We decided to write this blog as a way of sharing some of our stories from past experiences fishing, tying flies, guiding, and traveling. Most of which are completely 100% true except for the names of people, some stories are slightly embellished and some are mostly made up. It's really for you to figure it out and for us to have some fun writing down some of the truly good memories we have had while immersed in fly fishing.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Destination Fly Fishing

"The sun was setting on a beautiful summer day in Alaska at 11:30 pm as we were finally taking our gear off from a long but fruitful day of fishing. It was almost midnight, we were still fishing, and more importantly, it was still light out. We shared the day with numerous animals: rainbow trout, brown bears, and bald eagles to name a few. When looking back on it I just can't think of a trip more beautiful, this will always be a cherished memory for me."

Destination fly fishing has been a part of my life since I became a professional in this industry. I have worked in Alaska, Chile, and yes Central Pennsylvania as a fly fishing guide. I have fished in those places as well as many others, with and without guides. Yet, there are so many places I still wish to see and experience. Fly fishing is growing into more of a destination experience, secret spots are becoming less secret and because of that word is getting out and anglers are seeking the next great adventure. Whether it's chasing that trophy trout in Alaska or breaking a rod on a tarpon in the keys, the challenge is there and there for the taking. I look forward to the opportunity to check off my next item on the list and conquer my next challenge. But, fly fishing is so much more than that because it is not easy. The challenge is what makes us want more. Getting your ass kicked by a brute of a rainbow as he wraps your line around a submerged tree branch and proceeds to throw up the middle fin on his way down the river is the exact reason why we head out the next day to try it again. The biggest fish always get away for the same reason, if we landed every fish what would we have to catch tomorrow? 

Over the next couple of days I'll share with you some of my experiences from destination fishing (that you haven't heard!). As well as some trips I hope to take and some information on where I would go if I was planning those trips. If you have any questions about any of these locations or would like to know more about fishing a destination trip just ask! If we don't know we will try our best to get you in contact with someone who does. 

And don't forget to vote on our poll! Any feedback helps!





Friday, June 29, 2012

Spring Creek Update

Yesterday I woke up early to fish Spring Creek.  The action was fast paced and there weren't many others on the stream (which is always a plus!).  I started out fishing terrestrials and picked up a decent amount of fish.  The key was casting into areas around overhanging branches that offered shade and protection for the trout.


On the water there were tricos and tan caddis and the fish were mostly feeding on the trico spinners.  I switched to a trico spinner and tied on a 30 - 36 inch section of 6x tippet and had my work cut out for me.  As I'm sure everyone is aware, trout are very selective when it comes to feeding on tricos.  I managed to catch three trout on tricos, but I had several bend backwards or nudged it with their nose in refusal to take the fly.  It was a challenging but fun process but once they were finished feeding on top I switched to a green inch-worm.  Below is a selection of pictures from fish that I caught!


An important thing to note is that if the water is above 70 degrees, please do not go out and fish as it puts a lot of extra stress on the fish.  If you can avoid it, the trout do not need to die when they can be caught on another cooler day.


And remember to voice your opinion on our poll! Everyones vote counts.






Thursday, June 28, 2012

Instagram Photography Fun!

Here are a few pictures that I've been fooling around with using the free application Instagram.  It is a fun and easy to use program that offers a variety of options to enhance basic photographs!  Check it out!


Also remember to vote on our poll! We appreciate your feedback and will assuredly alter our site if we get overwhelming results in one category or another!









Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We added a Poll

Hey everyone, check out the new poll on the left side of the site. Basically it asks the question "What do you like about the site and what do you want to see more of?" We want your input, basically at this point we are flying by the seat of our pants and writing whatever we want to! So far so good, people seem to be enjoying it. But we thought it would be cool to see what you all thought about it!

If it gets good results there will be a couple more polls to come later. Ideas I thought of so far...
1. What can we get the intern to do next?
2. Where would your dream destination fly fishing location be?
... And many more! And here's a picture for reading and voting! And to show what you could be getting into if you were in Alaska right now...




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fishing Creek Update


Last night I had an opportunity to get back on the PA streams by visiting Fishing Creek. The most surprising thing of the night occurred right from the start when I was rigging up my 5-weight TFO rod. After fishing a 12-weight rod for most of my time spent in Florida, I was shocked at how my 5-weight felt like I was casting a toothpick. Keeping this in mind I knew the hook set would be a little different compared to the saltwater species I encountered in Florida. 

I started out by taking several trout on a Blue-Winged Olive spinner and then I switched to a size 18 Sulphur. As the night went on there were some Light Cahills and Slate Drakes flying in the air but they were not in abundance to make the switch to either of the larger insects. The dry fly activity was good throughout the night with a few lulls in between the changing hatches.

I lucked into a few brooke Trout as well as brown trout but nothing was above 13 - 14 inches. All in all it was a great night on the stream with my father! Below are a few pictures of the fish that I captured throughout the night, enjoy!






Monday, June 25, 2012

Fly Spotlight

EP Spawning Shrimp




This little guy has been a favorite for the tailing bonefish as of late. Anytime there has been bonefish feeding this pattern has been the ticket. Captain James Koch and I talked through the recipe in an attempt to duplicate a couple for his upcoming clients. 


Recipe:


Hook: TMC 811s size 2
Thread: Orange 6/0
Tail: Orange EP Fibers tied in with EP eyes
Antenna: Sili Legs Pumpkin Barred
Body: Krystal Flash (rainbow) palmered with 3D EP fibers (tan)
Eyes: Ballseyes nickle medium
Weed Guard: 30lb monofilament.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blacktip Shark!

We went out fishing with John Wambolt who is the Captain of the Patch Man Do in Key Largo, Florida.  The entire day was filled with excitement, constant banter and laughter.  Going into the day I wasn't sure how much fun we were going to have fishing the patch reefs, but it turned out to be an extremely memorable day out on the ocean!  




Click on the link above to watch the video of the fight that Brian had with the 30-pound blacktip shark.  Although we hooked into a bunch of sharks, this is the only one that we landed onto the boat.  We hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed fishing on the Patch Man Do!






Patch Man Do
John Wamboldt (Owner) 
Reef Fishing (305) 522-4787

Captain John began fishing in Long Island Sound 20 years ago for stripers, bluefish, and flounder and moved on to offshore yellowfin and bluefin Tuna fishing. In Rhode Island, he was a mate on the Thunderfish, an offshore shark boat fishing for Mako and Tiger sharks. He moved to South Florida 6 years ago and worked aboard the War Bird as a mate before becoming the owner/operator of the Patch Man Do, a Reef Fishing boat. Captain John can take you to the patch reefs for snapper, grouper, and barracuda as well as a large assortment of other species.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kirk's Heading Home


Unfortunately we didn't make our goal of landing a tarpon to add to the blog. My two days off work this week were completely rained/blown out. We had our chances at landing big fish but we just couldn't connect when the opportunity was presented. It brings me back to the first time I had an opportunity on that 2 foot 5 pound rainbow, I blew a golden opportunity then and I blew it this week with Kirk. That's okay though, it's the missed opportunities that make you try harder, it's the failures that teach you things. That being said, it would be nice to get a little positive reinforcement from time to time. But I am convinced those opportunities will come, I just need to put my time in. Next time Kirk comes to visit we will be well prepared to hammer some baby tarpon and whatever else South Florida has to offer.

video


For all of you missing your trout updates have no fear I'm sure Kirk will be back on Spring Creek in no time catching fish, flipping rocks, and name dropping. As for myself, it's back to the drawing board with techniques and patterns... I'm going super heavy jig style for the snook and peacocks of the canal fishery, and going brighter and medium weight for the tarpon. I want them to think I am dangling a nice wounded pilchard right in front of their face.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Treat of the Week


This week's treat of the week is brought to you by one of the many flats that I had the opportunity to fish while I was down visiting Brian in the Keys.  Everything was going fine and I was catching the usual barracuda while stealthily wading to cast at each new patch of mangroves.  Down here you never know what is going to come out of the mangroves to chase a fly.

When you are wading the flats you want to keep your eyes constantly moving for cruising shadows.  Today just happened to be a shadow that was a little bigger then the rest!  I looked behind me and I could see a huge shadow swimming a little too close to me while I was wading.  Sure I had watched 2 - 3 foot sharks check out what I was, but they did so in a harmless and controlled manner.  This shadow was way bigger then anything else that I have seen up to this point.    

What I had also forgot to mention was that that day was a little cloudy with a slight breeze.  When the sun goes behind the clouds you aren't given as clear of a view into the water and when the wind picks up it also camouflages the visibility even further.

Anyways, back to the story.  I am wet wading and this huge lurking shadow is being too curious for comfort.  I make a quick decision once the sun goes behind the clouds and the wind picks up.  Now I am left completely blind to where this thing might be swimming.  I had a mangrove system that I was fairly close to so I walked over slowly to the mangroves, climbed up and perched myself like a gargoyle to get a better view of this shadow.  I waited a few minutes and never got a chance to see what exactly this thing was. Which made matters worse because all I could think about was this shadow for the remainder of that day.  

I'm pretty sure it was a shark, because before I had seen the shadow I heard it's tail slap on the waters surface letting me know of it's whereabouts.  I will never find out what exactly it was but I knew I was at ease perched atop the mangroves.  

On that day you won shark, but we would get revenge the next day when we hooked into several of your friends on the Patch Man Do!               

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Patch Man Do Part 1

Yesterday work was winding down to an early close for me and Captain John Wambolt walks in and we started talking fishing. Well one thing lead to another and we were trying to plan a trip to go off shore on his boat to do a little patch reef fishing. Kirk was out helping him on his boat when John just asked "hey, you guys want to go out today?" I responded "Can we go in 30 minutes when I'm done with work?"



Next thing you know we're gassing up the boat and heading out in search of whatever the reefs may hold. Six hours and 9 species later we were hauling up the last and biggest catch of the day a 30 lb black tip reef shark. But that's a story for later...


Species we landed:
Black Tip Reef Shark
Sailor's Choice
White Grunt
Black Grouper
Barracuda
Cero Mackerel
Yellowtail 
Ballyhoo
Porgy


We may have had a larger mutton snapper on as well but the barracuda were causing a serious problem in that regard. Check out a couple of pictures and check back later for the video of the big shark!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Permit Photo Sumbission


This 25 pound permit was submitted to us by captain Darrick Parker. This was from last week and this big fella fell to a crab. Just think maybe Kirk and I can get into one of these ourselves. That's the idea anyway, we will have to just wait and see what happens tomorrow when we take the kayaks back out again. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fly Spotlight

Clouser Minnow


This little guy has caught us a little bit of everything down here. From Mayan Cichlid's to Barracuda and even back home this thing has caught a ton of trout and small mouth bass. The chartreuse and white color combination has been the best for us but I'm convinced as long as there is white in it the fish notice it and can't help but take a second look. 



Recipe:

Hook: TMC 9395 #2-12
Belly: White Bucktail
Thread: 3/0 Monocord, black
Eyes: Painted Lead or Brass Eyes, sized to hook
Back: Chartreuse Bucktail
Flash: Krystal Flash



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day!

Mayan Cichlid

The morning was a bit overcast and windy so I decided to head back to the canals and see what I could catch on the end of my line.  The peacock bass weren't as abundant as we had been seeing in previous nights (possibly due to the amount of rainfall we've received the last two nights).

As I was leaving I spotted this large vegetation floating down the canal and didn't think much of it.  Then I checked it out again and I thought I recognized what looked like an alligators tail.  With further inspection I could see that it was about an 8 - 9 foot alligator floating down the canal looking for lunch!

Although there wasn't a lot of hook ups with fish, it was still a fun morning and afternoon slinging Clouser minnows!    

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Flats fishing update

Kirk was out again on the flats today. I sent him down to Islamorada, to Anne's Beach. It's not really a beach but at low tide the flat is exposed so it looks kinda beachy... For the Keys anyway. Anyway he was into the 'cudas again but couldn't find any tarpon or bonefish. He doesn't seem discouraged, but with these views who could be really too disappointed. 






The Intern Strikes Back

Harry T. the long lost intern came back to us this week with a great story and a good picture to go with it. Harry I am excited about this net you are talking about. I'd like to get a better look at it as I am in the market for a flats fishable net that will stay up high and is light weight. This thing sounds like it could be a good bet! Anyways congrats on the photo keep up the good work intern.






Hey boys,


It's a pretty shitty picture but it was almost dark on spring creek near the gun range. I could tell because the smell of sulphur or whatever Cordite? was still in the air. Anyway a decent fish maybe 12 but the big deal is: a) i was by myself and got a picture b) got to use my new " nomad net " carbon fiber super light very cool. Promise better pictures to come. I'm headed to hawaii for 10 days. Jared hooked me up with guide in hawaii to do some flats fishing for bones. Watch for some bad ass embarassing photos of me hooking the guide with some crazy fly. Looks like you guys are having fun. I promise to get my intern mojo in gear and give kirk some help from this end.

Yo,

Harry T.







Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 2 in the Keys

Day two of fishing in Florida has just come to an end and it's been quite an experience.  I was out for several hours today and had a ton of barracuda chase the various flies I was slinging.  Most of my fishing was done today throughout the low tide and I wasn't lucky enough to get another chance at hooking up with baby tarpon as I had the previous day.  Then suddenly behind me I heard a tail slap on the surface of the water to turn and see a 2-foot Nurse shark surveying it's new visitor.  It didn't get too close but I had my rod ready just in case I needed to pop in in the head with the butt of my rod.  Another neat thing that I got to experience was a boisterous Osprey perched atop an abandoned ships mast while I was casting to it's neighbors lurking amidst the mangroves.  Finally it took off into the distance and I thought it was time for me to head back to cool off for the afternoon.   

Once I picked up Brian from work, we headed to another canal to try out luck and only fished for about a half an hour as we heard the grumbling of a brewing storm.  One positive note before we were chased away we found a new area that had a lot of swirling fish chasing various bait fish.  Before we could venture further away from the parking lot the lightning began and we felt the wind start to pick up significantly.  Stay tuned for my updates, maybe a tarpon is around the corner! One more week of fishing in the Keys!

Here are a few samples of the fish that I hooked up with today!  





Thursday, June 14, 2012

Florida Keys Extravaganza!

Sorry for the delay in posts but Kirk and I had an exciting day of fishing! We started it off by hitting the flats in a pair of Kayaks searching for tarpon, bonefish, or whatever else we could find! We ended up catching a bunch of barracuda and Kirk had 3 baby tarpon eat but couldn't stay connected... Then we went and hit up the canals for an evening of peacock bass fishing! Check out the video I put together and stay tuned for some more pictures and action as Kirk continues to fish his brains out! Enjoy!

video

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anyone Take any Trips this Spring/Summer?

Hey fellow fly-fisherman and women!  With my trip starting this morning, Brian and I were curious if anyone has taken any memorable trips that were worth sharing with everyone.  Please send us some fun fishing stories whether it was on a trip or if it took place on your favorite local stream!


I'll start by talking about my girlfriends father who recently got back from fishing a few streams in Colorado while the Salmon Fly hatch was in full swing!  He came back and I haven't had an opportunity to talk to him about the trip, but I heard that he caught a pile of large trout!  


If you haven't had a chance to watch The Hatch DVD, it's short but so entertaining!  Check out the short introduction here! There isn't a lot of fishing documented in the trailer but you can get the feel for the DVD.  



The emphasis is to inform everyone about the salmon fly hatch and how the Gunnison River is being effected by the irrigation of the sprawling residential communities and other legal issues involving the water rights.  Case and point the creation of the DVD was to raise money to fight for the recreational benefits that the water offers not only fisherman, but all types of other recreational activities.     


Anyways, please feel free to comment below sharing any interesting trips or if you want to brag about a great fishing story that you've recently taken part in!


Tight lines!! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Florida Keys Here I Come!

I booked my trip to Key Largo about a month ago and it has been consuming a lot of my attention the last few weeks!  I've been talking to Brian a lot about whats been going on down in Key Largo since he made the move down there.  He's had a lot of fun getting to know the water so I thought it seemed fitting that I would assist in this learning process.  Needless to say I leave State College, Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning and will be spending the next 9 days doing nothing but fly-fishing the flats of Key Largo.


Last year I visited Key West and hooked into a few jacks and a big shark but I'm looking forward to catching whatever will agree to ferociously attack any of my fly imitations!  I'm sure we will be spending a lot of nights reviewing GoPro footage and pictures that we take!


Here is another picture that one of my friends sent me from Key West.  His name is Nick Rohrbach and he works for a fishing charter boat that always gets into good fish!  He sent me this picture of a great fly-fishing guide and another picture from his boat of an estimated 1,300 pound fish!  Check them out!



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Canal Fishing!

A couple of cool things happened today. The first was that I was out of work at 2 pm. After that I went to check out some of the cool boats in the Ocean Reef marina. This boat pictured below is the Sweet Release captained by Chris White, and owned by Benson Ford. Benson Ford is one of the great grandchildren of Henry Ford (The inventor of the automobile). Chris is my boss' husband and ideally one day I will get to saddle up in that fully varnished fighting seat whilst battling a massive marlin or sailfish! Wishful thinking maybe but hey a guy can dream right? 



Once I left the docks I went and hit up the canals again and hammered a couple more peacock bass! They love the chartreuse and white color combo. The one below ate a clouser minnow in that color combination. I threw pink, and brown stuff at other peacocks I was seeing and nothing. Seems to me that chartreuse must be the ticket for them. But a wise man once said "if it ain't chartreuse it ain't no use." So I should have known. I'm currently attempting some merkin crabs, so should I hit the flats this weekend I'll have something different I can throw at a tailing fish should I find one!


Fly Spotlight

Borski's Bonefish Slider


This little pattern is great for bonefish swimming in shallow water. It mimics many things specifically shrimp and craps swimming through the flats. Tan seems to be a reoccurring favorite amongst guides for bonefish and this little slider is no exception! If you get a chance tie up a couple and hit the flats! I know I'm going to!


Recipe:

Hook: #2-4 Mustad 34007.
Thread: White Uni 6/0.
Eyes: Painted hourglass eyes, black on yellow.
Wing: Cream EP Fibers or Neer Hair and Pearl Fire Fly Flashabou.
Collar: Grizzly marabou.
Head: Deer hair, flared and trimmed.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Grouper Submission!

Todays photo submission comes from Captain John Wambolt of the Patch Man Do. They were out on the reef yesterday morning and they pulled up this 15 lb black grouper! This is a serious grouper with a very happy client! The cool thing about going reef fishing with Captain John is that there is so much variety to catch. One minute you are hauling up a mutton snapper and the next your into a big barracuda followed by a grouper that looks something like this! It really is an awesome experience without the hour boat ride each way!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Unfavorable Fishing Conditions, Still Go Out and Fish!

Everyday that goes by without rain seems to be a gift from the heavens, but don't be detoured from fishing!  Selecting portions of the river with calmer water.  These areas will still result hold active trout.  You just have to be more in tune with the change in the currents.  Fish still have to find ways to maintain their feeding patterns that have been established with the seemingly constant hatches.  Here are some things to be aware of when you are on the stream in various situations where the streams are not in ideal conditions.

1. Attack the slower moving water.  This will include the streams edges, behind rocks, and other areas that offer cover for fish.  

2. Fish still have to eat so pick a pattern that the fish will normally eat or go with a larger pattern (wooly bugger, slumpbuster or other pattern that a fish will deem worthy of using energy to chase after).  It's amazing to see how aggressive fish can be when they are presented an opportunity to eat while avoiding the high water levels.  

3. Fish will still feed on insects that swirl around in the eddies, crevices and other pockets where the trout congregate to seek protection from the strong current.

4. Even if you aren't catching a ton of fish, they say a bad day of fishing beats a good day of work!

Bottom line, the insects will hatch unless the streams are roaring. Be smart though, if Penns Creek is up around 4000 cubic feet per second, it's not worth fishing.

Next time you're deciding whether or not to go out because of unfavorable conditions, try it out. Chances are that you'll have a lot more freedom to fish because the streams aren't as busy on days where the weather isn't perfect.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Treat" of the Week


This weeks treat was an inspiring story to me. Tim Welch was visiting Cusack's Alaska Lodge for the first time in 2010, he has since been back, and he fell seriously ill. He was having a great week of fishing when one morning he woke up and knew something wasn't right. Several hours later he was feeling worse and Bob flew him to the hospital in Iliamna, where there they decided to fly him to Anchorage. In Anchorage they diagnosed him with a severe arrhythmia. The cure for which was to stop his heart and shock it back into rhythm. Any normal person would just be thankful to be alive, but Tim wanted to finish his fishing trip!

He came back to the lodge that evening on the last flight from Anchorage and went fishing the next day! He caught a lot of big fish the next few days, but you could tell his appreciation for everything had changed. He is the one who took the picture of me that marks our "Treat" of the Week. Tim came back to the lodge in 2011 and had another amazing trip. It's just incredible to see his new outlook on life, knowing full well if he didn't get help that day he may not have made his second trip to the lodge. 


I hope you enjoy the compilation of pictures from Tim's 2 trips and one short video of Tim on the same day he got back from the hospital!








video