July 31, 2011

The Worst Fly Fishing Guide On Earth

Yeah, that honor has got to go to me.  Or at least the title of worst "amateur" guide on Valley Creek.  Yeah, that Valley Creek...the one where I always catch those little wild brown trout that regularly grace the e-pages of this blog.  Unfortunately, every time I try to show someone where to catch 'em, it hardly goes as planned.

First, my friend Spurky.  He got the skunk two winters ago.  Not sure if he's been back since.

Next my friend "Swattie" from the PAanglers forum.  I never wrote a blog post about it, but at least he caught one that day.  Luckily I do have the pics to prove it...
Swattie bringing fish to hand...

Yesterday, it was Matt, (aka Functioning Fishaholics guy) who fell victim to my jinxed guiding ways.

We met around 7AM in one of the main parking areas.  I brought some extra gear like tenkara rods, but we decided we were going to fish with the fly rods...Matt had his fiberglass Cortland (which is a really cool retro rod BTW), I had my Redington CT.  The weather was warm, the water really low and gin clear, and the sun bright in the blue sky.  In the back of my mind I knew the conditions were going to make this a difficult day of fishing, but we pushed on regardless.
See where Matt is standing?  Yeah, the water would normally be ankle to calf deep

I showed Matt a few of my favorite stretches of water to start...showed him where to put the fly & let him fish all of the best runs first...nothing.  It wasn't until we hit the third section that either of us got any action - I got a take drifting a nymph - but wasn't able to get a firm hookset.  F-bombs quickly followed.

To his credit, Matt pushed on and kept fishing despite the general ineptitude of his guide.  We hit a few more riffles and holes but still produced pretty much nothing after about 3 and a half hours of fishing.  I was impressed with Matt's fishing, especially since he's a relative newcomer to fly fishing.  He had some issues keeping the line out of the canopy and tall grass to start, but quickly found his groove in the somewhat tight quarters that define Valley in the summer.
That bridge looks familar
That pointed rock at 4 o'clock...that's usually submerged

We did a little bit more fishing, again to no avail except for another failed hookset on a rise to a dry fly by yours truly (& more F-bombs) when things really started to degenerate.  Matt decided he wanted to use his fly rod to go "jigging" off the side of bridge for the pod of suckers directly below.  He actually got some of the suckers to take a look, I think even one took a swipe, but no hookups.  Whatever it takes, right?
That would be the jig cast...

After that bit of nonsense, little more trout fishing took place about a hundred yards upstream, but again, nothing....before Matt decided wanted to take one more shot at the suckers from water level.  So I stood up above on the bridge and directed his casts..."a little to the left....I mean right...I mean your left"....that kind of stuff, until he finally got his first take by a sucker.  As with my fish earlier, the sucker was either just mouthing the fly or found a way to kick the hook and it never got to hand.

Fortunately, that little distraction, coupled with watching a nice 12"+ brown trout go apeshit after a watersnake slithered beneath the rock it was holding against, were at least entertaining ways to kill about a half hour.
No, I meant my left, not your left...

At that point we had been fishing for the better part of 5 hours, had no fish to hand, and at least I was starting to get hungry.  (Did the guide pack a box lunch...heck no...see what I mean when I say shitty guide?)  So we took the opportunity to call it quits, accept the skunks, and talked fishing, blogging, and the combination of the two on the hike back to the cars.

Matt's a real good guy to go fishing with, an even better sport to put up our unfortunate fish count, and someone I look forward to fishing with again...perhaps on his home turf the next time, targeting smallies either on the fly or *gasp* with the spinning rods.

So there it is.  Anybody who wants to fish with me on Valley, consider yourself forewarned.  I will happily meet you there and give you the lay of the land, but it will likely be in your best interest to go our separate ways following....especially if your plan is to catch fish.

Post Script:
Matt also wrote his account of yesterday's debacle on Valley on his Functioning Fishaholics blog found HERE.  If interested, Matt's also quite active in the social scene, you can check him out on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.  I also think he does that StumbleUpon thing...but I still have no idea how that works...

July 30, 2011

Kimberton Fair 2011

Took the fam to the Kimberton Fair last night.  After getting off to a rough (& wet) start...we settled in quite nicely.  Nothing more, just pics.
Notice the pink NASCAR.
Those other kids didn't stand a chance...
The Force is strong in this one.

July 29, 2011

A Short Video Not of My Making

I make really crappy videos.  scumliner media (aka Headhunters Fly Shop) does not.  Here's the latest short "Stalker," enjoy.

Stalker from scumliner media on Vimeo.

There's also backstory found HERE.

You fishin' this weekend?  I might, we'll see.  Either way, Happy Friday.

July 28, 2011

Some More Nibbles

You know what's interesting about eating corn?  You usually see it again the next day.  With that in mind, I bring you a bit more randomness in the form of a condensed Nibbles Part Two.  Nibbles...niblets...corn...get it? You know, because when it rains randomness it pours poorly composed blog posts.

First, thanks to Dave over at Pa Fly Fish - the online fly fishing destination for Keystone Staters.  It's got an active forum (to which I occasionally lurk), a blog, and all kinds of other interesting stuff like Jamborees, yearly calendars, you get the point.  Very active in social media too, like Twitter & Facebook, if you're into that sorta thing.

Anyway, there was a T! Party over on the Pa Fly Fish blog yesterday, the full post of which can be read HERE.  Nice to see some of my blogbuddies & favorite reads make the list too.  You guys know who you are.

On to some other business.  You know those free stickers you guys are sticking everywhere...well 3 weeks in, I'm not diggin' the way the one on my car is "aging" so I'm ordering up some heavier duty stickers.  The originals were supposed to be for "outdoor use," but like I said, I'm just not happy and stuff like that bothers me.

So, if you stuck one on your car, kayak, etc...(anything outside) and haven't sent me a picture yet to let me know, shoot me an email and I'll toss you a new one when they come in.  If you have sent a pic...I already got you covered.  Fortunately, if you used one on your tying bench, fly or tackle box, KFC bucket, laptop, etc...(anything largely indoors) you should be all good.  Sorry about that all, but again, they were free.
I'd consider this outdoors.

Randomness from the email inbox...The Herring Alliance wants us to protect menhaden, river herring and shad. Big surprise out of a group called "The Herring Alliance," right? I actually got two different emails about this, so it's probably worth a look....HERE. Basically, it's one of those e-petition type things asking the the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to take some action in their next meeting. Sounds good to me...
Do it.  Now.  Wuss.

Those infamous Cheeky boys have a new reel coming out called the Ambush 375.  If you preorder it before August 15th using the coupon code AMBUSH you get $50 off.....the insanely high price of $640.  That's like a 7.8% discount (which is not so impressive when put in those terms, huh?)

Hey, if you HAVE to make like Elton John and score a technicolor reel to chase large trout, bass, and small salmon, I guess this is right up your alley.  Me?  $640 buys a lot of UTZ Party Mix & A-Treat Sarsaparilla (the offiical food & drink of Troutrageous!).

Last but not least, Joel's selling tenkara t-shirts of his own design over at his A Year On The Fly blog.  As a "long time" supporter (of both Joel & tenkara), I ordered mine up last night.  You should too.  I mean it's like art you can wear on your body and not necessarily regret 20 years from now when your skin gets all saggy and your man-boobs droop down to your waist.
Think about it.  It's only $17 + shipping...
and much cooler than wearing a polo pony or little alligator on your chest.

July 27, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - The Fabio Edition

Took the day off from the blog scene yesterday because I wanted a break.  Am I rested & recharged?  Maybe, maybe not.  Who cares, it's Wednesday, which means the Nibbles, which is a pretty random selection of posts that I don't have to work that hard to compile.  So there.

First off, got a nice little note on Twitter.  Evidently introduced somebody...or at least convinced them...that Tenkara was worth a try.  He even wrote a blog post about it.  Nice.  Pin a button on my chest that says "tenkara ambassador" or something, right?

So just remember Daniel, Paul, Igor, or maybe even Adam...I want my 15% "affiliate fee" when MusketCreek buys his first rod.  Okay?...cool.

You see this?...yeah, Fabio challenged the Old Spice Guy the other day to a duel.  At first I was apprehensive, especially considering I was such a big fan of the old Old Spice Guy...but Fabio is really great in the role.  (& for some reason reminds me of Bolton on SNL)  If you've got some time to waste...watch the string of videos HERE.  If you don't want to watch...here's a tease of the trash talk.

Back to fishing.  Ye Olde Trout Club...aka the Stony Creek Anglers...had our annual Open House last Sunday.  Considering it was 95 degrees and humid, followed by a downpour of rain, I think the turnout was pretty good.  Not sure if we ended up recruiting a bunch of new members, but lots of kids showed up which is kind of the point.
Checking out the pens
Did I mention we have another blue trout fingerling this year?

Also had a fun time talking to the guys that stopped by from the Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School Fly Fishing Club (why didn't my school have clubs like that?).  They were really excited about fishing, conservation, and tied some mean flies.

One more stupid video.  No words necessary.

With that out of the way, time for the blog love.  Actually, none of these blogs are likely going to be new to you...rather I'll toss some love out to the guys that made the TU/OBN trip this past week - Sanders, Owl, Mike, & Travis.  Watching from afar it looks like these guys all had a great time and I'm sure over the next week or two as they all return home they're going to be posting great recaps of the outing from their respected points of view.  Oh, and I'm sure Chris from EMBT will have something to say too.
Courtesy Mike's Gone Fishin'...Again

Actually, while I'm certain the pics of the scenery & fish are going to be great, I think we're all going to need more info on Travis' trip ending "hike with a local resident."  Atta guy...us fishermen are all about chasin' tail.

July 25, 2011

Giving My Readers What They Want

I noticed the other day in the little widget over to the right that displays my most popular posts that the "Fountainhead Caddis Series Tenkara Rod Review" has recently skyrocketed to the top.  Checking into the fancypants Google Analytics stats, this was confirmed.  In the last 3 months or so, web searches for things like "caddis tenkara rod" & "tenkara rod review" have sent people here in droves.

With that news I was a little saddened because this event knocked the infamous "Beyonce in a Bikini" post (the former #1 post for quite some time) down another rung on the ladder.  Yes, the "Orvis Android App" post had surpassed it too, but that post was more product plug than anything, and got a ton of traffic the first day because Orvis mentioned it on their Facebook page.

So it got me to thinking.  The corner of the internet that visits this blog seems to like tenkara...plus they seem to like Beyonce in a bikini (like who doesn't?)...what can I possibly do to continue to satisfy their needs?

Oh, I got it...

BAM!  Beyonce + Bikini + Tenkara Rod + Bad Photoshop = Traffic out the butt

But that's not all.  To make everyone happy I've also invited some of her friends.  Like...

Megan Fox, who evidently likes ice cubes with her tenkara
I think her tattoo is some sort of "one fly" mumbo jumbo reference
Brooklyn Decker Bikini Tenkara Trout Fishing
Brooklyn Decker is fond of tenkara too,
but not as fond as those hands behind her, either targeting her rod or her a**
Snooki Bikini Tenkara Trout Fishing
DUDE!  Who let HER in here?
We clearly need better bouncers at the door...sorry about that...
Kim Kardashian Bikini Tenkara Trout Fishing
That's better.  Thank you Kim Kardashian
I think she's dumping the basketball player and moving to tenkarists
Olivia Munn Bikini Tenkara Trout Fishing
Olivia Munn.  What?  No tenkara rod?
Somehow I don't seem to care...

Remember, the best cutting edge scantily-clad celebrity tenkara sightings can only be found here FIRST.
We put the T! in TMZ.

July 23, 2011

Ten Fishing Things To Do When It's 100 Degrees Outside

It's been hot here the last few days (I'm sure you've heard that already).  Another day of 100 degree temps are in store today.  Even if I wanted to go fishing, the water levels are so low it would almost be cruel to pester the fish on a day like this.

So instead, I'm in a climate-controlled environment - my house (specifically my basement, heat rises right?) - thinking of some fishing related activities to fill my day.  I will share them with you, because that's what I do.

10.  Watch a movie.  I'm sure I can get 'A River Runs Through It' on Netflix.  Screw it, I've got 'Gladiator' on DVD.

9.  Tie some flies - heck if it's what folks do in the extreme cold, why not the extreme heat.  Oh yeah, heat stroke induced dizziness makes staring at tiny beads & feathers impossible.

8.  Stay hydrated.  Yeah, got that one covered.

7.  Catch up on some overdue reading.

6.  Eh, forget the print mags, how about goofing around on the computer ("RT"ing, "Like"ing, and "+1"ing) and reading some blogs I like and the plentiful e-magazines...but then again, I pretty much do that every day anyway.

5.  Buy stuff I don't need from Deals on the Fly, Cabela's, AmazonEMS, L.L. Bean, or whomever...oops, again, see end of #6.
Would look solid with a T! affixed to the side

4.  Pre-write some blog posts for next week.  Perhaps some tenkara + photoshop magic is in the cards...

3.  Clean my gear, waders, fly lines, etc...  No way, screw that.

2.  Charge batteries in advance for camera & camcorder.  As typically I either wait until the night before (and end up forgetting to put said charged battery back in my camera for the next morning), or don't charge them at all, which leads to streamside profantiy.

1.  Nap.  Dreaming of fishing of course.

Let the napping commence...

July 22, 2011

It's A T! Party

That first batch of T! stickers has appeared to have made the rounds and are getting stuck.  I'm getting new pictures seemingly daily via email & various social networks in different settings...with them affixed mostly to car windows....but not always.

Here's a quick recap of what's come in to date...
(Actually I already posted the first two HERE)

This one is from the infamous Cofisher of Windknots & Tangled Lines infamy...definitely enjoy the nice company.
This T! is affixed to George's fly box.
He was even kind enough to write a blog post about it on his blog WILD FLY 365.
Speaking of blog posts, Bruce at Outfitted for Life wrote one about his fondness for stickers too.
This T! happens to be on his mobile fly tying station.
Mark, a loyal (& local) Facebook fan threw the T! up on the back of his Ford pickup.
I just hope the Sirius dog doesn't have to go #2 anytime soon.   
Good ol' original blog buddy Mel from Ass Backwards Angler gave the T! honors not only once on his FishMobile...
...but his gear bag too.  (Hope there's a sandwich or something in there, I'm getting hungry)
Finally, Brookman Trout of A Greenhorn Anglers Fishing Blog added the T! to this existing menagerie...
...to which I'll show the full back of the car for full effect!

So first off, thanks everyone for flying the T! flag.  If you've got stickers and haven't snapped a photo yet, please do and send it over!  I've added a tab to the blog of all the pictures submitted.

If you don't have your T! stickers yet...let the heat cool down on this bad boy for a little bit...then I'll unleash them on the world again.

In the meantime, Happy Friday.  I hope everyone enjoys their weekends and tries not to melt in this ridiculous heat.

July 21, 2011

Anybody Got Any Info on the Cortland Area?

My wife and I bought a "vacation package" from one of those limited time sale websites the other day.  It's our version of an outdoor compromise.

See K.C. abhors the outdoors.  Maybe that's a strong statement, but there's no chance she'd ever go camping.  Like ever.  Sleep in a tent?  Use communal bathroom facilities (if there's bathrooms at all)?  No way.  Never.  
Does this thing come with Quilted Northern?

Me?  I have a growing appreciation for the outdoors.  I fish, and although I never really camped or stuff growing up, I have no aversions to any of the scenarios above.  I'm a MAN for chrissakes.
now with Thirsty O's...

So back to our trip.  It's a compromise because while we're going to a nice outdoorsy area, we're not exactly roughing it.  No, instead we're staying at a "Mountain Resort" in Cortland, NY...yeah, like one with fancy showers, restaurants, and an indoor waterpark.  Yes, I said an indoor waterpark. 
Bet I can get a pedicure here...

That said, when K.C. is not getting all pampered or when Lilly isn't zooming down waterslides, it will hopefully give me a chance to take the girls off the property and go out & about and do some outdoorish stuff.  Stuff like take hikes, have a picnic, rent a rowboat, or even go fishing.  I know there's a lake to fish nearby...but I know nothing of trout streams, to which my fingers are crossed.  I mean it's in Cortland, and there's a fly line company of the same name there right?

I know I've got some Mid-Atlantic & New Englanders that read this blog.  I also know there's a lot of outdoorsy types too...I mean I can smell your unshowered bodies.  Has anybody ever been to this area?  Anybody got anything for me here?  'Googling it' will only take me so far.  

It's going to be a trip over a long weekend, and we're talking uncharted territory (on so many levels) so I want to attempt to make the most of it.  My influence over my family's future outdoor experiences may very well hinge on it.

Kindly accepting suggestions/recommendations in the comments section below...

July 20, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - Cheapskates Edition

Hey yo.  Time for the Nibbles.  I got what 'chu want...literally.

Why do I say this?  That little sticker giveaway I did last week went obscenely viral yesterday.   Yeah, at like 11:00 AM this website called Free Stuff Times let all of their readers know that I (& interestingly enough Los Angeles Bike Polo???) were giving away free stickers...unfortunately, they didn't realize I stopped giving them out to the masses last Saturday.
Once upon a time this title said " Free Troutrageous & Los Angeles Bike Polo Stickers"...fer real!

So I got out of a work meeting at 11:23 AM and had over 80 bottom feeding trolls (many disproportionately hailing from WV & TN for some reason) emailing me wanting free stickers...and it only got worse when that post was then linked to Fat Wallet.com, and then other places like THIS, THIS, and THIS.  If it was like 8 or 10 folks I would have obliged, but I gave up counting once it went over 150.  I basically politely told all of them to f*ck off and enjoy their LABP stickers...and thanks for all of the web traffic...yeah, bring it on Better Business Bureau.

Okay...enough of that.  Did you see THIS?

Wow, right?  Now do yourself a favor and watch it again.  That deer not only got taken out by one car, but it actually got hit by the other one first launching it into the main car.  Crazy...or fake...probably both.

Removing dams is kinda trendy these days right? Yeah, I know...Patagonia's all over that shit. Question - If there's no more dams, what are all of the opening day trout anglers going to fish beneath? But I digress...
The dam goes boom

Anyway, seems up in the Lehigh Valley the Wildlands Conservancy and Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission want to remove not one, but two dams on the Lehigh River. That would not only open up passage for runs of fish (namely shad), but it would also create some sort of world-class whitewater course for kayakers. I was just amused by the fact that the article used the local McDonald's as one of the points of reference when describing where said course would reside. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere...
Wanna go on a boat ride kids?

Okay on to fly rods...a few months ago I told you about the Hardy Zenith winning the Yellowstone Angler's 5-Weight shootout.  Well, the 8-Weight shootout is done and the G. Loomis NRX was the winner, edging out the TFO BVK (that's a lot of letters) by a nose.

Did I mention the G. Loomis is a $760 rod and the TFO is a $250 rod?  Just thought I'd toss that in...you know, if you're shopping around for an 8-weight.

Finally, time for blog love.  I'm going to a familiar face, although one relatively new to blogging.  Stu of Stu's Fly Shop fame's got a blog that apparently started in June.  Stu's writing style is great...very funny...especially considering he's from NZ and I can't always decipher some of the slang or references used.  Actually, that kind of makes it funnier.
Pillaging craft stores for tying materials - a tradition honored worldwide

Check out Stu's blog HERE if you have a chance...he's currently blogging about a recent swing through the U.S., so it's interesting to see what someone from halfway around the world thinks of American fly fishing.

NOTE:  As I was writing this post I received 6 more sticker solicitations.