Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Plano 7771 My Fly Tying Storage Solution

I decided a while ago to get back to fly tying. I bought a new Peak Vise last month and have been tying up a frenzy. My main problem has been a place to tie and something to put all my stuff in. I don't have a good place for a permanent station, so I improvised. I have a 5 foot folding table I bought from Sam's that slides perfectly under the couch and out of view when not being used. And after a ton of searching for something usable, I found the Plano 7771 tackle box. It has a ton of storage, lots of compartments for the materials I use the most, and very portable. I have only been tying clousers, wooly buggers, wooly worms, black ghosts, and similar flies, so this gives me all the space I need for now. I'm about to start poppers, so i'm sure I will need more storage space, but for now it works great. It can sit on the table along with the vise and still have plenty of room to move and find things easily. I also have the Renzetti Tool Caddy II that fits on top the deer tails when i'm finished tying for the night.

 I have another box full of tails in the closet, so I can replenish when I start running out of a particular color.

Hooks and hackle

The very top has a great spot for flash.

The side compartment fits all my tools as well as chenille and small boxes.

I found these little storage boxes at Hobby Lobby to put my beads, cones, and eyes in.

I really don't like the setup for my hooks, but it works until I think of something else. I always put the i.d. tags in with them so I can remember the product number and sizes for ease in reordering.

Marabou and things get their own side compartment up front.

Anyway, just thought I might share what I did for those who have similar space issues and don't have a full on fly tying station or just starting out in the tying world. And if I ever get to a point where I have a dedicated spot, i'll have a nice box to use for fishing.

Thanks for comig along,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Art of West Texas Fly Fishing

I've run in to so many  people who have never thought that you can fly fish in West Texas. Texas isn't known for it's mountain streams filled with big beautiful Browns, or throwing a fly the size of an ant at a curious rainbow trout. All with a background set to the cover of a 1940's Field and Stream magazine cover. No trout around here, but you call yourself a fly fisherman? That is a common misconception by those who might not fully understand the sport, or just know what they've seen on tv.  If you google saltwater fly fishing, or warm water fly fishing, you're going to get thousands and thousands of hits. Fact be known, if you have fish in a lake, river, pond, or any fishable water, you can fly fish. Oh, and catch fish. Anywhere from the largemouth bass, my favorite, to smallies, sunfish, crappie, catfish, carp, you name it, and i've probably thrown a fly at it. Since fishing is one of my favorite subjects, I talk about it to a ton of folks. It's amazing how many people I know that fly fish, but have never done it around these parts. Just once a year on vacation in the Rockies, or the mountains of know, just like the movies. But once I start telling my tales of big bass on clousers, poppers, or wooly buggers, they start to ask where I go and when they can come. It's just like any other kind of fishing. It just takes a little more practice, and maybe a little more patience. I'm starting to leave my conventional tackle at home more and more, and just take the fly rods. There's just something so peaceful, and gratifying when you get a fish on the end of your fly line. A one pounder feels like a 6 pounder. And you fooled them with little more than feathers and fur. So I do spread the word, to any and all that will listen. Just give it a try, but be careful, you might like it.
 My brother in law has been talking about learning for a long time. So I decided to give him one of my good rods I don't use anymore since I upgraded. I also put together a fly box full of flies to get him started. About half store bought, and half I tied.(a whole other addiction) We headed to Abilene for the weekend and as soon as he got out of work, we headed to the river. Well, really just a small pond-like river, but great practice area though.  I realized immediately I need to brush up on my instructor skills. It was harder than I thought. I surely didn't want to teach any of my bad habits, so we stuck to the basics....casting. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. He was really getting the hang of it, with his casts getting better and better. The time came where a fly would be tied on. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.....then booom!
"I got one! I got one!"

No way, I thought to myself. We have been casting in that same water for the last 30 minutes hookless, and after only a few casts with a fly, a fish. Needless to say, I was excited. I think more than he was. It was a little crappie, but the first one on the fly for him. There were high fives and yeehaw's getting thrown around everywhere. So, of course, I had to start casting too, and after a few minutes, another crappie. Sweet! Although it was another little one, it meant one skunk for me today. :)

We kept at it for a while as we watched a gorgeous sunset display it's changing colors in front of us until it finally disappeared. Maybe not a Field and Stream cover, but it was the next best thing.

 I think we have another fly fishing convert. You couldn't of asked for a better evening. Sunsets, fly fishing, and crappie. Now that's a good day!

Thanks for coming along,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

70 Degrees...It's About Time

I guess mother nature got tired of listening to me nag. :)

70 degrees. Yeehaw.

The wife had to work, so me and the kids were on our own. We ate a quick supper after I got out of work and headed to the lake. We threw some flies and just kicked back and enjoyed the sunset. I could really get used to this.

We didn't catch anything, but that was ok with me. Just getting out without parkas on, was worth it all. The kids were running around and I was casting and getting used to roll casts with the new leaders. Awesome evening.

Thanks for coming along,

Traveling Billboards

There was a recent discussion on one of the fishing forums I am apart of, that talked about kayak/boat/fishing manufacturer's logos on your car, yak, boat, or where ever. The main part was, would you pay for the sticker from the company,  or would you only put them on if they're free. Lots of guys are sticker hounds and will put anything on their ride. Some are traveling billboards.
 I personally won't buy stickers from a company that I get products from. Now, if they send me some free ones, I have two conditions, 1. I like the product and 2. they have great service. Then I have no problem displaying it. The only one's I have ever paid for were the sites I am actively involved in to help support them. It's not free running those places, but we get it for free, so I have no problem helping a little. Now, the key words being, actively involved. I'm a member in tons of forums and sites, but there are only a few i'm in everyday, rain or shine, in sickness and get what i'm saying.
 So as I look at my truck, I don't see many logos. Just the sites, TKF, YA, and companies ACK and yakgear. I have written Ocean Kayak for some, but no word yet, i'm just a small fish. Then I started thinking, ACK and Yakgear were the only two that sent me stickers and they're on the truck.. So what happens if I get more free stickers and I like the product.....i'll have to put them on! Will I turn into one of those guys? I won't be able to see out the rearview mirror. This could get ugly....i'll end up a traveling billboard. Jeez, I hope Boudreaux's Butt Paste or Charmin don't send me any stickers. :)

Thanks for coming along,

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nice Day Between Fronts

Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold. Someone just keeps on messing with the outside thermostat. I was able to get out during the one day warm spell on Tuesday, my day off. The projected forecast called for a high of 65 and 25-35 mph winds, so I took my time getting up that morning, no hurry. I didn't figure fishing would be on my to do list. I walked out at 9:15 and immediately noticed the wind...or there lack of. I ran back inside and grabbed my fly rod, fly box, and camera then hurried to the truck. Off I went within 15 minutes of realizing the day just might involve throwing a lure. I headed out to the river and after the 20 minute drive I had arrived to a secluded, windless park with lots of clear water.


I was trying to get my leader issue fixed. So I spent a lot of time casting to the same spot, a 12 inch diameter turtle sitting on a log about 35 feet away staring at me with a not so amused look. After just a few minutes of cutting down the tippet, then changing the tippet material and again resizing, it was golden. Back to my old feel fly casting. I'm glad I took another shot a the furled leaders, because I really like the ease and use of them.

Suddenly I noticed a breeze....then a little more.....then some more, but I was a castin away with out a care in the world. Then the gusts started to hit and the winds swirled around me on every cast nearly causing unwanted body piercings from an wayward fly. Needless to say, the winds had reared their ugly heads. Time to rethink my position on the side of the bank. It was really howling and I decided I had enough. It proved to be a very productive morning. It came in like a lamb, and out like a I was out, and quickly.


I still can't complain too much. It was a beautiful day. But those winds were blowing something in. So now, here we are, 16 degrees with a windchill of -2. Sunny and 74 within the next day. See what I mean, hot, cold, hot, cold.....we're all going to get sick. But at least I got to do some fly fishing.

Thanks for coming along,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Come on Weather, Figure it Out

 This weather is getting to me. Hot one day, freezing the next, then hot again. We were supposed to head north 90 miles this past weekend to do some fishing with my bro in law. It was sunny and short sleeves around here. We left at 4pm and got there to a nice winter storm. High of 30, 15-20 mph wind. So much for kayak fishing. It only got worse. Woke up Sunday morning to 2 inches of ice, not snow, covering everything. No biggie, i'll just wait until Tuesday to get on the water. Checked the weather, high near 60....awesome.....whoa, wait a sec.....25-35mph winds......I can't win.

 It was still a great weekend with the in-laws. My son, me, my bro in law, and his sons all went to the monster truck show Saturday night and had a blast. Great way to get out of the weather.

I don't think i'd last a week in the Northeast. Those guys don't even get to fish much at all during the winter. It's pretty much year round here. I had a guy tell me the closest he got to the water was when he brought his yak in the living room and sat in it. Whatever keeps you sane, I guess.

Thanks for coming along,