Showing posts from February, 2014

TU #196 - The Bluebacks

First there were the Greenbacks, now there are the Bluebacks...either way, we're probably better off for having both of 'em.  Perhaps Florida needs an Orangebacks, I'll see what I can do...

Check them out at

A Social Media Rant of Troutrageous! Proportions

So I gotta ask a question of my fellow bloggers...I know there's a lot of you out there...  Outside of writing your blog, do you really enjoy the social media part of blogging?

I don't.  And I haven't for some time.

Look, I dig writing a blog.  It started as a place to post pictures of fish and my kid, but turned into a creative outlet.  I work a desk job concocting spreadsheets and negotiating prices all day, so that release is not only welcomed, but needed.

But I'm at a point in my life where I'm really starting to detest Facebook.  I think I'm turning into an (almost) 37 year old curmudgeon.  I honestly believe it's a total time drain and other than maintaining about 40 or so actual "friendships" from afar it's something I could definitely do without.  Plus you'll go blind if you do it too much...

Fortunately(?), I've already all but given up on Twitter.  I once found some value there, but not so much anymore.  Life is so much mor…

Wednesday Nibbles - The FU February Edition

I'm just going to come out and say it, February as a month kind of sucks...and I don't even mind Valentine's Day.  For whatever the reason, February possesses the power to rob me of all creative juices - hence if you check my monthly post tallies in the Archives over in the right sidebar, February's totals are always among, if not THE, lowest of the year.  So I figured I'd combat writer's block by resorting to an old standby, Wednesday Nibbles, so enjoy...or not...whatever...

I ditched the Mangrove.  The rod gave me fits so I figured I'd try an ECHO3 Saltwater model from Echo Fly Rods.  The specs were good, the price was right (thanks eBay) and heck, it's just fun to try something else...especially if you're not keen on what you've got.  Hat tip to Carp on the Fly.  If nothing else they seem durable (peep the video below), which was an issue with my previous 8-weights.  I'll (hopefully) give it a good workout during Lilly's spring break …

The Rod Goes BOOM!

I've never blown up a rod least like I just did.  But don't get me wrong, I've broken my share of rods...

Heck, I've actually broken the rod tip section on my Tenkara USA Iwana twice.  Once being in a careless rush when collapsing the segments, another time on a fish...although the fish wasn't that big.  I probably had a small nick in it before I had the fish was back when I used to fish bead head nymphs with my tenkara rods and I probably clipped it with the bead at some point.  

Fortunately, tenkara rods are easy to can just order a new segment without having to send in your rod...or at least you can with Tenkara USA.  I guess I'm a little bit smarter now (not much) and haven't broken a tenkara rod in probably 3 or so years...(is that a jinx or what?)
Then there was the 3 weight I snapped when I fell down on some rocks on the last day fishing with Owl Jones in the Smokies.  (Wow, was that almost 2 years ago already???)  That …

The Florida Shad Run

This is the time of year that the shad run on the St. John's River and its tributaries in Northeast & North Central Florida.

They're supposed to be a ton of fun on medium to light tackle.  I won't be chasing shad today, rather I have a day of chores ahead, like cleaning the BBQ grill and running errands, but we both can go virtually, through the lens of Captain Rich Santos, a Jacksonville area guide.

(This video is actually from 2013, but what's not to like about cows, fan boats, and fish?)

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - Part 5

The fifth installment of the "Quest" series brings a bit more information on a kayak first mentioned back in Part 2; the 2014 Feelfree Lure 11.5 Fishing Kayak.

Being initially turned on to this boat from nothing more than 3D renderings, it's really neat to see how it evolved into a final product.  What's not to like about this kayak?

Personally, there are 3 things that catch my attention.  Stability, seating, and accessories.

The Lure seems quite stable for its relatively short length.  A 36 inch width surely plays a role in that.  There is already some video online showing extensive fishing from the standing position.  An additional stand up leash makes it easy to safely go from a seated to standing position.  While I don't find myself standing all that much in my kayak, it's good to know you can in the Lure if desired.

The multi-position Gravity Seat is pretty much like a mini La-Z-Boy chair.  With multiple adjustments from low to almost a foot high, the s…

Obsessed With L.L. - Part 2

I was surprised with the overall positive response that the post on Monday regarding L.L. Bean (fly fishing) equipment received.  Happy to find I'm not in the minority.

I was even more pleased to see someone take the ball and run with it, as +Jay Eubanks over at The Naturalist's Angle wrote a follow up piece yesterday entitled "L.L. Cool Beans" about his experiences with what we'll call "vintage" Bean rods & reels.  If you enjoy gear porn, head on over and check it out.

Call of the Wild - Northeast Florida Edition

I live on reclaimed swampland in Northeast Florida.  They dress up the name of the property around my house by calling it a "Plantation" or a "Preserve," but let's be honest, it's swamp.  Which for a Yankee that is accustomed to concrete and asphalt environs, creates some new opportunities to get up close to nature.

While there aren't any gators (that I'm aware of), there's plenty of other critters wandering around, especially at night.  We've got deer, turkeys, raccoon, bobcats, opossum, and I hear rumors of hogs...even though I've never seen one...not to mention all sorts of other birds, reptiles, amphibians, and probably worst of all, ungodly creepy insects.  Heck, when we first moved down here, my wife found a scorpion in Lilly's bedroom.  I guess that's what happens when developers & suburbanites encroach, the animals go on the move.

However if there is one thing that has become quite clear since moving to Florida (besid…

Obsessed With L.L.

Mama said knock you out?

No, not that one.
I received the L.L. Bean fishing catalog in the mail the other week.  I'm not sure what it is about that book, but I not only want, but can justify to myself owning pretty much every piece of gear in the book.  Perhaps it's because it's not overwhelmingly large like Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's...maybe it's because the prices are a touch less than those found at Orvis.  I don't know...there's just something about the stuff.

Now, I have to come clean.  I have a bit of a backstory with L.L. Bean and fly fishing.  I first learned to cast a fly rod on a whim at one of their Outdoor Discovery classesat a store in South Jersey.  My first fly rod outfit was a 3-weight Quest II also from L.L. Bean.

Today, L.L. Bean products still makes up a fair portion of my fishing gear.  While I have somewhat retired the old rod & reel, my wading boots are Gray Ghosts & when needed, my wading jacket is the Emerger.  I also have so…

No Rest For The Weary

For all of my loyal (and imbalanced) readers, I apologize for the silence that the last two weeks have brought.  Sure, I could have mailed in some really lame posts (like this one), but I figured silence was probably a better option.
My day (and many times night) job revolves around sporting goods internet retail.  As such, the past two weeks were by far the busiest of the year, amplified by travel, and arguably more stressful and time consuming than any Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or whatever holiday-based Adjective / Day of the Week combo you want to throw out there.  

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not seeking sympathy.  I don't deserve any.  I have a unique occupation that many would enjoy.  I'm simply informing the masses as to why it was pretty quiet around here.  It's not that there wasn't the desire, it was that the closest I got to fishing was walking past the NYC Orvis store on 5th Avenue after hours on Saturday. 

But with that in the rear view, it's…