Friday, June 9, 2017


It's always good to try something new. It's what keeps life interesting. A new hobby is one of the little things that can revitalize and take you out of your comfort zone. It can break up the routine and give you an opportunity to learn new skills. A new hobby can help with stress management and who knows, you might see some interesting characters along the way! There's no need to diverge into totally unfamiliar territory. You can easily find something along the lines of your current love...but with a twist. For me, it was surf fishing... with a spinnig rod.
In the evening the sun's rays become long and purple shadows wash across the beaches highlighting the foamy white water of the surf. The water is cool and the sand soft between my toes. The smell of salt is like a heady perfume as the tip of my rod dances. The beach shimmers in a silver iridescence. 

The take is gentle, almost imperceptible, The thrill of the unexpected mounts as I reel fervently and before long, in my hand I hold the wildness of the sea and am connected to it. There is only a brief moment to admire and release.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Utility of Purpose

     Having all of your gear at your fingertips on the the way to the river is a real time-saver. The Okochobee Fats tackle bag makes organizing a snap! Plus, it won't break the bank at only $10 for the small version.
     Last year, I was becoming frustrated with my gear floating around the back of the car or truck. In particular, I had no place to put several different reels, fly boxes, or tools and went in search of an inexpensive tackle bag with enough pockets to hold my stuff. At Walmart, I came upon several varieties of both soft-sided and hard tackle boxes, but the Okochobee caught my eye.
     The bag comes with two plastic boxes with dividers for lures, but since this was planned to be a dedicated fly fishing gear box, I removed the boxes. The exterior of the bag has a long shoulder strap that I have slid down to shorten to use as a carrying handle. There are two side pockets, net pockets, D-rings, and a longer center pocket, all with nice zippers. The exterior center compartment holds my extra hemostats and other extra tools, while the exterior side pockets hold extra shoestrings for wading boots and other items, such as leaders, strike indicators, etc.

     In the main compartment, I have plenty of room for reels, fly boxes, lanyard, tipped, glasses, and other tools. Everything I need in one place and now when I go fishing, it's a simple task to grab the bag with all of my gear in it and toss it the trunk, knowing that I haven't forgotten anything.

     I would recommend giving this inexpensive tackle bag a try. It is very lightweight and has more than enough storage for a day on the river.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

When Looks Are Deceiving

One of he most popular fish in the trout family is not a true trout after all. The rainbow trout is actually thought to be a smaller version of the pacific salmon. Rainbows love to move in the faster oxygen-rich waters of streams and rivers and have an enthusiasm for the take that makes them a sought after quarry.

Brook trout are related to the char family and are akin to lake trout. Like rainbows, they live in cool fast moving streams and creeks. They are also found in abundance in the high country lakes. Brookies are exceptionally beautiful fish and will eat almost anything. This makes fishing for them so much fun, but at the same time, difficult as they can be very skittish is the gin-clear water that is their playground.  

Brown trout, on the other hand, are said to be a true trout and are one of the most glamorized of all trout species for its strength and intensity of fight. Rather than a subject of quantity, catching browns is a matter of quality. Because brown trout can reach epic proportions during the fall migration, a single battle can make the fishing trip and create an experience of a lifetime.

Whatever they look like and by whatever name they go, trout will always be one of the most sought after and enjoyable fish to hunt.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

In the Blind

Knowing how to read the water and understanding trout behavior will go a long way to ensure success when fishing in the blind, (when you can't see fish rising).

Fishing in the blind most ofter occurs when a stream is moving fast and/or offers limited visibility. Since trout have limited time to inspect an offering before striking, these conditions can prove successful, especially when using a terrestrial to make a large splash on the surface and attract fish. Brook trout are opportunistic feeders and are known to attack just about any fly. Since time is of essence in a fast moving stream or one with poor visibility, Brookies can be a fun quarry providing lots of action.

Even if one does not see fish rising, a terrestrial can summon fish to the surface and create instant action. To improve your chances, make sure to cast to areas where one might reasonably expect to see terrestrials in large numbers. Always search the undercut banks that hold grasshoppers that haphazardly fall into the river. Using several types of hopper imitations works wonders. Sometimes, before actually fishing, I will walk through the tall grass near a stream to see what I kick up. Many times, I will kick up small grasshoppers that might be blown into the river. In my experience, trout seem to like the larger hoppers in lighter colors. Sometimes a parachute Adams works just fine for this purpose. Parachute Adams will also do well in the late evening when blind fishing, as you can still spot the white parachute of the Adams fly in the river and keep a good eye where your fly is at all times. If you are able to see the fly well, so can the trout! 

Don't give up on a piece of water just because there are no rising trout visible. By knowing how to read the water and understanding trout behavior, you can enjoy a very successful l time on the water!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Total Recall

When we take photos of the fish we catch, we lock them into our memory banks. The photo becomes part of us. It stimulates our recall and inexplicably, we can remember every facet of the experience. I can look at this photo and recall exactly where I caught this fish, what time of day it was, and most importantly, the story of the epic battle that took place in getting the fish to the point of being photographed. I can feel the temperature of the breeze, the smell of sage whafted upon it, and whether is was cool or warm. Every fish is different and so too, our momentary experience with it. By photographing our encounter, we do not need to rely on fading memories or those which have justifiably become more gradiose and unreliable with the passage of time. We can record the experience for replay any time and enjoy the moment as if it was yesterday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fishing With a Friend

The sun was already well above the horizon as we sat in our truck waiting for our fishing buddy to arrive. The nearby campground was busy with campers finishing up breakfast and attending to the necessary chores before going off to fish. The weather was warm and only the slightest breeze was perceptible. A great hatch was sure to be in store for us this day!

The wait was brief and shortly, my fishing buddy stepped out of his truck with a friend...a dog. She was a beautiful flat coat retriever, and as black as midnight. At about a year and a half old, she had boundless energy and after a short period of initial shyness, she warmed up to us all and was ready for any adventure the day had in store.

Along the shore, she played with boundless energy and surprisingly, did not distrupt the fishing. Her interest was captured by the many sticks that floated along the banks and she made short work of them, thowing them high in the air only to be easily caught on the way down or crunching them into oblivion right where they lay. Watching her was pure enjoyment. My son's first take was a beautiful 12 inch rainbow from the shallow riffles and our friend didn't seem to care. She was much more focused on those wiley sticks!

Dogs can be such good companions while fishing, especially when they are well trained. They bring a comic relief to the day that is unsurpassed!

Monday, February 17, 2014

I stepped into the water at the inside of a nice long U-turn in the stream with the flow moving right to left. I tossed my fly almost directly across the current, wiggled out some line and let the tasty morsel drift downstream into a nice seam. As the fly reached the furthest point and began to swing across the current, I gave it a few jerks and immediately felt a nice hit. He fought bravely as I worked him throughout the grassy shallows.