October 31, 2010

Seeing If They Would Bite

Since I posted that orange & black bugger yesterday, felt compelled to go get it wet this morning.  This was a quick fishing trip, and the bugger did its job.  Here's a brief video of one of its victims.

Probably brought a mix of 5 or 6 rock bass and sunfish to hand before snagging (& losing) the bugger on a rock.  Had only tied one in orange, so switched it up and first fished a black bugger, then a generic blue & white streamer for a bit.  Brought another 15 or so to hand, but unfortunately not the nice mix from Wednesday.  More rock bass & sunfish.  The crappie and smallmouth didn't seem to want to play this morning.
Pennsylvania Sunfish on the fly with Albright Reel and L.L. Bean Fly Rod
Pennsylvania Rock Bass caught on Woolly Bugger
Pennsylvania Sunfish caught on blue streamer fly

Packed it up after that and headed home.  Should be an interesting Halloween night.  Lilly has been running a bit of a fever since yesterday, so we may only be doing some abbreviated trick or treating.  Luckily she feels okay and is acting normal, so I'm hoping it's just a 24-48 hour bug.

October 30, 2010

Trick or Treat?

Tied this Halloween inspired bugger up the other night.  Body is not the prettiest, but didn't have many options on hand for black. I think it will get the job done.

Plan on giving it a try Sunday morning on the denizens of the local creek I fished on Wednesday.  We'll see if they find it a trick...or treat.

October 29, 2010

Interesting Point of View

Slick video found on Vimeo last night from John Griber.  Check out some of the underwater footage; absolutely unreal.

That's enough outta me today.  Already thinking ahead to a weekend full of ghosts, goblins, princesses, and of course zebras.  Planning on getting some Kit-Kat on.

October 28, 2010

Afternoon of Pre-School & Woolly Buggers

I took the day off from work yesterday.  Lilly had a Halloween parade & party at her pre-school and I wanted to go.  Lilly is going trick or treating as a zebra this year, and she really loves the costume her Mom made her.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the Halloween stuff...well, because the real thing is on Sunday, and you know a post outlining Halloween night from A-to-Z will surely follow thereafter.

After school, I wanted to try and do something special with Lilly since I was home - go out to lunch, go to the movies, or maybe even go to the zoo - but she just wanted to stay home.  Oh well.  After lounging on the sofa and watching Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, she went upstairs to take a nap around 1:30.
When you love your kid, even this is tolerable.

I had nothing to do for the next few hours.  Despite the steady rain, I grabbed the fly rod, a box of flies, and headed over to Sanatoga Park to target some bass...yes, I said bass, as well as other warmwater species.

Sanatoga Park is where I usually take Lilly fishing.  It's less than 10 minutes from our house and there's tons of sunfish & bluegill in the large pond/lake/whatever you want to call it.  It's a very kid-friendly setting with huge flat rocks surrounding the impoundment.  I planned on fishing below the stone dam that holds all of that water up.  Not so kid friendly.
It was wet.

I was using a 6'6" L.L. Bean Quest II fly rod (the same one I plan on upgrading at some point this winter), & an Albright Topwater click n' pawl reel.  Tossed a small woolly bugger on 4-wt line.  Not sure if the fish were hungry or just partying in the rain, but it was by far the most fishing action I've had in a long time.

Cast, strip-strip, BAM!

They weren't the largest fish, but this sequence repeated itself pretty much every other cast for about 2 solid hours.
$29.99 Tevas gripping rocks and repelling water like a champ

By 4:00, I was waterlogged from head to ankle (my feet were fine), and decided it was time to head home to dry off.  I'll probably be back soon though...just waiting for more rain.

October 27, 2010

Wednesday Nibbles

The Nibbles are back.  Think I'll make this a semi-regular thing.  So much stuff I want to write about, but not everything is really post worthy on its own.  Here's some more random stuff I've been accumulating over the last week or so.  I gotta purge, cuz I'm dangerously close to becoming a Hoarder.

Got an email from Mann's last week...  Who?  You know, Mann's Bait Company...
Uhhh...c'mon, you know who I mean.  Mann's = Old Skool bassin'!

The email was to announce the launch of their new website.  Not sure I ever visited the old one, but the new & improved Mann's works for me - plus if you really "like you some Mann's" they are doing that Facebook thing too.
Is the Indian Head logo politically correct?
Who cares, it's freakin' cool!

Speaking of freakin' cool, I've been familiar with the 'Eclectic Angler' for about a year now.  Mr. Hackney was one of the folks that was writing early things about his tenkara experiences, and well by now you know how I love that Japanese crap.

Anyway, the Eclectic Angler is probably better known for Reelsmithing.  Yeah, making your own fly reel.  Building your own fly rod is so 2009.  Get yourself one of these Eclectic Angler kits for about $60 and build your own 4-weight fly reel from scratch.  That'll put some hair on your chest.
From this...
...to this!

I wanted to be an astronaut as a kid so space travel still holds a special place in my heart (right next to another childhood love, my 6th grade Spanish teacher).  Scientists recently found water on the moon, so I'd like to think one day Oprah & I will be chucking bugs at the noses of lunar trout.

While that probably won't happen anytime soon, I am headed to Mars...and you can come with me...for free!  NASA is letting folks put their names on a microchip that will be placed in/on the Mars Space Rover which is headed to the Red Planet in 2011.  The best part, you get to print out a super rad certificate (suitable for hanging on your fridge).
So Pimp!

On the Fly Productions is dropping not one, but two new fly-tying DVDs on our heads, creatively named 'Flies That Catch Fish Volume One' and 'Flies That Catch Fish Volume Two.'  They claim to show you how to tie flies that will catch any trout in any fishing situation.  Did I mention they can all be tied in 3 minutes or less? Sh*t, sounds good to me.  It's also from same folks who brought us 'Once In A Full Moon,' so they gotta be good.
Looks gnatty to me...

Last but certainly not least, one of my favorite blogs is back from a recent hiatus.  As many of you know the Google account & blog of what was formerly known as "Midgeman's Fly Box" was attacked by some hackers of ill repute.  Scumbags.

After shutting down the blog for a few days, all of your favorite midge recipes are slowly but surely coming back and better than ever in a brand spankin' new place...Poudre Canyon Chronicles.  So if you haven't updated your blogroll or "followed" the new blog yet, stop reading my cyber-diarrhea and atone for your sins.  Now!
"Guess who's back...back again...
Midgeman's back...tell a friend..."

October 26, 2010

If This Was Twitter...

...I guess this would be considered a Retweet.  Since I know my readers are into free stuff (who isn't), figured I'd give all you guys the skinny on two contests, assuming you haven't already read and entered them yourself.

But then again, don't bother entering, cuz I'm gonna win them anyway.

Troutrageous! blogbuddy HeyBJK wrote up a great review of a pair of Magnum Work Horse 6.0 Boots and is also holding a giveaway for a FREE pair!.  Contest runs between now and November 1st.

And then Rick at Whitetail Woods called out a contest yesterday that he saw over at Life on a Southern Farm for a very interesting looking automatic dog feeder.  All I know is if I got this for my dog Caesar, he'd find a way to break inside and eat, and eat, and eat, and eat.  He's a pug...that's fat...and lives for food.

October 25, 2010

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Went fishing at Valley again on Sunday morning.  Brought a half dozen brownies to hand on Beadheaded Prince Nymphs & Copper Johns.  Weather was warm and had a really nice time.

Will need to be a picture/video post today.  I'm writing this on Sunday night, and to be honest I'm exhausted from running around all weekend.  The fire just ain't burnin' tonight.  Enjoy the pics.

A Prince fan
Assume these are nests...or alien spacecraft
What's around the bend?
Oh, this little guy.  He liked the CDC/Elk dry fly
And his brother, who took a Copper John
A little further upstream the #18 Copper John strikes again

October 24, 2010

Pumpkins and a Corn Maize...uh Maze....uh...

Quickie post. K.C., Lilly, & I got our "Autumn On" on Saturday.

Typically we head out to a popular spot in Delaware County to do the annual pumpkin/hayride thing, but this year we decided to venture a bit and went to Mast Farms in Morgantown, PA.

Mast Farms isn't a huge operation, but what they do have is a gigantic corn maze. I had never done one quite this big before, and it was a good time. Good thing K.C. was navigating though, if the map was in my hands we might still be in the maze right now!
Mast Maze from above - image lifted from their website
The "Warm Up" Maze
Heading in...
"I Said This Way Daddy!"
Queen of the Mountain
Always in motion...

October 23, 2010

This Is Not A Fly Fishing Blog - Informal Spinning Gear Overview/Review

Over the last two years I've become immersed in fly fishing.  To the point that most of my posts have been fly fishing in nature, for better or for worse.  If you read the description of this blog over in the the upper right side of the page, it professes an environment for "equal opportunity angling." While this has always been my mindset - I don't care what you use - the content hasn't exactly reflected it recently.

So today, I'm going to give you a peek into my small stream trout spinning outfit.  I most often use it the early spring when the waters are rich with uneducated stockies, but it really excels in all conditions.  It's also kinda budget conscious, so in my opinion, it gives a really good "bang for the buck" if you're looking to invest in some new tackle this holiday or for next spring.

Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Graphite Spinning Rod, 5.0', UL Fast Action

Okay, this is a relatively inexpensive rod at $45 (when I got mine a few years back it might have been $35 or $40), but what I really love about it is its sensitivity.  Yes, it's an ultralight (UL).   Yes, when a fish is "on" you get a deep bend.  Despite both it's not a noodle and is still pretty darn sensitive.  You can definitely feel ticks on the bottom well when slowly retrieving spinners. It's something I attribute to the fact that it doesn't have a screw down reel seat, rather rings that snug around your reel to keep it against the cork handle.  It's handle "B" if you look at it on the BPS site.

Random Pro - It's good lookin', pretty even.  Not another black fishing rod.
Random Con - No hook keeper.  You'll need to get one of those Fuji hook keepers, that's what I use.

Pflueger Trion 4520 GX-7 UL Spinning Reel
Note: My reel (the smallest in the Trion family) only has a 4 bearing system

If you ever fished with a Pflueger reel you know how smooth they are.  This reel, even though it's only $30 is just as smooth - like glass.  When I bought it, I figured I'd try it out and when it broke down, I'd upgrade to its older brother the President.  Well, it's been 4 years and I've had no reason to - no wobble, no give.  It works just as well as the day I removed it from the box.  If you're fishing ultralight - 2lb to 6lb test, I honestly don't think you need to spend more on anything else.

Random Pro - Comes with a spare aluminum spool
Random Con - Rosewood knob.  I actually prefer it, gives it a retro, classy look.  I know some anglers don't like them and prefer the more typical nylon/rubber knobs.

So that's my "go-to" set up.  I usually pair the rod & reel with 2 or 4 pound Berkley Trilene XL (red box), a small box of assorted spinners, and go get 'em.

Who else fishes spinners?  If you do, what's your set up?  Short rod, long rod, and what reel?  I know technique (and not gear) catch fish, but honestly isn't "stuff" always more fun to talk about...

I don't consider this gear overview a real gear review by this blog's standards, however it should be made clear that I bought all the stuff mentioned above with my own money...or at least a gift card I was given by a family member.  Neither Bass Pro, Pflueger, or Berkley prompted this review; it's just gear I've found works well for me.  As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. 

October 22, 2010

Friday Filler

Back in the day when I was playing John Madden Football or NBA Live on my Sega Genesis, I guess my friends down South were playing this?  (wait for the "strike" at 1:45)  For the sake of their mental well-being later in life I hope not, but it would certainly explain a lot of things.

Something tells me you would not be able to put a character in a video game today named "Ahmed Atolloya" - especially one who takes pleasure in offering up his most smelly worm.

October 21, 2010

Happily Stooping to New Lows...

In the time honored tradition of posting T&A to gain clicks, I'm tossing up this picture I found yesterday on the homepage of the Little Lehigh Fly Shop's website.

Image Courtesy: Attractions

I've never visited the Little Lehigh Fly Shop, nor have I ever fished the Little Lehigh Creek, but come to think of it, Allentown really isn't that far away...

October 20, 2010

Some Wednesday Nibbles

I don't have anything of extreme substance to write today, so I thought I'd toss out some quick hits instead. Alone, they don't make up a full blog post, but combined, they harness the power of Voltron!

Those Teva hikers I picked up in the Cabela's Bargain Cave last weekend showed up at my doorstep yesterday.  Very comfy, but the Vibram rubber bottoms are a little squeaky on my hardwood floors.  Think that will probably wear off once I tread through mud (or dog poo - nobody in my neighborhood picks up after their dogs) for the first time.  BTW - they are still available.  Definitely the best pair of $29.99 shoes that I've ever bought.  The best pair of shoes I ever bought were my Walter Payton edition KangaROOS back in the mid-80s, but I digress...
Image Courtesy: Female Sneaker Fiend

I think everyone in this cult circle of bloggers (& beyond) now knows about the OBN.  Its growth over the last two days was radioactive in scope.  Heck, I even pimped it yesterday, as did most everyone else who wants to get their grubby hands on free stuff help spread some love to fellow bloggers.  OK Rebecca and Joe, cat's outta the bag, time to bring it.  Bring what exactly, I dunno, but we're all clearly drinking the Kool-Aid.

Rod Quest - Winter 2010 edition.  I've been on a hardcore tenkara kick for the last year or so.  It's almost completely replaced my 3-weight on smaller creeks and streams.  Well, no more.  I need some more diversity.  Not only do I vow to fish with a reel a little bit more this winter, but I'm probably in the market for a new 3-weight as well.  My L.L. Bean Quest II was a dandy starter model, but the gear monster in me is growling and wants an upgrade.  Open to any & all suggestions.
Image Courtesy: Lateral Line Media 

Lilly graduated from "Pike B" swimming classes at the Y this week and next session will be taking "Eel" classes.  That basically means she can swim all by herself now without the use of any floatation device.  Daddy loves you Lil.

Orvis redesigned their Safe Passage Sling Pack for 2011.  Click here to check it out (make sure to view the video).  Very interesting features, though I'm not digging the colors.  Something about them kinda whispers saltwater to me.  I'm probably just preconditioned to olive green & shades of tan.  I've already got my man purse fishing bag + an undying affection for Willy Joe packs, but it may be worth pulling the zippers on this bad boy the next time I'm in the land of dog beds & tweed.
Image Courtesy: Orvis

Finally, I noticed Troutrageous! recently went over 100 Google followers.  The fact that I've conned over 100 people into believing I'm a semi-competent angler worth their precious time to follow is amazing to me.  Then again 24 million people evidently participate in the stupidest thing ever created - Farmville on Facebook - so this blog still has a lot of room to grow.  Anyway, "thanks" are probably in order to all of you that follow this blog, but honestly, seeking mental help might be more appropriate.

October 19, 2010

The Outdoor Blogger Network

"I don't always sign up for directories of outdoor bloggers...
but when I do, I choose the Outdoor Blogger Network."
Stay QWERTY my friends!

Seriously, if you like to read or write hunting, fishing, camping, or other types of naturelicious blogs, do yourself a favor and check out "the most interesting blog network in the world."

Plus, it's brought to you by these two characters, so how can it be bad, right?

October 18, 2010

I Like 'Em Young & Stupid

Another Sunday, another outing on Valley Creek with the tenkara rod.  The fishing part of my morning could easily be summarized by the title of this post.

When I first arrived at the water it was chilly and foggy and the sun was just starting to peek out.

I was feeling good as I strolled up to the first hole and I caught three tiny guys (& a rock) within the first 15 or 20 minutes on beadhead nymphs.  Bam-bam-bam.  As the pictures below attest, they weren't beasts by any stretch.  Two running around 4 or 5 inches, and the "big" one at 8.

From there...it was definitely slower going.  I brought a few more to hand the rest of the day, but the Mom & Dad trout must have yelled at the kids for being so gullible.

Poor quality video of a release

Around 9AM I noticed it starting to get really crowded.  On my normal path upstream I had to hopscotch about 5 or 6 different anglers (I'm not one to crowd on someone's space), especially the closer I got to the Wilson Road bridge.  Once above it...forgetaboutit!

I even saw 3 different spinner fisherman upstream from the bridge. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with fishing spinners (I enjoy it myself), Valley is catch and release only so it attracts more of the fly fishing crowd.  I haven't seen any spinning rods during my travels to Valley since May.

Since the on-water traffic only seemed like it was going to get worse from that point out, I ended up taking more pictures of the scenery than fishing.  Valley Creek sits in Valley Forge National Park and it's simply stunning, especially in Autumn.  Here are some more pics from my day.
If you've fished Valley, you know where this is
Giddy Up!