November 30, 2010

Going "Bo Bo"

The Urban Dictionary Definition of Bo Bo
Growing up in South Philadelphia in the early 80's, this term would have been used in the ghetto for any old raggedy ass, nasty, beat up shit kicker that all of the school kids would have accused your mother of buying at the Salvation Army, but usually of the Chuckie's variety. YOU KNOW short top with rubber tip. They were often found hanging, like Christmas ornaments from every telephone line...

In my area of the country, we call anything that's fake, generic, unbranded, or store brand, "Bo Bo."  It probably does stem from the reference mentioned above as my first exposure to the term as a kid was in the context of my Mom's shoes.  See she's always been quite fond of wearing dirt cheap white Bo Bo sneakers that you buy at the supermarket or Clover (another Philly reference - think ghetto Target) rather than the real Keds or Converse that they resemble.  They're like walking with cardboard and paper bags on your feet.

Clover - R.I.P.

Generic stuff might have a different definition in your locale, but I think you all know what I'm talking about.

To this day, I absolutely draw the line at buying three Bo Bo things (other than sneakers).  They are as follows:

  • Ketchup - Don't bother bringing store brand ketchup near my burger & fries.  In fact don't bring anything unless it's Heinz.  Yes, Hunt's is even considered Bo Bo in my book.
  • Toothpaste - You only get one set of teeth.  Take care of them.  Spend the extra cash.  Seriously.
  • Q-Tips - Keep those el cheap-o cotton swabs away from my ears.  The cotton disintegrates and the little stick in the middle is like a limp wet noodle.  How am I supposed to extract all of the waxy goodness with an inferior tool like that?

Don't even...

However, being Bo Bo is not always necessarily bad.  Here's an example of three Bo Bo things that I do use.

  • Yellow Mustard - The yang to Heinz ketchup's ying, store brand yellow mustard is perfectly acceptable in my book.
  • Shampoo - Does it make a lather when wet?  Does it get your hair relatively clean?  Yes to both.  No, I don't care if it costs $1...and neither should you, unless you're a chick.
  • Diet Soda - All diet soda tastes like crap, so what's the difference?

A Bounty of Bo Bo

In taking an inventory of my fishing equipment the other night, I noticed a relative lack of Bo Bo gear and wondered if I'm missing out on something good.  The handful of Bo Bo items included the following:

  • A fly assortment from WalMart.  I got my first fly rod a few years back but had no flies...they cost something like 100 flies for $9.99.  These flies are cheap and work great on indiscriminant panfish.
  • A non-branded 3-weight fly reel I bought off eBay for $10.  It's set up for the wrong hand and has no drag whatsoever, but damn if it isn't pretty.
  • Bass Pro branded split shot.  Why pay more for a chunk of lead (or in this case tin)?
  • White River tippet.  Sure, I prefer Frog Hair tippet, but I can get 2 spools of White River for the price of one of Frog Hair...and the trees and logs seem to like it just as much.
  • A spool of 4-lb test Bass Pro "Tourney Tough" monofilament line.  This line really sucks...who knows, maybe I just got a bad batch.  It should carry the tagline, "A bird's nest on every cast - guaranteed!"

Now here's where I'm going to toss out a request for some reader participation in the comments section.  What I want to know is am I missing out on some great Bo Bo fishing (or hunting) gear?  Are there off-price or store brand items that you use that really perform or that you even *gasp* prefer?  

If not...go ahead and humor me with some examples of Bo Bo products you use in your non-fishing lives. The more obscure the better.  But don't dare mention Hunt's ketchup.  That's blasphemy.

November 29, 2010

They Don't Make A Cream For This...

It was cold this weekend.  No, not as cold as it will be in a few weeks, but cold nonetheless.  The windchill didn't help much either, and because of that I stayed in for most of the weekend tying flies.  Until I got the itch Sunday afternoon...  If you're reading this, I know you're familiar with the itch.  Damn the itch.

I didn't have a lot of time before the Eagles game started at 4:00.  (Which in retrospect, the final score proved there was no reason to rush home to watch football).  No trout were in the cards for me today, too much time would be wasted in the car travelling to & from the local trout water.  Instead I took a quick jaunt over to Sanatoga Park to see if the cold temps chilled the warmwater fish into hiding.

Upon arrival I immediately got to slingin' bugs on my 3-weight and settled into the casting zone. I could have placed a fly wherever I wanted, which is rare, as my casting is normally erratic at best.

Unfortunately I'd be lying if I said the action was fast & furious.  Instead, in an hour and a half's worth of time, I ended up catching about a half dozen little bass, just like this guy, and one equally small bluegill.
little sanatoga park bass

That was it...and by then, it was time to head home.  It was almost time for kickoff and my fingers were completely numb.  Luckily, I didn't need them to scratch the itch. The bass took care of that.

November 27, 2010

Not A Trout

After my morning of Black Friday e-commerce crisis management came to a close yesterday, I thought I'd shoot up to the Stony Creek after work to check in on the morning's trout stocking.  By the time I got there the fish were already in the water and a different type of "doorbuster" crowd had assembled.

Not being one to be near the water & not get a line wet, I grabbed the spinning rod from the back of my SUV and tossed out a rooster tail.  After catching & releasing a few stockies - nothing to write home about - I caught this guy, (chub, shiner, whatever....) that actually put up a better fight than the trout did.  Usually don't catch these unless it's the summer so I was kinda surprised to not see a trout on the end of the line when I reeled it in.
creek chub

Yeah, not the pretty little brown trout you usually see on here, but I figured this "trash fish" deserved its share of the spotlight today.

November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Tie

Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you're all on the computer simply taking a "digestion break" after a day neck deep in turkey, trimmings, & football.

I've been working on a fly for a fly swap I'm participating in, and I think I've settled on a design. It's a tenkara-style fly (of course), but unlike most it's got a red beadhead and brass bottom. I'm calling it the "Tina Louise Kebari" after the actress that played Ginger on Gilligan's Island.

tina louise kebari tenkara fly

I'd like to try and see if it catches any fish should I happen to get out for an hour or two after work on Friday. If it does, it's gonna be my contribution to the swap. If not...screw it, it still might be anyway.

Recipe:
Mustad Size 14 Nymph Sproat Hook
Nymph Head 1/8" 3.2mm Bloodworm Red Brass Bead
Uni-Thread 6/0 Camel
Jack's Tackle Peacock Herl
Unidentified Saddle Hackle (Remnant of starter kit)
UTC Copper Ultra Wire

November 24, 2010

Wednesday Nibbles - Gobble Gobble

If you're reading this on Wednesday (like you should), tomorrow is obviously Thursday, which means Thanksgiving!  Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, heck maybe even that grab bag of mystery organs that comes inside your bird.  Who really eats that?  But you know what else it means?  Yup, time for the nibbles.
Giblets.  Enuff said.

Anybody planning on heading out early in two days for Black Friday deals?  Me?  Hell no.  I'll be working.  Internet retail never sleeps or gets a holiday.  There's no chance I'd go out shopping if I was off; being around all of those crazies jostling in long lines for $50 HD TVs & whatever other crap you'd normally never buy if it wasn't dirt cheap makes me nauseous.  

That said, if you're local and would prefer to stand jostling in long lines to get your fill of freshly stocked (& extremely stupid) trout, go to the Stony Creek in Norristown on Black Friday morning.  A little birdie told me there's going to be a stocking.  Actually, don't just chase the stocking truck...show up at the nursery at 8:30 and help the Stony Creek Anglers put 'em in the water...then they'll be even easier to catch because you'll know where they are!

Love thy neighbor.

Did you catch this?  The demolition project on the Philadelphia Spectrum finally started yesterday.  Yes, the place where Dr. J soared, Bobby Clarke smiled toothless grins, and elephants annually relieved themselves as the circus came through town.  It's a little sad; I feel like I grew up in the place - albeit sitting in the nosebleeds watching Michael Jordan & the Bulls dispatch Charles Barkley & the Sixers in the NBA playoffs year after year.

It's also kinda funny.  They couldn't blow the place up because of the subway & asbestos (mmmm...tasty) concerns, so they literally took the wrecking ball to it.  Or tried anyway.  Not quite as compelling as a huge explosion.  It makes for pretty anticlimactic footage...that...well...could only happen in Philadelphia.  Dr. J is still pretty cool though.



Time for a flagrant plug.  My wife's name is K.C., but her superhero name is "The Diaper Bag Wrangler" and she sews stuff really, really, really good.  She makes diaper bags (duh), changing pads, aprons for adults & kids amongst other things, and is having a huge sale on Friday as well.  

Just go to her website or Etsy store and use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY, you'll score 30% off and free shipping!  Better yet, tell your wife or girlfriend to go there.  Her stuff makes great gifts for kids or adults with kids, and it's inexpensive even before the discount.
Note:  I feel the need to pimp her sale because other than lifting $20s from my wallet, this is her only form of income.  Her success more than indirectly impacts how many presents I get under the X-Mas tree this year, and I've been a really good boy.

Time for the weekly blog love.  Who gets the big, wet, messy smooch from me this week...ummm...how...a...bout...Roy Christie's Reversed Parachutes.  Roy ties some serious flies, especially his signature fly.  Can you guess what it is - hint, read the blog's title one more time.  I think you can figure it out from there.

Roy's also got quite the resume.  It's so good I'll even forgive him for living across the pond.  How about reading this long list of credentials to make you feel inadequate.  Size doesn't matter, right? 
My designs have been published by the Fly Dressers Guild, Trout and Salmon, The Grayling Society, Trout Fisherman, Fly Tier, Fish and Fly, American Angler, Fly Fisherman, Total Flyfisher and in Australia's Freshwater Fishing. I have attended shows to demonstrate my techniques and designs - British Fly Fair International, Spring Fly Fair UK, Irish International Fly Fair and Loughs Agency in Ireland, Clearwater Junction in Roscoe US, CLA Game Fair UK, Umbria Fly Fishing Festival in Italy, Uppsala in Sweden and Sportfiskemassan and Flugfiskemassan also in Sweden. Some of my designs have been published in the following volumes - Tying Emergers by Schollmeyer and Leeson. Modern Midges by Rick Takahashi & Jerry Hubka. I had the honour of tying the commemorative files for the bicentennial of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson in 2005 for the Salmon and Trout Association.
Roy Christie's Reversed Parachute Emerger

Finally, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm draggin' this out of mothballs.  It's a year old and you may have already seen it, but it's still freakin' funny.


That's it outta me for today.  Enjoy your tryptophan-induced couch coma tomorrow.  Geaux Saints!

November 23, 2010

This Bobbin is the Sh*t

Let's get this out of the way first.  I spent way too much on a new bobbin last weekend.  It's my own fault, I'm a sucker for infomercials.  See, if the GT Xpress lady was right in front of me like Faruk Ekich was on Saturday, I'd be assaulting my belly with endless "Cookizzas" right now.


Point is, Faruk makes one hell of a presentation...and honestly, one hell of a bobbin.

It's an automatic bobbin that provides a constant tension (if you want it to) and retracts thread for precision control.

The best way I can describe the feel is kind of like one of those "zingers" you attach nippers or a stream thermometer to, but retracts much more gently.  The best part is that it takes pretty much any brand & size of thread, and lets you use the factory spool.  You don't have to use special spools like you do with the Nor-Vise automatic bobbin.

I considered making a video to show you how it works, but there was already a great one on YouTube, and I could never recreate the excitement in its magnificently creepy monotone voice-over.


So, is this little marvel of engineering something that is absolutely necessary?  Probably not.  But once you get your hands on one you're not going to want to be without it.  Unless you got the munchies, then Cookizzas are clearly a much better option.

DISCLAIMER:
The Ekich Ultimate Bobbin featured in this product review was not provided at no cost by the manufacturer; in fact I paid *gulp* $100 for it last Saturday and am kind of pissed I didn't save at least half that money for pizza and/or beer.  At the time of writing, I currently hold no association with Faruk Ekich whatsoever - however if he wants to adopt me, I'd be willing.  (He made me write down my name & email address on an index card when I bought the bobbin, so I'm hopeful!)  As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased.

November 22, 2010

So Overwhelmed...

that's how I felt upon entering the International Fly Tying Symposium last Saturday afternoon.  I just started tying my own flies in March, and not only was the convention hall's perimeter lined with some extremely talented fly tiers, but there were so many goodies in the interior aisles - sheesh, talk about fly tying overload.

Once my head stopped spinning and I got my bearings, the show was a real treat.  Most all of the fly tiers were really friendly & engaging, offering to show you some of their tricks, walk you through the assembly process of the flies they were whipping up, or even give you some tips on how to best fish them.  I feel I learned so much just from osmosis over the few hours that I was there, it was definitely worth the hour and a half trip.

Armed with my cameraphone, I snapped some pics of what I thought was cool.  The show was dominated by folks tying really fancy salmon flies & Carrie Stevens streamers, so please excuse the slant toward that style in much of the slideshow.




Besides all of the beautiful streamers, my favorite "fly" was most likely Bruce Marino's mouse fly. (Pic also in slide show).
bruce marino norway mouse fly

This particular fly is literally the size of the palm of your hand and he claims it's deadly for night fishing large browns on the Farmington River. Toss it out on a 5-weight with 0x tippet and fish it with or against the current stripping line in a short repeated motion. Makes the mouse look like it's struggling and ripe for the picking.

He's also got a smaller version that he says largemouth bass anglers love - just toss onto lily pads and pull it off into the water. The splash should evoke the strike. Honestly, I just think I like this fly because I love "Once in a Blue Moon," as reviewed on this blog a while back. That movie is all about browns gorging themselves on mice in New Zealand.

There was also tons of supplies to be had, and I bought my fair share of those too.  I'll have a short follow up on the supplies portion with a brief post tomorrow about a sick bobbin I picked up...for a teaser, click here.

November 21, 2010

Beadhead Copper Kebari

After returning from the International Fly Tying Symposium yesterday, I felt inspired to tie - and use my new bobbin (more on the bobbin & the show in tomorrow's post).

Anyway, this is my interpretation of a tenkara Sakasa Kebari fly, all beadheaded out, because beadhead nymphs are how I find most of my success locally.  I had always wanted to tie one like this, and I consider the design is a branch off the evolutionary tree showed off by Laurent Marshall over at his Tenkara Adventurer blog earlier this year.
tenkara copper john bead head sakasa kebari fly

November 20, 2010

In Enemy Territory

As a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan, it's very hard to compliment the Dallas Cowboys...other than their cheerleaders.  The Cowboys suck and deserve every profanity, snowball, & D-cell battery that has ever been thrown at them by fellow Eagles drunks fans.
Don't worry, Jimmy's hair didn't get messed up

That noted, one of the perks of my day job afforded me the opportunity to go on a behind the scenes tour of "The House That Jerry Built" this past Thursday.  Got to go in the locker room, some of the various suites, and of course stand on the turf and look up at the canyon walls of seating soaring up around me.
Cowboys Stadium
2-7, brought to you by Ford
Cowboys Stadium Big Screen Scoreboard
The Battle of Evil vs. Evil - The Cowboys vs. Brett Favre

In two words - F*#@in' Amazing!...and the pictures above certainly don't do it justice.  However now that I'm home, that should be the last compliment you ever expect to read about the Cowboys coming from this blog.

A somewhat complimentary post about the Cowboys & a Duke basketball player in the same week - what is wrong with me?

Want to know what's worse?  I'm heading up to the International Fly Tying Symposium in North(ish) Jersey later today...which means I'll be in the midst of New York Giants fans. Why do I torture myself like this?

November 18, 2010

I Totally Missed This...

Shame on me.  Some legit fishing news happens close to home and I totally missed it.

I hang my head especially low since it involves a 13 year old catching a record bass. Kids outfishing their fathers is always a huge hit on the web.  I mean what other than scantily clad women awkwardly gripping fishing rods do most fisherfolk smile at immediately when they see it?

So in the spirit of giving you what you want to see, albeit belated...no, not half naked women donning oversized floatation devices...here's a video and a link to an accompanying article about Juliana and her huge striped bass.  I especially like how NBC Philadelphia places this article in their "Weird News" section...what, is the Sports section too much of a stretch?


Way to go Juliana!

P.S. To all of my daily readers.  There may not be a post on Friday. As I mentioned in a post last week, I'll most likely be in Dallas as you're reading this, so unless I can figure out how to post something from my damn smartphone, Troutrageous! will look very much the same tomorrow as it does today...

November 17, 2010

Wednesday Nibbles - The Duke Sucks Edition

Stop MC Hammer Time
STOP...Nibble Time!

Let's kick off this week's installment by mentioning the International Fly Tying Symposium this weekend in Somerset, NJ.  All signs are pointing to my attendance on Saturday (no autographs, please) & I'm looking forward to checking out some folks that can really tie, and who knows...maybe take some mad scientist-like ideas (& supplies) back to my vise.

So if anyone out there is going, drop me a line.  I'm always open to putting real life faces to some of my blog buddies.  Especially if you're sporting a kick-ass handlebar mustache like this guy.
International Fly Tying Symposium

Non fishing subject, but did anybody notice that college basketball started sometime over the past week?  Don't worry, I missed it too - but I'm glad it's here.  I'm a hoop-head at heart with a mean 3 point set-shot.  I would have been deadly in the early 1950s NBA.

Anyway...saw this crazy video of trick shots from pre-season All-American Kyle Singler from Duke on YouTube.  I hate Duke, I hate Coach K, and Kyle certainly walks in the tradition of annoying Dookie ballers like Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Wojo, & J.J. Redick.  That said, I can appreciate some trick shots, so check this out.


After all that Duke stuff, I think I need a bath.  Yuk.

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to upgrade my 3-wt outfit at some point.  My flavor of the week might be a Redington Classic Trout rod with a Drift series click & pawl reel.  I like the idea of this rod; it's supposed to have a medium action (as opposed to fast) which is definitely appealing.  Another week will probably bring another rod to mind, but anybody have any experience with Redington & their gear?
Redington Classic Trout Rod

This is pretty f*cking cool.  Surfing whales in New Zealand.  Is everything cooler in NZ?  Clearly.  The pictures pretty much tell the tale...
Surfing Orca

Kinda reminds me of hitting the waves in Wildwood Crest, NJ back in the day with my foam Morey Boogie board...except the whales aren't wiping out, doing a faceplant, & getting a bathing suit full of sand.  Yeah, getting sand all up in your junk was always a pleasure.
Surfing Whale

Finally, figured I'd call out two new blogs to the bloated, ginormous, and eternally growing blogroll over there ----->

First up, Gary Thompson's Silk Lines & Paper Hulls.  In a sentence, it's about catching steelhead and blastin' birds.  To expand a bit - it's some really good stuff.  Fishing, hunting, other intermingled outdoorsy things.  Just go check it out and see what I mean.

Second, Flyfishing the Southern Blue Ridge.  This Owl Jones guy is so off-kilter, he makes me seem normal.  Good fishing, lots of humor, but check it out quick...the blog is having an identity crisis of sorts and might be moving soon...or not...
Owl Jones Fishing & Cookies
Owl Jones = Fishing & Cookies

November 16, 2010

Words Get in the Way

My temporary affections were dedicated to Jeannine Edwards last week.
This week, Ava Gardner...

Ava Gardner Fishing
Pic from Film Noir Photos Blog

Santa is so bringing K.C. a captain's hat for X-Mas.

November 15, 2010

Leaf Fish - My New Favorite Species

The guys over at The Jersey Angler & Fly & Fin have both posted about how the autumn shrapnel leaves have complicated some of their recent fishing outings.  Well, let me tell you...it ain't much different in Pennsylvania, as I encountered first hand yesterday.

leaf fish
Had a nice full stringer of these guys

Yeah, the leaves were numerous, but honestly I have no reason to complain.  The temps were in the low 60s (incredible for mid November) and it was a beautiful day.  Water levels were a touch low - we haven't had a good rain in a bit - and other than the leaves, the flows were running super clear so I expected nabbing a bunch of little wild brownies to be a little more difficult than usual heading in.

So what did I muster?  One brown...with a net shot & an out of focus "hero shot" (my own fault for using my camcorder to take the pics)...oh well, at least the video is passable.

wild brownie in measurenet
tenkara brown trout valley creek copper john
Just..a...little...fuzzy...

Here are a few other photos that try to illustrate that fishing count aside, how nice a day it was.

fall leaves blue sky
Rich blue sky, contrasts the colors of fall
low water levels in the fall
Water about a foot lower than optimal
shadowy angler
Who was that shadowy figure?

November 13, 2010

Do Cell Phones & the Outdoors Mix?

I'm not a cell phone person.  The only person I really ever call on my cell phone is my wife, and the conversation usually goes like this:

Me:  Hey, it's me.
KC:  When are you coming home?
Me:  Soon...you want me to pick up dinner on the way?
KC:  Sure.  Get ___________.
Me:   Okay, see you in a half hour.

All of this is pretty ironic considering in my other aspects of life, I consider myself a tech head.  Our house is stocked with digital cameras & camcorders, a blazing fast desktop computer, a netbook, HD TVs, a Nintendo Wii, all that junk, however as we move further into an electronic world where everything seems to go through people's mobile handhelds, this was my phone.  No camera, no web, didn't get much more basic than that.
crappy Samsung cell phone

Long overdue (I suppose), I upgraded to a Motorola Defy Android-based phone last night.
Motorola Defy Android Smartphone

The lady at the cell-phone store basically laughed at my old phone and to paraphrase said, "That's a 54 month old model, you suck," and proceeded to show me phones that would not only call people, but guarantee world peace and easily extract trapped Chilean miners from the depths.  I found not only her disgust funny, but also the fact that she referred to my phone's age in months, just like mothers tend to do when they describe their toddlers...."Oh, s/he's 18 months"....as if a year and a half is a foreign concept.

I have to admit, phone in hand, I'm soooooooo confused.  It's like application & function overload on this thing.  I even confided to Casey @ Fungal Threads (who was twittering up a storm last night) my befuddlement. So many little apps and crap, I ended up basically taking them all off the phone and just saved the email, web browser, Facebook, & Twitter ones.  I did try downloading a free Blogger app, but I didn't like it; plus I was somewhat scared of the strange Japanese cartoon advertising embedded in it.

OK...all of that said....I know I'm late to this game, and I'm sure many of you other anglers and outdoorsy folks have smartphones - be they iPhones, or something similar to what I've got.

So tell me, are there any really worthwhile apps or uses for this thing when it comes to fishing or outdoor related activities (other than the camera) that I should be aware of?

Help me out, I'm in the water, but having trouble staying afloat.  Comments as always are welcomed below.

November 12, 2010

Tastes Like Chicken?

My inlaws live in Boca Raton. I've occasionally posted pictures of our family vacations to Florida to go visit them.

We all enjoy our trips south - Lilly especially loves visiting Mom Mom & G-Daddy...they have a pool at their house and live right along a canal, which has all kinds of fish, ducks, geese, even the occasional otters pop their heads up from the depths every now and then. It's like a petting zoo 24-7.

Heck, Lilly caught her first fish in their backyard, almost 2 years ago.


Well, we got word that they have a new neighbor in their backyard that they're probably going to need to do something about:
big ass boca raton gator

Perhaps we can arrange for the gang from "Swamp People" to pay a visit.
Something in me really likes the idea of that...


November 11, 2010

WTF?!?

Catch 200% more fish.  Guaranteed!
Become the idiot with the flashing box hanging off your boat.  Guaranteed!


November 10, 2010

Wednesday Nibbles - You Got A Little Something on Your Shorts

It's Wednesday, which means another installment of the nibbles.  Fishy stuff & pop culture accumulated from the web, email, & social networks that is just starting to smell bad enough on my hard drive to get rid of it here...

Orvis is the sh*t.  No really.  Got a postcard in the mail that they're opening up a brand spankin' new store in Plymouth Meeting, PA with a special preview event on the evening of November 18th.  Normally I'd go for the free hors d'oeuvres, but I'll be out of town that day.  Will be in Big D to be exact - part for business, part on a mission to kindly remind all of the Cowboys fans that their team is 1-7.

Back to Orvis, it's a shame I can't make it, I really wanted to pick up one of these.  I think it would keep my Tahitian Treat nice and cold during a day out on the water.

Who doesn't need a leather cooler for $995?

Next up is not necessarily fishing related - but outdoorsy.  I'm sure by now everybody's caught the pictures of that Grizzly Bear chasing the Bison down the road in Yellowstone National Park.  In case you've been watching too many re-runs of the Real Housewives of Atlanta to notice, click HERE for all the pics.

It spread across the interwebs like crazy the past couple weeks but it has me wondering...why the h-e-double hockey sticks is this dude standing there and taking pictures?  If a charred bison and a visibly hungry griz were running down the highway toward me at full speed, I think I'd 1) Drop everything and run, 2) relieve myself in my pants, & 3) start crying for my Mommy - not that any of those are atypical behavior for me.

And down the stretch they come...

Speaking of racing - you see that jockey fight at the Breeders Cup over the weekend?  8 feet and 120 pounds of combined fury! You can't control Calvin Borel.

Sidenote - I'm having trouble figuring out if I have a crush on Jeannine Edwards; one thing I will say is that her eyes are not of this this world.  Really.  I don't know what's going on there. Almost beautifully reptilian in nature.


OK, back to fishing...right...sometimes I have to remind myself this is a fishing blog.  

Another fishing blog I stumbled on this week that you should all go and check out is Joe Chatterton's Angling Diary.  Joe is some guy lives across the pond and catches all kinds of crazy looking fish you don't typically find in the States . Stuff like Barbel & Roach.  Huh?  Lots of good pictures too...especially if you don't mind looking at shots of clothes soaked in catfish feces.  Yes, catfish feces.  Tasty.

Think OxyClean will get this out?

Last but not least (sorry, no poorly photoshopped pics of fellow bloggers this week) I had to bring some Rippn' Lipps out of mothballs.  For those of you not familiar with the YouTube antics of Rippn' Lipps...let's just say these guys fish with more style than you do.

Be A Fisherman, Not A Wisherman.  Join the Hit Squad.  YEETADEE!


November 9, 2010

Lilly's Bug

I read a wonderful post yesterday over at Kiwi's The North River Blog.  Please go over there and read it, but the quick synopsis is that his 4-1/2 year old daughter was intrigued by his fly tying, and wanted to help her Dad tie a bug.  She picked out all of the colors and Dad tied her one heck of a bug.  The "Isabella" is an instant classic sure to catch fish for years to come.

The post really hit home with me as my 4-1/2 year old daughter Lilly took a similar interest in my tying a few weekends ago - the weekend I was tying up the orange woolly bugger for Halloween.  Lilly came over to my little fishing nook in our basement and said "Daddy, I want you to tie me a fly."  I love the fact that she calls pretty much anything we put on the end of her Barbie rod a fly.

Of course I said OK, how could I not, and I asked her what she wanted it to look like.  She was adamant that she wanted it to have "a pink tail and be furry like Caesar (our dog)."  I gently pushed a few bags of materials in front of her to choose from and she quickly picked out the tinsel and plastic ribbing.

Is it the tightest tie I've ever done?  No.  Lilly literally sat on my lap (fidgeting like a 4 year old does) while I tied this up, so neatness wasn't a top priority.  The priority was a pink tail, and if you hold it in the light just right...you know that tinsel does in fact shine a pretty shade of pink.
Lilly's Bug

Anybody else tie flies (or make lures) for/with their kids?

Would love to hear about it either in the comments below; or heck even better, if you've got a blog write & share your own post about it.

November 8, 2010

No Fishing This Past Weekend

I had put together a nice little fishing streak for a few weeks, but like Phillies National League Championships, the run was destined to end sooner or later.
Ssor Ydoc Etah I.

I knew I wasn't going fishing on Saturday, and K.C. was a little under the weather on Sunday so I was on full Lilly duty.  No worries, although I was getting accustomed to a Monday morning post of some sort of fishing action.

Lacking the proper inspiration, hope this sick video I found over on new blog buddy Angling Addict will suffice.  It's a little long, but believe me, well worth it. Rob rocks the kayak like no other.


Oh, with my recent fly tying fetish, also added a new fly-centric blog to the ever-growing blogroll; check out cp's fly fishing and fly tying when you get a chance. It's tight.

November 7, 2010

Beadhead Prince Nymph Night

So I took all of the suggestions you all threw my way (thank you very much) and headed over to French Creek Outfitters yesterday afternoon to pick up some supplies.  French Creek isn't a fly shop per se, but it's the best I've got locally without making a serious trek.

I decided that since I fish beadhead nymphs most often, I'd get some supplies to tie some of those first.  Among the things on my shopping list were some hooks (size 14 & 18 - I'm no Small Fly Funk, I don't think I can muster sub 20s yet), beads in both tungsten & brass, multiple colors of 6/0 thread, some copper & lead wire, peacock herl, and some goose biots.  Also grabbed some deer hair patches and hackle for future non-related ties.
Crappy Fly Tying Bench with Vise
Assorted Stuff

K.C. was over at the neighbors' house, so last night was "Beadhead Prince Nymph Night" for me, and I turned out about a dozen of these guys.  Even though I fish the snot outta these I had never tied one before.  Luckily thanks to a YouTube video, I got to cranking them out pretty quickly.  Valley Creek here we come!
My Version of A Bead Head Prince Nymph Fly
Finished Product

Hook:  Daiichi 1710 #14 Wet/Nymph Hook (it's what they had)
Thread:  Dark Brown 6/0 Uni-Thread
Head:  1/8 Brass bead
Body:  Peacock Herl
Ribbing:  Copper Ultra Wire
Weight:  Lead Wire
Wing:  White Goose Biots
Tail:  Brown Goose Biots

November 6, 2010

The Big Score

Warning: The Subject Matter Covered Below Has Absolutely Nothing To Do With Fishing

Ok...you're still here?  Cool.

My wife did me a huge solid yesterday.  She spotted (& bought me) the ever elusive "Tahitian Treat" soda.  I'm not sure if it's available in your area, but it's quite rare in these parts.

I used to drink it often when I was a kid but at some point during my formative years it seemed to go out of circulation locally.  K.C. found this magical elixir at the Philly Pretzel Factory and aware of my yearnings captured the wily beast.  Furthermore, in realizing her coup, she excitedly snapped this cell phone pic and sent it to me at work.
Tahitian Treat Fruit Punch Soda
Screw McRib, this is my Holy Grail

Yeah, I love this stuff, and it will likely be consumed alongside a cheesesteak (whiz wit) for lunch this afternoon.  It's like a freakin' holiday to me; not a time to go half-a**ed.

I don't drink as much soda as I used to.  I'm trying to shed a few pounds, so when I do drink the stuff it's usually Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper.  However I will make the rare exception for some of my more eccentric soda tastes such as A-Treat Sarsaparilla, and if out west, Cactus Cooler.

No, this has nothing to do with fishing.  But it's Saturday, soda is fun (frankly, the world needs more fun), and I'm really looking forward to lunch this afternoon.

Feel free to share you fizzy favorites in the comments below.

November 5, 2010

A Quest(ion) for Fly Tying Materials

I'm a rookie when it comes to fly tying.  I got my first "starters kit" earlier this spring, and it gave me a great introduction into the mechanics of making my own flies.  I feel comfortable that I can adequately tie a little bit of everything - dries, wets, streamers, nymphs, even tenkara flies.  No, they aren't works of art, but I've improved to the point that I'm not ashamed to take pictures of them and more importantly they are actually effective enough to fool the idiot fish I chase.

Little South Fork Fly Tying Bench Desk
No, this isn't my bench (or stream), but it's nice to dream

That said, it's getting colder, the urge to tie more has grown, and I need to re-stock my materials.  I've pretty much used up all of the good stuff that came in my kit at this point.

My short list would be more options (colors) in thread, some wire, foam and leg material for hoppers, perhaps some brass or tungsten beads for nymph heads (my kit only came with glass beads), of course some hooks...I mean the list could really go on and on, I didn't even mention feathers and fur.

Sure, this is a loaded question, but knowing I like to fish smaller dries, wets, and nymphs, are there any "must haves" that any of my fly tying readers might suggest?  Brands of hooks, types of thread, etc, etc...  I'm open and eagerly welcome all suggestions in the comments below.

November 4, 2010

Coolest.Dog.Ever.

Besides my dog Caesar (of course).


If you haven't seen this yet, check it out.  I'll let the video do the talking.

November 3, 2010

Wednesday Nibbles - It's November...Already?

The nibbles are back - just like a bad case of acid reflux.  Grab a bottle of the pink stuff and hunker down, because here...they...come...

So any of you vote yesterday? I did. For whom?  I'm not telling.  This isn't a political blog.

As I've mentioned before, I do sorta enjoy political propaganda in the form of campaign ad commercials.  The nastier & more sensational the better.  We had a candidate in PA who basically called his opponent a supporter of sex offenders, terrorists, and of course...sending US jobs to China.  What an Evil Genius.

All he needed to add is that his opponent didn't support "catch & release" and wore felt-soled wading boots and I'd be in.  Seriously, it's probably better now that all of those ads are off the TV, because it frees up thirty seconds or so for genius such as this...

Got a nice little package in the mail on Monday from Ben at Arizona Wanderings.  He was kind enough to gift me with some flies that he's successful with out in Arizona, and I can't wait to try some of these in my neck of the woods.  I'm especially intrigued by his mini hoppers (recipe & "how-to" here) and I think they'll make great "dries" in my tenkara tandem rig setup.

Incidentally there's also a great post recapping an experience with his wife on his honeymoon that you must read.  It's even got some pictures.  No...unfortunately not those kind of pictures.

Mini Hopper Foam Flies
Ben's Mini hoppers on left

Got an email newsletter from Stu's Orgasmic Fly Shop in New Zealand last week.  For those of you slept through 4th grade...the seasons in New Zealand are the opposite than those in the US, so it's spring right now, actually almost summer, and the freestone season evidently just opened.

The email newsletter is pretty humorous, so it's worth signing up for, even if you don't feel like purchasing some of his sweet ties.  If I had run for public office, my political platform would have been to claim New Zealand as the 51st state (or at least a territory)...ASAP.  Manifest Destiny baby.
Stu's Fly Shop Superior Blowfly Humpy Flies
Stu's "Superior" blowfly humpy
(I just like writing "blowfly humpy")

Speaking of the seasons...we had our first frost in SE Pennsylvania yesterday.  Went out to get the paper and walk the dog and the grass was freakin' white.  Damn.  I like autumn, but not temps below 30.  Yes, I'm a wuss.  Guess that means it's time to put the riding mower away for the winter, just like this guy did...just leave your Busch pounders in the fridge.

Finally, it appears everyone's favorite crazy old uncle blogger Mel Moore of Blog Cabin Angler won the OBN 's "Official Launch Giveaway".  Congrats Mel; couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.  Seriously.

I consider Mel not only a friend, but also one of the O.G.s of outdoor blogging, so I'll toss a shout out to the West Siiiiiiiiiiiiide.  Holla'atcha dawg.
MelPac
Where my Ida-hoez at?

November 2, 2010

The Zebra Midge

In one final tribute to Lilly's Halloween costume, here's a video (not by me) on how to tie a Zebra midge.  Hope you're quick enough on the uptake to make the connection between the two.


Zebras are relatively easy flies to tie and are deadly on trout in the creeks in SE Pennsylvania.  They also happen to be the fly that sold me on fishing subsurface, thanks to a generous gift of a handful by a friend.

Believe it or not, Lilly also uses them, not on fly tackle but on her Barbie rod rigged beneath a bobber and a small piece of split shot.  The sunfish & bluegill just tear them up!  If they are not currently in your fly box, I strongly suggest making some room.

November 1, 2010

The Halloween Post

I enjoy Halloween quite a bit.  I enjoy it even more now that I get to live it through Lilly.  Unfortunately, Lilly developed a 101 degree fever on Saturday which put my her Sunday night trick or treating in jeopardy this year.
Lilly the Zebra
Lilly & Daddy before Trick or Treating

With a steady diet of Triaminic grape, Lilly's fever cooled down to 99 degrees around dinnertime, so we decided we'd let her do some abbreviated trick or treating, just around our neighborhood and maybe one or two of the "clusters" of houses in our condo community.  Other than the fever, she never displayed any other traits of being sick - sluggishness or pain - so it was a go.  Lilly & I were pounding pavement, K.C. was staying back at the house to distribute candy to the masses.
Lilly running out the door on a night of trick or treating
And we're off...
Lilly asking for a Kit Kat bar
Kit-Kat please
Zebra Lilly with a HUGE smile
Bucket o' candy

Lilly did great, but tired out pretty quickly.  I think we started a little after 6:00 and barely made it to 7:30.  Lilly scored 2 big bags of candy (including plenty of our favorite Kit-Kats) and helped give out candy back at the house until 8:00, when we thought it would be best for her to head to bed.  Her fever was back up to 101, she had a full day & needed her rest.

Now at the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, please allow a rant...  By 8:00, the big waves of kids had subsided, but we had a little bit of candy left so we left it on our doorstep in our Halloween-themed Disney bowl for any stragglers to take.  Lilly & I had noticed a lot of folks leaving candy in bowls on their doorsteps while trick or treating, so I didn't think anything of it.  

In the 15 minutes it took for me to read Lilly a book and tuck her in, the bastards kids took all of the candy (expected) AND TOOK THE BOWL (unexpected).  WTF!?!  I also know I'm going to spot that bowl either hanging from a branch up in a neighbor's tree or in the street shattered into 1,000 plastic pieces on my next morning commute.

I had always joked with K.C. that I had wanted to buy one of those trail cam things a lot of you hunting folks are so fond of to catch the dogs that cr@p on our front lawn in the act (or more so catch their owners don't pick up after them).  Now I think it's a necessity.  That and a high powered airsoft rifle...