Monday, July 30, 2012

New Fins In - Toe Top Blisters Out

This is the pair of fins I have been waiting for... Now I will no longer be plagued by blisters at the tops of my toes from fins that do not fit like a glove (right size, but non-accomodating to two toes on each of my feet - extended use would result in spots rubbed raw on my second and third toes, just behind the nails).
Don't get me wrong - I love my Dafins and my Churchills - and for pulling in the pool during laps, they are perfect! But when it is time to don them for sanding-salty immersion, their compatibility falters and I am left blistered. So - yet again I have high expectations for bodysurfing flights of fancy free of painful reminders that I am still Homo sapien and not fully Homo amphibiensis (I don't have webbed toes). But - if Marlon's feedback on the fins we bought him when we were last down in Virginia Beach are any indication, the third time (that I have bought bodysurfing fins) should be the charm (we bought him similar fins and he liked them).
Now we just have to make another beach trip.... Did I mention it has been challenging to adapt to life this far inland..... (written while still smiling!)

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Working a gyotaku on one of these guys is going to be tough - lots of colors embedded in lots of different areas on the fish. When I find a good recipe for bluegill, I'll pull a big one and try the print.

FAQ on the Lake

My old friend Jason stopped by today - a good time to bring the FAQ out of the bag and test it (to make sure it made the trip unscathed). He normally SUPs down in Corpus Christi on a Starboard WP 8'10" - and was keenly aware of the 'flex' on the ULI. It's sitting on the driveway getting warmed up (so the fins can straightened out) and then I'll pump more air into it.

One Fish, Two Fish, My Fish, Noe's Fish

I caught my bluegill at the same time Noe caught hers. She was at the dock and I was at the cutout - she ran over to show me what she brought up. If you didn't see the hand size difference, the bigger fish is the one I brought up.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Properly Hooked

Timing is everything - watching the fish go for the fly, setting the hook (barbless of course) and making sure the fight isn't 'too' long. When it is right, the fish doesn't have enough time to swallow the hook and you can remove the fly from it's lip with your fingers. The fish and I had good timing this time around.

Biggest Catch of the Day Part 3 - Yellow Perch

In the midst of catching a bunch of Bluegill, I hooked into this guy - my first Yellow Perch! It took the orange scud fly I was casting and it fought well. Fight per pound, I'd still give the nod to a big bluegill, but all these fish I've been catching on the Daiwa Soyokaze have bent the rod like a screaming 10# bonefish on an 8 wt - I can't complain.

Biggest Fish of the Day Part 2 (27 Jul 2012)

On the very next cast, I hooked this even bigger bluegill! FAT PIG!!! Good stuff!

Biggest Fish of the Day, Part 1 (27 Jul 2012)

I spent some time casting to and catching Bluegill at the dock at the lake by our house. I finally had my first disappointment with the Soyokaze - I saw three big bluegill sunning themselves and eating bugs from the surface, but way out of casting range. If I had a conventional flyrod, I could have cast to those fish. All that regret quickly faded as I saw another bluegill surfacing within casting distance (and I cast and caught it). I got the opportunity to sight cast to one other fish (and got it too). I caught a bunch of other bluegill at the dock before moving on the cutout in the bushes (the spot I go to when the kids use hotdogs at the dock - my flies don't quite make the fish strike when there are hotdogs around). I nailed this big guy on a rise - a fish this big makes the rod 'sing'! And then....

Smallest Fish of the Day (27 Jul 2012)

I caught this one on a gnat fly. I took the first picture, then Noe took the camera from me and took a bunch more (including the frontal close up).

That ain't a fish - that's a house! Estimated 1100 pound White Sturgeon from the Frasier River. It's understandable that the IGFA would want records measured on a certified scale, but as the concept of catch and release grows, there's got to be a way to acknowledge this type of accomplishment (maybe there is and I just have to read up on it)
Photo credit to the fisherman's wife (you can see her taking pictures in the video on the linked page).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fly Rotation

I switched out the "All Powerful" G Gnat for an orange scud with a longer tail. I just let it sit on the surface and played the waiting game - waiting for the bluegill that were staring at the fly to take, and waiting for the right time to lift the rod - oh the anticipation!!! The minutes seemed like nano-seconds... Needless to say, I had the stronger will (or the less hungry stomach). Fish ON!!!

Hungry Fish

When we walked down to the dock, we saw a bunch of fish cruising around the structure - they were pretty shallow and were swimming in sizable schools. The kids cast flies at the end of their spinning rods baited up with hot dog (they call this the combo and while they have bait in the water, my flies don't get the time of day). They pulled in several and had a good time.
But they ran out of bait (mostly because Noe was chumming the water).

GoPro Hero 2 Ready to Go

There is a little more involvement in setting up this version of the GoPro. Not hard to do, but there is an order to it. Now I'm all sync'ed up! Now I just need to be in some waves to take some cool shots (and not have to spend lots of time afterwards sorting through hundreds of off-shots). Stayed tuned...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Catch of the Day (23 Jul 2012)

Check out the tiger striping on this Bluegill! While everyone else was SUPing, Marlon and I went fishing. I loaded up a new G Gnat and the big Bluegills delivered!!! Rises, takes and hook sets one after the other - each as exciting as a bonefish following a bitter (almost, at least I keep telling myself that) - I pulled up over 30 today. It's easy to like catching bluegills on the fly when they are cooperative - enjoy where you are! None of the fish today made the Daiwa Soyokaze sing - there's always tomorrow.

Local SUPing

SUPing at the lake. Drove a total of 0.5 clicks from the house to the launching point.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Taco Rack Load Testing

Lazy Sunday today - to break the cloudy weather induced slump, I loaded up a SUP (9'8" Starboard Element), strapped it down and grabbed La for a drive. We got it passed highway speeds and the board didn't flinch. With the spacing on the towers, the crossbars had enough space outboard of the tower so that I could run the strap under the outer part of the crossbar - I've been doing this for the better part of 20 years now and I haven't lost a board yet. The carrying tower on our Odyssey is designed around the factory rack and I have to adjust the strap wrap - it's not as elegant as the truck's setup, but it still works (we just have to keep a better eye on the boards). The wind noise did pick up with a board on top, but it wasn't bothersome. I'm happy and give this rack 2 thumbs up!

Catch of the Day (22 Jul 2012)

I cast a G Gnat to this guy (not the one I tied - one of it's neighbors took that away from me - good fight that ended in it breaking off - no better endorsement than that if you ask me; the only thing I'll change when I tie more is to use better hackle so the fly keeps it's shape better). I saw this one rise, look at the fly then moved in to suck it up - then set the hook and held on (I didn't want to lose this guy in addition to the other one previously lost). I've said it before and I'll say it again because it is the truth - enjoy the fish you have and you'll stay stoked!

Kids, Niece and Nephew Fishing

All caught on their own (minimal help from me).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Taco Roof Rack Road Test

No additional noise was made from the roof racks as I was driving freeway speeds. Maybe the loud grunge music played into that finding, but seriously - no additional wind noise was heard while I drove around today. Also there were no apparent issues with the install either - these new bars and the new feet went together a lot easier than the earlier generations I'm used to. I'll throw a SUP board on top tomorrow and test that.

My First Freshwater Flies

My tools and other materials come in on Thursday, but I am running out of Griffin's Gnats and I don't want to buy any more. Noe helped me before she went to bed - we tied a G Gnat and a quick fly I made up to practice whip finishing - it looks like a maggot so it's a maggot fly. I'll try these in the morning. I got the feathers at Michaels today - one of their flower arrangements - Peacock tail feathers and some others. Hopefully the fish like them as much as I enjoyed tying them.

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Racks Installed

I installed the Thule racks on tonight. I got the new Aero Blade cross bar. If you are planning on using this setup, I set the front measurement tabs to 45.5, not the 43 indicated on the fit kit. The instructions also show how the feet sit in relation to the door clamps - from the instructions, you could not get both (foot pads in the position shown on the instructions with the indicated measurement). The rear bar went in fine according to the instructions. The Windsurfing Hatteras bar pads will be there until I can get a set of Dakine extra long pads (top padded version). Overall it seems like they'll do well - I'll take them for a spin unloaded and then loaded tomorrow.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Welcome Back Home Fishing

So we're back home - no more surf for a month or so (next time we'll hit the Outer Banks). I asked the kids if they wanted to go fishing and they said no - so I went solo. I started with a G Gnat, but I was experimenting with terminal knots and after I saw a large bluegill pig come up for the gnat, and then after setting the hook I saw it mouthing a fly realizing it wasn't food - I figured out that the knot slipped ($#*%). I put on a green scud and kept on fishing. I pulled in a bunch of small bluegill and these two smallmouth bass. Now that I am fishing for the fish that are here where I live, I am happy to get it all dialed in and go catching - it now doesn't matter that the fish I'm catching aren't 20 pound Trevally or thigh bone sized Albula - 1 or 2 ounce young Bluegills are fun when you can sight fish them. Another good day of fishing (tenkara style with a lightweight Soyokaze - awesome!!!!)

Big Ghost Crab

This guy didn't have a hole to jump down. I moved slowly and was able to catch it with not much effort. Made me wonder if it was old (and close to passing to the next stage of the food chain).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not a Fluke

Although it may have a similar shape to a fluke (the fish), this paipo's performance is the opposite - and consistent with yesterday's awesomeness. Same surf spot, much hotter temps and a smaller swell, but still the same stoke! The waist high break could have been 6' Laniakea because I had the same amount of fun. Conclusion after two days of surfing - the paipo is pure awesomeness and a board to behold!!!