Thursday, March 31, 2016

DUN Magazine - Spring Edition

The Spring edition of DUN Magazine is out, and it's a good one, so, I suggest you check it out!

My favorite articles are The Last Frontier, and Breathe.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Josh DeSmith Art

Website - Josh DeSmit Art

The art of Josh DeSmit.  It's pretty damn awesome.  I'm a huge fan modern, abstract, new age, grungy, Ralph Steadman type art.  It gets my attention very easy.  That's not to say, that I don't like or appreciate other arts.  It's just this style is more, well, my style.  Check 'em out!

Note: All of the pictures below are from Josh DeSmit's website.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring Is Here

Spring is here...not quite, but the sun is staying out longer and I have ample time to wet a line in my backyard lake before dark.  

The crappie bite has been crazy awesome!  I hooked and lost an unexpected bass that was a very nice size, but totally schooled me and my 3 wt.  I even snagged a carp that took off like a bat out of hell, and left me with a little parting gift.

Spring is here.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Dead Weight Fly - New Lids

My homie Ryan of Dead Weight Fly recently put up some new lids on his site for the 2016 season.  Go ahead and check them out.  

This one is speaking to me.  Would look great with my sunglasses.  What say you +Howard Levett ??

If you're not following Ryan on Instagram or FB then you're missing out on some of his killer work.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pink Squirrels and Hatches

While at the fly fishing expo, I purchased some much needed proven trout flies from Matt Ebbers.  On the way back to Chicago, Dave, and I stopped at the Rush River after pretty much everyone told us to go there while on our way back.

Dave and I doubled up about 15 minutes into our wade.  I hooked up with a small brook trout on a Matt Ebbers pink squirrel, and Dave caught a brown trout on...I have no idea...a trout fly.  Pretty fish.  Small fish, but pretty fish.
Doubled up.  Photo by UA Dave.
Me wading upstream.  Photo by UA Dave.
While on our wade back downstream to the car, I noticed that there were trout starting to rise.  As I continued to watch, more and more trout were rising and at a faster rate.  What is this madness I thought to myself.  I felt something crawling on the back of my was a black winged insect.  Very small with sort of a long body.  I was witnessing a hatch!

I quickly switched flies to the smallest black dry fly I had, and immediately told Dave to do the same.  After quite a few missed opportunities and some good laughs, I finally hooked up!  My first "match the hatch" trout, and a nice one at that!

The small fly that caught the brown trout above was from my purchase of trout flies from Phil's Phly Shop.  I am terrible with all the names of these small flies, and really only know if it's a nymph or a dry fly.  Haha

Well, that brown trout shot out of the water like a missle to take the fly, and it was AWESOME!

Friday, March 25, 2016

River Falls Fly Fishing Expo: PART TWO

Part Two of the River Falls Fly Fishing Expo.

I would just like to start off by saying, it was really great meeting and talking with everyone at the show, and I really wish there was more time to shoot the chit and chat all things fly fishing.

Erik Thue of Catch and Capture.  It was great meeting Erik.  I've been following his stuff on Instagram and Facebook for awhile now, and he ties some great flies, and has some great photography skills.

I've met James Durbin of Big Pike Flies a Way of Life has been around for awhile.  I've met him once before a few years ago at a Chicago Musky Expo.  He's a great fly tyer and has perfected his patterns for pike and musky.  Oh, and James definitely had thee most impressive mustache at the expo.

Ike of Chasing Fins Guide Service tying up some predator goodness for the St. Croix River.

Kevin @redbeard.flyfishing on Instagram is a great young fly tyer.  It was great meeting you, and I hope those flies catch you a lot of fish!!

Andy Selvig had one of the simplest displays, but it was surely the coolest one of them all.  It was a really awesome old milk crate/box.  Andy had 2 seminars throughout the day, one for intruder style flies, and another for deer hair divers.  He's a great fly tyer and his flies really show his skill.  I wish I would have taken a close up picture.

Didn't get a chance to talk with them, because, they were packing up, but I must say that Luke Swanson of Livin' the Dream Guide Service has some serious chops at the vise.  A few of the musky patterns that he still had out on his table really blew me away.  Keep up the impressive work!!

Photo taken from the Livin' the Dream Guide Service Facebook.

I didn't make many purchases at the expo, but I did purchase some much needed trout flies from a few fly tiers, one of those purchases coming from Phil's Phly Shop.  I picked up some random small dry flies.  Phil had a huge selection to choose from, so, I had him and his lovely wife pick them out for me.  Phil is a Navy Vet, and his wife is Filipino...My father was in the Navy, as well, and I am 1/2 Filipino, so, I had to give them some support!

Phil is teamed up with his friend Dan, and not only do they tie all of the flies shown above,  but they do some fantastic custom rod work.  They had some beautiful rods on display, and the custom cork work is stellar!  They don't have a website, but I'll leave the information from their cards below.  It was great talking and meeting all of you!

Phil's Phly Shop
Quality Phlys and Rods
Located on the South Fork of the Kinni
River Falls, Wisconsin

Dan Rach
Custom Fly Rods - Custom Flies - Rod Building Instruction - Fly Tying Lessons - Fly Casting

For everyone else that I met, but don't have any pictures of, it was great meeting all of you, especially, those of you that I follow on social media.  It's great putting a face to a screen name!

Matt Ebbers -  Matt has some exceptional skills at the vise whipping up streamers and trout flies.  Check out his instagram - @ebbsforce1

Joel Ebbers - Brother of Matt has some of the same skills, and visits Chicago often.  Maybe we'll get to wet a line one of these days when you're in town! Instagram - @ebbs81

Aaron Przybylski - I mentioned Aaron in my Film Tour night post.  He ties some really cool small streamers that I'm looking forward to sinking into some fish face!  He grew up in my area, and visits sometimes.  One of these days when he's in town, we'll definitely wet a line and catch some local bass.  Check out his instagram - @stcroixpeezworth

Eddie Rivard was at the show, but we did not know that either of us would be there until it was all over with.  Would have been great to meet you.  Eddie owns the blog Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing.

Grant Meyer - Great meeting you, dude!  A fellow Fig Parmer.  Check out his instagram - @meyer.grant.d

Thursday, March 24, 2016

River Falls Fly Fishing Expo: PART ONE

Late write up.

I had a great time at the River Falls Fly Fishing Expo.  +Brian J Smolinski of Lunds Fly Shop located in River Falls, Wisconsin organized a great event, and I am already looking forward to next year.  There were so many great vendors, guides, and fly tyers that I am breaking this up into 2 posts, so, be on the look out for part 2.

Not really a local hero. Ha
This was my first time participating in an expo, and tying in front of complete strangers in this type of setting.  I must say, that I truly enjoyed myself.  I had such a good experience, that I am already checking out what expo's are on the agenda for the rest of the year, and next year.

It was great meeting so many people, and having so many people enjoy my work.  I met +Ryan Frick of the blog On a Fly! and didn't even know it until I had returned from my trip.  Haha!  It was great talking with you on Friday and Saturday.  Wish I had known it was you, I would have loved to pick your brain about fishing your areas of the Driftless.

Musky poppers were a big hit.
Here are some more pictures from the expo.

Urban Assault Fly Fishing - Dave Kuntzelman

Another familiar face from Illinois was at the expo.  

One of the artists at the at the show was the talented Bob White.  While he was there, he was working on a painting of a brown bear and a cub on a hill.  It really was an honor watching him work on the painting.  It was really cool, and different.  All of the artists I've seen at shows just have their work on display, but this was the first time I've witnessed someone actually working on a piece.  I cannot wait to see the finished piece.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Minutes To Spare - First Brook Trout

Before the River Falls Fly Fishing Expo.  UA Dave and I decided to forego the early set up of our tables, and fish a stream that flowed on the backside of the parking lot of the building for the event.

We both hooked up with our first brook trout within minutes of each other.

It was awesome.

The brook trout was gorgeous.

I'm still pretty thrilled about the catch.  I just wish the light would have worked better with me, so, I could have captured all of it's colorful beauty, but you take what life gives you, and I didn't want to keep the fish in the net for long, so, off she went.

Big thanks goes out to +Brian J Smolinski and Lunds Fly Shop for jokingly telling Dave and I that there were fish in the stream behind the parking lot.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Musky Skittles

These were a big hit at the fly fishing expo.  Looking forward to making some more of these.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2016


This past weekend, UA Dave and myself jumped in my car at 330/4 AM and started our drive North.  The destination was +Brian J Smolinski shop - Lund's Fly Shop in River Falls, Wisconsin which is just about 40 minutes Southeast of Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

We were headed up for the River Falls Fly Fishing Festival, which consisted of the F3T on Friday night, and a Fly Fishing Expo on Saturday...and of course we had to do some fishing while up there.  We arrived at the shop around 9:30, and it was hard not to give Brian all of my money for all of the awesome things he had in his shop.  Haha  We hung out for a bit, and then went to fish, but not without being told where and what to use.

CARF Outdoors sticker has been added to the Lunds Fly Shop Vault.  Honored!  Can you spot it???
After leaving the shop, Dave and I, drove 5 minutes to the spot we were told would be good for fishing, and guess what we did next...fished.  Dave hooked up with his first 2 Wisconsin trout, both were browns, and both came when we were at the end of our fishing outing and I was waiting on the bank thinking about sandwiches and beer.

Fishing the Lower Kinni.  UA Dave in the distance
Dave trying to entice some risers.  No dice.
After fishing, we checked into our hotel and then headed over to the University of Wisconsin - River Falls campus to where the F3T event was being held.  The doors opened at 5 PM and the show didn't start until 7 PM.  During this time, Dave and I were able to set up shop with our fly tying gear and flies that we had for sale on the balcony near the ticket table.  There were a few other fly tyers and artists that had tables, as well.  Sort of a mini expo before the films started.

Whippin' up some Esox Bugs.
CARF Outdoors setup.
Dave getting down on some BBQ Pulled Pork and adding extra flavor to his flies.
There were a few other great fly tyers that had tables as well. (I forgot to take pictures of their tables. #fail)
  • Gabe Schubert - Gabe ties some of thee MOST impressive musky flies I have ever seen in my life.  One word to describe his work, "WOW."
  • Andy Selvig - Andy ties some really awesome intruder style flies that I don't know if I would display or fish them.
  • Aaron Przybylski - Aaron ties some really awesome small baitfish, that scream to bass and trout "EAT ME!"

Website - Kevin Lovegreen

Kevin Lovegreen is an Author of outdoor books for kids.  He had some great stuff that are easy reads, and will not only help kids get away from video games, but they will certainly help with their reading skills, and get them excited about fishing, hunting, and the outdoors.  Some really great stuff!!

Website - Josh DeSmit Art

Josh has some serious talent, as you can see from the painting of the brown trout above.  If you're into fishing, hunting, or can simply appreciate art, I highly suggest you check out his website and admire his work.  I have.

The F3T was great, and there were soooo many people!  The attendance doubled what I'm used to seeing here in the Chicago area.  There were also a ton of awesome raffle prizes that were donated to the event by some great sponsors.  The films that I found most memorable were Turning Points North, GEO BASS, and Tidewater.

Day 1 in the books.  It was a great day of fishing, tying, and meeting so many awesome people.  Be on the look out for Day 2.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

R4F - Stop On By!

Just a reminder, this weekend, CARF Outdoors will be in River Falls, Wisconsin participating in all of the fly fishing fun.  So, if you're headed to the Fly Fishing Film Tour aka the F3T on Friday night, look for +Dave Kuntzelman  (Urban Assault Fly Fishing + CHI-TIE) and myself.  Dave will be tying up some of the biggest flies for bluegill you have ever seen, so, you definitely won't want to miss that.

On Saturday, we will have our own tables at the Fly Fishing Expo.  We will both have stickers and flies available for sale.  Our friend PJ's Guide Service will also be at the show.  Stop on by and lets talk fish!

I should also add, that we will be doing as much fishing as we can with our free time, so, if you want to share some information with me about fishing opportunities in the River Falls area, that would be awesome and greatly appreciated!  Shoot me an email at - CARFOUTDOORS@GMAIL.COM

Hope to see some of you there!

For more information please click on the links below.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Balsa Is Not Dead

Great video that I've seen that has been catching some buzz around the interwebs.  It makes me wish I had the space for bigger tools.

Looks like Google is still having some minor issues, but some comments are staying put, and others are showing, not showing, then showing, and then disappearing again.  Let this end! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bass On The Mind

Just some recent flies that have come off of my vise.

CARF's clouser minnow variation.
I was wandering around Bass Pro Shops fly tying section one day and they had these Rainy's popper heads on clearance, and I just couldn't pass up the deal.  The green ones are medium, and the yellow are small.

Size 1 poppers in a froggy pattern.
Size 4 poppers.
There was a theme that night....can you guess?
Has Google fixed the G+ comment issue, yet?  I apologize if I have not replied to a past comment of yours.  I know Google is working on the issue, so, hopefully, they'll resolve it soon.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Chi-Tie February Meetup

What is Chi-Tie?

"We are just a group of fly fishers and tiers meeting up for a few beers while tying.  Trying to build connections and community among us in Chicago.  We welcome anyone and everyone."  - Chi-Tie

The core members of Chi-Tie are Dave Knutzelman (Urban Assault Fly Fishing), Adam Alexander (Adam Alexander Photography), and Tim Adkins (Critical Angling).

They meet on the 2nd Monday of each month, and I have been able to join them a few times.  One of those times was last month, and there was no particular theme.  There were some new and old faces, and everyone was tying something different.  Flies for bass, trout, and pike.

Few beers, few flies, and some great fishy conversation.  Always a good time at Galaway Bay.  So, if you're ever in the Chicagoland area and it's the 2nd Monday of the month, you definitely check out Chi-Tie.

Bunch of leeches I tied up.