Friday, July 21, 2017

OUT FOR A ROW

Alright - There's no doubt about it, that I have been slacking on my blog.  I don't want you all to think that I'm going to let this die off, because, I won't allow that.  Now that I'm pretty settled in up here in Minnesota, and have spent so much of my free time exploring and learning the lay of the land, trying to make new friends, fishing, and learning an entirely new job, I am starting to find my groove.

Good things are on the Horizon - Possibly another contest where the winner will receive their prize 1 year later...How does that sound, +Howard Levett ? :)

In the meantime while I figure that contest out.  Here's a VLOG of an outing I had with my new Flycraft Stealth.



Jake Keeler musky art on a gose style beer from Fulton Brewing.  Yes Please!

The Carf Outdoors #icatchsmallfish tour still in full effect!

Pretending to look like I know what I'm doing.  The reality is, I have no freakin' clue what I'm doing.  Just trying to look cool.

Monday, July 17, 2017

FLOATING THE ST. CROIX

READY TO ROCK N ROLL
Got out for a float with my homie Aaron of Scavenger Fly on the St. Croix River.  The plan was to row up river and drift back down in search of musky, pike, and smallmouth.  Our friend Ted surprised us when he said that he was on the river, too.  He met up with us, and generously offered to tow us up river.  THANKS TED!  You da man!!

Ted with the clutch tow.

Aaron...Focusing in on his precision casting.
Overall it was a great float and we all hooked into some fish.  No musky, but that quite alright.  There's always next time, right?!?!

Teeth in the net.

Backhanded casting. Photo by:  Aaron
Check out the short video I made of the outing.  I'm still working on brushing up my recording and editing skills, so, please be kind. :) 


If you liked the video, give it a THUMBS UP!  Oh, and don't forget to subscribe.

Looking forward to the next float on the St. Croix.

Check out the link below.
SCAVENGER FLY - Website
SCAVENGER FLY - Instagram

Friday, July 7, 2017

I BOUGHT SOMETHING BIG

I bought a Flycraft Stealth boat/raft...whatever you want to call it.  I can't seem to make up my mind, so, I've been referring to it as both.  Big purchase for me, but I am stoked to own it, and get it on the water.  I know what most of you all are probably thinking, that's an expensive raft, but the way I see it is...
  1. I don't need a trailer.
  2. I don't need a garage or driveway to store trailer or an actual boat. (Wish I did, though.)
I can put this thing away in a closet in my bedroom....or I can leave it inflated and use it as a couch in my living room.  I don't think my roommates would mind.  Hahaha

Here's a video of me unboxing it and setting it up (not the full installation)



Big round of applause for my roommate Ben for posing for this picture...for America...and my entertainment. Haha


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Thursday, July 6, 2017

I Still Fish

Just a little reminder to all of you, and me, that I still fish.  In fact, I have become a master of catching small fish.  #icatchsmallfish - It's my new thing.


In the picture below, my white sunglasses are still alive and well.  You will all be happy to learn they will soon be making a return.  Superglue is a wonderful thing.


Casting for small fish with my 5 wt.
...and below is a random picture of a water tower near my place in Saint Paul.  It has a moon attached to it.  I believe I shared a picture of this water tower, but it was at night.  Well, here it is during the day.


Monday, June 19, 2017

GRANDERSLAM 2017 IS A GO

Let the 2017 Grander Slam games begin!


The week long contest kicked off on Friday the 16th at 6 PM with a run down of the rules at Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop.  The rules will clear and simple - Don't be a dick.

Wasting no time this weekend, I did quite a bit of fishing.  I am traveling to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a work training thing, and I'll be gone until Friday the 23rd...the day the contest ends. **UPDATE** I am not a smart man.  I was kindly reminded the contest ends Sunday 6/25.  That gives me more time to fish. :) Thanks, Rhea!

It's Monday morning now, and I am pretty much done fishing until this coming Friday when I return.  I'll have a few hours before the final buzzer and I'm hoping to knock off a few more fish, but we'll see.  For now, below you'll find what I've caught.  I'm positive that this will not be enough to win it, but whatever, it was fun!

Species: Bluegill
Length: 7.25 inches

Species: White Crappie
Length: 6.25 inches

Species: Green Sunfish
Length: 4.25 inches

Species: Pumpkinseed
Length: 5.75 inches

Species: Largemouth Bass
Length: 15 inches

Species: Blue Floss Fish
Length: 2.75 inches

To keep up with all of the 2017 Grander Slam action search the hashtag on social media (Facebook, Instagram etc.) 
#GRANDERSLAM2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

TRAGEDY

I would just like to let all of you know, that it is possible for nightmares to become reality.  While in the Boundary Waters 2 weekends ago, tragedy struck.  While on a mile hike to a lake to see if any walleye were biting, I had to crouch under a tree, but I forgot that I had my beloved white sunglasses in the pocket of my rain jacket.  As I went under the downed tree, I heard a crack.  I knew then and there that it was my sunglasses.

We had a good run.

RIP Summer 2009 - May 28, 2017


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.