Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today's Topic for Discussion

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink what comes out?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fishing Fever

My wonderful wife has been gracious enough to allow me out fishing a few times in the last couple weeks. Since we do not have much in the way of Trout fishing in this area I have had to modify my techniques to suite the warmwater species nearby. The last couple outings have been for Bluegill, Crappie, and Large Mouth Bass.

Here are a few photos from these outings - they have been rather successful.

Some Bluegill - these are small fish, but they put up a decent fight. And they have a diverse range of colors. I need to get out this year with light tackle just for these creatures.

Crappie. These are fighters. They put up an amazing fight for their size, and I have actually been on the reel for one of these.

And of course, Large Mouth Bass. These are a lot of fun on a fly, especially if you can get them on the surface!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

(Pink) Signs of Spring

It is finally warming up. The grass is green (and has already been mowed once). The birds are singing, and the trees are leafing out.

Yesterday we worked in the garden for a while. It is time to get the cool weather seeds in - Lettuce, Broccoli, Celery, and Onions.

While out buying seeds Rachael acquired some new gardening gloves and a plastic spade. Decked out in her new attire, she lectured us on the importance of not eating worms. As she pontificated over the intricacies of garden cuisine, it occurred to me that once again there was an overabundance of pink. See Plethora of Pink for details of my aversion to this hue.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Today's Topic for Discussion

If you pamper a cow, do you get spoiled milk?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fish On!

We went to Savannah Georgia for a few days. I wanted to do some fishing, and it was warm, there. That is a good reason to choose a location, isn't it? So I arranged for a guide to fish for Redfish and off we went.

I have a knack for planning around the weather. There will be a front moving in when I go on a trip. Last year's fishing trip to Key West was affected by a front moving in. This year a front moved in the day I was supposed to go fishing. Along with the rain and wind that accompanies it.

I spoke with the guide and we finally decided the best thing to do was move the fishing to the next morning. We would decide that day if we would stay out all day or part day, as strong winds were expected later in the day.

So at 6:00am we headed out. Through the darkness to the flat we wanted to fish. The tide had just come in and we wanted to fish the flat as the tide receded. As the light appeared over the horizon we immediately saw redfish tailing. Seeing these tails is an incredible experience. The fish come into the flats to forage for food. In many areas they were in as little as 6 to 8 inches of water.

A few casts, nothing. When redfish are tailing their heads are digging food out from the sand. They switch direction often. A fly needs to be cast near them, hopefully in the direction they are going. But too close will spook them. And when sight fishing I still tend to get a little anxious and forget the basics (in other words I flail the rod around in an attempt to look like I know what I'm dong while trying to get the fly anywhere in the water where a fish might grab it).

Poling through the flats we saw more fish tailing and each time cast to them, causing them to scatter. On to another tail. Cast. Strip the line. Strip again. Add a little movement to the fly. Strip again. Add a little movement. Wait - that fish just rolled on the fly - Strip set the hook! The fish heads out and the reel starts to scream. Unfortunately he wraps around some grass on the way out - we watch him head out while we work our way to the grass to free the line. As soon as the line is freed, the reel starts to scream again. He is still on! After a few runs I work him to the boat and bring him in. My first redfish on the fly!

More fish were not to be caught this day. We cast to more tails, but I was unable to entice them to the fly. We went in a few hours later as the wind was coming up.

A great day. Watching tailing fish, birds all around, 80 degree weather, and a fish brought to the boat. Does it get any better that this?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bite My Brass?

I was listening to the Fly Fishing on the Web Podcast today. Jason and Todd were discussing essential flies to have in your trout kit. During the discussion they spoke about the difference between tungsten and brass beads when used on a fly. There next statement made me reevaluate the sanctity of the sport:

When fishing fast streams most fishermen probably can not tell the difference between a tungsten and a brass bead.

This hit me like a tungsten coned woolly bugger cast into the wind against the back of my head. How could they not understand the difference?

After calming down I thought this through. Perhaps their senses are not as finely tuned as mine. Why just last night, as I was sitting in my recliner, I let out a sudden shudder. Kristin asked what was wrong. Someone is fishing in California using a brass bead head pheasant tail emerger when they should be using a tungsten bead head pheasant tail emerger I stated.

I suppose not everyone can look at that fly fisherman 100 yards down the river and see that the drift is askew. That fisherman obviously needs to switch to a brass bead.

I’m sure my tri-focal glasses assist this finely tuned bead genius.

In an effort to educate the fly fishing community I am going to provide two methods that can be used by those of lesser proficiency to ascertain which material should be used.

1. Expert advice. Before you fish stop by the local fly shop. Check out the stream reports and (I cannot stress this enough) look at the water flows. Talk to the guides in the shop. Armed with this information, peruse the flies. Take careful notice of the names – there is an 87.3% chance that if the little sticker says Tungsten that it is a tungsten bead. If that little sticker says Brass it is a brass bead. Now before you go crazy looking for both these labels, it is very important to realize that 68.4% of the fly shops will only have either tungsten or brass, not both. Remember – these are experts. Purchase the fly they have, it must be the right one for the conditions. If you walk into one of the 32.6% of the fly shops that carry both, I recommend a different shop. If you noticed that these percentages add up to greater than 100%, you are in the 27.5% of the population that need to get out on the water more.

Topic for discussion: did you know that 72.8% of statistics are made up?

2. Wind velocity. This is a very important consideration for the manly fisherman. The reason is simple. A tungsten bead leaves a much larger bump when the errant fly wallops you in the back of the head. This endangerment is much more likely to occur on a windy day. If the day is blusterous you should always select tungsten. This allows one to receive sympathy for fishing injuries upon returning home, allowing one to sit in their recliner pondering fishermen in California using brass bead head pheasant tail emergers.