Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April Brown and Stream Etiquette

Here is my latest painting called the "April Brown".  Taken from a picture I took while on my last fishing trip to a stretch of river in the foothills of South Carolina.  It, of course, is a watercolor that is about 11"x14" in size and as with most of my other paintings, it is for sale.  Just email me for purchasing information.  Rest assured that all proceeds will go to feed my fishing addiction.  And if you can not afford the original, prints are also available.

I would also like to take a moment to talk about stream side etiquette.  I would suspect that most of the anglers that visit this site on a fairly regular basis already abide by set of un-written rules while fishing a small stream but some times these rules need to be put down into the record for the few that do not already know them.
I would like post just a one of these rules of mine for the record.
Don't Stand In My Pool While I'm Fishing IT!!!!
Seriously, my brother and I are the only two on the entire stretch of river for a mile and this guy (who is old enough to know better) walks up, does a bit of small talk and then slides into the stream RIGHT NEXT TO ME!  Where he is standing is where I caught three fish about two minute before he showed up.  WHO DOES THAT?  I honestly just stood there for a minute and stared at him then I cast over him a few times to see if he got the point.  Short answer...Nope. 
Disgusted I made a point of letting him know that there wasn't enough room there for the two of us and I moved down stream.  After all the fish where biting all over and not just in this pool.
My brother on the other hand decided that a point needed to be made and he took my spot and hassled the guy for quite a while longer.  He still didn't get it.  Really I am just at a loss.

And one final note,  This guy might look like he is tying on a fly but he is not.  Yes it is a fly rod with fly reel and fly line but that thing he is tying on is not a fly, a nymph, or a streamer.  Its not a jig or a spinner either.  Nope, this guy is squashing on a big lump of POWER BAIT.  He then proceeded to gut hook a lot less fish than I was catching on a fly.  Bait does have its place in fishing and I have used it on other fish and you can call me a snooting fly fisherman, but it does not belong at the end of fly line.  Esspecialy when the fish will bite on anything you throw in the water.  And then you wait for the fish to completely swallow it before you set the hook?  Again I am at a loss.  I guess you can't fix stupid.  Please people, take a lesson from the idiots of the world.  Don't be this guy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Picture Heavy Trout Fishing, and a Carving

Picture doesn't do it justice but here is a relieve carving of a brown on red oak.  Just a simple carving accented with wood burned shadow and spots that will eventually end up as a lid for a small fly box.

Now I know it has been a while since my last post but I hope the following will make up for my negligence.
The other day my brother came out to visit and we took a trip up to the mountains to fish a small stream for those three trout that make fly fishing so much fun.  Getting up early to load the gear, we headed out with low expectations and an eagerness to finally spend some time trout fishing together.
With a quick stop for gas, some pastries, and very bad coffee we were soon in under way.  I haven't seen my 'little' bro in about two years and I couldn't tell you how long its been since we have fished together.  With the two of us living on opposite sides of the country we rarely get the chance to do to much together and this was a trip I was looking forward to.
After a forty five minute drive we parked and quickly dismounted.  I grabbed my Tenkara rod and he grabbed the spin rod and we started out for the river. Now before you think that he is not a fly fisherman let me just say that he is but was unable to pack his wading gear into his carry-on.  Why didn't I loan him my gear?  Well he is about six inches taller than 6'1" me and wears a size 14-15 shoe.  Good luck trying to find to many friends with gear to match that frame. So it was an ultralight and some spinners for him while he was strayed dry on the bank.
As you can see, we quickly started to hook up with some nicely colored trout. In the first forty five minutes we lost count of the fish we were catching and just kept on going.  I hooked about ten to twelve 7-10 inchers on the Tenkara rod with about as many flies.  Fishing them dry or wet, it didn't mater.  These fish were eager to bite on just about anything and my bro was tearing it up on the rainbow colored spinner.  We both had a hat trick with in the first hour and it never stopped.
After about an hour I ran back to the car to grab my 2w for some streamer fishing.  I was gone about 6-7 minutes and when I got back I was informed that my fishing partner had caught about a fish a minute for the length of time that I was absent.
On any normal day on this river I would call B.S. on such a statement but then again this was no normal day on the water and I couldn't string my rod fast enough.  In that time he hooked into two more and lost another.  CRAZY.
I ended up trying out just about every fly in my box just to make it interesting.  Flies I never would break out on any normal day even got into the action.  I didn't want to leave anybody out and for some this was their only chance to see some action.  In reality I would say that I was switching flies just to see which ones wouldn't work.  It was just one of those days that will stick in ones mind for years to come.
And this isn't the only white fin we caught.  I wish I was a bit more ready on the camera but with all the action, the camera is the only thing that didn't get to much action.  Luckily, when I dropped the ball my brother stepped it up for some good shots of both our fish and he was less likely to drop the camera into the water.
Another nice Bow.
Beautiful water, great weather, excellent fishing, and unbelievable company for a day on the water.
And then with the afternoon day sun peaking and the fishing beginning to wind down I said to my companion, "Just one more cast and then we are out of here.  BAM!
 A great fighting brown hooked into my 2w and Black Nose Dace.  Now I'm not going to claim that this was a monster and as you can see it is not a hook jawed beast.  Heck it wasn't even the best looking fish of the day but man it was fun to fight on light tackle in a nicely flowing river.

It was a nice fish to end on and as we trudged back to our vehicle and talked about the fishing and how great the day had been, I cant help thinking when I will be able to get the opportunity to do it again with such a great partner.  My only regret is that with all the fishing and my camera in the hands of my brother, I completely forgot to take a pic of the two of us together.  Hopefully when I go and visit him up in Washington this summer we can get that pic together.

I said it before but it is worth repeating, It was A GREAT DAY.  All told I believe we caught well over 40 fish and even if they were not monsters it was still one of the best days on that stretch of water that I have ever seen.  With high spirits and thoughts of cold beers on the deck in our heads he headed back to the house.  Even a brief encounter with the local Sheriff and a signed memento of our conversation was not enough to dampen our spirits.  I still believe that our catch was more legit than the Sheriff's but he is the law and one doesn't argue with the law.   Congratulations Mr. PoPo, but I still had one hell of a day!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tenkara In Fly Rod And Reel

I was browsing my new Fly Rod & Reel magazine the other day and saw something great for the Tenkara fishers of the US as well as TenkaraUSA.com.  A big shot in the fly fishing literary world, John Gierach, did a great article on fishing with the TeankaraUSA owner and Tenkara ambassador - Daniel - .  It seems that as us bloggers sing the praises of fishing small streams with the tenkara setup, the rest of the fishing community is bound to catch on sooner or later.  I say that when the great Gierach has begun to sing the praises of the Tenkara rod, our little secret has hit the mainstream.
I also took the fly rod out to the local pond the other day and hooked a few pan fish.  Hopefully in the next week I can hook into a few trout and spare all you the boredom of looking at more bluegill photos.  Until then, here is another gill with my old school reel and a 55year old rod.  Except for the line and the fly the outfit I used that day was all old the day I was born....... And It Still Catches Fish. You just have to love the classics!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Portrait & Pan Fishing

Here is a recent work I have had on the easel.  It was commissioned by a college student for a fathers birthday which was just the other day.  I was going to do a watercolor of this Nice brown but then inspiration hit me and I decided that a full on watercolor of the trout and a pencil sketch of the lucky angler would suit this picture a bit nicely.  Its not a style I usually do but then again one can not grow as an artist (or angler) if one doesn't press the barriers once in a while.
In the end I am pleased with how the work looks as a whole.  So from the angling community and this blogger inn particular:  Happy Birthday Doug!  You have got a fish in your hands that is the envy of many an angler.

Now as for me on the Fishing front.  I have had a lot of relatives cycling through the DeJong residence over the last three weeks and it has got this angler out on the pond a whole lot lately.  In one to two hour stretches, for about six days I have hit the bass and pan fish hard.  Below is a rundown of just a few of the pan fish that have graced me with their acceptance of my fly.
This bruiser of a pan fish hit a number 10 Woolly Bugger like it was the last bug in the pond.  I don't believe that I have ever hooked a bluegill this size in a very long time and the picture doesn't really do justice to this guy.  He was a bit over 8 inches and had a forehead on him like a Frankenstein.  You might notice that you can not see the Bugger in his mouth.  That is because it is half way down his gullet.  With quick work of the forceps I freed it and let him back to rule his corner of the pond.
The next two pics are just a few of the other nicely colored pan fish that I have pulled out of the pond the last few days.  All were either caught on a black bugger or a black popper.  I tried a bunch of other flies and a variety of colors but always came back to the color Black.  They just would not bite on anything else.
The Final fish below is the brightest colored pan fish caught on the fly over the last few weeks.  I am going out again in the next few days, between the rain storms that have pelted the south, and with any luck I will have a few bass and trout pics to share with you.  Until then, keep those flies wet and the reels oiled up.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two Color Brown & Ale

Messing around the other day I decided to do a small watercolor study of a Brown Trout with only two colors.  By layering up the two colors and blending them to give a variety of tones, the end result is a nice study of a Brown with a dripping wet bugger hanging from his lip.  If you are interested in having this artwork hanging on your wall, please Email me for purchasing information.  For those of you who are wondering what a work like this might run price wise.... $60 plus SH - and it comes with a mat, all ready to be framed.  Think about it - thats two rounds of golf .... or one if your golf at a course a bit higher class than my Crab Grass 18.  And this work will be on your wall longer than the 97 score card you posted the last time you hit the links.

On another subject,  I was passing through northern Michigan the other day and I caught site of this gem on the store shelf.  Now I was unable to purchase it and stow it in my carry on luggage but believe me, when I find this Ale again I will be having a little taste test.
For me this is the combination of four of my favorite things.
Its the perfect combination: Beer, Art, Trout, and the Hemingway "Big Two Hearted River" reference.  Just about my all time favorite short story.  With all that going for it, this beer has got to taste good....Right?  If you have ever had this Michigan brew, let me know what you think.  I cant wait for an opportunity to taste it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Golden Trout Winner

Congratulations to Karel, a wandering Tenkara fisher who is now fishing the streams of Colorado, and the recent winner of this painting of a vibrant Golden Trout.  Karel was chosen using a Random Number Generator by a neutral party http://www.random.org/ .
I had to chuckle when I saw the winner was Karel of http://www.tenkaraonthefly.net/ because he was actually the recipient of a work I recently created to honor his Tenkara style Bee.  If you have yet to visit his site then do yourself a favor and click on over to see the great thing he has going on over there. 
I have been asked on a few occasions to paint this beautiful trout and in the future I will probably endeavor to paint a large work on this subject.  This painting was actually done with a newer type of watercolor that has a more vibrant color to it than the watercolors I have been using.  It turned out great and I am sure that I will be using a lot more of it in the future.  As for the actual fish, it is great looking trout and is on my life list of species I want to catch.
Thanks to all of you that entered the contest and the many followers that visit on a regular basis.  You support and your contribution to the online fishing community is very much appreciated.