"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

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

New Bag!

I don't know if you know this, but I get asked to do a lot of fly tying demonstrations. And when nobody asks me, I have no qualms about begging people to let me do fly tying demonstrations. And not only that, but I also teach a lot of fly tying classes all over the Seven Counties of the Greater Minneapolis and St. Paul Metropolitan Area. And sometimes I even tie flies at my real job when I am supposed to be doing real work, not that I will ever admit to that if my bosses ask me...
Ratty old Wilson gym bag.

In other words, I need to haul my fly tying stuff around from place to place, and then back to the original place, sometimes with another place thrown in for good measure, quite often. And for the past 20 years or so, I have been hauling it all in the same ratty Wilson brand gym bag. When I started doing the hauling, it was the only empty bag I could find. It was empty because, surprise, I rarely went to the gym. I still rarely go to the gym, so the Wilson bag has remained as my main fly tying bag this whole time. But now that ratty Wilson gym bag has become even rattier: the straps are fraying; the nylon fabric has holes in it; and worst of all the zippers are both broken, so there is no way to close it up and keep prying eyes out of my goodies.
Broken zipper

Another problem is that it's not big enough to carry all the tool sets that I let my students use in my classes, so I oftentimes have to use one of the bags that our family members have collected from free handouts throughout the years. The most recent one that I have been using is from the Regions Hospital Burn Center, which I am very grateful to say none of us have ever been to. It is a nice bag, though...

All this is to say that I decided it was time for me to get a new bag. So I did. I wanted a larger bag than I had, so that I could haul all of my stuff, including the 8 or so tool sets for my students, all of my tools, my vise, my lamp, and whatever materials I may need to tie whatever I flies I need to tie. I looked at local garage sales, I looked on craigslist, I looked on ebay, and I finally found one that seemed to fit the bill on facebook Marketplace. It's a big green duffel bag that is actually a little bigger than I was thinking, but now that I have it, it seems like it will be perfect.

New big, green duffel bag.
It's got plenty of room for all of my tools, there is a big area for as many materials as I can fit, and I can even fit all of the student tool sets in the two spacious zippered pockets on the ends. There are even other pockets that could hold my lunch, my phone, or even a small mammal, not that I have a reason to carry one of those around. Usually.
Look, it holds all of my stuff! With room to spare!

I know this isn't really all that exciting for most of you, but I am super pumped about my new fly tying bag. If you see me carrying it anywhere, you might want to follow me. A fun fly tying demonstration or fly tying class might be about to happen.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Camping Trip #1

The family and I just got back from our first family camping trip of the year. This was not a fishing trip, but I was hopeful that I would be able to get a little fishing in at some point during the weekend. There is a fair-to-middlin' trout stream in the State Park we stayed at, so I brought a rod with, just in case. I also brought along the rod I got for my kids to learn how to cast with, just in case any of them wanted to join me.

On Sunday evening we had some spare time, so my oldest daughter, who is 10, and I strolled down to the river to try our luck. We only brought the kids' rod with, because I wanted to be at the ready to help her out if need be, and when I have a rod of my own I tend to not be very observant of others...

We had a great time, my daughter did really well with her casting, I found several burning nettles and one tick with my legs, and we didn't catch any fish. But that's OK. We already have plans to go to another of my favorite streams in the near future. Maybe we can catch some fish there!
The Family Truckster, in all its outdoor glory.

The Family Camper, our home away from home that isn't nearly as large as our actual home...

I had never seen one of these before, a platform for putting your phone on and taking a selfie. What will those crazy Wisconsinites think of next?
The Wife and the two youngest kids climbed up to the top of the bluff and are waving to the camera. Can you see them?

The youngest child, who can't read, reading a book in one of the hammocks...

Trees






She's doing pretty well, for only casting a few times...
Where the river splits in two.

I notice more stuff when I bring my daughter along...

The pool we fished the most. It always looks fishy, but I don't remember ever catching anything there. Maybe I should take the hint...

A fun way to end the evening. And this post.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Trout Trip 2019

May of 2019 marked the second annual Trout Trip, sponsored by TheRiffle.blogspot.com and TimberOfFaith.blogspot.com. When I say that the trip was sponsored by two blogs, really I am just saying that the two bloggers who are responsible for those two blogs went fishing together. It was three days of fun, fish, and fellowship. I am already planning out Trout Trip 2020 in my mind!
I had a free couple of minutes before we left and threw this logo together. We both agree that it's a little much...

Last year, for the first annual Trout Trip, my cohort, Bryon, and I went to SE Minnesota, and fished in and around Forestville State Park. This year we decided to stick a little closer to home, staying in western Wisconsin and fishing the streams that I honed my skills on in my youth. Again we had a great time and caught quite a few fish.
Bryon, 3 of my kids, and our rig.
The back of the rig. Bryon's 2 rods are on the left. My slightly larger pile of rods is on the right...

The weather was fine for the first two days, with highs in the low 60s and lots of cloud cover. Then it rained all night, and the streams got high and muddy on the third day. The fishing cooled off quickly once that happened, but we still had a great Trip.
First rod of the Trip, my Scott F2 8'2" 5wt glass rod and Marryat MR8 reel.
First fish of Trout Trip, a non-trout Horny Head Chub. 
2nd rod of the Trip, my Fenwick FF805 glass rod and Marryat MR8 reel
Nice brown. Caught on a size 14 Squuck.
Lunch the first day. Delicious!
This tree hadn't fallen down the last time I was here...
Looking upstream.
Bryon's fly box.
3rd rod, my Orvis Superfine Glass 7' 3wt and UFM UEDA 2150 reel.
My biggest brook trout of the Trip, caught on a size 8 silver Bugger
A nice brown in the water.
A nice brown in my hand.
Mmmmmm, delicious egg bake for breakfast!
I think there was some run-off this spring...
5th rod of the Trip, my Scott Pow-R Ply 9' 4wt graphite rod and Daiwa Alltmor S-200 reel.
Last stream of the Trip, before it got high and muddy...
My last trout of the Trip.
High and muddy...
The soles of my brand new wading boots fell off after I crossed the river once. Ugh! The manufacturer is taking care of it, though, so I won't rip them. Yay!

Friday, May 10, 2019

First Fish Fotos

Finally caught my First Fish of 2019. As you will see in the fotos, it was a brute of a bluegill. Must have weighed at least 9 ounces or so... I have been waiting for the 'gills to move in close to shore at my in-laws' lake. It's been a cold spring around here, so they seem reluctant. If I was a bluegill I would want to get the spawning process going as quick as possible, if I may be slightly R-rated for a second. Know what I mean, merh merh?

OK, enough dirty talk. Here are the fotos:
First and only fish, so far. I have been telling people on social media that the planks of the dock are 20" wide, but in reality they are more like 19.5"... or 6"... I'm not good at eyeballing things...

Fished with my beautiful and dependable Fenwick FF84 glass rod and beloved Lamson LP-2 reel. They performed flawlessly.

This FF84 is pretty much new.