Monday, August 31, 2015

Fly Fishing At The Beach

I tried my luck at the beach over the weekend. I found a ton of fiddler crabs plundering what they could before the tide came in. There was bait every where but I only managed to catch one small Pompano. Not the greatest video but it does give you a little moment of Zen.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Amazing Video

Many people ask me what the mountains of North Carolina look like. This video does a good job of showing the beauty of our mountains and forests.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

GeekPro Camera

I have been eyeing GoPro cameras for quite awhile. I just couldn't justify paying $300. I searched Amazon for a waterproof camera and stumbled upon the GeekPro.

 At first glance I thought maybe someone posted the wrong info. The camera looks exactly like a GoPro but it's under $70. After reading the description I became even more interested. The specs were almost exactly like a GoPro3. I figured this camera is still probably crap but all of the reviews gave it 5 stars and included video footage. I decided for that price it was worth trying. The camera comes with a water proof case and a bunch of different mounts. Any GoPro accessory will also fit this camera. I was really excited to see how this camera took underwater photos so I decided to try it at a local pool. I'm pretty happy with the results. The first minute is jerky so skip ahead if that bothers you.

I took the camera out on the kayak Saturday. 

I tried mounting it with a pole in one of the rod holders. It's a work in progress but I think the quality is pretty good. The camera can record at 1080p at 30fpt, I record mostly all the video at 720fps. It uses less battery and runs at 60fps. The only drawback to the camera is the case. I think when the sun shines on the case it causes a yellow tint to form at times. One really cool feature of the camera is the WiFi function. You can use your cell phone as a remote and see what the camera is seeing from your phone. You can also start and stop recording from your phone.

I'll be using this camera quite a bit and I'll try to share more videos.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Bucket Mouth League

Frankenfly is doing something similar to what The Fiberglass Manifesto did last year with "TheYearOfTheBluegill." The new thing is called the BucketMouthLeague. I'm usually not into stuff like this but I have to admit the logo FrankenFly is having made up looks awesome. I'd really like to get it for my kayak.
First things first though. I need to start catching some largemouths. The hot weather lately has turned me off to fishing. Today was the first day we had that wasn't above 90 and super humid. It was just 90 and dry. I tried to make the most of the last few hours of daylight. There was a pond I hadn't fished much but it has always been decent each time I've visited. The first 30min was dead. I didn't have so much as a sniff on my fly. I really wanted to catch something on top water so I stuck with a popper. I could see minnows all over near the bank. There were so many the water quivered. I tried every retrieve I could think of but nothing seemed to elicit a strike. I came to a cement intake and decided to try something different. I cast near the structure and my fly landed on top of it. I pulled it off and the fly landed next to the intake. I started to jerk the fly with violent strips. I wanted the action to look really abnormal. Nothing like anything you'd see in nature. After my 5th strip the fly was gone and a green flash shimmered along the surface then disappeared into the dark water. It happened so fast by the time I set the hook the fish basically hooked itself. I could tell from the bend in the rod the fish was good size. Then it shot out of the water and shook its head. I gave the rod a few more good yanks to ensure the hook set was good. When I landed the fish I was wondering where the heck my fly went. 
I never get used to bass flies. Every time I use them I always think they are too large. This fly is a size 4 and you can see there is room to spare in this bass's mouth. The fish was very healthy and strong.
It swam away with ease after I released it. A few casts later I had another fish on. My retrieve seemed to make all the difference in the world. I had to really pop the fly and make a major disturbance to get any attention from the fish. It's the first time I've ever had that happen. A learning experience for sure. It was a great evening and I got my first fish for the Bucket Mouth League.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Kayak Hatch

Had a great outing with friends yesterday. 
We hit the New River and it was one of the most enjoyable trips I've had in a long time. The water was perfect for wading. Not too deep or fast and the clarity was amazing.
Even with the kayak hatches every now and then the fishing was still good.
It was a rare day. Didn't lose any flies, no regrets for not trying a certain fly and I experimented many different types of ways to fish.  The results paid off.

This fish I caught right next to where we parked the car. The section had a ton of traffic from people tubing and kayaking. It was making it hard to cast and I just got tired of it. I walked back to the car and noticed a fish right near the bank. It took a few casts but the fish eventually couldn't resist. It ended up being my biggest fish of the day. This trip couldn't have gone much better. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Good Morning

I read an article recently that talked about how women are better fly fisherman then men. When I read the article I thought to myself this is crap. Just another ploy to get more women into the sport. This morning the Triangle Fly Fishers had a beginners fly fishing event and I decided to help out. There was a woman who came that had never fly fished let alone waded before. She mentioned fishing mostly lakes but it was hard to concentrate on what she was saying as I helped her untangle line from her rod. I'd like to think I'm a very patient un-judgmental person but I also come to a opinion when I first meet people. I figured I'd be spending most of the morning with this lady. 
The water looked great and as I talked to the group and as if on que a fish hit a few feet off the bank as I was telling them about not having to cast far. Half of the group stayed with me and the others went upstream. Since this lady had never caught a fish before with a fly rod I felt some pressure to get her something on the line. I decided I wasn't going to fish until she caught one. What came evidently clear with in the first 20min is women are better fly fishermen then men. They just seem to listen better and apply what you're telling them correctly. This lady had never cast a fly rod before and in 20min she was casting 20-30ft and caught her first fish.
She caught another fish with in minutes and I decided to move on to check on the others. Later I returned to watch how she had progressed. She was fishing under a tree with her husband, a seasoned fly fisherman. He was giving her pointers and every now and then I looked up to see her rod bent with a fish on the other end. I was still amazed at her progress with this being her first time. Near the end of the morning she was roll casting. I can't remember how long it took me to roll cast. I know each person is different but I've gone with 3 different women who never touched a fly rod before and all of them were casting and catching fish quickly on the first day. I'd love to say it was my tutelage but I know better. 

The rest of the morning was the usual for the Eno. Sunfish left and right and beautiful shadows along the trail.
This river is really a local treasure and it doesn't get the appreciation it deserves.
It has the features of a mountain stream but it's with in 15min of downtown Durham. Even though it's a State Park many people living in the area don't know it exists. While hiking the trail I came across this flower.
It was the first time I have ever seen a flower like this before and it only grew in one area of the trail that I could find. 

Out of all the hiking, teaching and exploring I managed to fish. I was even lucky enough to hook the elusive Roanoke Bass.
I'd say it was a good morning.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Beating The Heat

Last weekend we tried to escape the heat in Raleigh by heading to the mountains. The weather is always 10-15 degrees cooler there and I figured the kids could play in the creek to cool off. 
We spent our time splashing and rock hopping. 
My daughter was getting a little too adventurous. Her and a friend went way down the creek and started to get into situations where they weren't sure just how to climb back up. She has no fear and as much as I admire that it scares me at times. 
I've always been a fan of those blurred water fall images. I decided to try taking some. I kept playing with the shutter speed until I got something I liked.
I love how this waterfall turned out. The blur of the water is cool and I love how you can even make out the clear pool below. I got pretty lucky with this next shot.
The lighting was just right. I was using a rock as a tripod so I wasn't really sure how these pictures turned out until I got home.

The Boone, NC area is a great place if you love to hike. The Blue Ridge Parkway has so many trails I think it would take you a life time to try them all. One of my favorites is the Rough Ridge Trail. It is great for kids who like to climb things. The trail runs through almost a trench that's lined with vegetation and rocks.
The trees can provide some protection from the wind that can get quite strong. There are several over looks along the trail with some stunning views.
The sky always seems to look better here.
I never get tired of coming here and as the kids get older they seem to enjoy it more and more. It was pretty tiring hiking and playing most of the day but one afternoon I did get a chance to wet a line.
This is one of my favorite sections of river. I just seem to find peace here and there's plenty of room to cast and just enjoy the scenery. I watched birds skim insects off the surface and caught smallmouth and rock bass here and there.
I can't see how the weekend could have been much better.