May 31, 2009

Catching Up on Lilly Posts

Last two weekends have been somewhat of a blur. Lots of family activities going on, which makes for a busy, but really fun time. Here's a little breakdown...

Sunday, May 24th
Lilly, Mommy, Daddy, & Grandmom went to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus in Philadelphia. Lilly was really looking forward to seeing the "lion tamer" as she told me the night before. Well, today was finally the day. Despite the PETA protests at the door, the circus was fun - Lilly and all of the other little kids certainly seemed to have a good time - but not the circus you or I might remember from our youth.

Nowadays, sure there are still animals like elephants, tigers, & horses...but there's a lot of Cirque de Soleil style acrobatics too. No "men of the flying trapeze" anymore, more like women hanging and twirling from big ropes from the ceiling. I understand the change, most people love that junk (hence the 7 different shows out in Vegas), but it was a bit much for me.

Also, there were plenty of clowns, but no midgets?! I guess the circus has gone politically correct. Not sure why...they seem okay with exploiting animals (last time I checked elephants didn't dance in a conga line on the African plains) so what' s the issue with exploiting people? At least people have a choice. P.T. Barnum is surely rolling over in his grave right now.



Sunday, May 31st
Today was a "Mommy Outing" to the Reading Phillies game. K.C. organized this outing with a handful of her friends, so Lilly not only got to go to the baseball game, but she also got to hang out with her friends.



It was a bit on the warm side, but on the whole all of the kids were troopers, and I'm pretty sure had a fun time at the game. One of the more memorable things was that Arby's was sponsoring a promotion that if a selected player had an RBI during the game, everybody got a free Beef 'n Cheddar sandwich the next day. Everytime this batter was at the plate, the sound system started a "Roast...Beef" chant in a deep baritone voice. Lilly thought that was funny, and continued the chant (even hours after the game was over). Unfortunately, the guy was like 0-5, no so roast beef for us.
After the game, the kids got to run around the bases. Lilly was going to run around with her friend Hope, but somehow they got separated in line (I think Lilly was just really eager and ran ahead a little bit) and Lilly ran the bases all by herself. Most kids ran with a parent, but our kid...no chance. She got a little lost when it came to crossing homeplate (I was hoping for a headfirst slide) but in the end all was good.


May 28, 2009

JVG

Being a primarily a fishing blog you're probably thinking "JVG?...doesn't he mean KVD?" Yes, Kevin Van Dam is probably the best bass fisherman on the planet, but that's not the direction I'm going here.

Besides fishing, I love almost all team sports. Really all the majors, except hockey (sorry Flyers fans). So after my hometown 76ers had another disappointing season, finishing around .500 and getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs, the quest for a new coach is on. Unfortunately, most of the candidates they are bringing in for interviews are retreads (as in recycled, not Corky Thatcher). Eddie Jordan, Doug Collins, Jeff Van Gundy...yes, THAT Jeff Van Gundy.

The first thing I think of (and funny enough, as does my wife K.C.) when somebody says Jeff Van Gundy is the Alonzo Mourning/Larry Johnson/Charles Oakley fight back when he was the coach of the Knicks. For those who aren't familiar with this fight, JVG basically got dragged across the court like a ragdoll, clinging for life in a fetal position around Alonzo Mourning's ankle.

The internet being that amazing repository for the bizarre that it is, I figured I could hop on Google or YouTube and find a video replay of that scuffle in seconds. No luck. Seriously. It's like somebody systematically erased the JVG incident from all digital media records. So if anybody has a link to this video...let me know where I can find it by posting the link in the comments...PLEASE! In the meantime, I'll just have to settle with this still picture.

GIDDY-UP!

May 24, 2009

Product Review - Bioline "Biofilament" Fishing Line

A few weeks ago, I decided to get all eco-crunchy and picked up some spools of Bioline to celebrate Earth Day. Figured if the stuff is really biodegradable as they claim, it would be much better to use this than standard mono (which pretty much will never breakdown)...as long as it performs okay. I used/tested the 4-lb version on 2 recent outings (a week apart from each other), and here are my findings.

First off, let me preface this review in saying that I'm typically a Berkley Trilene XL user. I've used other variations (Trilene Sensation) and other products all together (Stren Original, Bass Pro Tourney Tough, etc...) but always tend to gravitate back toward Trilene XL. Thus, most of the comparisons I make will be using Trilene XL as the reference point.

Packaging: Bioline comes on a plastic spool sealed in a resealable zipper pouch instead of a cardboard box. The manufacturer suggests that as long as you keep it sealed in the pouch, all should be good for 10-12 months. The zipper on the pouch feels to be good quality, so there's no fear on my part that I may have zipped it closed but it not have sealed. The spool is pretty standard, nothing fancy, however there is a little metal line keeper on the back of the plastic spool to keep the tag end of the line under control and the line on the spool. Nice touch.

Spooling: Taking the line off the spool and putting on to my reel, two things stuck out immediately. The first was that the line was a bit thicker in diameter than the Trilene I usually use. This is only minor, not a negative, just an observation. One thing I didn't like though (the second) is that the line seemed to be a bit stiff and have some "memory" already baked into it from sitting on the spool. It came off with a slight coil to it, something that would rear its head a little bit later.

Knots: Being that the line has a slightly thicker diameter, tying knots was actually easier than with Trilene XL. In tying Improved Clinch Knots in each, the knot was much cleaner with the Bioline. Nice!

Casting: All of the stuff I wrote about so far was good, but didn't have much to do with performance...this does. Freshly loaded on my ultralight reel (a Pflueger Trion 4520GX) and tossing #3 Wyld Edge Bezerkers, the coiling I previously mentioned definitely impacted my casting. I estimate I lost about 3 or 4 feet from my cast. Not awful, but not good either. Additionally, I seemed to be having issues with line twist that were increasing in severity with each cast. I was even being a good angler and flipping the bail by hand, but the line just didn't want to behave on the reel.

I thought I might have overloaded the reel so I stripped off about 20 yards to see if that would help any, and it seemed to help slightly. After playing with several variables such as this for about the first hour on the stream, the line settled in a bit and was more fishable. That being said, I would not recommend it for throwing extremely light lures like a Joe's Flies. I tried, and just couldn't get the desired distance.

Strength: This is a very strong point of this line. This line is very strong for it's rating when compared to Trilene XL. When tossing spinners, it's inevitable that you'll get snagged either on a rock, a submerged branch, something...and won't be able to work free. With the Trilene, I usually just have to grab the line, give a quick snap of my wrist and it will break off at the knot. With the Bioline, I actually had to pull quite a bit to break it off. Interestingly, when the Trilene breaks off, it comes back with a slight curl from being stretched, but the Bioline comes back in almost a bird's nest. It's not a big deal since you usually trim that bit off anyway, but another observation. The strength also came into play while "playing" a nice size brook trout. I would say the Bioline has slightly less "give" or stretch in it than Trilene, so I was actually able to land the fish much quicker without concern of damaging or breaking off the line.

Durability: I was curious to see how it would hold up over the course of a week if it got wet the previous week. So I made sure at the close of Week #1, I let out a few long casts, gave the line a good soaking, and reeled it back in. I left that same length of line on my reel and to my surprise, it displayed no ill effects when fished again 7 days later. It seemed just as strong as before and I actually may argue it performed a bit better when it came to coiling.
Summary: Had I just fished this line the first weekend, I probably wouldn't have given it a favorable review. There were just too many performance issues. However, after tweaking how much I spooled on to my reel and choosing some lures with some adequate weight, it was definitely a fishable line.

Would I say it performs better than Berkley Trilene XL? Probably not for an ultralight fisherman like me. In my opinion Berkely XL has far less line memory and casts (especially light lures) quite a bit farther. However, if being eco-friendly is paramount, this would be a legitimate option. It does cost more ($13 vs. $6) but the line ties excellent knots and is extremely rugged & durable. Bioline actually reminds me of Stren Original in that regard. I would suggest to load your reel with only about 1/2 to 3/4 of the amount of line you normally would. Bioline just seemed to cast better with less line on the reel.

May 20, 2009

Never Argue With A Woman

"Mom-Mom" Lorraine clipped this little joke out of her Florida Elks newspaper and sent it to me in the mail (like U.S. Mail, with an envelope & stamp)...
One morning, a husband returns the boat to their lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read her book. The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along comes a Fish & Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, “Good morning, Ma’am. What are you doing?”

“Reading a book,” she replies, (thinking, “Isn’t that obvious?”).

“You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,” he informs her.

“I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading.”

“Yes, but I see you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.”

“If you do that, I’ll have to charge you with sexual assault,” says the woman.

“But I haven’t even touched you,” says the Game Warden.

“That’s true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.”

“Have a nice day ma’am,” and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It’s likely she can also think.

...now I understand the humor, and I don't often argue with my wife. Despite her general lack of interest in reading (does Facebook count?) she kicked cancer's butt, so I know what she'd do to me. That being said, I hope Mom-Mom sent this to me because I like fishing, not because she thinks I'm a closet deviant...uhhh....right?

May 19, 2009

Western Ambience

I made a purchase in the Cabela's "Bargain Cave" today. I just couldn't pass it up for only $14.88. The product description says it all.
Add a Western ambience to your cabin or den with this authentic-looking Spittoon Table Lamp. The lamp base is made of durable resin with a weathered-bronze finish. Comes with a color-coordinated, matching lamp shade. The lamp stands 25-1/2" high and uses a three-way, 100-watt bulb. Per two.

Jealous yet? Get your own here:
http://tinyurl.com/spittoonlamp


WARNING: Smokeless tobacco has been directly linked to cancer of the mouth, pharynx (throat) and larynx (voice box). It can also cause cancer of the esophagus, gum disease and tooth loss. Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes.

May 16, 2009

Stony Creek

Went to Stony Creek in Norristown this AM. It was cloudy and cool weather-wise, with a little bit of off & on spitting drizzle. No biggie. Rolled into the Norristown Farm Park parking lot around 7AM, and there were already some folks hanging out at the dam. I call these guys the "PowerBait Brigade" because they can seemingly sit there for hours, just floating PowerBait. I have nothing against PowerBait, I could just never do that, my mind would go numb.

There was one character there who provided some comic relief as well. All morning, he insisted on telling anybody & everybody that walked by (no matter if they wanted to hear or not) about the HUGE trout he got up to the bank, but made one last run on him and broke off his line. Seriously, he sounded like Captain Quint describing an encounter with JAWS.

Anyway, I didn't fish the dam (I never do), I went quite a bit upstream to some other runs and pools. I started out the morning using spinning gear and in no time landed an nice Rainbow on a Wyld Edge spinner. I was also using Bioline biodegradable fishing line (review to come) for the first time. After that though, I thought I'd switch it up and grab my fly rod. On the way back to the car, I of course heard the JAWS story for the second time, which made me laugh.

The fly gear wasn't as productive as I hoped. My casting still isn't where it should be, so it was no surprise that the fish weren't taking my offerings. I'm sure they were simply looking up at me and snickering to themselves, thinking "idiot."

After wasting about an hour on that, went back to the car (heard the JAWS story yet again, comedy quotient increases with additional exposure), and grabbed the spinning tackle once more. Hiked back in and ended up bringing in a few brookies & 'bows on some Fish Creek Spinners Armadillos. Nothing really outstanding, but this one mutant stockie - well...I'll probaby have nightmares about his ugly mug tonight. He looked like Freddie Krueger's spawn. He was really thick though - and put up a pretty nice fight considering he had the torn up pectoral fins typical of a stocked fish. He was pretty stupid though. I let him go and caught him again less than ten minutes later on the same spinner. Who's the idiot now?

Idiot Mutant Stockie

May 15, 2009

Lilly's Dance Recital

Lilly has been taking "Pre-Ballet" classes from the ACPPA for a few months now. Tonight was her first recital. After overcoming a little stage-fright, my girl (in the black) did awesome. Couldn't be a prouder father.

May 9, 2009

Bug Slinger™ Fly Gear

Bug Slinger™ Fly Gear...Have always been looking for a Jolly Roger style shirt or hat with rods instead of swords. A guy can only own so much "Orvis" type stuff, right? Stumbled across this stuff, appears to be right up my alley.

Feed My Fish - They're Hungry

Raising big fish here at Troutrageous!
Click below to feed these guys (the gold one likes M&Ms)...



Courtesy: http://abowman.com/google-modules/fish/#gadgetSWF

May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo - Ole!

Happy Cinco de Mayo...



In honor of Mexican trout everywhere:
The Mexican Golden Trout has the widest geographical range of any native Mexican trout. The species is found in three large Pacific watersheds of Chihuahua and Durango: the Rio Fuerte, Rio Sinaloa, and the Rio Culiacan. Most of the O. chrysogaster specimens in museum collections are from tributaries of the Rio Fuerte, this drainage being more easily accessed. The status and distribution of the species is poorly known, and only a handful of collections exist from the Sinaloa and Culiacan drainages. Inter-basin populations of the Mexican Golden are quite variable, and when some of the more remote arroyos and barrancas are accessed by scientists, the Mexican Golden may eventually be found to be comprised of different forms, or even different species. Like other trout of mainland Mexico, the Mexican Golden Trout prefers clear and cold headwater streams, mostly above 6000 feet in altitude, and is most abundant some distance from roads and bridges. Males and females are strikingly dimorphic, the females being principally silvery with dark parr marks, and the males exhibiting the beautiful golden colors which give the species it's common name.
Courtesy:
http://www.utexas.edu/tmm/tnhc/fish/research/truchas_mexicanas/
http://www.americanfishes.com/mexico/

May 4, 2009

Mepps T-Shirt Offer

Another offer from Mepps. This time it's a free T-Shirt with a $70 purchase of gear from their website. I suppose it's a nice bonus if you're gonna buy that much stuff anyway...

FREE Mepps T-shirt... Summer's on the way and most of us can use another fishing Tee. Here's your chance to get a FREE Mepps T-shirt (white only) with a $70 order. But this special doesn't stop here... Because your order totals $70, in addition to your FREE T-shirt, 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 Tee. Time is wasting. You should be on the water. Get started here


Once In A Blue Moon DVD Review

My copy of the 'Once In A Blue Moon DVD' arrived today. (You can pick one up for yourself at Stu's Orgasmic Fly Shop or at Amazon.com).

From the back of the DVD box, the basic summary of the film is as follows:

"The stuff of folklore, ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ unravels the mystery of an event that occurs briefly once a decade. This strange and unreal journey takes us into some of the most remote and beautiful parts of New Zealand as we follow one anglers quest to document and unravel a childhood mystery and catch the fish of a lifetime."
The "mystery of an event" described above is that the mice population swells every few years to the point that there's so many, they become targets for really big brown trout (if they fall into or attempt to swim through the water). This puts the folks making the film on a quest to see if they can not only time the rodent explosion correctly, but also land some of these trout on mice flies...yes, mice flies.


Fly Fishing - Once in a Blue Moon 60sec promo from On the Fly on Vimeo.


Of course they do, and gratuitous fish porn results. We're talking great footage of the New Zealand landscape (via helicopter), some superior fly casting technique, and the cruising/feeding trout (via underwater camera). The thing I really appreciated was that this isn't the typical "trout bum" DVD that's out there these days - it's a little more scientific in approach, something similar to what you might find on the National Geographic channel. I especially like the little segment on the eels that also like to dine on the mice.

The DVD is about 40 minutes long, and goes for about $30 bones.

May 3, 2009

1300 Fishermen Flock to Annual Trout Derby

Wow! I had no idea. May need to schedule a road trip next year. Looks a little crazy (& crowded), but fun.

1300 Fishermen Flock to Annual Trout Derby
Reported by: Sarah Hopkins
Saturday, May 2, 2009
FRANKLIN COUNTY, PA


The 12th annual Trout Derby is being held this weekend by the Chambersburg Noontime Lion's Club.

The club says more than 1300 people from all over the country are participating. Contestants young and old can win big prizes just by catching fish. The group says there are more than 600 money fish with payouts ranging from $25 to $2,000. A new 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid is also among the prizes.

Doug Harmon, the chair of the Lion’s Club, said, "The largest fish is the big trout, and this year it's worth $2000, and we break that out in a 60-30-10 take for three people." The Lion’s Club has been around for more than 80 years, and helps tackle problems such as blindness, drug abuse, and diabetes.

The event ends Sunday evening.

Read the article (& view video) here: your4state.com

Also found the website for the tourney: www.troutderby.com

May 2, 2009

Tight Lines Fly Fishing Co.

Found this series of short instructional videos for the beginner fly caster (like me). Have learned a few tips that have helped me already.

Tasty...

Anybody for cod? I can tell you where to find the best part...

Eye Candy

I love the photos in Catch Magazine. Seriously, if you're like me and not big on reading, and just like to look at pictures or watch movies...this is the place for you.