Friday, December 28, 2012

Addicted to Vise

Do you enjoy looking at classic flies, full dress salmon flies, and wet flies that look like museum quality pieces rather than something you should keep in a fly box? 

Then check out Addicted to Vise.  I've added it to my blogroll over there on the left.  Eunan is a superb tier who has the patience and skills to crank out beautiful pieces of art. 

Check out his blog, and if you get the chance to see him tie in person, go do it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2013 Goals

Well the end of another year is rapidly approaching.  Looking back on 2012, I had a pretty good year of fishing.  This was a year where I focused more on saltwater fishing, both in building up my gear selection and the time I spent fishing.  Made many trips out for flounder and was successful most all of the time.  Hit the sand a few times and had more success than I had expected.  I have my eye on a few more trips yet before the calendar flips to 2013, provided the Mayans just needed to buy a new calendar and tomorrow isn't the end of the world.

With an eye towards 2013, I want to set a few goals for myself to give me something to strive to achieve.

1.  Catch a trout on the fly in every month of the year.  I have never reached this milestone and trying to accomplish this goal will get me on the water much more.

2.  Catch a striper off the sand.  Extra bonus points for catching a striper off the sand with the fly rod.  This will make me think about my gear choices when on the beach and not always reaching for the "easy way out" with the spinning gear.

3.  Get my daughter out fishing more.  She'll be 5 in February and I need to make sure we are spending quality time on the water together.  Even if she gets bored and throws rocks in the water, I want fishing to be something she enjoys and wants to do, not something that she's forced to do by her dad.

4.  Fish some new water, both in my immediate area and hopefully in other areas of the country.

Let's check back in on this post at the end of 2013 to see how I did.  Hopefully I can go 4 for 4!

Whatever you celebrate here at the end of the year, enjoy yourself, spend time with your family, and get outside some.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Saturday, November 24, 2012 my grandfather passed away.  He had been suffering from cancer in his abdomen that had ravaged his organs before it was discovered.  I am thankful that in the grand scheme of things he didn't suffer too much.  I am also thankful that during his last month I was able to get up and visit with him several times and be with him on his last day alive. 

My Pap was a great grandfather to me who taught me so much during our time together.  He took me fishing and passed on all his secrets.  I started out with spinning gear and he showed me how to rig up to bounce nightcrawlers, and powerbait when it came out, along the bottom of the stream for trout.  Thanks Pap.  I still use this method today when I decided to break out the spinning gear.  He taught me how to read the stream and find those barely visible back eddies that trout love to hang out in.  And most importantly we just went fishing.  We'd get up early in the morning or head out after school (and eventually work) and fish.  He taught me how to fish spinners and gave me his deadly Panther Martin with a wooden body (try finding those now) and I slayed the trout with it until I got it stuck on a log and it broke off.  If that happened now, I probably would swim out and retrieve that spinner, but I was 10 and I had to just let it go.

My Pap and I took fly fishing lessons together at the Little Lehigh Fly Shop.  Over a series of lessons, we learned about stream entomology, casting, the fly setup, and it eventually all culminated with us catching trout on tricos during a prolific hatch when they still went off like that.  I was hooked.  We put away the spin rods and focused on fly fishing and trying to catch trout like that.  It wasn't long and I was interested in tying my own flies. Pap got me the tools I needed to get started and made me a deal: he would buy me the materials I needed to tie flies as long as I kept him supplied with flies.  I can live with that deal.  Once I started working and making my own money, I bought my own supplies but I kept Pap stocked with flies up until the day he passed away.  Thanks Pap.

Pap, thanks for taking me out to fish.  Thanks for spending time with me.  Thanks for getting me started with fly fishing.  It is a lifelong pursuit for me now and I'm not sure I'd ever get to this point if it wasn't for you.  Thank you for going to all the fly fishing shows with me and showing me the true worth of those shows is all the included seminars.  They can't take your education away from and never stop learning were two phrases he uttered often.

Thanks Pap.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The family that fishes together...


Took a drive on Sunday to the beach after we were done with church.  Hit up the bait shop to get some finger mullet first.  Then found an opening on the sand.  Action was good with lots of smaller blues hitting both whole mullet and mullet chunks.

We caught a bunch of blues like this one with two coming home with us for dinner the next night. 

The excitement of the day came when I was checking out some small taps on the smaller rod.  I picked the rod out of the holder and BOOM! that hit bent the rod down to the handle.  The fight was on as this was a smaller set up to catch smaller blues in the wash.

After some drag pulling runs, I was able to land and see what I had hooked up with. 

My first red fish.  It was definitely a satisfying day on the sand.  Can't wait to get back there next weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2012


When you get to the boat ramp early,

you get to see pretty sunrises.

Worked our spots, caught a bunch of fish: croaker, black bass, dogfish, kingfish, and a flounder that taped out at 18 1/4 inches.

Thanks to Capt. Bob for a great day on the water!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hollow Fleyes

I've got the itch to tie again.

Some Hollow Fleyes for the surf this fall.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cabela's Is Coming To Delaware

It was recently announced that the outdoor superstore mega-giant Cabela's is planning on opening a free-standing store at the Christiana Mall sometime in 2014.  Reading the initial announcement, I was excited.  I mean who wouldn't be?  I would now have an awesome outdoor store within a 15 minute drive of my house instead of the hour and a half it takes me to drive to the Cabela's in Hamburg or the Bass Pro in Arundel.  Where else can you go and buy anything ever made in camo,

 see some awesome animal mounts,

check out their aquariums

and then have lunch without ever leaving the building?

But then I got to thinking.  What is going to happen to the independent stores that we as an area and I as a consumer depend on now for our goods?  Will people continue to justify visiting the smaller shops that may not have what they want in stock when they can go to Cabela's and get what they want and maybe even for a lower price?  I know that I will continue to visit the independent shops that kept me going before Cabela's was around and will hopefully continue to co-exist with Cabela's in the future.  It is up to you to continue to visit your local independently owned stores and continue to give them your business.  Just remember who was there for you when you starting out in your endeavor and didn't know anything about the sport.  Who showed you the different equipment available and what your different options were?  When you wanted to tie that fly you bought at the fly shop on vacation who helped you come up with what materials were needed to replicate that fly and the steps required to tie the fly?  When you wanted information on a local (or not so local) stream who gave you advice (location, flies, directions) when you asked?

Keep visiting your local, independently owned shops.  When they are gone because everyone visited the big box store, they aren't going to come back.

One final shout-out to Terry Peach owner of A Marblehead Fly Fisher in Centreville, DE, my local fly shop.  Terry has always gone above and beyond for me whether it was tying supplies, supplies for on the stream, equipment, and lessons.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Vacation in Lewes

After attending to some business on Friday, I loaded up my truck and headed south to Lewes to meet up with my wife and daughter who were already at the beach house with my father-in-law and brother-in-law.  We went out and had dinner when I arrived and made plans for fishing the next day.  My father-in-law had his 17' Sea Pro Center Console with him and we had plans to put a hurting on the flounder.  The catching had already started Friday morning when BIL caught a keeper flounder.  With that fish in the fridge, we headed out Saturday morning to add to it.  I managed to put a keeper in the boat Saturday at about 22". 

Posing with the Captain who put me on the fish.  Thanks Chi-Chi Bobriquez!

We fried those fish up along with a keeper sea trout for a delicious dinner Saturday night.

Sunday I headed out with my wife and a buddy and his nephew on a head boat for some drinking and fishing.  Not too much to report.  I was way outfished by my wife and my buddy's nephew...I didn't even put a keeper anything in the boat.  I caught a dogfish and a short sea bass.  My wife caught a mess of croaker.

Tuesday we headed out again early and found some nice keeper flounder.  My BIL and I were both able to boat two keepers each measuring around 19-20".

Thanks to Chi-Chi Bobriquez for captaining the boat for us so we could catch so many great fish.  We had two great meals of fried flounder and I have a nice bag of flounder in the freezer for another meal. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Costa Del Mar Blackfin 580P

I had been looking around for new sunglasses, I wanted something I could wear everyday but also use for fishing.  After trying on most every pair offered under the sun and finding nothing that would fit my unusually large melon, I tried on my brother-in-law's Blackfins.  That was a mistake, because they fit.  And the optical clarity they provided was awesome!  After trying them on, I knew I needed to have a pair for myself.  So I did my research on the lenses options available and settled on the 580P in Amber.  The frame color wasn't even a choice as I had decided long ago my next glasses would be tortoise shell.  So this is what my glasses look like.

I have tried these glasses out running the trotline for crabs in a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay and I was able to see deep down in the river as the trotline was being retrieved.  I have used these glasses fishing for trout on a limestone stream and I have been able to see trout lurking all over the place.  I have used these glasses driving around town and I'm disappointed when I go inside because I take my glasses off and I'm stuck with what my eyes really see.  No matter the application, these glasses make everything clearer.  I have no trouble cutting glare when I'm in my truck, when I'm on the boat, when I'm wading a stream.  These glasses are the shiznit!

Also, the frame has some sort of rubberization where it comes in contact with your face that gets tacky when you sweat.  This means glasses that don't slip around all over your face.

I haven't been surf fishing yet (that's coming soon), so I want to see how these glasses respond under the different conditions I can throw at them there.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Allen Fly Fishing Trout Reels on Clearance

Allen Fly Fishing is having a clearance sale to blow out the remaining stock of their Trout Reels.  Check it out before they are gone!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Video Wednesday - Fly Fishing NJ for Striped Bass in the NJ Surf

Thanks to Shell E. Caris for posting this video to YouTube for us to enjoy!

Shell E. is a guide who specializes in surf casting with fly or light tackle and he catches giant striped bass.  Check him out!

Happy Independence Day!

July 4, 1776, the day the Second Constitutional Congress gave a big ol' FU to England.  Enjoy celebrating however you choose, just be safe.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Delaware Seashore State Park - Sunday

After my buddy's birthday party on Saturday, we loaded up the truck and headed further south on Route 1 to the Delaware Seashore State Park for some fishing, suntanning, and playing in the ocean on Sunday.  I don't think exact location matters too much since the nature of saltwater fishing is that is changes with tide, wind, moon phase, how much air pressure is in your tires, etc.

We aired down in the lot, maneuvered around the SUV stuck on the access ramp (air down before going out next time) and found an opening between two trucks that wouldn't crowd out either of them.  I hate being crowded out, head further up or down the beach and there will be an opening for you, otherwise you should have gotten up earlier.

I got the rods set up while my wife set up the beach stuff.  My daughter made a beeline for the water as usual.  Since I was going to target kingfish and croaker, I decided to go with a hi/lo rig baited with bloodworms on one hook and squid strips on the other until I was able to get things dialed in.

Action started out hot, as I was casting out to where the breakers were forming and reeling in slowly.  I hit two kingfish right off the bat and thought things were going to get epic in a hurry.  But as the slack low tide turned and started to come in, the action slowed down.  I had two hits that I missed that felt like more kingfish, but I will never know as I was unable to set the hook.

We had a great day on the sand.  The wind was ENE so that kept things cooler and kept the bugs at bay.  My wife got some reading done and my daughter played in the surf and we built a small sand castle together.  At the end of the day, everyone was happy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pop Fleyes by Bob Popovics and Ed Jaworowski

Ok, this book isn't anything new, it's been around since 2000.  But being a new entry into the world of saltwater fly fishing, I bought the book this winter at the Fly Fishing Show and was able to have Bob Pop sign it for me.  Along with his signature, he gave me some great advice about how to use the book.  What was the advice?  Buy the book and talk to Bob about it.

To say this book is great is an understatement.  Instead of simply giving flies, the materials needed and the steps to tie this fly, you are taking into the brains of two great saltwater anglers.  You are shown how they approach the problems faced, and the trials and errors they went through to get to the finished product.  With this method, you are not simply spoon fed flies and told to go tie them, but to actually think.  Observe what is happening on the water.  What baits are available?  What do they look like?  How do they behave?  Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve with your ties, get to the vise and start to tie up some of your own prototypes.  Test them, tweak them, and repeat.

That being said, will I simply copy and tie the patterns from this book?  Yeah, I'm lazy.  But eventually I will get to the point where I am looking to solve problems that arise because I've spent so much time on the water fishing to bass and blues and whatever else I have the opportunity to fish for.  I will search for the answer to my problems only to realize that I can solve the problems myself by designing my own fly.  Which may or may not be new to the fly tying world, but who cares.  As long as it fills the void I have created for myself and I am happy then all is well with the world.

In closing, thank you Mr. Popovics and Mr. Jaworowski for writing a book that is beginner friendly and can get me started fishing and hopefully catching saltwater prey on the fly rod.  Thank you for writing a book that will spur me to create new flies and new tying techniques as I progress in this game.  If you are serious about fly fishing the saltwater or you are serious about tying saltwater flies, please get this book.

Video Wednesday - Capt. Cook Flounder Fishing

Today's Video Wednesday is brought to us courtesy of Capt. Chuck Cook of First Light Charters based in Lewes, DE.  I've been fishing with Capt. Cook for a few years now and he's highly recommended if anyone is looking for a charter to go out in the area.  You won't find a harder working Captain!

In this video, Capt. Cook shows us how to cut blue fish strips for flounder fishing.  I apologize for the wind noise in the video, even though it is not my work.  The location where the video was shot is incredibly windy and trying to find a non-windy day to shoot video is impossible.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Means Crabs

Get your mind out of the gutter.  I'm living in Delaware and summertime means blue claw crabs.  Time to bait the trotline with chicken necks.  Time to wake up at 330 in the morning to run to one of the tributaries of the Chesapeake, set up the trotline and start making runs.  Time to come home, clean the boat, take a nap, then steam up the most excellent dinner you can eat.  Then when you are full, pick whatever crabs are left for crab cakes, crabs and spaghetti, crab soup, etc.

The early reports are coming in that this is going to be a great year for crabs.  The mild winter we experienced has the water temperatures about 10 degrees warmer than the same time last year.  That is leading to more numbers of crabs and bigger crabs.  Yum!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Video Wednesday - Tautog Gone Wild

Mike Laptew posted this video of Tautog (commonly called tog) schooling on a deep water reef off the coast of Rhode Island.  Also some cruising striped bass in the video as well.

Everyone posts up video of tarpon and sailfish and these exotic species, I thought it would be cool to see a view of a more common fish and something that the average angler has a chance to go fish for.  Thanks Mike for a great video.

Hopefully I can find a cool video each week to post on what I hope will be an on-going feature of Video Wednesday.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Skates don't count...I was skunked

Left early Saturday morning

to head south and try to see if we couldn't coax some flounder to pierce themselves on our hooked offerings. 

Launched the boat without any difficulties and it wasn't long until Chi-Chi Bobriguez had the first flounder in the boat.

 Try as we might, we couldn't stretch this one to 18", it came up short at about 17 3/4".  Another few drifts through that hole and Chi-Chi's phone rings as he hooks up with another fish.  He takes the call, I reel up the fish.  The first keeper of the season is in the boat as this flounder was easily 18 1/2"!  That fish was caught in front of an audience

We tried multiple spots the rest of the morning, but weren't able to hook up with any more game fish.

I did manage to land a skate, which felt like a nice flounder at first, but skates don't count.  No fish for me on this trip.  An uneventful trip back north, washed the boat, trailer and our gear and back home to head out to watch the Belmont Stakes and visit the Greek Festival.  A great day all around!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

LL Bean Men's Vacationland Sneakers

Today I got to try out my new boat shoes that I bought for myself for fishing and crabbing.  I bought the LL Bean Men's Vacationland sneakers because I wanted something that I could get wet, but I didn't necessarily want to wear sandals (I'm not a big sandal guy). 

From the LL Bean website, the shoe features

  • Cushioning midsole has side drainage ports that let cool air in and water out
  • Quick-drying upper is pieced with cool mesh for extra breathability
  • Flexible nonmarking rubber outsole is deeply grooved for traction on wet surfaces 
      As casual and carefree as a vacation should be, these lightweight, breezy shoes are just right for relaxing days spent boating, beachcoming, sightseeing and playing backyard sports. Quick-drying synthetic-leather upper is pieced with soft, breathable mesh, so your feet stay cool on hot summer days. Cushioning midsole is perforated with side drainage ports that let air in and water out, yet keep feet dry on wet pavement. Mesh-covered sock liner speeds up drying time. Flexible nonmarking rubber outsole is deeply grooved for traction on wet surfaces. Imported. Fit best with lightweight socks.

After spending almost 12 hours in these shoes, my initial reaction is I am thankful that I bought them.  They gave me great grip on the deck of the boat and insured I wasn't slipping and sliding around.  They were super comfortable and have a fit that makes sure your foot isn't slipping around inside whether wet or dry.  When I did get them wet (full submersion loading the boat on the trailer), they didn't get that weird wet sneaker feeling and they didn't feel like they weighed 50 pounds.  It was hot and sunny outside and my feet didn't sweat inside the shoe.  LL Bean recommends a lightweight sock inside, but I went with no socks and found them perfect.  The fit was true and the shoe comes in medium width or wide width.

If you are looking for a shoe to wear around the water or in the water, you definitely can't go wrong with the LL Bean Men's Vacationland Sneaker!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Winning Some Swag

Thanks to the blog Tight Lined Tales of a Fly Fisherman, I am a winner.  Ok, not a winner since I didn't win the first prize but I still won something.  Yeah, yeah this is like T-ball where everyone is a winner and gets a trophy.  No, we didn't go get ice cream after the game.  I digress, we were asked to share our most KAVU day and I posted about the striper charter I was on last November.  Somehow, I was selected as the third prize winner and will be receiving a KAVU hat, shirt and stickers.  A big Thank You! to TLTFF and to KAVU for sponsoring the contest.  Once I receive my swag, I will put up a review of the gear.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hitting the Sand

Saturday we headed south to hit the sand and try to see if any stripey ones were heading north within casting range.  After a quick stop at my wife's grandparents' house, we were on the beach and getting ready for some fishing.  I had stopped at a bait shop on the way down and picked up some bunker to toss into the surf, but had neglected to check my rigs and make sure I had what I needed, this would prove to be a costly mistake.

After airing down the tires on the truck we headed onto the beach and found a nice open spot where we wouldn't be crowding anyone.  My daughter made a beeline for the ocean and even though the water was around 60 degrees, she played the whole time we were there.  I got the spikes set up and started to rig up the rods.  I brought one rod to chunk bait and my new plugging rod to give that a break-in and see how it performed.  I looked in my bucket of rigs and found that I had nothing really to use to target stripers.  Oh well, make due with what you got.  I got the bait out and soaking and rigged up my Tsunami Airwave to give it a test.  This rod casts like a dream.  I paired it up with a Penn Battle reel, Suffix 832 30lb braid, topped with a 30lb mono leader.  I tossed out tins, bombers, poppers, everything I had with me and this thing handled them all.  I am anxious to get a fish on it to see how it does under stress, but that will take time.  I need to put my time in and pay my dues before I will be rewarded.

When I got home, I hit the internet to learn about how to properly rig for stripers off the beach and learned about the fish finder rig.  I ordered the right material I needed and will give them a go the next time I hit the surf.

 Photo courtesy of Stripers Online

I did manage to land a horseshoe crab on the bait rod.  Nothing like reeling in a nice wide bodied horseshoe crab.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gone Fishin' Striper Charter

The alarm on my cell phone went off at the ungodly time of 2:30AM.  Normally I would throw that thing against the wall and roll over, but today was different.  I was heading to Rock Hall, MD for a striper charter.  We were going on board the vessel Gone Fishin' for a seven hour trip: leave the dock at 5AM and return at noon.  Capt. Mark who runs Gone Fishin' had another work obligation so he sent Capt. Jamie to run the boat for us instead.  Assisting Capt. Jamie was the First Mate for the day Capt. Noah.  First impression of the boat, damn, what a nice boat.  The thing was spotless and in super condition.  This was one of the cleanest boats I have ever seen.

We headed out of the marina and into the bay and Capt. Jamie and Capt. Noah got to work setting up the planer boards and started to put the rods out into the spread.  They didn't even have all the rods out when we had out first hit and the line popped out of the clip.  First angler up to battle the fish was Andrew who had organized the trip for us.  The spread wasn't even all the way out and we had our first keeper in the box.  This was shaping up to be an epic day.

After landing that fish, the rest of the rods were put out and we were on our way trolling through the bay.  Not long after, another line popped and the battle was on.  After getting the reel straightened out and a battle of about 300 yards of line, another keeper was in the box.  Epic day still going.

I was next up and waiting patiently for the line to pop.  It did and the fight was on.  Although this wasn't much of a fight and didn't feel like other stripers I had caught before.  And for good reason.  Here is my catch of the day.

How exactly I caught a bunker when we were using bunker patterned swim shads about the size of this guy, I will never know.  And he was hooked in the mouth, not snagged.

The morning continued much like the beginning with the rods going off pretty quickly one after the other.  By 830 we had 6 slot fish in the cooler and things were looking good.  Until the tide changed.  The wind and the tide were going against each other and gave a pretty good chop to the water.  This put the fish and the bait down deep and we were unable to reach them.  This condition continued for the remainder of the trip.

The Gone Fishin' crew worked hard though and added extra lines out to try to target the deeper fish.  It just wasn't meant to be.  When we arrived at the dock, Capt. Noah cleaned our catch for us.  Most of the fish were fileted, and very cleanly done.

This was a great trip with a super crew on an unbelievable boat.  I will definitely be hitting these guys up again in the future and would recommend anyone looking for a charter trip to give these guys a chance.  They know what they are doing.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Delaware vs. Yellowstone: A Tale of the Tape

Why do I want to experience Yellowstone National Park and all it has to offer?  Let's compare Delaware to Yellowstone...

Area of land: Delaware covers 2,491 square miles; Yellowstone 3,468 square miles (YNP is 1.4 times the size of the entire state of Delaware

Highest Point

Delaware, Ebright Azimuth 448 feet

Yellowstone, Eagle Peak 11,358 feet

Geothermal Features


Yellowstone over 10,000


Yellowstone over 300



Scenic Vistas






In summary, why is it important to keep Yellowstone's fish and wildlife populations intact and healthy?  Because people have a tendency to screw up everything we touch, it's in our nature.  Yellowstone is one of the last nearly untouched and intact ecosystems left on the Earth.  It's a  wonderland with over half of the world's geothermal features located within its boundaries.  The three hundred geysers found in the park?  Yeah, they account for over 2/3 of all the geysers on Earth!  Where else are you going to go to see grizzly bears, elk, moose, mountain goats, pronghorns, mountain lions, big horn sheep, and on and on?  Where can you go and fish for the native arctic grayling, westslope cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and the non-native brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout?  Certainly not in Delaware.

Humans try to make things better.  We can't help it.  Nature has it figured out pretty well though.  

I've dreamed of visiting this hallowed ground and fishing in one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems on the Earth.  I want to experience animals living as closely as they can to being unaltered by humans and their impacts.  I would love to see and hear elk off bugling in the distance, grizzly bears foraging for food (from a safe distance), bison traveling across the grasslands in a huge herd.  I look forward to hearing coyotes howl at the moon after a long day hiking through the park and fishing streams we cross.  Most importantly, I really, really want to fish in the park.  I want to catch cut throats, I want to catch rainbows, I want to catch browns.  I want to stand in the middle of a giant blanket hatch on the Madison river while trout rise all around me and I search frantically in my fly box for the one fly I haven't tried yet since all the others have been refused.  I want to splash big foam hoppers close to the bank as non-discriminating cutties rise with reckless abandon to completely hoover my offering.  I want to embark on a hike at daylight to reach some distant lake that few anglers see each year.  I want to take in all the beauty that is Yellowstone National Park.  And I want to photograph and maintain notes so that when I return I can share it all with you.

Disclaimer:  “This is my submission for the Trout Unlimited, Simms, the Yellowstone Park Foundation and the Outdoor Blogger Network – Blogger Tour 2012 contest.”