Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The connection of fly fishing and bow hunting

So I haven't posted in some time. Summer was busy with landscape construction. I haven't gotten out that much. I have however made a few trips here and there. I have been working on a yard in order to be able to bow hunt. This has been a bit over bearing seeing as this house has gotten away from the land owner so there was a lot to do there. The real fun part of this is I can't shoot does there and I can't shoot the mid size 8 point because we are hoping he makes it to next year. There is a lot of work  to help the deer out as well. So now the game is sit and wait and hope a big boy decides to come in and take over the area. Here in NJ you get a buck stub and you really want to use it on a nice buck but it's really hard to have a decent buck come in and not shoot it. This makes you appreciate the deer for what they are. Hunting isn't always about killing, sometimes it is about just being out there watching wildlife go by and not being detected .
This gets to my point in a connection between two sports. Fly fishing with a two handed rod really is my passion, swinging a fly through the water is my favorite thing to do. Here in the east it isn't the easiest thing to do due to the size of the rivers in most places here.
Bow hunting and fly fishing have always been a way for me to get away from work and dealing with people. I recently went away on a trip to the salmon river in upstate NY.
I got involved in what I will call combat fishing. This has to be the biggest joke I have ever witnessed and I honestly don't think I want to do it again. They have what you call "fly zones" on this river.  They are less then a mile long and hard areas to walk in let alone fish. Everyone and their brothers show up here and do some unethical fishing practices. Now you  can swing here and fish in an ethical way but on all sides of you are guys fishing with egg flys with lead sinkers on. They look for Salmon on redds or in groups and send the sinker in and snag a fish. I watched a "man" across from me snag about thirty to forty fish in a few hours. This is not fly fishing it is a snag fest against helpless fish. I understand the want to catch a fish. I like to catch fish. The fact that sinkers are not made illegal in these fly zones is beyond me. Fly fishing with a sinking line is fly fishing so long as it isn't too long or a poly leader. For that matter a indicator with a weighted fly can be fly fishing. I mean if you want to fish with split shot and lead why not just use a spinning rod or gear rod. It really is something to catch a fish on a fly. It is a challenge. If you are a cowboy super hero redneck fisherman who is into snagging then why don't you go to a snag hole somewhere. You're not a fisherman you are a scumbag plain and simple! To accept the challenge of fly fishing is to learn to open your mind and to think. It takes skill to figure it out. I will fish again but I seriously will be walking or floating to get away from the scumbag fisherman here on the east coast. I have seen this out west as well and I really have to check myself as to why I even would let myself stand among such " fisherman."
I guess maybe it is just the drifter in me that doesn't fit in with these type of people. A few of my fellow fisherman might take offense to what I've said and I have a few good friends who don't mind fishing in the combat zone and you guys know who you are. But please understand I fish to get away from the bullshit not get into the heart of it.
I have had some time to sit in a tree stand and think about why I do this outdoor thing. .It isn't to be a super hero or better then the next guy. I do it to find some peace and quiet. I have been accused of trying to show off when I posted a pic or two of myself with a fish. I post this blog to let people see and know there is another world out there under the trees.
I'm not alive to be a super hero or a show off. I fish and hunt because I Am. I think most people have forgotten what getting outdoors means. We have T.V. shows that glorify hunters and fisherman to sell products. We have to wade through tons of garbage to find products that work and pay tons of money to get out there. For the life of me I don't understand why you would pay your hard earned money to be a scumbag and cheat to get a fish or a deer. There is nothing better then to actually achieve a goal even if it takes time. It took me three years to finally hook a steelhead on a fly on the swing. I hiked many a mile to find that fish. I put many a sleepless morning in. I learned to cast with a two hand rod. On my own mind you! All to catch that fish. When it finally happened on that cold morning next to the river I was by myself and the fish slammed my fly and went down river doing flips out of the river. There was nothing like it and it felt like I finally won something so special. You just don't get that feeling of gratification snagging fish or cheating to get a deer. If you cheated deep down you know you are just that a cheater. Accept the challenge and fish and hunt like a real man or woman do it to live and not cheat!
Fly fishing and bow hunting are a challenge to do in many forms. Some long bow hunt, some single or two hand fish, some use compounds bows. This can be rewarding to the hunter or fisherman who really gets into it. You can really get into it learning to tie your own flies and learn more about what is happening in the underwater world of the river or try to silent hunt and sneak up on a deer or draw one into your tree stand. Like anything it takes time and work and if it really comes that easy you are probably cheating!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

new travels to hillbilly country

So Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and I got a chance to fish with some new friends. This is always an interesting adventure. People come in different sizes and shapes and different attitudes. You get to the river and some turn into monsters, others are great fisherman. Some are good  fisherman with big heads and large egos. All personalities aside what is fishing for? To me it is a good time, sometimes quiet and relaxing other times it has been down right crazy and something you never forget! Some of my most wild adventures have been in a fish camp with drunken idiots and insane fist fights and chainsaws. That is no joke!
You really have to learn to roll with the punches out there as some guys will egg you on and bust your balls till you break. Others just know how to fish and to fish hard. I finally got to fish out of a drift boat this past weekend and got the normal tar and feathering from my buddy about my casting (he is the god of casterbating). It is like going to kindergarten for the first day and the bully you don't know is there comes to kick your ass. This is a mental ass kicking which is enough to make you laugh and possibly cry if you're sensitive.
I had to sharpen my skills quick or kill Captain Ahab on the back of the boat. Which was an option at one point but I didn't want to go to jail. Don't you dare ping a fish or miss the hookset or old Ahab was going to rip you a new one. Which by the way Ahab can miss all he wants he has been here before ( he gets kind of like he saw the white whale when he misses). All razing aside when does it become too much? You tell me folks!
This is what they call BUG WEEK in the hilly billy towns of upstate NY in Roscoe. Bugs just start coming off the water about two hours before dark which makes for tough fishing conditions. The march brown spinners were in full affect when I was there and they would just make it to the water at dark and the fish would feed on them till they couldnt see them any more. Problem is you cant see the fly either. So hooksets become harder. You have to cast and mend quickly and get your fly in the right spot because once your fly drags you will put the fish down and you have to move to the next fish. Do not ping the fish or Ahab beats you over the head with his wooden leg  just to make the burn even worse. Talk about pressure! You only really have a half hour of casting time and you need to be sharp. I wasn't so sharp my first night and Ahab beat me up pretty bad (you bastard). Problem is Ahab is a big boy with a melon the size of a car on his neck and you know if you talk back he might head butt you and kill you. By the time I got off the boat I felt like a newbie going to jail that got  raped.
The next day Captain Ahab wanted to wade fish so I was game for a morning of watching him dirty nymph the famous dry fly water. Low and behold Ahab locked into the white whale that took out line and gave Ahab an ass whopping and let him know the white whale rules the river! I didn't feel so bad after that and thank god for the white whale taking him down to ground level.
Day two was filled with relaxing at John Kavanaugh'S  trailer, who was a great host and I want to thank him for feeding me and Ahab. He went far beyond his duty as a host. So thank you to you and your wife John and thanks for rowing the boat and showing me your favorite river bed.
I ended up only landing one fish which was fine with me as it was just nice to get away for the weekend. I have been working six days a week trying to save money to finish my boat and buy a trailer for it. I'm excited to finish it and finally row my 16' cataraft. As a wayward drifter one must have dreams and I dream of a boat and steelhead and spey casting all day long. This summer I have taken on a job as a landscaper which has been taking up a lot of my time. This Bug week was an interesting break as I got to fish in the fabled waters of the upper Delaware River. The fishing was nice and the bugs were everywhere and thanks to my friend John Collins who tied me up the nicest assortment of flys for the trip up there. Luckly I had just gotten a nice Irideus fly box from Timothy Horner over at Irideus. So I was able to fill it up with a nice selection of flies, for Upstate New York  and New Jersey. I normally tie my own flies but due to some flood damage at my humble abode my fly tying table had to be moved and is a complete mess and a large job has ensued.
In addition to working ten hour days and cutting a huge lawn for a commercial business once a week,  I'm also digging a trench in the back of the house to add pipes to it. This is to divert the water away from the house. My summer has started off with a bang to say the least.
In the midst of all this some how I've managed to get on the water a few times. The other night I got into a sulfur hatch and the browns were hammering the with reckless abandon. I haven't seen this kind of dry fly action in some time and I managed to get four fish in about an hour just before dark. Not bad after a long day at work.
There is that word again, work. I have been working way too much but Im not complaining. I'll take it after being laid off for a year and a half. It is feast or famine it seems in these times. I dream of being out west day after day fishing for Steelhead or fishing for Stripers on the Delaware here at home in New Jersey. Hopefully soon things will slow down. Till then I guess I will keep Drifting along .NOW watch some video and Captain Ahab I'll be back ! CHECK OUT THIS LINK PEOPLE

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Check out the newest issue of KYPE! Photos by my friend Rich Schaaff and article by Mike McAuliffe from Rise Form Studio

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Random thoughts as I Drift

Hmmm, here we go folks. This is my new blog where I get to yak at you all. This has been in production for about the last month thanks to my friend and new fishing buddy Michael McAuliff of  He produces videos and makes websites upon request for a fee (my blood) and he is also a fly fishing guide here in New Jersey. Thanks for all the help Michael.
I have become a Drifter of sorts as of late. I have traveled to the west coast and back to the east coast. Returning to the east coast has been interesting to say the least. I got back here just in time for the fly tying symposium here in New Jersey  which was so nice to go to after being away for five years. I met and talked with some of my fly fishing heroes and some other crazy fly tiers I have talked to along the way.
As I drift along here I will tell you some of my fishing adventures, I will be reporting on places I go. I have already hit the salmon river in upstate NY and hooked one nice steelhead on the swing. I didn't land her but got her on the swing.
I did see some funny stuff going on up there like five guys nymphing in one tail out (or was that really snagging?). I mean it doesn't take jerking the rod over your head to set the hook! The other funny thing is all the people who stand by the Altmar bridge where the fish come to rest and then they yank them out of the river and call that fishing. People come up with a fish that looks like an old leather boot and think they have been out fishing. I guess each to your own and I will just keep Drifting down river to find a fish that takes a fly on the swing.
Speaking of swinging a fly there is some weird practice of using a sink tip and adding spilt shot to your leader. Yeah out west they call that lining the fish and it is really just another form of snagging fish. If you are going to say you caught one on the swing you best be swinging the fly not dragging it through their mouths and yanking back.You haven't really gotten the fish to take your fly that way and that is the challenge of swinging a fly! It really isn't about how many you catch. If you want to catch more fish just nymph it is more effective then swinging flys and there is nothing wrong with nymphing! It is up to you how you fish but if you really want to call yourself a fisherman do it fair chase and hook one don't snag them there is a difference you KNOW!
 Any way enough of my beating  up on the poor lowly snaggers for now. I returned home to the middle of the winter and it was wet and cold and nasty here and the fishing was not easy. One day would be nice the next would rain. I swear my friend from has a curse on him from mother nature or something because without fail it would rain every time he had a day off or the river was blown from it raining. I kept telling him you have to make her think you are happy it is raining and she might stop . No such luck. I think I will make him do the happy happy joy joy song the next time it rains
I have also gotten some spey casting time in on the mighty Delaware river but it has been very high due to the rain we have been having and the shad are in. Hopefully I will be able to hit the run before it is too late and they start dying.  If not the mighty striped bass and walley and small mouth will be on my attack list at some point this summer! I'm thinking they should be fun to catch on the swing till I can drift back out west to chase Steelhead again!Until then enjoy the tune

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

If you are seeing this, get the hell out! Hella serious about this broham. It's in the works and you need to keep it under wraps. McAuliffe will rip off your head and take out your soul. Nutto will date your sister. When we want you here, we will tell you to come here. You will like it too. Broken bottom hand, I swear..