Sunday, July 31, 2011

Big Jig-Heads For Bass

Just spent a some time tying up a few bass bugs. Not a specific fly recipe consulted on any of these flies (as you might be able to tell) just tied up with as much material and as ugly as I could muster.  Rabbit strips, squirrel tail, deer hair, and a touch of flash on all these jigs. Hopefully I can brave the temps soon to test them out. Maybe there will be a winner in there somewhere.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chasing Blue Lines In 95deg

I decided the other day to brave the sweltering 95 degree heat and go chase a few new blue lines up in the mountains of SC.  I really shouldn't have gone but the draw of fishing was just to much to handle and I left early to explore this new water.
The first fish was a nice little rainbow caught deep on a Tenkara rod with a typical Tenkara fly.  It was down deep in a big 80 deg bend on this small stream way back in the mountains.  At this point it was a pleasant 90 degrees and I figured that this little guy was the only trout I was to catch that day.  After all, It was only going to get warmer and with the way the temps have been lately, I suspected that the trout were going to shut down as the temps rose.

My suspicions about the trout were soon confirmed when I caught this shiner.  I have hooked a few of these guys while fishing my favorite trout streams, and while I don't know their true names I figure they are the reason why the trout go after my Black Nose Dace streamers with so much enthusiasm.  This guy was the biggest one of its kind I have hooked.
Next on the list, I hooked into a pool of sunfish with the brightest yellows and reddest eyes I have seen.  There is always something about mountain streams and their effect on the colors of the fish that inhabit them.
 I hooked a lot of these guys on a big black stone or (as seen from picture on the left) a haggard Black Nose.  Bluegills and sunfish are such a fun fish to catch and doing it on a stream where both brown and rainbow trout are known to live is not really a letdown when you see how brilliant their colors are.

As noon approached and the temps reached into the mid 90's I started to make my way back to the car.  I figured that the fish were done and the snaked would soon control the waters edge and I do not like battling with snakes for a stream side spot.  As I waded the stream back I saw a few rises in front of me.  suspecting a sunfish was the culprit I tossed a fly in his direction and got a hit.  Imagine my surprise when in the next jump from the hooked fish, I noticed that a nice Brown trout had made an appearance.  In sun drenched 95 deg temps and in less than a foot of rushing water, a brown trout was actively feeding on the surface.  Amazing!  No pic because as I reached for the fish, he leaped into the air, gave a wave of the fin and broke free.  I hooked two more in the next five minutes, both of which where released in relativity the same manner.  I guess it goes to show that you never know what to expect while chasing those blue lines.
A few minutes later a large snake crossed the stream a few feet from me and gave me the eye.  I took his suggestion and headed for the car.  I cant wait to see what the stream gives me when the temps begin to cool down.

Also For those of you that are wanting a Tenkara Shirt, I have decided to offer the shirt in all THREE colors. They are only $17 plus Shipping (5.40) and can be purchased with Paypal or any major credit card HERE.  The shirts will be printed on the tenth and shipped out as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

3 Colors Now Available


With such a split in the colors selection, I have decided to provide a choice when you purchase one of these shirts.  Like I said, I will only be doing a small printing run for these shirts so if you want one, make SURE you pre-order yours by the 10th of next month.  
First we have the Pebble color tee.

Next is the Fatigue Green color tee.

And finally is the original Steal Grey color tee.

These shirts are quality Hanes 100% cotton tees that are preshrunk.  As I said before, they are quality screen printed tees by a local American owned printing business.

(The above pics are representative of what the shirt should look like on the color tee.  These are not the actual printed shirts.  The actual print might vary slightly in size and color.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Winning Olive

I recently, or should I say my kids, were recent winners of a set of Olive The Woolly Bigger books by Kirk Werner.  I'm not sure who were more excited when they arrived but thanks to the new website - we both have new reading material.
Thanks to Kirk for the great books and nice messages he wrote in each. They will be treasured in my family for years to come.
If you have a minute, head over and visit . It will be well worth your time.

Also, news on the tenkara shirts. I have gotten a good response to them and look forward to having them printed.  I should have a button up for payment in the next few days. Thanks for the support.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tenkara Shirt

As If I didn't have about a thousand other things to do with my time, I have also decided to make myself a shirt.  I did this Tenkara sketch for a friend but soon decided that it was to good not to put on a shirt and show it off.  So I have decided to have a few extras printed to share with my fellow Tenkara followers.
Just a simple shirt with a simple design on the back which also keeps the cost down.  No advertising for this blog or, just a simple shirt with a simple design to sport your love of Tenkara.  If you are interested please let me know in a comment or an email so I will have a good idea the quantity and sizes to order.  They will be high quality screen prints done locally and not by a Zazzle type company.  The cost will be @ $22-$24 total (That's including Shipping!!!!! @ $18 per shirt + @ $5 shipping)  I need to know who is in before the 10th of next month in order to get them printed and shipped in time for the Tenkara Summit in late August.
I will also be posting a paypal button for purchase soon so you can get off the couch and commit to the purchase.

QUIZ TIME!!!  I was out fishing the upstate of SC the other day in a scorching 100 deg heat and ran across this little guy on a log.  Anyone out there know what it is?  Beside it being about 2.5in long, its big black eyes on its back made it really stand out.  I honestly have a fairly good idea what this big bug was but am not 100% so I appeal to the blogging community.  What Is It?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cutthroat On The Idaho Coeur d'Alene

Fishing the upper Coeur d'alene river in norther Idaho was a Blast as you can see from the picture montage below.  I did this with my brother on the last day of my family vacation out west and it was worth the wait.
On my brothers coffee table is was a large book on the history of the Northwest and it was filled with photos just like this.  Beautiful trees and rivers with that typical mountain cloud cover hovering in the trees.  I felt like I was entering a movie period piece and somehow I just knew the day was going to go well.
  When we awoke early in the morning in Spokane the soft rain was falling outside and the weather channel was calling for a drizzle all day.  Needless to say my dad elected to stay at home with the kiddos and not aggravate his cold with the damp conditions and wet wading in a snow runoff river.  So my brother and I headed out alone.  Our first spot was a stretch of river recommended to me from the guy behind the car rental counter in Spokane.   He had noticed my original fly road case from (Shameless Plug) and while I was driving the car around my wife did her best to sell him on getting one of those cases for himself.  When I returned the ensuing conversation led to this spectacular lead.
It was a great little run with a 45deg bend that babbled itself into a deep pool that hugged a solid rock cliff.
Due to packing constraints I chose to leave my waders at home in SC and brave the cold waters like a fisherman of  the old days when waders were only for the rich.  It was a cold first step into that river but with the adrenaline of that first take from the surface my blood warmed me up.   My brother and I hooked a number of these beautiful cuts here on dry midges and yellowish olive sulfurs but the vast amount of strikes came from what has developed into my favorite fly - the Black Nose Dace.
I have a variety of these little guys in my box at all times and they always do well.  They often are tied a bit different from each other, some with black ribs, some with a bit of yellow buck tail, others with a brown or red nose, some with a tag of red or black and others so sparse of hair that if I didn't know better I would just pluck it from the box and toss it in the trash.  Why do I like these little minnow imitations   Honestly, I am not a very good master of the presentation and this streamer is a great way for me to hide my faults with fish.
One other reason is the tug one feels when a fish attacks the fly.  This fish hit the fly so hard and in the current that it added a bit of red blood to his already red cut.  He still had a lot of fight in him when I released him so I hope he survived.  If not then he just became food for one of the many forms of wildlife around the area.
Most of the fish we caught were all in the 6-9in range but man they are fun.  Every one of these fought like a champ with so much head bobbing and dancing one might have thought he had a fish twice the size on the end of his line.

Our next section of river was about two miles up stream and just around a bend in the road.  I saw how the river took a sharp turn with a number of runs and bends up stream then cut far back from the road and against a mountain and out of sight.  We decided to pull off at the next turn out and fish this great looking stretch.  Up to this point I believe we had seen only about 3-4 other people in about as many hours and wouldn't you know it as we cleared a tree we spotted another truck with a big spey fly sticker in his window.
Not one to like to crowed out other fisherman I sat in the car and contemplated if I should even get out or just keep driving.  In the end I am glad I did.  
The guy was a guide from Double Spey Outfitters on his day off. After a bit of small talk about the weather I told him I was an eastern on vacation and was wondering if he cared if my brother and I might fish part of this big bend and that I didn't want to crowd him.  "Sure"  he said, "I'm not going to stray to far from this road but back up a ways is some great water you guys can have."  He then proceeded to tell us were the fish were likely to be holding and what was the best flies to use.  After a bit more talk we parted company and after a short walk through an elk traced meadow we lost sight our impromptu guide and never saw him again.

After a brief dry spell we beat down the brush and hopped a few large trees to a run that was cutting into a deep bank way back from the road.  I perched myself on a downed tree that stretched out into the river about 20 feet and made two casts with my haggard Black Nose Dace.  Careful not to hang up on the big spruce behind me I kept my casts out over the water and then let the fly settle on the calm water about a foot from the shore.  Then a monster rose for my half submerged fly.
The best fish of the day by far.  It was also the last fish for me and that was okay with me.  A great trip, a great time with family and a great end to a great day.  The next morning with the family in tow we headed back to the scorching temperatures of the southeast, are memories and our photos to remind us of a trip to Eastern Washington. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Washington Trip Pics

My kids rock!  This was a pic from the first day of our trip out west.  It is on a point overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene in western Idaho (which coincidentally is fed by a killer Cutthroat river I fished a few days later).  We had taken a little hike out to this breezy point to toss rocks and watch the waves.  Just stunning.  The kids did great and had a blast.  I am sure this is a pic they will look at later in life and smile.
As a bit of a aviation nut I also enjoyed watching the small plane that was doing touch and goes on the 30knt chop.  sorry the pic doesn't do it justice but there are limits to what a cell phone will do but still, I am impressed with the quality this new phone has with its camera.  I believe its an 8mg camera and take real sharp photos as you can see from the pics on this post.

This pic and the one above are from atop mount Spokane where the snow was still hanging around and the temps didn't reach far into the 50's.  What A View!  For a family that had just left a hot 95 deg southeast with 105% humidity this was a shock to the system but well worth the drive.  There was a ski lift to the top of this mountain and I am sure during the season this run down the mountain would be great.  I absolutely love the mountains.

And then there is these two views which were just down the road from my brothers place.  I caught these pics just as the sun was setting against the mountains and poppy fields.  The golden color and bright greens were just down right amazing.
And finally I leave you with a doodle I did the other day because, well this is a fly fishing blog and you need a fish to keep that status.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tenkara Fishing & Biking In Idaho

I just got back from a week in eastern Washington with family and did manage to get a bit of fishing in.  As a result I have enough pics and ammunition to fill this blog with numerous posts for some time to come but for now I will skip the family photos and proceed to the fishing.
As our family likes to do when we get together, outdoor activities always top the list.  One of those excursions on this trip was a 17 mile bike ride down the Hiawatha trail, which is a converted railroad bed winding its way from western Montana and into northern Idaho.  The first 2 miles of this bike ride is a dark ride through a long tunnel on the state boarder.  After that first long dark tunnel is another dozen tunnels that weave there way down to the St. Joe river, (Prime Cutthrout!!)
I have spared you the bike riding photos but let me tell you, the kids loved riding in the kid trailer down the trail and through the tunnels.  Even my wife, who was not so sure a 17 mile bike ride would be fun, had a great time on the tandem bike with my sister.  We contemplated attaching the kids trailer to the tandem but thought better of it.  The thought of loosing our whole family over the edge of a 3000ft mountain side due to faulty driving on my part was the deciding factor.
Once the bike ride was complete I unloaded the Tenkara rod and box of flies I had stashed in the kids carrier and headed out to the river while my lovely and understanding wife and brother took the bus back up the steep, switchback mountain road to retrieve our cars.  I had about an hour and a half to fish this pristine water.  Since I was pressed for space, I didn't pack any waders so I had to buck up and wet wade.  Man That Water Is Cold!
But not cold enough to keep me away from those perfect cutthroat!  These are my first cutties I have ever caught and I got to tell you, They Are Fun!  For such a small fish they put up a continuous fight.  I don't believe that I have ever hooked into a fish that shook its head so much.  I lost more than I caught but in that hour and half I did manage to land 6 or so great looking trout.  None were of any record size but man was it fun and fishing dries with the Tenkara rod on that waster was great.
It was perfect the way the wind was blowing slightly off my back and extending the fly out into the stream.  I hovered the fly for a few seconds just inches over where I wanted it (about 18 feet from where I was standing) and then let it hit the water.
After I found out how they where biting and the fly they liked, it was consistent fun.  Time however was not standing still and the fun with the fish gave way to fun with the family.  Before long we loaded up the truck and cars with bikes and tired kids and headed back to Spokane for pulled pork, beverages, and a few hands of cards.  Such a sweet day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Postcard Beautiful

Here is a quick post of a eastern Washington sunset to wet your appetite for a few more post to come.
While driving around with my brother the other day, I took this shot as the sun was just setting over Spokane WA. Absolutely amazing views and some great weather! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One Sweet Sculpture

Saw this chainsawed art piece in a park the other day in a park.  It was carved from the trunk if a downed tree, the roots still in the ground.   Being an admirer if wood carved pieces, I was quite impressed with the quality of this work. Next time a tree comes down in my lot I think I found what I'm going to do with it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Is It Wrong?

While out visiting my brother I got to check out his in-house feather supplier. Is it wrong that when I look at a chicken I only see a source of fly tying material?  I know it isn't class A material but for a Woolly the material doesn't need to be perfect right?  My bother doesn't tie flies but after plucking a few choice feathers from the saddle of his annoying rooster I did an impromptu tie job of half a dozen woollies. (the bird is perfectly fine so no animal rights protests please.)
I have done things like this before - see my earlier spring post of a squirrel that got caught in my chimney.  For that I got some prime tail hair for streamers.   Even watching my wife with some yarn and I see tying material.
    So is it wrong that I see innovative material for tying in the oddest places?  My wife thinks I'm nuts but seriously, I can't be the only angler out there that sees material everywhere he looks.

Monday, July 4, 2011

God Bless America

Just a quick post this 4th to celebrate the birth of a nation.  It is always good to take the time to remember where we came from and why we have the liberties we do.  Take the time to teach your kids the same lessons you learned growing up and when they grow up they can appreciate the sacrifices made by those that came before them to give them this great country.
 Also I am currently reading 1776 by David McCullough.  This is the 3rd or 4th book on the birth of our country I have read in the past few months and I must say that it is living up to the hype.  Pick it up if you get the opportunity and expand your knowledge on our history.
Tonight I celebrate with a little fireworks and with any luck I will still have all my digits when its over.  All the rest of you - Be Safe and God Bless.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Going Japanese....I really think so.

I have been doing a bit of work on some Tenkara stuff lately and felt that a bit of bamboo was in order.  I have never really delved into the Japanese styles much so this was a good challenge for me.  With bamboo being a central part of the eastern culture and art, I thought Id take a stab at it.
This small watercolor is only 3in by 2in and since it was a study just quickly tossed onto the paper, it retains that rough water stained appearance that one can only get from watercolor.  For thjis work, mostly done allowing the paint pigments to flow with the water, I did very little over painting and detailing in order to retain that watery feel.  The Japanese lettering is...well..... No, I am not going to tell you.  Just take a guess what they mean or have your Japanese friend tell you.
I am working on a few more pieces like this and I might share them in the future but for right now all you get is this small piece simply titled 'Bamboo #1'.  I think it looks good in an over-sized frame.

And finally for those Tenkara freaks like me out there I have got the  Sakasa Gujo Kebari.  A great little fly that is so versatile and simple, it can trace its origins back centuries.  If it wasn't for the forward hackle construction and unique material used in this fly so typical in the Tenkara style, a fly like this might have done very well during the golden age of American or British fly fishing.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tenkara Fly & Hex Rod Cases

Had a bit of time free yesterday so I painted out another Tenkara fly.  This is what has to say about this great wet fly; "The Fujioka Kebari is named after renowned tenkara angler and traditional tenkara fly collector, Mr. Yoshikazu Fujioka. This is one of his favorite patterns.  A simple soft hackle wet fly, the Fujioka Kebari is an elegant pattern that can be fished subsurface or deeper in the water."
The discovery of Tenkara for me has been a milestone in my angling life and every time I surf the web for more information I find that more and more anglers flocking to this great take on a classic sport.

Also, some of you might know already that I have been involved with but I thought I'd give you a bit more information on our signature product anyway.  Hand crafted out of American Hard Woods, these truly unique cases will protect that special glass, graphite, or one of a kind bamboo fly rod of yours with a classic style unattainable from any other case out there.  No longer will your favorite rod be relegated to collecting dust in a closet or garage.  With the artisan style of this case, it will be a compliment to any decor.  Guaranteed to protect your rods for years to come, this heirloom quality case will be a piece you will want to show off just as much as that rod.
Take a minute and head over to check out the two styles of cases that are available.

Also for those of you wanting a new trout t-shirt, don't go to your local Bass Pro for a mass produced fishing shirt.  Instead support your local fishing community and head over to  With two shirts to choose from, you can now own a piece of functional art designed by yours truly.  The most popular is the Brown In Hand Tee.

Available in sizes XXL, XL, L, M, & S these shirts are professionally printed and ready to be worn to your next fly tying event.  Show off your Hex Fishing addiction with these tees that that will make your friends wonder where you got such cool threads.
Now with a cheesy sales pitch like that, how can you resist not popping over to and picking one up?  Seriously, Its a great shirt!    And as with all sales, all proceeds go to feeding an angling addiction.