April 30, 2011

Ooooh So Pretty....Want One?

Your fishing pictures...magically transformed...
digital photography transformation paint by Owl Jones
It's like watercolor...but not...
Get yours HERE.

Also, today's the last day for the MNRiverdageous Lunkerdooress Scavenger Hunt.
Get your entries in now before time runs out. Good luck!

(Well, except to the person that's evidently very fond of setting up free email addresses under different aliases; take the day off brotha, you've got plenty of entries at this point).

April 28, 2011

The Tournament's This Weekend!!!!

Please excuse me as I use this this space to advertise my trout club's (the Stony Creek Anglers) annual signature event yet again.  I know...it's a re-post, yuk...but it's only a few days away and it's now or never.

So...rather than posting here, today's hijinks will take place over on Facebook & Twitter. "Like" and/or "Follow" and you'll be in "the know."

14th Annual Stony Creek Trout Tournament
Saturday, April 30th- 8AM to 5PM (Gate Opens at 6AM)
Sunday, May 1st - 7AM to 4PM

Rain or Shine at Norristown Farm Park & Norristown State Hospital Grounds
Enter Gate 5 (Stanbridge St.) 
**No Camping**

(Prizes Awarded for Tagged Fish)

Advanced Ticket Sales Available
Adults (Over 16) - - - - - Donation $20.00
Teens (Under 16) - - - - - Donation $10.00
Children (12 & Under) - Donation $5.00

Breakfast/Lunch & Drinks Available

Handicapped Section & Childrens' Section
(Special Pond for kids 6 & under)
Bait, Lures, Tackle Available - Fishing Rods for Kids
*Proceeds will be applied to the operation of Montgomery County's first co-op trout nursery & our childrens programs

1st, 2nd & 3rd place trophies for longest fish
Trophies awarded for Adults, Handicapped Adults, Children, Handicapped Children, and Kids 6 & under at the end of each day (30 trophies total)

Click HERE to download tournament flier above
Click HERE to sponsor a trout
Click HERE maps & directions
Click HERE for general information on the Stony Creek Anglers

April 27, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - Telescoping Japanese Fly Rod Edition

So this Wednesday Nibbles is all about tenkara....aka Japanese cane pole fishing.   Why?  Lots of stuff going on in tenkara circles, so I thought I'd get it out there in one neat package.  So those of you not interested in tenkara, check out this rad website instead HERE.

The biggest news is a fancy new rod from Tenkara USA called the ITO.
No, not that Ito...am I dating myself?

What's the big deal about the ITO?  Well, first off it's the longest rod in Tenkara USA's lineup at 14 feet, 7 inches long fully extended (and we all know how the chicks dig long rods), but it's also got this wacky "zoom" function that allows it to be fished at 13 feet as well, you know...on cold days.  There's another rod made by Shimano that has the same feature, but this is first rod readily available in the States.  The ITO is available for pre-order on the TUSA website now with inventory due in around May 10th.

I love this video.  Number one, the dude catches a trout with a stick.  Number two, he's fishing amongst other anglers who have clearly spent A LOT more money on their fly gear than he did and are not catching fish.  Number three, he has no problem mocking their lack of fish in an very douchebaggy open way as he brings his in.  And number four, did I mention he was fishing with a stick?

Another interesting (to me) tenkara development.  Two notable blogs, HERE and HERE, have noted that Kirk Deeter of the Angling Trade referenced Tenkara as a big deal HERE on Monday.  Now maybe I'm reading his quote wrong, but it sounds to me like he's saying small stream fishing is the big deal and is what is going to get a ton of pub in the next 12-18 months...not specifically tenkara.  But maybe I'm misreading the quote, you tell me...

"Tenkara and fiberglass rods"...somewhere Cam @ TFM is smiling

I guess where one goes (small stream fishing) the other will follow (tenkara), but why bother with semantics.  People are psyched about tenkara, and that's cool by me.

Okay, it wouldn't be a Wednesday Nibbles without some stupid and somewhat distasteful humor.  This isn't tenkara based, but so what.

See, there's a goose nesting in the parking lot of my office...it'll hiss at your ass if you get within ten feet.  I took a pic and posted it to Twitter HERE just so you can envision what I'm talking about.  Anyway, THIS VIDEO surfaced on YouTube last week of similar geese fighting all Mortal Kombat style...again in a parking lot.  Except this one doesn't end well.  Believe me, you need to watch to the end.  (Sorry you have to click the link because I can't embed it....damn you "Mr. Thyggs").

To close, blog love.  Since this was a tenkara-ish post, why not direct you to a blog that does the whole tenkara thing...  Well I really can't because I've either mentioned them all before or they haven't posted anything in over a month (ahem...Tenkara Blog.com), so instead I'll just send you over to a Troutrageous! fave that has nothing to do with tenkara, Functioning Fishaholics.  Why?  Matt's dog crapped on his wading boots and just like Lilly, I'm a sucker for poopie jokes.
Watch out, or I'll drop a deuce on your computer chair too!

Yeah, weak Nibbles this week, I know...sorry about that. I'd like to think next week's installment will be better, but we both know it won't.

April 26, 2011

I Love Cartoons

If you follow Troutrageous! on Facebook or Twitter, you've already seen this video (yet another reason to check out the blog in those places too), however I thought it was time to bring it to the mothership.

I love cartoons.  They seem to simplify very complicated issues.  The Curtis Creek Manifesto explains fly fishing in a very easy way.  This cartoon short from Earth Justice is in the same vein, except it's about all the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas going on right now in various parts of the country.  Yes, it's got an anti-fracking spin, but honestly, so do I, so deal with it.

Troutrageous! Theater Presents:

With a recent chemical spill in Northern Pennsylvania, this video is nothing but topical...plus the characters remind me quite a bit of Dick Dastardly, star of Wacky Races, and one of the best...cartoon...villains...evar!
Get your sh*t in gear Muttley!

April 25, 2011


Where's the egg?
Run Lilly, run!
Victim of friendly fire - or a muddy backyard

That's what I'm talkin' bout.

April 24, 2011

Worth $40? We'll See...

I've struggled for quite some time to take good video of my fishing.  I usually fish solo, so a cameraman other than myself really isn't an option.  I've tried juggling a camera and a rod with horrible results (usually a lost fish).  I've got one of those Gorillapod tripods, which I like, but really doesn't get the action up close.   

Heck, I've even tried making a hat camera system, but no matter how much you wear it, it just feels odd having a camera mounted to the brim of your ball cap.  That's basically the reason why all of my fishing footage recently has consisted exclusively of release shots like this:

Now before I go out and dump big money on one of those GoPro HD cameras and chest harnesses, I think I might blow $40 on a pair of unbranded spy camera sunglasses.  I mean I love my Kodak Playsport for pretty much any other video scenario (like snorkeling off the Keys), it's just difficult to use when you've got one hand on the rod and the other trying to land the fish.

You can find a bunch of these sunglasses on eBay or by doing a simple internet search.  They claim to shoot 720p HD video, come with polarized lenses, and are expandable via MicroSD cards.  What more could an angler need?  Well, besides a rod of course.

Some companies are selling what seems to be the identical item (with poorer image specifications) under hunting branding for quite a bit more moolah Interesting...

I figure they're either going to work, or be deemed crap and quickly handed down to Lilly, but heck, why not give it a try?  Odds are on the latter of those two scenarios, but even then they'll cost less than a tank of gas does these days.

April 23, 2011

I Love My Kid

Lilly is a little artsy one.  She loves to draw, color, play with clay, stick stickers, tape, glitter glue, you name it.  So it's not uncommon to come home to all kinds of art projects, both big and small.  At one time we wanted (and tried) to keep every single one, but now it's to the point where Lilly's arts & crafts output is so prolific...well...some just get put away in the "circular file".

Tonight after Lilly was in bed, I was picking up the living room a little bit and shuffling through a pile of her scribbles and doodles from the past few days.  I came across this one.

It's a picture of Lilly, K.C., & I, shortest to tallest.  Lilly and Mommy have matching "Princess Dresses" with a picture of a crown on the chest.  And Daddy...he's got a fishing rod with line out...perhaps trying to snag the bottom of Mommy's dress.  Notice the reel up by my head.  

It never ceases to amaze me what kids pick up on and how they see the world.  This one is a keeper.

April 22, 2011

"I Dough No, It's Beautifo"

I haven't plagiarized posted a news story in a while.  But when I saw the video below on YouTube yesterday, I had to dig up the accompanying story.  Check out the details HERE.

If you ain't into reading all that terrible local reporting in the link, here's the deal...this lady caught a huge goldfish in a residential pond while trying to catch catfish (hence the basketball sized bobber).  Somebody who lives nearby probably let it go, it chowed on radioactive sewage (or Arthur Bryant's) for a few years, and turned into an extremely tame River Monster.

The way it's hanging from the line like a mobile, she probably snagged it rather than hooked it clean, but I ain't here to rain on anyone's parade. Foul hooks happen.  Seriously, congrats Olivia, that's a damn big goldfish...  Brownliners in Kansas City be warned.

April 21, 2011

Unleash the Hydra! - The MNRiverdageous Lunkerdooress Scavenger Hunt


Yes, the five-headed monster is on the loose and it's protecting a $50 Cabela's gift card with its life.  Want to snatch it from its grasp?  Sure you do.  Ancient Greek mythology says the only way to defeat the Hydra (besides decapitation closely followed by a blazing firebrand) is to answer the following riddles on these 5 blogs ("following" them via the various social media outlets below doesn't hurt either):

Lunker Hunt: http://lunkerhunt.blogspot.com/ - Facebook
"Which species of fish did I catch and then release without submitting for the state record it deserved."

Journal of a Minnesota Angler: http://www.journalofamnangler.com/ - Facebook - Twitter
"In which of my top adventures of 2010 did I catch my personal best largemouth bass?"

Troutrageous!: http://www.troutrageous.com/  (duh, you're already here) - Facebook - Twitter
"I hate a specific day of the week. In fact I think it's the worst day of the week. What day is it?"

The River Damsel: http://theriverdamsel.blogspot.com/ - Facebook
"I took 'Idaho By Storm' with Rebecca 'The Outdooress' and Cardboard Kirk...What did we have for lunch?"

Outdooress: http://www.outdooress.com/ - Facebook - Twitter
"What was the nickname of my first fly rod?" (She wants the nickname, not the make/model)

Official Rules:
  • Send all 5 answers to me, or any of the participating bloggers.  See their post of this contest for their contact information. Click here to view my contact info.  Don't put them in the comments section below!
  • You must answer all 5 questions correctly, as determined by each blogger, to qualify for the drawing.
  • You are allowed to send your answers to multiple bloggers, thereby increasing your chances of winning. So if you send your answer to all 5 of us, you get 5 entries.
  • We will put all the correct entries together, sort by date received and pick a winner using OBN's famous RNG.
  • Contest runs from today (April 21st) to 11:59:59.9 PM CDT, April 30th
  • Contest winner must be from U.S. or Canada. Gift card will be in U.S. funds.

Think you can slay the beast?  I guess we'll have to see...

April 20, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - The YouTube-Centric Edition

Time for Nibbles.

First, I shall present you with good news.  I mean it sounds good to me anyway.  Got an email yesterday from NOAA...no not the animal herder who built the cruise ship..or that wussy doctor from E.R...but the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.  Yeah, they announced that the last bit of federal water still closed from last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill (I refuse to acknowledge the company involved by name) has now been reopened to fishing.
Last Gulf Oil Spill Water Reopened

The water's been tested and all those dispersant chemicals used to clean up the mess have evidently dropped to levels well within FDA regulations.  Who knows what lies beneath...in the spooky depths...but I'm not a glass half-empty guy - with Earth Day on Friday, that's good news.

I can't really take credit for this next one.  Clif sent it over to me.  You know, when you write a fishing megablog like yours truly, people like to send you content.  (How do you think the Chum gets all their filler?)...  Anyway, you may have seen (or maybe better said "heard") this before as it's been making the rounds, but for those that haven't...I present Wally Backman, manager of the South Georgia Peanuts of the South Coast League.  Those not in tune with the unique language of baseball probably shouldn't watch...

I got another solicitation email this week, this time from the North American Fishing Club.  You know, that group that tries to sucker you into being a life member by sending you prizes and crappy magazines?  Actually the articles in their magazines aren't terrible, it's just there's 8x as many pages of advertisements.

Well, they've put out a fishing app for iPhones, iPads & Android phones based on their Knot Wars series.  Basically gives you a bunch of knot tying tutorials on your smartphone for just $1.99...but unfortunately no Angry Birds.

Anybody care that there's still no progress in the NFL labor negotiations?  Since there's a lockout going on right now, there's been no exciting offseason player movement like in years past.  Kinda sucks for those of you who are into crap like that.  No Albert Haynesworth to the Redskins, no Julius Peppers to the Bears, although I'm sure Brett Favre is still sending texts somewhere.  Well fear not...one of the biggest signings has been made...yup...Mike Iaconelli has signed with Rapala & VMC!
Mike Iaconelli and Rapala

Okay, not really news that'll make the headlines...some of you probably don't even know Ike.  He's that BASS angler who weighs like a buck-twenty soaking wet and screams like crazy when he catches a toad.  I like Ike quite a bit.  He's from South Jersey (basically a Philadelphia suburb) and gives tons of props to Philly all the time - as evidenced by the hat in his "never give up" logo.

Now this news station won't allow me to embed this video (which is a damn shame), they even prohibited YouTube from letting people embed it...so I can only offer the link to view it on their website HERE.  It's well worth the click, especially at the 0:25 mark.  Eric Hubbard will be the next YouTube auto-tune remix star a la Antoine Dodson...mark my words.
Tornado victim Eric Hubbard - this is just a still pic, not a video, so don't click it.

Now for the blog love.  The last nibble kinda made light of all of last week's tornadoes, but honestly they created a very serious situation, one that took far too many lives.  r.b. wright, from r.b. wright outdoors has a video segment on most Tuesdays called "Tuesday Tip".  It's kinda like the Nibbles, except it's actually informative and not a waste of your time.
"An everyday guy talking to everyday outdoorsmen about extraordinary passion"

Anyway, this week's Tuesday's Tip was very topical and related to the recent disaster, as he happens to call North Carolina home.  Very well done, it's definitely worth a peek.  Check out r.b.'s blog when you have a spare moment, you won't be sorry you did.

April 19, 2011

Kype Fishing Magazine: Volume 3 / Issue 1

Issue One Highlights:

The Tube Fly Revolution
Fly Fish The Catskills
Custom Steelhead Rod Building
Curt Gowdy - Announcer & Fly Fisherman
A Journey of Fly Fishing & Photography

The Nature Conservancy - Give It A Look

A few weeks ago I was approached by a gentleman advocating The Nature Conservancy to possibly write a blog post about the organization in an effort to spread the word and get readers involved.  While I was mulling over writing such a post, I noticed Kirk at UA made a mention of the group in a post of his as well.  They were clearly making the blog "rounds"...

On the fence, I decided to at least do a little research on them because to be honest, I had never really heard about The Nature Conservancy before.  I fish, so I know many fishing-centric groups, but I'm not a "crunchy" person by any stretch. The only granola I eat has chocolate chips and mini marshmallows in it.

Anyway, after an hour or so of clicking through their website I was amazed by how far reaching the group was in terms of both geography and initiative.

Cleaning up the Gulf...yeah, they do that...

For example, their Working Woodlands effort, a program that attempts to balance private interests, industry, and conservation, yielded a huge score less than two weeks ago right in my own backyard with an agreement put in place to protect a 22,000 acre swatch of forest outside of Bethlehem, PA.  That means more trees, cleaner water, and all that good stuff...who knew?  And that only scratches the surface of what they've got going on in Pennsylvania right now.

...a lush, scenic Pennsylvania waterway.  The Nature Conservancy helps keep it that way too.

So I guess in the end I did end up writing a post for The Nature Conservancy in an odd sort of way.  Do I feel dirty about about being a pawn in their grassroots marketing efforts?  Nah, not so much.

If you're interested in learning more like I did, their website is full of information...including a program to "Adopt an Acre" in one of 4 threatened habitats of the United States (Appalachians anyone?) or several others around the world.  Take a few minutes and check 'em out, the fish porn will still be there tomorrow.

I was contacted by an individual via email in an effort to raise awareness for The Nature Conservancy. I currently hold no affiliation with The Nature Conservancy or this gentleman, however if you want to see what this "mystery man" is up to you can follow him on Twitter HERE. I received no payment or freebies for writing this post. As a matter of fact it will end up costing me money...as 2 acres of prime Appalachian forest have my name written all over them. Karma baby, karma.  

April 18, 2011

It Only Takes One Fish to Turn Your Day Around

The weather in the area on Saturday night was pretty bad.  Considering what happened in the Carolinas I shouldn't complain, but we had buckets of rain dumped on us combined with very, very high winds.

Wanting to go fishing on Sunday, it was somewhat convenient to know that my window to do such wouldn't be until later in the day (K.C. & Lilly were going to be out for the afternoon), so I simply crossed my fingers that Valley wouldn't be too swollen and fast by the time I got there.

However, when I did...
High, swift, & muddy...but fishable.

Normally, I wouldn't have fished it.  I probably would have headed home, or simply taken a walk through the woods, however I forced myself to.  The visiting Sakura Seki Rei was jealous that I took his little brother Kongo out last weekend instead of him.  Can't have family unrest.
Seki Rei's day in the sun

So I fished...  Quite unsuccessfully might I add for about two hours.  Not a nibble on the end of the line.  The rod however is a gem.  A bit heavier (also longer 3.6m vs. 3.0m) with perhaps a slower action than the Kongo, but in my opinion the better caster of the two.  Look, flick, and the fly's on the bullseye.

With the absence of action at its apex, my watch said it was 4:00 so I pondered heading home.  I've been there and done that before - fished a messy Valley with no results - so with the rod test drive mostly complete, why continue?  Might as well head down the path back to the car.
A well worn path

But right before I got to the end of the trail, I decided to veer right and give one of my favorite stretches one more try.  Effortlessly snapping cast after cast with the Seki Rei, I drifted my tandem of flies through a grouping of large rocks...if there's a trout lurking, surely it's got to be here...

BAM!  Fish on.

This particular brown had some getup and go too.  The combination of this fish's motor, the ultralight tenkara rod (with no reel or drag), and attempting to bring it to net somewhat against the swift current made it quite a memorable fight.  The trout made several runs, flexing the Seki Rei deeply in counterbalance, until finally, tired from battle it allowed me to remove the fly from its jaw and snap a quick picture before swimming back to sanctuary.  Adrenaline pumping I could only smile.  It was one of those experiences that make you remember why exactly you chase those sneaky wild fish in the first place.
14 inches of fight - a nice fish by Valley standards

The stench of a potential skunking (or should I say bouz?) removed, the rest of the afternoon was fished at a more leisurely pace.  Kind of got to sit back and smell the flowers if you will...
Obligatory flower picture

A handful of much smaller, more typical Valley trout came to hand in the following hour.  They were all quite frisky little buggers, some rising, some feeding sub-surface, but each a carbon copy of one another.
This one went for the Owl Jones "bombproof" caddis

While this one liked the nymph

It was about this time when I realized that the sun was getting low in the sky and it really was time to head home.  No worries though, after a day like Sunday, I'll be back...soon.  

April 17, 2011

Walmart Brings Us Fishing Humor

No, not courtesy of "People of Walmart"...

...but via a commercial they're running right now.  I'll be honest, had to chuckle at this one...even though in real life, I'd be the one inside the tent.

April 16, 2011

Mailed In Post - Tax & Tenkara Style

I was going to write something thought provoking last night for today's post.  Then I decided to actually get those income taxes done.

I've got Turbo Tax and all that good stuff, but with my wife's business booming, and a bunch of stock option exercising last year (I've been at my company for over 10 years, had to use 'em or lose em), my taxes were a bit more complicated this year.  So my brain got fried, and I decided that we'll be getting a tax "person" next year.  I'm getting the point in life where I'm finding more and more that the price paid for convenience is most times well worth it.
Beates Taxman Ringo Starr
Maybe Ringo can do my taxes?

So I'm going to mail in today's post with a tenkara video from the folks at Tenkara USA.  You may have already seen it on some of those other tenkara-centric blogs, but for those who haven't...here's 18 minutes of Japanese guys waving graphite cane poles and talking fish via subtitles.

Now let's hope the weather cooperates today.  Rain is in the forecast...but the township Easter egg hunt is supposed to be this morning, and I've got tickets for the Phillies/Marlins game tonight.  I think there's a less than 10% chance that we end up attending both events.  We'll see.

April 15, 2011

Acadia Sports - A Fond Farewell

If you're an avid fisherman - and if you're reading this blog, I assume you might be - you may have received some promotional mail from Acadia Sports at one time or another.  Famous for their "buy one, get one free" rod pricing, Acadia prided themselves on offering high quality fishing equipment at reasonable prices while providing top level customer service.  They were able to do this by sourcing product "factory direct" and keeping costs down by doing only minimal grassroots marketing.

I was introduced to Acadia Sports a few years ago through my involvement with the WhereIFish.com forum.  Acadia was a board sponsor, and from time to time served up product for forum contests.  Anything from rods, reels, lures, sunglasses, and equipment bags were up for grabs, and continually got rave reviews for being solid, no-frills gear from the fishermen that eventually would win (& use them).  Acadia even used several WhereIFish members (myself included) as part of a testing group of prototype rod models to gather feedback in the development of what would become their M-Series rods.

Always attentive, and in tune with what their customers' needs, it saddened me the other day to receive an email from Acadia's owner, Lee Richards, to say that due to pressures from the economy and escalating prices overseas, Acadia would be closing it's doors.  (Everything on their website is now heavily discounted, even more than before, so if you're in the market for a deal, now's the time!)

So to close, I just wanted to wish Lee & Val Richards the best of luck in their future endeavors - hopefully they involve a little rest and relaxation at a favorite fishing hole!  The Acadia "experience" was always top notch, and you both should feel a great deal of satisfaction for what was achieved over the past six years; just as much satisfaction as all of fishermen & women do from using your gear.

April 14, 2011

Gear Review - Flying Fisherman Pago Polarized Sunglasses

Okay...enough procrastination...time to write up the Flying Fisherman Pago polarized sunglasses review...I mean the OBN didn't give these to me for free for nothing.  I'm not a total slacker though, as I already wrote a "First Impressions" post about a month and a half ago.  You may want to read it first HERE, before proceeding with the goodies below.  You know, for the full picture.

The Pagos

I've spent about 4 or 5 days on the water with my Pagos in various weather conditions - from bright and sunny to overcast & drizzling, from AM sunrise to PM dusk - so I think I've finally got a pretty good reference base to work from.  I tried to match my fishing to the lens specs.  These particular Pagos have the amber lenses, which the manufacturer claims are excellent for shallow water fishing, bright sun and overcast conditions.  Check, check, and check.

So what do I like about them?  We'll first off, they're comfortable on your head.  Sometimes when I wear sunglasses they can get uncomfortable behind the ears or on the bridge of my nose (& I've got a big nose) after a day of fishing.  Didn't have that problem with the Pagos.  They really do seem to do a good job of cutting glare both on sunny and overcast days...although I'd say they really excel in the sun.  The last day I was fishing dry flies and it was cool to watch the fish holding in the current and then rising to the fly.  The clarity the Pagos provided definitely amplified that experience.
Pagos in action - Who's the idiot in the hoodie?

They're also pretty durable.  The first day I went fishing with them I (not-so) accidentally stepped on them in an asphalt parking lot.  Okay, I didn't use a full force, wine-making stomp, but they survived none the less.  I also decided to give them the royal treatment and transport them from home to stream and back with the rest of my fishing gear in a Rubbermaid tote...no case...nothing....so they got jostled around with my waders, net, and fishing manpurse.  They survived that ordeal too, with only minor scratches, and really none on the lenses.  Their super duper virtually unbreakable miracle lenses seem to hold up their end of the bargain.

What don't I like?  Squeaky plastic.  You flex the frames, open & close the hinges, they make that cheap-plastic kind of squeak.   You know what I'm talking about - the Errr-eeee-Errr-eeee noise.  I don't think the plastic is actually cheap, it just chooses to vocalize in that fashion.  Not a deal breaker by any means, but my Hobies and HaberVisions don't do that.  Also, the case provided is kinda weak.  Just a microfiber sleeve.  Gimme a soft case with some backbone to it.  The neoprene holder is a nice add though...but I didn't use it because I'm not Kurt Rambis...although I wish I had a cool 'stache and flowing mane like him.
Scrappiness, hustle, and glasses firmly affixed to head.

I guess the ultimate question is, "do they work?"  Yes, they work.  They work just fine.  If you want to cut glare while fishing, they should work splendidly for you.  Marvelous even.  Then again, I can't honestly say I've ever used a pair of legit polarized sunglasses that didn't cut glare.  At least they aren't the first.

Now would I (personally) buy them?  This particular style, no.  I don't like particularly like the frames and if you read the prequel post, my wife called them "feminine."  I'm not wearing these around town.  A different style, like the Magnum, perhaps I'd pony up the dough.  But again, I don't want to minimize the fact that the lenses work great.

So to conclude, for a fishing application they're a solid option.  Especially if you find yourself on a budget, you wouldn't be wasting your $59.95 (MSRP) in purchasing.

The Flying Fisherman Pago sunglasses tested in this product review were provided by Flying Fisherman via the Outdoor Blogger Network at no cost and carry an MSRP of $59.95. I currently hold no association with Flying Fisherman, although I have had a couple beers with Joe from the OBN, but sadly have never met his cat. As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased, blah, blah, blah...blah, blah, blah. You get the point, I'm not gonna bullsh#t ya.

April 13, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - Strategically Placed Feathers Edition

After two weeks of erratic scheduling, the Nibbles are back home, to Wednesday...where, uhh...the magic happens?

I'm going to start this week's edition with a list...because people love lists, right?  Well, it's not my list, but FlyTalk over at Field & Stream.com's list.  It's a list of the Top 12 Best States for Flyfishing in the U.S.A.

You just clicked on that link didn't you?  See I told you people love lists.  Anyway, if you didn't click through, somewhat surprising Michigan took home the top spot.  Montana & Colorado came in 5 & 6 respectively, California 10, and New York 12.  Kind of an interesting list considering all the factors that went into it...and I'm glad Pennsylvania didn't make it.  I mean the fly fishing here in the Keystone State sucks anyway.  As a matter of fact it's absolutely terrible.  You'd never want to come here.  Don't waste your time...
Trophy-class PA trout...

You see Cisco killed the Flip video camera yesterday?  Yeah, no more of that.  Pressure from video enabled smartphones and a conflict with core business strategies sealed its fate.  They evidently don't feel that enabling people to make such video gems as this winner below is profitable for them.  Which is a shame, because how am I going to keep up on important things like whether or not to buy Fruit Gushers?  I'll be leaving the box of Fruit Roll-Ups on the shelf during my next visit to the supermarket.

By now you've probably heard or read about the feather shortage...namely grizzly hackle...in fly tying circles.  It's gotten quite a bit of coverage in the blogosphere lately, like HERE or HERE.  Evidently women (& pets) like to weave the stuff in their hair and get their inner Pocohontas on.  Whatever, at least it's gotta look better on women than UGGS.
Gettin' my Pocohontas on...but no feathers.

Well, I can vouch that the shortage is no joke.  See, in setting up a small giveaway for next month I was trading emails with the Sales Manager from a particular company.  I noticed this company's Facebook page hadn't been updated in like 6 or 7 months and asked him why...his answer, "We have been very busy, in fact we are running a couple weeks behind in production of tools and Fly Tying Materials. Dying feathers for the fashion industry has put a lot of pressure on our system." So there. The story's true in case you were wondering...which yeah, I know you weren't.
More Gratuitous Indi...I mean Native American action

Okay, this video is SOOOOOoooooOOOOOOOoooooo fake...

...but pretty funny if you let yourself believe.  It's kinda like me when I see a snake when I'm out fishing...which is the total opposite of THIS post.

Last but not least, the blog love.  This week's goes to The Catching Chronicles by Trout MaGee.  This is a pretty darn good blog.  TMG as I'll call him, lives in/near the Wisconsin Driftless Area - which anyone who knows trout knows is primetime water.  Well TMG brings in the fish quite often, and even better, often does it with the kids.  I mean is there anything better?  Well, don't answer that...but you know what I mean.  Do yourself a favor and check out TCC by TMG today and let him know I sent you over to harass him.

April 12, 2011

The Next Generation of Fishing Maps

When I was at the Greater Philadelphia Sportsman's Show in February, I met Mike Gogal from Gogal Publishing at his booth.  Up until now, his company was primarily known for making print (paper) maps of regional Pennsylvania trout & bass waters.  Well all of that changed, and what he's concocted as the next generation fishing map is pretty damn cool.

This new gizmo is a little SD card that fits inside your Garmin Nuvi car GPS unit, and instantly transforms it into a fish finding machine.  What do I mean?  Say you're driving around one Saturday afternoon (& happen to have your fishing rod in the back of your truck) and get the urge to fish for trout.  With the software uploaded, your Garmin will not only tell you where the closest trout water is, but also tell you what kind of water it is (i.e. special regulations), what the seasonal limits are, and all kinds of other good info.
You can search by species
Or by body of water
and pull up tons of information

But no...the software isn't limited to trout.  That would be silly.  You can pretty much bring up any type of game fish in Pennsylvania and it will tell you where the closest water is (or how to get to a distant location).  Shoot, if you've got a bass boat, it'll even tell you where the ramp is, and if there are any motor regulations.
Yeah, I'll Go! here

The GPS Fishing Guide is really a tight piece of technology, and I'm not the only one who thinks so, as several local news outlets have also picked up on it too.  You can read their articles HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, or HERE.

The only thing it doesn't do is actually find the fish in the water for you...if you need something to take care of that, I'd suggest checking out say, Fishfinders.com.

Now for the somewhat fine print.  If this sounds a bit like a commercial, well, it kinda is.  Here's the deal.  For every sale of the GPS Fishing Guide on the Gogal Publishing website that comes from Troutrageous! using THIS LINK (or the one in my sidebar), they've decided to make a 12% donation of the sale back to my non-profit trout club, the Stony Creek Anglers (not me). Basically, it will help us feed the fish.  Actually, the club gets 12% on any purchase, so if the paper maps get you excited, use THIS LINK too.

Potential donations aside, this really is an awesome piece of technology.  I wish there was a video to show you (I'm twisting Mike's arm to make one), but believe me when I say I was amazed by how much info this thing contains.

EDIT (4/12/11 @ 11:42AM) - A video exists! See what I'm talking about below!

April 11, 2011

The Japanese Invade Valley Forge

Yesterday was a pretty fun day on the water. No, not because the fishing was great (it actually wasn't too bad, but more on that later), but because I was going to try out a new (to me) piece of equipment.

I've got two borrowed Japanese tenkara rods at my house this week, and yesterday I took one of them, the Sakura Betuatsurae Kongo Tenkara (Clif can translate that for you HERE), out to Valley Creek to put it through the paces.  This post isn't a review of the rod by any stretch, just a bit of context.

The trip started on a nice note, as I ran into a friend, "Flyguy" from the PAanglers.com forums (he was pulling fish after fish out of the pool below the covered bridge).  We chatted for a bit, and then went our separate ways, bumping into each other on the creek from time to time.  He's a really good guy, one of those folks you could just talk fishing with for a long time if the opportunity presented itself.
Zug Bug

As far as my own fishing experience, I ended up catching 4 browns on Zug Bugs & Griffith's Gnats, and then 5 more at the end of the session on dries.  I actually used Ben from AZ Wandering's Sparkle Parachutes to catch the rising fish - I had won them in a contest at his blog last year and I've been waiting for a good opportunity to use them.

The feeding frenzy presented that opportunity & a short window of chaos ensued.  At around 11:30, the fish just started going nuts rising (& even leaping fully out of the water) to eat some sort of small mayflies.  BWOs perhaps?  (I'm no Entomologist).  It was like watching Jiffy Pop popcorn pop, one splash after another after another.  It only lasted for about 15 minutes, and then the water went glass smooth, but Ben's flies did the job.
Like my bracelet?

Oh yeah, the Sakura Kongo...I almost forgot.  Well, it handles quite a bit different than my Tenkara USA Iwana.  It took me about 15 or 20 minutes to find the right stroke (and a feel for the ergonomic grip), but once I did, the rod sang.  It's got a stiffer feel than the Iwana, but because of that also snaps much crisper casts and is very sensitive...and very light.  Very, very light.  I'm not sure what to compare it to, but I liked fishing it quite a bit.
The fancy bamboo-like Betuatsurae finish

When I got home to eat lunch, Lilly said she wanted to go to the local park and go fishing.  We went, but unfortunately only lasted 15 minutes.  It's still a bit cold for sunnies, and there was no bite at all...so we went to the playground instead.  You know, limited attention spans.  No sense in dragging things out.
She tried valiantly...but the swings & jungle gym ended up being much more fun