Friday, May 26, 2017

BMFS GRANDER SLAM

Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop in Saint Paul Minnesota just dropped some big news for all Minnesota fly fisher peoples.  You can for sure count me in on this, although I'll be out of town in Sioux Falls South Dakota from June 19-23rd for a work training course, so, I'll be at a huge disadvantage missing the majority of the week.  Oh well, it's going to be awesome.  Peep the details below!


Details from the original post.
In this land of 10,000 lakes, 70,000 miles of rivers and streams and 162 species of fish (according to Wikipedia) we have fishing diversity that is second to none. This summer let's celebrate what we have with the 2017 GRANDER SLAM TOURNAMENT. Starting June 16th and spanning 10 days to June 25th, the fly angler who catches the most species of fish wins. So clear your calendar, and get ready to use up some over due PTO. Be ready to explore new waters and techniques. You're going to need to get out of your comfort zone to win this one. Registration will open 6/2. More details to come. #GranderSlam2017 #mnflyshop


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

HOPS AND HOPPERS

Now that Winter and Spring have gone, the open tie nights at Lake Monster Brewing hosted by Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop have come to a close.  For those of us that don't ice fish or do any winter fishing, it's a great excuse to get out of the house, drink a beer, talk fishing, and shake off that little bit of cabin fever.

My first open tie night back in February when I first moved to Minnesota.
The last open tie night was back in April, so, I know this is a very late post, but I still wanted to share.  These open tie nights, were super beneficial to me while being new up here.  It allowed me to get out and make some friends, and have some fun at the same time.

Articulated streamer on some very sharp Partridge of Redditch hooks.
I've tied a few flies, but mostly socialized at these gatherings.  It was a great way to put some faces to quite a few people I have interacted with through social media.

2 flies tied....and then given away.

What a cool pair of scissors....can you see what it is??

Rhea Hawkins working the crowd, per usual.

Good times had by all.
The picture below is a funny one - I was told the moon was out, and it did look out, but something was a bit fishy about it.  I didn't have my glasses and don't see very well at night for distance, so, I was almost fooled.  Almost, Rhea.

They were almost fooled, too. Almost.

Fish.
BIG THANKS GOES OUT TO:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

MEND IT.

This is a super late post, but back in March...or was it April.  I have no idea.  Sometime this early Spring I went fishing.  It was fun, and I was given some trout fishing lessons from Joel Ebbers, Matt Ebbers, and Aaron Przybylski of Scavenger Fly as they sat on the bank of a juicy run and watched me fish.

The words of advice I received from all of them.
"Mend It.  Mend It.  Mend It.  Mend It."

Joel working a run while Aaron watches intently.
Aaron and I started out with streamers, but switched over to nymphs and the fishing really turned on for everyone but me, but that's expected, because, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Aaron hooked up with a brown trout...

...almost got it...
...and fish.


Matt working a nymph in the distance.

Aaron showing me how to "MEND IT"
Matt working one of his finely tied streamers through a really nice run that should have produced a few trout more than it did.


Almost forgot Mr. Jim Aronson was there at the start of the day, but left early....and of course he did what he always does - catch fish.

Brown trout caught by Jim.

Driftless brown trout caught by Jim.


Big thanks to the guys for showing me the ways of trout, and how important it is to mend your line.  An extra big thanks goes out to Joel and Matt for picking up my net that fell off of me while making my way back to the car.  Oh, and a nice to meet you goes out to Jake White who we came across on the walk back.


Until next time.

Friday, May 5, 2017

CHECK THE REGS

My first fish in the state of Minnesota was illegal.
The photograph above shows a beautiful healthy smallmouth bass, a big smile on my face, and my ever so popular white sunglasses, but there's a big issue that is not shown in the photograph.  This fish was caught during the closed season for bass here in Minnesota, and I had no idea.

I had completely forgot that I wasn't in Illinois, and overlooking the fact that each state has different regulations, even for catch and release.  I'm thankful for the 2 guys that shot me a message to inform me, because, I would have kept fishing on my lunch break while unknowingly breaking the rules.  Big shout out goes to Tom of Voyageur Pursuits and Aaron of Scavenger Fly.  You guys saved me a future fishing ticket, and I THANK YOU!

Minnesota Fishing Dates

Walleye, Northern Pike and Bass - May 13 - Feb 25

Musky - June 3 - Dec 1

Crappie, Blueys, White Bass, Perch, Channel Cats, Bull heads - Open year round

For more information on Minnesota fishing regulations, please visit this link - MINNESOTA FISHING REGULATIONS

If you're traveling or have moved to a new state, don't be like me, remember to check the regulations.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Light Box

Last summer I purchased a light box, and I am just now starting to fool around with it.  I'm really happy with the purchase, and I'm looking forward to utilizing it more for flies.  If you don't have a light box, there are many ways to DIY one.  I know my buddy Dave has made one in the past that constisted of a black t-shirt, and some aluminum foil.

Before editing.
Here we have a very delicious beer from a pretty awesome brewery in the Chicagoland area.  Mikerphone Brewing.  Such a fun and cool concept as far as label art, and beer names, because, they're all some sort of musical reference.  Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit..if you don't get the reference, it a Nirvana album, and instead of a naked baby swimming in a pool chasing some money...it's a coffee bean baby chasing Vermont maple syrup.  Great beer by the way!!!

After editing.
If you don't recognize the fly below, you must be new to following me.  Haha.  It's one of my favorite patterns for northern pike, bass, and even had a few musky take a swipe at it.


Another great beer from Mikerphone Brewing.  Mikerphone Check 1. 2.  I added a little prop in the glass to make the photograph a little more fun.


Lastly, we have a predator sized top water fly from my homie Dave.  I love how the colors pop on this one.  The rubber legs look electric!


Winner Winner...no chicken dinner!



The winner of my little caption contest is none other than the subject himself - +Howard Levett of Windknots & Tangled Lines.  The contest was not rigged, I promise.  I had my lovely new GF go through the comments and decide who was her favorite.  Prize - Hat, Flies, and Stickers.  I'll let you know when those fresh trouty bugs are all tied up, Howard.

Be on the look out for another contest.



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Big Trout Flies

Since moving to Minnesota, I have been trout fishing more in the past 3 months than I have the past 4 years when I lived back in Illinois.  I have also learned that trout don't shy away from big flies, either.  Usually, the big trout flies are streamers of some sort, and tied by Aaron Przybylski of Scavenger Fly or Matt Ebbers.  I've decided to mix it up and tie up some very effective small flies, bigger.... 

What do you think?


Don't forget the little caption contest I'm hosting - CAPTION CONTEST.  The winner will be chosen tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, April 24, 2017

CUCUMBER SALMON BITES

I have mentioned it in the past, but my very beautiful and talented cousin Brianna has a food blog - Swinton Kitchen.  I'm not one for recipes, and usually just make things based on what I know works together.  Recently, I decided that I was going to give one of her recipes a shot.

I chose the Swinton Kitchen: Cucumber Salmon Bites, and let me tell ya...they turned out fantastic, and delicious!!!

My finished product. Devoured moments after this photo.
Next up on my Swinton Kitchen list to try are the Apple Cookies.  I'll report back.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Let's Have Some Fun

Alrighty - I promised you guys a contest back in January, I believe.  I am now ready to follow through with that.  I've also decided to make it a string of contests, so, consider this the first of quite a few.  Exciting right?!?!


I'm all for jokes and laughing, and favorite comments to scroll through are found on "CAPTION THIS" contests that you would see on the Book of Face, and IG.  With that said, I give you...

CAPTION THIS

Below you'll find a picture of our beloved Blogging friend +Howard Levett from WINDKNOTS AND TANGLED LINES.  I will have one of my coworkers choose the best comment next Wednesday 04/26.  There are prizes for the winner.  I will disclose the prize once the winner is chosen.  Oh, and Howard is allowed to participate.

Now...ENTERTAIN ME! 


There is no cap on how many comments you make.  I do ask 1 favor, but it's not required - Subscribe to my CARF Outdoors YouTube Channel.  It's not required to participate, but it'd be cooler if you did.  I have some things in the works for that, that I believe you all will enjoy.  :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

RUSH

Rush... Rush River - It's not known for slappin' da bass, and if it is, I'm sorry for misinforming you all.  What I can tell you is that it rocks as a fishery!


With me being a "FIB" - I am ever so grateful of everyone that's invited me out fishing with them since I've moved up here to Minnesota.  There's truly some really awesome people up here, especially within the fly fishing community.

On this particular outing I was invited out by Jim, and his friend Ted.  The morning was cold, and it got even colder with the wind.

Suns out.
The area was scenic, and that kind of made you forget about the cold winds - That's BS.  Those cold winds were winning the battle, and letting you know each and every breeze that it was there.  The fishing was extremely slow, but I always manage to hook into rocks or fish sticks.

Snag City.
Long hikes to even more scenic areas yielded no trout.  Determined to hook up with trout the way that we wanted to, on a streamer, both Jim and I were stubborn to change flies.  It was also way too cold to be tying knots haha.

Can you believe that nothing came out of the brush pile.
Ted had been using a nymph rig all day, and I'm not quite sure the number of fish he caught, but I can certainly say that he was catching fish.  That was a positive sign.

On to a new location on the Rush, and I was still tossing a streamer.  I finally hooked up with 1, but shortly lost it as I was jumping in the water off the bank.  Jim switched to a nymph rig, and was able to entice a decent little brown from out of a pool that should have produced more.

Ted showing us where all the fish are.

Jim hooked up in his honey hole.
These brown trout of the Driftless really have a particular beauty to them.

Butter in the net.
A big THANKS goes out to Jim, and Ted for having me out with them on the Rush, and showing me where to grab a damn good burger on the way home!

The trek back with Jim and Ted's excellent adventure.
THE RUSH.

IT ROCKS.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kinnickinnic River

The Kinni (Kinnickinnic) River - I've fished it once last year when I was up here with my homie Dave for the River Falls Fly Fishing Expo hosted by Brian from Lunds Fly Shop.
I was invited out to fish the Kinni by John and there would be 3 others with the group - Robert of Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop, Charlie Forbes, and Jigger Jim.

The day started early.  It was cold, slightly windy, and as the day progressed the warmth of the sun was seeked.  The guides on our rods were freezing up, and there were no fish being caught, but damn was it nice to be out.


The difference in temperature between the shaded and sun hit area was fun.  We all much preferred the sun.

John and Charlie discussing flies and Jim working a very nice pool in the distance.

Theme of the day.
Robert trying his hand at a pool Jim just finished working.  The rest of us were working on our tans.

While Jim and Robert were working the pool above, Charlie, started to rig up a nymphing rig.  We were all tossing streamers all day and the only person who hooked up was Jim.  Once rigged up, Charlie worked the pool and caught a few little browns.  He then suggested and insisted that he rig me up with a nymph, and I agreed...first cast and drift I had a fish on, and I didn't even know it.  Haha

Thanks, for the picture, Jim!
On the trek back John found a deer carcass frozen in some shallow water along the bank.  Interested to see if it had a rack, he started to kick some of the ice, and that unsettled some very potent smells, which lead to some laughs and the end the day.

Kick and Sniff.
Done.

A big thank you goes out to John, Robert, Charlie, and Jim, for inviting me out and showing me some new water.  Much appreciated guys!


The Kinni.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

BREAKING NEWS!


I am moving to Minnesota.  

Yep, you read that right.  I, Justin M. Carfagnini, am picking up and leaving the state of Illinois, where I have resided almost all of my 34 years of existence.  This has been in the works for a few months, and now it's official.

Am I excited - Absolutely.
Am I scared - You bet your behind.

The move is going to come quick, and I have to be in the Minneapolis area on February 1st, so, there's a few things I need to take care of by that time, like...finding a place to live. Hahaha!

I'm really excited for this new opportunity, and I'm looking forward to experience life in a new city/state that I have only visited one time.  Talk about taking a leap.


Lets all hope the outcome is much better than that.

How fitting I rerecorded this cover of Green Day - Good Riddance just the other day.  This was the first song I learned how to play on the guitar.