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A Man of True Depth

Whenever I am on the water I try very hard to not only enjoy my day, but walk away a better fisherman than before I put the waders on.  I was fishing a fairly slow current and had a weighted fly but was not getting anything in the way of hook ups.

My fishing buddy asked me if I had put any shot on my tippet to help get the fly down.  Upon closer inspection, I was shocked how much the fly continued to just ride up in the current.  I added a small shot about 12″ above my fly and things changed pretty dramatically.  Not only was I having to clean the bottom scum off if my fly, but now I was picking up fish.  Especially when you are fishing for fish that tend to feed nose down it really can be a matter of inches between a hook up and a refusal!

Today was another good day on the stream and between the two of us had a great mixed bag of fish to show for our efforts.  I am still working on putting that video together… hopefully some time this week!

Good luck and tight lines!!!


Little “Drum”er Boy

So my buddy Bob and I had planned to head out on the creek today and do some serious carping.  The water levels had dropped significantly and the sun was out which made for perfect site fishing conditions.  Both of us were totally pumped and ready for a perfect day.

Bob Gearing Up!

We started under a bridge where I dropped down below and Bob spotted for me from above.  Penty of carp laid up in the current, but none were feeding so we moved on.  We headed up stream to hit some pools and current seams where Bob had caught two carp earlier.  We both had multiple shots at good fish today, but for some reason… they were just not eating!

Bob Looking Down on a Pool of Big Lips!

I had spotted some fish working their way up and down a good sized eddy and had several refusals.  After spotting a dark back in the current seam I made an upstream cast…  an upstream mend…. and the line came tight….  The dance was on!  At first I was not truly sure what I had.  I did not think it was a carp as it did not make a typical carp run.  It was way too big to be a bass.  My initial guess was channel cat but boy was I wrong.  Not sure what got into the Drum today, but they were hitting as this was the first of three nice fish that were brought to hand.

Lee Beating the Drum!

Marching to a Different Drum

I'll Have a Drum and Coke Please!

We managed to get some cool video that I will post once I get a chance to edit it.  If you are sitting front of your computer reading this….. Click the little red X…. Call a buddy…. and go FISHING!!!!  🙂

Good luck and tight lines!


Pound for Pound

I have heard this debate rage amongst fly fisherman for years.  Who is the most game of the game fish?  In my humble opinion I would have to lend the crown to Mr. Bronze Back Himself.  I am eternally surprised at how large a fight you get out of sometimes a relatively diminutive smallmouth bass.  To the point that when you finally bring said fish into vision you can’t help but chuckle to yourself and say, “Really?  You?  Are you Kidding?”

For those of you that are not lucky enough to live on or near a fishery that supports these gamers, I highly recommend a road trip!  Not only do they fight very well for their size, but they readily take flies of all variations and are particularly fond of top water presentations when the conditions permit.

In addition, unlike the venerable trout family, you can find smallies in a range of water temperatures.  Sometimes even occupying the same streams as trout yet will also be in a warm water lake or river.  I guess we all have fondness for what is available to us and I am lucky enough to live on a fantastic smallie fishery and always look forward to the warmer months when they get active and start chasing flies!

Good luck and tight lines!


Heading to the Beach!

My formative years in fly fishing started in the Chesapeake Bay area chasing stripers on the fly.  After moving inland, I truly relish my opportunities to fly fish in the salt.  Next week we are heading on a family vacation down to Kure Beach, NC.  With 5 kids and 4 adults on the trip  don’t think I will have what one would call quality fishing time at my disposal, but I do plan on sneaking in a few hours in the surf while I am there!

So it is time to dust off my flats booties, strap on the stripping basket, grease up my intermediate line and get ready to chuck and duck through the waves!

This is a vintage shot of what truly gets my fly fishing blood pumping!!!!  There is just something about the possibility that something truly huge could end up on the end of your line!  I was talking to a friend down in Florida who was fishing the surf and ended up with a triple digit tarpon…. you just never know!

This trip will be followed 4 weeks later with a trip to the keys so be ready for some great updates this summer from the salt!


Bait and Switch

I stood there in the middle of the creek.  Light was fading to dark and the last of the trucks pulled out of the lot with two guys carrying closed faced spinning outfits and bobbers.  Sometimes we fly fisherman get labeled as “elitists” and I can totally understand why.  I have been guilty a time or two myself.

I remember walking past a guy under a bridge.  He was holding a spin rod upside down with the reel facing upwards.  He had enough lead hanging off of an old fiberglass rod to fill a few hundred pencils.  Next to him was a container of night crawlers from a local convenience store baking in the sun.  “Catch anything?”, he asked optimistically.  “Not yet.”  I answered in similar tone.  I remember snickering to myself about the manner in which the man was going about his craft.

Did I have any right to snicker?  Are he and I really all that different?  Did we come to the water for many of the same reasons?  To clear our head of a crazy day? To feel the excitement of a fish on the other end of your line?  To escape the rest of the world for just a few hours?

Most of us did not start out with a fly rod in our hands.  That process was a later choice… perhaps an evolution.  Some of my fondest memories of my childhood were of me sitting on the dock spin rod in hand staring at my bobber waiting for it to disappear.  As I got older, throwing crank baits or soft plastics became my weapon of choice.  And now here I stand in the middle of this creek with the last bit of daylight gone thinking how at peace I am with this moment, fly rod in hand.  In 30 minutes, I will have made the walk back to my car, taken off my waders, and begun the journey back to my life which is not always so perfect…. but for now… for just a moment… all is right with the world.


Blown Out

Shocker… it rained again yesterday. The water is still high, muddy, and fast. Gave it a go anyhow last night and other than a feisty crappy I came home empty but that was not exactly a surprise.

On the flip side, I bought some new gear over at International Angler yesterday that got it’s maiden voyage. I finally retired my old entry level rubber soled boots and stepped up to a pair of Korkers. Not only did I not fall on my ass, but wow were they comfortable. It is amazing what can happen when you invest a bit of cash in the proper gear!

With the cottonwood seeds floating, I have been trying some different patterns to replicate it and have had some success. As soon as I work out a few details, I will post the pattern on my fly tying page.

Good luck, no rain, and tight lines!


Four Leaf Clover Day

More often than not, most of the shots I have at carp on my home waters are bottom feeding situations.  Tails up, head down, and shoveling through the silt looking for bugs.  As I had mentioned in my previous post, we have had more than our fair share of rain and clouds lately and sight fishing was still a no go.

I hit the creek fairly early and started to work down stream to a spillway that typically holds some opportunistic fish looking for their meal to be delivered while they wait.  No dice….

I happened to take a look further down stream to an eddy that has been known to hold a fish or two.  Holy mother load.  Ever 5 seconds or so huge brown and orange lips would break the surface like a periscope.  Carp rise forms make me laugh as they would never be mistaken for a trout.  Not nearly as dainty and much more “deliberate”.  They were eating some white fluff off of the surface.  The optimist in me hopes it was cottonwood seeds.  The realist in me is open to the notion that considering the water I was in, it could have been toilet paper or even remnants of a diaper or tampon.

So I pulled out my trout box and found the biggest whitest dry fly I could find .  No luck for about 20 minutes.  Then Boom!  He took it and ran like he stole something.  The eddy was right along side some fast water which then flowed into a deeper fast moving channel.  Before I could say holy wet diaper I was well into my backing.  I stumbled across stream to try and get him into some slower water which I finally did and began recovering some of my line.  For a fairly average to small sized carp, he had a ton of game and was a blast to bring in.

About 45 minutes later, round two was like an instant replay of round one except for instead of running all the way to Mexico, he only made it to Oklahoma.  All in all, what a fantastic way to spend a Sunday morning!

Good luck and tight lines!

Dry Fly Carp

Dry Fly Carp 2


Rain Rain Go Away!

Wow… if it keeps this up, I may just have to build an ark.  After several days of downpours the creek was high muddy and fast.  The good news is that after drowning my iphone in the creek a few days back, I now have a new phone!

The bad news is that sight fishing was out of the question today as it was like fishing in pea soup.  So after a fruitless attempt at a few overflowed eddy’s I pretty well gave up on the carp today and switched gears.  I was rewarded with a beautiful Crappie that artfully released himself before I could get the camera out, a small but feisty rock bass, and this nice smallie pictured below.

Creek Smallie

Creek Smallie

My father used to tell me all the time when we fished together that sometimes you have to take what the lake is willing to yield.  No complaints here!  Good luck and tight lines!  Tomorrow is another day 🙂


Casualties of War

So today I finally realized the peak of my own stupidity. I had just come from the gym and was in a hurry to squeeze in an hour of fishing before dark. The water was high, fast, and dirty after the massive rains of the past several days. So I am wading almost chest deep across the stream, being careful of my footing. Nothing doing on the stream so I make my way to the car.

My buddy Bob and I are packing up our gear and taking our waders off when light dawned on marble skull. I accidentally left my iphone in the outside pocket of my waders rather than the inside water proof pocket.

My wife wasn’t all that thrilled that I went fishing to begin with. Lets just say she is even less thrilled now. Looks like I am heading out the store in the morning…. Ouch.


Bob vs Carp

So I finally got around to editing the video of Bob landing his carp from last week. This was his 3rd fish of the night and he was in the zone to say the least! This guy put up a nice fight. This was on a 5wt/6x so he couldn’t really horse him in…. and yes I did try out as a cameraman for the Blair Witch Project but they said that I held the camera too still… who knew?