Thursday, April 28, 2011


So I feel like my blog is getting a little flat and now that Holy Week and Easter are over I am going to get Sarah to help me do some changes to my blog.  Nothing major but something to freshen it up a little and maybe weed out some of what is not working.

Speaking of weeding the first change is going to be easy and it is already started.  I have started a garden here at the new house and Sarah and I will both be writing about it from time to time.  She has put two posts up and there is mention of the garden in both of them. 

I want to give a little insight as to why a garden and why I am going to name it Aunt Verna's New England Garden.  My fathers aunt Verna is like a grandma to me and my siblings.  She lives in PA and has lived in the same house for as long as I can remember and at this house she has a garden.  Verna's garden is a large vegetable garden and it is always full of goodies.  The garden is amazing and so is she.  A woman in her late 80's who plants a lager garden and meticulously tends it daily.  So needless to say I have eaten lots of veggies from her garden and hope my own garden can emulate hers.

My garden is named Aunt Verna's New England Garden because I want this garden to be an extension of my aunt Verna's garden here in New England.  I am hoping that with her name attached to my garden, it will have a good yield she would be proud of.  I plan to call her sometime soon and explain my garden and her connection to it. Also I plan to talk gardens with her, for years I cut her lawn and we always talked gardens, weather and what she would plant and grow each year.

Now for the new blog feature, on the left side of the blog there is a picture of a tomato I grew on the deck of our apartment last year.  This year I have a large garden outside in the dirt, a rain barrel, garden tools including rubber boots and I want to document it!  So Sarah and I will be blogging about it as we go and it will be full of ups and downs I am sure, but as my aunt Verna always says "we do the best we can"


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Evening Action

So last night with less then an hour to go before sun set  I grabbed my bag, and a rod and headed down the street a little more then a mile to the spot I caught trout the other day.  It had been years and years since I could just grabbed my gear on a whim and headed to a small stream to try my luck  The town we moved to has fishing close by and it is all medium to small streams.  I excel at medium to smalls, for a lot of reasons but mainly because I fished water this size for over 20 years before moving to Atlanta. 

Last night was simple I grabbed my bag and my 3 wt and when to what I am going to name the bridge hole.  I jumped out the the truck slung my bag on my shoulder and took the rod out of the case.  Then stream side I strung the rod up and tried to keep one eye on the water.  The bug action was less then my last trip but there was still some action, and I saw a couple spots where fish were taking flies off the surface regularly. 

Once I was strung up I stripped a bunch of line out and landed the best roll cast I can remember doing in a long time.  It was a strong loop and when the loop stopped the fly dropped ever so softly onto the surface.  Then almost instantaneously the trout came to the surface and sucked the light Cahill in.  I set the hook and the fight was on, this fish ran up stream toward a bush that was hanging over the water.  I have been shore fishing so I did not have waders to walk into the water to defend against getting tangled in the bush.  After a couple tense moments I got the guy around the bush and pulled it ashore to my waiting wet hand.

Sorry about the water spot on the shot but I was excited to have a fish on my first cast!

Another beautiful brook trout, full of energy and some dark colors.  The rest of the time till sunset was filled with me missing dry fly hits, because I think I was day dreaming or something.  I love being in a small town with unique small waters to fish when ever I have an extra half an hour.  Now it is time to figure out how to fish for stripers because that season is just around the corner!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Back to the Water

So today is Good Friday, and it was a good day for me.  Sarah had an at your own pace, come when you have the time, self reflective service written down that you could go to the church and read in the sancuary.  Then there was me who picked one up, as I was headed to the stream to try to catch some trout.  These kinds of services are great to do outside and to do it stream side made it that much more meaningful.  Here is her service if you want to know what it looked like. 

Now for what I am sure you paused at and thought 'He said last Thursday that he would have a license within a week and it has been a week and a day'.  Well sorry for the delay but the house needed to be cleaned and I wanted to get some gardening and yard work done.  Also drivers licenses are expensive here in MA.  Well to make a long story short I bought both a drivers and a fishing license today and with in 5 hours I was fishing.

I took lunch to the church for Sarah (that is when I got my Good Friday service to put in my pocket).  We ate sandwiches and talked for a while, then I stopped the conversation with the question "sooo some church members said that small dam up the street gets stocked with trout right?"  to this Sarah said go ahead and fish.  So I did and it was good (see that, it is a little church joke). 

This little dam had lots of bugs raising off it and then fluttering around and falling back down.  I was excited when I saw that first ripple of a trout eating a dry fly.  The flies were very big and dark so I started with my biggest parachute Adams.  After a while I quit with the Adams fly and then continued to try everything I had in both of my dry fly boxes.  So I sat down and read that service, and looked out at these fish eating the flies that I did not have and was okay with it.  I caught one of these flies as I was leaving and it turns out I should have been throwing a Trico or a Spinner which I had neither of.

I was not ready to go home but I had done all I could do at the dam.   So I stopped at a bridge on my way home, and the same hatch was coming off there.  This hatch was not exactly the same it had some Cahill and some Caddis mixed in.  This was the ticket I was only at this bridge for less then an hour but I pulled out three nice fish.

First was a nice healthy brook trout

Next a darkly colored brown
Lastly was a little brown

 Just like that the hatch died and the wind picked up.  I was tired and hungry so I decided to call it quits.  Had the hatch still been going strong I would have thought about this for a while, but it just died so the decision to leave was easy.  When I caught the last fish I was able to stage a shot that I am going to use as a teaser for a future post. 

This is the tease shot.  

So just above that rod is a trout and above the trout is a new piece of gear that I have been testing.  I really want to take it out couple more times, but it is looking good so far.  Keep an eye out for the full review sometime in the next week.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Home New Setup

I am without a Massachusetts drivers license, which I need to get a resident fishing license, so to keep busy I have been setting up our new house.  Since this is our second move in the past 6 months you would think I would be a pro at setting up a new house.  Well that is not exactly true, each new space has a new set of problems to over come, such as rooms too small, rooms too big and then there are problems like where do I put my desk?

The last house we were in was way to big for us, but we loved having a guest bedroom, yoga room, her office, my office all on top of the basics.  Well this house is more like the size two or three people should be living in and so there is not room for a outdoors room (man cave).  The other thing we found when there was room for me to have my own hobby room was that Sarah and I would email, chat or text each other.  This seemed stupid to me, so we spent lots of time hanging out in each others room.

That takes us to the new house, where we have a room that is the right size to share an office.  So after talking the pros and cons out we decided to have a shared office space.  Basically Sarah has an office at the church and will be using it more then her home office.  So we most likely will not be bothering each other, plus it is nice to talk to someone as you are tying dozens of flies.

With the the area explained I am going to put a couple pictures of my work space, but along with them is going to be a question.

How do you organize your desk if you have one?  Most of the drawers have tying materials in them and there is one for junk, but I still feel like it look cluttered.  Should I get over it or should I look to make it even more organized?  If it was your space what would you do?

Now for some good news....  I think I am going to go try and get a drivers license tomorrow, which means I will be fishing again soon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A BIG Weekend

Last Thursday Sarah and I traveled back to CT where we lived for 4 months while she searched for a church.  We spent an extended weekend there and had friends and family coming in to see her ordination.  Friday I had one task and that was to bring pastor Kim (our pastor from GA) from the airport to her hotel room.  Once I delivered her to the hotel I had a few hours to relax before I met up with her, Sarah and another friend for dinner.

So I hit Housatonic River Outfitters to talk cfs's, clarity, and bugs with the guy who works there.  He was helpful and gave my options to me like this: "If you want solitude stay around here and fish the Housatonic, and if you want a great chance at catching fish drive to the Farmington".  Then we got to talking about stocking, water temps and catch and release.  As I walked to my truck I made my mind up that I would go for solitude tonight.

I fished the Housatonic and did not see another soul, but still had a good time.  Once I was on the water I spent some time relaxing.  I finally made a cast only to miss a hook set.  The rest of the night I could not find another fish, but I made up my mind that the next day I would get up early and hit the Farmington.

According to the plan I got up on Saturday and drove the 45 minutes to an hour to the river.  As I pulled up I understood why the guy at the fly shop said to come here.  The current was moving very slow compared to the Housatonic and the water was gin clear.  With these great early season conditions and the fact that it was Saturday, there was a person in every hole.  It was my good fortune to find a space to fish.  So with my new 3wt rod I tied a bead head prince nymph dropped off the back of a AZ Wonderings Hopper.  It is very early in the season for a hopper but the spot had a fast under current and I wanted to make sure the indicator fly stayed up.

 It had been a while since I fished a swift hole like this, so it took me a couple casts to get my wits about me.  Once I had the feel of the new rod and the idea of where I should be drifting my rig, I stared hitting my spots and making good drifts.  Then I made a cast a little further into this current and the hopper disappeared and I instinctively set the hook.  Almost instantly knew I should have used my 5wt.  My poor new 3wt rod was bent in a U shape and the fish was glued to the bottom.  This trout fought hard to pull up stream and then tuned down and I had to chase.  As the trout pulled down stream it was taking line from my rod and I was looking for slow current to guide it to .  I finally found a pool and guided the trout into it.

Once it did not have the current to help take line, I started to make up ground on the fish.  I brought the trout to my feet twice and both times it shot out and ran toward the current again.  Both times I stopped it before it could drag me further down stream.  Finally I backed myself to the shore and found a mud bar to guide the fish onto.  As I got it close I realized that it was a big brown and two things dawned on me - first I should have used a 5wt and second I should have had my net with me.

Since I had played this fish so long I did not want to spend a lot of time taking pictures because I did not want to stress it anymore then I had already.  I drug the big brown onto the mud bar, and knelt down next to it.  As I removed the prince nymph from the big guys' top jaw I looked it over and knew my day was done.  I laid the fish down next to my rod so I could get a shot of how long it was, and then gently took it into the current and let this beauty swim away.  The fish was not phased at all, because it returned to the fast stuff and just did not show signs of stress which made me just as happy as the catch did.

It had been at least 5 years since I have caught a trout like this.  I was over joyed about it and I was a mess for the rest of the day.  Basically nothing could take me off the high horse I was riding, I remember saying 'it does not matter I caught a huge fish today!' as my answer to almost any question asked of me.  Now that I have caught a big fish my juices are flowing fast and heavy and all I want to do is catch fish.  So with that fact stated I need to get a MA fishing license.  Until I get a new license I will not be fishing so my mission is to have a license by this time next week.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Rev. Sarah Weaver.........

There is an exciting fishing story to tell about this weekend but have not written the post yet. This is not going to be a long post, but a congratulations to my wife who was ordained into the UCC yesterday and who is now officially official .  Honestly Sarah put it best when she said words can not explain what all went on yesterday so here is her post with some pictures and a few simple words about it. 

Here is her link go check out Sarah's blog to see pictures of the service.
Laying On Of Hands

This week on Outfitted for Life....................................   The biggest fish in I have caught in 5 years, if not all time!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

William Joseph WST waders part 1

Love the logo

I finally understand why people spend a lot of money on waders.  I have never spent a lot of money on waders and thanks to OBN and the connections they have, I did not need to spend any on these .  A short history of my wader past can be summed up quickly I started with rubber waders, and that was followed by my first pair of neoprene waders.  Neoprene waders are relatively cheap and since my brother and I fished, hunted and trapped in the PA winters they kept me warm.  When the summers would roll around I would slip on my rubber hip boots and they would do the trick for the summer months.

Some real excitement in the air when I open a box of new gear!

Now my eyes have been opened thanks to these William Joseph WST waders and OBN.  There is another world of waders out there, not rubber, not neoprene but some fabric that keeps water out but still breaths.  It is early in the season and if these waders would not be new I would probably still be using the neoprene for warmth.  The fact is they are still new and I was very excited to give them a go.  The day they showed up I grabbed my new 3wt rod and took off to a small stream.

Sometimes I swim Against The Current

These waders are wonderful they breath very well.  I had jeans on under them and the truth is I felt like I was wearing only jeans.  Yes they kept me dry while I fished that is what waders should, but big question is did they pass the "Bruce test"?   Well I had a chance to try them out on some small streams in CT in the past two or three weeks and they have held up well thus far.  I picked two streams that offer two different challenges.

The honest truth is I fished the hole before staging some photos.

The one stream has large rocks and boulders that are tough on the knees of most waders.  These WST waders have reinforced knees and the inseams are cut in such a way that you have full range of motion for climbing and crawling over large boulders.  The other stream had a lot of sticker bushes, and some very deep wades. The stickers did not grab the material and did not poke holes in it either.  Then there was some of the areas where my only option was to wade through some very deep water and these waders did great.

Do they look convincing?

The inspiration for the name WST is the most interesting function of these waders.  WST actually stands for Wader Safety Technology, and this is an intigrated floatation device.  If you use waders a lot you have probably slipped and fell but 9 times out of 10 you just stand up and have some water in your waders.  These waders are equipped for that one time when you can not stand up or the current grabs you and take you down stream fast.  If you find yourself underwater or being swept down stream there is an air bladder around the chest of these waders that is filled by a Co2 cartrage.  Here is the situation you are on a river you have never fished before and you step onto a rock that is very slippy and fall in over you head.  You are underwater and the current is pushing you down stream and water is filling in your waders but lucky you are wearing WST waders.  You simply find the red rip cord and pull like you life depends on it (and if you were in this pickle it would depend on it), the Co2 gets punctured and the bladder fulls with air and you float to the surface.

Sorry it got blurred because I tried to zoom this one after the fact.

To sum it all up the William Joseph WST waders are a great pair of waders.  Comfortable, breathable, with a full range of motion, and the Wader Safety Technology for peace of mind.  If you are not the kind of person to spend your money on waders, maybe this will be the pair you finally break down and buy.  Not only will you be buying a great pair of waders, but you will be buying peace of mind for that one unfortunate time you go under.

My only advice for waders and wader boots is about size chats and buying online.  Both waders and wader boots have size charts that are made with some kind of math equation that has to do with height, weight, eye color, and month you were born.  This equation is not always reliable so my advice it to go to an outfitter and try them on first.  If you can not find the exact waders you are going to buy online at least try on the same brand so you understand how the sizes run(for these particular waders I would say to buying a size bigger then your first thought). 

Took this by accident but I kinda like it.

Okay so there is one thing left to do, I want to truly test the WST system.  This summer I will jump into my in-laws pool and test the rip cord.  This is why I titled this post William Joseph WST waders part 1 because part 2 will be a video post of me using these waders in a pool.

OH yeah did I mention that you can really look the part when you wear quality gear, and that it outfitted for life!

The William Joseph WST waders were given to me free of charge for field testing and reviewing.  The thoughts and opinions above are my own with no outside influences.