Showing posts with label minnesota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minnesota. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Saint Paul/Minneapolis

Friday - March 16th
7:30 P.M. - Bitchin' (Close at Midnight)

755 Prior Ave N.
Saint Paul, MN 55104


Also, my homie Brooks Miller with the Minnesota Twins will be there with a few pairs of Twins tickets to give away, so, this is definitely an event you'll not want to miss!  So come on out to hang, chill, participate, learn, or whatever.  This is open to all skill levels and we HIGHLY encourage people that have never fly fished or tied a fly before to come out and join in on the fun.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Fishing trips are the best with some fun friends.  Before the Minnesota bass, pike, and walleye season closed on February 25th, my homie Ed drove up from Chicagoland to go ice fishing with me and Troy.  The chosen destination was Leech Lake and we were staying at Trappers Landing.

Of course I caught a small fish.  It's what I do.
The fishing was slow, but the beer and laughs were plentiful.  I made a short video of the weekend trip.  Check it out below, and don't forget to subscribe to the new channel.

MY GEAR Camera - Lens #1 - Lens #2 - Lens #3 - GoPro - Microphone - Laptop - Memory Card Case - **The above links are Amazon Associate links**

Thursday, February 1, 2018


High Falls.  A 120 foot drop makes this waterfall the highest fall in the state of Minnesota.  Another unique thing about these falls is that it's located in the Grand Portage State Park on the Pigeon River that separates the US and Canada.

Where's the low falls?
The trail that leads you to the falls is very well marked.  I've been to this place in the summer, and there were definitely a lot more people around hiking the man made trail paths and taking in the views.  For this time of year, I was really surprised to see that the trails were somewhat maintained.  There's some ice on the stairs closer to the falls, but at least there isn't 2 feet of snow covering the trail.

With the there being ice on the trail, it's a good thing I had my Diamond Grip Yaktrax to help me stand up to winter.

Walking in a winter wonderland.
The Native Americans developed "The Grand Portage" ...meaning "the great carrying place."

High Falls
Upon arriving to the falls, it was clear that it's been frozen for some time now.  It was very cool to see it completely frozen over, and see water still escaping out of the bottom of the ice.  There was also an opening located in the middle of the falls acting as a window, and showing that water is still flowing behind the ice.

That's a lot of ice.
In the photograph below, if you look just left of the center, you can somewhat see the window through the ice.  Granted, it's a still photograph, but you get the idea.

Closer view.
If you ever find yourself up near the Grand Portage, High Falls is a place I'd definitely recommend to stop and see, regardless of what time of year it is.  It was really interesting to see how green and full of life it is during the summer, but equally as interesting to see in the dead of winter where everything is full of snow and ice.

Everybody Chill
Yaktrax 2 -

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018


If you find yourself in the Twin Cities area on Thursday 02/01/2018, then you'll want to stop by Gulden's Restaurant & Bar for a Saint Paul Fly Tiers meeting and demo.  There will be a deer hair packing and stacking demonstration conducted by Andy Selvig.  Andy claims that he's only good at a few flies, but actually sucks at most things.  Come on out and witness something that Andy doesn't suck at.

When working with deer hair, you have to be gentle.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Special Saint Paul Fly Tiers meeting is going down tonight (Tuesday 01/30/2018).  Member or not...ALL ARE WELCOME!  So, come on down to Gulden's Restaurant & Bar tonight to see the Musky Madman himself, Brad Bohen.  He will be doing a fly tying demo and he will have a bunch of Primo Tail materials available for sale.  He will have Primo Tail Bucktail, Hang Time Hackle, and some very killer Bohen Bionic Bucktail Brushes aka B4 for sale. Brad accepts cash or PayPal.

If you can, be there! 

TUESDAY - 01/30/2018
5 - 9:00 P.M.

2999 NORTH HWY 61

Brad's Links

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


It's official - I have caught the ice fishing itch.  I went out and bought myself a used single person flip over sled, 8" hand auger, and a real cheap ice rod combo.  Now my Vexilar is no longer alone as the lone piece of ice fishing gear.

I will not ice fish without one of these.
I drove out on White Bear lake.  Since there were roughly 3 billion trucks on the lake already when I pulled up to the boat ramp, I figured the ice would be safe enough for me to drive out on.  This was the first time I took my own vehicle out on the ice, and let me tell you, it was extremely nerve wrecking.

It's so loud - I love it!
Using my Navionics, I looked for what would be the best spot.  After driving out to the spot I had chosen that would yield fish, I learned that I was not the only person who thought that was a good spot.  There were already quite a few ice houses over the exact areas I wanted to set up shop.  I settled for an area somewhat near them.

Didn't realize my auger and shelter were from the same company.
I set up a tip up with a jig and tipped it with a few Gulp grub worms, and then I set up my shelter.  If was much roomier than I had expected for 1 person, and it kept me out of the cold wind.  I was loving it.  I started jigging and marked a bunch of fish on my flasher, but couldn't get anything to commit.  When I did finally coax a fish into biting the jig it turned out to be a MONSTER...not really.

Monster Perch.
The action was non stop with twinkie sized perch.  I was entertained and super stoked that the CARF Outdoors #icatchsmallfish tour was on fire to kick off the year.

More Monster Perch.
Below is a live stream of the action that is ice fishing with CARF Outdoors.  Don't look away, because, you might miss the action.

Real Time Feed of the happenings inside the ice shelter.  Don't stop watching!
White Bear Lake - You've been conquered by CARF Outdoors.

White Bear Lake.

Flip Over Shelter

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Monday, January 22, 2018


If you do not have any winter activities, and the cabin fever is starting to settle in just remember to Keep Calm & Tie Flies.  A message I received from Partridge of Redditch hooks that I just wanted to pass on to all of you.

Minimum Cowbell: A fly.
If you don't tie flies, then I suggest you start learning.  It's a great way to stay fishy, flex your creative muscles, and refill your fly boxes for Spring Summer and Fall fishing.  

If that still doesn't do anything for you, order a pizza.  Pair that pizza with an adult beverage of some sort, a sports game on T.V. or a classic trilogy like Indiana Jones or The Naked Gun, and you'll be happy...until the next time you order another pizza.

Keep Calm & Tie Flies
Rising Stellar Scissors -
Vedavoo Bench Basin -
Rite Bobbin Half Hitch -
Peak Vise -

(Note: The links will not give you the color I used for this fly.)
Tail Filler
Tail Flash
Body (Wrapped)
Body (Bottom)

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Monday, January 15, 2018


Lightfield BBQ and I were back on the ice and exploring new hard water.  I don't know what I would do without the phone app Navionics.  It's seriously the best $10 I've spent in a long long time.  Without it, I would have no idea the depth I am fishing in my raft, kayak, or when I am out ice fishing.

Is your Navionics working??
On this day, we were on the hunt for anything.  Having only caught 1 fish in our previous outing "WALLY WALLY - WHERE YA AT" we decided that we would set out with the goal of just catching fish.  Any fish.  So we targeted some shallower water.

How Swiss Cheese is made.
After popping a popping some holes and contributing to making this lake look like Swiss cheese, we set up shop, and got our flashers in the holes and were immediately marking fish.  Time to get our jigs down there and see who wants to play.

Red illumination coming from the heater is a very welcomed sight when the temperature is in the single digits.  Lights on the flashers are even more welcome, and get the adrenaline going so that you can temporarily forget about the cold.

The game of lights.
We both were making so many fish.  I literally had my face in the hole as I was watching the fish take turns swipe at my jig.  I spotted a few sizable fish with my eyeballs, but the small ones were the only willing participants.  I changed jigs a few times to bigger sizes, but still nada.

Monsters Exist.
Lightfield and I had some fun none the less, hooking up with a plethora of small perch and 2 sunnies.  Nothing worthy to keep, but still a lot better than just sitting there wonder if I was ever going to see my rod bend.

The long arm technique to make catches look bigger.

The release back into the ice hole.
This ice fishing sport is quickly growing on me, and I'm looking forward to getting out on the ice a lot more, and hopefully experiencing what it's like to hook into much bigger fish.  My first fish of the 2018 year was this 10 pound perch (pictured below).  I couldn't believe the gut on this one.  It looked as if it had eaten a bowling ball.

10 pound perch.
Some advice for all fisher-people, regardless of time of year, fly fishing, gear fishing, and ice fishing.  Don't forget to close up your tackle boxes before bumping your ass into them.  That is of course, if you're not in training to be the best at the game pick up sticks.

Gear all over the place is my favorite.
Instagram - @JUSTINCARF


Rod Holder -

**The above links are Amazon Associate links**

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


This was my first fishing outing of the new year, and we were on the hard water in search of anything...but mostly walleyes and crappie.

Lightfield clearing some snow for the hub.
We pulled up to the lake we were going to fish, and there were quite a few vehicles and ice shelters already out.  It was a good sign to my homie, but to me, it just added to the fear of being on the ice.

Poppin' holes.

A gas powered auger is a luxury...need to get one for myself.
After drilling some holes, setting up the hub, we were inside sitting pretty.  I have never had such luxuries in the few times I have been out ice fishing.  A gas auger, 4 person hub, propane heater, and camping chairs...I felt like I was in the Presidential Suite.  I could get used to this...

The Presidential Suite.
We each had 2 rods rigged up.  One setup to dead stick a minnow, and the other we were jigging with.  The fishing was really slow.  We were fishing in about 26 feet of water near some drop offs, with hopes there were be fish hanging around the edges.  We also chose our spot, because, there were a bunch of other ice shelters around. :)

Working it.

I could get used to this.

Waiting for some action on the flasher.
Late in the afternoon, just as I was about to go out to the truck for something, I had glanced down at my flasher, there were some extra lights.  Finally some action!  I slowly jigged my lure and then my rod bent.  I set the hook and began to quickly reel, but the fish came undone after 2 seconds.  Bummer!  It felt like a good one, too.

Shortly after my failed attempt to bring a fish in, my buddy Lightfield marked a few more fish and he was then hooked up.  This fish put a solid bend in his rod.
Lightfield hooked up on his custom FSA Custom Rods ice rod.
Lightfield found Wally.  It was the only fish that we caught, and it was a good one.  Would have been nice to hook up with a few more, but I was just happy to be out fishing.  Looking forward to getting back out on the hard water.  Just need to get some ice fishing gear of my own.

Lightfield and Wally.



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Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Part One - The Pink Tutu

Jim perusing the selection for the fly of The Root River Rod Co.
After fishing all morning and only coming up with 1 brown trout brought in by the illustrious Jim. We (Grant, Jim and I) decided to take a walk down Main Street.  Here we are, 3 guys in waders carrying fly fishing rods and walking the streets of a small town in rural Minnesota, and we come across a fly shop none of us had ever been to - Root River Rod Company.

Shop owner Steve Sobieniak whipping up some lunch time bugs.
The shop was clean, bright, and welcoming.  The shop owner Steve Sobieniak was very informative letting us in on what the local fish are keying in on this time of year, and was even nice enough to whip us up some fresh flies for our departure back to the river.

Jim supports local business, but also knows how to get info.
Jim just couldn't leave without making a purchase to support the local business, but also being a resident of Minnesota, you can never have too many quality gloves during winter.  Jim was also excited to see a whole section dedicate to Root River Hackle, and he proceeded to rave about the quality of the feathers.

Steve pointing us in the right direction.
Jim's purchase also bought us some extra information, in the form of a hand drawn map.  Unfortunately, after Steve completed the drawing, we all learned that we could not take the map, because, it was kind important to the shop, but that's what camera phones are for, right!?

Steve discovering the map was on something important. :)
Stoked to get back out on the water with some local intel we stepped out of Root River Rod Company, and saw a watering hole across the street.  It's lunch time, and we deserve a drink for all of the hard work we put in on the water during the cold winter morning.  

Sitting at the bar in our waders, tossing back a $3 personal pitcher of beer, and enjoying the locals at the end of the bar cheer on Godzilla (We later learned it was King Kong) as he destroys New York City was one of the better lunches I had in a while.

Jim laying out some line with precision.
After the bar we set out to wet some lines with the intel Jim acquired with his glove purchase.  After a short car ride and Grant showing us how to properly jam out to some Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey, we found our destination.

Grant sending some smooches.
The spot had some great looking water, and looked promising.  We just didn't have what the trout were after that day, and with the sun setting at 1 PM (Kidding - It just feels that way) we had to make the drive back North.

I hope you all download this for your next phone background.
Not a bad day in our books at all.  Brushed off the early shivers of cabin fever, new water was fished, 1 trout was caught, cheap beer was drunk, Godzilla (King Kong) destroyed New York, and a new fly shop was shopped. 

End of the day and into the tall grass we go.


5 wt Fly Rod -
Wading Boots
Sunglasses -

**The above links are Amazon Associate links**