December 27, 2009

2010 is Upon Us

With New Year's on Friday, figured it was about time to renew my fishing license. You may want to do the same (& get it out of the way early) especially if your state offers online ordering.

Pennsylvania does, and I did tonight HERE.

There was a nice improvement to the online ordering process this year that exports your license as a PDF file, so you can save it to your computer (to reprint later) just in case you lose it.

December 26, 2009

Another Christmas in the Books

We had a very interesting Christmas this year.

Let me back up to Sunday the 20th.  Long story short, Lilly fell down some steps at a Christmas party and broke her elbow.  No trips to the ER or anything, but that meant she got an early Christmas present of a pink full-arm cast from Santa this year.  My wife K.C. does an infinitely better job explaning the whole ordeal on her blog then I ever could, so I'll simply drop a link to it HERE.

Other than all of that drama, it was a very low key Christmas.  One of the few big holidays we've done more or less as a solo family unit recently.  Other than a quick drop in by Uncle Andy & Chia and a ride over to my Mom's house, there was no real running around and no hosting of a big family dinner this year...just K.C., Lilly, & I enjoying a relatively quiet Christmas day.

Lilly got so many toys (pug Pillow Pet, three Barbie Dolls, Leap Frog Clickstart computer, among others), I can't even start to list them all.  The most popular (with the adults) was probably the Barbie Tanner dog.  Why?  He eats food on one end, and with a magical wag of his tail poops it out the other.  I'm not's proof:

Not to diminish any of the other presents I received (including a pile of Cabela's & Bass Pro gift cards) I will say I'm very excited about by "big" present from K.C., a waterproof digital camera.  I'm no expert photographer, but I am clumsy, so I'm glad if I want to take some streamside pics I no longer have to worry about getting the camera wet anymore.

Anyway, enough about me.  Here's some more pics of Lilly in her casted, present-opening glory:

This post is a bit overdue, but since I'm not fishing, figured now's as good a time as any.

From time to time I like to share some fishing related things I like on the web.  One of my favorites (& a daily stop) is  I've been a member of this fishing forum for a little over 2 years now, and I honestly don't think you'll find a more friendly group of folks in an online forum format anywhere else.  Everybody's welcome and there's no hi-jinks that are commonplace on other forums.

Most of the members of the WhereIFish community tend to live in the Quad Cities area, however you'll also see contributions from all across the country.  I was originally drawn to the website for their great contests & giveaways (products like fishing rods, lures, etc..), but I've also learned quite a bit as well - especially about catfish.  These boys haul in some bigguns!

So if you're snowed in with the winter blues and can't get out to get a line wet, why don't you come and talk fishing online in a "family-friendly" environment.  I'm sure the gang at (myself included) will be happy to hear from you.

December 19, 2009

Bought a New Rod

Was buying everyone else Christmas presents last week, why not treat myself?

It's a 7' March Brown Hidden Waters 4-wt Travel Rod. Got a pretty good deal on it after "Dave" contacted me after I filled out a questionnaire on their website.

It breaks down into 7 pieces so you can easily carry it on a plane, stash it in a backpack, etc... Thinking this in combination with my Tenkara rod leaves me little room for excuses when it comes to getting a line wet during future travels. Plus, I'll admit it, I'm a gear junkie. Plain & simple.

December 13, 2009

(Bill) Dancing with a Trolling Motor

This comes from YouTube via Moldy Chum. I don't usually re-post things from other blogs, but this just made me laugh. Bill wrestling his trolling motor at about 1:00 is priceless.

December 10, 2009

One Way Natural Gas Drilling is GOOD For PA Trout?

One of the hot button topics in Pennsylvania (and referenced in this blog on several occasions) is the impact of natural gas drilling now that the state government has opened up huge expanses of state park lands to extraction. The main environmental issues (beside the obvious encroachment on the forests) are that the drilling requires a large amount of locally-provided water, and the increased risk of fish kills resulting from chemical spill contamination.

I found this article today outlining a Penn State University study focusing on how the building of the drilling infrastructure is assisting the spread of invasive plant species in Pennsylvania forests. Bad, right? Maybe not 100% evil. Conversely, this limestone road building seems to also have a positive side-effect that could actually be good for fish such as trout.

A few notable excerpts are below:

Researchers learn why invasive plants are spreading rapidly in forests

University Park, Pa. -- Invasive plants are advancing into Eastern forests at an alarming rate, and the rapid spread has been linked by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences to forest road maintenance and the type of dirt and stone used on roads.

Perhaps predictably, according to David Mortensen, a professor of weed ecology who has been studying the spread of invasive plants for nearly two decades, humans are unwittingly accelerating the relentless march of invasives into even isolated forests. The findings are especially significant in the face of massive forest road-building efforts expected to support greatly expanded natural-gas drilling operations into the Marcellus shale formation. Hundreds or even thousands of gas wells could be established in Eastern forests in the next few years, depending on the market price of gas.

Perhaps the most startling finding of Mortensen's research relates to the nature of dirt and gravel on forest roads that enables invasive plants such as Japanese stiltgrass to thrive.

"The crushed limestone used to surface many forest roads and to line culverts and drains along those roads are creating ideal conditions for the invasives to spread rapidly," he said. "The high alkalinity sediment from the stone, mixed with water running off the roads during storms, eventually spills out into the forests, carrying invasive plant seeds and creating areas for them to grow quickly. The high alkalinity prevents native plants that have become adapted to acidic forest soils from growing, and invasives such as Japanese stiltgrass fill the void."

Ironically, the crushed limestone is being used on many forest roads and in ditches and drains that parallel mountain streams precisely because the material leaches a high-alkalinity slurry that improves the productivity and water chemistry of the streams. That benefits the wild trout and other aquatic organisms that have suffered in many mountain streams after decades of acidic atmospheric deposition (acid rain).
Read the entire article at Penn State Live:

December 8, 2009

I Didn't Go Fishing Last Weekend

Instead, I stayed indoors and out of the cold. Sunday was a total veg-out day of watching football (& Lilly). The Eagles crushed the Falcons, which unfortunately that wasn't all that exciting, so Lilly tried her hand at balloon juggling as entertainment.

December 7, 2009

Prince Nymph, not that Prince nymph.

Was looking through my flies the other day and realized I needed some more beadhead Prince Nymphs. They've been my pattern this fall/winter (and thus have lost my fair share). Well, I could tie some of my own...

...but then again, I don't "tie" and don't have a vice or any of the other needed materials. So I guess I'm off to buy some. Lucky for me Albright Fly Fishing launched flies on their website this week, so I can get a pretty good deal. Basically buy 6, get 6 free, or about 80 cents a piece. I already bought a 3/4 click & pawl reel from them earlier this week, what's a few more bucks? It's worth a shot.

And yes, this is pretty much a throw away of a blog post. I haven't gone fishing in a few weeks and am suffering from a mean case of angling writer's block!