Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Rod is the Tool.....The Reel....To Hold Line....

Warning: This is a MAJOR rant! Read at your own risk!

On Facebook yesterday, I posted I was looking for another rod brand as a few of my Redington Classic Trout rods literally broke in the same place on 2 separate occasions at the tip. I went on to explain that I used these to catch carp and steelhead. No big deal, right? Wrong according to Mr. Know-It-All.

So, my first rod broke because of a tree branch. My line got caught in it while traveling through the woods a few weeks ago to go catch carp. The tip just touched the branch and broke. I was pretty livid that it broke so easily but granted I fished that rod solely for a good 8 months so I wasn't too mad. But then it happened again on a separate occasion when I went fishing yesterday! We took a van to our fishing destination as the park provided that service for us which was nice but it wasn't so nice that they didn't have any PVC pipe to protect the rods and 10 guys were in the van stepping on each others equipment....Not very cool. So, on my second cast, the rod tip broke! 
Just one of a few Redington Classic Trout rods that broke. Not kidding. Lined these tips up with the other CT broken tips and they matched. Scary....!
This is how my search for a better rod began and that's why I posted my explanation on Facebook on what rod I was looking for. It all started with a friendly explanation about what brands but as the discussion got deeper, so many haters came in saying that I was abusing the rods. Hmm. No. Did you see that I also fished 2 OTHER Redington Classic Trout rods that broke IN THE SAME EXACT PLACE?! Oh, no! You just wanted to prove your point! One guy when as far as to post what recommended fish go with each rod. Thanks dude. You're a real contributor to this wonderful discussion. 

*sigh* I guess people don't realize that rods break. Reels break too! Rods are merely the tool that you use to fish with. If used correctly, they can be a work horse! Graphite is a lot more fragile than fiberglass which is why I really enjoy fishing my 6'6" Eagle Claw rod for carp and other larger species that require a subtle cast. I feel like I can never ask anyone's public opinion on any subject about fly fishing and only resort to a select few who are my friends and won't criticize me for what I do. 

If you know what you're doing and know how to play a fish, yes, you can land them in a short amount of time. Just don't tell me what to do because you're too scared to do it yourself! Have you tried it? No? Then don't tell me what to do. 

End of rant. 

PS: don't even get me started on why I hate fly shops and their owners....Just another bunch of snobs....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kelly Galloup's Peanut Envy

I absolutely love to throw streamers. Unfortunately, I feel that I do not have as many opportunities to throw really big ones since I moved to Georgia. I still sell a lot of them on my website, Stone's Flies. However, of all the streamers much less articulated streamers, my all time favorite is the Peanut Envy. Why? It's simply a woolly bugger on steroids! The movement is incredible especially when fishing in a river. The marabou makes it breathe and really gets that fish's attention! Just an all around fantastic and relatively simple fly to tie!

Below is the tutorial on how to tie the Peanut Envy. I was extremely unsatisfied with the other You Tube videos as they really didn't describe everything in detail so I made my own fly tying tutorial! I hope you all enjoy!

Here are the colors that I tie as well as the materials that go with them. Note: you can get the barred sili legs from Cabela's. The Crazy Legs are from Hareline. Don't think you MUST get the same legs that I have listed. Experiment! Maybe you'll find or like something better than I have listed!

Grey - grey marabou, pearl ice dub, barred crazy legs minnow grey/black flakes, natural grizzly hackle

Black - black marabou, black ice dub, crazy legs black/red flakes, black hackle

White - white marabou, pearl ice dub, crazy legs white/silver flakes, white hackle

Orange - orange marabou, orange ice dub, barred orange crazy legs, orange hackle

Yellow - yellow marabou, yellow ice dub, crazy legs yellow/gold black flakes, yellow hackle

Olive - olive marabou, olive/peacock ice dub, barred olive crazy legs, olive hackle/olive grizzly hackle

Pink - pink marabou, pink ice dub, pink/pearl pepper crazy legs, pink hackle

Golden brown -  golden brown marabou, golden brown ice dub, pumpkin/olive black flake crazy legs golden brown hackle

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bro, Do You Even Debarb?!

Ah, yes. I remember when I was young and foolish and never debarbed my hooks. I killed many fish this way and if they weren't killed in the process of me ripping the hook out of their throat or lip, they'd swim off in even more pain and I'd struggle to get them free which would cause even more harm to them as the barb is in the way!

I first started debarbing my hooks after I came back from Idaho in September of last year. They all debarbed their hooks no matter what size as it made for the catching and releasing of fish quite simple. Then it got me thinking....why don't I do this? I did it for a week straight as I was more or less forced to but I then finally saw the light! It really made me a better fisherman.

Probably one of my favorite fish caught to date on the fly. 26" 7lb steelhead on my 2wt. The hook was debarbed.
So, here's why I debarb which is really in no particular order:

1. It reduces the harm caused to the fish.

    Think about it: when you bring in a fish and the barb is still intact, that hook could potentially be buried deep in the throat or in other sensitive areas. If you snag a fish especially in the gut or even face, it can create a mess when you try to get it out. Yes, a quick but firm jerk with a pair of pliars or mitten clamps will also do just as well but that barb can increase the risk of a larger hole especially during a fight! Debarbing also preserves the beauty of the fish. There's also a better hook up ratio as the hook penetrates easier.

23" rainbow caught on a giant black beetle fly. Trailed behind a hopper.

2. It's easier to get out of the fish as well as foreign objects such as yourself!

    We've all been there: you're nymphing on the bottom of some skinny water or stripping a streamer in a big river for some hog steel, you miss a fish and when you pull your line out of the water, your fly gets stuck in your clothes or worse! Your skin! Now, how painful would it be to yank that hook out of your skin if you didn't have someone else to help you? It's pretty bad. Trust me. I also hate it when my clothes get ruined because I cannot get the hook out and as a result, I have to either leave it in there till I get the proper tools to actually take it out or just rip it out which sometimes causes holes to form in my clothes which I REALLY don't want. : )

3. It makes you a far better angler!

    Think about it. What does a barb do when you hook into a fish? More or less, keep the fish from shaking the hook especially when there is slack in the line! Debarbing makes you a better angler because a) makes you want to land the fish faster because you now have a greater chance of losing the fish because of no barb, b) you make yourself control the tension on not just the drag but the line as well and c) taking control of the fish so you can in fact land the fish in a quicker amount of time.

Gotta love the hognose sucker! Amazing fish to catch! Hard fighters especially on a 2wt! This fish was accidentally snagged but because I debarbed my hook, it was easy to get out! : )

Now, granted, these are just my personal views and opinions on this subject. I have addressed both pros and cons on the subject and really always debarb. Another point to address is the cost of barbed vs barbless hooks. There really is almost a 50% increase in price respectively! Granted, really makes sense as once you think about it, the companies are trying to appeal to the mass market who buy hooks and don't think about crushing the barb. It's just a mass production thing more than anything. Hope this all makes sense as I've written this at work at some stupid hour as I work 3rd shift.

Your thoughts on this controversial subject in this day and age?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fly Tying Tutorials!

Wow....Have not blogged in FOREVER! Don't worry this blog isn't dead! : ) Work has really sucked a ton of my time up and all sorts of life transitions! So, to show everyone I am, in fact, still alive and well, here are some fly tying tutorials to help pass the time! I know it's not much of a post but be sure to subscribe and check out my You Tube channel! Hoping I'll have a real update here soon as I am going fishing in SC for stripers and trout!

Simi Seal Fly Tying Tutorial

Grizzly Nymph Fly Tying Tutorial

Daddylicious Fly Tying Tutorial

Chubby Cousin Fly Tying Tutorial

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Places New Faces New Projects!

Hey guys. For those who follow this blog it's been some time and I apologize. I just got married a month ago, settling into our new place here in Georgia, and adjusting to work and living with someone else is quite the mouthful. I will say this though: I've never been happier. Despite the fishing down here being a learning curve, I'm very happy and blessed with so much.
In the next week or 2, I plan to post some really great and exciting things about fly fishing hacks and some fly tying videos so stay tuned!

Here's what's going down in the next few posts:

Adding a fighting butt to an Eagle Claw Featherlight rod.

Tying the Blue Assassin fly

Tying the White Lightning fly

Tying Galloup's Peanut Envy fly

This is just some of the things that will be taking place over the next month. That is if time allows it! Haha! I hope you guys enjoy what's coming.

Tight lines.