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Sorry… Too COLD… Carp are Sleeping

It’s not often that I get to bust CW’s balls because more often than not the sneaky bastard out fishes me.  So we had made plans to meet up on the creek for a few hours on Sunday morning while the kids were at school.  I drop them off and am on my way when I get this….


I was totally chomping at the bit to get on the water so I didn’t care if there was an ice storm going on, I was getting out there.  It was 37 degrees and the water clarity wasn’t great but I could make out the outlines of some fish from an elevated position.    Not too long after this exchange it continued something like this…


And of course like most fish, this one has a story.  If you read the last post you know that I started tying up some of they hybrid flies that John and Trevor pioneered.  I liked them but had in our typically very murky water it was super hard to see the fly compared to the high viz orange blood dot’s we typically throw so I decided to tinker.  (don’t I always)  The result I thought was pretty cool which is basically a hybrid with a high viz head so it was easier to see a take.  I tied it in a couple of different versions to play with.

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The first version I replaced the hackle with a bright orange puglisi dubbing brush.  It sank a bit slower so I don’t recommend this for faster water.  The second I tied traditionally but dubbed the head with some fire orange dubbing.  It sank faster but you could see both pretty well.

I had cast to the lead and largest fish in the shoal but she passed it up.  Truthfully I did not see her sister following behind make the take and before I knew it, my line came tight and it was game on.  I was perched up on a ledge above the creek and had to work my way down stream to get in the water.  As I was making my way down, she took off up stream.  I looked down and I was already in my backing.  As I jumped down into the cold creek waters, I started recovering line and something didn’t feel right.  The familiar head shake had stopped and my line had no give in it.  I was hung up.  My heart sank as my first good fish of the season was gone.  I began trudging upstream to to retrieve my fly.  I could see the rock it was wrapped around and as I approached I saw my leader with a full turn around the rock and the carp still attached.  I gave the line and upstream flip and the fight was on again.

By the time we pulled into an eddy to exchange pleasantries I was grinning at my good fortune.

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Is there a lesson here?  Hell I don’t know… It’s never too cold and never give up on a fish!  So here endith the lesson…

Good Luck and Tight Lines!



One More Scratched Off the Species List!

The last few weeks in the mid-atlantic have been pretty darn cold but I did manage to hit the early part of the shad run.  Beautiful evening on the Rap but unfortunately not too many fish with willing mouths.  We did have lucky customer number one so I guess I can notch shad on my belt!  On the swing no less!


Attempted some striper fishing as well but no luck to be had.  Hopefully the action will heat up as things warm up.




New Carp Read

Has anyone got a look at this yet?  Definitely looks worth checking out!!prettyPhoto








Yes… I know, more of a “carpling” than a carp but after the long cold ass winter that still dumped snow in the month of April I was just happy to see the light of day.  Ordinarily I would have been disappointed by the fight which more closely resembled reeling in a wet dish rag but considering the circumstances, I was thrilled to see the take.  I had been busy at the vise over the past month and decided to give John Montana’s hybrid (trouser worm/soft hackle) a try.  I loved the way the fly looked and it’s profile as it sat on the bottom was outstanding.



I gave one to CW to try out the other day and I was curious to see how he liked it.  As fly fishers, we can be such creatures of habit and sometimes deviating from tactics that work is a tough sell.  CW had been pitching eggs the next day to a pod of carp with no luck.  He dug through his fly box and pulled out the hybrid and decided to give it a shot…. FIRST CAST Hook up!



Hopefully as things warm up we will see the big girls come into the shallows to play.  Thanks John and Trevor for putting together the peanut butter and the jelly into a great looking pattern!

Good Luck and Tight Lines,



What is Your Superstition?

Next to hockey goalies, fly fishers could be the most superstitious group of people around.  I wish I could tell you that I have somehow transcended such foolishness, but that is just not the case.  Perhaps it is my OCD kicking in or being a creature of strange habits, but it goes deeper than that.  I have a firm belief that runs deeper than a salmon’s desire to return to their birth place that if I don’t perform certain activities that the fishing will not be very good… or worse yet if I do perform certain activities that things will be a disaster!  Not sure if this qualifies as fly fishing religion or not but it is as close as that gets for me so here are a few of mine….

Beef Jerky!!!!!!  Jack’s Links Teriyaki in particular.  If salted beef products are not present I might as well go home because not only will I not catch anything but chances are I will close my rod tip in my car door and drop my keys and iphone in the fastest flowing water in the river.


Fly Boxers!  Yes, now you all know, I am a boxer guy.  Probably TMI but if I don’t wear my favorite fly boxers then not only will I break the biggest fish off of the day as I reach for the leader but I will realize about half way through the day that my favorite pair of hemostats have somehow fallen off of my sling pack and are nowhere to be found.


Dual Fish Pendant!  Yes, at 43 years old you would think I would have graduated to jewelry that wasn’t attached with rope or hemp but I haven’t.  This is actually my second yak bone fish set.  The first one broke off while in the river and I never saw it again.  The rest of my season was a struggle after that.  CW hooked me up with this one and my yin and yang seem to be much more in balance ever since.



So these are just a few of the things that I must do or have!  Some things I will NEVER do are things like….

Bananas!  Boat or no boat a sure fire way to ruin a good outing is with bananas.  You might as well say, Hey he is pitching a no hitter!  OR wow, he is only 2 minutes away from posting a shut out!  I won’t even eat them for breakfast before because even a partially digested banana can do serious damage.



Store bought flies….  In some very desperate moments I have fished store bought flies but not by choice.  If a fly wasn’t tied by me or a friend it will sit in a box in the car for years before it sees the end of my tippet.  I don’t know why…. they look and fish just fine.  In many cases they look better than my own ties but there is something about fishing my own work that feels vital to the process for me.

So I would love to hear from all of you… what are your quirks and beliefs about what is essential to your fishing success?  Do you eat the same breakfast every time?  Wear the same shirt or hat?  Let’s hear it!

Tight Lines