Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year and A Name Change

I've decided to change the name of my blog for next year. The new title will be

I'm also going to look more into helpful blog posts. Things that help with fly tying and fishing tactics. I really do like helping people and this blog can be way to help share what has helped me become a better fly fisherman and tier. I am by know means and expert I just think anything that has helped you may also help others. What you think everyone knows about or something that is a tip might not be common knowledge. 

Some of my resolutions next year will be:

Fish with my daughter
 
 She has shown and interest in fishing and I'm not sure if it's because she saw a Dora fishing pole or she actually wants try it. She has shown an interest in tying too. Mainly because I have been on the vise a lot lately. She helped me tie a egg pattern the other night and did an excellent job. Maybe I can get her to tie all my flies.

Explore more wild streams
I used to think small stream fishing was kind of lame. You drive far, the fish are small and you have to be stealthy. None of these things sound attractive until you actually do it a few times. This last year I found a lost love of hiking. I have always liked hiking and most of these wild streams require it.  The scenery is unbelievable and the fishing is just a bonus. 

A year that kicks bass
  I have yet to really figure the bass out on the local rivers. This year I will really try to take it seriously. Most of the time I just kind of go out try some flies I think will work. If I take it a little more seriously and actually experiment it will benefit me more. I want to figure the largemouth out and the smallmouth in VA. 

Personal Goal
Every year I like to do some kind of goal. Catch a fish a month or catch a certain number of species.  This year I am going to try to become a North Carolina Master Angler. This is done by catching at least six sport fish species that meet certain requirements. The requirements for each species are located here. The challenge for this will not be to catch six fish that meet these requirements but to do it in the same year and on a fly. No artificial scents or live bait will be used.

Tie and use more of my own flies 
I go in and out of phases where I tie a bunch then don't tie for months. I also have a habit of never using the flies I tie because I fear they won't work. I need to get over this and fish them. Many of the flies you think are bad work better than store bought ones that you think are good.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Fishing

A lingering cold has kept me from wetting a line in over a month.  I had the Christmas week off and I saw a break in the weather.  I started sending the word out to see who else was interested in going.    I wanted to try a wild stream I had never fished before.  Another member of the club I had not met before agreed to meet me on the stream.  This is always an interesting arrangement.  You really put trust in a lot of things.  First being on time.  Nothing is more annoying than waiting for people.   The second is can you tolerate the person?   Luckily this guy was on time and a pleasure to fish with.  We tried what I like to call the sucker pool first.

  It's a place right off the road and it always has a few nice fish in it.  This section is hatchery supported and it must be where most of the fish are dumped in.  The fish get educated quickly and the ones left ignore any of your offerings.   Sometimes you get lucky and a fish will strike but it's rare and you have to be ready at all times. We discussed a plan for the day while watching the fish move out of the way as our flies drifted by. We'd hike up a wild section and if it wasn't good we'd try another stream. I was eager to get the hike started just to warm up. The air temp was 26 degrees and even in multiple layers I was chilled. After a few glimpses of the creek and the first wild trout sign I didn't think about how cold I was anymore.
I kept moving upstream trying to keep a decent distance from Jason so I wouldn't spook the water he was going to fish above him. The trail would change from a well traveled path to what looked like a deer trail. There were multiple obstacles where you had to duck under a tree or climb over logs. It's always fun to walk on the edge of a steep hillside putting all your trust in a 2inch diameter branch holding all of your weight. Now and then I'd cough and be reminded I probably wasn't totally over this cold yet. The ice in the guides reminded me of the temperature too.
The best cure was to keep looking at the view and pushing on. The fishing made me forget about everything and for the first time in awhile I could just relax and take it in.
 
There was so much fishy looking water but I couldn't even see any signs of fish. Not even shadows darting away as I stalked small pools.
I knew the fish had to be there but where were they? I tried many different combinations. A dry and a nymph, two nymphs, streamers, egg patterns. Nothing seemed to work.
I worked my way back and met up with Jason. He said he managed a couple fish and he hadn't hiked nearly as far. I was looking to move to another creek but after a brief discussion we decided to explore this creek more. There were multiple trails that ran along the stream and we found if we kriss crossed the hiking was a lot easier. As we got higher the water looked better and better.
The fishing continued to be ice cold. Jason had a stream thermometer and said the water was 40 degrees. There were no bugs in the air and we both figured the fish had to be deep. It's tough to fish heavy with a lot of weight when the average depth is about a foot in a half. We still tried of course. How could you not with water like this.
Eventually it was enough. I was tired of hiking and tired of going through the motions. I couldn't see the fishing getting any better. No matter what we did or where we fished there was no action. The hike back we still hit the spots that just looked too good to not try one more time. Back at the car we worked the sucker hole again. I talked about a section that was good to me in the past. There wasn't much daylight left. There were cars parked near the stream and after talking to some other fisherman we found they were having similar luck. Then as I was walking downstream I ran into two more. These guys said they had been catching fish all day. They told me of a place just upstream and explained that all the fish were up there. You always have to wonder when someone you don't know gives you a tip.  Are they helping you or helping themselves? I guess it's the skeptic in me that thinks that way. I've heard stories many times about fisherman telling people the wrong location of where fish are just so they won't fish "their" honey holes. I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and headed upstream. What did I have to lose? Sure enough just like they said above the first rapid I started to see fish. There had to be 50-70 fish in this long calm run.  Some of them monsters.   Jason had already found the place before I got there. The fish were hitting something tiny off the surface. I started with an egg and a nymph. The fish would follow the egg but never commit. These fish had seen everything and we got the familiar feeling like when we fished the sucker pool. The fish continued to feed off and on on the surface which gave us hope. I think I tried about 20 different flies and my leader was getting down to the heavier section. I was tired and felt lazy. I didn't want to tie on more tippet. We knew if we could just throw something these fish hadn't seen before we'd probably have success. I started throwing multiple streamers and the fish would follow but never strike at the fly. Then I noticed something.

I was fishing a pink and white clouser with red eyes. If I let the fly sink to the bottom the fish would swim over and inspect it. Once I lifted the fly and gave it some action it seemed to turn the fish off. The big trout were super interested when the fly dragged across the bottom. Maybe these fish had some how learned that if food is just settling on the bottom it most likely isn't attached to anything. I tested this theory and on my second cast one of the largest trout in the pool made it's way towards the fly. The light was fading to where I could see the fish but I couldn't really tell where my fly was. I watched the fishes body language and it was definitely in attack mode. I thought I saw the fish make a move like it was hitting and turning. I went to set the hook and my fly shot out of the water. Did the fish hit it? I knew I didn't have that many casts left before dark. I cast again and let the fly crawl on the bottom. The big trout again started to follow. The fish followed the fly probably 15 feet or so. I saw the fish almost go into a carp feeding position with the head down and tail up. The head slashed then turned and I saw my fly line jerk. I set the hook and saw the fishes head shake. I yelled to Jason "get the camera ready!" I expected a long fight because I was using a 3wt and this fish had to be close to 4-5lbs. The fish never did any drag singing runs. It thrashed and bulldogged near shore far enough away to where I couldn't net it. I put constant pressure on the fish. I felt confident the heavier section of the leader would hold fine. I was more worried about the knot I tied on the fly and my issue grabbing the net. I just received a new rubber net for Christmas and the bungee thing had been giving me fits all day. The net was constantly swinging around banging my feet and getting caught on branches. I had a difficult time holding the fish with a lot of pressure and reaching behind myself to get the net. I did get the net and missed the fish about 3 time before I finally slid the fish in. I ran over to Jason and he never knew the fish I hooked was one of the larger ones in the pool. He snapped a couple pics and the fish was released. What a way to end the day.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Got some tying in

I have been wanting to tie sz20 nymphs since I had a couple work great on the South Holston.  My buddy lent me a few and all they were was a tungsten bead and black thread.  I decided to try tying the same thing then I noticed if I just added silver wire I'd have a Zebra Midge.  Working with the small flies was challenging and fun at the same time.  It's a little difficult to wrap and not hit the hook tip because the gape is so small.  I usually ended up putting the hook and barb in the vise so it was less of a problem.  I'm pretty happy with how the flies turned out.  I decided to try a few different styles.  Zebras with a collar and even attempted a Brassie and something I haven't seen before but I'm sure has a name. 
I was thinking about a Griffith's Gnat pattern.  I decided to tie that with a tungsten bead so it would sink.  I put a little extra peacock hurl along the body to give it more flash.  You can't really see it in the picture.

One fly I have been meaning to tackle is a bead head soft hackle.  They are supposed to be basic flies.  What you'll find when first tying them is the hackle will look severely different depending on the quality of feather you are using and what part of the feather is being tied in.  I was using partridge feathers and I wished I bought an actual partridge bird piece.  I tried go cheap and buy a "bag" of partridge feathers.  I realize now these are odds and ends and many of the feathers are not even usable.  You get what you pay for.  If I tied low on the feather near the blood feathers I received very spindly looking legs.  They didn't look like they'd flow very well in the water.  If I tied up near the top of the feather I'd get more fluffy legs. I think these are more of what I'm looking for.  I have an example of both.

The fly at the top has the spindly looking legs and the one one the bottom has a more fluffy style.  I think both flies will work it was just interesting learning how to get each style of legs.   There were even more variations depending on the quality and size of the partridge feather.  I really didn't know what I was getting sometimes until I started twisting the feather. 
 
While looking for inspiration on other patterns to tie I ran across a hares ear pattern using ice dubbing.  The ice dubbing really gives the fly a busy appearance.  What I mean by that is I do think in the water the colors and consistency of the material give the fly a life like looks.   It just looks like something is going on.  I tied a few hares ear type variants and used the ice dubbing as the body.  I like pink and I think these will work well for the hatchery streams.  I called these flies Trout Candy.
 
 I've been wrong many times before but I can see these flies really working well. I have also been working on another pattern that looked easy but it's been giving me grief. It is a bead head hares ear style fly only the bead goes behind the hackle and not in front. It's a little hard to explain and I'll try posting pictures of the fly later. I'm finding it difficult to get the bead, hackle and pheasant tail all together with out crowding the eyed of the hook. On a sz18 there isn't much real estate.  I'll post the results. I'm actually starting to enjoy tying. The bad part is having so many different things I want to tie. I'm stumbling upon patterns looking for other things and I just want to tie some flies because they look cool. Here's what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

An Emotional Experience

Merry Christmas!  Hank Patterson gives an emotional Christmas message.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tying Brains

Egg patterns have always given me a hard time.  My recent attempts have looked more like pink Cotton balls then eggs.  A friend told me Y2K's were working really well on the South Holston.  Then came a scenario that happens far too often with me and my fishing buddies.  The first thing I usually say "so can I buy a few from you?"  This is usually always the reply.

They are really easy to tie. 

Then I go into how after buying all the materials and hooks it would be just easier buying them from a friend.  My buddy trumped me on this excuse by sending me an email for a Jstockard $10 gift card. If you've never checked out Jstockard.  They have everything you can imagine for fly tying.  Their prices are some of the best I've found.   My friends who tie use them pretty much exclusively for their materials.

I got the materials in the mail a few days ago and I researched Y2K patterns.  I looked up some youtube videos and found some pretty good tutorials.   While tying my first I found out right away why I had issues tying these in the past.  The material I was using was too soft.   I'm sure you could get it to work but all I could do is tie pink cotton balls.  The McFly foam made it a lot easier.  I followed the how to's the best I could.  All I could manage is what looked more like brains instead of eggs.
  I'm sure they will still do the job.   Tying these actually gave me the bug to tie other things and I bought some stuff to tie zebra midges and soft hackles.  I received my first birthday present in the mail too. My wife was nice enough to hook me up with something from The Fiberglass Manifesto.
I usually don't like wearing t-shirts with website logos on them but this bluegill design is awesome. The shirt looks great and I look forward to wearing it while I'm chasing gills in the spring.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fly Tying App

In my attempts to become a more efficient tier I have accumulated quite a bit of tying materials.   There are so many that I get a little over whelmed and I'm not sure what exactly to tie.   The really annoying thing is when I want to tie something and I'm missing one or two of the materials.  I have an idea for a great app.  How cool would it be to have an app where you plug in the materials you want to tie with and a list is displayed.  The list consists of all the different flies you can tie using those materials.  Then if you click on one it would show a tutorial of how to tie that fly.  I think this app would do very well.  Unfortunately, I don't have the time or know how to create such a thing.   I did some hunting on the Internet and found some programs.  These programs aren't as nifty as what I thought up.  They were made quite a few years ago and are mainly databases.  If you put in the work to enter all the patterns you'd use or like to tie these programs would become a nice reference.  Here are a couple I've found.

Superfly
Description:
  • Tying Bench (Fly Patterns & Materials Inventory)
  • Critters (Bugs, Fish & Folks)
  • Water (Fishin' Holes & Fishing Logs)
  • Library (Notebook, Gallery & Book Inventory)
  • Charts & Tables (Leader Formulae, Fish Scale & Hook Charts)
  • Utility Belt (Import / Export)
 
FlyFree
Description
•Track materials and instructions.
•Cross link insects.
•Provide for importing and exporting fly database files.
•Track for hooks and their design and effectiveness.
 
Both of the programs are fun to play around with. They run fine on Windows 7. There's another app I found that looks like it's based on the same design although they include a bunch of data already entered. There's over 2000 patterns in a program called Fly Assistant. It costs $35. If you check out the free apps or know of some others please let me know. I'm just getting back into tying and I need all the help I can get.  I'm looking for ideas for all these odd ball materials I have.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Simple Way To Make Your Own Dubbing

I have been following Missouriflies.com for some time now.  The guy that runs the site catches a large variety of species.  He also ties really nice flies.  There are some great tutorial videos and also shows an easy way to make dubbing.   You can check it out below.
 
Be sure to check out his blog too.  Missouriflies.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Free TU Membership for Female Anglers


There has been a growing trend in the sport of fly fishing by female anglers.  TU has obviously been taking notice.  Currently they are offering a 1yr free membership for new female anglers.   This is a great way to show TU isn't just a mens club and welcomes both sexes.  Of course it's a good business decision as well.   Either way I'm happy they are doing at and I hope a lot of women join the club.  To read more about the offer please click here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

You Snooze, You Lose

The recent temperature swings have made my allergies go crazy.  I've missed out on two fishing trips because I can't seem to shake this nagging cold.  It seems to have moved from a throbbing pain in my head down to my chest.  I can barely go a half hour without  coughing.  Enough about that.  Trying to keep myself in doors and some what rested I've been doing christmas shopping.  During my searches I scan for wish list items.  The Cabelas CGR rod was on my list and I actually owned one for a short time.  I returned it because at the time I had higher priorities that needed the funds. 

I decided to look into the rod again for a possible christmas present.  What's this?  It no longer exists.  It looks as though Cabela's discontinued their 50th anniversary version and now they have a CGT version.
The price has been raised $50 for these glass rods and the color has gone from grass green to a rusty reddish brown. I actually like this color better. I think the price makes the rod a little intimidating for people new to glass. Especially when you can get an Eagle Claw Featherlight for under $40.
The Cabela's glass version rods must be decent. I couldn't find any for sale on ebay or other sites. People must be happy with them. I feel a little dumb for returning mine.  Maybe a Featherlight is in my future.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why Fishing is the Best Sport

I was sitting around thinking the other day about deer hunting. I always wanted to try but I just couldn't see myself for one sitting in one place for hours on end waiting for a certain moment. The second would be killing an animal I have no interest in eating. If I could hunt with a tranquilizer gun that would be a different story. Imagine it. You shoot a deer go down and check it out. You can pet it, take a picture, then watch it run off woozy but not much worse off than it was before. That I could probably do.

That made me think how fishing is so much different than other sports. Especially ones that involve the outdoors. How many other sports link you so intimately to the goal you're trying to achieve then allow you to experience it all over again? I can see how bird watching or something like that would be similar. It would be something to capture a picture of a certain rare bird. Even then I doubt you'd ever train it or get into a situation where you could touch it. With fishing it's different. From the first fish you hook there's an instant connection between you and something wild. Unless it's a stocker of course. When the fish is in hand there is a feeling that can't be explained properly. The fish is released and the whole process can be repeated over and over. Then if by chance bad luck or poor landing technique there is a casualty, you have a free meal. There really isn't much like it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sour Grapes

There have been a ton of reports about fishing for stripers lately.   It seems like the local lake everyone fishes is really heating up.  It's always nice seeing pictures and reports but eventually you get jealous.  Sour grapes I guess.
The biggest issue with having so many buddies that fly fish is everyone wants to go on trips and you can't invite everyone. So when you start begging the question "why wasn't I invited?" You can just point to all the posts and reports you have given that didn't include others. In the end it's not personal.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Club Trout Trip

Today I attended a TFF trip to a trout stream.  I've visited this stream before and had great success.
The day had everything. Fish rising to dries and readily taking nymphs. There were big fish.
and little fish.
The best was people catching their first trout ever.
I wish all the trips could be like this. Everyone was hooking up.
The weather cooperated.
Good times were had.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Day I Really Needed

There has been a project at work that was taking up a ton of my time last month. To top it off I got in an accident and made the hard decision of buying another car or fixing the old one. I went with getting a new used car and after working almost 2 weeks straight I got a couple days off. I really wanted to go to the beach but I heard after Sandy the fishing could be really bad. I'm always happy to go to the mountains but this time of year most of the leaves are on the ground. There's been a saying from other fisherman about a fall bass bite. "You fight pulling leaves off your flies more than fish." Supposedly bass try to fatten up before the cold weather hits. The rumor was their feeding is veracious and you have a good chance of hooking a lunker. I have never had this experience but I decided to give it a shot. You'd think my first fishing day off in a while I wouldn't pick a place that I have had some of my worst fishing days. This river is the closest place to me and I was looking forward to just getting out and exploring. As usual when not knowing what exactly to use I went with a white wooly bugger. The water was higher than I'd like but really clear.  I cast out near a rock that always looks like a good fish hold. I start messing around with different strips and I'm trying to get the hang of feeling every bump and tap on the fly through the fly line. While I'm stripping I look back over my shoulder to a spot that has always produced fish in the past. I went to just lift my line up from it's current position but there was resistance.  I figured I was snagged but the line started moving towards me and I felt the familiar feeling of a bass.  It was a nice one too. The fish fought hard and used the current to it's advantage. I couldn't help but wonder if this was a good thing. Catching a fish on your first cast can mean a great day or a one fish day.
The fish was chunky and had obviously been feeding recently. Maybe there was something to this fall bass thing. I went on and continued to catch bass here and there. All of them had fat bellies. If I cast close to the bank or under over hangs there were always sunnies willing to play.
I really wanted to fish hard today. I was really feeling good. I finally felt I had a day where I picked the right day to fish, wore the right clothes for the conditions and had the right gear and flies to fish properly. I fished new water and found some great new holes. When the fishing started to get slow and I doubted what I was doing a bass always struck. They wanted a slow trolling retrieve today. The hits were subtle and I learned to have my hand ready to strip at all times. Bass strikes are so strange to me. They feel like you've bumped a rock or snagged a tree branch. Today was a great day and I hope fall continues to be productive.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hank Patterson Episode 3

I have to admit I have had this same frustration of tying small flies on the stream many times.  Hank's advice is pretty sound.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pressure

It's crazy how one word can have so many different meanings when it comes to fishing.  Tonight I was listending to Under Pressure by Queen.  Then I thought about how barometric pressure affects fishing.  After that I thought about fishing pressure and how that affects things.  Then last I was pondering how much pressure you put on your line can effect whether you land a fish or not.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I'll Take It

A string of bad luck has made me yearn for a trip to the mountains in the worst way. I recently was in an accident and my car was in the shop. I bought a new used car yesterday and I figured what better way to test it out than a long drive. I woke up early and gathered my things. I had asked friends to come along but no one was game. I was disappointed but happy at the same time. Going solo you don't have to worry about others agendas. The morning had a nice chill to it and there was a fog that lingered just a few feet off the ground. It would clear as I went up a hill only to devour my car again as I went into a valley. I listened intently for anything strange going on with the car. Finally I decided to relax and let the powers at be take over. I haven't had a working CD player in years. It was a blessing and nice company on the ride up. When I hit the stream there were no other cars in site.  Strange, because it was no secret the delayed harvest streams were recently stocked. I rigged up my gear quickly thinking cars would be surrounding me any time. I choked down a granola bar and water then secured the car and prepared to venture off. Still no cars were seen. I moved down to a spot that was good in the spring and surveyed the water for awhile. I couldn't see anything at first. It always takes me awhile to get my trout vision back. I actually didn't see any fish until I made my first cast and saw several silhouettes move beneath the surface. Yep, the fish were there. They weren't really feeling safe yet. They were following my white wooly bugger but never trying to hit the fly. I switched up with a bead headed soft hackle and a hares ear. About my third cast I saw my indicator move.  I don't know how many strikes I missed. I'm not exaggerating when I say 20 before I caught my first fish. I was really rusty and the first fish I had on shook themselves loose. To make it worse I didn't bring a net.  It has been awhile since I've landed a fish merely by just using my hand.  Especially fish 12-13inches. 

A couple of times the fish would take the above fly and while trying to unhook it the fish would slip take off and embed the dropper in my hand. I just kept thinking I wish I had my net. Even with several hook punctures, missed strikes and short distance releases I was having a blast. I still hadn't seen another fisherman. Then after about an hour one shows up.  I hook a fish almost exactly as the person asks how I'm doing.  It was obvious how we were all going to do today. The fish were here and if you had any previous experience at all you were going to catch them.

I moved down methodically and worked water slowly. I decided to switch it up and try a san juan worm and a bead head soft hackle. I know this run pretty well and it always holds fish. A few casts upstream and working the currents yielded nothing. Then on the swing right before I lifted the rod to recast, my indicator goes under. I lift the rod smoothly thinking maybe it's another leaf. The rod bobs and bows hard.  This is no leaf. Further confirmed by a flash shooting up stream and pealing off line.  The fish was big and at first I thought I for sure hooked a carp or large sucker fish. Then the fish launched out of the water and showed its burgundy stripe. A monster rainbow. One of the biggest I had ever hooked. The fish ran all over the pool and I had to pressure the fish with all my rod had to keep it from going down stream and over a spillway. It probably took 5min to land the fish but it seemed like half an hour. I wish I brought my net. I finally got the fish in hand and got a good view of the beast.
   Damn, foul hooked! 

I'll still take it. Watching a fish this size jump was amazing and the power gives you a real appreciation for catching a fish this big. The day went on and I caught fish in almost all the places I expected them to be. The weather and scenery couldn't have been better. The trees were showing some color and giving glimpses of what's to come. If the wind blew just right you would walk through a curtain of leaves. It's something that can't really be explained but everyone should experience at least once. I probably only landed about 5 fish and had too many long and short distance releases to count. I realized I'm not that great of a fisherman. I just know where to go and what to use. Even with that knowledge I have to hook the fish just right and be on my game. This day definitely wasn't one of my best fishing days but I'll take it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Little Secret

There's something a lot of fisherman know about but don't really share with each other. At least not until there is discussion about fly fishing apparel. This secret isn't about shirts, pants or nifty wading boots. It's actually about underwear. You see in NC in the summer it gets really hot and humid.  There's nothing worse than never really feeling like you ever get dry.  Also after a few days camping if you don't have the right clothing your pants or shorts can get a serious smell of crotch rot. Luckily there's a cure for this.

ExOfficio has a pair of boxers that breathe and dry super quickly. More importantly they reduce odor. The boxers are super comfortable and easy to wash. I'd say they are a must have if you do any fishing trips where you're in a boat or wading for an extended period of time. I wear them pretty much whenever I go fishing now. You'll find too many of your fishing friends already use these and figure you either know about them or they are too embarrassed to bring it up. Give these undies a try you won't be sorry.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Representing NC

There are great fly fishing blogs but there aren't that many about fishing around North Carolina.  Or at least that I have found recently.  I'd like to list the ones I've found so far in case anyone else is searching for the same thing.


Man Powered Fishing isn't really fly fishing related.  It is written by an angler who lives in the Triangle area.  This blog is great because it goes over kayak fishing which is something I hope to one day get into.  The author also frequently fishes in bass competitions.  He is also working on a movie called Quest for the Bass Slam.  The premise is traveling across different states trying to catch rarely seen bass species.  The quality of the movies is done very well and the footage is great.

North Carolina River Fishing And Conoeing with Mack has a title that pretty much sums it up.  Mack has an extensive knowledge of fishing around the Triangle.  There are plenty of great posts and pictures on his blog and he also enjoys hunting.  The passion for these sports is obvious and it's also easy to see he loves sharing his adventures with his son.

Fish Whisperer is another great blog about fishing in the Raleigh area.  The author hooks up with some big fish.  I've been trying to hook up a time to fish with Mack and the Author of this blog for a day on the river.

Mike's Gone Fishin'... Again is a very popular blog.  The pictures and posts are great and the writing has a lot of depth.  Mike is a fellow member of the Triangle Fly Fishers.  He is a great guy and we both hunt bass on the same local river.  He's a lot better at it than I am.

Fly Fishin' Blues is written by another local angler and TFF member.  The blog is just getting started.  Hopefully the writing will be as entertaining has this character is in person.

Copin' With  A Fly Rod is a new blog about fly fishing the local waters of the triangle.  I think maybe though this blog was inspired by Copes son who recently started a blog of his own Fly Rod Therapy.  It's a new blog and this kid is a good writer and fly fisherman.  It will be interesting to see what kind of posts come out of this.

Seven Bridges Rd is a new blog I was turned on to by a fellow angler.  It's pretty good from what I've read so far.  The posts are mainly about chasing trout in the Appalachians.

The Trailmarker is written by Lance Milks.  Lance came and gave a presentation at one of our TFF meetings.  I had some time to sit down and talk to him afterwards.  He's not only an accomplished fisherman but also guides backpacking trips and is starting a Tenkara fishing guiding service.
Those are the only local blogs I can think of for now.  If anyone has some others they'd like to share about fishing in the NC area please put them in the comments section.

This blog probably has more fly fishing report info than any other blog I have found.  It's is called Tar Heel Fly Fishing.  The author goes over predictions, what flies are hot and what waters are prooving to be the best to fish.  Definitely a blog to check out before you plan your next nc trout fishing trip.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anyone Else Hate This?

I love reading blogs and it's also nice to leave comments now and then.  There is a common trend which has an understandable logic but the process is horrible.  At least for me.  There's a function blogger uses to deter spammers that makes you type in a code then a number before commenting.  No big deal right?  It shouldn't be except for the fact that either the numbers or the letters you have to type are almost impossible to decipher.  Here's an example.
I can kind of make out the letters but WTF is the number?  Who can read that?  Is that a 4, 1, or a pixelated 11?  I'm trying to leave a comment not decode a forensic image.  The problem with this is I usually have to do a few tries before I'm able to leave a comment.  Many times when I first see this page I just sigh and I have to admit it almost makes me not leave a comment.  Now I'm sure some reading this feel my pain and I'm sure others could care less.  If you have this an haven't had that many comments left by me don't take it personally.  It was probably due to the fact I couldn't read the alien language or blurred image that doesn't resemble anything close to a number or symbol.
I also just wanted to point out I don't have this set up and I have had anonymous spammers try to post things to my blog.   Blogger is catching those and preventing them from showing.  So please take my post as a desperate attempt to make you stop using this so I can leave comments then circle back and see if you've responded to my comment so my narcissism can continue.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dealing with Loss

Last night I received a call that my father had passed away. My father has been having health problems but I still wasn't prepared for it. The relationship with my dad and I has never been very close. My parents were divorced when I was 7. Growing up I learned what it was to be a man by seeing others and taking traits that I liked and incorporated them into my own personality. I used to struggle all the time wondering why I didn't have a father like other kids. I eventually came to the conclusion that god was using my father as an example of what not to be like with my kids. Last summer my father was in the hospital and no one was too sure if he was going to make it. I flew out to CA to see him and when I left the hospital I had a feeling it was going to be the last time I'd see him. I think I said my goodbyes then. So when I received the call last night I was sad but not totally distraught. 

I stayed home from work today and wondered if I was in shock and maybe a bunch of feelings would come rushing back to me. Honestly I would get these feelings when talking to family members calling to see how I was. I laid in bed and tried to figure out how I was supposed to act. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to lie in bed all day or look at old pictures reminiscing. I finally decided to go fishing. On the water I always have time to think and reflect on things. The top water bite was on fire the first hour I was there. It was exactly what I needed. I'm still a little confused on exactly how I feel. I'm pretty sure my dad would have wanted me to enjoy myself than sit around and mope all day.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Artists

I have always been amazed at the ability of artists.  It seems almost like a super power to pull something from imagination and paint it with expert precision.  There was a recent Artspark festival in Raleigh.  One of the exhibits was graffiti artists.  I came across a guy painting a Land Rover.  He was painting a log using a spray paint can.
The detail on the reeds and grass was amazing. It looked almost like a hi-def photograph of grass. The brown log looked pretty good too. I found out later that was just the beginning. The brown was just the base of the log. 30min later the logs looked like this.
My brain had a hard time interpreting how this was even possible. Especially how it was done in such a short time frame. The talent of artists like this blow me away. The streets seemed to be oozing talent wherever you looked there was amazing works of art.
20min later.
There were street artists showcasing their talents as well.
All I could really say after is WOW. Some of the street painting were just getting started so I think we're going back again tomorrow to see the paintings finished. Sorry about the lack of fishing posts lately. Work has been super busy and my weekends have been spent doing family activities. Hopefully I can find time on the water soon. An exhibit today had a insect sample from a local river. There were nymphs that I didn't think lived in this part of the state. Stonefly, mayfly and helgramites were all found. I need to re-think how I fish certain rivers.