Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Like Christmas Morning.

Few experiences can replicate the feeling of a young child on the eve of Christmas. The night is spent with anticipation and doubt. Were you naughty or nice? Will you get a bag of coal or will your wildest dreams come true? Nothing can beat the feeling when you tear out of bed and run into the living room to find presents. Ripping open gift upon gift is an adrenaline rush. With the realization that Santa does not exist (sorry if I am breaking the news to you) this moment is lost in time unable to ever be fully realized again. Except, if your a fly fishermen.

Like Wearing a Swimsuit.

We happen to be blessed with a sport that provides an endless amount of new toys and with these new toys we can faithfully duplicate Christmas morning. The mailman becomes Santa and work becomes the sleepless night before hand. The car ride home becomes the run out to the living room and the wrapping is a sticker on the door signifying that your day is about to be made. With my new found solvency I have been recreating Christmas morning a little too often. Last week it was new waders and new boots to go with. This week I can barely stop the urge for a new rod. All stuff I do not need. But man, do I want it.

Real Comfortable Boots.

BOA: Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.

I took the plunge this time. For the past ten years I have been buying low end boots and waders from Cabelas. In the beginning they would last me around two years. As the day trips became several days and in some cases dozens of days, those two years became one. The last pair barely lasted a full year. I have bought more wading boots in the last ten years than I have bought sneakers. This time I splurged. I got discounted Cloudveil 8x Pro Waders and the new Korker's Kling-On Predators. Christmas morning indeed. I am now performing a test. Is it better to buy high end gear and hope they last several years? Or is it better to buy low end and have to buy new ones every year or two. Time will tell. Until then, I will thoroughly enjoy my newfound comfort on the stream, in the car, and in public places.

White Clay Creek.

Much Improved Bend After Flooding Event.

Shallow Runs.

Eager Stocked Nemo Hammered UV Tube Minnow.

Nice Stocker Brown.

Bent the 2wt to the Cork.


Old Toys: The Gift That Keeps Giving.

Deer Carcass.

Senyo's Ice Man Minnow Rocks My Socks.

Good Looking Stocker.

All About the Soft Hackle.

& Some Flash.

Add the Mohawk To Stockpedia.
Shredded Dorsal Fin.

Monday, March 29, 2010


It's that wonderful time of year when thousands upon thousands of hatchery raised deformities descend upon our streams to appease and satiate fishermen's appetites and desires for a tug on the end of the line. The first or second weekend in April awakens the masses from their deep winter slumber and the usually uncrowded waters of the winter become circus events worthy of news coverage. For the weekend warrior it is a chance to head out for the first time of the year, while for the seasoned year round angler, it is a time to head out of town in search of greener pastures and wide open spaces. I can talk all the trash I want about stocked fish but when it comes down to it, I am a hypocrite, as are most. Yes, I love to catch wild fish and would prefer a six inch wild brown to a twenty inch stocker any day of the year, but without supplemental stocking, the list of places to fish would dwindle. The majority of streams on the east coast lack the water quality to support wild fish and instead rely on stocking albeit by fingerlings, carbon copy twelve inchers, or fat hatchery hogs. With freshly stocked streams in the state of Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania, the only local waters in town suddenly have fish in them to catch and man, are they DUMB. Out of boredom, I have decided to start naming the fish that have been coming to hand in recent days. I give you, Stockpedia.

The Hunchback- I think we have all caught these guys. Whether it be an abnormally large spinal column or a awkwardly shape head these guys are the untouchables of the stocked fish caste system.

The Lunch Box- aka the rectangle trout. These guys eat a little too many pellets that bloat their insides resulting in an abnormal growth rates. This creates some added mass at the expense of mobility. They are often left without anything resembling a tail and waddle back in forth in the water. They fight like a stick.

The Vampire- You would think this guy was born and raised in a gin clear white graveled stream somewhere in Slovenia. Instead, they come out of a concrete tub devoid of any color. They are pasty white like those that only venture out of the house in absolute darkness.

The I Can't Tell- These guys produce debate amongst your fishing peers. Whenever boasting about them, you proclaim that yes, it was indeed a wild fish. It was pure. It's fins are perfect, it has all the spots, its got teeth protruding out of its mouth. It fought like it was wild. Deep down, you know you are wrong and upon re-examining the evidence you begin to wonder whether or not the fish was indeed stream born.

The About to Be a Piece of Fungus- Close relatives to the vampire breed above. These guys are once colorful pieces of stock that resemble the real thing. Living in close quarters on a diet of dog food produces a slow discoloration. They begin turning into a vampire except they have no life expectancy. Soon they will be nothing more than a piece of fungus on the bottom of the stream feeding the resident insect life. Before that though, they can morph into a fungus infested rocket that you don't want to take the hook out of.

Fake Chrome- On the east coast, we have nothing but fake chrome. We can brag all we want about having huge numbers of so called "steelhead" in the tributaries of the Great Lakes but they aren't the real thing. They are no more a steelhead than the stocked fish on this list are wild trout. These fellows have some genetics associated with "steelhead," and supposedly grow large, very fast. They are dime bright and fight like tanks.

The Holdover- The most desirable of all stocked fish. Every once and awhile some fish survive the time of harvest and become seasoned vets. In streams where thermal stress is an afterthought, these guys can live productive lives where they can grow out of their stocked roots and live, eat, and fight like the real thing.

The Brookie- Brook trout are so pretty even the stocked ones can somewhat resemble a wild looking trout. When they are caught in scenic streams they cause doubt like I Can't Tell above but once again, you know the status of brook trout on the east coast isn't all that great. All assumptions therefore are thrown out the window.

The Hoss- every stocking point gets at least one. Crowds often form around supposed stocking locations of the "one" but more often than not, the guy who gets to the spot first walks away with the prize. That or a six year old kid out fishing for the first time with his grandfather hooks into him while surrounded by seasoned vets.

The Dead- Also in almost every stream, one of the hatchery pigs gets disoriented by the unfamiliar environment and the stress of constant fishermen. They soon perish and become a tumbling piece of flesh floating downstream.

Nemo- The personal favorite. Even some wild fish suffer from this fate. Old knubby has lost all his fins and what remains can be frightening. It can be a fresh wound and look like severed limb or it can be completely healed. The worst is when it is indeed nothing but a knob and you attempt to grab a hold of the of the fish and the knob is what you feel on your hand. I always wonder how these fish can stay aloft in the flows.

The Fingerling- Often times these fish still look like the real thing and some can be real head scratchers. For example this guy looks like a wild rainbow, but he is a fingerling from a nearby tail water that made his way up the feeder stream. When they grow large they resemble the real thing.

Lipless- Up there with Nemo, Lipless can also be a fate suffered by wild trout. These guys are often victims of size six eagle claw hooks with eight barbs down the shaft. Lucky to be alive, they go on functioning as normal unable to ever close their mouths again.

The Hatchery Escapee- These guys are not intentionally stocked. They escape from nearby hatcheries and wreck havoc on any fly floating by. They are often quite large and can become quite colorful in the limestone waters where so many hatcheries call home.

The Palomino- The prized jewel of opening day of trout season. One or two of these bad boys can be stocked in any waterway. They are often trophy sized and every once and awhile the state is known to stock state record palominos. They stand out like a sore thumb and as a result draw even more crowds than the resident hoss. They hardly ever survive the first few days, but if they do, they can become extremely smart. This guy was actually taken in late November. How he made it that long, we will never know.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Maria D's

By far the best pizza I have ever had is from a tiny little shop located in Federal Hill, Baltimore. I familiarized myself with the holy grail of pizza a few years ago once my brother moved into a small town house an alley away. Whenever I was around town, I slept on the brother's couch, fished all day, then scarfed my face with Maria D's. After a long day on the water, anything will taste better, especially a massive pie of cheese, sauce, and pepperoni. As I left the water, I called up one of my brother's friends to see if I could indeed spend the night on the couch. Upon hearing the wonderful news, my next thought was Maria D's and a large pepperoni pie. The mere thought of it cured my lips from their parched state and I began salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs.

Beaver House.

A Great Stretch of Water.

Downstream Look.

Vice Versa.

Nice Little Hole. Lost a Nice One.

Small Feeder Stream.

Choose Your Path.

Things are Starting to Look Green.

With my brother out of Baltimore and in the Caribbean, my tolerance for Maria D's was quite low. After a few slices, my stomach reached max capacity as the grease filled my veins. Normally that pie would be all mine. I saved the rest for the next morning. Waking up on the couch I grabbed all my gear and walked six blocks to the truck. Turning the corner, I prayed that it was still there. It was. Forty minutes later I was stream side with three slices of cold Maria D's. Some say cold pizza is the best. Sometimes it is, especially in the morning. Those three slices fueled my day of fishing like it probably has fueled many others. I rigged up with a streamer again. This time, it was much smaller. A tiny polar fibre minnow tube fly. It owned.

Where is Your Jaw?


Small Bow.

Old Reliable.

Small Beauty.

Midge Doing Work.

They Couldn't Resist.
First Tube Fly Trout.

Another Look.

Rare Brookie.
They Exist.

A Survivor.
May You Grow Large and Old.