Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why Do We Blog About Our Outdoor Life?

Verkeerder Kill Falls
 Why do we blog about our outdoor life?  That was the question posed on the latest prompt by the Outdoor Blogger Network.  It's a simple question, but for many of us, I think the answer is more complex and elusive.  I personally started this blog for me as a way to keep an online journal of my outdoor activities, especially fishing.  But like a lot of other things in this world, it has evolved with time. 

Autumn on the Coxing Kill
 I find that I have come to enjoy other aspects of blogging that I had not previously given much thought to.  I look forward to the interaction that I have had with other bloggers and people just stopping by to say "Hello."  I also realize what a powerful medium this has become.  Blogging not only connects others but it has the power to entertain, inform, and inspire.  Blogging about Nature and our experiences related to it can only serve to reinforce the importance of preserving it for us now and for future generations.

The Shawangunks
We have a responsibility to care for the land and all its inhabitants.  Maybe on a conscious or sub-conscious level many of us blog to document the excitement, potential dangers, and the beauty of Nature to remind ourselves of that responsibility.

Mountain laurel and Awosting Falls

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The One That Should Have Gotten Away

"Large"mouth Bass
 Even my (then 4 yr old) daughter laughed at me........The Outdoor Blogger Network recently posted an outdoor photo prompt request for the most un-frame worthy photo that you would have.  Well, here is mine.  Early in the season last summer I was fishing at one of my favorite local ponds when I did battle with this monster.  He damn near pulled me over the bridge and into the water....well, actually it was more like I happen to notice something on the end of my line before my next cast.  The only reason I took the picture was because I didn't think anyone would believe me when I told them how SMALL the bass was.  You may notice the spinner hanging from his mouth is actually a Mepps size #0.  As much as I would have loved to mount this guy above the fireplace, I let him go.  I figure in about 7-8 years he'll be ready.  So there you have it, please try and get the laughing out of your system before my next post.  (The worst part is that I actually caught another even smaller later in the season on a fly....Someone up there really has some sense of humor.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


When I decided to start this blog, I had one purpose in mind. I wanted to keep an electronic journal of my thoughts and observations on nature and my fishing experiences.  I would include some pictures of the kids for the few friends and family I thought would take a look at it.  I never really thought about the fact that there would be people from around the world who would actually look forward to reading and commenting on my posts.  However, I have found that this interaction with others who have similar interests and passions has come to be the part of blogging that I look forward to most.  On a daily basis, I look forward to reading other blogs for entertainment, ideas, stories, and just great pictures of nature.  In addition, reading other blogs has introduced me to other aspects of blogging.  One of these concepts is "blog-love", which is nothing more than someone using their blog to point out something really cool, interesting, or noteworthy about someone else's blog. The first time I received some blog-love was from Troutrageous!  It was pretty cool to see the attention to my blog due to some nice comments from a hilarious and respected member of the blogging community.  Now it high time I due the same for someone who has an equally outstanding blog.  Small Stream Reflections is a blog I have been following for almost as long as it has been out there. 

"South Bog"
 Alan at small stream reflections has created a blog that I find appealing for many reasons.  My favorite aspect of his blog are the settings in which he fishes.  I have fished in all sorts of places for everything from striped bass to small pond bluegills.  My favorite way to fish above all is to catch small stream brookies in secluded woodland settings like those depicted in Alan's blog.  It can be challenging and there is an intimacy with your environment that can not be found anywhere else. You can easily get a feel for this type of fishing when reading Small Stream Refelections. I am also fascinated with his ability to create beautiful streamers.  Recently we swapped some flies (the ones pictured here are his creations), to which I am very grateful.  They are works of art unto themselves and I always look forward to his posts on them. 

"Poudre Canyon Special"
 I highly recommend that you take a look at his site when you have an opportunity.  It is well worth following.  The only thing I suggest is that if you are hungry, don't look at his site as that will only make you hungrier!

The last picture has nothing to due with blog love.  It's a picture of the two little girls I love the most!

Bella and Alina

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Bark-Eater

Whiteface Mt from Copperas Pond, Adirondacks NY
 If you read through my blog on a regular basis or are coming to it for the first time it will be apparent that I'm very fond of certain things or places.  Among my favorite outdoor places to visit and spend time hiking and fishing are the Adirondacks in upstate New York or the Shawangunk ridge in the Hudson Valley.  I am also just a wee bit obsessed with Tenkara fly fishing and fly tying.  One of my favorite past times is to create new versions of Tenkara style flies known as sakasa kebari by combining them with characteristics of American or European flies.  In Tenkara there are other types of flies that are used besides sakasa kebari.  Some of which are recognizable to the traditional western fly fisher.  Lately, I have decided to branch out and experiment a little with some of these other types of Tenkara flies while trying to keep to American themes or color schemes.  Therefore, I decided to try my hand at tying a Akiyama Kebari with materials and colors used by Fran Betters in many of his Adirondack flies.  First things first, an akiyama kebari is a type of fly that is tied with nothing more than thread and a stiff hackle.  The hackle is wound all along the length of the hook shank except the back two thirds of the hackle is clipped close to the shank  This results in a fly with hackle similar look to a Catskill dry but with a body of stubble.  That much hackle provides for excellent flotation.  The fly that I have tied looks a lot like an Ausable Bomber that has been scalped of it's white calf tail and been given a close "hair cut."

Ausable Bomber
 I call this new fly a  "Bark-Eater."  Legend has it that the name Adirondacks is an anglicized version of a derogatory word used by the Kanien'gehaga (Mohawk) to describe Algonquian peoples who lived in and around the Adirondacks....ratirontaks-"they eat trees" or "bark-eaters."  From my point of view I think the name is suitable.  Being all twiggy and stick-looking, I don't think this fly looks very meaty but it's not my opinion that counts.  I hope that trout find it appealing and I can't wait for an opportunity to try this fly out.

The Bark-Eater
Bark Eater (Akiyama kebari style)
Hook: Mustad R50-94840, #14
Tail: Woodchuck
Thread: Uni-Thread, hot orange 6/0
Hackle/Body: #12 grizzly, #12 brown

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Looking Forward

Algonquin Peak, Mt Colden and Wallface in the distance
 With spring nearly on our door step, there are a number of things I look forward to.  The change in season brings new or old sounds and sights, depending on how you look at it.  Among the things I look forward to are more time with my girls outside on the playground or at a nearby park, new blossoms on the trees, kayaking, and especially fishing.  However, there is one thing I look forward to more than most things.  I usually make an annual trip to the Adirondacks for some camping, hiking and fishing.  More often than not, I make the trip alone.  My wife does not really have the desire to go on that kind of trip and the girls are still a bit too young, so Claudia is gracious enough to let me go for two days. 

West Branch Ausable River near Wilmington Notch
I usually begin planning for the trip 2-3 months in advance by trying to select the camp site and trails that will allow me to hike and fish as much as possible.  Sometimes I cram too much into such a small time frame and think I should extend my trip but I miss all of my girls terribly for even the short time I'm there.  This year, I plan to camp at the Adirondack Lodge campground and fish the small streams that are close by. This will allow me to slow down and absorb it all and decompress a little.  There is nothing more therapeutic than time spent outdoors and I'm looking forward to it with great anticipation.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Tenkara Fly Swap II

The second Tenkara USA fly swap has now been completed and I thought I would post pics of all the great flies that were exchanged in this go around.  I have included the Tenkara USA usernames to identify the flies pictured below.  I would like to thank Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA for hosting this swap, it was alot of fun to do again. I would also like to thank all the participants, these are some really cool flies.
1. Kiwi - Royal Sakasa Kebari

2. Goneflyfishing - Shaggy Caddis Sakasa Kebari

3. Mike M - Purple and Partridge

4. jburge

5. yakfisher

6. Heineken

7. Daniel Galhardo - Ugly Fly

8. Berner9

9. rsetina

10. erik.ostrander - Umeshu Midge

11. narcodog

Thursday, March 3, 2011

29 Days and Counting

Well, we are now coming down the home stretch......at least here in New York.  It's 29 days and counting till the official opening of trout season on April 1st.  There are a few places around the state, especially here on Long Island, that have an all year open season on trout but this winter has put the kibosh on many attempts to go out.  I'm looking with great anticipation to get back to some of my favorite small streams and look for some brookies.  I'm also eager to try many new fly patterns I have been introduced to this past winter.

Brook Trout

I also have plans to do a little more salt water fishing this year.  I purchased a 15 ft hera rod at the end of last summer and only had the chance to catch a few snappers (baby bluefish) down in the harbor.  I plan to use this pole in a more "Tenkara-like" manner this summer and go after some stripers.  I'll do a future post about my set up and the flies I have been tying for this purpose.  I even thought about doing some handline fishing from the kayak.  But most of all, 29 days or not, I'm really looking forward to getting outside more.  The kids and I feel like we have been stuck inside more than we care for.  Last week one of the surest signs of spring, at least to me, showed itself.  The red-winged black birds and grackles began arriving and setting up shop.  When I see them, despite what the calender says, I know spring and serious fishing is right around the corner.

Partridge Berry