Thursday, March 28, 2013

Leaving For Michigan

I get out of work at 6:30 AM tomorrow, and we're leaving right after.  There may be a stop at the Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee Mills to look at some waders and other gear because I got a gift card for my birthday.  I can't wait to fish in West Michigan again, I hope the weather cooperates.

Here is a video for tying the Black Barber that I threw together yesterday.  Now that I've fished this pattern and caught my first brook trout on it, I think I can call it a good pattern.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Gear

I have been meaning to write about my new fly rod for a while now.  I replaced my broken Cabela's rod with an Echo Solo 9' 5wt 4 piece rod and reel combo from The Fly Fishers.  The rod comes in a soft pouch that fits into a hard carry case, and The Fly Fishers fits the reel with backing and Airflow standard line.  The rod comes with a lifetime warranty too, at less than $130.00, this is a great deal!  I haven't really done a lot of long casting with it because I've only been fishing tiny trout streams with it so far.  I have done some really nice roll casting though.

I also picked up a new fly box.  I had been cramming all my favorite flies into one box, and bringing a larger box with dividers with me whenever I went out, so I could return and replenish my dwindling stock.  My new box opens on each side and holds quite a few flies. I seriously need to tie more flies to fill my boxes now.

Nymphs and wet flies on this side

Dry flies on the other

My old streamer box that I used to pile everything into

One more piece of equipment I won in a giveaway from GET EM WET.  It's a wrist lanyard that you attach your nippers to.

I'd use it all the time, if I could get it away from my Little Cleo.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Eventful Saturday Morning

The past few weekends, I'd made it a goal to look at a couple trout streams I hadn't fished before.  This morning, I visited three.  Two new, one I'd fished before, but with no success.  The first was Coco Creek.  I looked at three separate places without fishing any of them.

The next stream was Mason Creek.  On my way to the stream, I saw many turkeys, geese, and sandhill cranes.  I love getting out of the city and seeing a little bit of wildlife.  Not too far from where the next pulloff was, I spotted a big dead roadkill turkey.  I continued on to one overpass, it looks tight and technical.  The next one is a little more open, but I think it flows through private property.  Maybe I'll wade it someday, but not today

I had to backtrack a little to get to my final destination.  On the way, I pulled off by the turkey.  Very dead, but still whole.

Those tail feathers were in beautiful shape, and to buy them, they might run up to $5.00 apiece.  I gleaned the roadkill of seven beautiful feathers for fly tying.  It would have been a crime not to in my opinion.

Now on to Rosenow Creek.  Thrice skunked, yet I return.  I was the only car there again, I made my way downstream.  Right away, I started seeing the occasional shadow of fish darting from cover and disappearing in the shadows, but no takes on my Bugger.  I tried some nymphs, still nothing.  I made it about as far as I could go before crossing the stream on downed trees piled up at the widest point, then headed back.  There were some really promising looking spots I just couldn't get to on the north bank.  I lost my scud in a tree, and tied on a bigger streamer.  I dapped it in along an undercut bank, and finally a fish darted out and took it, and quickly came ashore.

It's too bad my camera didn't have time to focus for that picture.  It was a beautiful fish, it felt like holding a handful of emeralds, speckled with occasional sapphires, rubies, and garnet.  Here is another shot from my phone.

The brook trout fell for one of my Black Barbers, how cool is that?  The sun really shone brightly from the red holo tinsel.

This is my first brook trout.  It is also my first fish on my new fly rod, and my first wild trout on a hand tied fly.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brown Trout in Milwaukee

I think all the brown trout in this video were caught in Milwaukee.  I see the US Bank Building, the Milwaukee Art Museum, or the Hoen Bridge in most of these shots.  We have World Class brown trout fishing here in Milwaukee.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Variations on a Pattern

The Partridge and orange wet fly is a classic pattern.  Orange thread and partridge hackle, that's it.  So simple, so overlooked.  I've never used one, but I took the idea of such a simple pattern and improvised some flies with my low stock of available materials and tied some of these for my family's upcoming trip to Michigan.

The top one is as simple as it gets.  Black thread for the body, copper wire for the rib, a big gold bead for a head, and a red neck hackle feather on a size 14 dry hook.  I used the dry hooks because that's all I have in that size.  How much of a difference can it make?  For the one pictured on the bottom, I found three strands of pheasant tail fibers laying in my lap.  I used them for the tail, and wrapped around the hook for the thorax.  Slightly more complicated than the original Partridge and Orange of the 1800s, but still pretty simple.

I don't tie enough wet flies, in fact, I don't think I've ever really fished with a wet pattern before.

For more information and interesting history on the Partridge and Orange click here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Glacial Landscapes

Some pictures from today's trout stream exploration.  Note the lack of fish.

I had Rosenow to myself

I was actually behind a hatchery truck

Scuppernong River, Kettle Moraine State Forest

I thought I heard a trout rise.  It was ice falling in.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Long Cast/Getting Skunked

I have some hand tied flies all packaged up, ready to ship to a friend in Oregon.  Congratulations to Ken, a new fly fisher, For guessing the number in the Early trout season giveaway!  I'm so happy to think about some of my flies going and catching fish out on the west coast.

Quote of the day: "Really, fishing is just larping isn't it?  Out there trying to catch pokemon."

I said that to my wife when I got home from getting skunked today.

Friday, March 8, 2013

So Much Awesomeness In One Day!

Today is my Little Cleo's first birthday, she's growing up so fast!

I was excited to see my girls when I got home, so I almost didn't even check the mail like I usually do.  I decided to check it to see if there were any gifts for her.  There  were no gifts for her, but those have been flowing in pretty regularly.  There was however, an envelope addressed to me from my favorite fly fishing shop!

My wife ordered me an early birthday present.  Looks like I'll be doing some early season trout fishing very soon.

Thank you so much, my beautiful wife!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Favorite: Hot Sauce

Sriracha sauce, made by Huy Fong Foods, often called Rooster sauce.  I go through this stuff faster than I go through Ketchup, seriously, I'm on my third bottle this year.  It works best in asian dishes, but it has come to the rescue of many turkey sandwiches.  And if I'm in a restaurant looking at a menu and I see something that lists Sriracha sauce in the description, that's probably what I'm going to order.

Here are some of my original recipes calling for Sriracha.

The Best Ramen Ever:

  • 1 package of Ramen (I use Maruchan Oriental flavor, but beef or pork would probably work pretty well, you're only going to use half of the seasoning packet anyway.)
  • Dark sesame oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Curry powder (optional)
  • Sriracha
Prepare the noodles according to the package, but pour the water off when the noodles soften.  Pour the noodles into a bowl, add approximately half of the seasoning packet. Drizzle enough soy sauce over the noodles to make the seasoning packet begin to dissolve.  Add about a breakfast spoonful of peanut butter and mix together.  Drizzle a little bit of dark sesame oil, sprinkle a little curry powder, and add as much Sriracha as you can stand.

After boiling the noodles, pour off the water, add the noodles to a wok with hot sesame oil. Break an egg and scramble the noodles in the egg, add a bag of frozen vegetables, half of the seasoning packet, soy sauce and Sriracha. You got yourself a big plate of deliciously spicy lo mein.

Super Easy Fish Sandwich With Deconstructed Spicy Sweet Tartar Sauce:

  • Frozen, battered fish fillets or fish sticks (we use Gorton's)
  • Bread
  • Mayonnaise (not miracle whip)
  • Sriracha
  • Bread and butter pickle chips (Vlasic, store brand, whatever.  I like the sweet and spicy variety if I can find it.)
  • Cheese (I like Colby-Jack)
Prepare the fish according to the package.  slather one slice of bread up with mayonnaise, place the fish on that slice. top with a slice of cheese, a few pickle slices, Sriracha, and the other slice of bread.

Canned tuna variation:

This is a great way to make a tuna sandwich with stuff you probably have in the cupboard.  Drain a can of tuna, put it in a small bowl, a custard dish is perfect.  Add a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise, some Sriracha, and little soy sauce, or hoisin sauce if you want, last time I used Soy Vay garlic hoisin.  Mix together with a fork, scoop onto a slice of bread, add more Sriracha, and the other slice.  Great with toasted bread, or used to top a slice of sourdough, or a french baguette or something.

As I mentioned earlier, I regularly use the stuff on turkey sandwiches.  It mixes well with ranch dressing, so I make a sun roasted tomato turkey sandwich with Sriracha ranch dressing.  I don't like turkey too much, but this makes such a good sandwich!

Survey says

My wife made these sesame teriyaki chicken legs last week.  They were amazing alone, but I added Sriracha, which gave them a nice kick.  Maybe she'll post the recipe on her blog.

Here are some other foods I use Sriracha on regularly:
  • Fried rice
  • Stir fry
  • Fajitas
  • Cajun
    • Beans and rice
    • Jambalaya
    • Dirty Rice
    • Blackened catfish
  • Oven roasted salmon (I put it on before baking)
  • Fried fish (especially catfish)
  • Mexican
  • Turkey burgers