Saturday, December 31, 2011

Filling a fly box

So, I have three weeks off work to help with the newborn. I've been taking first night shift with the baby, which pretty much means sitting with him and just waiting for him to wake up to do a diaper and a bottle. There's a whole lot of waiting in between feedings.

I came across an empty fly box today and decided that I'm going to try and fill it with 200-300 flies in the next few weeks, tying while the baby sleeps.

I brought the bare essentials upstairs and set up at the kitchen table.

Up first, the rubber rat midge. I'll post clearer pictures of this pattern later because it works amazingly well but as for now, I'm posting from my iPhone with a baby on my lap. I knocked out a dozen tonight.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Some free time on my hands, so here's a blog update

Fatherhood is not an easy thing. The newborn is a piece of cake. He sleeps most of the day, takes a few poops, and wants the occasional bottle. The tough part is my 2 year old having a tough time adjusting to the new addition. I've survived about 18 temper tantrums today, the last one over an hour long. He's finally asleep, and I can finally crack a beer and do a good old blog update.

I saw a post on a forum today about micro buggers and I realized that I used to use them all the time, and then just kinda stopped for some reason. I whipped up a few tonight. These are size 14, and besides the head of the fly, the body is palmered ostrich herl. I like to fish these in the late spring and early summer because they just seem to work better. I feel that the winter time is tough fishing small streamers because if trout are gonna waste the energy to chase some food, the bigger the better. They usually ignore these once the air temp hits 40.

Hopefully I'll get some fishing time in this week. I might try to get the older boy out of the house tomorrow to burn some Christmas gift cards at Cabelas.

Speaking of Christmas, it all seems like a blur. It came and went with a vengeance. Little did we know that in 24 hours, we'd be parents again. We hit the in-laws on Christmas eve, then they came over in the morning after Michael ripped apart his presents. We then hit my dads, and then my moms. I did not sit down to relax until 9pm. What a day! Michael got super-spoiled this year but I think his favorite thing was his bike.

He also got about 5 Lego sets, some mega-blocks, Kinex building sets, stuffed animals, books, puzzles, DVDs, a Leapfrog laptop, clothes, Calliou/Muppets/Sesame Street/Yo Gabba/Thomas stuff, etc etc etc. The house was totally destroyed, but it was worth it.

And finally, here's an onslaught of artsy-fartsy baby pics, just because I'm a lame mushy dad.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Today, we welcome a new fisherman

Ethan Jack was born at 1:43pm. 8 lbs 13 oz. Mom and baby are good. No fishing for me for a while.

Water broke!

About to be a dad again!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Well, I just got done putting this together for Michael. I can't wait to see his face on Sunday morning.

I also got the wife a new present today. Brand spankin' new Town and Country Touring Limited Edition. Bucket leather seats (heated), 3 total LCD screens including the front nav screen, two DVD players, 30 GB hard drive, two sets of bluetooth headphones, automatic everything from high beams to wipers.

Of course, the first DVD I put in was "Eastern Rises".

I'm off to drink more beer and wrap more presents. Merry Christmas.

So, it's the holiday season

I have 4 days off work, well that is, unless my wife gives birth and then I'll be off 3 weeks. She's 3 cm dilated and 58% affaced (whatever the hell that means) so she'll most likely be going any day now. Between that and all the other things going on with work and holiday gatherings, I haven't had time to post much, although I have been able to fit in a few quick fishing trips.

Here's a quick recap of the past couple of weeks with as few words as possible.

Slaying trout last weekend on a new midge pattern I came up with called the Rubber Rat on the Little Lehigh with a couple guys from the EPFR forum

Still running in to trout late night on the stream behind my house

I got my winning package from The Fiberglass Manifesto. I look like a dumbass in a buff.

Is anyone else on Instagram? If you have an iPhone, you should jump on it! Take amazing photography, add a watered down version of Facebook, and a dash of Twitter mentions and hashtags, you have a pretty amazing app. Some great fishing photography. Here's a link to my profile. Feel free to link up with me. I've uploaded a few nice pics in the last week or so.

I'm lobbying to make Bell's Two Hearted Ale it's own food group

The best Youtube video of the year, hands down (I'M MAKING PANCAAAYKES!)

We lost another dictator. Boohoo.

That's about it. Happy Holidays to you and yours. Time to start drinking.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Latest issue of Kype Magazine

I've been MIA due to I.T. releases, holiday parties, an entire family with a cold, etc etc etc. More later but for now, check out the newest issue of Kype.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It is December, right? Also, I actually won something.

I didn't get to fish Saturday because my son was very sick, so Cabin fever was at an all time high. Sunday was spent taking care of my wife's Honey-do list, which consisted of shampooing carpets, various shopping destinations, and finding a Christmas tree. A little before dark, I finally had a small window of fishing opportunity. With holiday consumerism causing gridlock traffic, I knew I wouldn't be able to get to a good trout stream before dark. My only hope was to hit the local stream, and look for some carp, or a few leftover stockies from two months ago before the sun went down.

It was cold enough to see your breath outside, a far cry from what it was a few days earlier, when I was catching pickerel in shorts and sandals. As I got to the stream, I saw some movement in a back eddy. Rings were sporadically forming in front of a downed tree in some slack water.

Upon closer inspection, it was a school of bluegills, cautiously sipping very slowly on some size 20 black midges that were bouncing on the surface. They were moving at half speed, almost as if I was watching a video in slow motion. This surprised me because the creek has ice forming on the edges earlier in the morning when I drove over it with the family. Usually by this time of year these fish are hunkered down, and will refuse to move.

I still had on the white woolly bugger from the other night so I decided to throw it about 10 yards behind them and slowly strip my way up from behind them. As I got to the tail of the pod, they all started to spook, one by one, until I finally realized I was stripping too fast and brought my fly to almost a standstill. By this time, there were only two left, and one of them went for it. I stopped dead in front of him as he started to pursue. He circled it about 4 times, and then slowly inhaled it.

I think I can safely say that this is the first sunfish I've ever caught in the month of December. I'm still a little suprised over it. As soon as I released him, I saw some baitfish busting all over the surface in the shallows of the main stream. I ran out onto the bridge to see a group of juvenile bass pinning some shiners up against the bank, and gorging themselves. This again surprised me and from experience, these "mini-blitzes" only ever lasted about 20 seconds. I quickly stripped as much line out as I could and made one quick double haul to the middle of the commotion. Of course it's just my luck that the smallest of the bunch took the bugger.

I admired the fish for a second, and felt bad for him because he had a sore on his face. He swam away just fine though. The sun started to set and the fishing slowed down so I packed up and headed on home to decorate the tree. Didn't turn out too bad.

The weather was quite a different story 24 hours later. The cold spell went away as quickly as it arrived, and it was 60 degrees at 10pm on Monday night. I couldn't help it. I grabbed my gear and ran back to the same hole, crossing my fingers that Lucky the dog wouldn't show up again. This time, I could see quite a few fish, and they were more willing to come out of the shadows.
Believe it or not, the same white bugger yielded this poorly photographed stocked rainbow on my first cast, although I did get a nice pic of him being released.

Unfortunately, the beast didn't show his face, but his younger brothers did. I lost one that was a few lbs after trying to get him to take a fly for about 15 minutes. He finally settled on a san juan worm, but broke me off. Damn carp.

I figured maybe going back to trout might be more fun, so a tandem rig with an egg and a Mono-worm were drifted down along a pitch black run, about 30 yards down from the street lights. After my third cast I was about to call it a night when my rod got hit by a freight train. It was a fun fight, especially since I had no idea what it was at first, but after the 3 aerial moves, I knew it was a rainbow. This fish was ugly, fat, and a nice chunky 16+ inches.

Two quick trips, 3 different species, in PA, in December. That's almost unheard of on a fly rod around here unless you're talking brook, brown, and bow. I'll take it.

Before I go, I'd like to say a big THANK YOU! to Cameron over at The Fiberglass Manifesto for randomly selecting me as one of the winners in his 12 days of Christmas giveaway(which shocked me because I never win anything). I picked up the Buff/Bugslinger package and it came just in time. I could really use a new hat. If you've never read that blog (although judging by the 500+ entries he's been getting every day, most of you have..or maybe people just love free stuff), I highly suggest checking it out. Thanks Cameron!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Saturday

I'm going fishing.

Fright night ramblings - beer and fly boxes

It's Friday night. I've had a long week. I've been unwinding with my hoppy friends. This post is brought to you by the following beers. The Big Eye is by far my favorite. Not quite as good as their Sculpin, but pretty damn close.

I realized this week that I have too many fly boxes. I'm up to a total of 10! I have Umpqua, Morell, Redington, Orvis, Plano, Cortland, and I still felt like I had to pick up a new one this week.

I got the C&F Designs CF1506. It's a small swing-leaf midge box that holds up to 564 flies. It's designed for sizes 16 and smaller. Typically, I would never spend $40-50 on a fly box, but I got a hookup at a certain outfitter and I managed to pick it up for $20. Not a bad deal. I actually picked one up for a Christmas present and I liked it so much I went back and got one for myself.

I bought this box because I think it can allow me to cut down to two boxes for winter fly fishing, especially since the streams I fish rarely require flies bigger than a 16. For trout in the cold weather, I typically carry a nymph box, a junk flies box (eggs and worms),a midge box, a streamer box, and a box for dries and terrestrials. (Other boxes are for steelhead/salmon, bass, carp, panfish, and saltwater). Well, I'm hoping this fly box will allow me to cover midges, nymphs, junk, and dries, which will just leave me with a big box of streamers. I'll start posting pictures as I fill it up over the next week.

I christened it tonight with some Infamous Pink Worms I've been constantly reading about. It seems like about 90% of the pictures of fish I've seen online in the past two weeks have this big worm puncturing their jaw, so I finally broke down and decided to whip up half a dozen. I'm gonna try them out tomorrow to see how well they do vs. a regular old San Juan. One thing's for sure, they are much bigger.

Also, I had my Steelhead and Salmon flies in a big Plano box, which I think is more well suited for streamers. Since my nymphs are gonna head into the new C&F, the Steelhead flies are getting a new home in the Orvis Posi-Grip.

No, Rainbow Bright did not throw up in my fly box, but it sure looks like it.

So, I'm curious to see what everyone else has to say. How many flies boxes do you own? How many do you typically carry? What type? I'm open to suggestions because this tying addiction isn't making fly organization any easier.