Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fresh, Dumb, & Willing

On a 3rd annual fishing trip to celebrate my good friend Austin's birthday, we found ourselves riverside after an all night drive west to the land of stocked bows. It was the last weekend in March and the fish were freshly stocked, incredibly dumb, and willing to be caught more than once…

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Ahead

Daylight savings time in the spring is probably my favorite day of the year. It affords the fly angler an extra hour of daylight in the afternoon to not only enjoy the increasingly nice weather outside, but to go fishing after work. This year springing ahead fell on March 6, and should have ushered in some Spring-like weather. However, it decided to snow multiple times in the Mid-Atlantic region since then with the temperatures and weather fluctuating on a weekly basis. This made Spring seem a little farther off than anticipated, but I didn't let it stop me from heading outside to do some local trout fishing. I even got in a few carp sessions when the water clarity finally began to clear.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ice, Snow, and Steel

After a personally disappointing Fall Season on the river the steelhead gods began to show me some sympathy. My winter season proved to be one that I’ll never soon forget. As the flows began to stabilize so did I. I spent some of my time on a stretch of river that I'm quite familiar with, it’s only drawback is that 10,000 other anglers are too. Swinging flies in a combat scenario can be unnerving at times, but the reward is there for the taking if you keep your head in the game.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Humming of Mystery

A winter camping trip to Shenandoah materialized in the beginning of February. Naturally, I brought my small stream fly rod just incase we ventured along a stream that harbored some of the last pure stocks of native brook trout on the east coast...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter Jaunt

A solo mission north for two days of swinging flies was met with unseasonably warm temperatures. With freedom from ice in the guides, I took advantage and fished a skagit line for a little more fun casting and some much needed practice. I kept the tips on the lighter side and flies in the 2-3 inch range hoping to entice a fresh winter chromer into taking a fly. In the shallower sections, I switched it up to a scandi and went with a mono leader and a small wet fly. The lower temps resulted in a few periods of snow intermixed with sleet and freezing rain. It had been awhile since I fished gloveless on a steelhead river, so I enjoyed the two "warm" days…

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tying the Damsel in Distress

A few years ago, Adam Hope created the Carp Damsel, which is a hybridized version of a damsel and dragon nymph designed to target carp. The fly excelled across a wide range of conditions but made its name fishing mid-column to prowling carp and to bank feeders where the fly was delicately dapped in front of the fish. The fly was developed out of necessity due to the wariness and intelligence of the carp we target on our home waters. After learning of Adam's success, I developed a very similar version to call my own and fished it as successfully over the past few years. It has accounted for some of my best carp on fly, all of which took the fly in the middle of the water column, as it slowly parachutes down.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Quality over Quantity

I had been looking forward to this trip for exactly a year. We've hit the tributaries on this weekend like clockwork for the past five years because it's the only time I'm on the continent when the fish are running. We'll do it again next year.

To step into a flowing river and to feel the pull of the water on your waders after thinking about it for so long is a funny experience.  I know what it feels like and I can call it to my imagination without hesitation but the coldness seeping into my boots always makes me feel extremely alive.

Familiarity with such processes probably leads to a dulling of the senses regarding the smallest things, or maybe not. Ice slowly accumulates in my beard and guides, chemical handwarmers wait for my hands in the pockets of my jacket and I try very hard to take note of everything, to install it in my memory so I can recall it when I'm sitting in my apartment, sweating from the African heat, to escape it.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fall In Full Swing

As I sit and write this it’s currently January 27th. It just so happens to be one of three weekends I went without swinging flies on the Salmon River since the last week of August. The only reason I’m not there is because Mark had persuaded me to attend the show in Somerset NJ. Between a full-time job and swinging flies from sunrise to sunset two days a week I rarely get to open a computer.

Back in August through the first two weeks of October I fished for Kings on the DSR. In my time spent there I befriended a season pass holder who also believed in “swinging or going home”. The last weekend I fished the DSR there were steelhead pouring in from the estuary and we stepped down a few runs together, both of us were rewarded.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Fish of 2013

2013 was another great year for my friends, family, and I. As 2014 begins, enjoy this photo montage of the best moments we had on the water catching a wide variety of freshwater fish...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Confidence Day

Outside of one day swinging for king salmon in early September, I didn't get to fish with one of my best friends. Different work schedules have a way of making that happen and so we fished individually for a few months. Those few months were filled with a complete void of pictures from the photographer in the pair, and a lot of selfies for Adam, who was able to spend more time than ever walking the snow covered banks of the Salmon River swinging for steel. In late December, the stars aligned and we had the river mostly to ourselves. It ended up being quite the day, as several new variables in our approach produced one of the best days we've had in quite some time.