March 30, 2009

Countdown to Opening Day

Opening Day of trout season is this Saturday, so the countdown is on. Already gathered all of my weapons of mass destruction (spinners) and just need to reload my reel with fresh line.

Will likely head down to Darby Creek as I have the past few years (even though I don't think any of the D-Squad will be there). Thinking I will swing by the Skippack Creek on the way home in the afternoon as well.

Gotta get it in on Saturday. Sunday is K.C.'s birthday and I don't want to be placed on super-secret double probation.

As it stands, this is the weather forecast for this Saturday. Mmmm....toasty. We'll watch this for the next few, I'm sure that "DB" Hurricane Schwartz is predicting a blizzard.

Saturday, Apr 4
High: 64 °F RealFeel®: 60 °F
Partly sunny and breezy





(Thanks Accuweather.com!)

March 28, 2009

No Job? Gone Fishing...

I've been reading in several places that with unemployment rates creeping towards 10% and the economy in shambles, many people have been staying close to and investing in the homefront rather than going on vacation or making big purchases. A byproduct appears to be an increase in recreational activities. Inexpensive activities rooted in the outdoors seem to be especially popular. This trend is shown trickling over to fishing in the following article.

Bait Shop Reels In Unemployed
By Marcus Schneck, for the Patriot News
March 21st, 2009

Rising unemployment is boosting sales of fishing bait, from minnows to nightcrawlers, according to Ed Donbach, co-owner of Harrisburg-based Ron's Wholesale Bait, which also sells retail direct to anglers.

With the retail end of the business up about 20 percent over the same point in 2008, he explained, "A lot of guys are telling us, 'I'm laid off, so I'm going fishing.'

"It's only $32.40 for a fishing license and a trout stamp, and you can fish all year," Donbach said, making fishing a bargain when compared to other activities, such as golf with one-time greens fees beginning around $30.

To continue reading this article, please visit PennLive.com:
http://www.pennlive.com/outdoors/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/1237602306307260.xml&coll=1

March 22, 2009

Blue Trout

Just posting a pic. My trout club (the Stony Creek Anglers) has a blue trout at the nursery.

They're pretty rare genetic mutation of a rainbow trout that gets it's color from a thyroid abnormality. Blue trout are infertile, so you can't intentionally breed them, it's luck of the draw.

Unfortunately, no word on any unicorns or chupacabra sightings (yet)...

Villanova 89, UCLA 69

Was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon with K.C. at the Villanova/UCLA NCAA tournament game in Philadelphia. One of my vendors from work is a sponsor of the NCAA (please buy their product here) and provided some tickets so they were primo seats. 10th row, center court. I could have pegged Jay Bilas upside the head with soda cup we were that close (Don't worry Dick Enberg & UCLA Dance Team, you'd both ok in my book and would be safe from the crossfire).

I'm not a huge Villanova fan, but since they are Philly (ok, the Main Line)...well it just becomes an "us vs. them" thing. As you can tell by the final score, 'Nova blew the doors off the Bruins - the game was never really close after the first 5 or so minutes. I have to admit that the Wildcats do really look good, it was the first time I'd seen them in person this year and their intensity on defense was extremely high from tip to buzzer. Looking forward to the next game vs. Satan's favorite team, Dook.

Here's a few really bad pictures I snapped on my Blackberry of warmups, the cheerleaders, and the opening tip-off.

Hooked: Philly's Urban Anglers

In a very odd coincidence, I was aimlessly flipping through the TV channels tonight while K.C. was updating all of her SUPERCRAZY SALE stuff on the computer, and caught the tail end of a documentary on urban angling in Philly. With my post earlier in the week on Brownlining, that's a little odd. It was well done, and I need to watch the re-airing tomorrow to see the rest of it. Perhaps the Schuylkill is calling my name?

These guys have a website/blog of their own, which can be found here:
http://www.hookedinphilly.com

Here's a trailer for the documentary:

March 21, 2009

DISNEY!

I have finally recovered from last week's trip to Florida to the point where I think my thoughts are composed enough to write something about it. I mean this blog is supposed to be about fishing and Lilly...and the trip was definitely all about Lilly.

We started the week in Boca Raton at Mom Mom & G-Daddy's house. Was really nothing out of the ordinary - went to the beach, swam in the pool, fished in the canal, played in the park, did a little shopping, etc... Lilly got yet another birthday cake (& presents) and I'm starting to wonder if she's going to expect a month-long birthday celebration every year. It was nice and relaxing, and the weather was beautiful. They did get a new puppy a couple of months ago - and Lilly had a blast playing with Bil.



From there we packed up into two cars and drove up to Orlando for the weekend. We stayed at a nice timeshare/condo property called Floridays. KC did a writeup of the place on her blog. Lilly just liked jumping on the beds.



The first day was Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). We learned one thing - keep Lilly away from the characters. Much like her encounter with Santa last Christmas, Lilly totally flipped out whenever one of those 7-foot "monsters" went walking by. Let's just say she did not enjoy meeting Buzz Lightyear and Woody. That and there was also some sort of like middle school or high school cheerleading championships - so there were literally thousands of little girls with giant sequin hairbows and bad eye makeup running around. Talk about SCARY!

Since Hollywood Studios is more shows & movies than it is rides, Lilly had a good time watching the Little Mermaid & Beauty & The Beast live shows, the Muppets in 4D, and the Toy Story Midway game, but really didn't have as much fun as she did the next day at The Magic Kingdom!!!

Lilly loved just about everything about the Magic Kingdom. We took the hint from the prior day and kept her away from the characters and everything went great. Lilly went on so many rides, I can't even remember them all, but some highlights were the Indy Raceway, The Mad Tea Party Teacups, Goofy's Barnstormer, Aladdin's Magic Carpet, Pirates of the Carribbean, the Jungle Cruise, the Carousel, and of course Dumbo. Mommy & Daddy were able to sneak away and get in some rides for kids over 40" tall too! Love that Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Lilly also got to see the Tiki Bird show in the Tiki Room, but I don't think she was too into that...I have a feeling she's more of a Country Bears gal (or maybe the Hall of Presidents like Daddy - WHICH WAS CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS!!!)



When we were finally able to pry Lilly away from the rides and begin our trek back to the hotel, she was pretty tired did have a little bit of a meltdown over souvenirs and holding on to her Mickey balloon, but it was a very long day. Fortunately, none of the theatrics dampened the overall mood of the day or trip - in fact Lilly fell asleep in my arms during the shuttle bus ride back to the hotel, a memory I will definitely keep for a very long time.

March 19, 2009

"Brownlining" in the Wall Street Journal

Quite a few of my favorite fishing blogs have been highlighting the recent Wall Street Journal article on "brownlining," or urban (fly) fishing. I'll spare posting excerpts from the actual article (here's a link if you want to read it)...since anybody who's ever fished the stretch of the Schuylkill that runs from Norristown down to Philly already gets the idea.

Unfortunately, I'm like a moth drawn to a street light when it comes to online video, so here's the boob-tube version for your viewing pleasure:

Millions of Trout Going into PA Streams

I've returned from my hiatus (family vacation) and will write up a nice post about that in a bit...however, found this article & video online today, courtesy of WNEP-TV 16 in Moosic.
Staff Writer
March 18, 2009
Stocking season is here in Pennsylvania. The first day of Trout Season is now one month away and that has the state Fish and Boat Commission loading streams and lakes with millions of fish.

With temperatures in the 60s a lot of people had spring fever Wednesday, including anglers.

That's why a bunch of fishermen joined in to help stock Bushkill Creek in Monroe and Pike counties, to help satisfy their fishing fever until opening day.

With dreams of catching a trophy, volunteers helped load Bushkill Creek with trout. They carried bucket after bucket filled with lots of big ones then dumped them all in. The fish will be there waiting for opening day.

"I love it," said fisherman Ron Jones. "It's an escape from reality from work and what's going on in the world today and great guys I get to know over the years. It doesn't get any better!"

To continue reading this article, please visit the WNEP-TV Website:
http://www.wnep.com/wnep-mon-trout-stocking,0,4894402.story

March 11, 2009

Lilly's First Fish

Today was going to be the day I've (not so) secretly been anticipating for quite some time. Lilly received a Lightning McQueen Cars fishing rod for her birthday from Mom Mom & G-Daddy, and she insisted on going fishing...IMMEDIATELY!

We rigged up the line with a bobber, some split shot, and a hook baited with a piece of bagel (of course - Mommy's secret bait). On Lilly's first cast, we waited...waited....waited...and then WHAM!!!! The bobber went under violently and Lilly started reeling like crazy! The drag on that little Shakespeare reel was screaming - no joke.



After about 5 minutes of working the fish - and with some help from Daddy pulling in some line by hand - Lilly landed her first fish. It was a bit of a pig too. The Mayan Cichlid was about 8 inches long and was quite thick - a real slab. Unfortunately, Lilly was a little afraid of the fish once we got it out of the water and wouldn't pose with her catch. Instead, she hid behind Grandmom while Mommy snapped this shot of the fish and her rod & reel.


Lilly was so excited she wanted to go fishing again..."again, again," I believe were her exact words. Well...the second time wasn't as fruitful. Oh, Lilly hooked another fish, but she also let go of the rod at the same time. SPLASH, into the water it went, and before we could attempt to grab it - the fish, rod & all - swam away into the depths of the pond. :(

Needless to say, Lilly was hysterical about losing her rod. But after some hugs and kisses, and everybody telling her how proud we were of her, she quickly calmed down and a trip to Target was immediately scheduled. Fish beware, Lilly has rearmed, Disney Princess rod locked & loaded.

March 9, 2009

Lilly's 3rd Birthday

Wednesday the 4th was Lilly's 3rd birthday...my girl is getting so BIG...so yesterday(Sunday) we had her party for her at the casa. Lilly was eagerly waiting all day for her friends to come over. She was so excited. Unfortunately Mommy told her that her friends would be there after she woke up from her nap. Lilly took that literally and was very disappointed when they weren't there to greet her.


Not to worry, within an hour the whole crew came over and chaos ensued (don't let the calm look and smiles fool you!!!).


Lilly wasted no time opening presents ~ she made out like a bandit and got books, lots of Play-Doh, a My Little Pony, and Grandmom bought Lilly an Elefun game. Oh, the fun of butterflies. It was definitely the highlight of the party for Lilly, Hope, & Mia. Matthew didn't like it too much :(

Next came cake...


Even though it was exhausting for Mommy & Daddy, Lilly had a blast and that's what's important. Now off to Disney World!!!

March 6, 2009

Bad, Bad Martin Brown

Don't know if he's badder than old King Kong and meaner than a junkyard dog, but saw this article about "Martin Brown's Trout Bait" in a Google news feed today. Good luck with the secret bait Martin, tight lines!

On The Trail Of Big Trout
Martin Brown knows how to reel in trout; it's all in his secret bait

by Kevin Huelsmann

March 06, 2009


Fishermen will throw everything but the kitchen sink into a body of water; each one swearing that his or her own choice of lures and bait is the end all and be all of angling.

Martin Brown spent 10 years finding his own infallible bait: dough.

"I used to throw bread in the water to get the fish to come around and I used to see a lot of Bosnians using sourdough to catch fish," Brown said. "So I just started trying out different things until I found something the trout liked."

"Fishing makes people happy, you could have no money and walk up to someone, give them a ball of this stuff and see them start catching fish. That makes me happy, too."
- Martin Brown

To continue reading this article, please visit the Webster-Kirkwood Times Online:

http://www.websterkirkwoodtimes.com/Articles-i-2009-03-06-85497.113117_On_The_Trail_Of_Big_Trout.html

March 5, 2009

My Fishing Nook

Once upon a time, in that glorious era almost 3 years ago, when real estate wasn't an intensely scary proposition, K.C. & I decided to look for a little larger house for our newly growing family. We didn't go MTV Cribs or anything, just a modest sized townhouse with a nice floorplan, a deck in the back for a BBQ grill, and (what I was most excited about) a healthy sized finished basement.

As we were doing the walk-through, I was excited as visions of a game table (perhaps a pop-a-shot), mini bar, and a nice cozy recliner were dancing through my head. Uhhh...Fast forward to the present...and my "Man-Cave In Waiting" has been reduced to 90% fabric, ribbon, and sewing machines (courtesy of my lovely wife and her Diaper Bag Wrangler business), 8% usable living space, a 2% left over. In that 2%, I was able to carve a "BOYS ONLY" corner of the basement where I keep all my fishing gear and twist my lures.

I guess I can't complain too much, at least K.C. makes money with her hobby. On the other hand, my fishing obsessi...I mean hobby... has the opposite effect on my wallet. Now if I could only give her fax machine the boot!

March 2, 2009

March 1st Trout Opener

Well...not for me. I have to wait until April 4th for the trout opening in Southeastern PA, but other states had their openers over the weekend. Nice articles (& pictures - make sure to visit the gallery) of the trout opener in Missouri on (of all places) ESPN.com.


Elbow To Elbow
Weather could keep anglers from setting Missouri trout opener record
Sunday, March 1, 2009


SALEM, Mo. — When catch-and-keep fishing season opens at Missouri's four trout parks Sunday, anglers will have some new things and some old ones to celebrate.

March 1 always marks the start of the fishing year for thousands of anglers. This year's turnout is likely to be heavy because the opener falls on a Sunday, but snow on Saturday and a high in the upper 30s on Sunday could keep some away.

"Historically, Sunday openers have been our biggest days," said Hatchery Systems Manager James Civiello, with the Missouri Department of Conservation. "We have opening-day attendance records going back 50 years, and turnouts always are bigger when opening day falls on a weekend."

Weekend or not, weather also plays an important role in determining crowd size on opening day. The trout park attendance record occurred in 1992, when 14,947 anglers descended on the parks for a Sunday opener with beautiful weather.

"With good weather, I would expect to see upwards of 11,000 anglers at the four parks on opening day," said Civiello. "On the other hand, if it turns cold and rainy, that could hold down attendance."

To read the rest of this article, please visit ESPN.com:
http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/fishing/news/story?id=3942898

Fewer Trout to be Stocked in PA Waters

Good article in by Deborah Weisberg in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette outlining the PFBC's decision to reduce stockings by approximately 130,000 trout.


Fewer Trout to be Stocked in Pennsylvania Waters
More Changes in Trout Program Expected
Sunday, March 01, 2009

Anglers will have fewer trout to target this year, following a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission decision to stop purchasing outsourced trout.

The agency has scrapped a program it began five years ago in which it purchased hatchery trout from Tellico Fish Farm in North Carolina to make up for the 2001 closing of Pennsylvania's Big Spring hatchery. Tellico had charged the state an average of $1.15 per fish (last year it was $1.27) -- significantly less than the $2.14 it costs to raise a trout at a Fish and Boat Commission facility. When this year's Tellico bid came in at $3.38 per trout, the commission drew the line.

"It was all about cost," said the agency's fisheries management chief Leroy Young. "We couldn't afford it."

The cutbacks will be spread across many lakes and streams to minimize the impact on angling, but, he said, "we can't make up the difference."

The change will mean up to 130,000 fewer fish out of an annual total of 3.3 million stocked trout, and may be the first of several changes anglers can expect as the commission re-evaluates its most expensive resource.

To continue reading this article, please visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09060/952120-358.stm