Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

On Saturday, my wife had a Pampered Chef party to attend, so my daughter and I took a trip to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge is located east of Smyrna and covers 16,251 acres.  Most of the land is tidal salt-marsh with the remainder being upland area.  There is a 12-mile auto tour with 5 hiking trails.  This would be a great spot to bring the bikes and bike around, since there are bike racks located at the head of each hiking trail.  It was a cold, windy day in February, but we still saw quite a few birds.  What did we see?  A whole bunch of different birds.  I'm not a birder.  We did see snow geese, coots, a heron, vultures, some sort of hawk, and maybe a bald eagle (the sun was a really bad position for a positive ID).  Here are some pictures.

Is that a beaver lodge in the picture above?  Certainly looks like it to me, but I'm not an animal expert.  These were all over the marshlands in the refuge.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Super Bowl Block Pool Winnings

So the crew over at Stripers Online ran an awesome Super Bowl block pool where several members graciously donated prizes.  It cost nothing to enter, which was awesome, and even more awesome was the fact that I hit on one of the prizes.

I am now the proud owner of a R.M. Smith Fat Bastage that was made as part of a special edition for Stripers Online.  Thanks to the member who ran the pool and thanks to the member who donated the plug!  I will definitely be putting something in to sweeten the pot for next year's winners.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lancaster Fly Fishing Show Wrap-up

Saturday I attended the Fly Fishing Show that was held at the Lancaster Convention Center.  This was a new location for the show as it has bounced around several spots in PA trying to find one that worked.  I think they may have hit on a winner here.  After a nice ride through the country side, the building was easy enough to find.  Parking was located via a garage attached to the convention center.  The convention center itself is fairly new and was really nice.  If you are looking for a show on the magnitude of Somerset, this isn't the show for you.  If you are looking to get to talk to the "celebrity" tiers (I used the quotes not as a knock on the tiers, as these guys and gals are great, but more as a misuse of the word celebrity), talk to vendors one-on-one or walk around the floor without being a giant crowd this show is the one.
When I first got there I walked the floor to get a lay of the land.  I wasn't looking for much, just one material I had had trouble tracking antron yarn for some parachute flies I owe someone.  Found that.  I also picked up some sculpin wool to tie some Shenk's minnows.  Then it was time to head off to what I really enjoy, the featured tiers and talks.  I got to see Ed Shenk tie up the Letort Cricket and also Shenk's minnow (see purchase of scuplin wool above).  George Daniel tied up some of his favorite nymphs, all of which can be found in his book.  I also saw Bob Popovics tie up some surf candies, these will surely find a way into my boxes for the salt.  Eric Stroup was the last tier I watched and he tied up his favorite guide flies, flies he keeps in his box at all times because they are quick to tie and definitely catch fish.  I also sat in on George Daniel's talk on Dynamic Nymphing, which was a giant plug to his book, and I fell for it.  I ended up purchasing the book and having George sign it for me at the show.
After the show, I attended the International Fly Fishing Film Festival.  This was well put together and featured 7 films in the "Short" category and 6 films in the "Feature" category.  These films ranged from fishing unnamed streams with awesome editing to creating awareness of the plight of a particular river or region.  My personal favorite short was "Devil's Gold" by Castaway Films.

My favorite feature film was "Chasing the Run" by Patagonia Nation.

New Teaser - Chasing The Run | from PatagoniaNation on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Five Stages of a Fisherman

A lot of discussion going on over at PA Fly Fish based on this post by Rick Clark on the WFN site, specifically the five stages of a fisherman.  Rick states them as follows:
Stage 1: Catch A Fish
Stage 2: Catch the most fish
Stage 3: Catch the biggest fish
Stage 4: Catch a difficult fish
Stage 5: Enjoying fishing independent of catching

I find myself enjoying those stages at different parts of my fishing outings.  My first goal is to catch a single fish.  Once I get the smell of the skunk off, it was a successful trip.  Having accomplished that goal, my next goal is to either catch a lot of fish or catch a big fish.  I'm happy achieving either one of those.  Of course, they work together.  The more fish you catch, the better chance you will catch a big fish.  It's just playing the odds.  Catching a difficult fish is a goal when it presents itself.  If I find a fish in a difficult lie and I decide to go for him, then I'm happy when he takes and I'm hooked up with him.  I don't head out in the morning with the intent to target difficult fish in the stream, I take those situations as they present themselves.  And of course if I don't catch anything, then I find myself in stage 5, I'm just happy to be out there and not working.  So to wrap this up, I don't think the stages are a progression that you go through as you grow as a fisherman.  I think the stages happen as you progress through your day fishing.

What do you think?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Foam Fly Swap?

Owl Jones is running a fly swap.  It's open to 25 tiers total.  The fly has to be a terrestrial pattern and has to incorporate foam into it.  Get over there and join the 2012 Monsters of Fly Tying swap (I'm pretty sure Owl has that phrase trademarked now). A huge thanks for OJ for being the swap master and making this happen.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Randomness

While I was helping my wife clean the house yesterday (getting ready for Super Bowl guests today), my sister-in-law was in Vermont and visiting the Orvis Flagship Store in Manchester and decided to send me some pictures to rub it in.

The pond at the store.
Orvis Rod Factory

Thanks to Dub the Thorax for the shout out in his blog and welcome to the readers who were sent my way by him.  And if you haven't read Dub the Thorax, head over there and check it out!