May 28, 2010

Giveaway - FREE Hobie Polarized Sunglasses!

Okay...now that you've read my review, how could you not want a pair for yourself?

Lucky for you, the good folks at Hobie Polarized have made one additional pair (of your choice) of Hobie Polarized sunglasses available to the Troutrageous! community.  Pretty generous of them, huh?

All you need to do to enter is go to their website, look around, and then comment back on this post which is your favorite pair of Hobie Polarized sunglasses.

You can also get up to 5 extra entries by spreading the love of this blog and the Hobie contest in various places.  Easy enough?  Here are the full details:

Giveaway:
ONE winner will win their choice of Hobie Polarized Sunglasses and instantly become 100% cooler than they were before.

How To Enter:
First visit the Hobie Polarized Website and check out their products.  Come back to this post and leave a comment telling us which sunglass model is your favorite.
Although not required, including your email address in your comment will ensure I can contact you if you are a winner.

Extra Entries:
For extra entries you may also do one or all of the following.
Please leave a separate comment for each of those that you do.
  1. Become a Follower of Troutrageous! (if you already are, just comment saying so)
  2. Become a Facebook Friend of Hobie Polarized HERE and/or follow the Hobie Polarized Twitter feed HERE
  3. Post a link to this contest on YOUR Facebook wall and/or your Twitter feed.
  4. Post a link to this contest on YOUR blog (please place link back to your blog in comment)
  5. Post a link to this contest on a online fishing forum of your choice  (please note forum name in comment)
Please use this link for all Facebook, Twitter, blog & forum posts:
http://troutrageous.blogspot.com/2010/05/giveaway-free-hobie-polarized.html

The Fine Print:
  • Each user limited to 6 total entries
  • United States Only please - sorry international friends
  • This giveaway will end June 30th, 2010
  • Winner will be posted on Troutrageous! on 7/1/2010 & contacted by email (if provided)
  • Winner will be chosen at random using random.org
  • If winner's first choice for sunglasses are out of stock at time of drawing, secondary choices will be requested.

May 27, 2010

Gear Review - Hobie Polarized Sunglasses

About a month ago, I was cruising a bunch of fishing websites (researching a Hobie MirageDrive Kayak) and stumbled upon the Hobie Polarized sunglass line.  I had always associated Hobie brand with surfing & the beach lifestyle, but I was surprised to learn from their website that they have an extensive Pro Staff of anglers as well.

Interest raised, I reached out to them with some product questions, which quickly evolved into a product review (& giveaway promotion - more on that tomorrow) for Troutrageous! readers...

I received a pair of Hobie Heritage Series Bayside Polarized Sunglasses in Tortoise/Copper just in time to put them through a day of extensive testing on the water during the PAanglers.com fishing get-together on May 22nd in Jonestown, PA.

Exceeding the standards of world champion watersport athletes, the Heritage Series features our highest quality thin, lightweight and durable Borosilicate Glass HydroClean polarized lenses, set in carefully crafted frames of Grilamid TR-90 and hand-finished Italian Zyl. The Heritage Series also features precision flex hinges for a custom fit and extra durability on some models. Megol Nose pads and megol Temple tips on some models as well. Each style in this series reflects Hobie’s uncompromising commitment to quality, innovation and design.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX:
In addition to the product itself, the sunglasses came with a soft (but with some backbone) glasses case with a carabiner clip, a neoprene sunglass strap, microfiber cleaning cloth, warranty card (frames carry a lifetime warranty from manufacturing defects, the lenses carry a 1-year warranty), and a small Hobie booklet which outlined all of their product lines including surfing, sailing, kayaking, and swimwear.  I believe some of these extras, like the case & strap, are exclusive to the Heritage Series.


INITIAL IMPRESSIONS/FIT:
The first thing I noticed is that these sunglasses are pretty light.  The Bayside is considered an "XL" frame, so I was concerned that the larger size and glass lenses (not plastic or polycarbonate) might be a bit heavy.  They aren't, they are actually quite light.  

Upon trying them on they did fit comfortably.  I don't have a particularly wide head but they provided adequate pressure on my temples so that I didn't fear they would slide or fall off with a quick head movement.  They also have flexible hinges, so an extremely wide noggin shouldn't stretch them beyond their limits.  I went with the XL size frame because I felt that it was perfect for fishermen - the large lenses & thick side arms cover a greater surface area, keeping more sun and glare out.

The only initial concern I had is how they would hold up if I dropped them.  What...so I'm clumsy...  Since they are very light, my thoughts went to them being easily damaged, fragile even.  I didn't plan on throwing them like a fastball against a brick wall as a test, but perhaps a drop or two on the stream bank would be in order...

ON THE WATER PERFORMANCE:
I'll be honest, the day I tested them, the sun was playing peek-a-boo from behind the clouds all morning and I was fishing somewhat muddy water.  Not the best environment to test polarized sunglasses.  It wasn't until the later in the afternoon when the sun decided to come out and we moved to a different creek that I finally had a chance to stretch the legs on these suckers.  

As promised, the Hobie polarized sunglasses did a great job of reducing glare in the water.  We were fishing some backwaters off the Swatara Creek and I could pick out each little sunfish, fallfish, and baitfish that swam through the hole or followed my lure as well as most of the features on the creek floor.  It was pretty entertaining, and made the fishing pretty fun.  I've worn polarized glasses in the past - including some top brands like Smith & Bolle, and these Hobies were at their level, if not slightly better in reducing water surface glare.
FISH ON!
Photo Credit: "Swattie"

I also decided to "accidently" drop them a few times by mistake.  Once in the water, once in a gravel pile, and once from a large rock.  No, they didn't float, but they also didn't break either.  Luckily, the glass lenses really didn't scratch or mar.  Just a quick swipe from the bottom of the t-shirt I was wearing, and the lenses were clean and ready to go again.  Pretty low maintenance.

WRAP UP:
So to conclude...in a world of Oakleys, Maui Jims, & Costa Del Mars, are Hobie polarized sunglasses worth considering the next time you plan on upgrading your fishing optics?  Probably.  They are light, do a good job of cutting glare from the water, and at least in my staged tests, proved to be relatively durable.  At the root of things, that's all you can really ask for out of a pair of fishing sunglasses. That, and they do look pretty good too.

DISCLAIMER:
The sunglasses tested in this product review were provided by Hobie Polarized at no cost and carry an MSRP of $190.00. As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll let you know that too. I was born, raised, & currently live in the Philadelphia area - it's in my DNA to boo, throw snowballs, and taser where appropriate.

May 25, 2010

Lilly's Back On the Stage

When not toting her pink Barbie rod, Lilly is usually dancing.  Actually, sometimes she does both.  Here's a quick post of Lilly's most recent pre-ballet recital at the ACPPA in Norristown, PA.

Lilly is the one in black (on the left to start).  She did an awesome job!!!


She was also in a recent picture taken by the Norristown Times Herald.  The news article & picture was printed in the local paper, but can also be found HERE.
Lilly is the 4th from the back

May 23, 2010

PAanglers.com Get-Together

Yesterday was finally the day for the long awaited PAanglers.com "unofficial" get-together.  That's what we've been calling it since early this year anyway - "unofficial" simply because it was just to be some folks getting together to go fishing, no set agenda, activities, etc...

Member "Spurky" was our "unofficial" host, and a handful of us all met up at the Lickdale Campground in Jonestown, PA early on Saturday morning.
L to R:  tmiriverrat, Swattie87, kevin07, me
Photo Credit: DRY
Spurky61 & Bubba
Photo Credit: DRY

There was to be two parallel outings to take place - some of the group was going to float & fish a section of the Swatara Creek, while another group was going to wade some tributaries for trout.  I was in the latter group, and while the other guys were off with their canoe & kayak, member "Swattie" took me up to Trout Run, in search of some brookies.

I have to admit, fishing Trout Run was very different from any trout fishing I was used to.  In many stretches it was very confined & overgrown, and only required a short 2 or 3 foot cast into what I'd call a "micro pool" formed by a downed log, rock, or root ball.  Swattie fishes this water quite a bit with Spurky, so he was my guide for the day.
A sippy cup found in its natural environment

We all got into some fish on Trout Run (Spurky & Bubba caught up with us later), my highlight being a nice 7 or 8 inch brookie.  In addition to the trout, we also caught our fair share of fallfish & chub on our wade downstream.
Swattie with fallfish

Spurky with trout

After a quick trip back to the campground for some lunch (& to see if the floaters had returned yet - they hadn't), Swattie and I headed out to Indiantown to target some feisty little sunfish.  We fished this stretch for about 2 and a half hours, and although Swattie said the action was a lot slower than normal, between the two of us, we did land quite a few fish.  The most memorable for me being a pig of a red breasted sunfish, as well as a larger sized fallfish.
small

Medium

LARGE!

After that, it was time to pack it in.  Everyone convened back at the campground to show off some pictures and tell fish tales from their respective adventures before going our separate ways.  The guys on the float did well too - getting into bass, fallfish, even a native brook trout!  Spurky was an excellent "unofficial" host, and Swattie did a great job as guide.  It was one of those experiences where it truly was nice to finally put some faces to names of some really good fishermen.

May 20, 2010

Tonight Was A Bad Night

The worst night ever?  No probably not.  But still kinda sucky.

Work was fine today.  No issues there.  Was in a pretty good mood, even left a little early (for me) so I could enjoy the evening with my wife & daughter.  For some reason, when I got home, my mood just went south.

The house was a mess - every toy Lilly owned was scattered around our first floor.  I've got a borderline case of OCD, so certain types of messes tend to annoy me, especially if they linger.  Lilly & I cleaned up the mess quick enough, but then she decided to be extra difficult at dinner (for the second night in a row).  She didn't want to eat anything.  The joys of a 4 year old.  Individually, those things don't usually upset me, but tonight the combination just put me in a funk.

After putting Lilly to bed, I thought to myself, "there's an hour left of sunlight, let me head over to the pond and get some casts in to blow off some steam."  I hopped in the car proceeded to do so, and spent an hour casting my "western" fly rod, stripping some small streamers to no avail.  Skunked!

I decided to switch over to my tenkara rod for the last few casts.  No luck there either.  Now comes the straw that broke the camel's back, literally.  I was just about ready to pack up and go, and I thought, "one more cast"...  The line laid out beautifully, but my fly got caught up in some overgrown pond weeds.  I gave a quick tug to see if I could get it free...oops...SNAP...my tenkara rod broke in half at the second section from the tip.  My stomach just dropped.  (Yeah, yeah, I know all you tenkaraians out there - you're supposed to to collapse the rod first and pull from the line...whatever...don't rub it in now, I don't want to hear it.)

Normally the broken rod wouldn't bother me that much either.  It happens.  Tenkara USA sells replacement parts inexpensively, and I ordered two sets of replacement tips when I got home tonight.  Why this really stings is that I was really looking forward to fishing with the rod during this Saturday's PAanglers.com get-together.  I guess that's not happening now, and it's back to my ol' reliable spinning rod for the weekend.

At least now I have an excuse to go out tomorrow and buy a whole bunch of new spinners.  Yeah, that's it, definitely some new spinners...probably some new jigs too...and a mini crankbait or two...will probably need to pick up some new line to restring my reel too.  Maybe things aren't that bad after all...

May 19, 2010

Blogroll Updates

Realized I hadn't done a "Blogroll" post in quite a while. Bad on me. I've added quite a few blogs to my Blogroll in the past few weeks, so here's a few you might consider checking out (if you haven't already):

A Year On the Fly - A daily visual treat. Joel paints a new fly in watercolors everyday and posts it to his blog; he also accepts reader suggestions for inspiration.

Casting Around - Anthony's well-written blog is about fly fishing & fly tying topics (including tenkara), but you also find some interesting original art done on his iPod Touch (Trust me, you have to see it).  Anthony also is one of the editors for the upcoming online fly fishing magazine, Rise Forms, so if you like his blog, you may want to check out that website too.

Passinthru Outdoors - A relatively new blog, the author was inspired to start it after reading his son's college paper on "Nature Deficit Disorder."  You'll find quite a few really good detailed posts on fishing & hunting that are extremely entertaining to read.

Intro to Bass Fishing - This blog follows Mark's journey into becoming a more accomplished bass angler.  I particularly enjoy how he's not embarrassed to make it known he doesn't already know everything.  There's actually a bit of an interactive vibe to his posts, where he poses questions to his readers for tips & feedback.  If you like commenting on posts, check this one out.

Tenkara Adventurer - This is a brand new blog just started this month chronicling Laurent's journeys with his tenkara rod through some beautiful New England landscapes.  Since I'm a tenkara junkie, you'll likely find me here often.

Brooks, Browns, & Bows - Just stumbled upon this one today.  It's written by 3 contributors (I enjoy reading blogs with multiple voices) that are fly fishing guides as well.  Don't be scared off by that, it's not an "in your face" commercial site, just some guys sharing the sport they love.  And they get into some nice fish too...

May 18, 2010

Free Ohero Fluorocarbon Leader

Had to pass this one along...because it's free.  It was brought to my attention by a Facebook friend...and well...it's free!

All you need to do is visit the Ohero Fishing website, sign up, and they'll send you a free 10 yard sample of their Fluorocarbon Leader in your choice of test.  Here are the details, per the website:

Avid anglers, we understand the importance of having good fluorocarbon leader and believe we have the best leader in the market right now. In performance test, it rated #1! We invite you to give our fluorocarbon leader a try, you'll be glad you did. Please fill out this request form and allow up to 10 business days to deliver. Please let us know how you like it via our feedback form or on Facebook, thanks.
http://www.oherofishing.com/free_fluorocarbon_leader_sample.php


May 17, 2010

Make Your Own Magnetic Fly Box

I had bought some flexible magnetic tape from the hardware store a few months ago for a project around the house.  It was a large roll, so I had a lot left over.  Tonight I put some to use on a DIY magnetic fly box:

1.  Roll of magnetic vinyl tape - I'm using the leftover 3M

2. Empty Altoids-type mint tin - I'm using L.L. Bean Fisher-Mints container.  (I'm sure if you're into dipping tobacco, an empty tin of Skoal, Copenhagen, etc...would work too)

3.  Cut size appropriate strip of tape and line the bottom of the tin.  In this case I actually had to cut a strip and a half as the tin was wider than the tape.

4.  Drop in some flies.  In this case my typical tenkara arsenal of Beadhead Prince Nymphs & CDC Elk Hair Caddis.

I've shaken it, tipped it upside down, they don't seem to fall out.  May not be great for bulky streamers or dries, but for these size #14 nymphs (& I'd imagine smaller flies), it seems to work pretty well.


May 15, 2010

Should Have Never Got Out of Bed

Ever have one of those days?  Well, for me, today was one of them.

I've been fighting off some sort of sinus infection for the past few days.  I think today it was it's worst.  Woke up with a running nose, scratchy throat, all that good stuff.  Nice visual, right?  Do you think that was going to stop me from going fishing this morning while K.C. was taking Lilly to one of her pre-school classmates' birthday party - nope.  But it should have...

When I got to the stream it was pretty crowded.  Even saw a guide out there with two customers.  Man these guys were decked out with all the latest gear.  I never saw so much stuff.  I was fishing behind folks all day, which isn't a great recipe for success.  But undeterred I pushed on, tenkara rod in hand.

I'm not sure which was worse, the sneezing, the runny nose, or the achy joints, but I was basically a zombie out there today, lacking the focus to even follow the drift of my fly.  Oh, and when a trout decided to cooperate and would violently snap me from my daze, my delayed reaction time resulted in 0% chance for a hookset.  I probably failed to hook at least 6.

I ended up only catching 2 trout - which I consider a miracle.  This one was the biggest, approximately 10".

I'll be going to bed early tonight. 

May 14, 2010

Lilly's Choice - Pink of Course

Just wanted to thank John over at Fish Creek Spinners for making Lilly's day.

He sent over a pink Nitromite spinner for our next fishing outing.  Those bluegills over at Sanatoga Park better watch themselves.

If you get a chance, check out John's site over at Fish Creek Spinners.com.  He sells some really unique spinners; I'm particularly fond of the Armadillos...you'll find them in many of my previous fishing reports.
 

May 13, 2010

A Great Tenkara Line Storage Solution

I found this video on the Backpack Fly Fishing blog today - thanks to a great link from The Jersey Angler, who has quite a few very informational tenkara posts of his own.

I've been using the Fuji hook keepers for years on my spinning rods...looks like I may need to "borrow a few" and give this line storage method a try.

May 12, 2010

Indianhead Watershed's 4th Annual Fishing Derby

Here's one for the kiddies...

The Indianhead Watershed Association is holding their 4th annual kids' fishing derby on Saturday, June 12th from 9AM to 1PM.  It's limited to the first 75 registrants between the ages of 5 to 14, so if it's something your family may have interest in, you should act quickly.  In light of some recent news regarding the Perkiomen, this is an event you definitely do not want to miss.

The Perkiomen holds many species of fish, including bass, carp, a some trout that make their way down from tributaries such as the Skippack Creek.

The event will be held in conjunction with the Lower Providence Optimist Club & the Stony Creek Anglers, so there will be plenty of experienced anglers on hand to assist.

The registration form can be downloaded HERE, or visit the Indianhead Watershed Association's website for more information:
http://indianheadwatershed.com/

May 9, 2010

Avoiding Bouz

After celebrating Mother's Day this morning (featuring Suzy-Jo Donuts) with K.C. & Lilly, I was able to steal a few hours this afternoon for some tenkara fishing.

I find tenkara pretty interesting because although it's new to the US, it's origins are centuries old.  It's exciting to see how some of that pent up knowledge is finally being brought to the fore by some great websites like Tenkara-Fisher.  That's where I learned (amongst many other things) that the Japanese equivalent for "skunked" is "bozu" or "bouz."  (more here)

So when this afternoon's outing started out pretty slowly, I was really feeling like I'd meet bouz for the first time in a while.  Luckily, once the I got my first about an hour and a half in, the floodgates opened.

It was also the maiden voyage for my new measure net.  It's not the prettiest for picture taking, but it gets the job done, provides a quick size estimate, and allows me to release the fish without handling them.  All of today's trout were between 6-10".

After I collapsed my rod for the last time, I hung out for about 15 minutes watching a heron methodically stalk the bank for his dinner.  There was no trout-in-beak by the time I climbed the bank to head back to the car, but I'm sure he did not end up bouz either.

May 8, 2010

Friday Night Fishing

When I got home from work on Friday, I was informed by my wife that Lilly wanted to go fishing.  Nice!  So after a quick dinner, I dug up some worms from the garden, packed up the rods in the car, and Lilly & I, but this time Mommy (K.C.) came along too.

We headed over to Sanatoga Park again, it's very close to our house and very kid friendly.  It just makes fishing with a 4-year old easier.  After getting everyone rigged up - Lilly with her Barbie rod, K.C. with a spinning rod, and me with my tenkara fly rod - we all got our lines wet.

Well wouldn't you know it...Lilly caught the first two fish.  The first almost immediately.  Unfortunately, we haven't got the reeling in and unhooking the fish part down yet, so Daddy had to come over to help her a little bit.  The issue isn't physically being able to do it, it's not really wanting to be near the fish on the end of the line when it comes close to bank.  Hence, here's the picture of the first fish of the night....

...and a picture of Lilly about 10 feet away...

After that, we all ended up getting into some little fish.  No monsters, but enough action to keep us occupied with tight lines.

K.C. doesn't like to touch fish either...

May 6, 2010

Beyonce in Hip Waders...Jay-Z with a 5-wt?

Just read an article that rumors are swirling that Jay-Z and Beyonce are buying a house in Eastern PA with several amenities - one of which is being set along a trout stream. I wonder what bugs Jigga will be slingin'...seems he's already got the tweed look going.

Taken from Associated Press Article:

"Beyonce and Jay-Z could do a lot worse than the unique wood-and-stone hillside contemporary at the heart of the matter. Listed at $11.9 million, it's got 16,000 square feet of living space and stunning views of Hawk Mountain, a popular birdwatching spot. The property comes with a vintage eight-bedroom Sears house, a one-bedroom guest house, a restored bank barn and frontage on the trout-stocked Little Schuylkill River."

Oh, and just one more pic of Beyonce, just because...


May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

On Cinco de Mayo let's down a cold Corona, Tecate, or Dos Equis and celebrate the diversity of Mexican Trout!
Illustration of Conchos Trout by J.R. Tomelleri (copyrighted)

Also, in case you were wondering what happens if you mix Mariachi music with contemporary songs?  Here's two of my favorites:



May 2, 2010

Looking Through the Blackberry

Earlier this past Saturday afternoon, I had taken Lilly by the SCA trout nursery to drop some things off.  It was the first time Lilly was there and all she wanted me to do was catch a fish with my hands from the runway like I was a bear or something.  Kids are funny.

I was flipping through my Blackberry this morning and forgot that I had one of the guys take a pic of Lilly & I in front of the giant wooden trout carving out front.  Just thought I'd share.
Man...she's gettin' big (& heavy)

Trout carving is by local artist Mike Wood; he was featured in a recent article found here:
http://tinyurl.com/artshill

May 1, 2010

Sanatoga Park - Take 2

Lilly & I decided to head out fishing again tonight.  But more important things first...Barbie Happy Meals at McDonalds.

Ok, 3 nuggets and some fries later, Lilly and I headed over to Sanatoga Park.  We tried the park the other night without much success, but I told Lilly "tonight, we'll catch some fish."

When we got there, there were lots of bugs in the air, and you could see lots of fish (I don't know what's in there) rising all over the place.  Lilly just wanted to cast her Barbie rod, so I let her at it.  She still gets it tangled up quite a bit waving it around before she casts...but when she gets a clean one off, look out!

In between untangling her line and taking pond gunk off her hook, I worked the edge of these lily pads (lower left) with my tenkara rod and a dry fly.

Unfortunately, Lilly didn't catch anything.  She refuses to let me buy her real worms because they are "yucky...blaaah," so instead she used trout magnet worms under a small float.  Luckily, she did find a big pile of rocks and dirt, and had fun throwing them in the water (& getting filthy from head to toe) to keep herself occupied since fishing was slow.  I kept asking her if she wanted to go home - after all, we went out for her to go fishing - but she kept saying "no Daddy, I want to throw rocks."  Hey, as long as she was having fun, that's all that matters.
Striking a pose.

A few small guys decided to hit my fly, which was good so I could at least prove to Lilly there were fish in the pond.  She got really excited when I had them on the hook, but when I tried to hand her the rod to bring them in she'd hug my leg and tell me "Ewww no, fish are icky."

These pictures are kinda bad, hadn't figured out that the camera/camcorder I was using really doesn't handle closeups well.  No biggie, at least is wasn't a pic of a 18" trout or anything.