April 29, 2013

In Search of Pennsylvania's Wild Salvelinus Fontinalis

There are no wild brook trout in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  OK, I'm sure there's someone out there that will tell me I'm wrong, but it's not that much of an exaggeration.  Wild trout, let alone wild brook trout, are pretty scarce in my corner of the state.  I don't think the maladies related to (sub)urban sprawl have been kind to the official state fish over the past 250+ years.

As such, I've caught quite a few stocked brookies...as well as wild brookies in other parts of the country, but had never caught a wild Pennsylvania brook trout.  Crazy, right?

Wildly dirty, but not a wild brook trout...  #yearofthebluegill

So with my weekends in the Keystone State becoming scarce, I thought I'd try to locate the closest wild brook trout stream I could, that also was majority public access.  This was not going to be a trespassing mission.  After a search on PA Fish & Boat, I headed a bit north of Reading, PA to a tiny spring creek, sight unseen.  I'm not going to tell you the name, but if so inclined, it's not too hard to find.

It's short and small, but the crystal clear water does indeed come right up out of the ground from a spring and flows down what looks to be a man made, rock-walled drainage ditch that dates from the 1940s.  At best, the large majority of the creek is a uniform 6 or 7 feet wide, and the length from the source spring down to the larger lake it feeds is only about 3/4 of a mile.  

Honestly, I wouldn't even recommend this as a fishing destination.  It's really brushy all around and with a creek bed full of grasses and plants it's a fly-eating snagfest waiting to happen.  That said, it does open up in a few spots including this (maybe) 15 foot in diameter pool beneath this tiny waterfall...

...and guess what?  Fish & Boat didn't lie...you will find some of the tiniest, but certainly wild, brook trout you've ever seen...

Mission accomplished.

April 22, 2013

2013 Stony Creek Anglers Trout Tournament

It's Tourney Week!

It's time again for the Stony Creek Anglers Trout Tournament, and as such my annual commercial for the event.  If you're in the Norristown, Pennsylvania area (or have the time to make the trip over), fishing starts at 8AM on Saturday the 27th and 7AM on Sunday the 28th.

More Info HERE

This is my trout club's annual fundraiser - which pays a large portion of the annual operating costs to feed the fish we raise on behalf of the State for stocking of the creeks and streams in and around Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  Founded in 1997, the Stony Creek Anglers are Montgomery County's first co-operative trout nursery, and an IRS recognized tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

April 20, 2013

$20 On EBay Gets You This...

Sexy right?

It's like the Honus Wagner of pin up girls holding dead (and possibly phallic) flying fish cards...

So hurry up, before the auction ends...

April 19, 2013

A Blogger Improvement? The New Google+ Comment Interface

Yesterday, Blogger (or Google, or whomever) announced a voluntary "upgrade" to the commenting system that powers many of our Blogger blogs.

The big news was that by clicking a button in your options, you can now change your commenting interface to seamlessly interact with Google+.  In short, this means that any comments made on your blog can automatically show up on Google+ and vice versa.  

Also, and this is where it gets a little nutty, anybody that shares or talks about your post on Google+ (whether you're aware of it or not) will have their share and subsequent comments on that share pulled into your post as well.  That way all the noise created by your blog post can potentially be viewed and replied to in one place.  

There's a little more to it, including how your Google+ sharing settings play into what other people actually see, but that's the basic concept.  One that potentially could expand the reach of your blog, creating more interactivity and attracting more readers.

More readers?  ...and the crowd goes wild!!!

I have to say I'm not all that warm to this change and probably won't integrate it into the Mothership for the time being.  Strange statement from somebody that's typically a fan of all things Google, right?  Well, there are two main reasons why, and I think each is pretty significant.

1.  The interface is with Google+
Who uses Google+?  If this was an integration with Facebook or Twitter, I think we'd be on to something...but Google+?  Despite my best efforts, It's still nowhere close to being an active social hub worthy of changing your blog around.

2.  In order for folks to comment on your blog...they'll need to have a Google account.
No more Open ID, no more Anonymous.  That kinda sucks.  Try to type in the text box and you are immediately prompted to log into your Google Account.  Now most people have a Google account these days, but making them use it (and also set up a Google+ page) just to submit a comment on one of my crappy blog posts...I'm not feeling that.

All that said, if you want to see a living example of how it works, I turned it on over at my Tenkara Sasquatch blog.  Here's a link and screen grab that shows what it looks like.  (Take note, that if you don't have or are not logged in to a Google Account, you won't see any of the Google+ activity.)

In this example, I had shared the post on Google+ as both +Michael Agneta and +Troutrageous!.  +Christophe Laurent commented on my share at Google+, however Mark Kautz-Shoreman simply commented at my blog, no Google+ involved.  As you'll notice, all the activity has been pulled into one place now.  No matter where you do the commenting, it all gets pulled in as one experience.

Confused yet?  I was too until I played with the functionality for a little bit.  Do yourself a favor, it'll make more sense after you do.  At the very least, I'm happy that this wasn't forced down our throat like Facebook does when it changes something and everybody complains.  I dig the fact that Google left this as optional.

So are you going to make the switch? 
Would love to hear why or why not (ironically) in the non-upgraded comments section below...

April 18, 2013

One Year Lived by Adam Shepard - eBook Offer

I was recently contacted by Adam Shepard, an author who put his "normal" life on hold for a year, traveled all around world, had all kinds of interesting experiences, and wrote a book about it called "One Year Lived."  The book will be released in paperback on April 22nd, but he's generously given my readers the opportunity to receive an electronic copy by sharing the word of it's release...but more on that in a bit...

So why should you be compelled to read this book about some random dude's "vacation?"  This isn't fishing...right?  I'll be honest, I was a skeptic myself...especially since the project was initially presented to me under the context that "Americans lack of travel breeds ignorance."  I mean c'mon, we're America, f#ck yeah, we're awesome...who needs to go to Nicaragua to understand that?

However as I read the book, the unique perspective gained from following Mr. Shepard's adventures (elephant riding in Thailand or sex on the beach in the Philippines anyone?) was not only entertaining, but also thought provoking.  I suppose his book is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and using the world at large to gain context and perspective on yourself.  Life isn't just enriched only by money; life's experiences are what makes one wealthy.  Common sense to some, but unfortunately lost on many.

Yeah, heavier than usual concepts for a blog like this that tends to post pictures of chicks in bikinis with fishing rods...but believe me, this is not heavy reading, especially considering the author's style typically depicts events in an amusing way.

Like this...

See what I mean, not necessarily bland or boring stuff...

Anyway, if you're interested in getting an electronic copy of this book and reading about Adam's adventures from Guatemala to Slovakia and everywhere in between, all you have to do is the following.

1. Answer this question in the comments below:
"If you could go anywhere, where would you go & why?"
(I'd go to New Zealand for pristine water & BIG brown trout)

2. Share or repost this article in social media and pop me an email HERE with a link telling me so - I’ll reply with a link where you can download the book for free...but act quick, this is a limited time offer.

Easy enough...right?

You win, I win, & Adam Shepard wins.
It's a ménage à trois of "win" - which by the way is a pretty damn cool experience in itself...

I received a free electronic copy of One Year Lived, as well as the opportunity to share copies with my readers, directly from Adam Shepard.  Other than that, I currently hold no association whatsoever with Adam Shepard, but after reading his book, am pretty jealous of his adventures.

April 17, 2013

"Pro Shop" - I'm Gonna Catch Some Bass

A bass fishing parody of that song that's EVERYWHERE these days, brought to you by Bass Utopia & Anglers Music...

...I'mma take yo' entry fee...

Hat tip to +Jeff Madre for sharing on Google Plus last night...

April 16, 2013

Tenkara Tuesday: Tying the Generic White Hackle Kebari

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

This past weekend my fishing companions and I were faced with fishing in slightly off colored water.  I'm not talking chocolate milk, but rather iced tea.  When fishing tenkara in those situations, I've always found a white hackle kebari to be extremely productive.  (I know, I know...the fly doesn't matter...whatever...)

I'm not sure if it's because the fish can see the fly better in stained water, or if it's because I can see the fly better (to manipulate it) in the dirty water, but I always seem to catch more fish when using this fly.

There's nothing fancy about this fly, the pattern is pretty much as simple as it gets...I tied this one with a tan body, but regularly tie them in all kinds of colors.

Tie a few up yourself...would love to see pictures of your next catch!

April 15, 2013

Southeastern Pennsylvania Blogger Trouting

Sometimes it takes a certain set of circumstances to give you the kick in the pants needed to make something cool actually happen.  I suppose this past Saturday's fishing outing was an example of that.

I've made a lot of friends writing Troutrageous! over the years.  While a few of them live somewhat close by, I've only actually fished with a handful.  Before moving to Florida, I wanted to change that, and I wanted to pass on some of my Valley Creek knowledge, so I popped off some emails a few weeks ago to some fellow Southeastern PA fishing bloggers...

Southeastern Pennsylvanai Fly Fishing Bloggers Outing Email

I've had the pleasure of fishing with Matt (Functioning Fishaholics) a few times, both at my home water of Valley Creek as well as other places.  I've gone to Fly Fishing shows with Mike (Dub The Thorax) a handful of times, but only fished with him once, at his home water of the Little Lehigh. However, Steven (The FlyFishing Bowhunter) I only knew from the internet.  Sharing an interest in tenkara, I wanted him in too.

Despite some fears created by some bad rain on Thursday & Friday, come Saturday morning the sky was blue, the sun shining, and it was game (and hopefully fish) on.

The morning started by meeting Steven in the parking lot.  After a few minutes of exchanging pleasantries, we geared up and headed down to the creek.  I was going to try to show him some of my favorite places to fish tenkara at Valley, and perhaps a technique or two to try and catch some.

Well, didn't take Steven too long to get into some trout.  It seemed like a white hackle kebari was the ticket on this day as we both had success getting fish to take this fly in the slightly stained water.

I caught trout too...more than a few for once...

About a half hour later, Matt showed up.  And well...he was not messing around on this day.  He settled in and started fishing to rising trout just below the famous Valley Creek covered bridge.  Like Steven, it didn't take him long to get one to hand either.  

Hell yeah...the fish were active...this was going to be a fun day.

Last but not least Mike showed up after concluding some Daddy duties.  He dropped in slightly above Matt and tossed dry after dry to some really active fish.  They were popping to the surface like popcorn and once he got his bearings on what they might be interested in, he took advantage too.

Dub joins the fray

Look at Steven's tenkara pose!

Unfortunately, Steven had to peel off a bit early, but not after providing a bit of entertainment for the group.  See, we used his departure as an excuse to walk back to the parking lot with him and take a "halftime break" to eat some soft pretzels, drink some beer soda, and talk about flies...and he had arranged to meet somebody there that had responded to his Craigslist ad expressing interest in buying his golf clubs...  

What would you pay for these clubs?

Steven had posted one price, but this dude had the balls to drive up to our posse and continue on to bicker, moan, and nitpick and offer him something substantially less...  The douchebag deserved death by (8-weight) flogging.

Anyway, food eaten, drinks drunk, and Steven speeding off, I took Matt & Mike a bit further upstream to where I thought would be some good dry fly fishing water.  

I had intended this to be stop number one of a few more, but Mike & Matt were having so much success tossing caddis to eager fish, I think we stayed in the one general area for probably close to 2 and a half hours.

This fish was as long as his shoulders are broad!!!!
No forced perspective here...

Everybody having caught their fill, a quick glance at the watch showed that it was pretty close to 5:30 PM. Coincidentally, the wives had already checked in with the "honey...what time are you going to be home?" calls, so it was just about time to pack it in.

To close, I suggested we get a bite to eat at the Tilted Kilt.  I heard once they had good food there.

Looking back on the day, I really had a blast!  First, my "guiding" skills didn't let me down.  The whole week prior I was fearing I'd not be able to put them on fish...or it'd be raining...or something...and thankfully, both the weather and fish cooperated.  There's nothing worse than when someone comes to fish with you and it's a struggle to catch fish on your own "home water."   

Second, and more importantly, I got to fish with some great guys.  Not being able to do this more often (and waiting for so long to do it in the first place) will be one of the regrets I have about moving South.  Good fishing buddies are hard to find.  These three are top notch.

April 14, 2013

The GREAT Shirt of China

Got an email from the artist formerly known as Lunker Hunt yesterday.  It's always good to hear from Clif - as I always value his unique point of view and similar sense of humor - and the latest peek into his residency in China is no different.

troutrageous t party great wall of china
"I challenge all your readers to  submit a picture as "great" as this one."

So T! Party members, think can you do it?
There are a lot of stickers and more than a few T! Shirts out there...who knows, maybe I'll even pick a prize from the treasure box to send to the best one.  I'd send something to Clif, but I don't want cause an international incident.

April 13, 2013

Guest Post: The New Age of Fishing

I was recently approached by Fishidy to see if I'd be willing to post a guest post about their service.  Heck, I'm pretty liberal around here, especially if it's about something that I think others might find helpful or useful. So I'll take a backseat today and give up the floor for this guest post.  Take a peek; if you're into fishing logs, maps, and social networks, I think it may grab your interest.


The New Age of Fishing:
Online Maps, Social Communities & Fishidy

Many see fishing as an avenue to escape the stresses of everyday life. Fishing gives us a chance to get away from the office, disconnect from the laptop and cell phone, and enjoy the simplicity of throwing a perfect loop to watch it unfold just beyond an eagerly awaiting trout. While I’m in no way disagreeing with the puritan mentality and the comfort offered, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at emerging technology within the fishing industry and see what it can do to provide for a more successful day on the water.

All of us have traveled to new destinations with the hope of discovering a bountiful stretch of water. Sometimes we get lucky, and our trip is a success! Other times we get skunked and often wonder what went wrong. What if we could change the odds a bit in our favor, and really utilize online fishing maps?

One of my favorite new tools is Fishidy. This online platform brings together elements of online fishing maps, catch management, and mobile technology all driven by an online community of passionate anglers. As a free Fishidy member, you have access to over 8,000 waterways across the U.S., including lakes, reservoirs, saltwater and rivers. Fishidy’s maps include detailed contour lines, boat ramp access points, live radar, and moon phases in addition to species information, shoreline features and fishing tips. As a premium Fishidy member, the advantage is even greater. Premium members unlock a featured mapping layer that shows fishing hot spots designated by local guides, tackle shops and DNR personnel. These hot spots are proven to produce fish and Fishidy gives you tips on which species to target, during which season and what to throw.

However, the real benefit of Fishidy comes into play as you begin to build your fishing social network and better prepare yourself on where to fish, connect with buddies, local waterways, or make new friends and follow waterways you’d love to get the chance to fish. As friends mark their catches, and waterways report the latest conditions, you find yourself in the middle of a personal stream of continuously updated fishing data. The logging feature of Fishidy truly becomes invaluable.

And it gets even better. All of this accessibility is available in the palm of your hand. Fishidy offers a fishing map app for iPhone and Android that syncs up your data while you’re on-the-go (or on the water). As an example, say you find yourself on a stretch of productive water you want to keep track of for future reference. With Fishidy’s mobile app, it’s easy. Simply press a button on your mobile device to mark your spot or catch, and Fishidy instantly records your position on its map. Those big browns hiding below that undercut bank suddenly don’t seem to be an anomaly anymore. You’ve done your research, marked your spots, and fishing eventually become that much more enjoyable (not that it ever wasn’t).

What else can you ask for?


About the Author:

Alex S. is a writer, enjoys camping, and is new to the world of fly fishing. When not outdoors, a laptop and a cup of coffee provide good company.

April 11, 2013

Internet Speculating With Domain Name Grabs

So I was trolling the internet last night, and I thought I'd do a Google search...  I never really paid much attention to what happens when you Google "Jacksonville Fly Fishing"

Notice anything odd?  Yeah I did too...  there is no jacksonvilleflyfishing.com.  Yeah, it's a long URL, but c'mon, that should be a layup.  So I changed that.

I hopped on GoDaddy and grabbed jacksonvilleflyfishing.com and jacksonvillefly.com last night in an internet land grab.  Am I going to do something with them?  Maybe at some point once I actually live there.  What that is...beats me.  Do I feel a little dirty for sitting on a domain without clear intent to use it?  Perhaps a touch.

Now you might ask, (or probably not, as I'm sure you've stopped reading this post by now) is this the first time I've grabbed a domain out of impulse?  Unfortunately, no.  Most usually come from some brainstorm that I have that I'll create this awesome website to do something remarkable with, but then I usually give up on it as on most days I can barely keep Troutrageous! up and running.

Some examples of my misguided and neglected domain purchases are below:

Although Troutrageous.com is not on this list,
one might argue that it is also misguided and neglected too.

At the moment, I think most, if not all of the above redirect here.  The only one that I know doesn't is tenkaralife.com.  I bought that back when I started my Tenkara Tuesday posts in 2011...I thought I was going to spin them off into their own website at some point, but they never really picked up much momentum.  Instead, I just redirect the URL to a blog started last year by the same name; Tenkara Life.  The author probably doesn't even know I do it, I just figure it's good karma.

Anyway, the real reason for this post is if you've ever considered this, there are coupon codes for GoDaddy right now that are pretty attractive, and have nothing to do with Danica Patrick.  The first (the one I used) was 50% off the domain and free Private registration in one code.  So you basically get your fancy new URL, and your personal information hidden from the masses for $5.

If that doesn't get you to take the fly, there's another code too for 70% off the domain only, which is a good deal if you're not so concerned with the private registration.

Oh, and let me make it clear I'm not getting compensated or anything for blogging these coupon codes, just thought it might be a good opportunity if anyone out there wants to do some domain prospecting themselves, or simply change their blog URL from a blogname.blogspot.com or blogname.wordpress.com or whatever to a legit address...

All this also got me to thinking...
Are there any other domain prospectors out there?  
Anybody else own some URLs that they just don't really do anything with?  
If so, do you feel a little bit dirty about it, like me?  
Feel free to comment below....

(I don't expect a big response to this, but figured I'd ask...)

April 10, 2013

Random Fishing Picture From Last Year

In lieu of a real post, here's a random Islamorada fishing picture from 2012.

And in tribute to The Holga Master, a the same image with a Holga-inspired filter...

That is all...