Friday, March 8, 2019

Fly Fishing & Art

Fly Fishing is an art so why not put the two together and have Fly Fishing Art. A guy that's became like a brother to me Scott Hunter of Vedavoo is one of those crazy Fly Fishing Art guys he is always adding a new piece to his collection.  After always seeing what new piece of art he is adding or what new artist is doing a piece for a Vedavoo Reel Service Project the love for that art has grown a lot.  My blogging has been a little behind but with a lot of things with WVAngler we will be back doing a lot more things.  I wanted to take some time out to focus on some awesome people I have been following with their art work as of late.  Fly fishing is a great sport a sport that allows one to get away from the stress of day to day life and immerse himself into a piece of water and forget all that's going on around them just for that short period of time.  These great artists give us that avenue at times without even stepping foot on a stream.  A piece from them allows us to go back to that moment with a great fishing buddy, the fish of a lifetime, or just that bucket list moment that you want to dream about it gives us all so much more.

Ty Hallock known to most as the sharpie king takes regular fly boxes or coolers and creates a custom one of a kind trophy.  His work brings fly boxes to life.  You may have that tough day on the water and your throwing 10 inch musky flies all day and never see a fish and you get ready to quit for the day take your fly off throw it in the box and that piece of art gives you hope, hope of another follow another big fish that will inhale your fly as its stripping through the water.  You catch a memorable fish and do not want to forget it, its hard to be a custom sharpie fly box from Ty!

Mike Williams takes hat to a whole different level.  If you a hat person and you like art this guy is your man.  Mike takes an idea makes an outline then starts laying paint down and when he is done most people are amazed.  His work on a hat brings anything fly fishing related to life from flies, to fish, to flanks.  When you look at one of Mike's hats you see a live fish it has so much depth and realness to it.  Wearing one of Mike's hats puts you on the fish no matter if your on the stream or not truly wearing a one of a kind piece of art.

Matthew Stockton brings a complete different style of art to fly fishing.  Matthew brings a very energetic form with bright and flashy pieces.  Matt's work shows a true love for predator fish you will see a lot of musky, brown trout, and smallmouth.  When you see on of his pieces they jump off the canvas the bold bright colors and generally you will see a fish in chase of a fly which spells action packed artwork.

Andrea Larko brings a complete unique one of a kind design to fly fishing art.  Andrea uses a lot of Zen like forms to create works of art.  She covers any type of fish you can think of then goes a step further to offer just about everything on a sticker.  Nothing like driving down the road with some wicked fish art on your vehicle yes I have a problem with that.  She covers it all from a sticker for your ride to an awesome print for your fly tying room!

Jeff Currier is the man of many fish!  Jeff has tallied over 375 different species on a fly rod.  Jeff brings that extensive fishy knowledge to the artworld when he is doing a piece.  You name the species Jeff will put a perfect illustration on a Cliff box!  Great way to save that memory of that special species you caught.

So many other great artists out there in the fly fishing world from Callihan, DeYoung, Maddox, Hornung, and Puckett each with their own special talent and touch.  Support an artist and make your man cave look!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Time of Thanksgiving

This time of year is a time we consider what we are truly Thankful for in life a time of thanksgiving.  When thinking of WVAngler and fly fishing there is so much I have to truly be thankful for.  So many people who have helped me get to where I am and continue to help me along the way.

My dad has always been a person that's spread the love of the outdoors to me starting back in our Boy Scout days.  I still fondly remember a canoe trip the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, mountain trips we would camp out along a stream, or driving across the country so I could catch a trout somewhere.  What I truly am blessed with he was kind enough to put a fly rod in my hand at a still young age where I could grow, he shared his old martin fiberglass combo with me and off we went to the streams of WV chasing stock trout with an old fiberglass rod.  That love and passion for the sport has grown for me over the years and very thankful to have been given those opportunities early where I could start!

When I started fly fishing I was drown to the cold bug infested waters of the Elk River a great place for anyone to learn the sport.  I remember standing at the Angle Hole and being dumbfounded as to what in the world I was doing or what they were eating and just not having a clue what in the world to do.  A few good friends helped that learning curve grow quickly.  Dave Breitmeier, Chad See, and Roy Smith helped me figure out what I was doing early one.  I remember many days tagging along on the river, hanging out at the tailgate of the truck and hashing things out, and being blessed being able to sit on Dave's porch till the wee hours of morning and learning everything from tying a 32 to anything you want to know about bugs and presentation.  When people start something new its always a tough learning curve unless we are blessed to have those who help us learn!

Those tailgate sessions I am also so thankful for as they became the starting place to something that's been near and dear to my heart a place called WVAngler.  It was created on these rivers after the evening spinner fall so fellow anglers could have a place to share and others could grow.  A place to share the true love for what WV offers!  Its been a long road guys like Jonathan Paine and Zach Adkins have helped so much along the way and we wouldn't be where we were if it wasn't for so many great people.  I will always be thankful to be a part of WVAngler and being able to share that passion of WV with others.  I always look at not being a part of a website message board but being a part of a true family of fisherman!

WV Waters are truly something to be thankful for.  What makes these waters so special no not the brook trout as some talk about the variety we have where we can chase so many things with a fly.  Rivers are filled with smallmouth bass that's eater to eat a fly, areas where you can throw a massive 8 inch streamer to a toothy musky, the Ohio where you can catch Hybrid striped bass that makes your drag scream, flowing back county where brown trout will rise eagerly to a spinner fall, then so many blue lines filled with tons of native brook trout.  Yes this state is a thankful place to be able to pursue fish we have so many options and areas it makes fishing always a truly new and unique day.

The fly fishing industry is a huge market I am truly blessed and thankful I have been able to make so many great contacts and friends in the industry.  The team at Vedavoo lead by Scott Hunter is truly family.  They not only offer a great fishing sling when you buy something from them you become part of a great community a family of people that love something simplistic and something made in the USA.  Companies like Chota, Risen Fly, and Waterworks Lamson make trade shows enjoyable and a truly blessing to hang out with and products that make time on the water well spent.

What should we be most thankful for time on the water.  I am thankful for each person I get the blessing to fish with and share a moment of time with on any given body of water.  The opportunity and blessing from God to be able to be healthy enough to wade and cast a fly at that moment.  And just so thankful for the chance to cast that fly when we do have that opportunity!

Blessings always abound to us in life.  Sometimes we take things for granted but we are thankful for so many moments while we are here for this short time.  The next fish you hook into the next cast you make be thankful for that moment you have!!

Thank you all for what  you do an being a part of WVAngler!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fly Fishing Christmas Gift Ideas

The WVAngler Fly Fishing Christmas Gift Guide

Vedavoo has a couple great items that would be sure to fit in any anglers stocking.
The new Rod Holster is perfect for someone wanting to carry two rods or for re-rigging on the stream.
The Vedavoo License Holder is great for those waters like PA where you have to have your license showing while fishing can buckle it right onto your pack.

Glass is in right now Blue Halo just released the new Retroflex 3 Fiberlass Rods the 3wt looks to be another winner!!

More glass out there from Echo the Bad Ass Glass brings a cool glass rod you can chase predators with those musky and toothy critters.

Blane Chocklett has helped TFO design the Esox another toothy critter chaser.

Waterworks Lamson Guru Series II is perfect for throwing some meat or chasing bass.

Who doesn't love stickers Ty Hallock the sharpie king has some sweet stickers out for your Cliff Beast box. Ty Hallock Stickers 

Andrea Larko is always a sticker favorite but she has some sweet hats out this year.
Andrea Larko Hats 

Jessica Callihan has a few really fishy options for blank greeting cards.

Ryan Keene has some cool new stickers out.

Nate Karnes has a cool set of stickers including the brown tank.

Predator Fly Gear has some sweet musky skin 17 oz swillers 

The Elkfisher - Dave Breitmeier can provide you a gift card for a day on the water guided or some special hand tied flies.

River Tactical Flies will hook you up with a gift card and the flies you need.

The folks at Goat Head Gear have a cool product our called the spool clip to carry your tippet.

Risen Fly their briefcase box is perfect for meat and predator flies.

Always remember your local fly shop they always have gift cards!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Fly Fishing Black Friday Bargains

Some awesome Black Friday Fly Fishing deals and Bargains!!

Vedavoo - New & Improved Gear for 2018

Ross Reels - All Evolution LT Reels 40% Off & Free Ground Shipping

Andrea Larko - (30% Off order over $25) Use Coupon code HOLIDAY17 at checkout 11/24-11/27

Risen Fly Deals -

River Tactical Flies - (25% off entire order) Use code "thankful" at checkout good till 11/28/17

Blue Halo Gear - (25% off order) Use code "blackfriday" good till 11/26/17

Goat Head Gear - (25% off orders) Spend a minimum of $25 and receive 25% off ends 11/27/17

Redington - 20% off all wading. Wader, Boots, Vest, & Accessories. Code blackfriday17 at Checkout

Mystic Outdoors - Reaper rod for $199.00

Hatch Outdoors - 25% Off headwear & hoodies use coupon code "HH25" at checkout ends 11/27

Chota Outdoor Gear - Free shipping with code "browntrout"

Vibe Kayaks - Up to $100 Off at participating local dealers & online deals

Predator Fly Gear - Free hat with performance shirt.  Code - HAT25

Why I Musky Fish

The muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) is the target of many fisherman. Musky fishing is not the easiest type of fishing at times especially when done with a fly rod.  Musky often are referred to as the fish of 10,000 casts. There’s been times when I often wondered if I’d catch another fish and at times I’d reach way over 10,000 casts with nothing not even a follow by a curious fish.  Casting 10-12” flies all day is hard fishing especially when your not catching anything.  I’ve sometimes sat in a boat and wondered what am I doing why am I even doing this what’s the point.  If it was to easy though what would be the challenge, what would drive us to become better and make us work that much harder to become that better fisherman.  The rewards of fly fishing for everyone is always different.  For some the reward may be just spending time on the water, fishing with a good buddy, the reward of a follow, or the actual take and landing a fish.  Musky are apex predators and will gobble up a tasty T-bone steak when presented in a good manner.  The why is easily explainable to have a Fish chase a Fly that’s bigger than the size of Fish some people catch creates an absolute rush.  Having a large fish follow, then glide after your fly on a figure 8 gives people the shakes that hunters are so commonly used to when a big buck gives them a case of the shakes.  That rush of emotions the case of the shakes that high you get when you finally have a fish come chasing after your fly.  The absolute flood of ecstasy when the fish takes you strip set and before you know it it’s in the net.  The celebration of a Musky on the fly is unlike any other high fives, euphoria, screaming jubilation, then the tribute of releasing the Fish to see another day!  That frustration, zero fish days, casting pain, and the elements mean nothing when that musky is in the net!  Landing a Musky gives a sense of intoxication like no other.  That sky-high sensation makes it easy to understand why one keeps going back for that fish we call a Musky!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fishing Hats

What makes a fishing hat a fishing hat??

 We have hats for everything from function to style.  Hats that keep you dry and hats that block the sun and elements.  We have trucker hats and low profile hats.  We have hats for every company it seems out there you can match a hat with your rod, reel, or even fly boxes.  But what makes a hat a fishing hat for you?  For me it's not always the logo or the fit but what story the hat tells.  The sweat stains from hiking into the back country, the memory of that big fish, and trips with great friends while you were wearing it.  A good fishing hat is like a book it tells a story of awesome trips and fish that you will never forget.  Fishing Hats for me is my WVAngler hat and so many awesome NY trips with great friends, my first musky on the fly, or elk river spinner falls, and all those great WVAngler memories weather it be cleanups or tailgates! My Vedavoo hat with wade trips, several 20 inch smallies, and my first walleye on the fly.  My RepYourWater hat because wearing it makes me think of home Almost Heaven WV and all those brook trout Hines it's made into the back country, slaty fork and big browns and browns that never were found, and several fishing buddies!  The colors on a hat my grade, the stitching may fray, the smell may be rough but the memories it brings will make it a treasure that you will never want to part with.  Yes a fishing hat can be many things but what makes it a fishing hat is the fish, the trips, and all those memories that make it special!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Somerset Fly Fishing Show Recap

The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ is one of the biggest around and attracts tons of visitors and all the big fly fishing companies.  I made the 7 hour trip up to help Scott Hunter in the Vedavoo booth.  I was looking forward to the trip and being able to see some exciting new products that were due out on the market shortly.  It's always an epic time hanging with the Vedavoo brothers Scott and Joel but I was prepared for several epic moments during the weekend.  The weekend started with a late night road trip and plenty of pepperoni rolls and mellow yellow to cover the miles.  First day in Somerset was crazy at times lots of traffic and people checking out new gear.  It's great to see so many people come together for a common passion in fly fishing.  It's always great to be in the Vedavoo booth and see the passion and giving from Scott Hunter, a man that sees a cub scout and rewards him with a new pack with the promise he will reach Eagle Scout or just the giving he constantly does for Project Healing Waters with his Reel Service Project just being completed.  One of the highlights to start day two was waking up and seeing a VT car parked a couple spaces away at the hotel with a sticker on it a very cool thing to see!  Several products stand out over the weekend here is a recap of what stood out the most.

Vedavoo River Quiver - A storage pack for 4 piece rods.  The quiver will hold 4 9ft-10ft 4 piece rods.  With 4 rods and rolled up burrito style it makes it insanely hard to break.  Scott in a trip out west had one mailed back in nothing but a plastic bag with the rods suffering absolutely no issues.  It folds flat to easily fit into overhead storage compartments.
Waterworks Lamson Force SL Series II - This reel takes lightweight to a whole new level.  

Ross Reels Colorado LT - Ross will relaunch a favorite come April the Colorado series.  A lightweight, click and pawl, and large arbour reel.
Cohen's Creatures - Pat keeps adding to his tails and creatures.  One of the new items a double split tail looks like it will be fun to try on Musky.
Blue Halo - One of the vendors I was super excited to check out after hearing so much about their rods!  There RetroFlex II-C 3wt is one sweet 3wt.  Offers a nice glass look, super sensitive feel, and one great casting stick that will bend like nothing else!

Chota Outdoor Gear - Chota has out a new Hybrid Felt Soled Wading Shoe.  Looks to be lightweight, with good drainability, and super comfortable.

Jeff Currier Art - I've been a fan of Currier for a while not many get the chance to catch 300 plus species on a fly rod.  Jeff uses a sharpie to create absolute art on a cliff box.  My brookie turned out sweet!!

Towee Skiffs - The absolute perfect musky rig loaded with tons of great features that makes a day on the water slinging big flies a breeze.

Abel Reels - DeYoung and Larko designs on fly reels give absolute artwork to a reel truly a masterpiece!

Vedavoo Sling - Including brookie print by AD Maddox it becomes not only functional but also extremely cool looking!

River Song Nets and Vedavoo Net Bag - River Song Nets provide a truly awesome piece of craftsmanship a truly awesome net it pairs excellent with the Vedavoo net bag.
Photo courtesy of Vedavoo

Cheeky Fishing - A branch off from them Wingo Belts provide a fish skin wading belt that looks awesome in a brook trout skin!
Photo Courtesy of Cheeky Fishing

Team Vedavoo