February 27, 2010

The Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow

I took some time and went down to the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow this afternoon.  It was the first year of this show, although there have been somewhat similar shows in Valley Forge and Fort Washington in years past.

I will say something - the organizers did very good job filling the expo hall with vendors.  The place was packed with representatives of all kinds of stuff - equipment manufacturers & retailers, outfitters, lodges, charters, outdoors clubs...you name it.  There was probably a bit of debate on who the headliner was...Bassmaster champ Kevin VanDam signed autographs on Friday night, but I think the true star was Brody the Bear.

Despite all of the stuff there, there wasn't a whole lot that interested me too much.  A lot of it was hunting (which I don't do), and a lot of the fishing tackle on display or for sale was either bass or saltwater.  There was some lighter freshwater gear, but most of it was "garden variety," in otherwords nothing notable to a gear-head like me.

Two booths I did stop by were Wild Water Fly Fishing (based out of NY) and Kennebec Lure Company (based out of ME).

Wild Water Fly Fishing was offering some pretty inexpensive fly rods that without casting them, at least seemed to be pretty nice quality for the price.  One rod in particular called the Wild Country caught my eye.  It's a short (5'-6") 4-piece 3-weight that I thought might be nice for some of the brushy creeks I fish.  Didn't buy one, but am storing that in the back of my mind perhaps for a later date.

Kennebec Lure Company was really one of the only manufacturers of spoons & spinners that I noticed.  The spinners seemed solid, and looked like they'd catch fish.  Of course, I didn't get any wet, but thought they were nice regardless.  Was talking to a gentleman there (don't recall his name), and he mentioned they also offer free shipping on any web orders over $20, so he wasn't in full in-your-face salesman mode, which was also nice.

My trout club, the Stony Creek Anglers also had a booth there.  We were lucky to be near Brody the Bear, so foot traffic was really brisk for the few hours I hung out in the booth.  Most people that stopped by were already familiar with the club and our annual tournament, but I did help give out some maps and fliers to the folks that weren't.  Heck, I even sold a couple of SCA t-shirts & patches, which if you didn't make it to the show, you can find right HERE(Hint Hint)

February 25, 2010


PCU was on TV over the weekend.  It's a movie that came out just at the time I was about to enter college, perhaps it's because of that it's also one of those movies - much like Gladiator - that I'll stop in my tracks and watch at any time, should I notice it's on while flipping through the channels.  Doesn't matter if it's 10 minutes in, or an hour and 10 minutes in, the remote drops like it's hot.

On a subject that appears unrelated until you get to the photo comparison, I got my weekly MidCurrent email this yesterday, and one of the stories was about genetic hackle.  What is genetic hackle you ask?  Well, I won't bore you with the details - click HERE if you have an interest in learning about selective breeding's role in fly tying - but I couldn't help but thinking this chicken is a lost member of the P-Funk All Stars.
Just the dog in me baby...

February 24, 2010

Little Late in Posting...

Last week I wrote a post about cabin fever.  Well, on Sunday I did brave the remaining snow and got out on some water to try for some trout.  One of my friends, we'll call him "Spurky", from the PAanglers forum wanted to come down from the Harrisburg area to fish Valley Creek for some of its wild brownies, so I agreed to serve as guide for the day.

After sorting through a minor mix-up regarding the meet-up time, Spurky and I got on the water around 9:30 AM.  Flows were good, luckily not too high considering all of the melting snow, and I did my best to try and point him in the right directions.  Unfortunately, even after hitting about 7 or 8 spots that are usually productive, there was to be no interest in his spinners on this day.  A few follows, but no takers.

I tried a little fishing myself and used a spinning rod as well instead of my tenkara flyrod.  In retrospect I may have regretted this tact as we saw quite a few trout rising for a mini-hatch of some sort once it got a little warmer around noon.  Basically we both struck out on the day...I guess I won't give up my day job to become a guide.

In the end, I'm fairly sure we both had a good time.  There was a lot of good conversation - I learned a lot about Alaska from Spurky (he was stationed there for a while) and how good a fishergal his daughter is becoming.  She's definitely the apple of his eye.

I'll tell you what though, I've had just about enough hiking through the snow for the time being.  Three days later and I'm still all achy. I think the next time I talk myself into going fishing with about a foot or so of snow on the ground, I'm making like an Olympian and bringing the cross country skis instead of the waders!

February 22, 2010

FishFreak Online

Troutrageous! was recently approached by FishFreakOnline.com to do a link exchange.  I don't typically do this with retailers I've never shopped with before, so without knowing much about them, I agreed...but only if they answered a few questions for me (& of course my readers) first about who they are, what they do, and most importantly what they like to fish for! My questions were forwarded to Rhonda (one of the owners) and here are her responses:

What is FishFreakOnline and how did it start?
Fishfreakonline is an online fishing tackle store located in West Palm Beach Florida started in Dec of 2007. I've been in the photo business for over 20 years and was looking to get into something new. My husband is an avid fisherman and I could see the potential when he would come home from other tackle shops with 200-300 dollars worth of merchandise at a time.

There are a ton of online fishing retailers, why should I shop with FishFreakOnline?
We are dedicated not to just making sales but to building long term relationships with our customers with good old fashioned customer service.

What are your most popular brands or products?
Right now the hottest lures are the Bomber Badonk-A-Donk lures and Koppers Live Target lures. Most popular rods are the Skeet Reese signature rods.

Does FishFreakOnline specialize in a specific type of fishing?
No, although most of our sales are to bass fishermen

What are FishFreakOnline's thoughts on social media (Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc)?
It’s a great tool for new anglers to meet each other and find great tips. We love interacting with our customers on our Facebook and Twitter. It helps us find out what works and what doesn’t so we can offer the best products possible.

I'm assuming you're an angler, what's your favorite species to target?
I really don't have time to fish but my husband Don fishes all the time for largemouth bass and peacock bass here in Florida and usually takes a trip each year to PA for smallmouth bass.

If you could fish any body of water, what would it be and for what?
Don - Brazil for Peacock Bass

Following Rhonda's feedback, I checked out FishFreakOnline in greater detail and did take note of the nice selection of products in their store (especially for bass and saltwater), as well as a complimentary blog that speaks to all sorts of angling techniques in greater detail.

Considering my wife runs her own small business, I'm all for supporting the "small guy."  So if you're like me and not always sold on shopping a "big box" like Bass Pro, Cabela's, or even Wal-Mart, I'd suggest at least checking out FishFreakOnline before you make your next tackle purchase.  The prices appear to be more than competitive, they offer free shipping on most orders over $99 ($149 on rods), and most importantly seem like down to earth, honest folks.

This independent website review is not associated with retailer-supplied payment or free goods.
The only exchange of (intellectual) property was a link, which can be found HERE.

February 18, 2010

Cabin Fever

To quote Christopher Walken as Bruce Dickinson,  "Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription..."

You get the point.  Drove to Valley Creek today at lunch to see what it was looking like in light of all of the recent snow.  Had to get back to work, but looks fishable to me...maybe this weekend?

Poor quality pics taken with my "crapberry"

February 13, 2010

Recent Blogroll Additions

I've added a few blogs to my blogroll recently.  If you're passing through this site and like what you see, please consider stopping by these blogs as well...I'm certain you'll find all three both entertaining and informative.

The Trout Zone
A great blog about trout fishing in the mountain streams of eastern Tennessee.  I'm not sure which are better, the fishing reports or the photos.

My Hunting & Fishing
Hunting & fishing in Oregon is the name of the game in this blog.  I was recently drawn in by a post about a drift boat outing for rainbow trout & chinook salmon.

Outdoors With Butch
Butch has a great eye finding beauty of nature, even in unexpected places - and does an outstanding job capturing it with the lens of his camera.

February 12, 2010

24th Annual Stony Creek Cleanup

The Stony Creek Anglers will be hosting the 24th Annual Stony Creek Clean Up on Saturday, March 27th, 2010. This is truly a worthwhile event, as dumpsters of trash and discarded items are reclaimed from the Stony Creek each year in anticipation for opening day weekend - a big win for both the Stony Creek Watershed, the Borough of Norristown, and trout fisherman alike!

(Click to Enlarge)

Here is a link to some photos of last year's event, found on the Norristown Farm Park Preservation Association's website:

February 10, 2010

The Snow Has Finally Stopped!!!

I'm tired, so no longwinded post.  Totally exhausted, the only reason I'm writing this now is I need to unwind a little bit before I go to bed.

After getting 18" last weekend, we got hit by about another 2 feet today.  Wouldn't have been so bad - got to legally play hooky from work - except the piles of snow were already so high, there was no place to put the new stuff.

Went out shoveling 4 times today.  First at about 7AM...

Then around Noon...

Next around 5PM...

And just wrapped it up at 11PM...

While I was shoveling, I was contemplating moving some of the money I'm saving in my "obnoxiously expensive" fly rod fund into the newly formed "Shoveling f**ing sucks, it's time to buy a snowblower" fund.  But now that I'm inside, warm, and with beer in hand, I'm thinking...nah, what a stupid idea.

Great Swamp Fish & Game Pre-Season Trout Derby

The folks at Great Swamp Fish & Game over in Quakertown, PA will be holding their 5th annual pre-season trout derby on Saturday March 27th & Sunday March 28th, 2010.  Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids under 16, with $100 tagged fish each day.

(Click to enlarge)

So if you've got an itch and don't want to wait until opening day, here's an opportunity to go after some stockies a few days earlier.

Check out their website for more info at:

February 7, 2010

Bob Barker is at it Again!

Nope, he's not spaying & neutering your pets...his anti-whaling ship is making waves off the coast of Antarctica.

If you're a regular to Troutrageous!, you may recall a post I made in January about a collision at sea between a Japanese whaling vessel and some sort of anti-whaling spaceship looking boat (the best way I can describe it), that resulting in the spaceship getting torn in two and sinking.

Well another ship in Sea Shepherd's fleet, the Bob Barker (named after the game show host who made a big donation), collided with another Japanese whaler.  Click here for full AP article.  Who was at fault is up for debate as fingers are being pointed in both directions - but is clear is that if these guys keep it up at this pace, somebody is going to get hurt, if not worse.

In this photo released by the Institute of Cetacean Research of Japan, anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd's ship the Bob Barker fires a laser beam at the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru in the waters of Antarctica Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. 

In this photo released by Sea Shepherd, anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd's ship the Bob Barker, left, and Japanese harpoon boat the Yushin Maru 3 collide in the waters off Antarctica Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010

Images & Captions courtesy of Yahoo.

February 6, 2010

Why February is the Worst Month of the Year

No guys, this post has nothing to do with Valentines Day.

I hate February snow.  It's the worst.  You finish up the holidays, celebrate New Years, and odds are get teased by a couple warmer than usual days in January.  You start thinkin', "hey, the worst of winter's almost over," and inevitably your thoughts turn to warmer weather, opening day of trout season, and other more pleasant things.

All is good until...'BAM!'...Mother Nature turns into a vengeful Emeril Lagasse and raises not one, but two middle fingers in your face and drops 2 feet of snow on your head out of spite.  Seems to happen every year, I'm not sure why I'm still surprised or upset by this Mid-Atlantic fact of life.
Last night into this morning we got our latest installment of "F-U Mike" snow.  K.C. measured the accumulated snow on the table on our deck at 18", but some of the snow drifts I just got finished shoveling were over 3 feet.
Yeah, I know I shouldn't complain...I could live in Syracuse, right?

February 5, 2010

Feeling Lucky?

My trout club is selling raffle tickets as part of a fundraiser for our upcoming trout tournament, youth programs, & nursery upkeep.

Tickets are cheap, the payout is good, and since I'm the club treasurer  you know I'll get you the dough when you win (which I'm sure you will).  So are you feeling lucky?

Raffle tickets are available online at stonycreekanglers.org

February 3, 2010

Joined Smallstreams.com

Joined a (new to me) fishing forum last week called smallstreams.com.  It's a very interesting site with all the ingredients I love - tiny water, beautiful trout pics, and of course gear talk.  The site is also moderated closely and has a zero tolerance policy on poor behavior, which is a huge plus.  The unfortunate side-effect of this site - I'm itching for a bamboo fly rod now - shhhh...just don't tell my better half!

So after this, I've taken inventory and noticed that I'm a member of (and participate in various levels) a handful of fishing forums.  My standards are PAanglers.com & WhereIFish.com, but I also drop in on EPFR.net and the Tenkara USA forum regularly.  Now add smallstreams.com to the list and yes, I may need to go cold turkey.

So do me a favor and give me my next fix - go to the comments section and let me know if you belong to any good fishing forums and why you like them.

February 2, 2010

Dumb Rat

If you read this blog with any regularity, I think you might have noticed my dislike for Punxsuatawney Phil (& his cousin, Gus the Lottery Groundhog).

Anyway, that stupid rat (Phil, not Gus) evidently saw his shadow this morning...meaning 6 more weeks of winter. With all of the hunters in the state of Pennsylvania, how come we haven't taken care of this rodent problem yet?

Made even better with subtitles...