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!