Monday, March 30, 2015
I spent a few hours at Charlie and Amy's house. I feathered out the fiberglass laps from Saturday's work, and placed the carbon and fiberglass on the front face of the paddle. I shaped in a curve to the edges of the paddle - and because of that the carbon kept wanting to lift off the edge. I had to coax the carbon to make it stay on the edge as the epoxy cured. Here is the finished product. I thought it turned out well. I should be able to surf with this on Saturday (oh wait a minute - some @ssh0le stole my truck Sunday night from the apartment complex parking lot!!!! UFB!!!! For the record, this is the third car that has been stolen from me while living on Oahu... what is it about me, Oahu and stolen vehicles????) - what am I going to do without the Surf Taco....
After flyfishing, I drove up to the North Shore to meet up with some old family friends - the Fosters! I first met them when I arrived on Oahu for the first time back over 21 years ago. And for old times sake, we met for lunch at Kua Aina up in Haleiwa! I had only been through Wailua since I've been back and not up all the way through Haleiwa and along the North Shore itself. Somethings like Kua Aina and Hawaii Surf and Sail (the surf shop next door to Kua Aina) haven't changed. This Dakine kids rash guard was really cool. Somethings changed radically - the parking at Lani's (Laniakea Surf Break) is way different, not sure why just yet. The traffic changed too - for the worst. I didn't bother going south, just went north on Kam Hwy and kept on going. I ended up in Kaneohe to work on the paddle again - next post.
And perhaps the most important post from this series - in the exact middle of this photo is a bonefish - its shadow is diagonal running along a line from the bottom left corner to the top right corner of the photo. I had about five shots at various bonefish - and even got a couple to get close. But as always, no hook ups. At least they didn't run away instantaneously (attributing this to improved stealth and casting). Next time!!!
I saw another Blacktip on patrol. This one didn't get as close as the last one. I tried taking pictures of it underwater, but it was too far and the water had too much suspended particles. Next time -
Checking out who is home is cool, but catching the residents with simple flies cannot be topped. A small (baby) Giant Trevally volunteered to play tug-o-war! When I released this guy, it colored up with dark vertical stripes and swam off. It might be small, but it's way better than a skunk!
I got to cast some fly line this morning - low wind, bottomed out low neap tide, and only the flyrod out (no spinning gear and cut squid today). I wasn't getting any strikes for the first hour or so. But I did see this guy from the corner of my eye. It's because of opportunities like this, to see different flats occupants doing what they do where they live, that make fishing awesome (I still prefer catching, but I'll take what I can get).
Saturday, March 28, 2015
After working at the fish pond, I got a bunch more work all pau on the paddle today. Glued on the handle, laminated the carbon and fiberglass onto the back of the paddle face and shaft. The fiber lay went really well - nicely saturated and a cool 'x' pattern emerged from the carbon fiber/fiberglass. Tomorrow will clean up from today's epoxy work and laminating the front paddle face, the throat of the paddle and the front of the shaft. I am getting anxious to take this thing into the surf!!! Maybe next weekend.
I did some volunteer work at He'eia Fish Pond again. I accomplished a personal goal and cleared a path through the mangrove trees to the water. And I didn't get too scratched up this time. Good fun! I didn't see any of the crazy, super flexible cats this time, but there were tons of chickens up at the parking lot. And this time, I was reminded what chicken manure smells like - it's been awhile.
Friday, March 27, 2015
And after that I got past the final sanding point! I used a surform with a microplane blade - way better for shaping than most tools out there both in efficiency and ease of use. I'll post a picture of it tomorrow. So far, this paddle is super light - I'll revisit this statement once the carbon fiber, fiberglass and epoxy start getting added to it. I plan on covering the back face of the paddle, the back half of the shaft and some portion of the front paddle face. That's all for tomorrow (including drilling out the paddle handle and epoxying it on). Charlie doing some work - Comparing stick sizes Mine's bigger
Sunday, March 22, 2015
As I was fishing with cut squid, I purposely dropped the guts, fins and outer skin that I trimmed off the prepared bait, into the water where I was fishing to stack the deck in my favor. I'd say that tactic works - it brought this guy in. It was swimming right for me - it got to 5' away and finally saw me.
I tied on a green micro crab remembering what was inside the BFT I cooked up a while back. I wasn't getting any interest from any fish. I switched out to a mantis shrimp fly and I still didn't turn any heads. I spent the time on the flats practicing my casts - with the wind, straight into the wind, side arm and double hauling. I was a bit rusty, but got back into the groove fairly quickly (but still didn't have complete consistency - when did I ever). After quite a bit of time, I saw a few bonefish, some smaller goatfish and a small school of papio. But it was this guy that took the fly! Obake weke (the Dreaded Nightmare Goatfish - said to give you hallucinations if you eat the head or it guts)! This fish had some fight in it! At first I thought it was another paipo, but the tugs were different. When I got it close, I then thought it might be a small bonefish, but when it got tired and I got it to the surface, I saw it was a decent sized goatfish. On the fly, any fish is a great fish! I have to remember that the New Moon and spring low tide produced these fish.