21 April 2011

More literary brilliance from Flatswalker

Davin over at Flatswalker has (once again) taken fly fishing blogging to levels I get jealous of in his most recent post. Click the image below to check it out.

Someday, when this shite weather finally causes my mind to break once & for all, I will be cashing in frequent flyer miles and showing up at Davin's doorstep. With 8 & 10-weight fly rods in hand.

Whether he likes it or not.

(I mean, seriously, I'd rather blow shots at permit & bones all day long rather hide indoors from freezing rain, not fishing...)

You'll get that black-tailed beauty soon, Davin!!

Rough Start to 2011 (for me, anyway)

Time/Date: 1410, 21-Apr-11
Location: F'ton

Day 7 of 2011 Fishing Season.

Number of times fishing: 0.


Excuse list: Rain. Snow. Freezing rain. Ice pellets. Wind. Blown-out rivers. Broken trucks.

Of course, spring salmon fishing on the Miramichi has had good reports so far. But one would definitely need a vehicle to get there and would prefer to have a boat. Mine is still on a showroom floor. Or, most likely, in someone's garage. As in, I don't have a boat...yet. Besides, trolling streamers for Salmon in a weakened state isn't really my cuppa. I like casting. Wading. Spotting fish, or at least spotting where fish have a likely chance of being.

(To see Doug Underhill's Miramichi Fishing Report, click here)

In more positive news, I have received my gear order this week! I would really like to be able to give you a full review on it, but....see above. In lieu of actually fishing, I will do a post soon on my updated quiver of fly rods.


Here's some great music from Matthew Good. Try not to relate it too much to my 2011 fly fishing season to date.

(Click here if you can't see the video below)

Stay warm and tight lines...

15 April 2011

Opening Day Music: Something old, something new, something blue(s)

Time/Date: 1020, 15-Apr-11
Location: F'ton

Well, fishing season has finally started here in New Brunswick. It's -2°C, windchill -8°C, with winds gusting to over 30 km/h.

The Nashwaak River looked alright on Tuesday to bounce a nymph for a possible early-season trout, but not now; it's high & brown as baby poo.

With that, I'm sitting this opening day out.

Here's some tunes to warm up to:

(Viewing this in email or RSS reader? Click here to go to the post on the interhorn)

Something old:

Something new:

Something blue(s):

Happy Friday & tight lines!


13 April 2011

Saltwater 101 - Making Your Own Stripping Basket for $10

Time/Date: 1140, 13-Apr-11
Location: F'ton (aka, 1.5 hour drive from the coast)

Let me be clear: I'm not teaching Saltwater 101; I'm taking the course. For me, it's been very much a self-directed study course. I'm sharing whatever useful resources I come across for those in the same newbie-boat as I am.

(For a partial list of my winter Saltwater 101 reading list, click here)

In the books, magazines, blog & forum posts I've come across, one necessary piece of equipment always mentioned for saltwater fly fishing is a stripping basket.

The stripping basket keeps the fly line contained when you strip it in to keep it from tangling around your feet due to wave & current action (it can also be worn on a boat to keep it from snagging, etc.)

As I desire to at least look like I know what I'm doing once I start chasing stripers this spring, I did a quick google search to see where a newbie like myself would purchase a stripping basket.
  • Orvis; it costs $59.
  • William Joseph; it costs $32 (but mesh is not suitable for surf, as waves tend to tangle the line).
  • A company called Mangrove (?); it costs $50 at Cabelas.
After a person drops hundreds of dollars on rods, reels, lines, backing, waders, flies & fly boxes, various vests & packs....$50-$60 is kind of excessive for a plastic tub.

Here's the $10 solution.

Material & tool list:
  • Plastic dish pan ($3.89 at Sprawl-mart).
  • Small, 1 sq ft chunk of outdoor carpet (free from nice dude at a flooring shop).
  • Tube of Krazy Glue ($3.99 at hardware store) or hot glue gun (read Step 4 before buying Krazy Glue, please)
  • 1 18" bungee-cord or perhaps longer if you're a little...ummm..."huskier" (laying in bed of truck for 9 months).
  • A drill or screw or nail + candle or some other method of putting two holes in the dish pan.
  • A carpet / utility knife, for cutting the carpet.
  • A pen or marker or bloody finger tip or some other method to mark where the two holes in the dishpan will go.
That's it.

A note about the dishpan:
  1. Choose a light colour. If you are fishing in low-light conditions (like you should be if you want any success in this whole striper-madness thing), it will reflect the light, making it easier to tie knots, etc.
  2. They make various depths of dishpan. The deeper one will help keep the line in place in windy conditions & in heavier waves.
  3. DO NOT put drain holes in. Waves will hit the bottom of the basket & water entering will lift the line up, increasing risk of tangles. I will explain how to easily empty the basket of water below.
Making the basket

Step 1: Measure & cut 4 strips of the outdoor carpet. Make the strips 1.25 to 1.5 inches wide, and long enough to fit the width of the bottom of the dishpan. Use the outdoor carpet, the knife & perhaps the marker for this step, in case you're wondering...

Step 2: Take the bungee cord and mark where the hole for the hook will go near the corner of the dishpan. The dishpan will go against your waist length-wise, so along the same (long) side, repeat this near the other corner. This is where that marker comes in handy again.

Step 3: Using some manner of hole-making device, make a hole in the side of the dishpan where you made your marks. SEE BELOW FOR IMPORTANT NOTES!

I used a combination of a screw, screwdriver and a candle to heat the screw to make it easy to start the hole. This was a more quiet method, as I didn't wish to wake my beautiful gf with an 18V DeWalt drill.

  • Important note #1 about step 3: if you're using the candle method, use something to hold the screw. Don't whine to me about burning your fingers, dumb-ass.
  • Important note #2 about step 3: if you're doing this method indoors, do it in the kitchen & run the range hood fan, so the smoke of burning plastic doesn't set off the smoke detector (and thus waking up your beautiful gf).
  • Important note #3 about step 3: Make sure the hooks of the bungee cord A) fit easily into the holes and B) point down so they do not snag your line.
Thought those were important to pass along...

Step 4: Wipe the inside & bottom of the dishpan clean, and glue the four strips of outdoor carpet to the bottom of the dishpan.

(DISCLOSURE: The tube of Krazy-Glue I bought for this sucks ass. Seriously sucks ass & is useless. I will be re-doing this with a glue gun as soon as I publish this post. Honesty & transparency & all that crap...)

Like so:

And BEHOLD! There's your completed stripping basket.

Under $10. And hopefully without any burnt fingertips or smoke detectors going off or loud outbursts of swearing because the type of Krazy Glue isn't useful for this particular project.

Wearing the basket

Here's a quick & easy rundown of how to put on & wear your new stripping basket:
  1. Hook one end of the bungee cord to the basket.
  2. Hold the basket in place against your waist with one hand.
  3. Reach around with the other hand, grab the loose end of the bungee cord, wrap it around behind you, and hook it in the other hole of the basket.
C'est tout.

If you are wearing waders & a longer-style rain jacket, put your waders & jacket on first and put the basket on over top. You can use the bungee cord of the basket to tie down your jacket, which helps prevents water from splashing up underneath.

If your basket fills with water, grab the outside edge of the basket & pull it up towards you. When you tip it, the water will pour out on the front of your jacket & waders, which is N.B.D., right?


There ya go. Enjoy your new stripping basket & think of me when you have an extra $40 in your pocket.

I must go find a f**king glue gun...

09 April 2011

Reality TV I can really get into: The Guide House

Sorry for the burst of posts today, but I couldn't pass up sharing this one with you.

I was lurking around Jason Puris' website, The Fin (Twitter here, Facebook here) and stumbled across his YouTube channel. And found a little gold mine of procrastination:

A reality TV show. About fly fishing guides at Montauk, NY, living in a house, a.k.a., the Guide House, while chasing the fall run of stripers, bluefish & albies with their clients.

Fly fishing reality TV. Brilliant. Their might be hope for mankind just yet.

Here is episode 1 (in three parts).

(btw, hit Jason up on Facebook & Twitter, he always has great content posted)

The Super-Awesome 89th Post Extravaganza!!!!

Time/Date: 1700, 09-Apr-11
Location: F'ton

I just realized that this will be my 89th post on 411#3. Do you know what that means!?!?

It's the Super-Awesome 89th Post Extravaganza!!!!!

Without further ado...


I got nothing...sorry...

To be honest, I just didn't feel like doing chores & opening up an Excel file to do some work.

Anyway. Since you're here, I'll try to entertain you:

Here's a picture from an earlier post of what I call the J-Lo tree:

Some fish porn: A few minutes of awesomeness from the gang formerly known as AEG, back when they were know as AEG.

You can check out their new stuff at Motiv Fishing.

Here's a tune from one of my favourite bands.

The song title is what I hope happens to my new fly rods (once they arrive).

Sorry for the misleading title. I'll get to work now & leave you be.

Enjoy your weekend!

FOA Post: Upcoming Events

Time/Date: 1100, 09-Apr-11
Location: F'ton

I have a few little side-projects on the go over the past 10 days or so, which has unfortunately limited my ability to get posts out as often as I would like to.

BUT...I haven't forgotten about you (or, as our wonderful & humble Prime Minister calls us, 'you people').

If you're in New Brunswick (or Maine, PEI, Nova Scotia or Quebec), click on over to the FOA News/Blog to see a list of upcoming events. A lot of dinners & fundraising auctions coming up.

Loosen your wading belt & get off your wallet.

For all you non-Maritimers (the unchosen ones..?), here is some music. Really good music.

BTW, Matt Mays is also from the Maritime Provinces. Just throwing that out there.

05 April 2011

A post about new gear I haven't used yet. With music.

Time/Date: 1825 AST, 05-Apr-11
Location: F'ton

I have finally decided on a reel for my future fresh & saltwater 8 wt rig.

This was a process and a half. Trust me.

It was mostly due to it not being anywhere close to fishing season in these parts for the past few months (season opens April 15th in NB). It seemed every time I had decided on a reel, I'd change my mind four additional times.

But I finally narrowed it down to two: option A, which will remain nameless, and option B, which is the reel I bought.

Option A, in the end, seemed a little too excessive for me in price. It is definitely a high-quality reel, and one of the biggest names in saltwater fishing. Yes, it is still on my 'maybe someday' list, but for now, it wasn't to be.
  • First reason: price. 
  • Second reason: price of spare spools (I wanted one or two spare spools). 
  • Third reason: I have never used this brand before, and was just going from online or magazine reviews.
  • Fourth reason: I would've had to get Chris at the shop bring in a new line-up of gear for me to get it ('cuz I ain't buying it from anyone else!!)
Feel free to try to guess what reel option A is in the comments. Winning guess will get something awesome from me, like...I dunno...me telling them they're right (and cool).

Option B was truly the logical choice: I have one of their reels already, as do several of my fishing buddies. I know they make quality gear and their reels are extremely reasonably priced. I personally hadn't fished with this model, but am familiar with it, and reviews online are very positive. 

Plus we already had the reel & a spare spool in stock at the shop, so I can start fondling it without waiting for it to arrive. Always a bonus.

Option B, aka the 'winning' reel, is.....

The Lamson-Waterworks Litespeed.

This little work of art will hold 200 yards of 20lb backing with a WF-9 line. And it has one hell of a drag system.

(I was about to say the drag could slow down one of the submarines the Canadian Navy bought from Great Britain a few years back...but that's not really complimenting the reel much)

One spool will have Loop's OptiStream WF-8F; the other, Orvis' Wonderline Generation 3 WF-8I clear sink tip. So I'll probably get almost 250 yards of backing on there. 

You reading this, you saltwater bruisers? You're not gonna be lining this guy.

(For that little bit of smack-talk, I'm losing both these lines, aren't I?)

I am very excited for another 10 days to pass so I can start fishing with this. 

Or I might just pile my gear & Awesome the Dog into my truck and haul-ass to Nova Scotia. Their season opened April 1st.

I will post a full review of all new gear once I've spent some time abusing it.

Here's some music: