Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Keeping Busy

Back in August when I was visiting my best friend in Ohio, I stopped at a fishing store about 8 minutes from his house.  It's called Jann's Netcraft.  I have come across their website online a few times, and know a few people that use them for lure making supplies.

Well, I went in there, and decided that I was going to buy some supplies to make inline spinner baits, because, I don't have enough hobbies already Haha.  My intention with these were to just give them to friends and use them myself.  You know, something different.  I bought some size 4 french blades, heavy gauge wire, brass weighted bodies, split rings, and clevises.  Pictured below you will find my first attempt.  

That heavy gauge wire is strong and was not easy to bend.  With time and repetition I will refine my skills.  Oh, and I plan on dressing up some treble hooks with bucktail and just putting those on the split ring. 

Fly tying and lure making are not at the top of my list of things to accomplish this Winter.  My #1 mission is to get my singing voice back.  I have neglected my acoustic guitars and voice for far too long.  It's been so long since I've sang on a constant basis that my voice has gone away, but like with most things, I am a firm believer of practice - practice - practice.  While I never had a voice that will win me any television contests, it would just be nice to be back to where I once was, plus, playing my guitar and learning a song are just as satisfying to me as catching fish.

For those that don't know...I used to do quite a few cover songs.  Don't remember if I have ever posted any of them here to share with all of you.  Here's a cover I did of "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down.

Here are just a few scenic shots of me reminiscing of a time when there wasn't snow on the ground. Haha

Wood Dale Grove
Lake Michigan and Downtown Chicago

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lost Mail Found

With all the snow that we received in the Chicago Burbz on Saturday, I didn't bother doing going out like I had planned.  I cooked, cleaned, and sat on the couch and drank some beer while.

While I was cleaning my desk, and organizing all of my materials, I found an envelope that I had been looking for since I received it.  The envelope contained a sticker and business card from Howard at Windknots & Tangled Lines.  This sticker will find a home on my Nautilus Reels Yeti Cooler.  ThANK YOU, for the sticker, Howard!

Also inside of the envelope were 2 stickers from FrankenFly that I received the same day, and put them all together.  I completely forgot I had these.  Who know's what more I will find as I clean even more.  I have my fingers crossed for some $$$.

Now that my fly tying desk is all cleaned up, it's time to mess it up, again.  Time to stock up on my favorite local craft beers, and get to tying.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter Is Here

Winter has arrived in full force.  It snowed all of Friday night, and most of Saturday.  Reports state that we have received 8 inches of snow in my area.  Not only was it snowing constantly, the wind was strong, pushing it around where ever it wanted.

After getting some stuff done around the house..laundry, dishes, shoveling the back, shoveling the front, shoveling around my car, and put some things in the attic I will have no use for in the winter, I decided to clean up around my fly tying desk.  Found a bunch of cool stuff!

I have no idea when I purchased these, but they were hidden away in a shoe box.  All of them are unopened and ready to fish.  I have actually used a Hula Popper, but am already looking forward to it come Spring and Summer.  Anyone use these?

I also found my small collection of stickers, business cards, and coasters from some craft breweries.  Here are the coasters.

Double Daisy Cutter by Half Acre
A staple at the hospital.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Peak Vise Upgrades

At the beginning of the year, I decided that I wasn't a fan of exclusively using the C clamp for my Peak vise.  I then ordered the pedestal base.  When it arrived, I was extremely surprised at how much it weight.  This was a quality base, and once I put my vice on it, I tried my best to see how unstable it could be, and it passed every test with fly tying colors.  Now I don't have to worry if my C clamp will fit on certain surfaces, or if I will need some folded up cardboard to fill in the gaps. Needless to say, I was very happy with my purchase.

Soon after I purchased the pedestal base.  I ordered the riser, as you see pictured above.  It's the copper/gold colored piece on the base. 

The extra height that the rise gave my vise was a game changer!  When I sit at my desk or anywhere, I like to be high up, and the riser allows my vise to be right where I want it to be...up high!

My Peak vise was the first vise that I have purchased a few years ago, and I have been extremely happy with it.  It's construction is solid, and you can really feel the quality when using it.  It's held every hook that I've put in it's jaws from size 8/0 musky hooks to size 22 midge hooks.  Now with the upgrades that I have made this year, it feels like I have a brand new vise.

What vise do all of you use and do any of you out there have multiple?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fly Tying Season

When I leave work during the week, I have about a 1.5 hours of day light, and that flat out sucks.

Enter Fly Tying Season.

I haven't had the chance to sit down at the vise to put in an extended amount of time in for quite a while.  I'll begin filling my own personal boxes and taking care of any orders that may come in.  One of my goals this fly tying season, is to come up with something new and different or a revised version of another pattern out there.

Now that Wisconsin has extended their trout season, I think I'll be able to find enough time to make it to Southwest Wisconsin, in the Driftless area for an outing.  I haven't made the drive that way in 2 years, since I totaled my car on the expressway, because, of some deer frolicking on the highway at 4 AM.

Clousers are a staple in any bass fly fishermans box.  These simple patterns do nothing but catch fish.  Here are some reds and blues.  My favorite are chartreuse over white, not pictured here.

..and as cabin fever sets in during mid winter, this is probably what I'll look like, as I start to lose my mind.

If anyone is interested in a decal, please shoot me an email at carfoutdoors@gmail.com or book face message, and I will gladly send you one.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

DIY - Line Changer

Who doesn't love a good DIY!

A few months ago I was in need of a way to change the line on my 9/10 reel.  I could have bought an already made product, but I just couldn't bring myself to purchase something for this task that I knew I could probably put together myself.

To Home Depot I went!

With a spool of line, to make sure the hardware I choose fits the spool, I built my line changer in the store, and walked up to the register with it...and roughly $5.50 later, I walked out.

Other than the nuts, washers, and bolt, I used 2 metal pieces that I found in the building materials and roofing area.  Completely forgot the name or designed use for them, but I can tell you that they worked perfectly for this application.  I was even able to bend the top one easily with my two hands, so, that I can rest that part on the rod.

A few extra nuts, just in case I lose some.  They were cheap, so, why not!
I have a double bimini twist knot in my backing, so, it allows me to change my line with a loop to loop connection (the end of the fly line must have a loop knot of sorts, too.) and this eliminates my need for spare spools for my reel.  When removing line from reel, I simply use my fingers on the spool to turn it.  Takes a few minutes longer than an actual line changer, but it gets the job done.

Here are some videos I used on Youtube for the knots.

Double Bimini Twist Knot

Loop to Loop Connection

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Steelhead - CARF Knows Nothing

I've never caught one, but I want to.
I only know other fly fishers use egg patterns.
That's where my knowledge starts, and abruptly ends.

Some dirty looking eggs on a hook size I forgot.
Just the start.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I Hate Cotton Candy

In the Fall edition of A Tight Loop Magazine there is a video of me tying one of my favorite pike/musky predator flies.  I hate cotton candy, and the colors on this fly, to me, resemble just that, so, it is deemed my "I Hate Cotton Candy" fly.

And here's an old video of me attempting to play the jaw harp for the first time.  You decide what I do better...play the jaw harp or tie flies. ENJOY!!!

If I didn't provide you with that description, there's a good chance you would have thought it was me trying to impersonate Arnold Schwarzenegger reciting vowels.  Am I right, what did you hear?