Showing posts with label Fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fitness. Show all posts

August 5, 2018

Glass (& Reels) Are Definitely Not Dead

"Pedal, pedal, pedal...
Man, this is taking much longer than it should... 
Are we there yet?"

There is this pond where I live that I drive by quite often. It's on my way to and from work each day, as well whenever I run errands that require I hop on I-95. It's a non-descript retention pond, "RP-79" I suppose is its android-like identity, and I've always wondered what sort of fish, be it species or quantity, lived there.

Passing it yet again on Friday after work, I finally made the resolution I'd go fish it this weekend. Decided to sneak the activity into my usual Saturday morning bike ride... about six miles to the pond and six miles back. No sweat. Until I started pedaling.

Sure, I go for rides more than double the distance regularly, however, they rarely have the anticipation of reaching uncharted (to me) water. Those six miles felt like twenty.

Finally reaching 79 at around 9:30 AM I found some shade, parked my bike, and strung up the trusty Cabela's CGR fiberglass 4-weight. It's on the short side for ponds at only six-and-a-half feet (I bought it for little trout streams), but it's one of my favorite rods to fish... especially when paired with a tiny Albright click & pawl reel that has also seen a lot of time on the water. I just couldn't leave the pair at home, they've both been with me since at least 2011.

See, I write about tenkara a lot on this blog, but I'm still a sucker for a medium to slow action fly rod and the sweet squeal of a stressed clicker reel. Glass & reels are definitely not dead to this fixed line angler.

Tying on my favorite "prospecting" fly, a tungsten bead black leech pattern, it took no more than a handful of casts to get into a nice Florida largemouth bass. It would prove to be the kind you should hold with two hands, as not to stress the jaw. If only I had planned the hands-free photo a little bit better. I should take some tips from Justin Carf... or perhaps not...

Working around the perimeter of the pond in a counter-clockwise fashion yielded quite a few more bass of the smaller variety, as well as a few bluegills & sunfish. It had been raining quite a bit the past week, so the grass around the pond was very high, and the ground was extra swampy. Cast... squish, squish, squish, squish... cast... squish, squish, squish, squish...

The far side of the pond was really quite messy, lots of weeds, algae, and other muck, so I decided to switch to a topwater "Booglebug" to try to sidestep the underwater hazards. A couple small bass fell victim to the fluorescent yellow popper.

While they say "slow and steady wins the race," it might not catch the fish. By 11:00 AM, with the sun high in the sky, the bite turned off pretty much for good. There was nothing I could do to coax any action at that point, which was a bit of a bummer, but could do nothing to take away from all of the earlier fun.

So with that, I disassembled the rod, stowed the reel and flies, swapped my trucker hat for a cycling helmet, and hopped back on my bike for the six-mile return that was ahead.

Satisfaction now replacing anticipation, the pedal home went by in a flash.


Fishing Fitness Footnotes:
  • Date: 8/4/2018
  • Current weight: 197 lbs ( -19 since start)
  • Today: Aforementioned 12-mile bike ride
  • Misc: Weight yo-yoed a bit during my recent vacation. Weighed 197 before I left, but 202 when I returned due to ample cruise-ship buffet & dessert lines. Took this week to get back to pre-vacation weight.

July 15, 2018

Flipped The Blog Back In Time...

You may notice a new (old) look on the blog if you've been a reader for a while...

Decided to drop the "newer" Blogger template I'd been using for about a year or so, in favor of a plain, old-school one that served Troutrageous! so well for many years.

Example, circa 2011:

Pulled from the "Wayback Machine" so excuse some of the broken embeds...

Figured blogging is sort of a dead practice, so I wanted to keep T! in more or less of its look back when the Outdoor Blogger Network was in its heyday. You probably don't know what that was... Consider it a bit of nostalgia.

That is all for now.


Fishing Fitness Footnotes:
Date: 7/14/2018
Current weight: 198 lbs ( -18 since start)
Today: 13.5-mile bike ride in the AM, tried not to eat too many cookies in PM

July 2, 2018

Monday Morning Musings

Man, I've been out of the fishing groove as of late. I've been reading books & blogs, listening to podcasts, all kinds of stuff like that, but just haven't really gotten out to the water, save a few stolen hours here and there in the neighborhood, and a very little bit of (unsuccessful) flailing in the surf with the fly rod in the Outer Banks.

That said, hoping to reverse that curse a bit over the next few weekends (maybe even a little on the 4th of July). We'll see...

Speaking on podcasts, one I'd highly recommend you listen to if you have the time (it's about 30 minutes) is the latest one from The Drake. It travels with Zach Matthews (of The Itinerant Angler) to north Georgia in search of trophy trout. How one interprets the word "trophy" may foreshadow how much they'll enjoy the podcast, but I thought it was a really good listen.

Let's just say I'm on team small & native.

Anyway, going to try and catch up on some overdue blog posts this week... including a photo dump from the Outer Banks, a "Tenkara Tuesday," possibly a book review, and hopefully at least one fishing trip report. Talk soon!


Fishing Fitness Footnotes:
Date: 7/1/2018
Current weight: 200 lbs ( -16 since start), first milestone hit - on to 190!
Current waist size: Size 36 jeans/shorts (Orig. 38)
Today: 13-mile bike ride in the AM before it got too hot
Misc: Did a 6-mile walk last week in OBX in like 95-degree heat - I'm an idiot!

June 7, 2018


No, not these...

Image Courtesy: The Columbian

Although those chums or "dog" salmon are pretty interesting to look at. Total sidenote, if you dig salmon, the Meateater podcast on the various Alaskan species back in April was a great listen...

Anyway, when I'm talking Chums, I really mean the accessories company. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can find their website HERE.

See, almost a decade ago, I bought a nylon wallet they used to make during one of my long meanders through a Bass Pro Shops. I still use that wallet today... as it pretty much looks the same as when I bought it, with nary a fray or loose thread.

This is in stark contrast to all the brandless billfolds I used to pretty much destroy every year or two toting too much randomness in my back pocket just like George Constanza.

Okay, so let's bring this full circle. Looking at my wallet the other night, I randomly thought I'd pay the Chums website a visit... and I was rather surprised to find so much cool, fishy stuff, I thought I'd share.

First off, should I ever decide to replace my wallet, they've got an artist Andy Earl inspired "surfshort wallet" that would certainly the talk of any fly shop checkout line.

I mean how cool is that thing? And it's actually part of a whole collection of products...

But even more interesting is all of the waterproof stuff an angler might use, called their "Storm Series". Two rolltop pouches for cell phone/valuables, and two rolltop packs that can be worn as shoulder or waist packs. The stuff looks serious...

Oh, and they'll keep your snacks dry too!

I should probably make it clear, Chums didn't contact me to write this post. I've received no free gear or other compensation. I'm just geeking out that I didn't realize that the company that made my bombproof wallet years ago, also makes all these other cool accessories I could use on the stream.

Anyway, may be worth checking out if you're in the market for any of this stuff... And as a bag junkie, they've definitely piqued my interest in the Storm Series...


Fishing Fitness Footnotes:
  • Date: 6/6/2018
  • Current weight: 205 lbs ( -11 since start)
  • Current waist size: Bought a pair of size 36 jeans and they don't suck. (Orig 38)
  • Today: Walked around the neighborhood after dinner with K.C.
  • Misc: Did a 14-mile light bike ride last Saturday, and a 6-mile walk last Sunday

May 26, 2018

Quick Pond Hop To Start A Long Weekend

With this Memorial Day weekend's weather forecast not looking too good, figured last night was as good as any to try and steal an hour or two at dusk and go fishing at one of the neighborhood ponds...

The fishing was a little on the slow side, but passable. Caught a few bass like this...

And a few bluegill like this...

Those chunky "copperhead" bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus mystacalis) are damn good fighters on light tackle.

In any event, thought this picture summed up the evening rather accurately...

I made the mistake of not shooting my ankles, arms, and neck with bug spray... and damn if those yellow flies and mosquitoes weren't out tonight. I will say, if that ever happens to you, that Itch Eraser in the photo above works well, and the relief comes quickly. I got it in a Cairn box once upon a time, and this is the first time I've used it.

I dusted off the Tenkara USA Ayu II too... or should I say "as well"... I haven't fished that rod in forever, but it's a sleeper in my tenkara rod collection. Since I'm in the process of streamlining some of my fishing tackle, I might sell it, or I might hold on to it due to some sort of warped sentimental value because it's not produced or sold anymore. Whatever...

Oh, and you might have noticed those little metal tabs on my rod. I finally got around to attaching the line holders that Jean Santos skillfully engraved for me around the New Year. He lives in France and is a true artisan. Knowing I live in Florida, he even etched a largemouth bass chasing a kebari on the one holder. They're gorgeous in person, these zoom shots below don't do them justice... (and I really need to attach them properly, not with gross o-rings).

If you want to see more of Jean Santos' work, you can check out Isaac Tait's article in Tenkara Angler, Adam Trahan's article on Tenkara-Fisher, or Jean Santos' YouTube. This embedded video is a great start:


Fishing Fitness Footnotes:
  • Date: 5/26/2018
  • Current weight: 208 lbs ( -8 since start)
  • Current waist size: 38, but pants not quite as tight
  • Today: Plan to ride bike in AM, walk Gourd Island trails after dinner.
  • Yesterday: Walked after lunch... oh and fished for an hour!

May 21, 2018

Wanderlust - Anywhere But Jacksonville

Back to the work week...

Got that wanderlust feeling again. Guess that's usually what happens when you get back from one little getaway, you're already looking forward to the next one! Plus, it's pretty much been raining in the greater Jacksonville area non-stop for the last week. The grass sure looks green, but cabin fever is pretty fierce!

Luckily, I do have two "escapes" planned for the summer. They might even involve a little fishing, we'll see...

Middle of June the whole extended family (on my wife's side) is descending on the Outer Banks. There is going to be like two beach houses full of "in-laws" from all up and down the east coast. I've never been there, so I don't know what to expect. But from the number of "OBX" oval stickers stuck to the back window of people's SUVs, I'd guess a pretty tourist-heavy beach area, at least if you venture into whatever towns they have there. No big deal, I'm more or less just along for the ride on this one. I don't even remember the town we're staying at...

It's cool though, I figure I'll bring the fly rod, get up early each day to do some fishing... or at least flailing in the surf on the beach... and then sleep it off in the afternoon. I really don't know what's swimming in the waters there. There are some pretty good anglers in our family, but I don't think any of them fly least not what I've heard... they're more the go out in the ocean in big boat types. They crush it though. I don't talk about tenkara around them... :)

Guess I have a month to figure it out. Probably can't go wrong with my 6 or 8 weight and some Clouser minnows, they'll catch anything...

The end of July is really what I'm looking forward to. K.C., Lilly, & I am headed to Alaska on a cruise (via Seattle)! To say I'm excited is an understatement, and not only to get out of the hot Florida summer. The itinerary looks pretty solid and I'm sure I'll wear out my camera taking pictures. I really want to go on this train through the Yukon. Like this is a thing... are you kidding me?

Now fishing isn't necessarily on the agenda yet, but the cruise ship does offer some guided fly fishing excursions where you hop on a float plane for the day, fish for salmon and whatnot, and then head back to the ship. I need to look more into that. K.C. booked the vacation, so I'm really not certain of all the details or the specific port of call.

Anyway, until then, daydreaming from my cube at work...

Any cool summer plans this year, fishing or otherwise? Heck, if you have any intel on OBX or AK, I'd take that too. If so, hit me up in the comments, would love to hear what you're up to!


Fishing Fitness Footnotes:
  • Date: 5/21/2018
  • Current weight: 213.5 lbs
  • Current waist size: 38
  • Today: DDP Yoga, Walk after dinner (weather pending)
  • Yesterday: DDP Yoga, Bicycle in light rain, a lot of great suggestions from friends

May 20, 2018

A New (Family & Fishing) Fitness Plan

Anybody need to lose a couple pounds? I know I sure could stand to...

Here's the deal. I really don't do all that great a job of taking care of myself these days. I know I gotta eat healthier, exercise, lose some weight, all that great stuff that sounds wonderful in concept, but just never seems to stick. I'm getting a little older, my metabolism is slowing, I prefer to sleep as late as humanly possible before I get up to work an office job every day, and I don't like getting that "look" of disgust from the doctor when he reviews those high numbers in my bloodwork results. At least I don't smoke, guess I have that going for me.

First off, my family deserves better. I may currently be considered a "good husband & Dad" and be taking care of paying the bills and whatnot, but what good is that if I get laid up with a heart attack, stroke, develop type 2 diabetes, or who knows what else? Especially if it can be avoided. Genetics are always a bit of a wildcard, but regardless, going down the current path is kinda negligent.

Plus, (and this is probably a little self-serving), being a bit more fit is going to make fishing more fun, as it certainly can't make it any worse. A stronger core and less of a spare tire to lug around will definitely make this summer & fall's rock hopping, wet wading opportunities a bit easier to manage. And, maybe losing a few will give me some incentive to get down to the surf with a fly rod & reel and show off my new beach body as I flex my pecs hoisting a 30-pound redfish. Okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves here...

Anyway, I'm going to try and make some healthy changes starting today (why wait), and I may or may not use this blog to track the progress via "Fishing Fitness Footnotes" dropped in at the end of my ever random fishing posts (so if I do, bear with me).

I'm pretty sure I know what I need to do (although my 40+-year-old body probably won't respond quite as quickly as my 20 or 30-year-old once did). My problem is motivation. It comes in spurts (like this one), but rarely lasts past the first week or so. Especially when you've just had a long day at work, and really just want to eat that bag of "whatever" at night while you're decompressing on the couch and watching WWE Raw or catching up on all the shows you DVR'd last week. And I know, despite my behavior, a whole bag of goldfish crackers is not a single-serving size.

If you want in too, come aboard. Maybe we could create an online support group for fishing fitness, or at the very least email or comment encouragement on each other's blogs, Facebook, Twitter, (or whatever). I feel like I need to do this somewhat publicly so the shame of failure will keep me on the right path.

So that's it. Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it. I'm already hungry.

Fishing Fitness Footnotes:
  • Date: 5/20/2018
  • Current weight: 216 lbs
  • Current waist size: 38
  • Exercise Plan: DDP Yoga


And on a totally unrelated side note that has a little more basis in fishing, I did a little reader poll on tenkara rod preference over on my Tenkara Angler Instagram last week, the results are posted over on the TA blog. If that's something of interest to you, check it out HERE!