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.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gear Review - Risen Fly ITB 9 ft 5 weight Rod

I've been on good terms with the Risen Fly crew for a while now. I've been using their Ichthus reel nonstop for over a year now and I've fallen in love with it. You absolutely can't beat it for the price, and their fly line is great as well.

When I was offered the chance to test out a prototype of their new ITB rod line, I jumped on the opportunity. When it arrived, I was quite impressed. Nice real seat, sweet cork, solid guides, and I loved the dark rust color. It even came with a printed rod sleeve, and an embroidered tube.

I loved the fact that it was a 4 piece rod which is great for someone who always keeps a stick in their car because you never know when you'll find some new water, or a spare 20 minutes to wet a line. Here are the specs from the Risen website.

  • High module graphite blank in a bold burnt orange color and brown/orange wrappings 
  •  Mid flex, fast action 
  •  4 sections with the length and weight of rod marked on the end of each section to avoid confusion and alignment dots 
  •  High quality 2 toned cork Steel snakes and guides with hook keeper Machined reel seat with wooden insert 
  •  Triangle rod tube to prevent the rod from rolling around 
  •  4 section rod sock 
  •  Backed by Risen Fly's lifetime warranty!
My initial run with this rod was the night I received it. I wound up battling a 10 lb carp for a long time and the rod held up like a champion. It had a solid backbone and allowed me to guide that beast into the net. Truth be told, I REALLY tried to put this thing to work on this fish. I had an extreme bend in this rod and it stood it's ground with no problems.

I've fished it probably 15-20 times since then, and I do really enjoy it. The solid backbone on this rod and fast action really allows you to get your nymphs out with accuracy, and you can whip big streamers with ease. You can feel takes fairly easy as well.

One thing though is that I think this rod felt more like a 5/6 or a solid 6 weight than a 5. Maybe it's just that I'm used to fishing 3 weights and glass now. I dunno. It felt a bit overpowered for throwing size 20 dry flies, which is my favorite thing to do. This is the only reason I wouldn't make this my all purpose rod. I did have quite a few days of landing fish on the surface with it during midge hatches though.

Besides that, I'd highly recommend it. If nymphing and chucking meat is your deal, this is the perfect all around rod that won't break the bank. These rods will be released in April and will retail for $140. There are a few returned from other testers that are available now on his site for only $98! That, my friends, is a steal.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Not a bad Saturday

I had two options today. Drive over an hour south and fish a clear stream for rising fish and deal with a ton of people or drive half an hour and fish a stream that might be running a little high but would still have a lot of people. I opted for the latter, and once again I found myself at the Little Lehigh in ripping water conditions.

I sat up Friday night whipping up some Hi-Vis BWO Parachutes that I unfortunately didn't get to use.

I opted for a bugger and picked up a small brown. Then nothing. For a long time. It sucked. Frustration sank in. Then another fisherman told me to try a caddis larva.


We finally found a winner. Picked up a few ugly stocked rainbows before heading off for a quick bite to eat.

I was informed that the PAFLYFISH Newbie Jam was starting at 2pm on the stream so I wound up heading back to the stream and chatting with some familiar faces. Picked up another fish on a tungsten nymph and watched my good buddy Becker slay fish with his fancy snagging competition nymphing tactics. It was great to see him getting his son on some fish.

After that, it was home to install chair rail. Managed to land 4 fish, have a few beers, and get the whole foyer and hallway done by dark. WIN.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Brony

6.5 inches of tooth critter goodness. Yak hair, EP fibers, Marabou, CDL feathers, rubber legs, flash, laser dub, and big ass hooks.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring is right around the corner

I can't wait to toss this bad boy in a few months.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Event: TIE ONE ON 2 - 3/8/14

It's been a long winter. You need to get out of the house. If you're not busy on March 8th, feel free to stop by. I'll be drinking beer, tying, and doing demos on a few different patterns.

"The second annual Tie One On event is upon us! Come hang out while some of the great fly tyers share their secrets... bring your own vise to follow along or just to tie with some like minded people. We will be giving away some amazing door prizes and have cool merch, great food and of course beer available for sale! This is a FREE event!!! So come on out and Tie One On with us! 

All ages welcome, and please invite anyone you know who is into or looking to get into the fly fishing scene!"

You can visit the Cro Flies FB Event page for more information.
The Deer Lake Pub is located at 1596 Centre Turnpike, Orwigsburg PA, just north of Cabelas in Hamburg PA.

You can also visit the CroFlies blog for even more info and tons of other great reads. Hope to see you there. If you would go, what patterns would you like to see tied?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Battling Chrome and Cold - The Salmon River Recap

Life has been pretty hectic so far this year. Endless work hours, time with the wife and kids, constant traffic jams, and more snow that I remember having in PA in a long time. We've tried to head to the Salmon River in NY three times since October and for one reason or another, the trips always got cancelled.

Things finally fell into place this past weekend. We were able to take off work, it looked like our wives and kids wouldn't get hit with a snowstorm while we were away,  the weather up there was cold but looking mostly dry, so we made the journey. Along for the ride was my brother in law, Nick, and our good fishing buddy, Bob from Just Another Fishing Blog. We headed up Thursday night. My step dad, Jack, and his neighbor Ken were planning on heading up Friday morning to meet us.

We arrived a little after 11pm and it was in the single digits. I forgot how damn cold it was up there. We met up with Nick's family in Mexico where we'd be staying, and started cracking beers. And more beers. And more beers. I'm not sure what time we got out the door on Friday morning, but it wasn't very early.

We met up with Jack and Ken in the parking lot in Altmar and got to fishing. Bob lost one right off the bat, then Nick moved in and brushed off the multi-year steelhead skunk with a little baby.

As for me? Well....I started early...and pretty much continued all weekend.

Fish for half an hour, drink a beer. Fish for half an hour, drink a beer. I was feeling pretty good around 4pm and not really caring that I didn't get into any fish and then I started to feel even better when I felt the switch rod bend.

I too brushed off my steelhead skunk with a nice slab of a fish and holy shit, it felt good.

He took a blue estaz stonefly nymph. I hooked another immediately after him but broke him off. John Ryan, Nick's cousin, centerpinned all day and nailed a ton of fish. Damn beads. Jack, Bob, and Ken walked away empty handed.

We headed back to the tackle shop, hung up the waders, and pounded a ton of beer.

I think we were up fairly early Saturday morning, but I honestly don't remember already. I know we met up with Jack and Ken at McD's for breakfast, and then hit the water.

We fished hard in the morning. I opted to stay in the lower fly zone while the majority of the crew trekked downstream. Beers started happening around noon and  I wound up sitting with John Ryan and his dad in the Altmar hotel getting lunch since the rest of the crew were down somewhere between the schoolhouse and Ellis cove. As we were leaving, they were walking up. Nick told me that Jack got a fish, and from the look on his face, I could tell it was a nice one.

I owe a lot to Jack. Besides being an amazing step dad, he also gave me my first fly rod 5 years ago, and the rest is history.  He even gave me my first vise. He's came along with me 4 or 5 times up to NY, but has always walked away empty handed. He's an amazing fisherman but just couldn't shake the steelhead or salmon skunk. I don't think I've ever seen him so happy  as when he was telling me about his fish. From the sound of it, it was one to remember. Unfortunately none of us were with him when it happened, and he cared more about getting the fish back in the water than a hero shot, so there were no pictures. I've been kicking myself in the ass for not fishing near him when he landed it. Hopefully there will be more.

After lunch it was back to fishing. About half an hour in the water and I felt a slight pop, and then my boot FILLED with icy cold H20. Yep, bye bye waders. My leg was soaked.

I pretty much gave up on fishing for the rest of the day and headed to the car, where sweet, sweet IPA awaited me. About an hour later when I could officially not feel my foot, I went to get Nick to head back to the house. As I cross the bridge and look down, he's into a MONSTER, and his uncle and cousin were hooking them left and right as well. Bastards.

And so ended day 2 of fishing with Bob and I walking away empty handed.

But the day was only half over. Jack and Ken came over to the house for dinner. A ton of wings, pizza, and beer was consumed, following by dick jokes, really bad IPA farts, Suicide Girls Instagram comparison, and a fly tying marathon.

We whipped out some bugs, and got completely trashed. Zero f*cks were given. And we realized that with his Buff on, Bob is definitely an understudy for Reno 911.

We went to bed at varying times between 1 and 3:30am (of course I'm the last one up and listening to snore-a-thon) with the alarm set for 6am, knowing sure as shit we weren't gonna be up then.

9am rolls around and we get out to the river by about 10:30. Jack opted to head home early with Ken because a storm was rolling through NY and PA. We decided to fish anyway. We fished hard until about 1:30. I was hooking up nonstop with some fish. Here's a nice male I brought up that unfortunately took a hook in the fin. John Ryan got a few as well

We then packed up and headed home, only to drive through the entire freaking snowstorm. The typical 3.75 hour drive turned into 6 hours. Roads sucked. Snow sucked. It was awful.

All in all, it was an awesome weekend. Memories were made, as were flies and hangovers. Nick and I broke the skunk. Jack got his first one ever. And Bob...well you can read his version of the trip here. At least he was the only one that got a fish last year.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a better group of dudes to fish with.  Thanks so much to the Lutz family for putting up with our smelly asses for 3 nights. I look forward to the next trip.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

T shirts anyone?

In the past few weeks, I've had a handful of people say they like the logo and asked if I'd ever have shirts for sale. If I'm gonna do them, I want to do them right. I'd get a quality tee with the full 3 color design. If I have enough people interested to keep the cost low enough, I'll place an order. So, anyone want to rock a DTT tee? Drop a comment below and let me know the size if you're interested.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

F*ck January

Seriously, eff this stupid damn month. I think this will be the first month in the last 3 years I haven't caught a fish? Why, well...we had the holidays, which I usually post about but was too busy this year. Then, since I work in the weight loss industry, it's our busy season with "New Years Resolutions" so I pretty much haven't had a day off in the past two weeks. If I could have found time to fish, it wouldn't have mattered because it's been -234234324 degrees F around here and everything is colder than a witch's tit and frozen solid. I'm ready for caddis hatches and fishing in sweatshirts..Hell, I'll take a 20 degree weather steelhead trip in 2 feet of snow right now. Anything...

At least when I do get to fish again, I have a new stick to test out. Merry Christmas to me.

Also, to everyone who won contests and ordered stickers that I need to mail stuff to: Sorry dudes. I'm getting there. Been swamped. Soon. I promise.

Oh and by the way...I'm really sick. So that sucks too.
Now, have some 1993 Brooklyn Gabber to rage out and twist some bugs to.....