Thursday, February 21, 2013

FREE Original ART!!! Plus A Trip Report Fishing The East Fork With My New Abel Reel

French Broad Rainbow On The Abel Reel
   In my last post I mentioned that I was taking my new Fly Reel on a test 'drive' of sorts on the waters of the Chattooga River - and that I would be giving away something to one loyal follower of this humble blog.  Well I didn't end up going to the Chattooga but if you read through this trip report you will find at the end a way you can win a special piece of original art.
    Packing my new Abel Reel and Fall River Bamboo rod I went in search of new water.  The Chattooga was preempted by a desire to do something different.   My target - The delayed harvest section of the East Fork French Broad River in western North Carolina.
  For Those in the South Eastern U.S. the French Broad is a river system that we are all familiar with but for you that have never heard of it, here is the skinny.  Starting from the headwaters of the Eastern Continental Divide, the French Broad snakes its way through the N.C. mountains gathering water and momentum until it empties into the Tennessee river basin.  Throughout its course it is fed by some of the finest fly fishing waters in North America.  The section I was after was a little feeder river on the upper French Broad (or Poelico Agiqua -Broad River - as called by the original Cherokee language).  Today we know it as the East Fork.
    I had never fished The East Fork but it is somewhat legendary among the TU chapters and Fly shops around the South East.  I figured with my Abel Reel and Bamboo stick as my weapons I would finally go and see what all the fuss was about.
    Waking before the sun was thinking about cresting the horizon I packed the jeep, grabbed a coffee, and hit the road.  The trip from Greenville SC over the Eastern Divide is a good 1:45 slog over a switch-backed,  hairpin mule trail that bares the remnants of time.  Outhouses and rusted metal are a common site as you climb reminding you that this is a land that time has forgot.  This truck was only one example of what happens when you break down up here.  At the bottom of one switchback I swore I saw the carcass of a wrecked Model T.
   When I arrived at the East Fork, I suited up and braced myself for the cold water.  As expected, the cool mountain nights had chilled the water and with a few shadows along the river bank still showing traces of snow, I began to fish.
  Those of us that are accustom to fishing in the winter are also aware of that annoying problem of having to clear the ice from the guides every third cast.  This morning was no different for me only I tried to keep them as clean as I could for fear that the ice would do unbearable harm to my new Bamboo rod.  Luckily not long after the sun cleared the trees, the ice gave way to a great morning and plenty of fish to be caught.
 
    The cold can sometimes have a positive effect.  Take for example sticking a #14 red and white Icicle Nymph deep into your index finger.  with frozen fingers you don't even feel it and the hook removal is quite easy.  All you need to do it yank it out and brush the blood away.
    After trying my luck with nymphing and having only the moderate success of hooking into four fish (not landing any of them) and hooking myself, I paused a moment to look over the water.  It was then that I noticed fish rising to take small midges.  Quickly I cut the nymphs loose and tied on a small hackled fly I call the Orange Brookie Killer.  To be honest I am sure it has another name since I got the recipe from an old man I met at the last Fly Fishing Show up in Ashville but He never named it and and I never asked.
    Basically it is a fly that doesn't need a name because it is so simple to tie.  I only call it the Brookie Killer because I have tried fishing it on rising Browns and Rainbows with little or no success.  On Brook Trout however this little orange fly is deadly.
The Brookie Killer
-Dry Fly Hook
-Hot Orange 6/0 Thread
-Orange Dubbing
-Light Dun Hackle

All the brookies I caught with a dry fly on this trip (with the exception of one caught on a black midge) were caught using this simple Orange fly.  As if to prove my point, a Brown I tried catching late in the day refused this very fly time and time again until I changed it to a black version of the same fly.  The brook trout pictured above however tore the hackle right off the fly.
    As the temperatures rose so did the fish and by mid day I could see them choosing their targets and their bugs.  If I wanted to nymph fish there were still plenty of fish down deep but with the abundance of rising trout who wants to guess at a strike.
    If you were wondering how my new Abel Reel worked on the Bamboo well I can honestly say that this Abel was the finest reel I have ever fished with.  If you looked up smooth in the dictionary I believe that it would have a picture of this reel next to it.  It looked awesome on the Fall River Bamboo rod and it had the perfect weight to balance the fishing action.  The 5W line I put on with the modest 25y of backing was the perfect fit.  The color, the clicking, the drag, even the reel seat made this the absolute perfect fit for this rod.
    When I was looking though the Abel web site I was amazed at their take on ordering your own reel.  Their new Reel Designing tool allows you to pick your reel, choose the style, and then gives you so many options for customization that it makes your head spin.  They even have an option to have beautiful artwork from the likes of Derek DeYoung (although it is pronounced the same - there is no relation to your truly)  as a finish on your reel.  If that isn't enough, you can choose the color of the working parts of the reel such as the handle and drag knob.  Finally to top it all off - this is an American made product.  How could I not try and send some business their way.
    The price for the customization can get a bit pricey but the quality of this product is something you cant beat.  It is something you could save up for and have no regrets purchasing.  I feel proud that I will be able to hand this down to my kids and hopefully they could do the same for theirs.  This Abel Reel will be in my family for a long long time.

    And now for the FREE STUFF.  I have been blessed with the growing success of my art and this blog.  I have been presented with ever expanding opportunities to grow my artistic talents as well as my fishing knowledge through the use of this blog and my HexFishing.com site.  Over the years many of you have purchased or received something of mine and many more have encouraged me more than you will know so I have decided to do something special.  Today I will give away an few gifts to those that have kept me going.
    But as my dad always says, nothing is free.  This contest is however very easy to enter. Just follow the instructions at the bottom of the post.
The Prizes:
1st Prize
West Slope Cutthroat
    I Love the Cutthroat trout and when I had the chance to fish them a few summers ago up in Idaho I had an absolute blast.  This painting is an Original Watercolor painted on archival paper with top quality pigments.  It measures @ 12.5in by 6in and will come in its own mat.  I will leave it up to the winner to decide how to frame it.

2nd Prize
    For the seacond prize the winner will get a matted print of my painting 'The Apache Trout' plus a Hexfishing Tee in a size of their choice.

3rd Prize
    And Finally the 3rd place winner will receive a matted print of my painting 'Brown In Hand'.

How to enter:
   All you need to do is leave a comment on this post no later than midnight EST on March 15th indicating that you would like enter.
   For additional points towards winning these prizes indicate that you have shared or re-posted this contest on your own blog.
   For extreme extra points indicate you have shared this contest on a social networking site(s) (such as Facebook or Google+).  I am not on Facebook (please hold your smirks) but I am told you can re-post something there.

   On March 15 (or 16th) I will post the winner of these prizes which will be chosen by taking all the entries and doing it old school - drawing names from a hat.  I will then get in contact with you for your shipping address.  That is people, it just that simple.  Good Luck and share the wealth!

46 comments:

Swamp Yankee said...

Looks like you put that real through its paces. Nice job & great looking trout!

Jay said...

I would be honored to hang your art on my wall. Count me in!
Great report too.

Jason Tinling said...

Would love to see a piece of Joel D original on the wall! Shared on G+, too!

Kevin Frank said...

Great pics, that rod is awesome. Please enter me in the contest Joel.

Howard said...

I would even hold a sign in front of my local bawdy house for a chance to win some more of your art Joel.

Howard said...

I got so excited I forgot to say that the Abel reel looks great with your new rod! (Posted on FB as well.)

Blake Hamilton said...

you live in a very cool area, one day i hope to end up in asheville. never know we may be neighbors...

Brian Larson bclarson@tds.net said...

Id like to enter your drawing. I posted your site on my facebook. Love those Abel reels looked at making one up with the brookie colors but the extra art cost more than the reel.

J and M Flies said...

Lovin it and sharing away!

Robert McMullin said...

Great work.

Robert McMullin said...

Great work.

J and M Flies said...

Shared on the fan page and blog as well. Enjoy!

Rainbow Chaser said...

Always been amazed at the quality of your work. Joel, I am moving soon to a new home that needs some decoration on the wall in my man cave. Count me in! I will post on my blog and over on Facebook, too!

Brian L. Schiele said...

I have always enjoyed your blog and art..
Brian

Travis Rehm said...

great art... keep it up

Nick Arthur said...

Shared on the blog and google plus. Such great photos...kinda makes it hard to tell exactly which art the contest concerns! Subscribed to your blog now as well.

Brookfield Angler said...

Very nice giveaway! I made sure to share it on the BFA Facebook page

The FlyFishing BowHunter said...

Here is my comment entry!

I also shared on my blog, my facebook, twitter, and G+ accounts

Here is to winning a sweet painting!!

Drew Haerer said...

Awesome art - please count me in. I also shared via Twitter.

gardeningboots said...

At the risk of sounding like a cheap date, I'd be happy with one of the Tees - which is only part of the 2nd prize.

Nice Art J.

Dad De Jong said...

Hey boy, count me in. If I can't get you to give me one I might as well try and win one.

Great posts.

dad

bigwalnutfly said...

Great Work Joel I always enjoy seeing the new work. I past this along on FB, Twitter and my blog.

Andrew Weiss said...

Great review and great artwork! Shared on Facebook- count me in!

Jack Wallingford said...

Third try could b charm. i am interested in winning your artwork, or even buying some. Jack Wallingford

Fly Waters Edge - Kevin said...

Sounds like you had a great trip! As always awesome art work!

DanM said...

Great article and artwork - I'm in! Shared on FB too.

Fred Telleen said...

Those are some fine looking trout prints.

Devin Angleberger said...

Count me in...plz! Shared on facebook, and my blog!

Bill Trussell said...

Really impressed with the reel and the trout on this trip---that art is awesome count me in!!!-------I will also mention this contest on my latest post which will run until next Sunday.

fishingjournal said...

Nice job, Joel. Good report, and please count me in for art giveaway. Just promoted your site over at fishingjournal.wordpress.com, Facebook, and twitter.

Fingers Crossed!

David Nash said...

very awesome! would love to be included in this. Thanks!

Joel D said...

Thankyou so much everyone for the comments and entries into this contest. Your kind words and continued support is very appreciated. All of you have been entered (and a many of you are entered multiple times because you shared this post).

Nolan Minor said...

If I win anything, I want the "Brown in Hand"! I will make a post on everythingthatswims about this w/ a link and share it on Google+...Gorgeous fish too!

Nolan Minor said...

By the way, it is the 50th post on my blog, I think I need bonus points for that too!

Daniel said...

Cool stuff.

shotgunfly said...

I'm in.

GSFeder said...

Great artwork -- I'd love to win me some!

Passinthru Outdoors said...

Great report and contest Joel. If I win I will hang these proudly next to the print you did of my daughter and her first turkey. Keep up the good work. I also posted this on my FB page and tweeted it. I'll also get it shared on my blog. Anything I can do to help other find your site and enjoy your work.

Jim

Collin Orthner said...

Nice blog and great artwork! The chance of hanging your work with only having to leave a comment - well here you are. I'll re-post to Facebook too.

Joel D said...

Thanks again for sharing the post and entering to win. You all have be entered. Contest ends on March 15th!

THE RIVER DAMSEL said...

Ok... I'm ready for my points!!! I shared on G+, I shared on Facebook, and you now have a sidebar ad for the contest on my River Damsel blog! = )

Gin Clear said...

Great work! Am grateful for the opportunity to enter.

FinFollower said...

Great post - hope to make it down that way some day.

I have sent this post to both Twitter and Facebook, although I really don't want the competition ; )

ncriverangler said...

Great art! Thanks for sharing!

Anthony said...

I would love to win some of your art! My flying desk needs a picture or two!

RVAGOGO said...

So glad I found your website. Thanks for sharing you experiences.