February 28, 2015

The St. Johns River Alliance Highlights Shad Alley

Here's a nice video put together by the St. Johns River Alliance about "Shad Alley," the area of Florida I fished earlier this month. It's such a neat spot, the video does a good job showing off the diversity of the St. Johns River.

Plus, it's less than 3 minutes long and well worth the watch.

h/t Capt. Rich Santos

February 26, 2015

Is The Goo The Poo? So Many UV Resins To Choose From

I really don't care for fly tying. I don't do a ton of it, but there are a handful of patterns that I've become pretty competent at lashing together, and have become the core of my fly box. Tying really is somewhat of a necessary evil...sure I could buy flies, but I've accumulated so many hooks, hackles, beads, and thread over the past few years, it'd be a shame to have them go to waste.

One commodity I haven't acquired to date, but am kinda intrigued by is UV resin...you know, the epoxy-like stuff that gets hard really fast (without help from special pills) when you shine a special flashlight on it. I'd like to get my hands on some, especially since I'm starting to tinker with saltwater flies, but I'm not sure where to sink my $20 or $30 (before UV flashlight, of course).

saltwater fishing fly streamer clouser minnow
I know, I know...baby steps...

I guess the market leader is Clear Cure Goo (CCG)... It seems to be the brand that most people would recognize when it comes to this stuff...as well as the one most commonly referenced by the fly tyers I follow on social media. It comes in a lot of different flavors, and with all the "love" out there, I guess it can't be a bad product. Or maybe they just have a lot of tyers on their Pro Staff.

Then sort of in the last year I've read some folks really raving about Deer Creek Diamond UV resins, which are pretty much the same thing (I guess?), except they've always been "tack free." (Evidently the original recipes of CCG dried tacky and needed a topcoat). I don't know a ton about Deer Creek Diamond other than I think it comes from the UK, so perhaps that's why it's not as common as CCG.

Deer Creek Diamond UV Fly Tying Resin

I also understand there are a slew of other choices...Loon, Solarez, Jif, etc...so I was wondering what you all might be using and if there's a reason why?

Any recommendations or feedback is welcomed in the comments below...

POSTSCRIPT:  Cheech over at Fly Fish Food just posted an entry about UV Resins today as well. Coincidence? (Probably, I'm not vain enough to think it's some sort of retort to my post). I'll add the link to go read his post HERE as the commentary over there will probably contribute to this conversation too.

February 17, 2015

Tenkara Tuesday - Driftless Tenkara

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

There's a really great article in the most recent edtion of the Kype Magazine e-zine on tenkara fishing the Driftless region of Wisconsin (and Iowa & Minnesota) by Mike Lutes of Badger Tenkara.

Driftless Tenkara Kype Magazine Mike Lutes

The article isn't the typical tenkara piece that you've probably already read in countless publications over the past few years...you know...Japanese tradition...kebari...simplcity...all that stuff. Rather it's a breakdown of the area, its trout, and some of the modified tenkara tactics the author has employed to find success on the endless streams one might fish.

It's a good reminder that if you're new to tenkara, it doesn't have to be all about reverse hackle flies and level line. In fact you can go a totally different path and still reap many of the rewards a tenkara rod can provide over "traditional" tackle.

You can read the entire article in the window below...

...or by clicking HERE.

February 16, 2015

Warmwater Fly Fishing Is Warming Up

Hadn't checked the neighborhood ponds in about a month, so I snuck out for an hour or so on Sunday. Happy to report the fish seem to be waking up from their winter slumber.

Saw quite a few large bass cruising the shallows and tons of active panfish. Was fortunate to bring about a dozen to hand as I quickly circled the pond's perimeter.

Florida Retention Pond Bluegill Fly Fishing

The bigger ones appear to be on the move too. I had a really nice sized largemouth come up to smash a fly on the fall...but it got me hung up in the dense weeds lining the bank. I had to break it off, I was using a tenkara rod and I didn't want to horse the fish out of the thick tangle of vegetation.

Here's a pic of a little one though...you know...just zoom in to get a similar effect.
Sight fishing these dinks was actually a blast, each racing up to slam the fly as soon as it hit the water.

Tenkara Fly Fishing Kebari Bass

I think now that the temperatures are on the rise, it's time to venture outside the neighborhood ponds and try to find some legit largemouth action.

February 15, 2015

Tenkara Rod Co. / Backcountry.com Goat Tenkara Kit


Tenkara Rod Co Backcountry Goat Rod Cap

Appears the guys over at the Tenkara Rod Co. have partnered with Backcountry.com on a special make up (SMU) tenkara rod kit called the Goat. Maybe this isn't a new revelation, as I don't frequent Backcountry.com all that often, I just happened to see it there last night and I don't recall hearing about it before.

Tenkara Rod Co Backcountry Goat Rod Package

I guess it's sort of like prior iterations of co-branding, similar to the Backpacking Light / Tenkara USA Hane from a few years back, or even more recently the re-badging of the TFO tenkara rods as Patagonia "Simple Fly Fishing."

Really don't know much about the Goat rod other than the fact that it's 12 feet long. Not sure if it's a Sawtooth with a different coat of paint, or if it's something totally new. The description provided is as minimal at tenkara itself.

Just found it sort of interesting, as Backcountry.com has carried Tenkara USA products in the past, as well as the Patagonia / TFO rods. Would be curious to see if now that they have their own Goat rod, if those other brands get the nudge out the door...or if this move is simply to address an opening price point omission. At $159.95, the Goat is far more price friendly than their offerings from other brands at well north of $200.

Here are a few more pics, lifted from the Backcountry.com website that show off the paint job better, including the integration of Backcountry.com's ubiquitous Goat logo...

Tenkara Rod Co Backcountry Goat Rod Branding
Tenkara Rod Co Backcountry Goat Rod Extended

February 14, 2015

Fishing Haturday - TN FLY CO

I'm not from Tennessee. I've never fished in Tennessee. I think I've been in the state a grand total of 2 times...once to Nashville and another time to Tullahoma (don't ask, although it's a pretty random story).

Regardless, today's Fishing Haturday featured hat is...

TN FLY CO Tri-Fly Logo Hat
Don't worry Brian Schiele, I'll have a "regular" cap for you next time...

There's just something about the Tri-Fly logo...which I suppose emulates the 3 stars in the Tennessee state flag...that I really dig. Even take the whole Tennessee factor out of this, I just think it looks cool...almost subtle patriotic or something...

It's available in many colors, shapes, and styles HERE, starting at $25.

February 12, 2015

Proposed Changes to Pennsylvania's Delayed Harvest (DHALO) Regulations

I'm headed back up to Pennsylvania toward the end of March. I'm going to try to get some trout fishing in, even though many streams are "closed" for the month for stocking. (I fish some wild trout streams that are not impacted by the closure). Pennsylvania has some confusing rules when it comes to trout waters, including two different "Opening Days," so it's always good to check the latest regulations before getting a line wet at this time of year...

Bill Murray Caddyshack Trout Fishing Meme

Anyway, as I was doing this, I stumbled upon several people voicing  their displeasure about some potential changes to the PA Fish & Boat Commission's Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations for 2016. 

Currently, you can fish DHALO waters year-round with flies or artificial lures, with a window of time in the summer that allows you to harvest fish. Otherwise, the water is catch & release only, and as the name indicates, no bait is permitted. The long and short of the changes is would:
  • Extend the delayed harvest period by three weeks (earlier)
  • Reduce the size requirement to harvest from 9" to 7"
  • Allow use of bait during the period, with children under 16 being allowed to use bait year round
The best recap of this whole situation can be found on paflyfish.com.

Stocked Brown Trout Caught On Woolly Bugger

As you might imagine, there could be a lot of people who probably will not like this change. Especially fly fishers that don't want mouth breathing bait fishers stealing all of the fish from the stream early, ruining the potential for extended season of trout fishing. (I joke of course, I have nothing against fishing with bait). 

Personally, I don't know how I feel. I think I can see the issue from both sides, even the PFBC's who clearly want to open up more fishing opportunities to its paying customers licensed anglers, especially kids. The waters I fish are largely unaffected by the proposed change, so I'm trying to put my feet in the waders of both parties. 

I suppose unless there is some sort of gigantic last minute grassroots campaign (and I'm not advocating one), these changes will be passed mid-this year.

Whatever happens, let's hope if it doesn't work out as expected for all involved, that the PFBC is willing to reverse course for future seasons, restoring what I've always thought were a successful (& generally well received) set of regulations.

Do you fish for trout in Pennsylvania?  
If so, what are your thoughts on the proposed changes?