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24
Jul

How the Other Half Live


So if you have read much of my blog then you know I am not a very accomplished trout fisherman.  I have dabbled a few times but just never really caught the bug.  I was traveling on business and a friend recommended a trout stream that he thought I should give a try.  In a few hours I hooked two Brown’s and landed one of them.  I also caught 15 or 20 trees, a few sunken logs, and multiple rocks.  Neither fish was anything that would raise an eyebrow but I must admit…. (drum roll please)  The fishing was both challenging and enjoyable!

The day was incredibly hot and the cold water of the stream felt amazing.  The fishing was technical and a true challenge on all fronts.  In keeping with my tradition of losing things, I managed to lose another pair of polarized glasses.  As  it got dark, I had put them on top of my had and must have forgot they were there.  As they say in France, “shit happens”.  Which is loosely translated into, “shit happens”.

Am I converted?  Not yet, but I could definitely see myself giving it another go.  After all, it is always nice to see how the other half live.

Top 10 Things that Mr. Brownliner learned while trout fishing:

  1. Put your glasses on that handy little strap you bought for them!
  2. 9 foot rods don’t perform well on streams that are 9 feet wide with overhanging trees
  3. Roll casting well is a valuable skill!
  4. False casting with split shot and a strike indicator and a weighted nymph is harder than it looks
  5. Don’t eat beef jerky when you have run out of water on a 90 degree day
  6. Keep the trout rod in the car even if you don’t think you are going to nee it…. fishing for trout with a saltwater 6 wt did not make life any easier
  7. Bring extra water (see number 5)
  8. After almost dropping my camera in the water (again)  it is time to purchase a waterproof camera!
  9. Fishing on a trout stream in July and catching a few fish with no one else on the stream beats the heck out of catching a few more fish elbow to elbow with 50 other guys on opening day
  10. Any day fishing is better than my best day at work!

Good Luck and Tight Lines!

22
Jul

New Gear Makes Me Smile :)


The owner of my local fly shop thinks I am nuts.  I am worse than my wife when she can’t decide which purse or shoes to purchase.  I research it, talk it through out loud, cast it, think I know what I want… then start all over again.  Some of the things I buy I truly need.  Some of it I truly want.  Often I get the two confused.

My last purchase I truly needed.  I had sold my salt water rod and needed a good all around rod for the salt with a fast action… and as usual I was on a budget.  After casting her in the parking lot, I looked like a Pavlovian dog who had just hear the bell.  For a moment the parking lot of the shop had transformed into a set of mangroves and I just put my shrimp pattern in front of a rolling tarpon.   I had to laugh at myself….. have you ever seen the cartoon where he looks at his friend and he turns into a steak out of sheer hunger and has to slap himself to come back to reality?  Yep, that was me.

I seem to have a tremendous fascination with hardware.  I fished a trout stream tonight that was super tight and after catching 30 trees, am attempting to convince myself that I need a shorter rod for just this application.  At what point is it enough?  At what point is a 12 step program more appropriate?  I hear admitting you have a problem is the first step.  Hi… My name is Mr. Brownliner and I am a fly fishing addict.

I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to.  Crack or smack comes to mind.  I create reasons to go to the fly shop.  Not that I have to try very hard.  I know when I pull up in the lot they look at each other and smile…. Here comes that crazy carp guy again!

15
Jul

I Think We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat


I crave the salt like a land locked salmon.  It is in my blood and in my dreams.  Most people cut their teeth as trout fisherman and migrate to the salt with a bit of curiosity… at least that has how it has historically been.  Ironically, in my entire fly fishing career I have caught two (no that was not a typo) trout on the fly.  The largest reason is that I don’t really trout fish much.  The other is that the whole entomology game just bugs me.  My fly fishing journey started in salt water and a day does not go by that I don’t miss it.

According to my wife, the rumors are true and yes… size matters.  I am not just talking about the length of the rod or the full wells grip.  I hate tying flies smaller than a size 10.  I don’t like tying knots in 7x tippet.  And I am sorry to all of the trout purists in the crowd, but the notion of chasing a 6″ brookie because it is native and has pretty spots just does not turn my crank.

The notion of hooking into a fish that can rip your arm from the socket is just an amazing thought.  I love the struggle, my inner Ahab is brought out as I peer into the eyes of the great white whale (metaphorically speaking of course).  Man vs. Beast…..

At the end of the month I have 4 days in the Florida Keys and I find myself tying far too many flies and going through my gear list a few too many times.  Before I leave all of my hooks will be razor sharp and fingernail tested.  My one concern is wondering whether or not my wife will have a head injury from all of the excessive eye rolling that is being sent in my direction.  To be honest I really don’t care!

Keep your eyes peeled Moby…. Ahab is coming!

Tarpon Ready

13
Jul

Fly Fishing for Fresh Water Drum Video


This is just some phone video we shot while fishing Chartiers Creek in Pittsburgh. Yeah… quality sucks, we know! But damn it was fun.

11
Jul

One More Cast…


Ok… I know we have all been there.  The infamous “one more cast”.  My dad heard it as he tried to get the boat off the water when I was a kid.  My mom heard it when we would be on our family vacation at Deep Creek Lake trying to get me off the dock and up for dinner.  My wife has heard it wondering how one man could be on a creek for so darn long…  and of course I hear it… every single time I fish!  The only problem is I typically go through a relatively long negotiation of “one more casts” before I finally coax myself off the water.

You see, “One More Cast” is the fisherman’s equivalent of the bottom of the 9th bases loaded full count fantasy we imagined in little league.  The fish of my life is waiting for me… waiting for that perfect presentation.  I must say, in 40 years on this planet I think each and every “One more cast” has come up pretty much empty with me mumbling something about me getting them next time blah blah blah….

Today, however, proved to be a very interesting day.  My fishing day was far from prolific.  I had brought 3 average sized smallies to hand and dealt with coffee colored water that pretty much shut site fishing off completely.  I had worked it hard today covering a large chunk of water and I had neglected to bring any of it to drink.  I was making my way back to my car and a cold beverage from the convenience store when I came upon the very last eddy before the bridge and my exit.  I had already spooled my line and was pretty well cooked.  Oh hell, “one more cast” before I call it a day.  (Ok… maybe there were two but it seemed like one!)  I swung my fly through the eddy and out the tail and my line came tight!  Snag?  Nope…. head shake right off the bat.  The fish bull dogged hard and flashed it’s back.  I thought it was a drum at first and then it broke water.  I have caught larger bass in Canada and in large bodies of water, but this was hands down the largest creek sized bass I have ever caught.  Not only was it the perfect end to a day of fishing, but it reminded me why you should always make “One More Cast”!

Good luck and tight lines.

CC Smallie

The Reward from One More Cast!

11
Jul

Family Vacation and Fly Fishing Addiction Don’t Jive!


So in a week at the beach I was able to fish for a grand total of two hours.  Hour number one was spent trying to get casts off in between 4th of July boat traffic.  Hour number two was spent getting pounded mercilessly by a heavy surf in the middle of a falling tide.  Needless to say I have not a fish to show for my efforts as well.

At the end of it all, I had an amazing week with my wife and my kids at the beach…..  The sad truth is that spending time with little ones who don’t fish yet and getting my fishing mojo on are not a really good mix.  Being that I am heading  to the Florida Keys in a few weeks for some tarpon action I suppose I really have no right to complain, but I was hoping to come back with a good fish story or two.

Heading out carping tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed!

Good luck and tight lines!

1
Jul

Breaking the Same Water Rut


I have no idea why…  There are miles and miles of creek to explore but I always seem to go back to the same half mile stretch that I know so well.  Perhaps I am a creature of habit?  Lazy?  Content with the results?  Well today I decided to break the cycle and explore a section I have never fished or even been on before.  It was for the most part a fantastic experience.  I explored new riffles, runs, and pools.  I even caught a few nice fish.

The cherry on my sundae however came as I was wading back to my car.  The sun was low and I was wading straight into the sunlight.  Even with my polarized glasses, the water was like a mirror and I could not see a thing.  Now in my normal half mile stretch of water, I know ever step and every rock.  Not so today.  I took one fateful step into a deep hole and the next thing I knew I was underwater!  My waders filled up with water that is runoff with god knows what in it from god knows where!

If you were wondering… no my life did not flash before my eyes.  I did not fear drowning.  The thought that immediately went through my head was SHIT!  If I drown another iphone my wife is going to shoot me!  I shot out of that pool like a rocket.  quickly checking the interior pocket of my waders to see if my phone and my camera were still alive.  Miracle of all miracles they were and I narrowly averted certain death or divorce!

All I could do was laugh at my soaking wet self as I made my way back to the car, back to my house and took a shower so hot that it had to have killed any nasty bacteria that was on my body!  I think next time I will remember where that hole is.  🙂