Friday, December 17, 2010

A hike as promised

So today I got up, and when to my local outfitter looking for a detailed map of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut.  Sadly they were sold out and would not be getting more till Tuesday.  Now not to be discouraged I decided that the research I did online would have to do.  By this time it was 10:30a.m. and I had the fifteen minute drive home and still needed to pack a day pack.  Once I was home I put a pack together and asked Sarah if she could drop me at the trail head.  She seemed more then happy to do it and after I was packed she took me five minutes up the road to the nearest AT trail head.  The section I wanted to hike looked like an easy three or four mile hike and it was.  

It turns out it was a great day for a hike!  The temps were in the mid 30's and there were no clouds to speak of.  So as Sarah pulled away and I hit the tail I could already see a problem.  I dressed to warm, and after a far to early stop I ended up shedding a shirt and hiking with my jacket open(still had a t-shirt on under the jacket).


The first section was the side of the mountain that got all the sun, and it was almost too warm.  It was not the most challenging hike, but I had not been out in a while so I was a little winded as I reached the top.

Once I reached the top I found a nice rock and sat down.  I had not had lunch to this point, but thought ahead and threw a cliff bar and some hot chocolate in my bag.  I also packed my pocket stove and some fuel tablets so from my perch on top of the world I warmed some water for hot chocolate and a cliff bar.  After sitting for 25 of 30 minutes I decided to press on.

As I headed down the other side of the mountain a couple things became very clear.  The first being that this side of the mountain was much colder.  Second there were land mines in the form of frozen pools of water just under the snow, which made for a dicey time going down hill.  I managed to not fall this entire trip which is great because I fall when conditions are great so these poor ones had me worried.  

 Along with the ice and snow on this side I found myself following tracks of what I believe were coyotes.  They were using the AT a lot.  I saw deer and turkey sign all along the way as well, and I guess it only makes sense to see a predator when there was so much game sign.

 In the last half mile I explored an AT shelter.  Found these cool steps people made out of some perfectly flat rocks, and crossed a great foot bridge.  I can't imagine what some of the first AT hikers had to deal with when it came to the rivers they had to cross.  I sure was thankful for that bridge because the water was icy and cold, and I would have turned around and walked the 3 miles back if I had to ford that river. 
All in all this was a great reward for working hard on setting up the house over the last two weeks.  I am looking forward to hiking on the AT more in the spring, but will be using it this winter again I am sure.  Also really want to take Sarah along the next time, maybe even on this exact trip.  There are lots of great picture opportunities and she is a much better photographer then I am.  Hopefully I will get one or two more outdoor adventures in before christmas, but I know I will blog again before so thanks for reading. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Outdoors Room

So, after about a day of total work it is basically set up.  I have an outdoors room, and from this room I will write a lot, read a lot, and tie a ton of flies.  The idea is to keep all the outdoor stuff I have gathered over the years together.  As I cleaned and organized the past two days I decided I would hang some stuff from my glory days on the walls, and in the process found myself hanging some from Sarah's things well.  So now the room is an outdoors/trophy room which I think turned out nice.  I want a couple more pictures of outdoor adventures but they will come because my wife does not go anywhere without her camera and we are going to do more outdoors thing here in Connecticut.    So how about I give you the dime picture tour of the outdoors room.

Yes it looks full, but I have been collecting outdoors stuff for a long time.  Plus you need to remember I have a bunch of metals from my wrestling and track days. Sarah got a great old desk from her mom and I got Sarah's desk from Atlanta.
The selves are great and I put some of my things on them, but most important I put some of my reels on the bottom one.     The reel is my favorite part of an outfit and I have always looked for deals on old ones so I have a couple now
Now this I am really jazzed about!  My tools can be in a drawer and they can all have their space.  If it would not be midnight I would tie a couple flies tonight but I am shot.
This is the vice it is well lit by a lamp my father and mother in-law are letting me use.
Remember that large closet I mentioned in the last post?
Well everything fits, but I spent some time in there putting up hooks, and figuring out how I was going to make it work.

That safe is now safely fastened to the fall with guns and rods in it.  I know over kill to lock your rods up but really it is to keep me away from them till I get a CT fishing license and a job. 

So can not wait till this is a very true statement, but when my mom gave me this sign I knew where I wanted to put it. 

 Okay it is late and I spent a ton of time in this room today.  As a reward for a couple days of hard work I think I am going to go for a hike tomorrow(a.k.a in a couple hours).  If that plan happens I will post pictures and a review of where I went how long and hard the hike ended up being but for now I am hitting the hay....


Sunday, December 12, 2010

A little life....

Sorry that my last post was not even me, but Sarah and I were and in many ways still are in the process of moving.  My parents and I got here a week ago today, and I have been almost nonstop since.  We moved from Georgia to Connecticut, but a better way of putting it for me is we move from a city to the country.  Trying to write an outdoor blog in Atlanta was hard because at times I needed to make a stretch in what I called "the wilderness".  Here on the other hand is almost too easy, sadly the past two weeks have been filled with packing, moving, resting(maybe a day of rest), and now unpacking, but I can see a light at the end of this tunnel, and that light is a hike in my near future.

Currently we are in the unpacking and making this house a little more our own stage.  We are much closer to my parents and sister in this house then Atlanta, and we are even that much closer to Sarah's family which is a wonderful change of pace.  Now for some excitement we live a stones throw from a river, and better yet I could get to it and fish in less then ten minutes.  The places I have had luck fishing are more like a half hour away, but even that is better then Atlanta.  A couple of the outfitters that I think are worth visiting are in the area (Backcountry Outfitters and Housatonic River Outfitters) and I am told there are some I have not found in some of these small towns near by.  So now that I am settling here in Connecticut I thought it was time to start blogging again.

Sarah has been hard at work on her blog since the move and if you want details on the move from her eyes check her out are  I am hoping to keep this blog more on the outdoors side, and aside from getting a christmas tree yesterday we have not done a lot of outdoors just yet.  I am not going to post on the tree because Sarah did a very good job.

Before I pack it up and call it a night I want to show off what is basically a room for my outdoor stuff.  I am not a fan of calling it a "man room" because I am trying to encourage Sarah and some of my other friends and family to come join me on an outdoor adventure.  So for now I am going to call it the outdoors room unless someone else out there has a room with a name other then "the man room".

Here is the room now.  I am hoping in a couple days it will be set up a little closer to the way I want it.  Along with suggestions on the name I am also open to suggestions on basic organization and layout.

This is it, the smallest room in the house but I liked the shelves and  what you can see looking out the window.
All my things are basically on the floor at this point, just a couple things in the garage still that will move up here once I start to straighten up.
This is something else I love the closet is big and will hold a lot of the stuff I collected over the years

I am hoping by mid week I will have a finished photo up, and maybe a little feedback will help with the process.  Also I am hoping to go for a hike with Sarah and maybe that will make it on here as well.  Lastly there is a desk in that first picture where I hope to tie a lot of flies and write for my blog so keep your eyes here for some changes because they are coming to most parts of the blog.  Thanks for checking up over the past week even though I have been in hiding and that should not happen again for a while.  


Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Connecticut Outdoors - A Wife's Guest Post

Well, it's Sunday night, and I'd really like to post, but my wife (love you Sarah) is making me pack up my "Man Closet" (the closet off of our balcony with all of my fishing/hunting/hiking/outdoorsy stuff in it) for our upcoming move.  So instead, I've asked her to post about the top three outdoorsy things she is most excited about taking part in once we get out of the city and up north to Connecticut.  Take it away Sarah ...


Hi everyone!  Sarah here.  I'm sorry to be taking Bruce away from you for the night, but, let's face it, we move in less than a week whether Bruce's stuff is packed or not.

And fly rods are expensive to replace.

They need to safely make the trip.

As stressful as packing, moving and transitioning is, I am actually really excited about moving up north to Connecticut.  I lived there until I was 18 (at that point I moved to Pennsylvania for college) but there is so much I haven't experienced.  My family isn't as outdoorsy as Bruce's family is, so a trip to NYC to see a show was always higher up on the agenda than an all-day hike or camping trip.  I have a lot of time to make up for!

With all that said - here are the top three outdoorsy things I am most excited about jumping into when we get to Connecticut.

1. Fishing Photography

I think fly fishing is one of the most beautiful and peaceful sports there is.  Photographing someone fly fishing is like photographing a ballet - it is just graceful and mesmerizing.  The problem with living in Atlanta is that Bruce has to drive a good distance to get to a decent fishing spot.  I can't always take the time to go with him - or stay out for as long as he would like (and if we're driving far we hate taking two cars!).

I am really looking forward to tagging along on some of Bruce's closer fishing trips.  We will be living alongside the Housatonic River and I hope to get some decent shots of Bruce fishing, what he's catching and the beautiful scenery.

Wildlife and outdoor photography definitely isn't something that I'm used to.  It's much different from a newborn shot I did a few weeks ago where I jumped up and down and babbled in a baby voice to get the little one to smile.  It's much slower, much quieter and requires a lot more patience.  Any and all tips are appreciated!

2. Hiking The Appalachian Trail

Last week I told Bruce that I wanted to hike up Stone Mountain early in the morning to watch the sunrise before we left, so Saturday morning we left the apartment when it was still dark and started the very cold hike up the mountain.

I don't know if it was the 30 degree temperatures, the 30 mph blustery winds, the straight-up elevation or the fact that I had just run a half marathon two days before, but it was a HARD hike up the mountain!  I was not a happy hiker ...

... but it was totally worth it.

Last winter, Bruce and I were in Connecticut visiting my family and we did hike one part of the Appalachian Trail.  It was difficult, but fun!

I took this from the top of the mountain.  That's my mom's church!  What a cool bird's eye view.  I can't wait to see other parts of the trail.

3. Kayaking

I want a kayak.

I don't know why.  No one in my family has a kayak.  Only one of my friends owns a kayak.  I've been kayaking all of three times in my life.

The first time was in Alaska on a cruise shore excursion.  My aunt and I went "Glacier View Kayaking", which we thought meant we would be paddling quickly in and out of glaciers.  In fact, it meant we were just floating along with a nice view of a glacier 200 yards away.  At one point we got stuck in some sludge and the guide had push us out.


The second time was in Florida with my same aunt.  We thought we saw a gator about 20 minutes in, freaked out and paddled like hell to get back to shore.

The last time was back in Florida with Bruce.

We stayed out for over an hour and the next morning I could barely move my arms.  What a good workout!  Kayaking seems fun, because it can either be extremely peaceful or a really hard exhilarating workout.

I'm not sure where I would be able to go out - I'm assuming the Housatonic River, but I'm sure there are also places across the New York State border, as well the Connecticut coast.

I don't know much about kayaks (recommendations welcome!), but I have a feeling that I will probably want to save between $300 and $500 to get a decent kayak.  I'm thinking I want a recreational kayak - perhaps this Emotion Kayaks Comet Kayak from REI?

I wonder if it comes in pink?  (Sorry Bruce - I had to throw that in there)

Well, there you have it - my top three anticipated outdoorsy activities for the next chapter of our book together!  I can't wait!

It was great to be with you all today.  Please stop by my blog, The Strength of Faith, and say hi!

Adventure On,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Can't Get Enough

Saturday I went on what was going to be a simple trip to the river.  I wanted to hit a spot I had never been, and it would have been wonderful had I not missed my turn.  I missed one street and had to call Sarah who guided me to the road I needed.  Once I was there I started with the dropper combo that treated me so well last week, but quickly scrapped that for what I saw was going on.  I was fishing close to the shore line and happened to look across that water and saw a fish sipping a dry about 40 yards out.  Once I calmly moved close enough to see what was going on I quickly reached for a box I added flies to just the night before.

Slapping every pocket on my vest twice could not find the box.  I was getting worried I forgot it, and then I remembered I left it next to my fly tying things.  This was not good, because in the time it took me to walk the 40 yards I noticed that a light cahill would work, but it would need to be small.  The box that I was missing had either some that were size 18 to 20, but the box was on my living room floor.  So the rest of the trip was spent digging though boxes trying to find the smallest flies I had with me.  I fooled a couple fish into taking my offering but what I really needed was the right fly.

It a great trip but left a bad taste in my mouth and taught me a lesson.  Never leave the house without the box that has the small dry flies in it. Well as I said this trip had the potential to be great, but with this bad taste I might need just one more trip before we move north.  I think I have Sarah talked into coming to this same spot with me on Friday.  Now I need to talk my boss into letting me knock off work that day, and make sure the small fly box is in my vest.

this guy was a little beat up but had lots of fight

Hoping to be on the water at least one more time before we leave for the north so keep checking in.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grand Finale?

The view from Bowman Island

So I don't know weather this will be my last trip to the dam before we move, but either way it might go down as one of the most fun and successful fishing trips I have had in Georgia.  I fish a not so secret area in Georgia on the Chattahoochee river.  Burford Dam is the dam that holds Lake Lanier back, but what draws me to Buford Dam is the river.  The water from the dam rarely comes out higher then 50 degrees fahrenheit which makes this a year round trout spot less then an hour from down town Atlanta.  There are a couple down falls to this spot, the first is the fact that it is not a secret everyone knows about this spot.  Another big down fall is the fact that it's a hydroelectric dam and they release water from it, so there are times when you just plan can't be on the river.  The plus side is there is a lot of cold water year round, which helps spread the fishermen and the fish out.  Another plus is that along with lots of stock fish this section has trout that are wild(released and possibly reproducing in the wild) trout.  Lastly there are some big brown trout here. An 18lb 6oz  state recored brown trout was pulled from the river here and that is nothing to sneeze at.

looking at the front side of the island

The trip if it was my last was a great way to leave.  I think I brought to hand something like 25 to 30 trout.  I only left for the river after 11, and most of the time you get a late start you need to fish till dark to catch fish.  This didn't hold true on Saturday for a couple simple reasons.  First there was an early morning water release from 6 a.m. till 9 a.m. so till i got there the levels where just about back to normal. Also the water was not crystal clear like normal, it had a blue green tint.  The tint was a welcome sight to me because the skies were so clear so it was a little cover for me.  I strive in overcast, cloudy water, rain, and I have even caught fish in a snow storm one year when my brother and I went out one winter.

There are a lot of holes to fish and the options are never ending when it comes to what kind of water you want to fish.  I had two spots in mind when I pulled into the parking lot and as I walked up on the first I noticed an older man just down stream from where I wanted to be.  I stood back a on the bank and watched to see which way he was moving and figured upstream because he kept checking up on me as I stood there.  With about four trucks in the parking lot I figured one of my other spots will be open, so with that one spoken for I moved on.  The second spot I had in mind was on the other side of an island, but I didn't want to back track up stream to get to my normal cross point.  In an effort to be respectful to the guy I moved down stream and crossed below him.  Then climbed up on to Bowmans island.  The island's banks are tall walls of dirt and they are kept that way by the releases but I found a very distinct game trail going up one bank and followed it.
center of the photo that light stick is a buck rub about 70 yards out

Once I was on the island I just had to cross and find a way down the other side. When was up there I saw a couple buck rubs and a big scrape.  I remembered I was fishing and my mind went back to the task at hand, finding a was down the other side.  I found another trail and amazingly enough when I got to water level I was directly across from my favorite spot on the back side of the island.  With an idea of how I wanted to fish the hole and went about setting up a dropper.  I tied a big Adams fly on and dropped a  Prince nymph off it. On the very first drift a trout shot up from the deep and went after the Adams and I was in such shock I missed the hooks set.  I was not expecting to have a fish go after the dry fly because of the water color and the fact that there was no fly hatch going on.  My Adams was the only dry on the water.  After a couple unsuccessful drifts I thought that maybe it was time to switch up the flies, and after about twenty minutes and three or four flies I was still batting zero.  I retreated to a close rock and thought out loud talking through water conditions, air temps, weather forecast and what I would be looking for if I was a trout.  I kept the Adams but dropped a Zebra Midge off the back of it and that was the ticket.

The sheer dirt wall of bowman island and the first of many holes to fish

I then had two and a half hours of fish on.  The fishing was almost easy once I got the nymph right, and it was a blast.  Sadly I did not pull out a record fish but what I did was a personal first. I landed a fish on three consecutive casts.  Also when the hole was kinda slowing down I had a trout come from the bottom and hit the dry fly again, but this time I set the hook and landed a pretty brown trout.  It is fall and not only do the leaves show off the brilliant colors but the trout too.  Every single trout I caught was amazing and I felt myself taking a little longer to look each one over.  As I was head to the crossing spot I fished holes that looked like they could hold trout.

Thinking about how trout sounded good and these trout all looked healthy and strong I felt like I would take one for a change.  So when I hooked up with one on the last hole of the day I kept it and thought about how and when I would eat it.  I grew up keeping every fish, but for the last ten to fifteen years now I have been a catch and release guy.  When I want to take and eat a trout now, it is something that I think more about.  Growing up it was about keeping the limit but now its a conscience decision that I will be taking this trout to eat.  

Some great color on all the fish but the browns had the best

second fish to try the Adams

just a little guy

I found a new angle

an example of fish colors in fall

Well once I was home I went to work prepping the fish.  I haven't filleted a fish in a long time, but after messing up one side and leaving a little meat on the bone it came back to me and the other side was just right.  I left the skin on because it helps keep the meat moist and together, plus we ate it skin on growing up unless it was a huge fish.  This morning I woke up and cooked my catch with lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper.  I had it with dippy  eggs and toast.  I love having fish with breakfast but I do not do it enough.  Actually since Sarah does not like fish we do not have a lot of fish, but I want to start eating more.

top fillet is the one that I didn't mess up

breakfast of champions 


So I was thinking if this was my last trip to the dam I can call it a great experience, but if I get up there again I hope I can match this trip.  Thanks for following along.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lots of News

So, I haven't updated in a long time, but not without reason.  Here are a couple reasons why and some stuff to look forward to.  First an update on the fishing front.  It is not good, I have been out once in maybe a month.  Last weekend was my once and it was a big flop.  I went to a spot that was marked year round fishing on a Wildlife Reserve, and it was also marked for heavy stocking.  So I figured what the heck I could use some stupid stocked trout on some dummy flies.  This trip was a big flop, I ended up seeing 7 trout in about a mile and a half.  The water was clear as glass and the fish had been spooked a couple times before I got to them.  I sat on the bank and watched a great blue heron snag a trout and fly off.  As I crawled up on my last hole I heard gun fire and was glad I bought an blaze orange hat and day glow green vest.  It was hunting season and I remember fall fishing PA once or twice.  Orange will give you away sometimes but it will also keep you from being shot.

Now as for the rest of life.  I am working on a new project at work.  It is a value vehicle outlet lot, and it has been nothing but hard work at this point.  I am talking 60 plus hour weeks, and this weekend is the kick off.  Hopefully the rest of the week will be smooth and Saturday will go off without a hitch.  This is the web site "Value Vehicle Outlet" and I deal with all the incoming vehicles.  It is a lot of work but I think the end product will be a benefit to anyone who needs a car fast and needs to just spend cash for said vehicle.  Check out the site and the car prices, the idea is to be up front with any problems, but all cars are road safe.  No haggle, no questions, and the guarantees are inline with other top value lot out there.

This leaves the biggest news, Sarah and I are moving to Connecticut.  We will be leaving Atlanta in December and that has brought up lots of bittersweetness.  The bitter part is we will be leaving new and good friends.  These are people who acted as family while Sarah and I have been so far away from our family.  I could name  maybe a dozen people who have helped me and who I have helped and I will miss them all.   Also I will be missing all the conveniences of the city, and the short trip to the mountains.  I have found a ton of great fishing spots and the fact that I will be learning new waters is exciting.  Now for the good stuff, we will be closer to our families.  It is the northeast so I know the terrain in the woods and waters.  There are plenty of other things that make this move exciting, and in the coming weeks I will try to blog more.  For now read these two blogs from Sarah and they will fill you in fully "cleaning up cleaning out moving out moving up!" "On Faith And Rainbows"  Thanks for reading, and I will try to be better I promise.

Untill next time


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Looking Back

I remember it well, and just found the pictures.  It was May 2007, and if I was to put my life into chapters like a book this would be near the end of one of them.  It was a couple days after my brother's birthdays, and a few days before what I'd call the start of a new chapter, called my trip to Lesotho(a small landlocked country in South Africa where I worked with an orphanage).  This time in my life I was making some choices about my future and with that I was doing what has always calmed my mind and also allowed it to think clearly, and that is fly fishing.  

My brother and I when to a spot that has always treated us very well over the years.  I do not remember the exact drift or even when I moved to the spillway I was working, but the fish is still burned in my head.  It was a thick, long, heavy rainbow with amazing color and I think it might have had shoulders because it pulled like a mack truck.  I was fishing with my 5 foot 5wt full flex rod and well when you hooked up with a 20 inch fish using a light rod like this you know it.  It was the same feeling I had this year when I fished smith gill woods and missed that big fish on a dry.  

This fish was landed on a price nymph, I remember fishing the nymph with no indicator or dropper.  I remember the hook set and thinking I was maybe stuck on a log I knew was a the bottom of this section of swift moving water, but when the head shake started I only could think big fish.  My brother was down steam but not far because we were fishing together this day, and it was a good thing.  He looked up at me after the hook set and without any words at first, he started pulling his line in fast and coming to my aid. As he got close I think I said "it is a good one".  He past behind me and I handed him the net, and kept the pressure on this fish.  As I felt the fish tire I turned steady pressure into getting line back on the reel.  

Jason(my brother) was right there once I got to that sweet spot and I think instead of netting he hand landed even with my steady objection.  Some of the hand shots are of him holding it and I was probably jumping for joy between camera shots.  I know this fish ranks up there as one of my best I ever caught, compared to some people this fish is a shrimp, but I think I am still as proud of this fish on this day, as any other fish I have ever caught.  

I just want to point out that a picture is worth a thousand words, and when I looked at this picture tonight these words came to mind and I thought I would share them.  

I know I need to do blog work and I will because honestly I have not been fishing so I need to make this blog look good, feel good, and read well.  Lets hope I can get out fishing again soon so I have something new to blog about.  


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thanks Brian

This post is brought to you by request of my friend Brain and my wife Sarah.  I have not been very motivated in my blog lately, and Sarah has been reminding me for a week to get a new post out.  Last night I left my phone in my truck and was too lazy to walk back down to get it.  So when I left this morning I unlocked the truck and picked the phone up from the seat and saw a text message from Brain and it simply said "it's about time for a new blog post isn't it?".  He was right and I have not blogged in a while, but I think in my  subconscious I am not confident with putting my adventures into words just yet.

Okay so with that out in the open it is time for me so share my most recent fishing trip.  Last week about Tuesday I was day dreaming at work about fly fishing for trout.  The day dream was vivd and very clear in where I wanted to fish right down the sport on the river.  I came home and started to tie some flies that I needed.  By Friday I had most of the flies I though would be best for this spot, and after a short trip to Bass Pro for a trout leader that I needed badly, I was about ready to go.  Friday night our power went out so Sarah and I had time to talk, but this meant that I did not tie any extra flies for the morning so my boxes had about 3 or 4 of each fly I would need.

Saturday Sarah had to work so when she go up early I was right there with her.  She was getting into her work cloths and I was putting on my fishing shirt, and my cut off camo shorts.  I gave her a kiss and sent her on her way to work, then grabbed my gear and an apple and was out the door 5 minutes later.  I got to the river soon after sunrise, and was in the water within a half hour of getting to the parking lot.  This trip was bitter sweet in many ways, and it started very early.  It was a perfect day out, light cloud cover, high 80s, and a slight breeze, but as soon as I had water up to my mid section I noticed some moisture coming in my waders.  The water was not rushing in, but also was not just damp.  The spot it was coming in also was a little annoying because as a guy it hit a spot that 50ish degree water really feels uncomfortable.  So anytime I was in waist high water it was like water torture for just below my waist.

After my pants had a good soaking I barely noticed the leak any more plus I had missed a couple trout and this had me thinking about anything but comfort.  Once I set the hook and landed the first one I was relieved, because I had been skunked a lot lately and needed a couple good fish.  This first one I was hoping would open the flood gates to more, and it did but along with the fish I also ran into more bad luck.    
First of the day

Number two was bigger

The third was maybe on of the prettier rainbows I've caught all year, and bigger still. 

Number three however was where my second big problem hit.  I caught this guy in the second or third hole of the day and bent over to take some video with my flip camera(which has a cool underwater case) and I dunked my point and shoot camera for the second week in a row!  So the rest of the pictures on this post are from my phone. After the dunking of my camera I pulled a couple more fish from some other holes I know very well.  As I moved from one hole to another I was slipping on what have to be the slipperiest rock in any river I have ever been in.  All that slipping was getting me closer to a hole which has treated me well earlier this year. 

These three are taken with my phone in a much sunnier spot which is why everything looks like a reflector

On my why to this spot I slipped on a rock in shallow water and got a gallon of water down the front of my waders.  Now once at the spot as you can see from the pictures above I got into some great fish.  The best fish of the day brought to hand was actually brought to net, in the picture above. As for the best fish not brought to hand, it was two casts after landing the biggest of the day.  I was fishing a bead head hairs ear nymph dropper off a grass hopper I picked up cheap in some fly shop somewhere years ago.  

The hopper was pretty beat up and I thought was useless, but on a drift I must have made at this point 20 time I saw a shadow come from this deep clear hole.  It was a BIG trout and it nailed the hopper, and with one whip of its tail was on the bottom of the hole with ther fly most likely barely in its mouth.  I fought the fish for a few brief moments, but it had been such a long time since I had a fish of any real size on the end of a 6X leader that I played the situation all wrong.  The line broke and I was left standing there thinking where has my luck gone.  

Well on my way back I stopped at two more holes where I continued to miss fish on a streamer that I always do well on, but could not seal the deal with this day for some reason.  Then in the last hole I had another monster fish chase and then swipe at my streamer but it missed or maybe just caught the tail of the fly.  This was it two fish that either one of them could have been the biggest fish I have ever caught, and if not the biggest ever then definitely the biggest in the past 5 years.  I was finished so I slipped my way along the bank headed in the direction of my truck.  At one point I slipped and hit a dead tree branch, and immediately heard the sound of neoprene ripping.  It was a hole big enough to fit at least a dime though, or maybe 3 or 4 stacked up.  Water was pouring in and I still needed to cross the river at this point.  

After a long walk back to the truck sloshing the entire walk.  I was putting my gear in the tool box when I noticed a tool missing from my fishing gear.  It was a tool my brother gave me for christmas and I use it a lot.  The tool was for holding small flies as you tie them to your line, and that was it.  My trip was over and I had done everything short of breaking my rod or drowning, but I just could not help but be in a good mood for the luck I had and the great day it turned out to be.  I lost and broke some gear that is important and expensive but I caught some great fish and got to feel the power of a real big trout which some people will never feel or understand.  Hopefully one of these weeks I will be fishing and actually get a picture of a big one.  I am sure when that day finally comes it will be well worth it.   Well Sarah and Brian thanks for pushing me to tell this may latest story, I will try to be better about this blogging thing I promise.  


Monday, September 20, 2010

In Over My Head

My new work schedule has me working every other Saturday.  So this Saturday I worked and decided to bring a rod and some flies to fish after my work day was done.  I ended up putting in ten hours Saturday and when I clocked out I was hungry and tired but decide to hit the river for a couple hour anyway.  I was hitting a spot I went to early in the spring for trout, but with the river water being near the highest temperatures its been all summer it is shoal and smallmouth bass time.

With little gear I headed out.  Just a fly boxes, an extra leader, nippers (other essential tools), a phone, and a camera(to capture the action to report on here) .  Well I didn't put the phone or camera in water proof bag or box because these add bulk to my gear and I was very sure about this spot not being too deep(famous last words).

I got to the spot where I needed to start wading out into the river.  I was headed for some rocks that stick out of the water.  I had been on them before and remember it was a deep wade but remember the water being just above my navel.  What I failed to think of is the fact that this spring we got a couple good rains which made the river swell a couple different times and ultimately altering the bottom.  Normally I am a smart confident person on any water, and my memory of different waters is really good too.  I have always been able to remember where rocks, logs, and different pockets are on the bottom after being on them only once.  Even on a new body of water I have a good eye for tells that will show me where is safe and where to stay away from.

Looking back on this trip I should have called it when I stayed at work two hours extra.  I was rushing and pushing to get to a spot where I missed a big bass in the spring.  Seeing the rock just 30 yards out was distracting, the angle of the sun made it hard to seen underwater rocks. I was wearing my keen sandals because I left my new wading shoes at home.  These are all things I have been factoring into the next moment in time.  I was on a rock with the water about thigh high I remember it being a chest high wade to the rock I wanted to be at.  My very next step had me chest deep, and anyone who has walked in to cool water chest high knows it takes your breath away for a second.  I gave my body time to adjust and decided to feel out in front of me with one foot to see how deep the water was, but slipped.  It was not a fall forward because when the test foot hit the rock in front of me I was underwater.

Underwater in a river I know well enough this should not happen, instinctively I pushed off the bottom and was back up I gave a couple leg kicks and was back to a knee deep rock.  Wet, from my feet to the button on the top of my hat.  When I got to my final destination(rock)  I took the battery out of my phone and camera, took my shirt off and squeezed the water out.  I only fished for about a half out and headed home pissed off and wet(25 yards down the water was knee high all the way to the shore).

Once I got home and changed into dry cloths I set up the hair dryer on low and started drying things out.  I took my camera apart and took a canned air to it.  The phone I put together after a couple hours and it was fine.  I have a motorola tundra for this very reason, because I am hard on on phones.  The camera on the other hand well I waited till the next morning to get it powered up.  Amazingly the camera still works! The screen has a water spot on the bottom right, but I am okay with that.  So my advice to anyone who uses an older point and shoot camera and it gets wet.  Go ahead and take the shell of it apart, get the canned air on it to get most of the water out.  Then its a hair dryer on low for a couple hours and cross your fingers when you power up.  If you smell a lot of wire burn smell power down and dry some more.  Also if it feels hot just consider it done, but it is worth a shot.

Thanks for the tool set dad it comes in handy a lot!  I use it all the time for small things.

Here it is camera drying out.

This is the tundra I was not really worried about it but wanted to be safe so I dried it out also.

Anyway my pride still hurts from this mistake.  I have been kicking myself every since this and just want to get out and have some luck on the river.  Part of my problem is I've been getting blanked out there lately and I just want to get a couple fish to hand.  Now the river is playing games with my head and I just need to get out on it and have a good day.  Lets hope this coming weekend can provide a good outing.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nothing Going

There has been no fishing, no new products, no fly tying, and really nothing exciting going on right now.  I'm hoping to get out Saturday after work for a couple hours and will post as soon as possible after that.  What I have been doing is running a little, and helping coach my wife through a half marathon training.  You can follow up on her running and some of her other adventures here. I will give a good post Saturday night and that is a promise.  Have a good Friday everyone.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Feeling Like Gilligan

So last week on Wednesday Sarah left for Connecticut she had meeting and things to go to.  I just started a new position at work and felt like asking for time off wouldn't be a great idea.  Wednesday I dropped Sarah off at the MARTA station then headed to work.  Spent most of the day at work learning a new computer system, but at the end of the day I had some free time to play on the internet.  Before long I found myself on one of my favorite sites,  I found the site a while a go but hadn't bought anything from  them, until now.

The site is great the guy who started this online store has a good story too.  I encourage you to go read the story in their site just click about us and read.  The short version is this man broke his back mountain biking, and once he was rehabbed he wanted to get outdoors again.  He found that everything was really heavy, or expensive.  The site has items that are smart, lightweight, sometimes with multi uses, and the prices can't be beat by anyone.

Back to Wednesday I spend sometime at work looking at each page.  I found maybe a dozen items I liked, but I decided to get one that really interested me.  It is a hammock, a net style hammock.  I was interested because  the web site said it could hold up to 2000 lbs.  2000 lbs thats amazing, Sarah and I and about 1700 lbs could lay on this thing and it would hold us, that just sold it for me.  So it came Friday and I had a chance to take a couple naps on it this past weekend.

It is nice and light weighs about a pound, and small rolls up just a little bigger then a softball.  Comfortable to sleep in, I have one made from parachute material, it is lighter and just as comfortable, but this one holds a hundred times more weight.  Also this one is a net so if you are in a survival situation you could use it as a net, if you are a back packer you can hang your bag in it over night to keep bears and other animals out of your food.  Sleeping in it in the sun this weekend, made me feel like I was on Gilligan's Island, and the style matched the feeling

Well hopefully I'll get out fishing this week sometime.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


  This morning I when I got out of bed I had an uncontrollable urge to crawl back into bed and sleep.  I just could not put my finger on it, but I had a feeling today was going to be a long day.  It was a long day at work from the start, everyone was just too much for me.  Then around 11 Sarah texted with some upsetting news, and that was it I was bound for a bad one.  When work ended I decided I should maybe do some cleaning around the apartment then tie some flies.  

Fly tying calms me most of the time, plus my boxes have been missing some key flies lately.  So tonight has been a BWO night.  BWO stands for Blue Winged Olive.  The recipe for a BWO is simple, and tonight I decided to tie a parachute version of it.  For those of  you who aren't fly fishers a parachute is the usually colorful puff that sticks up from the body.  

I need smallish flies tonight so I went with a size 18

First thing I do is tie in a parachute then a tail.  The parachute material is the fibers from a calf tail, and the tail of the fly is made by pulling some fibers from a gray(sometimes called blue) piece of hackle.

Then make a body by wrapping olive colored dubbing from the tail to the start of the parachute.  

Now tie in a piece of hackle and wrap it down on the parachute.  Tie it off and in the box it goes.

These flies are very common I used them in PA, and here in GA they are just as common.  I hope that these are the trick this weekend.  I'm looking forward to trout fishing all weekend.  I hope to catch some fish so I can post some good pictures and have some great stories to go with them.  Needless to say my mood is much better I had the tv off and the radio on.  I have just been thinking about how many fish I have pulled from some amazing waters with this very fly.