Monday, December 22, 2014 Top Moments of 2014

6. It was the year of the game changer.  The VEDAVOO TL Beast sling made fishing so much easier being able to have a bugger beast jr box handy made wading smallie streams and throwing big flies a cinch.  The fly of the year and my go to the game changer it took several different species of fish, so many big smallies, and personal best fish it was like having money in the bank and made a good year that much better!

5. Brookies was the name of the game this year.  It was great being able to chase them on some new waters and hiking after them in beautiful streams with good friends.  This year was one I found a new love for Cain!  I was very lucky to be able to have a rod built by Phil Smith of Vandalia Rod Works it's truly a special Brookie Rod.  Had fun breaking it in early in the year with Jonathan Paine in a duelin bamboo session.  There was a lot of brookies caught and some good solid fish!

4. Had a busy year and with weather I was able to only attend one fly fishing show.  I was lucky enough to be able to make the Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster PA. It was filled with some great vendors, awesome fly tiers, and big names in fly fishing. It was great to meet up with several guys including Nick Masteller of Keystone Flyfishing, Morgan Kupfer of TLTFF, and Joel LeMarco.  Even had the chance to run into some big name guys like the crew from Mossy Creek , Harold Harsh, Beau Beasley, Pat Cohen, and one of the best Bob Cluser.  Bob did an awesome presentation on warm water fly fishing the guy is a smallmouth legend!  Throw in being able to watch Joe Humphreys on the casting pond truly an epic time.  The highlight of the trip was being able to hang out in the Vedavoo booth with Scott Hunter and rep some of his truly awesome handmade in the USA Vedavoo gear!  I can't say enough about his awesome packs check them out at . 

3. This year on the water was a year of big fish and diversity.  I set out a goal to catch 15 different WV species of fish on the fly and easily made it to that as well as catching two personal best fish.  I was lucky enough to take two trophies on the Ohio River both on a game changer.  Early in the season I stuck a 20 inch smallmouth then mid season I landed a slug of a 26 inch hybrid.  As for the diversity a few fish I came up short on but managed 21 species of fish on the fly all from WV waters.  Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, Sauger, Sucker, White Bass, Skipjack, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Common Shiner, Drab Colored Rosyside Dace, Gar, Pumkinseed, Carp, Long Eared Sunfish, Shad, and Walleye.  Not a bad overall year!

2. It was a special experience getting to fish in the Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament.  Eric was truly a special person and a true hero that wore the WV State Police Uniform.  The conditions were tough and I got shutout but spending an evening win great WVAngler friends and telling stories about Eric is always a good time.  Throw in the fact that my good buddy Jonathan Paine took the biggest fish a monster 50" inch Musky!

1. Being able to spend Father's Day on the water with my baby girl and chase some blue gill is one of the best times I had all year.  Being able to share a fishing experience with a good friend, a kid or a loved one makes it that much more special on the water.  Being able to see the smile on my girls face is a time I won't forget!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Big Fish Big Fly

As the old saying goes bigger is always better.  We as humans like big things.  No matter if we are biggie sizing our food, going for the bigger car, the bigger tv, or wanting the bigger gift for Christmas we are obsessed with bigger things.  This year for me looking back was the year of the big fish.  I caught more citation and bigger fish than I have caught in years past.  

This year I never caught a smallmouth under 15 inches with the biggest being a monster 20 inch Ohio River brute.  I usually enjoy throwing some small poppers and picking up some average size fish and that I'm fine win.  Most of the year was spent throwing flies between the 5 and 10 inch range.  I relied on the 7 and 10wt rods, the Cheeky Mojo with a super smooth drag, big big tippet the biggest possible, and of course big flies.  Upscaled flies can be tough you might not catch tons of numbers but when you do it's more than likely memorable.  When your playing the go big or go home game your bound to be left with some moments you'd like to forget.  Yes there will be moments when the fish spooks because of the 20lb tippet, or loosing huge fish on thrown hooks (unfortunately this happened to many times), or just moments when you blow it under pressure and flat out miss the fish and the hook set.  This year I owe a lot of success to my gear the Sage One 7wt has been an absolute workhorse throwing some big flies match that with some 20lb Rio Tippet and Rio Smallmouth fly line and your ready to go.  Add in a bugger beast box loaded with some bug ugly flies that fits like a dream in e new Vedavoo sling and yor ready for a lot of success.  Speaking of success I can't say enough great things about Pat Cohen's creations his EP Game Changers were far and away magical on big fish.

Throwing a big game changer and watching a smallmouth just come out of cover and inhale it brings a rush to any angler.  The big flies like those game changers just make fish go nuts.  They are like feeding candy to Hybrids having a 25" monster inhale one as it smam through waters of the Ohio was another great moment and big fish memory of the year.  People talk about feeding candy to something and them going nuts the game changers did that for me.  I love throwing streamers especially when you have a visual take nothing beats that rush for me.  The Game Changer has became that big fish bait for me fishing it twitching it like it's an injured baitfish or even just a swim if minnow it does if all and just finds the fish .  Big fish want a big meal so when your wanting to catch the if one it always helps to biggie size.  Whe your throwing steamers try to upscale your fly and go up a few sizes and see if you get any reaction strikes and see if you can land a monster.  Big fish have hungry appetites so why not throw some huge flies and see if you can intice a big brown or smallmouth!  Small flies will catch big fish as well but big flies definitely get the attention of lunker fish and will create some wild reaction strikes!  Go big or go home!!  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fly Fishing Gift Ideas

With Christmas under a month away most people are frantically searching for that perfect gift.  We have a few gift ideas for the fly fisherman as well as a few places to point you in the direction that will help.

Your hometown fly shop is one of the best places to look for those items on the Christmas list.  WV offers some great shops to check out Anglers Xstream in Parkersburg, Serenity Now Outfitters in Lewisburg, Elk Springs located near Monterville, Evergreen in Clarksburg, and McFly Outdoors with a few locations including Flatwoods.  There is also a few great shops that border us South River Fly Shop in Waynesboro - VA, Mossy Creek Fly Shop in Harrisonburg - VA, and Mad River Outfitters in Columbus - OH.  Fly shops provide great and personal service from people that truly understand these products.  They understand the local area as well as hatches and can suggest the flies or gear needed for area streams.  They all offer a great selection of rods, reels, waders, and tying gear.  If gear is not your answer you can always get a guide trip from one of them for anything from trout to bass to musky.  Another great guide is Harold Harsh from Spring Creek Outfitters that always shows a great time on the water.  

If you don't want to pick something out gift cards are always a favorite item for all.  You can get a gift card from one of the fly shops mentioned above or even manufactures offer one.  A few other places that offer a great idea would be Harman's Log Cabins offer great packages to stay on the South Branch as does Elk Springs on the Elk.  They both offer top notch accommodations with good fishing just out the front door.  Another place that offers gift cards to stay is one of the many WV State Parks a couple of the best Kumbrabow and Watoga.  For the fisherman looking to replicate that trophy Mount'n Critters Taxidermy would offer gift cards for a one of a kind reproduction!  

There are some great products available for the fly fisherman this Christmas and we will focus on a few.  

Vedavoo has the Little Bugger Kids Sling for the little fisherman in your family.  A kid sling pack with room for a fly box, tippet, tools, and snacks.

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Vedavoo Mason Jar Coozie - Its a mug style Coozie that comes with with a Pint Mason Jar.  Insulated for hot or cold or those extra cold frosty beverages and made in the USA to last!
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Chota STL Plus - Features enhanced styling, and durability while the comfort and stability is retained.  One of the most durable boots on the market.
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Goat Head Sole Spikes - Screw in cleats for sandals, shoes, and of course wading boots.  Traction control for those slippery streams!
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Cheeky Fly Fishing Mojo 425 - extremely versatile reel that handles everything from e salt to the stream.  Super smooth drag that handles those big runs on steelhead, hybrids, and musky!
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Risen Fly Alpha Fly Line - perfect fly line for any level of angler.  Comes in line wts from 3-9.  One of the best valued fly lines on the market.
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Super Fly EP Game Changers - Pat Cohen ties up these awesome game changers by stacking EP fivers then coloring them up with markers.  The go to fly for me this year!
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The Fly Stop - Great selection of flies for any type of fishing.  Not only tons of flies but some of the most affordable you will find.
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MFC Poly Boxes - Great for small flies to a big collection of patterns.  Awesome artwork on each box from artists like Currier and Pucket.
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Rep Your Water Hats -  One of the newest edition to the Rep Your water collection is the WV.  Representing native trout they offer a stunning hat!
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