Friday, April 29, 2016

Daisy Meets Larry Largemouth Bass

My first decent sized bass of the year out of the backyard lake.  My dog Daisy was there, too, and it was her first time seeing a fish.  It freaked her out at first, and then I got her to come on over and say hi.

I present you, the many faces of a confused happy dog.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pike On The Mind

My buddy DanK found this picture, and shared it with me not long ago.  I posted it on my Instagram, so, you might have seen it.  I really wish I knew the orgin of it, because, I LOVE IT!  I've tried a few Google searches but came up empty.  It gets me excited for the upcoming season.  I cannot wait to get into some predator fish with teeth!

I've been slowly building a stockpile of flies.  Some for myself, but most of them are for others.  The one below is an articulated double, and it'll find it's way into my personal box, and hopefully, it's next stop is the jaws of a musky or pike.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ice Jigs for FSA Custom Rods

My homie +Ed Schmitt of FSA Custom Rods reached out to me, and asked if I would be interested in decorating some ice jigs he plans on pairing up with some custom ice rods he's building for some Veterans.  Without hesitation, I agreed to the job.

About 2 weeks later, my GF was going through our mail, and asked what I ordered from the "Used Anal Bead Emporium.  Wait...what did you say?!?!  I got something from the WHAT? HAHA!!!!  Luckily the contents of the envelope contained zero anal beads - used or new, and only some tungsten ice fishing jigs, stickers, and a note from my buddy Ed.  Oh, what a funny guy you are!  Haha  I got a really good laugh out of that.

Now what the heck to do with these jigs.  Very different than what I'm used to, but a hook is a hook, and after much thought, I had an idea.

I painted them all orange.  In retrospect, I should have only done half in orange, and the other half in another color or left them the original color, but oh well.  I'll just blame it on the beer that I'm pretty sure I was drinking that night.

A little flash, Senyo Fusion dub, and viola, ice jigs completed.  Hopefully, these will go great with the ice rods that Ed is building, but more importantly I hope they catch some fish for those Veterans that need some fish action through some hard water.

Ed is a Veteran of the Marine Corps, a very talented rod builder, and obviously a funny guy who is a fan of used anal beads.  He's built rods for quite a few of us here in the Chicagoland area.  He can do any type of rod; casting, spinning, fly, or ice.  Some others that can attest to the quality of his work are Brookfield Angler, and The Impractical Fisherman.  

So, if you're in the market for a new rod, shoot Ed an email at - and be sure to like his Facebook page FSA Custom Rods.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

2016 Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series

With a new year comes a whole new Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series aka GLKFS is a lot of fun and organized by some knowledgeable kayak anglers such as +Colin Belle and Brookfield Angler.  I have participated in a few of the events the past 2 years, and have always had a great time.  Unfortunately, I do not think any of the dates will work out for me this year, but I highly recommend you give 1 or all the stops a shot!


May 14th - Fox Chain O'Lakes
Target Species - Walleye, Catfish, and Panfish

June 11th - Madison Chain of Lakes
Target Species - Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass

July 24th - Mazonia/Braidwood
Target Species - Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass

September 10th - Manitowoc/Lake Michigan
Target Species - All Trout/Salmon

Tournament entry fee is $45 per event, but if you pay up front for all 4, it's $160, and that nets you a total of $20 in savings.  There are cash and gear prizes for placing in each event, but there are also a ton of door prizes to be raffled away to everyone at the event after the winners are announced.  Like I said, I had a great time at past events, and while I never placed, I walked away with some pretty sweet gear won in the raffle/door prizes.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hardly, Strictly Musky

McMinnville, Tennessee Musky, I am coming for you, but totally not expecting to catch you or even see you.  I'll be attending the 2016 Southern Classic - Hardly, Strictly Musky hosted by Towee Boats.  The event runs May 12 though the 14th.  

The Team - Dave and Chris.

The Goal - Have Fun!

While I'm not too positive that I'm going to even see a musky, I do expect to have a great time spent drinking beer, and talking with other musky nuts.  There's actually going to be quite a few guys from Illinois making the trip down.  Few of them I haven't met, but I am looking forward to meeting.

There's still time to register if you're interested in the event.

 Tenetive schedule for this years event.

I should note, this event is fly fishing only.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Trouterspace & The Remedy Fishing Channel

The dudes at Trouterspace and The Remedy Fishing Channel have uploaded a new video, and it's a fantastic.  Short, sweet, and get's me jazzed to get on my kayak to do some fly fishing for smallies and pike.

If you don't already, I suggest you follow them, because, they're always putting out quality stuff.  They also have one of the cooler blog names out there.  I'd name a few others, but I'll save that for a future post.

Click here for their website.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Zombie's Need More Cowbell

The weather has been super fantastic here in the Chicagoland area.  (That's sarcasm.)

Rain - Rain - Sunny - Rain - Snow - Sunny - 30 degree's - 50 degree's - Snow - Sun - and more rain.

With that said, it gave me some much needed time to get some cleaning done around the house, and more importantly get my fly tying desk in order, so, I can once again sit at the vise and fill some spaces in my personal fly boxes, and to fill some orders.

With the end of my favorite show The Walking Dead last week, and the start of their other show Fear The Walking Dead, I was in the zombie mood, and the flies I whipped up yesterday displayed just that.

Zombie inspired Minimum Cowbell's

Zombie's need more cowbell, right?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Tenkara Angler - Spring Edition

The Spring Edition of Tenkara Angler is out, and if you haven't yet, I suggest you check it out.  Whether you're a Tenkara angler or not, you will most certainly enjoy the articles in this magazine, and maybe, just maybe you'll find yourself wanting to pick up a Tenkara rod, and giving it a shot.  I know I want one, and definitely see one in my future. 

The articles/essays I enjoyed.
Brookies & Beer
The World in Black & White
Matching Nature
Tenkara Abroad

Click on the link below to view the eMagazine

Friday, April 8, 2016


So, more than a few months ago, I was sent a direct message on Instagram.  The message was from "Keep It Reel Fishing."  I was not the only person this message was sent to, there were, I think 19 other recipients.  (Whatever the max per message is.)  

The message read as follows:

So, after reading that, you're probably super jealous that myself and those 19 others received such a tasty deal, and you didn't....AM I RIGHT?!?!?!

For real, after I read that message, I laughed, and read it again.  Now I know what you're thinking, there's no way that pitch worked.  I was thinking the same exact thing.  




I couldn't believe my eyes, and that's when it hit me.  All of the individuals that responded that were "interested" were young kids.  What a low low thing to do...that terrible sales pitch combined with the use of the term "PRO STAFF" just fooled these young kids.  They saw the term "PRO STAFF" and got excited, and bought a shirt, because, they're going to be on a pro staff.

I get it, you want to make money with your shirt sales.  I'm cool with that.  They should have just said, "the only way to be posted on our page, is if you buy a shirt, and are wearing that shirt in your fishy photo.  In turn this could lead to more likes and followers on your personal page." ...and left it at that.  Maybe I'm wrong about the message they sent, maybe some of you will agree with me, and some of you won't.

Just remember, I get it.  They're just trying to capitalize on the free and glorious open market that is Instagram, and I've got no issue with that.  I just disagree with how they are doing it, well in this case particular.

I did end up replying, and it went like this.....

Not a bad deal, right??  I was really hoping we could work out a deal, and Pro Staff each other, but Keepitreelfishing, doesn't fly fish.  Boo hoo.  Not to worry!!  I am always prepared.  I've also got codes of my own, too!

Unfortunately, I was ignored by all.  I think I should have used the term "PRO STAFF" more, and maybe I could have hooked Keepitreelfishing to join forces.  Not the case.  Keepitreelfishing continued to "fish" for more sales the next day, and then I left a comment that was 100% true.

I received a new private direct message from keepitreelfishing sent to me, and me only soon after my comment.  Did they finally cave and decide to exchange Pro Staff titles????


Unfortunately, they were not happy with my comment, because, it was the truth.

Apparently, I am a broke, jealous, hater, that catches half pounders....

Then why offer me such an amazing deal to be a part of the Keep It Reel Fishing - Pro Staff!?!?!  If you know I'm broke, why ask me to buy something.  If you don't like the 1/2 pounders I catch, why ask me to be on your "PRO STAFF"!?!?!?!

Well, after informing them that Pro Staffing was a competitive market, I was blocked, and could no longer communicate with them.  I was just trying to keep it real, but it's unfortunate, they were not.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

North 40 Fly Shop eMag: Spring Edition

Bored at work, and need something to pass the time?  The North 40 Fly Shop eMag is out.  There are some great articles in there, and my favorite would have to be Shucking Prawns and Skating Bulls.  Clink on the link below to check it out.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CARF's Renegade

I've been working on a new fly pattern, and trying to come up with a name for it.  I have finally decided.  

I present to you, CARF's Renegade.  An articulated streamer that will surly get the attention of both large and smallmouth bass, meat eating trout, and bluegill with big cahones.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Midwest Drift 2016 Carp Fly Swap

Here's a quick review of the awesome flies I received as a participant of the 2016 Carp Fly Swap hosted by The Midwest Drift.  Big thanks goes out to the guys at The Midwest Drift for hosting the swap.  I had a good time tying up the flies that I submitted and I'm really excited that I now have a carp box, with actual carp flies!

Maybe this year, I'll catch more than one.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

2016 Illinois Fishing License

Just a reminder to all from Illinois.  Our Illinois fishing licenses have expired, and it's time to get to your local tackle & Bait, or big box store to get your 2016 Fishing License.

To purchase your Illinois fishing license online click the link below.

...and remember.