slowly start lowering, following the worm.

As he gets out of view I see something slowly drag my line down and I'm thinking "game on! I'm going to land a 5 lb fish on my way home from work!"


I set the hook like a champion with a strip strike, and prepare for the biggest battle I've had in a few weeks.

The little fish spooked the carp and he took off. I waited about 5 minutes, saw him appear again, cast at him, and the whole thing just repeated itself. Another darn bluegill.

Oh well, at least I didn't get the skunk. Two fish in 10 minutes is better than I've been doing almost all year!

I'm standing outside at work right now

It's 65 degrees, there's caddis flying around, and there's a trout stream a mile away. I can't wait for opening day. *sigh*

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New goodies in the mail = new bugs

On Monday, I ordered over $50 worth of stuff from Performance Flies and I could not believe it was already here when I got home today. I picked up some dohiku nymph and jig hooks, some more UV quill body for Nick and myself, some glo-brite floss, and some Jan Siman dubbing in peacock bronze and UV bronze.

The stuff can get a little pricey because it's all imported from Europe, but it's fun to try some new material and I love using all of it. The dubbing really lives up to all the great stuff I've heard about it. I didn't get home until rather late tonight, but I had some time to knock out 3 bugs.

Dohiku barbless 1X nymph hook, size 14
Montana lucent tungsten bead, blue 7/64"
Glo Brite bright green floss (body)
Coq De Leon feathers (tail)
UV body quill- pearl (rib #1)
UTC ultra wire xsmall, gold (rib #2)
Jan Siman UV bronze dubbing

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Crazy blog love

I've been reading a ton of blogs from other people, and I thought I'd share some recent posts/blogs that pretty much rock.

1.There's a fly tying contest over on TreartonFly, the blog created by one of our readers, Gaeron. Go participate and show his blog some love. He ties some really nice flies.

2.Normand came up with a great link to make your own barred rubber legs over on Fly Tying New and Old. I swear, I learn something every time I read his site.

3.Fish On, Fish Off, a website by our newest google follower (welcome!), has some great fishing stories and even better seafood recipes. (I do love my shellfish)

4.Bigerrfish has a great day of fishing. (I just love this guy's posts about his fish. They are always a story)

5.Owl Jones has a podcast now. The first 30 seconds had me in tears. "This is a podcast, I'm supposed to cast some pods". This is the only site where you can get info on fly fishing, and pics of child beauty pageants and jarred pigs feet in one location.

In other news, I attended my first fly tying class tonight. It is being taught at an LL Bean in Center Valley PA by George Maciag. It's mostly geared towards people who never tied a fly before and the only pattern we tied tonight was a San Juan worm, but I still learned something. His explanation on aught vs. denier thread was great. The course is 29 weeks and the patterns will get more advanced each week. I had a great time and I look forward to next week. I'm also very curious to see how fast the people who never tied a fly before start to progress. Once the patterns get more advanced, I'll be sure to post some here.

Well, I'd love to maybe post some patterns, but a new Halo Reach map pack came out, and I have some 9% belgian beer, so the vise is getting ignored tonight. Peace out.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A pattern I almost forgot about

I was talking to a co-worker about stocking up on my dry flies today and I realized that I needed some caddis. All the dry caddis I've had over the past year were ones that were given to me at Xmas, so I never really had to make any of them. I think I might have tried it once or twice with limited success. I do hate working with deer hair, which is probably one of the reasons I've avoided it. It was when I sat down at the vise tonight that I remembered some of my fishing trips to the local stream last year. I remember throwing size 16 caddis dries and getting hits from trout, smallies, largemouth, rock bass, bluegills, and even crappie. I remember thinking to myself that this would be an awesome pattern if it had rubber legs. I decided to drink a bunch of beer and give it a go. I had some Montana centipede legs I bought for carp flies that seemed to work pretty well. These are sloppy flies because of the beer I've been downing for the past few hours, but I'm sure they'll do just fine in the stream behind my house.

Rubbered legged drunken caddis
size 16 2xl dry fly hook
brown hackle
harelin hare's ear plus gold dubbing
tan deer hair
orange rubber legs - medium

While I was on the rubber leg kick, I decided to whip out some of the hi-vis foam ant bodies I picked up for 50 cents when the LL fly shop was going out of business. I call this one "The Bant" (or Bass Ant..because there's sure as hell no ants around here this big that would actually fool a trout)
size 16 2xl dry fly hook
hi-vis foam ant body
orange rubber legs - medium

I tied these flies with various lengths for the rubber legs to see what works best. Once it warms up and the stream opens for fishing, I'll let you know how I did.

Before I go, I'd like to give a shout out to Sly Fox 113 IPA. I love this stuff. Good night.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Father and son tying session

So, my wife went to the gym this morning and I had some quality time with the little guy. I wanted to have his first fly tied before his 2nd birthday, which is in two weeks so we decided to give it a go. The only things I did with this fly were putting on the bead that he chose, and whip finishing. He picked out the materials, held the saddle feather in one handle and with my help, actually wrapped it on the hook with the bobbin. The cotton chenille was all him. I was extremely proud of him. He started clapping after he finished it. I asked him what it was called and he said "green cow games mommy".

So, here it is..the Green Cow Games Mommy streamer.

But daddy also got some time in on the vise this weekend. I'm too lazy right now to post up any detailed shots/recipes, but I knocked out some orange and blue copper johns, more euro-style tungsten nymphs, a new baetis nymph to replace a pheasant tail (which I'm really digging so far), and the early stone pattern I read about on "This River is Wild". I did switch that stone up a bit though. After reading Charlie Craven's article in this month's Fly Fisherman on CDC for nymphs, I swapped out the starling for black palmered CDC (which is a pain in the butt to wrap properly!) If anyone wants detailed shots of these, or recipes, let me know and I'll post them.

Oh, and by the way, I tried to fish today. I hit the Little Lehigh and didn't even last an hour. The water was dark green, about 3 feet higher than usual, and had some RIPPING current. I had a few chases on a slumpbuster, but that's about it. Unfortunately, it was a skunked weekend.

Volunteering to stock

Before I get started with this post, I just want to say that I am 100% against stocking any streams that contain wild fish. What you're about to read about is a stocking of a stream that is just short of boiling hot once it gets into July, and most of the fish have long been dinner by that point, and have allowed hundreds of kids the chance to catch their first trout.

That being said, I decided to volunteer today and help stock the stream that runs behind my house. There's about a 3 mile stretch of it that is stocked. There were thousands of fish, ranging anywhere from 7 inch rainbows, to 20 inch palaminos, to 9-10 lb brown trout. Some of them were CHUNKS!

I've never helped do this before so it found it quite interesting. We met at a parking lot in Quakertown. There was a big stocking truck with a really cheesy logo on the back of it, and a game warden. I love how the picture shows tons of brookies being stocked, yet there wasn't one brookie in any buckets I saw today.

There were about 3 or 4 other cars there waiting to help stock as well. It was mostly older guys with their grandsons, and a few teenage guys. We followed the truck to the stream and by the time we got there, the trail of cars had tripled. By the third stocking spot, it was pretty much a parade of people lining up to get a bucket of fish and dump them in the water.

The good thing was that I only saw one fish die the whole afternoon. The bad news was that it was a 5 lb palamino. I feel bad for those things. They are sitting ducks. Even in the murky water, they could be spotted 30 yards away.

Besides seeing 10 lb fish being dumped into a stream literally 200 yards from my back door, the other awesome thing I saw was how fast these fish adapt to their environment. At the last stop I went to, they were dumping in a ton of huge fish into this really deep slow run. While I was handing buckets down to people, I had two little black stoneflies land on my hand. Sure enough, two minutes after the fish were dumped in, they started rising. Seeing monster fish going apeshit on the surface after tiny stoneflies made me want to grab my 4 weight from the back of my car so badly, but I have to wait until 4/2.

I have so many more things to post right now. I have a bunch of new bugs to show off, my son tied his first fly today, and I tested out making a UV mono sighter for euronymphing. But, it's 2am, and with daylight savings time, that means 3am so I gotta get some sleep. Here's a few more shots of today's stocking.