A Birthday Carp

Friday, May 30, 2014 , , 14 Comments

Today for my birthday I took some time to visit a local mud flat to chase Carp. Managed to hook into a  feisty one in 2 feet of water who despite being small still managed to take me into my backing. Only one I landed but it was a lot of fun, first Carp of the year, and a nice way to enjoy my birthday.


Sarge's Crappie Fly

Saturday, May 17, 2014 , 9 Comments

Sarge's Crappie Fly is a local favorite and an original pattern developed by a member of my local Fly Fishing Federation Club. Simply a killer pattern it is my go to pattern when targeting Crappie. I have received some requests for what flies I use when chasing Crappie so I thought I would share this one with you all first. Hope it helps you bring to hand as many Crappie as it has for me. 

Size 8 Streamer Hook
Chartreuse Marabou
Chartreuse Thread 6/0
Small Dumbell Eyes
Gold Wire
6 Strands Peacock Herl
Grizzly Hackle

Step 1:
Tie in dumbell eyes close to eye of hook.

Step 2:
Tie in marabout tail, tail should equal length of hook.

Step 3:
Tie in peacock herl, gold wire, and grizzly hackle near bend of hook.

Step 4:
To create the body of the fly, palmer peacock herl forward towards eyes, secure and cut.

Step 5: 
Palmer forward the Grizzly Hackle opposite the direction of the peacock herl, secure and cut.

Step 6:
Advance Gold Wire through the Hackle, this gives strength and longevity to the fly, secure and cut behind the eyes. Whip finish and apply head cement.


A Little Crappie Fishing

Thursday, May 15, 2014 , , 13 Comments

Snuck in some Crappie fishing before the latest cold front and caught quite a few. No real big slabs but fun nonetheless, also no single pattern stood out but all were caught either using Sarges Crappie Fly, Crappie Candy, or Clousers. Retrieve was very slow. Overall a beautiful and relaxing night. 


Greys Streamflex XF2 Review

Saturday, May 10, 2014 , , 7 Comments

At an MSRP of $250, the Greys Streamflex XF2 may be the best 5 weight in its price class. This medium fast action rod has offerings in the 2-6 wt class and designed for technical nymphing applications. I personally have it in the 5 weight 9 foot option and it is my go to trout rod. The blank, while it won't win any casting competitions, is very forgiving and offers a soft tip for a delicate fly presentation and tight loops. While designed as a nymphing rod it is the stick's versatility that drew me to it. On the water I may walk long distances from my vehicle and leave the option for other rods, so it is important that I have a rod that can adapt to whatever conditions I encounter. The Streamflex's soft tip allows the angler to precisely and gently cast dry flies while it still has enough backbone to throw small to medium streamers and of course nymphing rigs. If nymph fishing I often fish a dual rig with split shot and have no problem casting and getting turnover without hangups. It is at medium distances where this rod excels and it can hold its own at longer casts as well thanks to the power within the blank. If I am on a tailwater or any medium to large trout river you can be sure this is the rod in my hand. My only caveat to the Streamflex is if short distance casts are  required repeatedly as you would find in small technical streams. The Greys can do it but there are better rods for that type of fishery if precision at small distances is your game. Finally, as to the aesthetics, this rod is just gorgeous. The maple reel seat will win you over and adds a real sense of pride to owning the Streamflex. If you are in the market for a new trout rod and looking for something a little more on the economical side, you simply can't go wrong with the Streamflex. Per dollar I am unsure if you could get a better all purpose trout rod. It is a great stick and has given the higher priced rods a run for their money. Are there better 5wt trout rods out there? You bet, but be prepared to fork over at least twice as much money for only marginal improvement. Phenomenal quality at a great price. 


Spyderco Pacific Salt: Knife Review

Sunday, May 04, 2014 , 2 Comments

Ultimate folding water knife? In many ways that's what this relatively new offering from Spyderco claims to be.   Well lets see how it fares. First to the general stats on the blade: The steel employed, H-1, substitutes 0.1% Nitrogen instead of Carbon during the hardening process and is able to achieve a Rockwell hardness of 57. Weight is 3 oz. Open length is 8.68", closed length is 4.87", blade length is 3.8".  Blade shape, is a modified sheepfoot. The handle and lockup are standard Spyderco fare. Spyderco did enlarge the Spydie hole to 14 mm for easier opening while wearing gloves. If you are familiar with any of their knives, the same ergonomics will transition to this knife seamlessly. 

The Good: Foremost, the knife is rustproof. In 8 months of using it in and around water, I have not had a single problem, nor from what I have seen from other's tests has anyone had problems with rust. Fresh or saltwater, this knife holds up. This is a knife that is a great tool if you spend a lot of time around the water like me. If you forget to wipe it off or it spends time sitting in water at the bottom of your boat, its just not a problem. The H1 Steel is really phenomenal stuff. Secondly, the handle really has a lot of grip to it, especially when wet and even in gloves, I was really impressed with this. Third, and this may seem an odd point, but I am really glad Spyderco went with a bold yellow color for the handle. Many times when fishing I would set down the blade for a moment, forget about it momentarily, but then see it out of the corner of my eye again very quickly. The yellow color saved me from losing it. Opening and closing is simple and easily preformed with one hand. The blade was easy to sharpen and held its edge moderately well, but does dull faster than other higher end steels. 

The Bad: I honestly had a hard time coming up with much in this category at all. Yet, with an MSRP of $124.99 the blade is a bit price prohibitive for some budgets (if you shop around, you should be able to find it for around $70). Also the blade shape, while great for most jobs around the water doesn't make the greatest filet knife, not that its designed to but for those looking for a "fishing" knife that can do it all, you can filet with this but its not going to be the prettiest job, as I can attest. A sheepfoot style blade is just not the tool for that job. Other than that, I cannot think of a job in or around the water that this knife wouldn't be appropriate for. 

Verdict: 9/10  I am very happy with this knife. It functions as my primary knife any time I am around water. While it won't dazzle your friends with glitz, this knife functions perfectly as it is intended, a hard working, robust tool; well designed and functional.


Tenkara: A Second Take

Friday, May 02, 2014 , , 8 Comments

First of all, a big thank you to Michael over at Troutrageous for his Tenkara advice and for sending me a few of his hand tied Kebari, pictured below. If you haven't been to Michael's page be sure to check it out. Lots of great information, humor, and links over there. 

So yes, Tenkara fishing round two. This time around was much more successful. Landed four Crappie and lost three. Enjoyed it a lot more this outing but it still feels a bit ... alien. All new things take time I am sure. My biggest obstacle was learning how to fight the fish and bring them in, hence I lost those three. I felt with the long rod I wasn't able to get the hooksets I otherwise was used to and felt clumsy bringing them in. Beyond that I had a good time. The fish were a tad bigger this time, and thus more fun on the other end. Still getting use to the "retrieve" and the feel of the rod. Look forward to trying it on some Bluegill perhaps next time, but more than anything, I feel the real verdict will come when I can try it on moving water. All in all it was a successful and fun trip.