Thursday, February 26, 2015

Big Crappie

Just like, Mel over at The Pond Stalker, I love catching me some crappie and other various panfish on the fly. Lakes and ponds are where I grew up fishing, and those are the bodies of water nearest to my home. I spend a lot of time at these places after work during the week catching bluegill, sunfish, crappie, and bass.

I just wanted to share an old picture of the biggest crappie I have ever caught, and it was on a size 4 black zonker. I thought I had a decent sized bass on, then I saw the flash of it's side. It was pretty exciting.

Justin Carfagnini approves this message.
What's your biggest crappie on the fly??

What's your biggest crappie ever??

Saturday, February 21, 2015

How to fish like the Pro's

With the Bass Master Classic going on down in South Carolina right now, I figured there was no better time than to help out all of you hopeful Bass Pro fisherman out. I hope you have a crayon and construction paper ready for some notes, because, you're going to want to write all of this down, that is of course, if you don't have access to a printer.

Bass Pro - Mike Iaconelli
Justin Carfagnini's: How to fish like the Pro's

The basics:
1. Rod - It just doesn't matter.
2. Reel - It just doesn't matter.
3. Line - It just doesn't matter.

The secret combo to becoming a Bass Pro:

1. Red and white bobber - It's a classic, and classics catch fish.

2. Steel leader - Because, you never know when you're going to run into those toothy predators. It also, has a snap at the end, so, you can change out whatever lure you didn't know how to use out, for other lures you do not know how to use.

3. Red/white Daredevle spoon - It flat out catches fish.

Take a moment and gather yourself. I know your mind has just been blown away. 

To give you a visual of what this type of set up looks like, and it's capabilities, please see below. I discovered the secret back in 2005, and have enough will power and knowledge of self to know, that I just cannot handle it's fish catching powers. So, in the year 2005, it stayed.

...and here is a closer look at the set up. It was extremely effective in catching crayfish/crawfish, too. You might ask yourself, but why would you want to catch those when you're out bass fishing a big tournament. Simple answer - to see what color they are, so, you can better match the forage of body of water you're trying to win big bucks on, duh!

Yankee's hat...I definitely don't remember that. What in the hell? haha
Hope this helps all of you out there!!!!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Superbowl Blizzard

This Chicagoland area received 19.5 inches of snow Saturday night through Monday morning. I spent some of that time out on the roads, and the Outback was a beast! I had zero issues, and I was extremely impressed with it's handling of all the snow on the road. It was very difficult for the plows to keep up, and most of the roads were a mess, but it was not a problem.

Bring on some more snow!!!....Yeah, right! I'm over it. I told my shovel, that we need to start seeing other people/things.

On another note, I was rooting for the Patriots to win, but why in the world wouldn't you give it to Lynch on the 1 yard line! Congrats, to the New England Patriots, and all of their fans. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fly Tying video...failed.

So, I attempted to make a fly tying video, and this screen shot from the footage was the only thing worth sharing. Maybe next time....

Here's a cool video from Fly Fishing the Ozarks. These Iron Fly events hosted by Pig Farm Ink look pretty cool, and fun. A great way to get people who haven't tied involved. It's a completely different way to promote the sport, but I believe it's perfect for the times today. I hope to partake in one of these events this year, where, I don't know, so, we shall see!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I forgot how to count.

Needing to fill an order for a dozen Zebra Midges. I grabbed my size 22 hooks, beads, wire, and my newly acquired half hitch Rite Bobbin (Review to come after extensive use). I thought I had counted out 12, but when I was finished, I only had 11 flies, and of course I had already put everything away....I've been trying to keep my desk as organized as possible.

My last Bells Hop Slam. Sad face.
Maybe a few too many of these led to me miscounting the flies.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hop Slamming Some Buggers!

One of my favorite craft beers was recently released - Hop Slam by Bell's Brewery. A few of my friends took a road trip to the brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They informed me that the brewery and local stores were sold out of the beer, so, my only hope was to wait until it was distributed to the Chicagoland area, and even then I wasn't guaranteed to get it.

Fortunately for me, my GF and her mom are awesome, and were able to find a 6 pack for me! Woo-Hoo! A big THANK YOU goes out to them!

Hop Slam glassware
Poured myself a few of those that night, caught up with a show I started watching with the GF, and tied up some buggers for my personal stash. Loving the Vedavoo bench basin! 

These buggers do well for me on the lakes and ponds that are in my area.

Here's the material list:
1. Black Marabou tail
2. Two Strands of silver crystal flash
3. Olive medium chenille for the body
4. Black Saddle Hackle Feather for the head
5. Cone bead (put on before any of the other materials)

Sticker from @WYCOFLYCO on Instagram

Monday, February 9, 2015

Warm Water Discharge

With the temperature in the high 30's, again. I just had to wet a line, so, I went to the only place that I knew would have open water. It's a place we refer to around here as the WWD (Warm Water Discharge). The water never freezes there, and all of the fish congregate to the area....bluegill, crappie, bass, huge shad, carp, goldfish, and musky.

While the fish are clearly visible with a good set of polorized sunglasses, they are not incredibly easy to catch, to me anyway. I have a friend Geo who is an excellent angler and the big fish always seem to find the end of his line. Check him out on Instagram - GEOFISHING 

I did manage to hook up with a bluegill before moving to a part of the WWD that I have never fished before.

Whoa! I caught a heart shaped bluegill, just in time for Valentines Day! My GF is surly going to love this freak of nature. :)

After moving to a part of the discharge I have never fished. I finally got a solid hook up!!!! It was like I was stuck to a log....and it turns out I was. Oh well. I absolutely hate when this happens, and I try my best to retrieve the line and lure. I could care less about the jig, but I don't like leaving line out there, but sometimes you really don't have a choice. It unfortunate.

But if it's line left in a place that reachable, like the ground, I pick it up, and stuff it in a pocket. I hate seeing pictures of birds and other animals caught up by these lines that are just left out there. I mean really, is it that hard to take back with you? Apparently, it is, and I wish I could give them a swift kick in the ass for not picking it up themselves.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cube Life

My cubicle at work was bland and lacking some flare. So, I decided to tie up a fly to display at my desk, to show off my craft, and to remind me spring is not far away.

I went with the cotton candy pattern that has brought me great success this past year. I'm hoping it'll bring some of that mojo to help me succeed in my new position. 

...but I am certain, it will be coming along with me for an outing up north, to chase those emerald green monsters. So, it's stay is temporary.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tenkara Fly

It gets boring tying the same thing over and over. So, I decided that it was time I try to tie myself a Tenkara fly. I've been following a few people through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that post a few things about Tenkara. The person that most inspired me to tie up a Tenkara style fly was a fellow Blogger Mr. Troutrageous!

Size 14 hook, a feather - I didn't look up what type of feather to use, so, I used a small grizzly hackle, hackle clip, and some thread.

While very simple to tie, this fly looks extremely effective for a number of species. The bluegill and small bass at a few of my local ponds and small creeks would kill this fly, especially, in the evening when the mosquito's hatch. I'll just have to toss this with my 3wt until I decide it's time for a Tenkara rod.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bo Knows...Swings!

Over the weekend while my GF and I were taking the dogs for a walk, she thought it would be funny if she put Bo Marley in a swing. Well, sure enough, the little stinker loved it...or at least tolerated it. Haha