Quallity gear.

When I first got into fly fishing I had some money and gift cards saved up from christmas presents.  So when I purchased my fly rod and reel package from my local Sportsman Warehouse I was able to spend a little bit of money and buy decent equipment.  I purchased the Redington Crosswater 2 piece 7′-6″ 4 weight rod and reel package, retail price $120 (not a lot by fly fishing standards, but I was new to fly fishing).  I purchased this package on the recommendation of the staff member in the fishing department.  He said it would be a good quality starter package.  He was right.  I have loved this rod and reel.  The reel is well made and smooth as well as the rod and has an action that was great to learn on.

A while back I broke my fly rod.  It was a stupid mistake, all my fault.  I sat it down when I was untangling my fly line and when I did I leaned on it and it was between my body and a hard spot.

I went out and bought a cheaper fly rod because I can’t afford a good one and because I couldn’t be without a fly rod for more than a day.

I did some research and called Redington, the manufacture of the rod I broke, The rod I broke is a two piece rod so I was hoping to be able to purchase the broken tip section from Redington.

When I was speaking to a gentleman from the warranty department he informed me that they would repair it and it was covered under the warranty.

“But, it was my fault, my mistake, and I am willing to purchase a new tip section” I told him.

“As long as you didn’t do it on purpose we will fix it” he said.

I was so excited!  I would get my rod back, and all I had to do was fill out a warranty information sheet and ship it in.

I sent it in on a Friday and a week later they contacted me and informed me that I should be getting my rod back within the next day or two.  I received my rod back on Tuesday of this week and it was like Christmas.

Redington ended up giving me a whole new rod, I know because it had new tags on it and came with a rod bag that my original set didn’t have.

I have to hand it to Redington, they make quality equipment at an affordable price and have an awesome warranty, and they stand by their product.  I total was not expecting to have a rod that I accidentally broke replaced, but I was glad they did.  I would highly recommend Redington for anyone looking to get started in fly fishing.  There website it is a great resource, and has lots of help for beginners.

I will defiantly purchase Redington equipment in the future.

It’s good to know that there are still a companys that stand by their products.

Thanks Redington.

Family, fun, and fishing

This weekend we went up to my wife’s family cabin for their annual family reunion.  As far as family reunions go, it is a relatively small gathering of people.  We all meet at the cabin and stay the weekend, there is a small “talent show” (I use the term loosely, actually there is not much talent involved) from each of the family members.  But, before I get myself in trouble let me say that there is always a lot of fun had by all.

The kids all run around and have a good time.  The adults catch up with family members that we haven’t seen since the year before, and it is an all around good time.

Which brings us to the real reason for my blog, fishing.

I have been going to my wife’s family reunion and fishing at the nearby Potter’s Pond for longer than I have been fly fishing.  This was my first time fishing there with my fly rod.

Potter’s Pond is actually made up of two little reservoirs, the upper and the lower ponds, the lower pond is where I have fished in the past and I know it best, so that is where I started.  I tried a couple of hare’s ear nymph patterns that are my favorites and didn’t have any luck, so I later tried a woolly bugger and still nothing.  So, I decided to go check out the upper pond.  Here is where I started to catch fish.  The fish here seemed to like my original selection of the olive hare’s ear nymph more than the fish at the lower pond did.  I ended up catching about eight fish that day (I say “about eight” because you know how it is when you get into the groove and lose track).

I took a picture of my first catch of the day, because the way things were going up till then I thought that might be my only one so I had to have something to prove that I had caught a fish.  Luckily things went better and caught more fish after that.

Then the next day (Sunday), I went back to the same spot.  It had rained a little the night before and the weather was a little more overcast and windy then it was on Saturday, so the one fish I caught on Sunday was an olive wooly bugger, size 10.

I think it was a great weekend.

FYI  Approximate temp: 75° F.  Flies used: an olive hares ear nymph, and a olive wooly bugger (I tied both) Sz. 16 & 10.  9 fish caught (combined, both days).

Poppers

I love it when I make something and it works the way it should.

It is warm where I live. . . really warm.  That means that fly fishing for trout is tough.  Up till now I have mostly fished for trout, but I have been trying to expand my repertoire.  There are a couple of places close by to fish for bluegill and bass, they don’t seem to mind the heat as much as trout. Since I can’t just stop fishing until things get a little cooler around here, I have been trying to fish more bass and bluegill.  That is why I tried my hand at making poppers. For those of you who don’t speak fisherman, poppers are a type of lure. They float on the surface of the water and have an angled face to them that make them pop when pulled along the surface of the water.

I have not been tying flies very long, but I have tied a couple of different patterns and have even caught fish on some of them.  Poppers aren’t exactly flies though, they are designed to pop along the surface of the water, so when I made my poppers I wasn’t even sure if mine would work like they are supposed to.  I wasn’t sure they would even pop.

I ended up making three different poppers, a green one, a black one, and a white one.  They took quite a bit longer to tie, all three took me two days to finish. They are made out of wood that requires cutting, shaping, sanding, painting, and gluing, and when I was done I had poppers that looked like all the other poppers that I had seen, but like I said, I wasn’t sure they would pop.

I got to try them out this morning before work, and it turns out they popped, and popped pretty well.  I caught 5 bass before I had to go to work.  I was able to try out all three and the only one I didn’t catch anything on was the white one, but I think that was just because I ran out of time.  My black popper snapped off in a fishes mouth, (that one worked so well too) but, other than that it was a great couple of hours,.

FYI  Approximate temp: 70° F.  Fly used: a green, black and white popper (I tied) Sz. 8.  5 fish caught.

Independance day

A couple of days before the fourth of July I jokingly asked my wife “where are we going fishing?”

Much to my surprise, she didn’t argue.

She then told me that she would have to get a fishing licence so that she could go fishing also.  After picking my jaw up off the ground, I said “ah..ah..ok.”

A coupe of days later, after loading the car with some last-minute things from the store, we were prepared for a fun-filled day of fishing and picnicking.

Pine Valley is a short drive from our house, there is a quiet little reservoir there, and it is up in the mountains (so we were able to escape the heat).

We had a great day, the fishing was a little slow at first.  I, of course, was using my fly rod and had tied on a fresh water favorite of mine, the olive gold ribbed hares ear nymph (for those of you who don’t speak fly fishing it is a type of fly pattern.) There were fish everywhere and could be seen from the bank and were feeding close to the surface.  After casting for a while I tried a tan gold ribbed hares ear nymph (another favorite of mine).  Still nothing.  So in frustration I broke a rule of mine and casted my old spinner rod that I had brought for Jill to use (by this time her and the kids were frustrated and bored so they had gone off on a nature walk) that had a Jake’s spinner on it already (another fresh water favorite of mine).  Bam.. right away I was getting hits, and within a couple of casts had caught almost as many fish.

I was pumped now, I thought they will go crazy for a wooly bugger (another kind of fly).  All I had, was a black wooly bugger so, I tried it…nothing.

Jill came back with the kids a couple of minutes later and I told her “I have found what they are hittin’ on.”  I tied a Jake’s spinner onto Aiden’s rod and helped Jill with my spinner rod (that still had a Jake’s spinner on it).  Before long they were both off to catching fish like pros.

Turns out Jill loves fishing, as long as she is catching fish and it doesn’t involve sitting on the shore line waiting for a bite.

After lunch I went back to my fly rod (I didn’t want to go home without catching anything on my fly rod).  I had better luck after lunch with a larger tan hares ear nymph.

After a day of fishing we drove back into town and watched fireworks.

At the end of a very long day the score was:  Aiden, 3 trout; Jill, 10 trout; Kenny, 8 trout (5 on the Jake’s spinner and 3 on the fly).

I think I won.

FYI  Approximate temp: 80° F.  Fly used: an olive  and a tan hares ear nymph (I tied) Sz. 8-16.  3 fish caught.

The things you catch when you don’t mean to.

A cold.

The flu.

Chickenpox.

Mono (I’ve never had mono, but I think it is something nobody means to catch.

I once caught a bush when I was fishing, and a tree, and a light pole, but I  never thought that I would catch this.

I was fishing this morning (Thursday June 28, 2012) before I went to work.  I had caught one fish already and was trying for more when I started to cast.  I made false back cast and was starting to come forward to propel the tiny fly (an olive gold ribbed hares ear nymph sz. 16) to the water, when I felt that the cast was heavier than it had been before, and when I made the cast it splashed down in the water with a little more force than something the size of an insect should have.

As I pulled in the fly line, what ever was on the end was splashing violently. It wasn’t a fish.

As I got it up where I could see it, to my surprise I saw this. 

If you guessed a humming-bird you would be right.

Wow I thought, what are the chances that my little insect imitation would get hung up on one of God’s smallest and fastest birds (dang … I’m good).  (In the picture you can see my fly line.)

I gently picked up this little guy and assessed the damage.  I thought it may have been injured, after all this guy just moments before was just minding his own business, probably trying to find some breakfast, when … BAM my fly and line snatches him out of the air and body slams him into the water.  I don’t think humming birds can swim (correct me if I’m wrong), which would explain the reaction he was having while I was pulling him in.  I removed my hook from his small feathers and cut off the fly line, being careful not to accidentally squeeze this thing to death like Lenny in “Of Mice and Men.”  When I had removed all foreign objects from the victims body I set him down on the grass.

Nothing.  He just sat there.  “Fly away!”  I said, waving my hands at him, like that would help (lucky for me it was early morning so no one was around to see a crazy guy yelling at the grass and flapping his arms around, I don’t think anyone saw me).  So I waited a minute, gathered up my stuff, and picked him back up, at this point I thought this guy was beyond repair that I could provide (I don’t think duct tape would have done any good).  I got to the truck, put my stuff in the back and was unlocking my door to drive to the nearby animal shelter/dog pound when the darn thing just flew out of my hand.  I guess he was just tired and needed a rest, he had been through a lot that day, and it was still early morning.

As I type this story up now I imagine him sitting around the humming-bird feeder telling his friends “Dude, you will never guess what happened to me today.”  I bet he stays away from the fishing pond for a while.

FYI  Approximate temp: 75° F.  Fly used: an olive  and a tan hares ear nymph (I tied) Sz. 16.  1 fish caught.

6 before 8

The day was Tuesday June 26th.

I remember because it was my wedding anniversary (9 years).

I got up early (about 5:00 am), and went to the fishing pond near our home.  Now, let me explain why I get up so early.  My wife is always complaining that I spend too much time fishing and that I am never home to be with her and the kids.  So, in order to avoid a divorce I have limited myself to two days a week fishing (after Jill is awake), however, I can sometimes get in more if I go before she is awake and before I go to work also before the kids wake up.  The rest of my family are not morning people, so Jill doesn’t even know (or care) if I leave to go fishing before work.  You see, there IS a method to my madness.

When I go that early I can get in a good 2 to 2 1/2 hours of fishing before I go to work.  I enjoy this time of the day best, especially during the summer months where daytime temps rarely are below 100° F, and because I always have the whole fishing pond to myself.  I also think that the fishing is better early in the morning.

This particular morning I set a personal best for fish caught before I go to work.

Six fish before 8:00 am.

All in all, it was a great day, any day I catch fish is a good day, any day I catch fish before I go to work is an even better day, and any day I catch that many fish before I go to work is a great day.

Oh, it was also great because it was my anniversary, did I mention that?

I love you Jill!!!

FYI  Approximate temp: 75° F.  Fly used: an olive hares ear nymph (I tied) Sz. 16.  6 fish cought.