Sunday, April 29, 2012

A love of food

There is something that every fisherman of every kind, be it Tenkara, fly, saltwater, freshwater... noodling...

From whatever fishing preference you hail from, we share something in common.

A love of food.

You could even argue on a philosophical level that our love of food is what ties us to the sport of fishing (no pun intended.) We are trying to appeal to one creature's love of food as well, and spend all kinds of time and money doing so.

In honor of this love, I am sharing one of the most amazing foods I have ever fed upon. 

Thank you, Honey, for finding it, and thank you Two Peas and Their Pod for being awesome. (This is an original recipe of theirs!)

I found it intensely refreshing. The cucumber adds a snap that excites the eating experience, but is not required. Note the instructions at the very bottom. 


The Edamame Avocado Salad Sandwich

Yield: Enough salad filling for 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste
Garlic chile paste, to taste (I use 1/8 teaspoon)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread slices (I use Sesame Seed or Whole Wheat Bread)
Cucumber slices, for serving, optional



1. Place edamame in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times to chop up the edamame, you don't want a puree. Scrape the edamame into a medium bowl. Add the avocado and mash the edamame and avocado together with a fork.

2. Add in the garlic, green onions, rice vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, wasabi, and garlic chile paste. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place salad filling on bread slices and top with cucumber slices. Serve.

Note-The salad is best eaten the day it is made. The salad filling can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but it might turn slightly brown due to the avocado. Save the avocado pit and place it in the middle of the salad or add a little extra lime juice to prevent browning.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Job change and dead week.

Goodbye, US Cellular.

4 years of experience in retail wireless. Just finished my last day about two hours ago.

On to Business Account Management at Terminix!

This week, as mentioned in my previous post, I am graduating from College. I like to call this dead week. The best thing I can do for our home and family right now is help my wife juggle all things that must be accomplished before family comes into town, and that means no fishing.

Be expecting some product reviews. I've got a Panther Vision cap I got from my sister that I want to review, plus I might do one on the fly line I use.

In the meantime, check out River Hunter Flies new creation, the "Gut Buster"! Read his post about it.

Looks great for warm water! Shoot, I'd eat it. If I did that sort of thing.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Redington Blackfoot River Fly Fishing Vest

Christmas has always been a big gift-giving/gift-receiving time for our family. My wife and children and I received many and gave many last Christmas, but none of mine was so anxiously kept safe for three months than this, bestowed by my mother and sister:

Redington Blackfoot River Fly Fishing Vest 

When I opened it, I felt giddy. I felt excited. I wore it around my sister's house. I considered wearing it during the hour-long car ride home.

With my fly fishing adventure beginning to unfold in force after two seasons of carrying around a box,  I marveled at the technology that was the fly vest. A tackle box you can wear. How exciting!

So far, I am very passionate about the utility of this Redington vest. I have taken a swim in it before - not that I wanted to - and it dried very quickly.

There are plenty of pockets for all of the different tools and gear that I currently carry, with more for when I have everything else that I might need in the future for fly fishing.

I love it, and I recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive starter or one that will last you a long time.

Please take a minute to comment on some questions:

  • Do you use any Redington gear? If so, what do you think?
  • Are all vests created equal? Why or why not?
  • Was I a weirdo to get so excited about it that I wore it around the house during Christmas?


Carp on the Fly defines the word "Big"

One of my new favorite blogs, Carp on the Fly (link to main page here), posted something today I think everyone should understand better, as I now do: the definition of the word "big" when it comes to fish, especially carp.

The author of Carp on the Fly holding a small horse big carp

This, my first carp, is the antithesis of 'big', and it almost took my line out down to the backing. Can't wait to hook into a 'big' one!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Orvis affiliate... cool!

Really neat little tidbit... through the Google Affiliates Network, I have been accepted as an affiliate with Orvis!

I will post good advertisements as they come my way. Hopefully it saves those investing in Orvis gear a few bucks, and gets a good name out there for more to see!

They will be figured in the right-hand side, until I find a better place for them.

This week's:

 Only good till the 30th, so go crazy if you need 'em!

Graduate? Don't mind if I do. Or am.

What a crazy month! As I organize the mass of experiences I have gone through or will be going through in the near future, 'graduate' is the perfect word. It applies right now in four different ways. Fly fishing is mentioned in two out of the four, although flies have something directly to do with 3 out of the 4.

1. College

First, college.

Yes, ostrich, grammar does matter. A big thanks to Jenna Johnson for sharing this really funny tumblr feed. Just click the ostrich to see them all!

I will become a graduate next Saturday. From college. That's right, folks... it's been 9 years.  B.A. in Foreign Language - Spanish Emphasis from UNO, next Saturday. Woohoo! 

2. Fish species caught on a fly

 I went out with a good friend this morning, Brett Carruthers (featured below), who introduced me to Bennington Lake here in Omaha. He introduced me to the pond on the West side of 180th on that map.

His weapon was a spinning rig alternating between a jig and a large spinner. Hooked into a big one right at the beginning: I'm a witness! It got off like 6 feet from him, so we'll call it a quick release.

How did I graduate in species? Well, I landed a nice, chunky little largemouth first thing on an olive weighted Woolly, switched to a white Wal-Mart popper and caught something new.

Chalk the Black Crappie up on the list of fish caught on a fly.

Then I caught this beautiful little guy. Caught a few of them, actually, but this was the biggest. The beautiful purple coloration is really starting to pop in these guys.

I was very grateful for the action this morning, and to enjoy it alongside a good buddy.

3. Awareness of how fishing can help those who hurt 

I absolutely have to give a quick bump to my post about Project Healing Waters, as well as include more organizations that help those who hurt through fly fishing.

Project Healing Waters

(Also, Wounded Warrior Project, a site unrelated to fishing that allows you to contribute to the care and recovery of wounded soldiers in general.)

Casting for Recovery

4. Employment

On Monday, April 30th, I begin new employment as a Business Account Manager for Terminix.

Terminix. Flies. Get it? Okay, maybe it was a long shot, but hey.

Gotta love graduation.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing

Thanks to my new Outdoor Blogger Network friend, Mel, for posting about this organization.

As an appreciative United States citizen, my hat goes off to every man and woman who fights for their country, and especially those that sacrifice their lives or limbs in the line of duty.

To quote the introduction on their website:

"Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings."

Once again, thank you to all servicemen and women, from the bottom of my heart, and may fly fishing help you through whatever pain you face.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Early morning fog, and a putz (Updated)

I rolled into my favorite fishing hole bright and early, about 5:30. Leader was too short, so had to tie a double surgeon's and add a couple feet. It was about 39 or 40 degrees out, but the water was warmer from the day before.

Heavy, amazing looking fog. I have to admit, I felt a little freaked out as I crested a bluff and only saw about a hundred yards.

Dropped my black topwater by some familiar structure just at the beginning of the pond, had a bass pop it on the second cast. Too dark for a picture. A nice porker, about 13 inches. They obviously have been feeding very heavily, because I have been catching them with fat bellies.

Fog cleared up down the bank, so I pocketed my fears of mist-born killer pumas and walked to my cove down the shoreline. Started dropping my popper around structure, had some big green sunfish hit it. Nothing else.

Second bass was caught at the end of the morning off of a point. Dropped the popper six feet from shore, and wham!

About 13 more inches. Once again, very chunky. I suppose they could be females about ready to spawn.

Headed back to my car to end my day, and caught site of some amazing wildlife:

the elusive putz,  Muchus idiottus

It was male, and it locked it's keys in the car. 


For the second time in a week. 

I was able to grab a picture before he broke down into tears.

Wife came to the rescue, and I learned how to break into my own car using a shim and a coat hanger. What a day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Product Review: "The L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing"

Macauley Lord, Dick Talleur and Dave Whitlock joined forces several years ago to create the L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing. Fly fishing for beginners can be difficult, but this book offers wonderful insight. And its entertaining!

There I was, July 2, 2011. My birthday. My sister and her daughters had come down from the Loess Hills of Iowa. My mother gave me a gift card to Bass Pro, my sister had given me a hat with a LED headlamp built in, and my beautiful wife gave me this book. I was thrilled. My fly-fishing experiences were just beginning, and I was hungry to learn more.

My wife researched heavily before buying this book and found it to be the best rated for beginning and intermediate fly-fisher people. There are great things in it, however, that I'm sure even experts can benefit by reviewing.

This book contains:

  • A very high quality introduction to fly fishing as a sport
  • Hand-illustrated diagrams that show:
    • Casting basics
    • Fly knots
    • Fish species
      • On a special note, I especially love this part as a father, because I have sat down with my 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old on several occasions to look at the pictures. They love it!
  • Beautiful photographs of landscape, habitat and the authors with their catches
  • Detailed instructions for several types of warm, cool and cold-water fly patterns
I highly recommend it for anyone that is beginning a fly-fishing journey or that just wants to expand their library with something they can improve from, as well as something they can introduce to younger generations and children.

If you didn't catch the link on the picture, here's one directly to the Amazon listing.

Happy fishing!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Remember Water Boy with Adam Sandler? And, a knife fight with a deer? WTFrench?

Ok, so do you remember in Water Boy when Adam Sandler's character starts getting really mad at the quarterbacks as if they were talkin' bad about his momma?

This week featured a rare double-header. (I don't count Monday's attempt at fishing because the weather was so bad. It was great to hang out with John for a bit, though.) By double-header, I mean I went fishing two mornings in a row.

This morning I was on a mission for topwater bass again. I was throwing the same black chugger that I did yesterday.

Turns out I can't find my deer-hair mouse. Sad.

Anyway, success with the Double Haul casting continued today. It makes life a lot easier. I was casting to the fringe of some underwater weeds looking for the ambush when I noticed to my left out on the water a large log. I assumed it was fairly shallow, but it could be several feet. 

As I was chuggin' along the shore to my right, I heard movement in the water by the log out to my left and saw a big furl tear off towards the middle of the lake. 

My eyesight was clouded by the imaginings of enormous bass. Of course, I double hauled my butt out to that part of the pond. 

Back to Water Boy. The log is the backfield. A small spot of moss floating three feet to the right of the log is the line of scrimmage. My chugger is the quarterback, and he just dissed on that fish's momma like you wouldn't believe.

I know I couldn't believe what I saw. Three chugs through the water, and the bass actually cleared the water up to its lateral line to cross the moss and land its fat mouth on my chugger. It was the most amazing take I have ever seen.

And the crowd goes wild.

I hooked into some more big green sunfish this morning.

Also, before I caught this bass, I heard something behind me that sounded like a bull snorting. I snapped my head around, thinking, "Oh no, I'm going to be eaten by a mountain lion," but didn't see anything right away. Sure enough, though, I heard it again, and about 40 yards away, a whitetail deer popped its head out, stared right at me and snorted again. I checked for antlers to make sure I wasn't going to have to get in a knife fight if it tried to charge me. No antlers, but the creature started hopping around and acting all funny. I didn't know what to think.

No more fishing this week for me. Man, what a fun sight that was.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Early Morning Fly Fishing Report 4/18

Light rain and scattered thunderstorms were in the forecast when I looked at it last night. I woke up at about 10 minutes to 5, listening to a steady spattering on the roof. I saw one or two lightning flashes while in bed, but no thunder.

Perfect for an outing, in my opinion.

I got up quietly - if you want to call the horrible, horrible creaking of my floated, 50 year old wood floor quiet - and hurried downstairs. I grabbed a poncho out of the basement, threw my smartphone in a plastic baggy and left.

Without my LED light, I made sure to tie this morning's fly on while at the car. Shown below. I call it my "black foam chugger." My brother gave it to me.


Almost immediately, my practice and visualization with the Double Haul paid off, because it finally clicked! I found myself feeling the load of the pole and being able to shoot line effectively this morning. I dropped the chugger over a few well-known parts of the pond without results, before heading to my favorite cove. 

 There, I began depositing it on the backside of some lightly submerged cover. I waited with held breath, listening for the gurgle that meant a fish had taken it. It surprised me when it happened!

The fist got caught in the branches of the cover, so I had to take a bit of a swim, but I got it out. Probably about a foot long. About 2 lbs. or so.

After my swim, I tossed further into the cove, and hit some big green sunfish that took the chugger off of the top.

Finally, as I told one of the other bloggers I met on Fly Anglers Online, his blog found here, I tied on a Royal Coachman and tried for more sunfish. I landed one more green sunfish, shown below, and two bluegill a little further up the shore. They are definitely starting to spawn.

Can't wait to continue my adventure on that pond. I just need to get my wife out to walk with me!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A short visit and a short fuse.

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to lose my temper. It is with great shame that I admit that I took it.

My twelve and 8 year old nieces (twin 8 year-olds) came to visit from Friday to Saturday. They stayed the night, and we all hung out at our house. It was great fun, and we had a good time playing instruments and chatting.

Saturday morning saw the opportunity to go fishing. My nieces talked about it a lot during their stay. They were very avid about getting out on the water. I was really excited to show them a fun time fishing as well, thinking that it would be as simple as getting a hook on their pole, showing them where to cast, then letting them go. You know, self-sufficient. Independent. Powerful.

Then the tangles happened. And the stuck reels. And the lures wrapped around poles because of failed casts, and the inexperienced logic of, "Well, maybe if I keep flailing it frantically, the lure will magically fly away from me and light upon the water."

I remember those days as a kid, but I seemed to have forgotten them as an adult.

My wonderful 12 year-old niece loves to fly fish. Who could have asked for a more wonderful opportunity? All personal temper tantrums associated with that particular day aside, I am amazingly blessed to be part of a family of people that dig it. We practiced on our front lawn for a little while.

 She flexed her skills on the water and landed the first green sunfish of the day.

The other two started kicking butt after a couple mishaps with reels and lures. 

Below is a chunky green sunfish.

A beautiful purple bream.

An even bigger, beautiful purple bream.

All three girls caught more fish than these pictures depict. I caught a fingerling large-mouth on a red-head Black Ghost.

It was a great day on the lake. The only whitecaps were the ones on my infantile patience. But, they were forgiving. I'll do better next time. The most wonderful nugget of the day, though?

My wife standing near me and saying, "Oh, this makes me want to go fishing so bad."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tangles and Strangles

My mother-in-law, while on one of many bays of Leech Lake in Minnesota, said to me, "A bad day of fishin' is better than any day at work."

I thought then that such a thing didn't exist - a bad day of fishin' - but this morning came close.

Tried the deer-hair mouse with a woolly bugger dropper idea again, this time choosing black instead of olive. Within the first 15 minutes, I had wrapped my flies around my pole like one of those gladiator wrap-around-the-other-guy's-legs weapon things at least twice. Got snagged. Twice. In the same place.

Anyway, it was beautiful morning just the same!  Just a few hang-ups with those usual tangles.

I found a little cove further down the edge of the little pond I've been trying out, so I headed down that way a little later on. I switched from the dropper right to a single big foam chugger, black. Don't know what it is called. Started casting it into some brush, without a single tangle.

Had a bass smack it once. Failed hookset. First action all morning. Heart's pounding.

Redelivered my chugger to nearly the same place, and several casts later a bass hit it again.

Succeeded on the hookset this time.

Alas, no picture, because this is the part where the "Strangle" of this story's title comes in. Turns out I had set the hook slightly into the gills of the fish.

Several days previously, while running along the bank, I had dropped my pliers, so I had to use my fingers to navigate the hookset.

Turns out the bend of the hook had wrapped around one of the many rakes and slightly punctured another. I backed the hook out, angled it away from the rakes then pulled the lure free. A lot of blood loss, from what I could tell, but I didn't know how bad.

The whole process took what I thought was too long to save the fish. I lowered the fish into the water, moving it back and forth to move water over the gills. All of the blood washed away and stopped flowing, and the fish woke up, swimming off slowly. He was struggling a bit, so I helped him along.

I wished him the best, and kept moving down. Last cast of the day, got snagged, took the line down to the backing trying to find the right angle to unhook (since I can't afford to lose ANY bass chuggers), then reeled it back in.

Got the chugger back. Passed by where the bass was struggling, and he was gone. Wasn't skunked, but lots of tangles, almost one strangle.

Until next time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Largemouth Bass on a streamer? Of course!

Today's story begins nigh on ten years ago, maybe more. It was junior high and high school time, and I was on a private swim team during the summer. To make things interesting, my then coach, Jeff Stalnaker, decided he would let me don a t-shirt and jeans for most of the daily workout.

Swimming while in clothing is like running while pulling a cart full of bricks.

Why mention this on a fishing blog, you say? Well, because trying to cast a dropper rig comprised of a deer hair mouse and a #6 Olive Woolly bugger is like running while pulling a cart full of bricks.

Went out very early this morning and started pulling in gorgeous true bluegill, or bream. Large-bodied with bright orange breasts, they are one of the prettiest species I have caught. I usually catch them pretty stunted, too, but these were great. Above is one example. Caught this on that dropper rig.

This one was caught on the dropper rig, as well. Couldn't feel the strike until I lifted the pole slightly on accident, then set the hook.

After about 30 minutes on that rig, I removed entirely and tied on a #5 streamer of some kind my bro gave me.

Remember swimming with clothes? Yeah, when I took the clothes off, I flew through the water. Same with casting. So much more pleasant under 'normal' circumstances. 

Caught a few more bream on the streamer, then this one.

I love warm-water fly fishing.