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.


  1. I'm pleased you started your blog too. It's one of my top ten, and has a corner of my own blog with others I enjoy.

    Keep it up.


  2. Super post! I'm with you on the memories thing. My mind is so jam packed full of stuff, that sometimes I forget great moments. It's nice to be able to pull them up with a few clicks of a mouse.

    Btw, you've caught some fantastic fish.


  3. Thanks all! @RH, I see you're in Perkasie. That's where I live as well.

  4. That Mahi Mahi is something to blog about!!! :) Glad to follow...

  5. i see, maybe go fishin some time. i just started tying, i could use some support!