August 31, 2010

Where I Get My Water

I pay my monthly water bill to a company called "Pennsylvania American Water," but who or what that exactly is...I dunno.  Their website says they are "local," whatever that means.  I figure my water probably flows down from NY state as part of the Delaware River system, but I digress.

Ambiguity aside, I was relieved when I received (with my monthly bill) a little pamphlet called "Protecting Our Watersheds" from Pennsylvania American Water.  Unfortunately, I also suspect that when most other people get this with their water bill, it's likely tossed quickly aside into the trash without being read.  So in the interest of passing this basic (but important) information along, I decided to post it here.

Good conservation behavior is not something that should be limited to Pennsylvania.  Please click on each image to zoom and read them a bit easier.



August 30, 2010

A Weekend of Amusement

Ok, here's the post about this past weekend that I've been alluding to for a few days.

I was convinced by K.C. to take Friday off from work so we (with Lilly of course) could get in some end of summer amusement park fun. Sounded good to me, so that's what we did.

First stop was to be Hersheypark, in (of course) Hershey, PA. Well...actually the first stop was to the post office, so K.C. could mail some of her orders, to Giant Supermarket to pick up discounted park tickets, and then to the Wawa to get gas. Okay, errands done, off to Hersheypark!
"Dad, stop pumping gas - I want to go!"

We arrived in Hershey around 11AM, parked the car, and did a quick tour of the park just to get our bearings. K.C. & I had visited Hersheypark a few years ago, but we really didn't remember it all that well.

I think Lilly was a little overwhelmed at first (which is odd, because she's been to amusement parks before - even Disney World) but settled in after a ride on the carousel.

After a few more rides, we stopped for lunch over at the Hatfield Grill in Pioneer Frontier. The only reason why I specifically mention this is that it's kinda hidden in a corner of the park that didn't seem to get much traffic. It was a nice find.

The rest of the afternoon was kind of a blur, watching Lilly go on ride after ride after ride. We did make a quick stop in ZooAmerica, but Lilly got bored by the animals pretty quickly, and wanted to go on more rides!

Monorail, Trailblazer, Convoy, you name it...she even went on her first "grown-up" roller coaster, The Comet, but (and she won't admit it) I think it scared her. She kept saying her tummy felt funny, but at least she didn't cry. What a trooper, give her a year or two and she'll be on the SooperDooperLooper!

Exhausted, we packed it in around 7PM, checked into the Days Inn on Chocolate Avenue (which in terms of location couldn't have been better - would recommend it), for a quick rest before we went out to dinner. We went to this retro diner in nearby Hummelsville called the Soda Jerk Diner.

For what it was, it was great - clean - good service - good diner food. After that, it was back to the hotel and time for bed!

The next day, we woke up, grabbed some breakfast in the lobby of the hotel, hopped back in the car and headed over to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. This one might have been a stretch for a 4-year old, but we decided to give it a shot anyway. Lilly is in a "princess phase" and said she wanted to go.

When we got there, we found out it was also "Pyrate Weekend," so not only were we transported back in time to the time of knights and castles, but evidently pirates were invading "the Shire" as well. I was personally shocked by how many visitors (non-employees) showed up wearing extremely authentic looking medieval costumes; where do folks buy this stuff?
God Save the Queen
Well...Lilly wasn't really feeling the Faire. She's got this phobia of "characters" coming up and trying to talk to her. Even somewhere as mild as Chuck E. Cheese, Lilly runs the other way when she sees that mouse mascot coming her way. Needless to say, she wasn't too thrilled when peasants or gypsies came over to say 'hi' with odd sounding accents. To their credit, they were all great and extremely friendly.

Lilly did seem to enjoy the shows. We watched a trained dog show as well as a joust. She was really into both of them; laughing at the dogs and cheering on her knight.

The Hippogriff ride might have been the highlight of her day.

In the end, I think we were all a little tired from the previous day, so we packed it in a little early and left around 4PM.  It may have been tiring, but it was definitely a fun weekend. Lilly has already said she wants to go back to Hersheypark...the Renaissance Faire...well, maybe when she's a bit older.

Here are some other random pictures from the trip:
Convoy!
The Chocolate Factory
Some BIG carp in the Hersheypark waters!
(As seen from above riding the ski-lift)
Lilly petting Blockhead - yes, that was the dog's name

August 28, 2010

Going To Bed Early Tonight

Back from a two day mini getaway to the Hershey & Lancaster, PA areas. Took the family to Hersheypark & the PA Renaissance Faire - and yes, a post will come on those adventures in the next few days - I'm just too tired to get it in tonight - it's going to be an early bedtime.

In the meantime, settled in back at home and sat down for some long overdue time at the vise. Tied up what I'd call sort of tenkara-style flies, I guess this is my version of an Ishigaki Kebari.

Sorry for the shoddy camerawork.  My fishing area resides in a dark corner of my basement, doesn't make for the best of macro shots.

August 27, 2010

Friday Filler

Taking Lilly to an amusement park today, so no fishing in store for me.  Rather here's a little fishing video I found on the internet last night...now if only he got inside!


August 26, 2010

This River Is Wild

There's some serious saltwater fly fishing going on over at the This River Is Wild blog. Some of you may be familiar with these guys - especially their carp on the fly posts - but the latest stuff is even better...and I'm not even a salt guy. C'mon, would I steer you wrong?

If you only have time to read (or watch) one post of theirs, do yourself a favor and invest about 7 minutes of your time into this one:

This River Is Wild: Volume IV

August 25, 2010

Waiting Is So Hard...

I bought a "gently used" Tenkara USA Ayu rod earlier this week. It's a 13' model that should compliment my 11' Iwana model nicely.
Tenkara USA Ayu
Image courtesy Tenkara USA

The Iwana is perfect for a lot of the creeks I fish that are either bushy or have a short canopy, but it's simply undersized when it comes to larger water, either moving or still. With 2 extra feet on the rod, that should probably translate to a minimum of an extra 4 to 6 feet of reach.  I'm also intrigued by the soft 5:5 action; fishing is relaxation to me, so the slower casting motion required should be refreshing.

Okay Mr. McFeely...time for a "Speedy Delivery!"

August 23, 2010

Gear Review - Inno Window Mount Rod Rack

After my post yesterday about going fishing with Lilly, I got a couple of comments about the rod rack in my SUV, so I figured I'd share a little more about it.  It really is a great (& relatively inexpensive) option for rod transport, and I always seem to get compliments from other anglers who see me loading (or unloading) my gear in streamside parking areas.
Daddy & Daughter rods

The rack is model ZR223 from Inno Racks.  It's a suction cup window-mounted rack system that is basically ready to go right out of the box.  The rack merely consists of two heavy duty plastic cradles with a firm, but soft foam lining.

How simple is it to use?  You just mount on your window, open the clamp, sit your rods on the internal hook "shelves" and then push the clamp closed.  The foam accommodates pretty much any size rod - from Barbie rod to heavy-duty bass rod, and the clamps are easily opened and closed with a simple click of a grey button on the top.
Image courtesy innoracks.com

Now with all this simplicity, there are a few drawbacks.  The first is the fact that you are limited by the size of your car/SUV as to what size rod will actually fit.  In this I mean since this rack mounts on the side rear window, if you have a smaller SUV, you may not be able to fit a long rod in your ride fully assembled.  I drive a Subaru Forester, and I've been able to use rods up to 7.5 feet.  A 8 or 9 foot fly rod (for example) would need to be broken down before transport.  You'll also want to mount as high on the window as possible, or else the rods could interfere with someone getting in or out of the passenger side doors.
Image courtesy innoracks.com

Second, the little hook "shelves" that keep your rods in place (visible in the image above) while the cradle is open are not that deep.  So sometimes when you open your cradle to remove your rod, the rod may slip out, especially if you've got a heavy baitcast reel mounted to your rod.  It's not a big deal, just something you need to be conscious of when opening up to remove your rods.

For anyone concerned with the stability of the suction cups, the racks have been mounted in my SUV for 8 months so far and haven't moved a bit.

In all, for convenience and function, this rack has been a solid addition to my gear arsenal.  The best part?  It doesn't break the bank.  I did a Google search and found e-retailers selling the rack anywhere from $20 to $30.  A worthwhile investment, especially if the alternative is a broken rod that could cost a heck of a lot more to fix or replace.

For convenience, I'm providing a link to find & purchase on Amazon, but as I mentioned a savvy shopper can do better with a quick web search.
Inno Window Mounted Rack For Bass and Fly Rods


DISCLAIMER:
The rack tested in this product review was given to me as a Christmas gift from my ever-thoughtful Mother ; I currently hold no association with Inno Racks.  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.  However in the case of the latter, I probably won't waste my time writing up a review anyway - unless it was really bad.

August 22, 2010

A Night With Lilly

Lilly & I went fishing last night.  I'll spare the details of a long post - "our" pond was overgrown with thick gunk, she had 3 takes, but wasn't able to set the hook on any in the hour we were out.  No big deal though, she seemed to have fun; throwing rocks, drinking water from my flask, and playing with the pink bobbers in her tackle box.  Even though I brought my rod, I didn't do any fishing, I had my hands full with de-gunking hooks and de-tangling lines.
Rods rigged & ready to go!
Fishing flirt
Fish on!....oops, maybe not

August 21, 2010

Fitty Cent

...or fiddy cent (depending on your dialect) will get you one of these.
http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=26GK

Saw this in an Orvis tweet last night, not sure why, but I want some of these parasol pheasant tails in size 18.  Can't justify the $6 S&H charge though, makes the "sale" price vanish.  I'm sure I can either find something locally or try tying myself.  Think it would make for an excellent tenkara fly though, well suited to the riffles I love to fish.

August 20, 2010

Feeling Sketchy

My daughter Lilly loves to draw. She's quite fond of drawing princesses (especially Cinderella), but the other day took a different approach and drew a map of our neighborhood.  It not only included her house, her friend's house, & the playground, but also the Mexican take-out place.  How can I make that up?

It's interesting to watch how her 4-year old mind works, and how she interprets different things. Pencils, magic markers, crayons...it doesn't matter, if it marks up paper (and her hands) she's all about it. I'm especially fond of the scribbles inside of a sports themed birthday card she gave me this past June. As you can clearly see, Lilly (on left) is bowling - notice the detail in the bowling ball, and I (on right) am wearing a baseball glove and catching a ball.

I guess it's in her genes. Her mom went to art school at the University of Kansas and is super-duper crafty.  Me...I was more a doodle-in-the-margins of my spiral notebook kinda guy, no teacher went unscathed in middle, high school, or college without a over-exaggerated caricature or two.

It kinda got me thinking, I really don't draw much anymore.  The last time I picked up a pencil to sketch something was probably in college, and that likely involved my statistics professor and a medieval torture device.  So last night I found a mechanical pencil with a very good eraser, and found myself really enjoying drawing again.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go all Joel DeJong or Peter Strid on you guys, they are far more talented than I'd ever hope to be, just thought I'd share. (Plus it gives me an excuse to plug their blogs!)

August 19, 2010

Joined The Fray On Twitter

Finally took the Twitter leap yesterday. I've been noticing some increased traffic to my blog coming from Twitter, and really couldn't see who my new stalkers were what was going on without signing up. I figure I'll probably use it in the same way I do Facebook - sparingly - and not necessarily as a primary tool to promote my blog.
image courtesy Nancy Dorsner

However... thanks to the viral Twitter intro I got from John @ Seven Bridges Road, I also met a bunch of fellow anglers in a matter of mere minutes. Most of which also have quality fishing/outdoors blogs of their own that I'm happy to share with everyone today.

Please take the time and click through these links, I guarantee more than one will find their way into your "follow" list.

The Sevier County Fisherman - Fishing the Smoky Mountains and Beyond

Texas FlyLines - The occasional commentary by a reel guy that lives in TX

Compleat Thought - Get it?  Like Izaak Walton's "The Compleat Angler"

Waving A Stick - Ever cooked your fly line?  He has..

Stumptown Fly - Stumptown Fly Fishing & Other Adventures

Oh, by the way, if you're looking for me on twitter - holla @troutrageous1.  I might even tweet back once I figure out how it works...

August 18, 2010

Some Good Reading

I was checking out one of my favorite fishing forums the other day (Smallstreams.com), and I saw a post on the home page by moderator Gus referencing The Curtis Creek Manifesto.  Not really reading the post, I clicked off the site and went upon my merry way.  A few days later, I was compelled to read the write-up and I'm very glad that I did.


In short, The Curtis Creek Manifesto is probably the most entertaining fly fishing primer I've ever read.  Upon learning that it was not just another "how-to" book, but also graphic novel...okay, it's really more like a comic book...I rushed out to my local Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy.  Some of you may have heard about or read it yourselves (it's over 30 years old so it's certainly not new), but it's been a revelation to me.

Why didn't somebody hand me this book 
2 years ago when I first started fly-fishing?

I'm not going to regurgitate the post over at Smallstreams, but rather send you over there (by clicking HERE) to learn more about this book that every fly-angler, both novice & experienced, would likely enjoy.

August 17, 2010

Cutt Video

Found this fun little short on Vimeo today. I don't know the filmmaker, but something about it just makes me want to get out of my cubicle on a search for tiny water. I mean is there anything better than fishing a small stream? Music is good too.

Cutthroat Trout Edit from trever wilson on Vimeo.

August 15, 2010

Fishing Valley with "Flyguy"

I received an email earlier this week from "Flyguy" from the PAanglers.com forum.  After a summer of warm water fishing, he had an itch to go chase some trout at Valley Creek.  An invite to go trout fishing...you don't have to ask me twice.

We met up around 6:30 AM and decided we were going to work upstream, starting at the covered bridge all the way up to the metal bridge on Wilson Road.  Flyguy doesn't fish that stretch as much as I do, and I was more than happy to show him around.

Flyguy reading the drift

Well, let's just say I didn't have to show him much.  First hole, BAM, Flyguy had a fish on almost immediately.  As a matter of fact, I probably should have stayed in bed because Flyguy was tuned in (and then some) to the trout this morning, pulling brownie after brownie out...again...and again...and again.  He probably outfished me a minimum of 15 trout to my 2 - yeah, I bow my head and fall upon my rod in awe.

Another release...

Kidding aside, it was a really fun morning.  The air temps were on the cool side (mid-70s) and the water temps were also fair (low to mid 60s).  Water levels were low, would have liked to have seen at least another 6-inches to a foot in some places, but were still very fishable.  We stopped around noon, or at least I did.  I had to get home to run some errands with K.C. & Lilly; Flyguy told me he was going to hit a few holes above the Wilson Road bridge before he called it a day.  With the hot streak he was on, who could blame him?

TROUT!

As for my Firebug experiment...none of the fish I caught were on the little orange midge.  I nabbed my trout on a size 18 copper john, and then a size 18 beaded prince nymph.  I'm not sure what sizes Flyguy was using, but he did mention having luck with a black zebra midge and an Al's Rat pattern.  That said, I do think those little Firebug midges will produce, especially this fall & winter, so I'll probably pick some up just to continue this experiment.

A few more pics from today:

Those little trout don't stand a chance
Butterfly
View looking upstream