Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cabin fever

7 inches and counting. I just wanna fish. This sucks. At least I had fun with the fam. We headed out early before the weather got bad and took Michael to see Puss in Boots at the movies. He passed out 25 minutes in to it, leaving my wife and I to sit through 1.5 hours of a crappy animated movie.

We also got outside and made a giant snowman. I'm currently keeping my fingers crossed that we don't lose power.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some new meaty monsters

I got to hit a trout stream for a little over an hour on Sunday and I was having a tough time. I did pick up one small rainbow on an egg, but besides that the fish were hugging bottom and bouncing nymphs off their noses wasn't having any success.

One my way back to the car out of frustration, I tied on the giant poorly tied Sex Dungeon I tried to make like a year ago. I had my 4 weight on me so it took me like 5 sloppy roll casts to get the damn fly out more than 20 yards but when I did, a MONSTER brown came after it. He struck the hell out of it and I somehow didn't get a hook set. I had to get home or I would have kept working him, but it showed me that maybe I should be tossing some bigger bugs.

First, I decided to revisit the Sex Dungeon and knock some of them out. Yes, that's a purple one. I actually own purple deer hair. I found it in a bargain bin at a fly shop for a quarter.
Although I still suck at deer hair heads, the rest of the flies turned out gorgeous. Lots of rubber legs and schlappen.

Next up, the Conga. This is a Craven pattern that I read about in the most recent issue of Fly Fisherman magazine. It's a pretty sweet sculpin imitation that has a faux fur (polar fiber) head. Save yourself some money and buy a huge pelt of this stuff at Michaels for $4 instead of paying double that for a smaller patch of it in the fly shops. The only downside is they only sell it in brown, black, and white. I tried dying some of the white with RIT dye but it didn't turn out so well. If anyone has any suggestions on a dye that will hold, let me know.

Last up, I'm not really sure what this is. I was looking at some other Galloup patterns and just went freestyle. Marabou tail, Zonker body over some Siman Peacock Bronze dubbing, red hare hair for the throat, and believe it or not, my first time ever using wool on a fly for the head. I think it looks pretty cool, but it might fish like garbage.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Here's the little bow from my Sunday trip. Far cry from the fish I was catching a week ago, huh?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chasing the toothy critters

I've decided to hunt for pickerel and pike this weekend. I'd also say Musky, but I don't have a few spare years to catch one.

The lake I fish for pickerel contains a ton of small bass that are a bright emerald green color, so that's where I started. I call this one the Wes Mantooth.

Size 4 3XL streamer hook

Marabou - olive (tail and collar)
Orvis crystal dumbbell eyes
Sili-Legs - chartreuse
Crystal Flash (tail)
Grizzle neck hackle (sides)
Hare Ice Dub - olive green (body)
Schlappen - olive (palmered over body)
Cut up zonker fur wrapped in a dubbing loop (head)

Also, I checked out today and noticed that they uploaded one of my king salmon photos that I submitted the other day. Pretty cool.

By the way, don't get Wes started on his mom, or he'll kick your ass.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

NY Trip Recap, Getting Revenge, and My first Salmon

Jack and I just returned from a long 3.5 days on the Salmon River in New York. Unlike the last 3 times I've gone up there, we finally had some luck. I picked up 4 kings (admittedly - one was foul hooked right at sundown and we didn't realize it until he was in the net), and interestingly enough, a monster chub, and a sucker who both loved a red Estaz egg. Jack unfortunately walked away with two small trout on a woolly bugger, but he did hook in to quite a few.

I'm not going to post a giant play by play of the trip, but here's a quick top 5 list of how it went down and some observations.

1. The Salmon - It's truly amazing to watch these things jump. The Kings kind of porpoise, doing a slight raise of their back fin out of the water, while the Cohos go crazy and shoot straight out of the water, sometimes up to 4 feet in the air. Think of someone throwing the biggest log they can pick up into the water, every 20 seconds, all day long. That's what it looks and sounds like. Unfortunately, a lot of the fish we saw and hooked up with were at the end of their journey and not looking too great. I don't get how people want to eat these things with how they are looking. You also spend the day ankle deep in rotting salmon carcass. My car smells so awful right now.

2.Even though they are close to dying off, King Salmon are hands down the strongest fish I've ever fought on a fly rod. I battled one as the sun was setting on Thursday night for over 20 minutes until he finally did a big run and broke me off. My arm was killing me.

3. Two-Handed Rod - I am 100% absolutely in love with my new switch rod. It is so much more efficient than a single handed rod. You can shoot 75 yards with ease. I'd highly suggest it to anyone who fishes big water. Much easier on the arms and shoulders as well after 12 straight hours of fishing without a break.

4. The Ugly Stick Posse - People are scumbags. Seriously. I've never seen so much blatant disregard for the law in my whole life. These guys get Ugly Sticks with bass spinning reels, 50 lb test, big hooks, and just put a tiny cube from a sponge on the hook to call it a fly. They add like 5 oz of weight, and just zip their hook through the water until they hook a fish in the fin, and then reel like hell. It's a shame that law enforcement doesn't crack down on it. They keep every damn fish they snag too.

5. Weird stuff - On Thursday, I think I was the most unlucky person on the face of the Earth. I was walking up the hill from staircase hole to meet up with John, and two guys walked by me and said hi. One had a cigar lit. When he ashed his cigar, the wind literally blew a hot ember right towards me, up under my glasses, and right into my eyeball! What the hell are the odds of that? It finally feels better today but I did have a littled blurred vision. Creepy.

An hour later, came within 12 inches of getting hit head on by a drunk driver flying through a stop sign to take a piss at a Porta-a-potty. Serious bad luck.

Well, that's about it. Here's some not-so-great pics of the trip. No amazing artsy farty shots though, I was too busy fishing. Enjoy. I know I did.

Rotted Salmon

Me getting my ass kicked by a Salmon at the Staircase

John Ryan choosing a fly before the evening bite at Staircase

The snagging crew was already hard at work at 7am in the Unemployment hole

My biggest fish of the trip on a size 4 purple Estaz egg. He was pretty spawned out.

Jack working a run in the Schoolhouse pool on Wednesday night

John Ryan hooked up into this beautiful colored up Coho in the lower fly stretch right before we headed back to PA.

Drift boats getting ready to launch at first light

Another king

Thanks again to the Lutz family over at Little Salmon Tackle for the accommodations. If you ever need lake fishing gear, this is the place to go!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's almost time...

Sorry I haven't been posting much. I'm leaving on Wed AM for the Salmon River in NY to chase after Steelhead, Browns, and what's left of the salmon. I've been spending my nights intensively trying to fill the fly boxes. I've been knocking out bunnies, buggers, leeches, stoneflies, and eggs like a madman.

I'm actually really excited because I just picked up an 8 weight 11'6 LSI switch rod with a Lamson Reel.

With the Rio switch line, it came out to $420 after all the discounts. Ouch. I'm pretty psyched to try it out for the first time although I'm guessing I'll spend the first few days just getting the hang of a two-handed cast.

I'll try to get a blog post in tomorrow night before I go showing some of the new bugs, and maybe some pics from our weekend trout hunt, but for now, here's an amazing video I picked up off the Drake's website.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So, I have to edit my "About Me" section

I turned 36 today. 35 is ancient history. I don't really get depressed about it like some people. But I guess it's officially upper 30s now so that's kinda creepy. Here's the cake that Michael picked out for me. I doesn't really make much sense because I want nothing to do with Basketball or Football, but he got it for me so I loved it.

Anyway, here's a recap of my day that I took off from work:

1.I took my 2 year old son to get a flu shot. He didn't even flinch. On the way out he said "Dad, why did that lady give me a needle? It didn't hurt." He took it like a champion. I then proceeded to get him ice cream at McDonalds at 10:30am because that's the kind of dad I am. (don't judge, it's my birthday)

2.I got a ton of cash and gift cards so I went to Cabelas to get a new switch rod. They didn't have it in stock and are ordering it. I have a 12 foot 8 weight coming my way on Friday. Watch out Salmon River. I'm going to make you my bitch.

3.I made a quick 25 minute stop at the Little Lehigh on my way home. I bagged one 15 inch bow and I didn't feel like taking a picture of it. The rest of the fish were assholes and wouldn't take anything. I did see some olives though, which was encouraging.

4.I headed back home to assist with stocking the local creek behind my house. They barely put any fish in, they skipped half of the holes that would be best suited for trout, and they were almost all 8-10 inch rainbows. There goes my local winter fishery. I must say, it pissed me off because that stream has pretty much been DEVOID of other fisherman all summer, and now I see idiots with snelled hooks and powerbait littering up the place. I did pick up a few mutants on a black bugger one my way home at a spot that was stocked two hours previously, but again, I didn't feel like taking pictures.


6.My iPhone died not once, but TWICE, from the 80+ Facebook notifcations telling me that people posted "Happy Birthday" on my wall. I appreciated it, but I think that some people ONLY use Facebook to say Happy Bday to others. Speaking of iPhone, well played Apple. You lost me as a customer. I held off on getting a new phone for 6 months in hopes of a new amazing phone and you release a 4S?!?! I'm going Android!

Anyway, it's been a long day, I have quite a few beers in me, and I'm off to bed. Night.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dreary day

Is the rain ever gonna stop? Muddy water, no bugs, no rises. This is getting old.

A change of pace

We have a spot at the big local lake that full of giant channel catfish, some over 3 feet long. The only way to catch these things (at least that we've found) is to go out there on a cold Autumn night with heavy spinning rods, steel leaders, big circle hooks, and a gob of chicken liver the size of a golf ball. They fight like hell and are a blast to try and land, because they are constantly trying to tangle you up in structure (that's where the steel leader comes into play).

We headed out on Thursday around 8pm hoping for some constant action. It was actually very slow, and we spent the time BSing and polishing off a few six packs. The only hit of the night came when this 2 footer grabbed my line and started running like hell. He put up a good, albeit short, fight.

Also, I finally set up a Facebook page, so feel free to stop by and like us.