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31
Jul

Meal Worm Smack Down


So this past week I was heading across the state on business and managed to sneak down to my favorite tail race for some summer trout action.  I got there and as luck would have it the mid-week crowds were sparse but a few elder statesmen were milling around.  I set up in my favorite run and began chucking my two fly rig hoping for some streamer action.  The fishing started out a bit slow but the old guy across the river was killing them!  One cast after the next.  We exchanged some idle chit chat and they asked me where I was from so I told them.

Once they realized I was a pretty good natured guy, the ribbing started… “Hey Mt. Lebanon… how’s the fishing over there?”  chuckle chuckle snort snort….  I laughed and smiled.  After landing my first decent bow I asked the age old question… so, “what are you throwing?”  Had I been paying much attention to what they were doing, I wouldn’t have had to ask because they weren’t really throwing much of anything.  The answer boomed across the river with pride…. “MEAL WORMS!”

Ahhhh… I nodded emphatically.  Was I really getting my balls busted by a group of retired dudes chucking meal worms with fly rods?  Yes indeed I was.  Now anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am no purist nor am I one to judge how another man chases fish.  (unless of course they are using explosives).  But come on man!  If you are going to pretend to fly fish while you throw live bait that has to come with a no heckling clause.

As luck would have it, fish started to rise and I switched up to a few dry flies and managed to scare up three or four more trout which my hecklers seemed to approve of.

I guess this beckons two very important questions:

1.  If you are using live bait on a fly rod are you actually fly fishing?

2. If so, is it bad form to heckle a fly fisherman who is actually fly fishing?

Now don’t get me wrong, they were really nice guys having a blast and I did too.  I just couldn’t help my internal eye roll and broad smirk as they chirped back and forth at one another.  Who know’s…. maybe they have it right and it really doesn’t matter how you do it… Maybe whoever dies with the most fish wins?  Or maybe style does count for something after all?

What do you think?

Good Luck and Tight Lines!

MBL

15
Jul

Top Water Smallies Make Me Smile… and so does Cherry Jello


As the dog days of summer set in and the trout gasp for air like an asthmatic searching for his inhaler any of us with half a heart begin searching for other fish to harass for the next month or so.  For the highbrow trout purist who would sooner take a dump in his Simms G4 waders than to intentionally throw a fly at a carp or cat, smallies seem to be the moderately acceptable alternative.  They are the annoying uncle who you still invite to your family functions despite the fact that he tries too hard to be cool and double dips the salsa bowl with his unwashed hands while everyone else watches in horror.

Me… what can I say… I don’t mind slumming it and that Uncle that rubs you the wrong way… I think he’s frigging hysterical.  (even though I still won’t dunk a chip in that salsa bowl)

Summer smallies can be as much fun as a man can have if you are minus two twenty four year old blondes in a kiddie pool with 25lbs of cherry jello and a fly swatter.  Something about watching them explode on a white popper as the sun is setting over the water that is absolutely magical.  (now if only I had a cherry jello fly!)

Anyhow…. I digress.  Last week CW and I headed down to the Allegheny for an evening as Mrs. Brownliner was kind enough to give me a free pass for the night because I was a good boy.  Well maybe I wasn’t a good boy, but I wasn’t in trouble like I usually am.  So we headed off into the fading light throwing poppers, eating beef jerky, and telling bad jokes.  All of which are integral parts of the experience.

The fishing was not crazy and we didn’t catch record numbers of fish, but we did manage to scare up a few bronze backs looking for a fight and had a great time.

So if you are looking for a great time fishing this summer and want to cut the trout a bit of slack, get out of that kiddie pool (the blondes are not on their way!) and chase some summer bronze…. BIG FUN!

Good Luck and Tight Lines

MBL

15
Jul

Carp on the Fly Talk Slides from International Angler


Last night I gave a talk at International Angler in Pittsburgh on fly fishing for carp.  For those of you that were not able to make it here are the slides from the talk.  Unfortunately you missed the round table style conversation which was the best part but hopefully this at least gives you a flavor of what went on!

 


Good Luck and Tight Lines

MBL

2
Jul

New Camera


So I just bought a new camera this week.  I have had a digital SLR for a while, but this was a pretty big step up on quality when it comes to processor and Megapixel count….  Needless to say, I am pretty geeked about it!

1
Jul

I Think Someone Put a HEX on me!


So last night me, CW, and our friend Tim hit the Allegheny for some evening smallie action.  The action was a bit spotty through the night, but Tim truly laid the smack down on us when it was all said and done.  I think he brought 16 fish to hand to my 3… Ouch!  Looks like I need some practice.  None of the fish were very big but it was fun picking up some evening top water action with some good friends.

After capping the night off with some Primanti’s and a beer courtesy of CW, I made my way to work this morning.

When I opened my car door in the parking lot I just stood and stared……

How in god’s green earth is a man supposed to concentrate on work when the pending spinner fall is upon us?  As luck would have it I still had my camera gear in the car from last night so after a low grade iphone shot I had to bust out the camera.  Unfortunately I did not have my macro lens with me but I did manage to get a few good shots.

After getting a pass from Mrs. Brownliner to fish last night I would be in one serious dog house if I bolted again tonight…. but damn is that tempting.  Should be a great spinner fall.

Good Luck and Tight Lines!

MBL