April 25, 2009

Uhhh...These Aren't Trout

It was beautiful out today, upwards of 85 degrees. We had a community yard sale this morning (and did quite nicely might I add - K.C. sold a bunch of scrapbooking supplies and I said goodbye to my XBox), but didn't really have anything planned for the afternoon. After putting Lilly "The Potty Training Terror" down for her nap a little after 2, I decided to try Skippack Creek again, but this time with my fly rod.

I'm a novice fly fisherman to say the least. My roll cast is more like a "stumble & fall" cast, but figured I'd give it a try. So hiked upstream quite a bit from the parking area, waded in, and started getting my cast on. Was having a really nice time getting the feel for the fly rod - until some interloper decided he needed to wade right through the pool I was fishing and set up camp right next to me. (Note: There were almost no other anglers the entire length of the creek - Gimme a break!) Anyway, enough about that DB...

Well several casts in, I caught my first fish. But it wasn't a trout, it was a pygmy, miniature, horizontally-challenged dink of a fish. Maybe I should call Guinness. I mean my rod barely bent while "fighting" this bruiser. And it didn't stop there; I caught his Smurf-like brother & sister too, but no trout. Oh well, at least something was hitting the fly I was tossing out.



No matter how much you zoom in,
it still doesn't look very big...
(That's what she said)

April 23, 2009

I Dub Thee "Trout King"

Thank goodness for Smalltown USA (aka Kalkaska County, Michigan)!

Celebration Runs Deep
National Trout Festival swims into 73rd year in 2009
By Josh Perttunen

For those looking to catch a good time, the spirit of Kalkaska's 2009 National Trout Festival is warm, so jump right in. It may be a little town, but it features a "Big Trout," as this year's Trout Festival slogan "Little town, big trout" proclaims.

Visitors to Kalkaska County and residents alike (whether of the summer home variety or the hardier year-round variety) will find wall-to-wall events and activities spanning five days deep.

The event surfaces on Wednesday, April 23, with the coronation of the Trout King and Queen. This event will take place at 6 p.m. in the heart of downtown, with the Trout Memorial beaming its favor upon the newly-crowned royalty.

Then the Chamber of Commerce will offer a taste of things to come, as they host an open house at their offices. A literal taste of the celebration will also be proffered to those in attendance, as the "Taste of Trout" cooking contest will put the area's finest chefs to the test.

Several events will hatch on Thursday and grow throughout the rest of the festival.

The flea market and the Skerbeck Brothers Carnival both begin at the Kalkaska County Fairgrounds at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

Also starting on Thursday, festival-goers venturing near the old Kalkaska police garage and maintenance building will have to wade through streams of music. They may even be reeled in - through the swinging doors - to check out the Shady Belle for music and refreshments.

The event is such a big deal that children are let off the hook for half a day of school on "Trout Friday." This frees the younger crowd to submerge itself into the 2 p.m. youth parade or prepare for the first round of Kalkaska Idol at 6 p.m. The event is a talent contest, taking place at the Kalkaska County Civic Center, that has pre-teen (5-12), teen (13-18) and adult (19 and up) age groups.

To continue reading this article, please visit The Leader & Kalkaskian:
http://www.leaderandkalkaskian.com/stories/042209/loc_lk02.shtml

April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day - Spendin' Green on "Green"

Happy Earth Day...go plant a tree, recycle a bottle, hug a squirrel...whatever. Earth Day, for all it's crunchy goodness, sadly appears to be going down the road of being exploited by capitalism, as I think I received about 25 emails from e-retailers this morning asking me to come shop (& of course save) on their "eco-friendly" wares. Organic clothing, sporting goods made from recycled materials, even pesticide-free food. Yum.

I understand this phenomenon, it's just another marketing angle. And although I don't disapprove, I do feel just a little dirty supporting it. Perhaps there's a soap that was not tested on animals that can cleanse me of my guilt. I mean following 9/11, I recall retailers lining up to sell memorial flags, t-shirts, and the sort, supposedly with a % of the proceeds going toward the cause. Call me a cynic, but I'd sure love to know what those %s were.

So my tangential rant aside, what does this mean? Nothing. At least for today, I'm buying into the Earth Day retail propaganda and placing a "green" fishing order. I've chosen Bioline, which is biodegradable fishing line.

Why Bioline? According to the manufacturer, standard monofilament line takes over 600 years to break down. That basically means every bit of fishing line ever produced is still somewhere...be it a landfill, the bottom of a lake or stream, dangling from a tree limb, or in some animal's belly. Doesn't sound so good. Bioline evidently only takes 5 years to break down.

Is it pricey? Yup. But as long as it does what it says it does, and actually is fishable, appears to be the path I'm taking moving forward. I'm picking up a spool of 4-lb and 8-lb, and will post some reviews of performance here once I get it wet.

April 19, 2009

Skippack Creek

Fished Skippack Creek (off of Germantown Avenue) today. Only fished it once before. Didn't have much luck then, didn't have much luck today either.

Actually did a little bit of exploring today; the last time I fished Skippack I stayed pretty close to the main parking lot where the large pool is (and most of the other folks hang out). Today I took a stroll, doing some scouting for future trips. Sure I fished, but I didn't really concentrate on one spot for too long.

In chatting with other fishermen along the various banks, most weren't having much luck either. One guy using minnows said he caught 1 trout, but the folks using spinners and Powerbait...nada. So at least I don't feel too bad. I did find a nice stretch that looked ideal for fly tackle, I'll probably bring my fly rod the next time I go and give that a shot.

One minor consolation - did see quite a bit of wildlife, especially snakes and toads. Here's a shot of some toads.

April 16, 2009

Lack of Focus

I'm not sure where my mind has been lately. It could be the additional stress from work...it could be the fact that Lilly still refuses to potty train...maybe it's just withdrawal from the fact that the best show on TV (Friday Night Lights) ended it's season last week with a doozy of a cliffhanger - Coach Taylor will no longer leading the Dillon Panthers into battle! I don't know, but my train of thought hasn't been clear. I can't stay focused -my mind keeps wandering toward party mix.

Seriously, is there a better snack in which to endulge? Pretzels, Cheeze Curls, Corn Chips, Tortilla Chips...all drenched in salty, bbq, cheesy powdery goodness?!?! I mean it's so good, it doesn't comes packaged in a wimpy cellophane bag, or a stupid tube ala Pringles; no, it comes in an industrial sized plastic barrel. Makes me actually believe that there is a God sometimes...

So this will be my plan of action for tomorrow. Afternoon snack at work...hitting the vending machine for the little bag of the stuff. Doesn't even matter what brand, because with Party Mix, even the cheap stuff is good. Plan for Saturday...take Lilly to soccer, get a haircut, but after that find the closest grocery store and get me the largest tub of Party Mix available. On second thought, Costco might be a better option, but may need to rent a truck to bring it home.

Let the feeding frenzy begin!

Free Orvis Battenkill Reel

Start your fishing season with a brand-new Orvis outfit at a price you can’t afford to miss! Buy any Helios, Helios Ion, T3, Superfine, or TLS Power Matrix Fly Rod and get a FREE Battenkill Large Arbor, Mid Arbor, or Bar Stock Reel—any model, any size.

Just put one of the rods listed above in your shopping cart and add any Battenkill Reel of your choice. The reel price will show up as $0 at checkout. It’s that simple to save up to $259 on your new outfit. Don’t delay as this offer expires at midnight on May 15, 2009.

April 14, 2009

Fishing Line Rebates - Cash Back!

Got a bunch of these in the 'ol inbox over the last few.
Have been saving them for a rainy day. It rained today.

Sufix Fishing Line - $6 Cash Back on 2 Boxes
(Good Until 9/15/09)
http://www.sufix.com/downloads/coupons/sufix_2009_coupon.pdf

Berkley Trilene Various Offers
(Good Until 9/4/09)

$10 Back on 2 Boxes of Trilene Fluorocarbon
$8 Back on 2 Boxes of Fireline
$6 Back on 3 Boxes of Trilene XL/XT, Sensation, MAXX, or Vanish
$6 Back on 2 Boxes of Trilene Big Game

http://www.berkley-fishing.com/coupon.php

Stren Sonic Braid or Microfuse - $6 Cash Back on 1 Box
(Good Until 9/4/09)
http://www.stren.com/media/File/07010009StrenSonic_6Coupon.pdf

Spiderwire - $6 Cash Back on 1 Box
(Good Until 9/4/09)
http://www.spiderwire.com/media/File/07022509Spiderwire_6Coupon.pdf

Cajun Red Line - Free Stuff
(Good Until 6/30/09)
Free Quantum Array Spinning Reel
http://www.cajunline.com/CajunArray_Coupon.pdf
Free Cajun Fluorocarbon Line
http://www.cajunline.com/CajunFluoro_Coupon.pdf


P-Line - $6 Cash Back on 2 Boxes
(Good Until 6/30/09)
http://www.p-line.com/specials/Pline_Rebate09.pdf

Gamma - Buy 2 Boxes, Get One Free
(Good Until 9/30/09)
http://206.210.94.83/collaterals/pdf/2009%20B2G1%20Coupon-for%20WEB%20AND%20EMAIL.pdf

April 13, 2009

State's trout stock continues to fall

A very detailed article regarding the current state of PA's trout stocking program:

State's trout stock continues to fall
By Bob Frye
Sunday, April 12, 2009


Ron Bachy can't tell you what he'll be doing from year to year on the third Saturday in February, the second Tuesday in June or the fourth Monday in September.

But the first Saturday after April 11?

That's opening day of Pennsylvania's trout season — it falls on April 18 this year — and Bachy will be fishing, just as he has been every year for more than three decades.

Most recently, that's meant being on Blacklegs Creek in Indiana County with his dad, brother and son. Before that, it was Kettle Creek, Loyalhanna Creek or Keystone Lake.

"I'm 40, and we've been fishing opening day since I was 7 or 8 years old," said Bachy, of Turtle Creek and Pitcairn-Monroeville Sportsmen's Club.

"I think the only one we missed was when my brother got married."

Hundreds of thousands of anglers state-wide can share similar tales. Despite the fact there are opportunities to fish year-round, opening day for trout — the most popular, most ardently sought fish in Pennsylvania, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data — is widely recognized as "the" first day of fishing.

The Fish and Boat Commission was stocking 5.2 million adult fish as recently as 2001, and 4.2 million in 2006. This year it will stock 3.2 million

To continue reading this article, please visit the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/mostread/s_620318.html

April 12, 2009

Nice Spare!

Lilly dominates. Video does all the talking.

Lil' Kickers

Took Lilly to Lil' Kickers at the 422 SportsPlex in Pottstown today. Would have been nothing out of the ordinary, but they moved classes from the old indoor "rink" to the big, new practice bubble!

I think Lilly's favorite part of the day was actually walking through the revolving door to get on to the new fields. Here's some movies I shot today of Lils doing her thing.

April 9, 2009

April's Albright Fishing Deals

Albright has a new website, and are evidently finally in-stock of all of their 2009 gear. Running a few freebies with certain order values. I mean if you're gonna buy it anyway...


April 5, 2009

Happy Birthday K.C.!

Mmmm...Cookie Cake!

Guess Darby Creek Wasn't The Only Place With A Low Turnout

Lehigh Valley sees smaller turnout for opening of trout season
By Gary R. Blockus of The Morning Call
April 5, 2009


Irvin Brandon covered his head with a hood to fight off the wind on the banks of the Walnutport Canal Saturday.

Too bad the trout had nothing to fight off Brandon, who had pulled in four by mid-morning Saturday as he and two friends fished on the canal. They were among the thousands of anglers who journeyed to the creeks, rivers and ponds of the Lehigh Valley on the opening day of trout season for the Southeast Region of Pennsylvania.

While fishermen abounded throughout the Lehigh Valley, many anglers said the numbers were down from last year's opening day, which took place during frigid weather.

Perhaps Saturday's winds, with gusts of about 45 mph, or the cloudy, overcast conditions had something to do with the lower turnout. But the hearty souls who ventured into the Valley's waterways found them running relatively dark, high and fast from the rains of Thursday and Friday, making conditions less than ideal.

To continue reading this article, please visit The Morning Call.com:
http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-b1_5trout.6844751apr05,0,263272.story

River Monsters - This Could Be Fun

Tonight's Opening Day (Night) for the World Champion Phillies. I'll be watching them take on the Braves on ESPN, but I think I'll have the "last channel" on my TV programmed to Animal Planet. Saw this video on YouTube for a new series called 'River Monsters' with extreme angler Jeremy Wade. Not sure how different this is going to be from Larry Dahlberg's 'Hunt for Big Fish'...but looks good to me anyway.



For more info on River Monsters, there's a bunch of videos here:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=B81FC1850B23B87D

April 4, 2009

103 Fever & Opening Day

Today was opening day in Southeastern PA. I've been excited about this for a few weeks. Opening day might not test your angling skills...but with the incredibly fast action it's a heck of a lot of fun.

So let me start this post by talking about last night (Friday). I got home from work and K.C. showed off a Texas Roadhouse gift certificate she received for her birthday (tomorrow), so within minutes the three of us were in the car headed toward the restaurant. During dinner, Lilly had a pretty consistent cough. K.C. said she had it all day, and thought it was the croup. Lilly had the croup before, but other than the cough didn't show any symptoms, so we didn't think it was a big deal...

Fast forward to about 11PM on Friday night. Lilly's been asleep for about 3 hours and wakes up screaming and calling for "Daddy." I go upstairs, she's burning up. I called K.C., we took her temperature, and it was 103. Not good. Lilly got to sleep with K.C. & I that night, but to say any of us got much sleep would be an exaggeration - Lilly is quite the bed hog, so K.C. actually bolted for the guest bedroom.

So what does this have to do with opening day? Well, I was planning to get up around 6 AM to ensure my spot at the shoulder-to-shoulder fishing experience that is the 8AM opening day first cast. Well, with no sleep, and unsure how Lilly was going to be feeling, that mission was aborted. I was kind of sad I was going to miss it...but my baby was sick...priorities. Lilly & I got up at about 7:30, and K.C. made up for some lost sleep.

As the morning progressed, Lilly was acting pretty normal. She was a little "out of it" but still pretty happy - watching her cartoons, putting together puzzles, teasing Caesar, etc... Her fever also came down a bit so it appeared the worst was past. When K.C. woke up, she ran some errands (got Lilly some medicine) and gave me the green light to go fishing for a few hours if I wanted.

By now it was about 1PM, and I was off to Darby Creek in Havertown. When I got there, I saw tons of cars & trucks parked alongside the road, but as I hiked down the embankment to my spot on the creek, I was amazed that nobody was there. Absolutely nobody. Perhaps the traffic had left? Perhaps it was because we were having 50 MPH wind gusts? Perhaps it was because the water clarity was poor from a hard rain the prior day? I didn't care, I had the creek to myself on opening day and I was going to make the best of it.

WHAM - BAM - THWAP! Seriously, it was a like Batman comic. Every 3rd or 4th cast a trout was smashing my spinners. I fished a few different types - some homemade spinners, Fish Creek Spinners, Worden's Rooster Tails, and Wyld Edge Bezerkers. Spent most of my time fishing the Wyld Edge lures, because they are J hook spinners and I bend the barb down. Makes it much easier for catch & release.

After a while I stopped counting (and taking pictures), but the count had to be 20 at minimum. Here's a few pics.
There were no bruisers or trophies in the batch, I'd say most were in the 10 - 12 inch size, but the non-stop action and some of the acrobatic leaps from the water made it an extremely enjoyable couple of hours of fishing. Even better, when I got home K.C. & Lilly were sitting on the sofa watching Cars...no disasters, no debacles, just a Mom & her kid looking a lot better and doing normal kid stuff.

April 1, 2009

Mepps Fishing Hat Offer

This offer from Mepps popped into my inbox today. Thought I'd share. Actually, over time I've inadvertently signed up for a lot of email offer lists, so I'll probably start posting any I think are worthwhile.

How this special works... The choice is yours. You can select a Mepps mesh-style cap, our classic cap or a Mepps fishing cap when your order totals $70. Or select a Mepps fishing visor. It's your choice. But this gets better... Because you have placed a $70 order, in addition to your FREE cap or visor, you'll get a 20% discount on your entire order. If your order totals $60 (after all discounts) you'll also get FREE shipping.. This is in addition to your FREE cap or visor. What are you waiting for? Get started here...

Kype Fishing Magazine: Volume 1 / Issue 2

Issue Two Highlights:

Spey Fishing Steelhead Rivers
Center Pin Float Fishing
Steelhead: Great Lakes vs. West Coast
The Miracle Mile
Fishing Flies From A Noodle