Thursday, May 29, 2008

Friday Fly Fishing On the Cheap

There are lots of opportunities in the next few months for cheapskates to do a bit of fishing:

North Carolina Fish for Free day - July 4th

South Carolina Free Fishing days - June 7th - 8th.

Virginia Free fishing days - June 6th - 8th. (with exception of designated streams and impoundments stocked for put-and-take trout fishing).

Tennessee Free fishing day - June 7th.

Georgia Free Fishing Days - May 31st, June 7th, and September 27th (under 16 years old only)

Teach a skinflint to fly fish!

Orvis Revives Rod Swap

Here is a chance to clean out that fly rod closet that the wife keeps nagging you about. Well sort of anyway... Orvis has announced that between now and July 1st you can donate any old rod to the Orvis Rod Swap and get 25% off a new Zero Gravity, T3, Superfine, or Tls Power Matrix fly rod. Donated tackle will go to the Boy and Girl Scouts or other deserving youth organizations.
Tom Rosenbauer writes:
Back in my early years at Orvis in the mid-1970s, the Rod Swap was an annual event, awaited by kids and Orvis customers alike. In the 1980s and 90s, rod sales grew faster than we could produce our rods (you can only produce quality hand built rods so quickly). So, we discontinued the Rod Swap. We didn't want to disappoint customers with back orders. With a strong inventory of certain rod series this year, we're happy to revive this popular event. So take advantage of the special savings and help a kid go fishing!

White River Monsters?'s Leftentant of Tail Water Fisheries, Jeff Paisley found an interesting note in yesterday's Baxter Bulletin about a side effect of the recent flooding on the White River's North fork. It seems all manner of large warm water predators have found their way into the trout fishery. Officials are taking steps to put them back where they belong.
A sample of fish taken from the North Fork of the White River below Norfork Dam last week confirmed river biologists' concerns that many warm-water predator fish and at least three "monsters" spilled into the North Fork tailwaters during April floods.
White bass were the most numerous at about 70. Some 30 walleye also were taken in the sample gathered between 8:30 p.m. and midnight last Tuesday, Schroeder said. One striped bass weighing more than 20 pounds was the biggest of that predator species, he said. A total of six striped bass were taken from the river. Six blue channel catfish, including three that weighed in excess of 30 pounds each, also were captured and relocated, Schroeder said.
Break out the eight weights boys and girls.
photo: Jay Moore

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gear: South Fork Serpentine Fly Reel

Put a little classic fly fishing style into your Thursday this week by taking a gander at this South Fork Serpentine Fly Reel by David Redington. It's classic looks will go a long way towards dressing up your favorite bamboo or glass fly rod. Available for 4/5 weight line with a stainless steel spool and aluminum side plates. Regular price $399 - Available from Sierra Trading Post for $249.95. For extra savings check our sidebar banner ad for STP's current deal.

There are some bigger ones out there...

The Raleigh News and Observer reminds us that there are some striper in the Roanoke River that are much bigger than the ones I caught on this year's trip. Much bigger... A Raleigh man recently landed a 42.9 pounder on 17 pound tippet.
Thomas said that big stripers are a relatively new phenomenon on the river, and he captured the first 40-pounder during a sampling trip to collect data in 2002.
Only 10 stripers (also called rockfish) have broken the 40-pound barrier this year -- out of more than 5,000 his crew has sampled.

The fish are travelers, too. He said that he has had tags from Roanoke River stripers returned from as far away as Long Island, N.Y.
The above statement being one of which we have seen recent pictorial evidence.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gear: Because Warm Beverages Are No Fun...

You can never have enough can coozies. The folks behind Flying Fisherman Sunglasses and Sportswear are branching out and selling can coolers with fish on them. Obviously they have determined that drinking, and more importantly drinking properly chilled beverages, is of interest to anglers. They have also managed to come up with an innovative new marketing idea - the coozie six pack.
They're also offered in a somewhat unique package idea -- assorted 6-packs. The blister packs have 6 assorted fresh water or salt water designs. The 6- packs are a hit. You buy beer or soda in a 6 pack...why not coolie cups to go with them, said Pat Sheldon, company president. The packaging is an eye catcher on the shelf, not something you see every day, and it's a practical purchase.

James Gandolfini: An Offer You Can't Refuse

This comes via the desk of the Editorial Trophy Wife. Christie's Auction House is holding an auction that appeals to our inner mob boss (lest you forget that our day job is in construction and was once based in Jersey.) James Gandolfini head of HBO's fictional Soprano family is selling the shirt off his back and donating the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Black, olive, and cream short sleeve button front shirt by Nat Nast worn by the character Tony Soprano played by actor James Gandolfini in HBO's award winning series The Sopranos. Mr. Gandolfini wore the shirt in "The Ride" (Season 6, Episode 9) during the sequence in the Soprano kitchen where Carmela talks with Tony about Adriana's disappearance and tells him that Ade's mother thinks Christopher may have killed her.
It seems Mr. G got to keep the clothes from the show and has decided to dispose of them while helping out a worthy cause. If you decide to bid be sure to remember that only items worn by Tony create a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. Uncle Junior must be keeping the money for himself.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Public Access Fight Comes To Carolina

photo: Doug Lester

The North Carolina Public Access Foundation has received IRS approval making donations to the group tax deductible. The group was formed a year and a half ago with a mission of working to maintain and improve public access.

The North Carolina Public Access Foundation was formed to identify, protect and enhance access for the general pubic to North Carolina’s array of natural resources. As property values have risen dramatically over the last few years access points for the public have been converted to private use areas. This has severely diminished or eliminated access to outdoor activities for the public. The North Carolina Public Access Foundation is working to improve this situation for all.

According to the information we received their plans include "oceans, lakes, piers, boat ramps trout streams, public parking, walk-overs and anything else to make sure the public is able enjoy one of the things that makes North Carolina special."

The group's Board of Directors includes notables such as the Deputy Director of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Gordon Myers and Al Baird, the Vice Chair of the North Carolina Fishing Pier Society.

The group is currently seeking donations in order to get their efforts started. Checks may be sent to:

1502 Ebb Dr
Wilmington, NC 28409.

With property values skyrocketing along all kinds of bodies of water in the Carolina's, residents will no doubt benefit from a strong organization looking out for the access rights of the public. For additional information contact

Memorial Day

On this Memorial day we want take a moment to wish all of those who serve or have served our country a thank you. Nothing we could possibly say could express the debt of gratitude we owe. We ask you to think of the good folks behind groups that serve those who have served such as Project Healing Waters.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The BBQ Doughnut

Leave it to the Germans to build a boat around a BBQ grill. We have no idea what they are saying in this video but the sales pitch gets better at the 1:27 mark. Here in the US we just use pontoon boats.

via BoingBoing Gadgets.

Bear Grylls Stocks Trout

From comes a report that Everest climber and T.V. survival guy, Bear Grylls, took time out to help a group of primary school children stock trout in an area river.
All 30 children in Class 5 took it in turns to fish the 40 young trout out of a bucket and drop them in the river, helped by television survival expert Bear Grylls, who was invited by children at the school to join them. “It’s brilliant to encourage the kids to understand about nature and the cycle of life, after they have seen the fish grow,” he said. “A lot of what I do with survival is eating fish when they’re much bigger, and that’s all part of the cycle. I know some of the kids here, so that’s why I got involved.”
In our warped minds this act of salmonid kindness officially absolves Mr. Grylls of any issues that he might have had with hotel stays or bear suits in the past.

photo credit:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

AFFTA Hires New Association President

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association announced today that they have chosen Gary Berlin to be their President.
A former human resources manager and Area/District Wildlife Manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the recent head of the International Hunter Education Association, Berlin brings nearly thirty years of experience in the outdoor arena as well as proven non-profit association leadership skills. He received a Bachelor's degree in Natural Resource Management from Mesa College in Grand Junction, CO and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado in Denver. Berlin, a lifelong Colorado resident, will begin his tenure on July 1 and will be establishing a new permanent home for AFFTA in the greater Denver area.
"AFFTA is in the midst of many new and positive changes to bring better leadership and focus to the fly fishing industry and Gary was the perfect person to direct and implement that change," commented Alan Gnann, AFFTA Board Chairman and President of REC Components. "At our January meeting, AFFTA's board set a series of goals regarding what our organization needed in a new president and Gary fills all of these requirements. The board was overwhelmingly in favor of hiring Gary for this position at our April meeting in Washington, DC during the National Casting Call."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SAA eBay Auction Update

The good folks fighting to keep the Pebble Mine out of Alaska's Bristol Bay region are still hard at work with their eBay fundraising auctions.
Ending soon:

Cloudveil 8x Pro Waders and 8x Boots in M’s or W’s (ends Thursday, 5/22) – current high bid is $400

Trip for two with Reel Wilderness Adventures in Alaska for open dates in August or September 2008 or any open dates in 2009 (ends Thursday, 5/22) – could be yours for $5,500

March Brown Hidden Water 8-weight travel fly rod (ends Saturday, 5/24) – could be yours for $275 (PRICE DROP)

Trip for two to Alaska’s Rainbow Point Lodge for open dates in August or September 2008 (ends Saturday, 5/24) – could be yours for $7,750 (PRICE DROP)

Scierra CTC #9/11 fly reel (ends Saturday, 5/24) – current high bid is $175

Trip for 1 woman with Women’s Flyfishing Alaska in July 2008 plus book, dozen flies, ExOffico shirt and hat (ends Saturday, 5/24) – could be yours for $500 (PRICE DROP)

Abstract brook trout print by Derek DeYoung (ends Saturday, 5/24) – current high bid is $127.50

Orvis ZG Helios 8-wt rod + Battenkill large arbor reel and line (ends Saturday, 5/24) – current high bid is $760

Full-day float trip for two with Yellow Dog Outfitters in Montana for any open date in 2008 season (ends Saturday, 5/24) – current high bid is $300

Hardy Zane Saltwater combo (10-weight rod and No. 2 reel) (ends Monday, 5/26) – could be yours for $950

Fishpond Shooting Star Tech Pack (ends Monday, 5/26) – current high bid is $117.50

Trip for two to Turneffe Flats Lodge in Belize for any open week in 2008 (ends Monday, 5/26) – could be yours for $5,100
New Listings this week:

Simms G4 Pro jacket
Trip for two to Pesca Maya Lodge in Mexico for any open week in 2008
Full-day float trip for one with Kirk Deeter and Tim Romano from Field & Stream magazine’s “Fly Talk” blog + Kaenon polarized sunglasses and Jim Teeny fly line
Trip for two to Painter Creek Lodge in Alaska for any open week in 2008 or 2009
Premium Alaska fly selection from Orvis
Certificate for your choice of any fly rod in TFO’s lineup

Wherein a Connecticut Yankee learns of a southern delicacy...

ESPN's Don Barone visits South Carolina for some bass fishing event and runs into the one thing no self respecting southerner can pass by without stopping to get some....The Boiled Peanut.
Dona: "They a Southern delicacy. We boil them in salted water, and when they 'bout done we use a boat paddle to scoop them out of the tub and let them sit up on the paddle a bit before you bag 'em. Go ahead, EAT IT."

So I did.

You kind of squish them open — soundless peanuts — with the shell just kind of sticking to my finger like melted chocolate, and in what seemed like slow motion, put two of the three nuts in my mouth.
Don's take on the Southern staple?
I'm in South Carolina, what, maybe two hours, both Vic and Dona had mentioned I was a "long way from 'Ke-net-ta-kit' and I have in my mouth that same taste that you get when you do a header into a pond and come up with the bottom of the pond flooring stuck between your wisdom teeth.

I say nothing, in fact I'm afraid to move ANY mouth muscle fearing an involuntary swallow, either going down, or coming up.

And then Dona reaches under the counter AGAIN. "Here," she says while handing me a rather large paper towel…"they an acquired taste."
Apparently northern types can't handle the taste. Now if only we'd thought to deliver a sack of these to General Sherman at just the right moment we might still have a bunch of those old wooden buildings in Atlanta.
Oh there is some fishing in the article as well.
Photo credit: Don Barone

Snake Week Gear: Thompson Cobra Vise

We didn't plan it this way but with Copperhead reel seats, and King Cobra running amok in the Carolina's it must be "Snake Week" here at With that in mind for this week's gear feature we bring you the Thompson Cobra Fly Tying Vise.

Never before has a vise so functional and so stunning been available on the market. From its warm,earth tone, light absorbing finish to its 11 spherical hole pattern accessory bays, the Thompson Cobra Vise proudly takes its place within the long tradition of industry changing vises, tools, and accessories that D.H. Thompson is known for. Experience the New Era of Fly Tying as form and function combine in one powerful tool no fly tyer should be without. Cobra Vise, in Pewter color: $165.00

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I have had it with these $#%^ snakes...

According to of Raleigh, NC a cobra has been sighted in the lowland woods of Cumberland County. This would not normally be news in these parts, however this particular cobra was reported to be eight feet long and was not made by the Ford Motor Company.

Vernon Byrd was on an all-terrain vehicle in a field off Johnson Road last Tuesday when he said an 8-foot-long snake reared up beside him – and the serpent's head was about shoulder high to him.
"I caught something out of my eye, and this snake comes up beside me and looked at me," Byrd said. "I've seen every kind of snake in this part of the country, but I've never seen a snake like this."
He called Freddie Mims, a licensed wildlife rescue agent, who said the description of the snake sounded like a king cobra, the world's largest poisonous snake.

Either Vern is prone to hitting the sauce or one of the fellows at nearby Fort Bragg brought a souvenir back from his last visit to Southeast Asia. I am leaning towards the latter as the more plausible explanation. Either way a change of undergarments would certainly be in order.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Orvis Fly Rods: If we told you, we'd have to kill you...

When my Great Grandfather, Theodore Roosevelt Burleson handed me my first stone fly nymph and fly rod 3o+ years ago, I wonder if he would have ever thought that the rod I got for my 41st birthday would be made of the same military grade material used in Predator drones? I won't even go into what he would have thought about unmanned machines flying about on their own and shooting things. Techie tome Wired Magazine features a look at Orvis' Helios fly rod:
The "stuff" is unidirectional carbon fiber — not the ubiquitous carbon mesh found everywhere from dashboards to tennis racquets, but a new superlight variety that was, until recently, a highly classified concoction. I start to copy information from a label when Stone barks, "Don't write down the manufacturer's name," and slams the door shut.

It's not just trade secrets he's protecting — it's national security. The composite is used in Predator drones and spy satellites for the US military. Stone, along with colleagues at the outdoors supplier Orvis, use it to build a fly-fishing rod. Called Helios, its story began nearly three years ago when Stone, Jim Lepage, and another man — so entrenched in top-secret contracts that nobody would even tell me his name (we'll call him Deep Trout) — set out to build the ultimate rod: lighter than anything ever made but strong enough to land the big one.

This Fly Rod Really Bites

Sam Stoner of Moore, South Carolina has found an excellent way to keep people from stealing his gear. He disguises it as poisonous snakes. Seriously though, Sam's rod building work caught our eye when we noticed that his reel seat spacer was made from the skin of a Agkistrodon contortrix or Carolina Copperhead.

Interested in Sam's work? Contact him via email for more information.

Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge

The guy behind the curtain over at the Southeast Fly Fishing Forum, Eugene Shuler, just qualified to compete at the regional of the Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge. Eugene had the best overall score at the qualifier shooting air rifle and bow as well as casting to targets from the deck of a bass boat using a bait caster.
Congratulations Eugene! Now if we could only get him to wear a patch on his fishing vest. If he wins the entire event we plan to buy the naming rights to his SUV.

Monday Fly Fishing Photo Zen / Caption Contest

Roscoe, NY AKA Trout Town USA where the trout are as big as the gas prices. Best caption wins a copy of Fish Bum I: Mongolia - River Wolf the guys at AEG Media. The editor's Trophy Wife will be the inpartial judge. Leave a comment and get some righteous Schwag.

Photo Credit:

The Fat Trout Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Because fly fishing for trout and drinking go hand in hand.

What distillery does The Fat Trout come from? In the world of angling, it is one thing you don’t brag about. That is where the good angling spots are. Cork does not want to tell what distillery the Lowland comes from, this has to do with bottling contracts and such, but they admit that it has been bottled by reputable independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail, but that doesn’t help us identify the distillery. That said, the number of operating Lowland distilleries are quite few, and those producing today are Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie. Of course there are stock of shut down distilleries around, for instance St. Magdalene and Rosebank, but since The Fat Trout retails at such a good price, it seems unrealistic that it could be rare whiskies like these. We leave it at this, even though we think it is slightly (very) annoying for a connoisseur not to know the distillery.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gear: The Peekaboo Yak

Via comes a sit on top kayak with built in viewing window. The Peekaboo is designed to carry an adult while allowing photo ops through the in deck viewing window. The makers say it will allow anglers to see structure and fish from a cozy vantage point above the waves. MSRP is $899.

Our verdict? Not quite as cool as a woman in a peekaboo dress, but cool none-the-less. An examination of our sick and twisted minds reveals the inevitable picture that we imagine on the roll of film..

SAA Auction Update: Help Save Bristol Bay

We just got an update from the folks at The Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska about their giant eBay charity auction.
Ending soon:
Scierra CTC #9/11 fly reel (ends Saturday, 5/17) – could be yours for $225
Trip for one woman with Women’s Flyfishing Alaska in July 2008 (ends Saturday, 5/17) – could be yours for $600
Scott G2 2-weight fly rod (ends Saturday, 5/17) – current bid is at $450
Islander Precision Reels LX3.8 fly reel (ends Monday, 5/19) – could be yours for $375
Leupold & Stevens Katmai 8x32 binocular (ends Monday, 5/19) – current bid is at $250

New Listings this week:
Cloudveil 8x Pro Waders and 8x Boots (men’s or women’s)
Trip for two with Reel Wilderness Adventures in Alaska for open dates in August or September 2008
Abstract brook trout print
Orvis ZG Helios 8-wt rod + Battenkill large arbor reel & line
Full-day float trip for two with Yellow Dog Outfitters in Montana for any open date in 2008 season
Trip for two to Turneffe Flats Lodge in Belize for any open week in 2008
Hardy Zane Saltwater combo (10-weight rod & No. 2 reel)
Fishpond Shooting Star Tech Pack
Proceeds will be going to help the SAA in their fight against the Pebble mine. For more information about the Sportsman's Alliance and their cause visit this link.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gear: Be a Patriot - Buy a Toon!

One of our all time favorite purchases has been our personal pontoon boat from Water Skeeter. Owning one of these versatile craft has opened up a whole new world of fly fishing for us. That's why we were excited to see this Water Skeeter Lo Profile Pontoon Boat on sale at Sierra Trading Post for 30% off it's normal retail price of $795. At $549.95 it comes in just enough under the amount of your economic stimulus check to allow you some gas money for an actual fishing trip or two (or maybe flowers for the wife if she finds out you spent the check).

Rowing is great exercise so you won't need a gym membership any longer. It will even break down into a package perfectly sized to fit into the back of your Prius. Consider your purchase to be doing your part to stimulate the economy and working for a greener planet, all the while getting rid of the love handles.

Closeouts. Water Skeeter's Lo Profile pontoon boat is a great first boat that takes you way back in the sticks. Super portable and super sneaky, you'll enjoy its lightweight and intelligent design.

Accessories include:
Fixed seat
Cargo pockets
Mesh stripping baskets-utility trays
Aluminum rod holders
50' 10mm anchor rope
Four pully anchor system
Capacity: 350 lb.
Size: Approx. 8-½x4-½’/
Weight: 62 lb.
Aluminum frame
Double-coated PVC pontoons
Aluminum-fiberglass oars
Steel motor mounts and gear racks
Closeouts. China.
Pump not included

Avoid Fishing Pressure - Visit Minnesota

According to this article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune the trout streams in the South Central part of the state are virtually untapped.
"I'd be awfully surprised if we see another trout angler, especially now that walleye season is open," said Mickey Johnson of Brainerd as we walked with fly rods in hand along a faint woodland trail earlier this week.
The photo above if of the Davidson River here in North Carolina. As you can see it is quite "tapped".

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Qu’est-ce qui ce passe?

FlyFishMagazine's European operatives might have stumbled upon some key intelligence in the world of international fly fishing competition. Does anyone have any idea why the French are experimenting with "gypsy moth and spruce budworm nuclear polyhedrosis viruses ingested by rainbow trout?"

Rainbow trout fingerlings were fed dried krill injected with gypsy moth or spruce budworm nuclear polyhedrosis virus (LdNPV and CfNPV, respectively) at a total dose of 1.4 x 107 occlusion bodies (OBs) per fish.

The good news is that the trout did fine...

By the end of the 21-day experimental period there were no adverse effects on fish survival or behavior and no significant differences in feeding rates or growth between treated and control fish. The internal organs of all fish were examined at the end of the experiment and there were no signs of lesions, discoloration, swelling, hemorrhaging, or other aberrations.

Apparently it all has something to do with prime rib...

Visceral tissues were analyzed with a horseradish peroxidase-labeled whole genomic DNA probe (enhanced chemiluminescence procedure) to detect infection by the NPVs. There were no indications of NPV infection (no positive signals) in stomach and intestinal tract tissues of treated fish. High background signals were obtained from liver samples, but further analyses indicated that these were not due to the presence of LdNPV or CfNPV.

Perhaps the French are breeding some sort of Mayfly super race?

The protocols outlined here should be applicable to determining infectivity and effects of genetically modified insect viruses on fish.

DIY Chum Boat

At you can find an excellent archive of free boat plans from magazines such as "Science & Mechanics" and "Boat Builder Handbook". They have some great designs with even better names such as the Chum (pictured here), the Playboy, and the Sea Babe. In addition to being functional the photos and plans have great art quality.

Anyone care to build one of these Three Piece Boats and review it for us? We think it just might be the perfect remedy for that fishing buddy that you can only stand for so long. If you get fed up towards the end of the trip you can simply detach him and set him adrift.

Great White Sleigh Ride - Watch more free videos

It doesn't count unless he lands it...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Honeymoon's Over: Jay Moore Posts Rare TN Fishing Report

Newlywed Middle Tennessee Editor, Jay Moore dropped us a line with his latest fishing report from the volunteer state.
It’s been a long time since I have posted a fishing report for Middle Tn. And that’s not because my new bride won’t let me go. It’s because until recently the generation schedule on The Caney Fork has been 24 hours a day seven days a week since February. She encourages me to go and two weeks ago I tried my luck on the Duck. There was little flow and even fewer fish, and my secrete spot that I have fished with my editor had been invaded by five canoes. There were seven people fishing one gravel bar that was hardly big enough for two. The short version is three small rainbows , one two inch bluegill, and one very frustrated angler.

Sunday (Mothers Day) I got to fish the Caney for the first time since January. I am a very lucky man. My better half had no problem with me fishing on Mothers day (Editor's note: Do not attempt this at home - it is very dangerous and should only be attempted by trained professionals) just so I got back before the day was over.

I got to the river just after sunrise and to my surprise, I had the spot I picked out all to myself. It was one of those mornings that you wish you could record. The sun was just clearing the trees on the East Bank. There was a huge storm system with black clouds to the West. The air was clear and everything was clean and bright. There were owls hooting and wild turkeys gobbling and I felt lucky to be in such a beautiful place doing something that I love. The fishing was great also and for three hours I got to be alone with my thoughts and try to work the rust off my fishing skills. The fish did their part. At one time I had made 14 casts in a row where I hooked a fish. I ended up with 1 brown, 15 rainbows, and my first brookie. Two of the fish were 14-16 inches, most were 10-12 inches. I probably had thirty five fish hooked and brought seventeen to hand. It should have been more, but like I said, I was a bit rusty. All were hooked on a size 16 midge, either a black zebra or a green one I tie with a blue wire wrap. All in all it was one of the best days I have had on the river in a long time and I look forward to going back soon.
I have purchased a MadRiver kayak and plan on testing it out in the near future, so look for a report on my first kayak adventure in the days to come.

McDonald Interviews Carp Master John Montana

You may or may not know that Pete McDonald of Fishing Jones infamy is probably the one person we would point to as the inspiration for our penchant to fling flies for odd targets living in odd places. Pete put us on Peacock Bass in Florida ditches and enticed us to attempt a bowfin on the fly on our latest striper trip.
In what can only go a long way towards proving an unseen collective fly fishing consciousness driving the efforts of anglers across the world, while we were hopelessly trying for carp on the fly, Pete was interviewing John Montana from the Carp on the Fly blog (sidebar links added) about tips and techniques for catching carp on the long rod. Read Pete's excellent interview via this link.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Carp 1 - Murdock 0

With gas hitting 3.70+ per gallon around these parts and all trout streams being at least $75 away, I have decided to try to fish closer to home. Saturday morning I got up early and made my way a few miles from the house to what might best be described as a "suburban fishing hole." This particular spot is located behind a popular local watering hole and, aside from the vehicles of the few patrons who took taxis home, was for the most part deserted. During a recent "scouting" visit to this location (they have excellent Buffalo wings and the beverages are cold) I had noticed a few large carp patrolling the walkway which lines the lake shore.

I parked the car, rigged up my gear, selected what I thought to be a particularly carpy looking fly, and proceeded through the grass down to the edge of the lake. Once there I began walking the boardwalk which winds around the cove with a polarized eye watching for cruising carp.

It was only a few minutes until I spotted a big one moving silently through the water. I moved ahead of him on the walkway and then made a cast with my fly landing a good foot short of the strike zone. He ignored my offering completely never even giving it a glance as he went on his way. I moved to get ahead of him on the walkway and just as I got back into casting range noticed something I had not seen partially hidden in the bushes, a sign that read "Private Property - Owners and guests only beyond this point." I seriously contemplated ignoring the sign and moving the few feet beyond it that I needed to get into casting range. After all the sign was mostly covered up with bushes and a not visible no trespassing sign shouldn't really count. Should it? I could chalk it up as fighting for water rights for the common angler. Remembering my wife's constant admonition not to get thrown in jail, I wisely decided to stick to the (semi) public part of the boardwalk in front of the bar.

As the day continued I had several more shots at cruising fish and managed to get my fly in front of quite a few of them only to have them touch the fly with their barbels and then move away. It was as if to indicate that the flavor wasn't to their liking. I tried casting in front. I tried casting behind the ear in hopes of a reaction strike. I changed to other "carpy" looking flies. Just as I was starting to get frustrated, one of the dumber carp actually ate my fly. My rod went double and my reel began to scream and then went silent as the big fish seemingly spat out my fly and swam away.

Even though I wasn't able get a carp in the net I did learn quite a bit about what it can take to get one to take a fly. I don't plan on giving up trout completely but it's nice to know that I can sight cast for large fish just a few miles from home. As I was walking back to the car I met a gentleman walking his dog and he remarked that one of those carp would be quite a fight on a fly rod. I mentioned that I had not had much luck to which he replied that I might do better in front of a pub with a french fry fly.

I'll be busy checking my supply of pale yellow closed cell foam. Does peanut oil count as floatant?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gear: OTB - Boots for Anglers, Navy SEALS

Anglers are beginning to wonder what might be hiding deep in those felt soles we've all been lugging from stream to stream for the past few years. According to recent science your wading boots might just be providing home to a splinter cell of rock snot or worse. No self respecting fly flinger wants to be the guy who gives all the rainbow trout in his home water a bad case of scoliosis. We also realize that it's important that your gear give you a tactical advantage over the rest of your fellow anglers.

OTB Boots are designed for Navy SEALs and are perfect for anglers looking to ditch the felt in favor of "Tactical Rubber Technology for superior silent traction on both wet and dry surfaces." The boots soles have tiny holes in them that allow water to drain while keeping sand and gravel out. You can bet that these boots will grip the slipperiest moss covered rocks while allowing you sneak up on your fishing buddies quarry, allowing you to get the drop on them and remain dry.

After all, who ever saw a Navy SEAL slip and fall in a river...and lived to tell about it?

STP: We're Burning Down the Barn

Time for a National Fishing License?

With anglers traveling more and more in search of fishy pursuits has the time finally arrived for a national fishing license? We recently received an email from David Grace of, a group dedicated to starting a grass roots movement for just that purpose.
Our proposal would offer a cost effective alternative. If you were licensed in your home state, you would be eligible to purchase the National License. For $110.50, you could fish any state in the Union so if, on your vacation to America’s west, you fished California (7 days), Oregon (4 days) Washington (6 days) Nevada (4 days) Idaho (7 days) Utah (7 days) and Colorado ( 6 days) you would save over $300.00 Now consider the old guy at work who just retired. He and his wife not only love to fish, but they are one of the 20,000,000 RV enthusiasts who live in the US and they plan to spend months each year, traveling and fishing. Would a National License be important to them? You bet it would.
In the past few years I have purchased my resident North Carolina license, Tennessee, Arkansas, Colorado, and Florida non-resident multi-day (SC salt from shore doesn't require one)permits so I would say a 110.50 national permit could make sense for me. Couple it with a travel rod and some of my business trips might just take a bit longer to complete. You don't know how many times I have scoped out a likely looking pond or ditch only to be rebuffed due to my lack of a handy license agent or Internet connection.
To read more about the movement for a National Fishing License visit the website. Also check out their handy table of fishing license fees across the fruited plain.

Mom's Monster Turkey

In the Murdock clan we have a Mother's Day traditon in which we send Mom out into the woods and she shoots our dinner.

Who is that masked woman? Wait that's my sweet Mom!

Mom used to tell us stories about "big bird" but we really had no idea about her true intentions.
Dad is only in the picture to help hold that heavy bird and because he did some cluck work.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fishermen shot on Appalachian Trail

Grim news from Virgina as authorities are investigating the shooting of two fishermen on Dismal Creek near Mechanicsburg along the Appalachian trail. The anglers were both shot and one is in serious condition as reported by A suspect was apprehended driving a truck that matched the description of one spotted at the scene of the crime. Authorities have closed a portion of the Appalachian trail near the area.

The suspected shooter is Randall Lee Smith, who served only 15 years in prison for the 1981 slaying of two hikers on the Appalachian trail. His crimes were documented in the book "Murder on the Appalachian Trail".

In 1982, Smith pleaded guilty to the 1981 murders of two hikers on the Appalachian Trail. He shot Robert Mountford Jr. three times, stabbed Laura Susan Ramsay more than a dozen times and left their bodies in shallow, leaf-covered graves. He was given two consecutive 15-year sentences. The plea agreement halted the case just before it went to trial in Giles County Circuit Court. Smith was released in 1996.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the injured anglers and their families.

SAA Auctions: Save Salmon - Get Gear & Trips

The Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska continues with their eBay auctions to benefit the fight against the proposed Pebble Mine project slated for Alaska's Bristol Bay. The Bristol Bay area of Alaska is home to the world's largest salmon run and the proposed gold mine would pose a serious threat to the ecosystem.

Items for bid are listed at 70% of retail so you have a chance at getting a real deal while at the same time helping support an excellent cause.

Auction items ending soon:

St. Croix Legend Elite 6-weight fly rod (ends Thursday, May 8)
Trip for two to No See Um Lodge (ends Friday, May 9)
Trip for two to Bristol Bay Lodge (ends Friday, May 9)
Galvan R-5 Rush Large Arbor fly reel (ends Saturday, May 10)
Abstract rainbow trout print by Derek DeYoung (ends Saturday, May 10)
Set of two signed Bob White/John Gierach prints (ends Sunday, May 11)
Trip for two to Bear Bay Lodge (ends Monday, May 12)
Patagonia full gear system – waders, boots, jacket, etc. (ends Monday, May 12)

Newly listed items:

Trip for two to Alaska’s Rainbow Point Lodge
Simms Dry Creek bag
March Brown Hidden Water 8-weight travel fly rod
Trip for one woman with Women’s Flyfishing Alaska
Scott G2 2-weight fly rod
Scierra CTC #9/11 fly reel
Leupold & Stevens Katmai 8x32 binocular
Islander Precision Reels LX3.8 fly reel

Check out all the items by following this link to the SAA Website's auction page.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

She said I had too much baggage...

No it wasn't the trophy wife (I did and she married me anyway), it was the lady behind the counter at the airport.
Anybody who has taken a fishing trip that involved a flight has had to consider how to get their gear to and from their destination. I have always found that the return leg of the trip was the one that gave me the most trouble due to the inevitable wet waders and boots that had to be dealt with. Now the luxury of that second checked bag that I reserve for moldy gear will now set me back $25 on almost all of the major airlines. A third one will run a "C" note.
Read's Ode to the Second Checked Bag by Joshua Brockman.
Each bag must weigh less than 50 pounds, and its dimensions (length plus width plus depth) must be less than 62 inches. For those who might consider beating the system, let's face it — there is no easy way to disguise a second checked bag as a carry-on or as your one "personal item." And because the change comes on the cusp of the summer travel season, donning extra layers in lieu of a second checked bag might get pretty uncomfortable.
So here is the question? What is the traveling angler to do? The marketing folks at the Versus Channel sent us some schawg and prizes recently and we will gladly part with some of it (so that we don't have to pack it in our luggage) in exchange for your best fishing related airline packing tip. Leave your tips in the comments section.
Photo: Courtesy NPR

Old Fishing Stuff

I ran across this site today and wanted to share it with the fly fishing masses. was created in 1999 by Phil White of Nampa, Idaho as a way to share his passion for collecting fishing tackle. The site includes news stories, articles and a monthly eBay Report that follows the pricing of collectible gear through the marketplace.
Old Fishing Stuff went on line in May of 1999. At the time there was a decided lack of on line information available for fishing tackle collectors. My vision was for a magazine type web site that provided information, not a site full of my collection, or a message board. I believe we have succeeded.

OFS is not a profit making site. It exists because of my love of fishing and collecting old fishing stuff. I hope this comes through. I have been collecting old tackle since the 1970s, and have written seven books on old fishing stuff. I am the past editor of The Reel News, the magazine of the Old Reel Collectors Association, and have also contributed many articles to the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club.

Industry News: Rio to Distribute C&F Design Products

The fly line folks at Rio Products have announced an agreement to become the exclusive U.S. distributor of C&F Design Products. Most anglers know and appreciate the C&F Threader Fly Boxes which allow the angler to easily attach tiny flies to tippet in low light conditons.

C & F Design spokesman, Takashi Nakajima, stated that the new distribution agreement will
help further grow the C & F Design brand – by offering a greater range of products, sizes and colors to be available to the US and Canadian fly fisher. Takashi says; "We are very excited to have this contract with such a great company as RIO. We know we will have strong sales growth together and look forward to establishing a successful and long term relationship in North America!"
Photo courtesy Cabela's

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ross Reels USA: RealTree Camo CLA Fly Reel

In one of several product announcements this week Ross Reels USA announced a limited edtion version of their CLA Reel with an anodized REALTREE® APG HD camouflage finish.
Ross has recently completed a licensing agreement with Realtree Outdoors and will be offering a very limited number of CLA reels that have been anodized and then coated with a photographic quality . Each reel will be custom engraved with a limited edition number. In past years, these special series have only been offered in one reel size. This year, Ross is pleased to offer a full series of REALTREE® APG HD camouflage finish CLA reels on a first-come, first-served basis.
We see this as the perfect reel for special forces operators or the blue line angler who stalks wary native fish. It will also match your buddies camo spray painted pick up truck. Visit for more information.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

B2 - May his tribe increase...

Fly Fishing celebrity blogger and Patagonia guy, Brian Bennett made a major announcement this past week. Follow this link to Moldy Chum to check it out for yourself.


Here in Carolina's the wife let out major ooh's and ahhhs and a hearty, "She's so cute!!" and I must say that I agree. You and the Missus did some good work!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Coming to a river near you: Filson Waders

Our operatives in the field have confirmed reports that the long awaited Filson waders are slated to hit the outfitter's shelves later this month. We got our first look at these during the 2007 Fly Fishing Retailer Show. According to the company the waders will have many features that Filson's customers have come to expect from the rugged brand.

Filson Stockingfoot Waders, featuring a proprietary five-layer construction, are waterproof, breathable and salt water resistant. Performance elements include a gusseted crotch and articulated knees for freedom of movement, outer leg seams for greater durability, neoprene booties to accommodate a large range of foot sizes and Mackinaw wool lined handwarmer pockets. The suspenders are removable for quick conversion to waist-high waders with a removable belt and drawstring top closure. Classic Filson design elements include bridle leather trim and Filson brass snaps on the mesh front pocket.

In honor of Filson's entry into this product line, they have announced that 1% of the proceeds from the sale of these waders will be donated to the American Rivers Wild and Scenic River Campaign.

"Filson customers will be wearing our new waders on the many rivers protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act," said Bill Kulczycki, president and CEO of Filson. "It is our responsibility to preserve the wild places where our customers play."

Proceeds from Filson’s initiative will be utilized by American Rivers to support its Wild and Scenic River campaign which increases the protection of the nation’s most outstanding rivers through Wild and Scenic designations.

Watch for more developments on these and other Filson products in the near future. Chances are favorable that we might be able to get our hands on a set of these for a proper field test on our soon to be announced summer wilderness excursion (hint: it's to visit a state in the union that Filson products are designed for specifically). If so an extensive report will be sure to follow.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

People: Richard Formato to appear on Outdoor Channel

Virginia angling legend, Richard Formato, recently took part in the filming of an episode of the Outdoor Channel's fly fishing show "Familier Waters." Dan Kegley of writes about the filming of "Fishing with the Ghosts of the Civil War."
Formato said Monday the episode will air this weekend. The Outdoor Channel’s Web site said air times are 1:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 9 p.m. Saturday.
(Editor's Note - Richard sent us the photo above of himself posing with this beautifully colored brown trout. He accompanied it with a story, but we were sworn to secrecy even though he never really mentioned where he caught it.)

"Creative" Headlines - Thursday Edition

We always appreciate the snappy turn of a phrase. Here are a few of the worst offenders of late.

Fly-Fishing federation Catch angling advice on the fly

Barr's boys fly to impressive victory at Rutland Water

More youngsters are reeled in by the lure of fishing taster days

Scientific Anglers' lines reel in fly-fishers

Area fishing prospects getting a little murky

Here's hoping you get caught being reeled into the lure of the murky waters in the near future....