Sunday, December 30, 2012

The 25

Hey Everyone,

Well I'm sure that soon enough we will all get our fill of new years resolution blog post. They will be filled with reflections on this past year and the inevitable video montage. I know that I have been guilty of this in the past as well. So, I decided that instead of boring you to death with "this has been a great year" and "this is what I'm going to do" I would let you in on a little challenge that I have been doing for a year now. I call it the 25. It came to me one day when for no good reason I thought it might be fun to catch a carp on a fly rod. Well it was awesome! So, I decided to see what else might be fun to catch. I looked up all the freshwater game fish and made a list of the ones that I thought would be the most fun and within reasonable distance to catch. I have to admit that it has become less of a list and more of an adventure for me though. Its amazing the places you will end up like a crystal clear pond in New York state full of black and white crappie. Or to hike in three miles through the woods in June to find that slack water where you saw a long nose gar the year before. I have typed up my list here so that you can try your luck, skill, patience, what ever you call it and see if you can catch the 25.


Blue Gill
Green Sunfish
Pumpkin Seed
Red Breast Sunfish
Red Ear Sunfish
Spotted Sunfish


Large Mouth
Red Eye
Small Mouth


Long Fish
Chain Pickerel
Longnose Gar

Common Carp

Obviously you can add to this list or you can create your own. Either way let me know if you take up the 25 fish challenge. And if you know a good spot and want to try and catch one on my list with me...well I say lets fish.

See you on the trail,

p.s. You can click on each fish for a little more info about that species.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Watch Your inHg

Hey Everyone,

If you're a dedicated trout bum like myself you watch the weather a lot. I don't mean to make sure you wont be rained on or to see if you'll be able to feel your fingers that morning. If you know me then you know I don't care about a little rain and a cold day to me means no body else on the water. I watch the weather to see what it is doing. See knowing what the weather has been doing and what it is going to do tells me a lot about what the fishing is going to be like for the day. See as the weather changes so does the barometric pressure. How does this affect the fishing? A trout has a small bladder called a swim bladder which acts as a buoyancy compensator. As the barometric pressure changes trout can feel those changes on their swim bladder. Think of a time that you ate way too much and felt like crap all day. The average measurement for atmospheric pressure is around 30 inHg (inches of Mercury) with 30.5 being an extreme high and 28.5 being an extreme low. Consequently, a rapid rise or fall or and extended period of extreme high or low can make a difference in the quality of fishing on any given day. A slight change of just +/- 0.02 inHg is enough to affect a trouts eating habits. Having flash backs of high school biology? Here is a easy chart that I think will help.

Pressure Trend Typical Weather Fishing Trends Suggested Tactics
(30.5 inHg)
Clear Skies Fish seek shade or cover Use sub-surface flies such as nymphs or wet flies. Fish close to cover and in deeper water over a dark bottom.
Rising Skies clearing Fish are slightly more inclined to feed Fish with brighter flies close to cover. Try Attractor nymphs or streamers.
Expect normal feeding behavior Trout are more inclined to feed both on and below the surface.
Rain Imminent
Often the best time to fish Try slightly larger flies. Also a good time to with large nymphs and streamers
Slightly Lower
Rain starts
Bait fish seek shelter in the shallows.
Bigger fish come out to hunt.
Try larger streamer patterns such as Dace, Sculpins, and Crayfish.
Also try larger nymphs such as Giant Stone Flies or Helgramites
(28.5 inHg)
Rain and high water
Trout tend to become less active during extended periods of low pressure
Try smaller nymphs and streamers.

I hope this helps.

See you on the trail,



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Old Method, New Trick

Hey Everyone,

So, there has been a ongoing issue with level lines used for Tenkara, visibility. There are a few suppliers of high-vis level lines. With that being the case there are several DIY anglers that would like to make their own lines for various reasons. The problem is that most fluorocarbon lines are clear. This is for a couple reasons. For one, fluorocarbon is supposed to be more difficult to see underwater making it a very stealthy line for finesse fishing. Also, any time that you color fluorocarbon you actually weaken it a bit because to color it the pigments must interrupt the molecular strain that makes up the line. The problem for Tenkara anglers is that being able to see the level line is a good thing. The question is, how do we make a clear line well, not so clear? There have been a few methods tested out like Jason Klass's post about coloring the line with paint markers.

I was thinking about this one day and an old idea that I have used a few times for nymphing on western fly rods. The method is to use the foam from the twist ties that are used on some fly line spools. The trick is to pull out the metal wire inside (which is easily done) and then slide your leader into the now hollow foam tube. This makes a very nice and very sensitive strike indicator. I thought, "why cant I slide that on to the end of a level line?" Ive included a few pictures so you can see what I'm talking about. I personally put a perfection loop in the end of my level line and let the "indicator" sit against the knot. I think it would work just as well against any type of knot you use to connect your level line to your tippet. I haven't used it yet for Tenkara since I have been fishing a lot of dries with my Tenkara rods lately, but I can tell you it works pretty good on western rods. I'll give it a shot next time I'm out and tell you how it works. If any of you get a chance to try it out let me know what you think.

See you on the trail,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What They Look Like - Winter Stone Fly

Hey Everyone,

I was on the river the other day and I wasn't seeing many hatches coming off that morning. I felt kinda perplexed since the trout were turning quickly and I could see them in the clear water grabbing something. I assumed it was midges although I hadn't seen any in the air yet. I caught a fish on a small emerger and that's when I saw what they were keying in on. A small winter stone fly was on the side of my hand. I then realized what the trout were hitting. I knew that by default I had a good fly on. I did change my caddis to a darker body. I spent the rest of the day landing several nice fish. If you see these little guys crawling around its a safe bet that the trout are eating them. They are not very big usually around a size 16 through 20 but in the dead of winter they are a very viable food source for trout. Since they crawl out on rocks or vegetation, there aren't too many emerger patterns. However, I would suggest a black or red copper john as a dropper which will imitate the nymph. You can also tie a elk hair caddis in a black body with a light brown or white wing in size 16 or 18.

Wet Nets,