Saturday, July 31, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane.

The view from my brother's front porch. The lucky son of a bitch. I cannot wait to get back there and wet a line. The forecast calls for a steady dose of 20+ knot winds, 3 meter seas, and a high chance of rain, rain, and more rain. Not exactly the conditions I was hoping for but we will have to make do. Hopefully the pelicans are dive bombing some bait sixty feet offshore with tarpon, bones, and the occasional blue runner exploding from below. This River is Wild may be getting quiet for awhile or we may be updating on a daily basis. We haven't exactly decided how this is going to work. Either way, we hope to catch fish of any kind and let all of you fish vicariously through us. 


Friday Night Lights 2.

In less than 24 hours all three of us will reconvene for three weeks of fishing. Straight fishing. We try to replicate this experience every summer and we have taken a habit of calling it, "A Taste of the Dream". This year, year four, will be the first time we will be fishing in saltwater for our lengthy summer gathering. Adam and I have very little experience fly fishing in saltwater, while Matt has had the pleasure of living in the Caribbean for a little less than a year. Hopefully we will find some success on our own, on foot, and at the mercy of mother nature. For the past month we have been hitting the vice to fasten our mouse traps for some of the most highly sought after game fish on the planet. We don't normally show a lot of fly tying so this is our second "tying post". Friday night lights. Not football. Just three dudes, some PBR, High Life, and a whole lot of tying and talking. I just want to thank my mother and grandmother for allowing me to cover the entirety of our dining area (for a month) with all my tying material. Many a time feathers and bits of tying material floated into a drink or on a piece of chicken. Here is some of our saltwater arsenal we have tied up for the trip.

Full Arsenal.

Shark Flies.

Fish Skullz, UV Ice Dub, & Some EP.

Some Needlefish and a Monster EP Peanut Butter For Some Cuda'

Matt's Sampler.

Close Up Of Matt's Elk Hair Work.

Some Jigs. 
Tungsten Cone In There.

Some Baitfish w/ Built In Bite Guards.

Polar Fibre Minnows. 

Gummy Minnows.
From Tarpon To Bonefish.

Some Baitfish.

Some Sand Eels w/ Jigs.
I'll Save Them For Some Stripers. 

Tarpon Toads.

Adam's Perfect Toads.


Some Tarpon Fry.
Too Big @ 2 Inches.


Crab Sandwiches.

EP Rules.


Will Senyo's Ice Man UV Minnow Catch Tarpon?
We Shall See.

Polar Minnow With A Mid Layer of UV Ice Dubbing.

Adam's Bonefish Arsenal.

Some Deceivers.
Fish Skullz.

Bunny Tarpon.
Tan, Chartreuse, White, Purple, & Black Death.

Micro Polar Minnows For Bones.

Adam's Got Crabs.


Some Shrimp.

Some Kwabbits.

Shrimp w/ Mink Tail.

Upon Closer Inspection.

Gotcha? Charlie?
Whatever They Are Called.

Bonefish Bitters.

Borski Sliders.

Bigtime Gurgler.
Mark + Boehms + Gartside

Some Way Too Large Size 6 Crabs.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Catfish on Fly.

I am sure you have all seen "River Monsters," on Animal Planet. A "biologist" heads out into some remote areas to catch some of the largest and dangerous freshwater fish in the world. Many of them are catfish and they get absolutely huge. Many of them are more than just scavengers and attack other fish with reckless abandon. I keenly remember one episode where two men are floating down a blown out river tossing huge plugs near the banks. As the plugs hit the water, 3-4 foot catfish are exploding on them instantly and they are the babies. Why the hell aren't fly fishermen taking advantage of that? I have seen some pictures of fly fishermen holding up huge Wels catfish on their pontoon boats and recently a few South American catfish from the "lucky" guys guiding around the Amazon. I would be all over that if I had the opportunity.


More Company.

Walked To The End of the Canal.
No Ghosts.

Meanwhile, here in Pennsylvania I can only dream of far off locales and gigantic "killer" catfish to catch on the fly. On a recent hunting excursion on a new canal I was out looking for some new carping water. The temperature is in the 90s and after walking two miles I hadn't seen a single glimpse of the golden ghost. It was getting hot so I started looking for other quarry to make the trip a little more worthwhile. I found a lone catfish going to town digging a new burrow and placed a damsel on her noise. She attacked and after a spirited battle I brought the largest cat I have ever caught on the fly to hand. Food for anything in Europe, Asia, or South America. I can only imagine a two hundred pound Wels catfish tearing up a 12-weight and dragging me around a lake. For those lucky enough to live near their territory, what are you waiting for?

A Spirited Fight. 

Damsel For the Win.

My Largest Yet on the Fly. So Small.

On Day a Wels Will Be Mine.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flash Flood 2.

Driving down the highway, the windshield wipers are beating back and forth at their maximum level. The rain is coming down like cats and dogs and we are heading out into the thick of it. Our target: GBONES. It is around noon and a band of severe thunderstorms is rolling through the valley wrecking havoc on small streams, city streets, power lines, and old trees. Not the type of weather to go fly fishing in let alone sight fishing for ten pound carp in skinny water. Normally these storms come out of nowhere impacting a planned day of fishing. This time, we are knowingly heading out in the middle of a nice system dropping buckets on top of our heads.

 Carpin' in the Rain.

All Smiles.

Good Fish To Get The Ball Rolling.

The Second.

Small Damsel.

Our reasoning is simple. The hot weather and lack of steady rain has lowered water levels and increased the amount of vegetation on our spring creek fed paradise. The fish are spooky and increasingly difficult to entice with a fly. We need every advantage we can get. Chocolate milk water be damned, it is probably easier than the gin clear waters of the summer because the carp let their guard down. They have trouble spotting us on the bank or our lines on the water. We can literally walk up right on top of them and have several chances before they spook. The carp also like their new territory. The water level rises several feet thanks to runoff from the showers. The runoff brings food too and they line up in the "rapids" to pick off anything resembling a food source. Pretty cool stuff.

None Too Pleased With a Missed Hookset.

High Dirty Water.

The Third.

We roll up and step out to embrace the rain. A recent storm is passing through and the tail end of the showers is raining down upon us. By the time I rig up, Adam has already caught a carp. As I make my way to my next destination he hooks and lands another. I make my way back and get off a few casts before he gets yet another golden bone. All three coming in pouring rain. As I finish taking a few pictures, the rain begins to taper off and the fishing gets challenging again. A few more fish come to hand and we leave the lake just as a new storm is rolling in.

Getting Under The Willow.

One of Only a Few Mirrors.

The Fourth.

The Best Part.

Thunder & Lightning Bearing Down.

Golden Slab Amidst The Chocolate Drank.

I Am About To Be Dripping Wet Too.

A Gift to the Rain God.