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.  


Monday, September 6, 2010

From Work To Play

So I took a new position at work.  It takes me from the parking lot of our used car department, to the service department.  I am going from outside, to in an office, from shorts in the summer, to khakis all the time.  The perks of this job are chances to move forward and learn the service lingo.  All that will lead to being a service adviser which is the middle man between the techs, and the customer.  For now I do a lot of cashier and phone work.

Hopefully by now you are wondering why this would make it on to my outdoors blog.  Outfitted for life is not just about fly fishing, but it is about all of my outdoor hobbies and sometimes the indoor ones make it online too.  As for why my job it is simple, the change in clothing.  I do not mind khaki dress plants but sometimes do not feel comfortable in them all day long.  So with that thought in mind I looked to the internet for a pair of pants that I could wear to work and look nice in, but could also put on to go to the mountains on the weekends.

Believe it or not there are a lot to choose from, and I wanted to try some on.  I went to REI because they carry a lot of the brands I wanted to look at and with it being labor day they were having some big sales.  The store was full, the fullest I have possibly ever seen it.  If it had not been REI I might have left, but I stuck it out and tried on a couple pairs of pants.  The ones I really wanted were still too expensive and they were out of my size.  I was looking for Mountain Khakis but they are pricey and like I said they did not have my size(maybe for Christmas hint hint).  So I tried on a pair of columbia pants, and a pair of kuhls.  There were reasons for not going with any of the ones I tried on first.  Some did not look good enough to wear to work and some felt like it would take till March to break in.

 I picked up a pair of mountain khakis that I liked but were a 54 waist, and held them next a pair of REI brand pants and the look was close.  In fairness to Mountain Khaki the REI brand was not as ruggedly built but it seemed to be only quality of material.  That being said I was happy with the REI brand because they were 30 dollars cheaper, so if they do not hold up as long I will be okay with it.  I am very happy with my new pants and can not wait to field test them this week at work and maybe I will go hit the AT this coming weekend.  As for the work side of thing I know they will be good because they feel comfortable the second you slip them on.  I am also excited to see how they handle a long hike so when I finish the field testing I will write again with a proper review.   

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Testing New Waters

Tonight after a long day at work I pulled up a chair to the vise and planned to work out a new pattern.  The pattern is the damsel fly.  This fly is used in warm water situations and is a big carp and bass fly.  I have been trying to catch a carp for a couple weeks now and just want to pad my chances with a fly that is said to work.  After tying three flies that are all slightly different from each other and a bunch that were no good I packed up my tying stuff to call it a night. I will be field testing these new flies this weekend sometime and I hope they do the trick.  Here are a couple shots of them, I'm not confident in the pattern yet so they look a little rough.  Rough flies tends to happen when you tie a fly for the first time.

Like I said not the prettiest fly I have ever tied but look at that I am getting better at taking pictures of the finished product.  There will be more to come maybe another post before Sunday this time.