Thursday, October 25, 2012


I went salmon fishing today. Burned up half a day off at work to wade the river and throw yarn flies at coho.


The fishing sucked. No elaboration needed. My heart wasn't in it. I left early and went home to see the family.

It is good to be home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Check out my wife's new book!  Every parent should be interested in this topic:

Yes, I realize I'm married to a saint.

Friday, October 19, 2012


As a carp fly fisherman, I am usually violently opposed to rain and cloud cover, but man did it feel good tonight. No fish to hand tonight, but it didn't matter. There I was, standing in a river...cocooned in Simms and Patagonia, my feet freezing, my hands and face cold and feeling warm inside where it counts. We all need to feel the water push against our legs and the rain fall on our face.

I often say that swinging flies bores me, and it can, but there is a beauty in the method too. The line rolls out, the river sweeps the fly down and across and sometimes a fish follows. I got one good tug tonight on a hange down while I had my face upturned and eyes full of rain. I didn't even mind missing the fish.

One gentleman shared the water with me, and he is clearly a better steelhead fisherman than I am. He brought this brightly colored fish to hand as I watched. I appreciate him letting me take a look and a went nicely with the rain.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Surf Perch

I have been wanting to catch a surf perch for a long time. Granted, they don't get very big, but I find them interesting, and the thought of catching anything in the crashing surf of a beach with a fly rod is really cool. Turns really is cool.

I gave it an attempt last night and managed to catch three, mostly through sheer will and persistent casting. Yes, I had read all the tips, but man...trying to read a "rip" or a "hole" at high tide isn't as easy as it looks. On a beach devoid of obvious tells, I flailed away and stripped flies through the froth. It worked. The fish are aggressive, so if you can show em the fly, they eat. What I learned last night is best summed up thusly.

Surf perch are easier to catch...but really hard to fish for.

I needed some help, so enter Alex from So Cal Flyfishing Outfitters. I hooked up with Alex this morning for a few hours, and it made all the difference in the world. Granted, I don't read a beach like I do a trout stream, and I can't touch Alex in that department, but things started to make sense. I could see what he was looking for, and I put the fly in much better areas than I had been the night before. The result? I caught a ton of perch. They are a schooling fish, so the action was in waves, but when you find a group, you are in business.

I am not dumb enough to attempt to give out tips after two attempts here in San Diego, for that call Peter and Alex at So Cal...they know their stuff. But if you get a chance give this a shot. Standing in crashing surf catching is a unique experience. I can't wait to try it again.

Thanks Alex!



Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Little known secret

Well, not exactly a secret, but typically if I am in "big fish" mode I am after water that looks like this:

Worth noting is the gravel, not sand or mud. Also worth noting is the steep drop off into deeper water. What you can't see, is that I am standing waist deep, and three steps farther into the river and I might have to swim. Big fish don't like to spend time in shallow water unless they are feeding or spawning, so places like this are great. They have shallows in which to root and feed, but the safety of the deep is really close by. The trouble is you have to spend a lot of time looking, and very little time casting. You move...walk, and look and hope that you happen to be in the right spot when that big carp decides to duck in there for a quick bit to eat. When you get the timing right, and manage to avoid blowing the shot, the results can be pretty good.

Be prepared to give up some numbers...water like the above quickly becomes a game of quality of fish over quantity of fish.


Sunday, October 07, 2012


My daughter Elia is alway up for an adventure. She is intrigued to simply wander the wilds and look around, content to get dirty, muddy, and wet. That is a quality that you can't teach, but you can certainly enjoy. She doesn't get tired, or bored, or crave more stimulation. As my wife says, she spends most of that time in her own head, marveling and deciphering the world around.

She is going to be a lights out fisherman. The process intrigues her, and she already understands that there are places fish like to be, and places they don't. Frequently, I can see her puzzling out why (she never asks, and I never offer) as she knows the fish will be on the soft side of the current seam, but doesn't quite know why. She will get there in her own time, and pushing her or telling her would take away the magic of the discovery...and she adores the magic.

She said to me today: "My hook is getting weeds on it, but that is good. Fish like to be near the weeds." The fishing isn't the end of it for Elia though. She loves the life of the woods and river. We carry a small net, and bucket on all of our trips. She always spends time in the shallows splashing around, looking in the rocks and the dirt...collecting mushrooms, branches, flowers, and anything else that catches her eye for our "nature table" back at the house. Today it was a cluster of mushrooms and a walking stick that we added to our haul for the walk out.

Everything seems fresh with Elia at your side.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Sundog Glasses

Not a full review here, but as a new member of the Carp Pro pro staff, I got a pair of Sundog glasses in the mail the other day. Glasses are by far the most important piece of gear that I own...if I can't see the fish, I sure as hell can't catch it. These Sundog shades have a new Mela-lens that sounded pretty interesting on the website, and I was excited to give them a shot on the carp flats. Long story made short...we might have something here. The clarity is excellent, but what I really noticed was how well the colors stood out. Spotting color is a huge key for me. When I am looking for carp I first look for that a dark, gold, or tan color in the water. Second, I look for shape. That is pretty much it. I spot color at a distance, and look for angles that turn into fish prior to casting. Armed with those concepts and a good pair of polarized glasses, I am pretty deadly on a least in spotting fish. Spotting them doesn't really mean much, other than more chances at frustration and misery punctuated by occasional bouts of glory. Back to the glasses...the colors stood out. Hard to really describe what that means, and I clearly need more research (or so I tell my wife) but I am pretty excited to try these suckers out in lower light and cloudy conditions this spring.

Big thanks to Sundog and Carp Pro for the glasses. I plan on getting in more research soon and will report back.