Growing Up Fishing

As we near the end of this year I took a moment to reflect on my experiences growing up fishing. Needless to say this included looking through dozens of old pictures while at my parents house over Christmas. I thought I would share them with you guys, as it is interesting to see what our origins are as anglers. The pictures skip a few years… as I couldn't locate those photo albums and purposely stops about 4 years short of my starting the blog: right about the time I went from being a casual angler to it becoming a serious hobby and passion. The pictures are a mix of me and my relatives and taken in Iowa and Minnesota. Enjoy! 


So Many Fish, So Little Time: Book Review

Friday, December 27, 2013 , 8 Comments

An absolute treasure. Written by Mark Williams, So Many Fish, So Little Time, is a spectacular resource for any angler. In it he details 1,001 fishing spots around the United States and the World. Primary emphasis is given to the United States, and each chapter is devoted to a particular state. It then details particular hotspots and tucked away treasures in that state. For me it has become one of my favorite fishing resources when traveling and also represents a sort of bucket list that I can drool over and let my imagination run wild for what future trips I may plan. Another great feature offered by the text is a number of urban fishing opportunities that are offered in some of our more populated areas--places you would have never otherwise thought to get a line wet. Thus far of the 1,001 places I have visited 14 thus far. Lets just say I have a long ways to go. Again, the primary benefit of this book is when you travel. It helps you find fisheries and provide tips you may have not otherwise thought of. In fact this summer I used the book to decide on the Frying Pan as my destination of choice when visiting Colorado, and if all goes according to plan I am going to use it again this coming spring for a trip to Arizona. My only critique of the book thus far is listed under Kansas is Lake Jacomo. Unfortunately that is in Missouri, but again it is within an hour of me and will definitely be another trip I plan on taking soon. Do no hesitate on picking up this book, you will not be disappointed. 


Black Tailed Devils: DVD Review

Friday, December 27, 2013 , 0 Comments

Black Tailed Devils, is a film about Permit fishing in Key West. Overall its a good movie but I do have a few reservations. But first to the good: the film does a really good job showing the frustration which is inherent to flats fishing and in particular--Permit Fishing. I admit I myself was a little spoiled in that I caught a Permit my second time out, we will call it beginners luck. Having seen many then and since I can attest that they are incredibly spookish, difficult to catch (your presentation must be precise and close), and once you catch one they are incredibly strong. As the film emphasizes: you will remember each and every Permit you catch. Secondly, the film offers a strong conservation message. Several individuals talk towards the end of the dichotomy facing Permit: to flats anglers they are highly treasured and sought after; perhaps even more so than Tarpon and Bonefish, but to commercial fisherman and reef anglers they are simply a food source. A great organization: The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, which I have linked on the side of this blog is doing great conservation work tagging these fish to get an idea of the numbers and longevity of the species. Third, the film includes a lot of quality fish porn. You get plenty of action shots of guys landing permit, casting to them, and superb runs, I promise you will look dream of your own Permit after viewing this. Now to the negative. Firstly, the film tries to present itself as edgy lots of rock and hip-hop background music but then bleeps out any curse words. I mean come on, if you fish you are bound to either have a pirate mouth yourself or be surrounded by those who do. In general we are not a saintly bunch. If they wished to not include curse words then I wish they would have just edited those shots out rather than bleep them, it just serves as a distraction. Secondly, the film is just too short, 27 minutes. Just as you are getting into the action it cuts you off. I really would have appreciated the movie more if it would have spanned 45 minutes to an hour. That said if you like flats fishing and dream of Permit I would say this movie is a must have. It will definitely bring a smile to your face. 


Rough Week

Tuesday, December 03, 2013 , , 7 Comments

My friend and fellow blogger at the High Plains Flyfisher has a quote atop his page which reads: "The solution to any problem--work, love, money, whatever--is to go fishing, the worse the problem the longer the trip should be." Well friends it has been rough week for me and so I took up his advice, well in part. I wasn't able to be out long, only 45 min but it did ease my soul a bit. Hooked into two, lost one. Both on a grub fly pattern which works well on stockers around here. 


Sig Sauer Mosquito .22 LR Gun Review

Sunday, December 01, 2013 , 4 Comments

The Sig Sauer Mosquito is a semi-automatic blowback pistol chambered in .22LR. The frame is polymer with an aluminum alloy slide. It comes with a 10 round magazine. The pistol is based off the Sig P226, with near identical controls, but is 10% smaller. As with the P226, it offers a manual decocker, takedown lever, and magazine release on the left side of the frame; with an ambidextrous safety located on the slide. MSRP $390

I will admit this gun was a bit of an impulse purchase. Long had I been searching for the Browning Buckmark Contour yet after almost 8 months of searching I was unable to locate one. My primary purpose in wanting a .22 LR pistol was to fulfill the role of a range/practice pistol allowing me to shoot at a markedly reduced cost compared to my centerfires. Thus one day at my local gunshop I saw the Mosquito on sale and purchased it hoping it would take that role. I had not researched the firearm prior to my purchase, something I never do, yet the price was right and I was eager for a .22 LR. I cannot tell you how deeply I regret not researching this firearm before buying. I learned my lesson and hope this review will be of use to those of you looking to add the Sig Mosquito to your collection. 

First to the ergonomics, this gun just feel right in my hands. The comfortable grip allows me to naturally and quickly align my sights. The sights themselves are not adjustable. Onto the trigger, my first major criticism. The trigger pull is very long and just feels squishy. It doesn't have a clean break at all, in part I believe the squishiness is caused by the trigger being made of plastic. The second criticism is the operation of the gun itself. It is notorious for FTF (failure to feed) and FTE (failure to eject). Now to be fair almost all semiautomatic .22's deal with this problem to some degree. It is to be expected, however the SIG can be a real nightmare and its failure rate exceeds all other .22's I have handled. 

If you already own a Mosquito or are set on purchasing one there are some remedies which will greatly improve performance. First, ALWAYS clean and lubricate the gun after each use. This seems commonsense to me but with the neglect I see others subject their firearms to, perhaps it bears repeating. Secondly, the SIG loves CCI Minimags, hollow points or full metal jacket doesn't seem to make a difference. I have tried a variety of other brands and types and the Minimag is your best option by far. Third, before you shoot your Minimags lightly spray them with a lubricant. My personal preference is Liquid Wrench's Silicone Spray. Following those three guidelines I have been able to shoot 100 rounds on multiple occasions without a single FTF or FTE. 

My verdict: don't purchase the Sig Mosquito. Given Sig's reputation I was really quite disappointed with this firearm. They dropped the ball big time. My greatest criticism is the trigger, sure you can kinda get used to it, but the trigger is one of, if not the most crucial element in accurate and precise handgun shooting. The FTF and FTE's are my second criticism. As I noted above, you can remedy this and greatly minimize incidents. However, I don't like being so strictly tied to one particular  brand and make of cartridge. Given the current ammunition shortage across the country I have only been able to find CCI Minimag's on three occasions this year. Granted all .22 ammo is experiencing a shortage across the board right now but I am even more limited being limit to one kind. I purchased the gun to be a cheap practice gun, but have been able to utilize it far less than I had wished, hate the trigger, and am always anxious that the gun will act up, ruining my day at the range. The one and only way I would consider the Mosquito is if you already own the P226 and are looking for a training gun with identical ergonomics and controls. Just know what you are getting yourself into before you purchase. For me, I assure you this is one gun that has a very limited time left in my collection. 

Right: my personal Sig Mosquito in the two tone coloration.