Tuesday, June 16, 2020

I'm a proud Pappa!

I haven't posted anything about my kids in years. If you read back through older posts, you'll see Michael when he was a toddler, and Ethan on the day he was born. Well, my kids are 11 and 8 now, and Michael just graduated Elementary School! Congrats Michael. I am so proud of you and I hope you go on to do great things!

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Cicada Sunday

I actually made plans to go fishing today. It felt good. I saw a few cicadas recently and decided to whip up a few bugs in hopes of finding some bass. After a morning of strawberry picking with the wife and kids, I hit the road in search of some nature and a few hours of forgetting about all the insanity in the world. 

Jack hasn’t really left his house since March except for a handful of times. He’s high risk for Covid and has to be careful due to his age. I was surprised he agreed to go with me and I was glad to have a fishing buddy for the day. We masked up and kept the windows down for the half a mile drive from his house to the spot. We then geared up, cracked a few beers, and hiked off to find some fish. 

I won’t share the spot because it’s special to me. It’s one of the places where I learned to fish. The gorgeous bass with the extra black markings on their sides are still there, the offspring of the beasts I caught and released as a kid. The spot is well preserved, and the only trace of another human was a small group we saw on horseback across the field. 

The cicada patterns worked. We brought some fish to hand, but nothing to brag about. It was just good to not feel like we were in the middle of a pandemic for a few hours. Happy Sunday. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Times have changed

I saw a post on a fly fishing blogger group on Facebook today about a resurgence in blogging since Covid has impacted us. I then realized it's been about 2.5 years since my last blog post so I figured why not throw something up.

Time has definitely passed since I was dedicated to fishing nonstop and keeping this blog updated. Kids are now 8 and 11 (and today is the LAST day of Home Schooling!), my house has had a lot of upgrades done to it, I've gotten a promotion or two, and the world is currently in the biggest state of unrest I've seen in the 44 years of my life.

My fishing trips have, by default, been pushed to the side to make way for birthday parties, soccer games, and basketball practice. I do still get out fishing and I still tie flies. But with all the unrest, I don't think this platform needs more hero shots holding big brown trout. But then again, who am I kidding? the biggest thing I've caught this year was a 12 inch stocked trout.

What I will post here is this. If you're not a member of the POC community, they need your help. Start to think about what you can do to help. Can you march? Can you donate? Are you in the position to help create and change laws? Help is needed desperately. You can donate to the ACLU by clicking here.

Enough taking up internet space. Donate. Support your POC friends. Social Distance. Stay safe. Love each other.
The Black Lives Matter movement explained | World Economic Forum

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

View from the bench...

The local stream is getting a fall stocking tomorrow. Time to get busy. Nuff' said.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Forgotten Trip

I kinda dig the memories feature in Facebook. Once in a great while, I'll come across something I posted that jogs some fun memories.

This picture of Nick was taken on a particularly chilly morning, 8 years ago on the Lehigh River. In hindsight, the hike out to that island in the fog was probably not the safest thing to accomplish.

I still remember that day vividly. Fishing was slow for us. Nick caught a Smallmouth. I caught a single Rainbow. But then there was Jack. He stuck with the same damn black bugger all day even after no hits for the first few hours and then smashed some beastly browns. Persistence sometimes pays off. Any time we want to blame it on the conditions, lack of insects etc, he always puts that to rest. Damn it Jack. :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Where has the time gone?

Time flies. I recently just unpacked all my fly tying items again and realized it's been well over a year since my last blog post. To be honest, I have not been fishing much. 100 fish weeks have turned into 3-4 fish months. I haven't caught a trout since April. 

My children are growing up. Michael is now 7 and in second grade, and Ethan is 4 and in Pre-K. Children require time. I found myself starting to attend children's birthday parties, karate practice, school functions, and started leaning towards other hobbies that they were more interested in such as Star Wars collecting, and more recently, Pokemon Go. We've also traveled all over, everywhere from Florida to Bermuda, to Jamaica, to Maine, to Vegas, and to California. I did catch my first Bonefish on a fly, hooked into an Alligator while fly fishing poppers at Disneyworld, and got chased by 3 sharks in the salt flats of Abaco Island. All these are still tucked into my memory and will hopefully serve as future blog posts.

Fast Forward a few years later, my basement can't handle any more Star Wars items, we've caught just about all the Pokemon, and I sat down at the vise last night for the first time in ages. I realize how bad I am at tying dry flies now. But once I did finish a close to perfect size 18 parachute olive, I'm ready to use it. It's game time. Rods are being restrung this week, and I'm ready to get back into action.

I started revisiting all the old blogs I used to read. Some are defunct. Some are thriving with new fancy HTML 5 templates. Some haven't changed much and just keep spitting out great content. (Mike- stay gold, Pony Boy). There's also a slew of new tools, and tying materials available from all these companies. Looks like I got some spending to do, and some fish to catch.

I'm older, fatter, slower, grayer, and a bit more blind that I used to be, but age be damned, I'm back in the game.

See you on the water, possibly with my Stormtrooper buddies.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Runoff, risers, and FAT BROWNS

My fishing time has been limited but I found some trout rising to olives and midges in a slack section of some high runoff. The big one surprised the hell outta me! Easily over 20 inches on a size 22 fly with 8x! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book Review - My Life in Fishing by Stu Apte

So, I obviously haven't been fishing much since this blog has been a ghost town. Work has been busy and the kids are getting big fast, not to mention the awful cold weather. I'm actually heading out today for a few hours since I haven't caught a fish since November and I always find that Superbowl Sunday is the best day of the year to fish since no one is on the water.

I was approached by Stonefly Press to do a review of "My Life in Fishing" by Stu Apte a few months back, and I finally had time to read through it and I must say, what a great wintertime book! As usual, Stonefly delivers.

This is not a "go here, use this, and catch fish" book. It's not a book of whimsical fishing tales written by an old dude in Colorado. This is straight up fly fishing history. I've heard of Stu's name but never knew much about him and after reading this, I'm jealous.

He's targeted salmon in Europe, Bass in gater-infested Florida swamps, and everything saltwater related from Cobia to Permit to massive Poons.

He's fished with everyone from Lefty to Stormin' Norman and has had the distinct honor of standing on the deck of Hemingway's boat!

The photography is amazing and this book will definitely make you want to go fishing.

You can purchase it directly from Stonefly Press and I highly suggest it. Great addition to any fishing book library. Here's the official blurb below.

"In My Life in Fishing, as only the most accomplished captain and guide can, Stu Apte shares his tips and insights gleaned from his lifelong pursuit for any and every species. These are his favorite personal stories, about world records, and winds, and tides, and patterns, and flies, but also about the remarkable people who have fished their way through his life. There are stories and glimpses that you won’t find in other history books – an amusing episode with Harry and Bess Truman on board Stu’s skiff, an impromptu side-of-the-road meeting with baseball hall-of-famer Ted Williams that led to a forty-year friendship, and an afternoon of drinking Cuban mojitos aboard Pilar with Earnest Hemingway that includes Hemingway’s own mojito recipe. My Life in Fishing is more than a collection of engaging stories and fly fishing pointers; it is a glimpse of the development and evolution of the sport, and of saltwater fly fishing at its highest level, through the eyes and anecdotes of the only man who can tell the stories."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some picky trout to chase.

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.