Showing posts with label smallie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label smallie. Show all posts

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.

Friday, May 5, 2017


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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Open Mic Night

I am back from my trip, alive and well, refreshed and rejuvenated.  Although, I wish I could have stayed out in the wilderness a few more days, week, month, forever...ha

It was a total last minute decision to take off Thursday night for the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  With the arrival of Fall, I just knew it was time for me to get away.  The lure of the Fall colors, and it being "Musky Season" just forced me to take off and get lost.

I'm still sorting through pictures and thoughts...there's a lot of them, so, this story is going to come out in pieces.  I know what you're thinking, "F you CARF!"  Don't you worry, though.  I'm not going to allow myself to fall back into my slacker ways.  I have a need to keep the story telling alive!

Before I embarked on my 4 day solo adventure, a local bar my buddy bar tends at (Bigby's Pour House) was having an open mic, so, I decided to bring the guitar out and play some tunes in public.  It's been quite some time since I had done anything like this.  I had such a great time playing and listening to some of the local talent, and man, there are some talented individuals out there!  All in all, I think I did a good job.  I felt like an acoustic rock star.  Ha!  Looking forward to playing some more open mics, and possibly opening up for some friends bands.

Photo Cred goes to my friend JoAnna.
As soon as I left the open mic night at Bigby's, I jumped on the expressway and started my trek North around 11:30 PM.  2 short parking lot naps, and 6 hours later, I reached my destination.  There were a bunch of deer on the gravel road, and all but 1 scattered off.  This one was confused at the departure of it's other deer friends, and didn't even notice I was there.  3 minutes later the young deer bolted off.  Hopefully, it doesn't sit around that long for hunters and poachers.

Uhm...Where did everyone go?!?!?!
After another short nap in the middle of the forest, I was on the water.  It was beautiful out, and all of the small smallmouth bass were out to play, but no sign of Momma or Poppa.

That is all the time I have at the moment.  Still sorting through pictures.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


With today being the official first day of Fall, that means a few things to me.

  • The days are shorter.
  • The temperatures will start dropping. Get your hoodies out!
  • Leaves will begin to turn, and blanket the ground. Making it hard to sneak around outside without making that leafy crunch sound.
  • Real football weather. Go Bears (Say what you want - I stand by my team.)

and last but not least.....IT'S MUSKY SEASON!!!!

I will have you all know, that I am leaving tonight (9/22) for a much needed adventure in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  I'll be exploring, hiking, kayaking, fishing, car camping, jamming out on my guitar, drinking beer, all while sitting by a small campfire and hopefully not eating cold hot dogs.  

Basically being a complete fish/outdoor bum for the next 4 days...rediscovering my old self and decompressing with some good old fashion outdoor therapy.

  It's going to be awesome, and I am stoked!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend!!

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.

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?

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

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.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Exciting News!

I have been added to the Partridge family!

No, not that Partridge family, although, I do think I have the singing chops to join them.

I am very excited to announce that I have been added to the Pro Team of Partridge of Redditch.  I have been using their hooks for quite some time, and all of my predator flies would not have the same quality if it weren't for their high quality steel, so, accepting their invitation was a no brainer,  To have my name added to a group that includes Bob Clouser, Greg Senyo, Richard Strolis, Pat Cohen, Dave Hosler, Ad Swier, and Andreas Andersson...just to name a a real honor, and I'm looking forward to representing Partridge of Redditch and creating some new and interesting patterns.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Other than the tried and true effectiveness of the woolly bugger, the clouser minnow is one of the most versatile and effective fly patterns out there.  A true work horse of a fly that is effective in any body of water from a small pond to any of the Oceans.

Seriously, though.  Anything will eat it.

Material List for these particular Clouser Minnows
Eyes - 4.0 mm Dumbbell eyes
Bottom - White Bucktail
Top - Olive Bucktail
Finished off some Sally's.

I have 18 more to tie up to fulfill an order.  Chartreuse, Red, and Gray, so, 6 of each color.  Then they're getting shipped to Florida.  Already looking forward to seeing some of those huge Florida bass that these hook up with.

Prep work is a must when tying a bunch of 1 pattern.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Field & Stream Hook Shots

Have you ever heard of Field & Stream Hook Shots?

Well, you should have.  Joe Cermele and Captain Eric Kerber have been making, in my opinion, the best fishing videos on the interwebs.  Each episode is a maximum of 10 minutes long, and it's filled to the brim with killer content, quick tips, first rate commentary, hilarity, and some rad tunes.  Mix all of that together, and you have a recipe for some high quality fishy entertainment.

Joe also just hosted a pretty sweet fly swap that I wasn't able to get in on, but he hints he's going to be hosting more of them, so, be on the look out!

Do yourself a solid, check out their videos, and website.

That CARF Outdoors deek looks great on your truck, Joe!  Hopefully, it brings you some fishy mojo on all of your trips!

If you have a CARF Outdoors sticker, take a picture and send it to me.  I'll get it on the sticker sightings page.  Looking forward to seeing where they all end up across the country.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Creek Stroll

Grabbed my 3 wt and a few flies and headed over to Poplar Creek.  The water was still slightly high from the melting snow and freezing rain we got, but I've seen it in worse condition, so, I wasn't too worried.  The sun was shining and it was a brisk 20 degrees outside.

The scenery of the snowy banks and rock piles was a beautiful sight as the sun was reflecting off of the water.  The fishing was the complete opposite, but that's okay, because, it was a joy to get out.

Shook a bit of the cabin fever off and cleared my mind.  Gotta love the free therapy that being outdoors and fishing provides.  I know I do.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Minimum Cowbell

Ah...feels good to have dug up some motivation, and with that I sat down at the vise and tied up one of my favorite streamers.  A fly I have named "Minimum Cowbell."  It's a play on another streamer pattern named "Maximum Cowbell" created by Nick Granato.  Nick's pattern is articulated with 2 hooks, and mine has only you get the name for mine now?

White meat.  Dark meat.  All will be carved.

Ready to hunt for bass, trout, and whatever else is lurking.

What's a trout or panfish fly box without some San Juan Worms.  A fly that everyone has in their box and loves, but doesn't admit it.  These flies simply catch fish.  These ones are for my personal stash.  I also fancied up the black bead head SJW with some black ice dubbing behind the bead. (size 14)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fly Fishing Chicago

My buddy +Dave Kuntzelman (Urban Assault Fly Fishing and CHI-TIE) gave a very informative presentation on fly fishing opportunities around the Chicagoland area at a recent NIFTY aka Northern Illinois Fly Tyers meeting.

He covered the different species we can catch, flies that he uses for those species, gear, and access to the waters he fishes.  Dave talked mostly about Lake Michigan, and shared some great stories of 20-30 lb carp that really put his reels and fishing skills to the test, and the passerby's that offer him money for the carp that he catches.

Thanks goes out to NIFTY and Dave - t'was a good time!

Fish where you live.
For more information about NIFTY and CHI-TIE, please click on their names at the top.  This will bring you to their websites.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Dun Magazine & a Tight Loop: Clousers for a Cause

Back in May (I think...sooo long ago haha)....I attended a fly tying event hosted by Jen of Dun Magazine and Kurt of a Tight Loop.  The purpose of the event was to tie flies that were going to be donated to the Milwaukee charter for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing or PHWFF.  All that was needed was your vise, and tools.  All of the other materials were provided.

The event took place at a fantastic unknown ( me) distillery not far from my home named Copper Fiddle Distillery.  Travis the mixologist or mix master working behind the counter is a magician who creates some fantastic drinks.  If you're ever in that area, I suggest you stop.

The fly to be tied for the Milwaukee PHWFF Chapter was the ever so reliable clouser minnow.  I forget the total number of people that showed up, but it was a fantastic turnout, and a lot of flies were tied.

Quite the turnout.
It was a great event that was for an excellent cause.

Clousers for a Cause.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Flies Flying Off The Vise

T'was a busy night at the vise.  My buddy UA Dave and I are thinking about getting a table at an upcoming fly fishing show in Wisconsin - River Falls Fly Fishing Festival.  So, I've begun to stock up on some of my favorite patterns, and make them ready and available to purchase at our table.

Below you'll find 6 - 2/0 Musky/Pike/Bass baitfish in my favorite color pattern, I Hate Cotton Candy.  These just need to get eyed up, clear cure goo'd, and they're finished.

Reminder - If there is any interest in purchasing some of my flies, please feel free to shoot me an email at

I recently won some stickers from the ever so generous The Fly Trout.  These are some great stickers, and really wish the world would take note from the "Make Bugs Not War" sticker.  Check out their website for some really cool and fun apparel, hats, and stickers. 

Thank you, again, for having the contest The Fly Trout!!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nautilus Reels Yeti Cooler Review

Last November, I entered a contest on Instagram through Nautilus Reels.  The grand prize was a Nautilus Reels branded Yeti Cooler 35, and never did I think I was going to win, but I did!  Check out the blog post here - I WON A YETI.

Well, this summer, I put that cooler to work.  Taking it on all of my trips, and I have to say, I'm impressed.  I really didn't get the hype around these coolers, but after using one, I get it.  This cooler really does keep ice longer, which is super beneficial when you're going to need it to for a few days.

I have found the best use of this cooler is to use it for any food that will need to be kept cold, if you're going to be out camping or on a trip for a few days.  Keeping beverages in a separate cooler.  If you're not going to be needing to be keeping any food cold, it works great for your beverages.

One thing I absolutely love about the model I received, the Yeti 35, is that it fits perfectly in my kayak.  This way if I'm floating with a few people, I can carry all of the drinks in my kayak, and others won't have to worry.  My kayak is a tank, and I don't mind or even notice that my cooler is behind me.

Some other great things about the cooler, is that it has been a great stool around the house.  When my GF and I were putting up new curtains and rods, I used the Yeti to stand on, because, it gave me that extra height and stability I needed.

Oh, and it floats!  So, if there is ever a time I have the cooler in my kayak and a friend of mine needs a ride down river, I can just tie a rope to the cooler and toss it in the water, so, my friend can sit down in the back of my kayak.  How great is that!  I guess it would make a great PFD in case I ever capsized and my life jacket was not doing the trick.

Conclusion of this review - I love this cooler!