Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Morning Subfreezing Fishing

While a lot of people were paying homage to their capitalistic gods, I was conducting a survey with the fish at 4 Mile Run. There was more water in the run than last time - ankle deep in areas that were dry last time. I used the Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 2-way Zoom rod, mostly in 390 mode. I was casting using a TUSA Furled line with a short section of 7X tippet. I used a pink squirmy wormie until it magically came off mid cast (frozen fingers tie crappy knots), then I used a bead head killer bug for the rest of the trip. I ended up catching 7 bluegill, 2 pumpkinseeds and 3 green sunfish. With the setup I had, even the small guy's pulling felt like a pissed off dobie yanking at backyard chain. Scale down your tackle to increase your fun!!! Oh - did I mention it was 25 degrees out???? UPDATE: I forgot to mention I caught a glimpse of the legendary white tilapia!!! I'm going back with my 5wt to catch that fish...

Tuesday Evening

Urban fishing. Gravelly Point. I was trying to hook into striper in the out bound tidal flow. Cold, rainy, lost flies, a huge beaver swimming around me giving signs that "hey man - this is my turf...) and skunk. That's fishing....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Rod Joins the Lineup

This was my birthday present this year - the Suntech Field Master. Three way zoom tenkara style rod. You can fish it as a 360 cm rod and zoom down to 320 or up to 390 depending on the situation. I'll admit that I didn't need a rod to fill this size niche - I have the Daiwa 43MF Kiyose for large fish and a Nissin Fine Mode Nagare Two Way 390 to 440 for the smaller fish. What the Field Master does do is fill the size niche just below and conveniently right between the other two capability-wise - it has the backbone leading up to the Kiyose, but is lighter and has some of the sensitivity of the Fine Mode - just right. But perhaps the thing that I like the most about this rod is it's name - FIELD MASTER - and the rod is just that - it gives you the confidence that you can land most any fish that you can fool with a fly. So here are the three general purpose fixed line flyrods that you'll see me toting around as I try to antagonize the local piscine community (catch and release of course so don't get your undies all bound up in knots).

Fall Fishing Jackpot

Cold, overcast and windy conditions. Pink squirmy wormy fly. New tenkara rod I got for my birthday. Questionable judgement in choosing fishing spot (you anglers in DC know what I'm talking about). But oh man did it payoff! I literally lost count of how many fish I caught. Granted they weren't big, but given the late Fall conditions, I'm not complaining. At low tide, this is 100% sight fishing. Shallow, interconnected pools with steady flow in one direction. This feeder into the Potomac is well known and highly visible - it falls back to the questionable judgement on how desperate someone has to be to fish this place. I have been here before, but haven't caught anything. I have seen people pull large carp out of the water here and put them in plastic bags certainly bound for the frying pan. But knowing what flows through this run, I would not think of eating fish from here, especially bottom feeders. But I will try to catch them while the rest of the area's fishing has gone into hibernation. I will still try other spots over the next several months, but I now have a solid fall back for those days when casting a line and getting a few takes is all I need to wash away the stress from work. Now I'll have to find a good cleaner to wash away the questionable stuff off my boots and waders....

New Aquarium Setup

We've had a small 300mm cube tank setup now for several weeks. In the last couple of weeks, there has been a persistent green algae bloom that didn't want to back down. Cloudy green water... There was also a strain of green string algae that I could barely control. I had two sword plants in the tank and the string algae would colonize on the leaves of the sword plant, then I would have to cut the swamped leaves off. Needless to say, not a very attractive tank setup. Yesterday I decided it was time to start over. Well, the starting over part turned out to be more than just wholesale cleaning the tank. The plants came out. I replaced the gravel. Scraped the inner walls. Changed out the entire filter (not just the pad). And perhaps the biggest change, there are now neon artificial plants in the tank. In all my years of keeping fish (on and off since high school) I have never had tanks that did not try to replicate natural scenes. I went as cheesy as I could get. La even commented that it was inevitable looking at the trends - inflatable SUPs, boogie boards, thinning down stuff - we've changed our view on life and we have gotten less serious and less conscientious about "stuff". I didn't think our new chapter in life would open up with the regeneration of a small fish tank.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blueg Saves the Day

I hiked a bit from where I normally fish at Goose Creek - just to see what was upstream. Wider banks with pools that looked like they would be attractive places for fish to hangout... when the water is warm. I had fully prepared myself mentally to not catch anything during this outing despite bringing along my old trustworthy tenkara rods and ultralight spinning rigs - and Gulp Crickets (fish crack). Well, as the picture depicts, I was able to play tug-o-war with a lone blueg - this species, more than any other as warded off skunk after skunk for me. I did see a few schools of young fish - 1-2" long in the shallows. I bet they appreciate the break from being chased around by the bigger predators, but having to contend with the cooler water has it's issues (freezing solid, lower food supplies, fish eating birds to name a few). This time last year I caught my last fish of the year and turned to the tying vise to blow off stress. As fun as that can be learning to tie new flies, it isn't the adrenaline hit that fishing can be (which is not the hit surfing or kiting are). I still plan on casting the line at the limited local places and even driving to cast to trout for the first time, but the care free days of summer - knowing that the fish are willing to fight - are definitely past.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Amphibious Assault

This should have been the first post of the weekend - the Surf Taco all dressed up for a full on assault on the beaches of lower Virginia! We had everything from the Beater board, the Fourth Gear Flyer (which the kids used), fishing gear (which I unfortunately didn't break out), and even La's sewing machine all packed up. I love this truck more every weekend!

Even More Weta Sailing Pictures

The outbound legs were close reaches - not quite beating but more wet than the return legs which were broad reaches. The return legs were also good for riding the wind swell that was kicked up by the fetch. With the sails and the hulls, this thing is basically a windsurfer that multiple people can ride at the same time. More random pictures of stoke.Oh - and I split my forehead open after I used it to hit the rudder bracket on the transom. Another reason why I don't have tattoos - I have visible scars from stupid people tricks gone wrong (cooler and cheaper than tattoos).

More Weta Sailing Pictures

Oh - and for those of you who were looking, this Weta is off the market. This outing reminded us how awesome this boat is and it will serve as an excellent trainer for our next endeavors. Just look at La's expressions - pure joy!!!!

Weta Hull #200 Reannointed with Saltwater

A large part of our amphibious assault this weekend was towing our Weta Trimaran down to Virginia Beach. It's been over two years since I've had this boat out - being stationed overseas and getting used to living in Northern Virginia (i.e., transitioning from flyfishing in saltwater to catching the local piscine denizens) has had it's toll on my watertime on the "HOOYAH!!!!". I was on three runs - the first with Dave Hallam up front, the second with Charlie Bisgard and La onboard and the last with Dave on the helm. The wind was hovering between 10 to 15 mph, which made for a really good first time back on the water - not too much power, but more than enough to generate a steady stream of stoke. Dave was the owner of hull #287, but he sold it prior to his recent move - I've never been crew on my own boat until this last run. I forgot to bring my small hand held GPS so I didn't get max and average speed like I normally do, but despite the short period waves and the chop on the water, the boat held up well and we all had a great time - even Marlon and Noe who ended up not having to go out (the water coming over the bow during a nose dive between wave peaks was cooler than they prefer - although that didn't stop them from playing in the shallows).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I had this idea in my head

I've always thought the front overhead space on vehicles was grossly under utilized. I have had my eye on a front receiver hitch for the Surf Taco, and to use the Darby Extend-A-Bed rack in vertical mode to carry more SUP boards, sails, rods, etc. This guy beat me to it (and I'm sure there are others out there who have done it for years). It does look cool though doesn't it?

Virginia Beach Skunks

We are down in Virginia Beach for the weekend. Our arrival time did not coincide with the low tide - surfing was tough but I did manage to a few rides. The water was in the low 60's so Marlon and Noe opted out of the wet activities - in lieu of that Marlon dug a 5' deep hole in the sand. It was funny to see him standing in the hole (NOTE: we did have plan in case the side walls fell in and one of use adults was always close and paying attention). I brought the surf rods but didn't even string up because I did not see any fish signs. Despite the wrong tide, the wind coming from a direction the forecast didn't predict (onshore) and the lack of fish, any time at the beach is a good time.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Non-Amphibious, High Calorie, Bacon Bliss

So I heard about a legendary sandwich that you can only get from a beer ladened restaurant only on Sundays between the hours of 1200 and 2000. The sandwich is so mysterious that it isn't even on the menu. Well - since we were in the area, we made our way to "Churchkey" and I ordered the "Luther" as in Luther Vandross. With a bun made out of donut, a slab of fried chicken, more bacon than an all you can eat buffet - topped with pecans and maple syrup - this sandwich was the physical manifestation of food derived satisfaction. La took a few bites and agreed - wonderful sandwich!

More Cool Museum Stuff

Moai and the Five Peaks

Smithsonian Natural History Museum - the Ban is Over!!!

For awhile, anytime we had gone to the National Mall, it was to go to the Natural History Museum. Then La put a ban on going there until the kids had gone to five other different museums. Well - the kiddoroosters did get to five different other museums (they are patient...) and the ban was lifted. We checked out the Evolution of Man, the Mammals, the Bones, the Ocean Hall and the Hope Diamond exhibits. I had forgotten how awesome this museum was. Where else can you see a Blue Crab with a tracking device and a coelacanth ten feet away from each other?