"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

"A dude can't live on just two fly rods alone..." - Scott Hanson

Man, I have some deep thoughts...

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Sevens, Part 3: Garcia Americana Beaver Kill

I learned about the Garcia Company when I was but a wee lad. My dad had an Abu Garcia spinning rod and reel combo, and he seemed to revere it as one of the best things ever to be developed within the world of fishing. Actually, now that I think about it, his rod and reel might not have had the Abu Garcia name on them, they might have only had Abu on them...Garcia was a separate company, formerly known as Garcia Conolon, and Abu was a Swedish company, and at some point they merged to form Abu Garcia, but Garcia Conolon had formerly been known ad Narmco...This company has a very confusing family tree which I am going to stop trying to figure out. I'm not a big history buff, any way.

One thing I do know about Garcia Conolon fly rods is that they usually were quite nice casting tools. They didn't always have as many guides as what is now the norm, but they did cast nicely. I have owned a few over the years, including one of their light blue jobs that looked like it had gotten painted in the same factory as 1970's kitchen appliances. The one thing that always stood out to me about old Garcia fly rods is that 99% of the fiberglass rods you see for sale have metal ferrules. Even the spendy olive-colored "Lee Wulff" models all had metal ferrules, and I am pretty sure they were made in the '70s when most other companies had gone away from metal ferrules...Of course, I could be wrong about the timeframe. And everything else, as well...

There are a few exceptions to that metal ferrule rule within the confusing Garcia family tree, though, which make that tree even more confusing. The Garcia Americana rods were made with fiberglass spigot ferrules. I am not sure if Garcia Americana was another company to add to the tree, or if that was just a model name or something else. I do know that they were made in America, and I also know that they were awesome casting rods. How do I know this? Because I own one!

It's a Garcia Americana Beaver Kill, and it's a 7' rod rated for 5&6 weight lines. It's got a beautiful dark brown finish, nice spigot ferrule, nicely-sized cork grip, and it's a super sweet caster. Most older rods with a dual line rating always seem to cast better with the heavier line, but this Garcia casts a 5wt line better than a 6, in my opinion. Last fall I fished my favorite trout stream all day with this rod, and it handled nymphs, streamers and dries with equal aplomb. And I caught fish all day, so the rod must be great, right?

Gear used today: Garcia Americana Beaver Kill rod, 7', rated for 5/6 wt. line; Redington Drift 5/6 reel; Cortland Dyna-tip 5wt WF line.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017-The Year of the Crappie

Don't pay any attention to the title of this post. 2017 is not really the year of the crappie, I just wrote that to excite, enrage, and entice people to read this post. I think I might need to work on figuring out what actually excites, enrages, and entices people...

Yesterday was April Fools Day around here. And everywhere else, for that matter. Nobody in my household got fooled, that I know of, but we did get a lot accomplished, both inside and outside, as it was a beautiful 65 degree day, and a lot of Spring cleaning occurred. The kids even ran around in shorts and t-shirts. Personally, I thought it was still cool enough for pants, but what do I know?
A beautiful first day on the lake!
The Boy
At the end of the long day, the Boy and I had about 10 minutes to stroll down to the nearby lake and try to catch something. The ice hadn't been gone for all that long, so I suspected there might not be anything swimming around within casting distance yet, but you never know. I brought out my newly acquired Shakespeare 1250 Wonderod, a 7'9" 6wt that is not the normal Wonderod white, but instead a brownish tan color that I think was meant to mimic the color of bamboo. Although the cork is a little hard, it cast like a dream. I was very impressed with this rod's power and accuracy.
The 1250 Wonderod
The Boy hasn't quite mastered casting a fly rod yet, and I didn't particularly want to have to dig the wooly bugger out of either of our hides, so I cast and let him strip it in. We fished that way for about 10 casts, until the Boy decided he would rather go up and gather sticks from the yard for money, like his sisters were doing. After he left I made 4 more casts. After the third cast I was starting to think this was going to be a fruitless fishing trip, but then I made my fourth cast. I was stripping in my chartreuse wooly bugger just like we had previously done, but this time it stopped, and I instinctively set the hook, even though I hadn't set a hook in about 5 months, After a short battle I pulled in my first fish of 2017, and the first crappie I have ever caught in this lake. As my mother-in-law, who happened to be standing nearby, would attest, it wasn't huge, but it was a fish, and I was happy to catch it.
My first crappie from this lake.

My trip ended with that fish. Hopefully I will get back out soon and catch something else. Then maybe I can change 2017 to The Year of the Crappie and Other Fish...
The ol' Wonderod did a fine job!

Gear Used: Shakespeare Wonderod Model 1250, 7'9" 6wt; Scientific Angler System 6 fly reel; No-name 6wt DT fly line; Size 6 chartreuse wooly bugger.