Thank You For Reading My Blog

This blog is about my life as a fly fisherman, guide, and fly fishing instructor in and around Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fish Throwing Hooks

This was Lorelee's first time fly fishing and she could have fooled me. Smooth and silent casting, minimal effort, perfect timing. We worked the shores of Lake Audubon which were super saturated with mud from the dredging project. The lake was totally off color. She threw scorpion bugs and damsel nymphs against the shore, docks, and boats. This was her first fish on a fly rod as far as I know. She had an audience too of a man walking his dog. Both were just as excited with her fish as we were.


She hooked into one fish that at first did not realized it was hooked. I'm thinking it was a catfish or a big bass. The fish never showed itself but when it realized it was hooked, it zig-zagged (sp?) all over the shallows, slicing water with the leader. The fish threw the hook and that was all we saw of it. I am confident she would have caught a whole lot more fish if the water was not so stained with mud and full of junk floating up from the bottom of the lake. As for the fish that did take the fly, a whole lot of them threw the hook. Not sure if they were biting the rubber legs, tail, or what. It was not just the scorpion, they were throwing the damsel too.

The banks were in full bloom with hibiscus, pickerel weed, cardinal flower, black-eyed susans, sand ragweed. Lots of butterflies, some unidentified ducks, herons, and spiders and crickets dropping on me when backed into the plants. No sign of the whistler.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Do Not Eat Fish. Why Is That Suprising?

his topic comes up about once a week with clients, friends, and people I meet out and about. I do not eat fish. Just because I make my living catching them and teaching others to catch them does not inherently mean I should eat them, right?

I'll rant on a few topics:
  1. What I eat from the oceans
  2. Fish are full of chemicals
  3. Biomagnification
  4. Population decimation

About the only thing I eat from the Oceans are protists. My ice cream (when I buy it from a store rather than make it) has carrageenan, my toothpaste has diatoms in it to act as an abrasive, and I like to eat veggie roles at the sushi restaurant. The pieces are wrapped in nori. One learns to eat sushi when living in Annandale with its diverse Asian population and plethora of ethnic eateries.

Fish for one are not the cleanest animal to eat. Most of them are bathed in an invisible broth of chemicals from heavy metals, human feces, and excreted human pharmaceuticals. So not only are a lot of the fish in the Potomac male with female gonads (from being bathed in birth control medications) but they are also terribly happy because that broth also contains a lot of anti-depressants. The term androgynous anadramous fish is a mouthful anyway.

Lets add in all of the chemical fertilizers from lawns and golf courses that wash into our water, the oils and gas from cars (notice all that black and gray snow on the roads after our blizzards? That all melts and gets into our water) de-icing chemicals from the airports, dioxins from paper plants, and everything else out there. It all ends up in our water. And that water flows to the sea. So the fish in the sea get it too.


If you account for biomagnification and think about that when you eat a predatory fish, you are consuming the top of the food chain and all of the chemicals consumed by organisms lower in the food chain. A quick Google search produced this image from the Conservation Report . I have no affiliation to this web page but cite them as the first image I liked to illustrate biomagnification.


We know Jermey Piven ate too much sushi laden with Mercury (Hg) and got sick.
"Don't eat the fish and don't major in Sanskrit"-Droz

Next up is population decimation. Fish are just about gone from the Oceans. Fish are not like orange juice cartons at the corn store (grocery store). When one gets taken away another one visibly replaces it. You take a fish out of the water and you remove all of its potential progeny in future generations. You remove that section of the food web. Take away filter feeders (oysters, menhaden, etc) and the water is no longer filtered.

Bill Bryson talks about this in great and eloquent detail and sums up a lot for me:




I prefer to consume renewable resources that have been locally raised with minimal impact on the planet.  I can't do this all the time but I try. I need to get back to polishing my next podcast on fish families. I throw fish back so they can produce offspring where and when possible.

L8rs

Monday, July 26, 2010

Postcards From Tom

I was thinking of how to title this post and came up with 'postcards from tom' and thought it sounded familiar. I quickly realized where I heard the term, the Washington Post. Postcard From Tom: Food Critic Tom Sietsema's restaurant picks from around America and the world.  I'll use the same name until I think of something else.

I got an e-mail from Tom last week.
"The spinny reservoir  is on fire!!! took this 20 incher on a meat whistle. And the other one on a crack fly (bacon fly). Wish you were hear Later Tom"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bass Pond Fun

Temps near one hundred did not stop us from fishing. Think about that temperature, it is hotter than your body temperature. Hot enough to cook you. At that temperature your proteins can start to denature and your insides could turn to mush.

I'm going to throw this image up on my fly - food - fish page. I want to tie some baby swallow flies to fish under bridges. These birds fall out all the time. The nest a few feet away had a dead bird underneath that was being eaten by ants. If that bird had fallen into a trout stream it would have been eaten by a big old trout.






Here is a dragonfly shuck. The protein shell that the immature (larvae) lived in for months to years under water. Then the bug crawled up the grass and popped out of its skin, bore wings, and flew off. Mike accidentally caught one of the big dragonflies. It got wrapped around his tippet. He fought the bug in and I tried to untangle it. The thing bit me repeatedly. I have been bitten by some strange things before, like a baby lion in Namibia and a mangrove snapper in the Keys. Add dragonfly to the list.
Of course the dragonfly broke free and flew off before we could photograph it.

Here are some sunfish checking out my tiny foam ant. They were very excited to look at it but not bite it. It was not until we put on my foam damsel adult that they attacked.

Sitting under the awning of a porch over the water I noticed a big old largemouth waiting for something to fly by or fall in the water. The bass had been leaping out of the water all morning to take the dragonflies.

Mike cast his 6wt rod with a scorpion bug on it and the fish took the fly on the first or second cast. I can't remember, it was all too exciting.


He had the fish on and it threw the fly. We tied on a  barbed fly and he re-cast and the fish took the second offering (scorpion bug) and the fight was on.



Mike had to get the bass out of the weeds. He had already lost one bass which broke him off on 8lb mono tippet. The knot did not break, it was the mono about 6 inches above the knot. So we knew we had some big and strong fish.








Getting tangled in all of the weeds would increase the chance of loosing this fish. Mike put up a solid fight and landed the bass. It was much bigger than it appeared in the water.







Speaking of things falling in the water, every step along the shore produced a flurry of hoppers. This one landed in the water and I got its mug shot as it swam back to shore.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Humid Casting Lessons

Yesterday was a client reccomended by a former client. How great is that!
We met at the lake (Audubon) and worked on some basic casting. The fish were sipping some bugs and bumping flies but no luck. We decided to fish the tailwater on the otherside of the dam. Charley threw in his fly and the sunnies were on it like wolves on a carcass. It took a while but Charley landed a sunfish. It was the biggest sunfish in the creek too. Bravo. His first fish on a fly.

I went home for some lunch. Leftovers from Jordans 8. Walked the hound and took off to scope out Accotink for today's casting lesson. I loaded the bike on the back of the car and drove off. Got to the lake and rode up the road. I saw a bunch of guys on the dam and no water flowing over. I got up to the top of the hill and was quite supprised to see that the lake was empty. It was drained to work on the dam.

The I now had a view of a muddy bowl that was a lake a month ago. I learned that this lake is about waist deep across the whole thing. Never knew that. Herons and an egret worked the drying up pools and trickle of water flowing through. Well, there goes my plan to cast. I rode the loop around the lake for some exercise. There were two deer out in the mud eating some plants on what would normally be an island. I headed to the post office to mail off a custom fly order and got home to e-mail today's clients to change location.

Today's clients were an adorable couple. They are going to Idaho soon and needed to learn to cast their new rods. They too were recommended by a former client. We started with casting in grass to frisbees and then moved to the boat ramps at Gravelly Point. The tide was going out so we moved to the duck pond outflow and worked the water. I love seeing how a person can go from having no idea what they are doing to casting out line, roll casting, and being confident in just an hour. Sharron was throwing out line and had bait fish jumping out of the water to escape being eaten. Gene worked the water and smoothed out his casting. We caught a lot of trees on the back casts and one clam. No fish.

It was a beautiful morning to be out and I hope they catch some fish in Idaho. Ok, back to work.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lake Audubon Fly Fishing | Client #2

I took a break between clients to eat some pizza and cake with my family in Herndon. My little nephew turned 1. I returned to the lake after lunch for client Duane. A family with a puppy showed up and the pup had some fascination with the canoe.







Duane and I have a common friend which we learned via the Facebook. I know her as Vanna. He also commented on my podcasts so I have confirmation that at least one person out there knows about them.
Duane lives in D.C. and grew up in the Midwest. He has fished his whole life and done a bit of fly fishing. He came equipped with a beautiful custom fly rod on a Loomis blank. His line was sinking so I had him take the rod Andrew fished in the morning.

Duane is a strong dude and was putting all that muscle into his casting. His whole body was used to get the fly out. He was rocking the boat. My goal was to get him to sloooowly and geeeently cast that rod. Like the 85 year old ladies in Key Largo that could throw 85' of line. They did not have strength, they used the rod to do the work.

I crawled over the fishing gear and got behind Duane. I told him this would be like the guy showing a girl how to shoot pool scene from movies. Duane referred to this scene from Happy Gilmore:





I held the rod with Duane and together I showed him the gentle motion of picking the fly off the water, throwing the line behind him, pausing, and dropping the rod tip and pointing it where he wanted the fly to go. Sometimes the physical motion makes more sense than the verbal explanation. He got it and his casting improved.

Duane was now picking up the flies (I had the damsel dropper on there) and splatting them down with ease. He was missing a few fish and we'll blame that on the sunfish trying to eat the scorpion bug which is too big for them.

Duane switched back and forth from a 1wt rod with 2wt line and a foam bug and the 6wt rod with the two-fly rig. I had a 9' 6wt strung up for carp but of course, we saw no carp. We crossed the lake at the flats that are soon to be dredged and worked the opposite bank.

I started to notice the strangest thing. A sunfish would breach the water and go for the the scorpion. The line would go tight and he set the hook only to find out that a fish was on the damsel dropper. This happened several times. Were two fish going for the different flies at the same time? Was the strike on the scorpion causing the damsel to move in a way that another fish would be triggered into biting it? Was it the same fish that missed the scorpion and somehow was fast enough to turn around and take the dropper? I was not sure but it was a strange site to see.

We lit some stogies in the afternoon and talked fishing, life in D.C., and sports. It was a good afternoon. I found myself watching more and instructing less. Duane's casting had done a 180 and he was now getting bites on every 3rd to 4th cast and landing a lot of sunfish. He landed a handful of bass and a lot of sunfish like the morning's client.

The wind had picked up and was blowing us toward the boat ramp. I had been outside for almost 12 hours now and I was thirsty and tired. Time was just about up and we fished the last stretch by the boat ramp.

Duane picked a couple of flies out of my boxes to use and we discussed getting together again and me giving advice on what gear to bring to a trip to Alaska and what he needs to fish around here.

What a great day, clients improving their skills, catching fish, seeing rare birds, and meeting new people.

Lake Audubon Fly Fishing | Client #1

Spent Saturday out on the lake with a client in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Traffic at 0630 on Saturday mornings is perfect. Wish it was always like this. My only delay was waiting for deer to cross Lawyers road. Too me 20 min to get to Reston.

Met Andrew at 0700 at the lake. He is a hard core angler. He fishes all over the country for anything that swims. He told stories about using air conditioners to warm up huts while ice fishing in the winter, driving 7 hours to fish for walleye, catfish, carp, bass, what ever. If it swims, he fishes for it. He uses conventional tackle and now wants to learn to fly fish.

I gave Andrew a basic casting lesson. What he needed to know for today. We could get into more serious and technical casts if he decides to pursue fly fishing. The basic lift the rod like a toll booth arm, wait for that line to straighten behind, drop the rod like a toll booth arm and point the rod where you want the fly to go.

He got the hang of it fairly quickly. I had him set up with a 10' 6wt rod with 8wt line. He was throwing a leader made of 30lb - 20lb - 8lb mono and a huge scorpion bug. We had to work on removing the trained muscle memory of throwing bait and lures. He wanted to lean forward and whip his wrist to throw something like a crank bait. I explained how we are bending the rod to throw the line and that we are not throwing the fly.

He started to get bites right away. He had a bass tournament style hook set and missed several fish in the first 30-40 yards of shore line. I worked with him to slow down that cast and point the rod at the fly so all that was needed was a lift of the rod tip to set the hook. He started catching fish. His casting improved. Time for a dropper. I tied on a damsel dropper and the fishing got better. The bass were taking the damsel and the sunfish were going after the scorpion.
We got to the end of the lake and to the carp. One (or more) were under a dock that had a few inches of clearance. The fish made the loudest noise to get away from us and shot out from under the dock. The wakes moved the boat and we were both startled. We could see their mud clouds each time they were spooked. Too bad none of them were tailing and we could fish for them.

By now we are half done with the trip. Andrew is throwing out lots of line, his leader is straight, he is setting the hook properly and landing fish. I told him in the morning that he would probably land at least 20 fish. He caught at least 20 sunfish and several bass.

Sunfish and bass continue to pound the flies and he looks to be the type of person to buy an outfit and take up fly fishing soon, as in on the way home from the lake.

This was his largest fish of the day

Black Bellied Whistler In Reston

Paddling around the lake on Saturday (post to follow) we spotted the strangest looking bird. I saw the duck on a hill by Rob Thomson's house. Let  me explain why this duck was strange looking and did not look like any bird I have ever seen, especially in Reston:

Legs -looked like a big turkey's, pink color
Body - like a big female Mallard
Beak - like an artificially colored orange popsicle

The bird was hiding behind trees and did not want me to get a good look at it. Then it flew off.
An hour later we passed a party barge (pontoon boat on the water, people actually use them? Most are sinking and have plants growing on them) and all the passengers had birding binoculars. I asked them if they 'saw the duck' and they responded with 'you saw the duck WHERE?' They told me it was a black bellied whistler and was native to the Texas gulf coast. They wrote about it on a Facebook page and told they word was out that a rare bird was in town. Take a look at this site for a close up image.

I came back out to the lake at 2 pm for another guide trip and wheeled the canoe down to the boat ramp. There was a gentleman there with birding binocs and a spotting scope. The same stuff my friend Brendan took everywhere in college. I recognized this guy as serious.

I walked up and said 'looking for the duck' and he turned around and was very surprised that I knew about the duck. We were talking about the bird with Cory Forer of Potomac Pack & Paddle who was at the lake enjoying the day.

I had an hour till my next client so I offered to take the guy out in search of the bird. Cory told us where to find the bird and we took off. Turns out the guy fly fishes and had some great stories about Ted Williams, Lee Wulff, and Joe Brooks !


The bird was just where it was supposed to be. It was hanging out with a bunch of mallards. My passenger took some close up pics and said that the birds behavior was indicative that it was a wild black belly and not an escapee from a farm. It was shy and walked right under some branches when we got close. He could not verify if its toe nails were rough or not based on our distance but apparently this can tell you more about wild vs. farm escapee.

Anyway, he was just as excited to see the bird as me. He stated he has seen them by the thousands in the gulf and in Costa Rica and that they are not supposed to be up here. Not this side of the Mississippi for sure. His enthusiasm makes me want to keep track of my birds more as I did back in college when hanging out with Brendan. I saw another duck that I did recognize but no images of that.

If you came across this blog while looking for this bird or accounts of it in Reston, send me an e-mail and I can try to take you out to look for it. Most of the shore is private and this bird was hanging out on private property.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Product - Magnetic Dragonfly Fly Fishing Visor

Announcing a new product, the magnetic fly holder visor.
 Magnet holds several small flies, a few medium flies, and a couple of large flies. This updated visor allows you to carry just the flies you need and you can leave your vest and fly boxes in the car.

  • Blue twill, orange alternate dragonfly logo
  • Up to 2 sets of adjustable magnets. 
  • $18
  • 10 remaining.


    Sketchy Artist - Ellina Dovgopoly

    I was speaking to one of my cousin-in-laws over the July 4 weekend. I have known Elena for almost 10 years now. She tells me about her studies at The Ohio State University and we start talking about bugs. She does work with aquatic inverts in local Columbus streams. We bonded and shared bug stories.

    Two nights later her family stops by my in-law's house for dinner. I do not remember how we got into the discussion topic but she breaks out some of her invertebrate sketches. Here they are: 






    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Things I Like -Buff Angler Glove

    Buff Angler Glove

    These have more benefits than just sun protection. I like them for that since my hands are pretty gnarly from years of being exposed to the elements, having an autoimmune disease, and recently falling and landing on my little finger.

    If  you do not have a pair of these you should go pick some up. Use them for any outdoor activity from driving, gardening, boating, reading, playing corn hole etc.  I have worn similar from Orvis and R.E.I. and these are by far the best. Around $40.00.

    • The glove protect me from mosquitoes. They can't get through the material. Bonus
    • The palms are protected so I can paddle all day with out getting callouses on my hands. Bonus
    • The palms are protected so I can pull my canoe from parents house to lake with out getting blisters. Bonus
    • The over fingernail hook to remove them is well thought out. Bonus
    • My fingers are protected from stripping in line. No more duct tape. Bonus
    • My fingers are protected from outgoing line if and when I catch the big one. Bonus
    • They come in a funky color/pattern to match my personality. Bonus
    • They protect me from the sun and grip the steering wheel when driving. Bonus.

    From Their Website
    Buff Angler Glove


    Angler Glove
    Buff Angler Gloves Pro-Series Angler Gloves, you'll never fish without them again. Every detail thoughtfully engineered for dexterity, comfort and the ultimate in Ultra Violet protection.
    Ultraviolet Protection Factor(UPF):
    Features & Benefits:
    1. UPF 50+. Breathable, moisture wicking, 2-way Comfort Stretch for lateral movement.
    2. Anatomical Thumb.
    3. Extended cuff for UV Protection of wrist area.
    4. Finger tip pulls makes it easier to pull off after use.
    5. Fingertip cut for dexterity
    6. Stripping guard-stitched with Dupont® for added strength.
    7. Accordion Finger Grip-Provides better grip and less hand fatigue which means better performance
    8. Diamond Grip™ Palm by Clarino™-Each individual diamond cut provides suction power and extra grip for wet and dry conditions.
    9. Ergonomically shaped palm/fingers-Designed and engineered for natural hand curve position which reduces bunching.
    10. Durable Japanese aquatic synthetic suede-Will hold up to wet conditions better and dries quickly.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Mousing Videos



    This one is a bit longer:

    Weekend In The Catskills | Bass on Mouse

    This is 3 days of entries in one entry. 

    THW's friend Decker invited us up to her parent's farm in the Catskills. She said there is a farm pond with trout. I packed a bunch of dry fly and nymph boxes into my guide bag. I had no idea what to expect. I packed 4-5 weights and my switch rod.

    We stopped in Wilkes Barre for Pirogi. A dozen gut bombs and we were on our way. Spotted a forest fire on the banks of the Delaware a few hours later. We pulled into the farm in the early afternoon and the trip almost became disastrous as dr jones ran into the horse field and was almost trampled by a horse. I took off after him and somehow the horse knew not to kick him and ran away. Jones at some point backed off and we chased him back under the fence where he was going to be tethered for the rest of the weekend. Time for a beer to relax and get the heart back to a slow beat.

    Decker fired up the mule and ATV and gave us a tour of the property. It was huge. I have been on one ATV since 1998 when I rode the sand dunes of the Namib desert. They have progressed a lot in that time. This one was automatic, had digital dash, and GPS. We toured the apple orchards, barns, woods, woods, woods, and woods. It was nice to be out in the pastoral air. We found a creepy car in the woods that had deer bones in the front seat.

    The ladies retired to the inflatable pool on the deck and a longneck beer. With a view like this (the water, not the ladies) I decided to string up my rods.



    I had a cold beer and strung up my switch rod.
    I gave a quick casting lesson to Todd. Deckers step dad joined in. He fishes Pulaski too. Has a center pin rod and spin gear but not much of a fly rodder. He knew what he was doing.










    Turns out I brought 7 rods but 2 reels. I tied on a scorpion bug and walked down to the farm pond. The edges were thick with algae and plants from bank to about 4' out. I cast the bug out and got a huge sunfish. I hooted and hollered and got THW to watch. I walked to the end of the pond and threw the bug to the edge of the algae and BAM a HUGE bass took the fly down and then came up and jumped. Glad I had not tied on a trout fly. I now had an audience on the deck. THW decided to come down and fish and got there in time to get a pic of me and the bass: 


     
    I handed THW the switch rod and she thew out the line. She caught a huge sunfish on her 2nd or 3rd cast. Landed it in the net and I ran over for a photo session. She was having fun since she was catching fish. I was just as happy if not more.



    She threw the line out a bit farther with a little help and landed a bass. Big bass. THW kept catching fish and I was glad I brought the switch rod and not a tiny 4wt.

    My turn
    I like this picture, the light and silhouette are great. THW got lucky with this pic

    We took a break for sun downers and had a beer on the deck. I had enough of that after about 30 minutes and decided to tie on a mouse pattern. I had grabbed a handful of mice from my fly bin the night before and tossed them into my kit bag. Good thing since there were not trout in the pond anymore and it was not just bass and sunfish as you saw above. Todd and Decker took off in the ATV.

    I took this pic with the mobile on my way down:

    I cast out the fly and it made a nice splat. Thus the name 'splat rat'. I picked up the fly and threw it to the right and as it was engulfed. A bass swallowed it whole! I have only caught one other fish on a mouse and that was a trout last year. What an accomplishment. Hand tied pattern that I came up with and it has worked again. I was stoked.

    My fishing was cut short as Todd and Decker drove up. They encountered some brush in the ATV path and got off to move it. Decker did something to her knee and her patella was now a few inches to the right. Not good. I packed up the gear and headed up to the house for triage. We packed that thing in ice and elevated it as the bruises appeared and her knee expanded. 

    The knee situation was now under control and the patella was back in place mysteriously. We ate burgers from local cows, corn, salad etc. All local food. The way I like it. We drank through the night, enough that we all played rock band. 

    Saturday

    I got up and made a tortilla (its like an omelet with tater pieces in it) from leftovers and local eggs. We ate on the screened in porch and waited for the rain to pass. Decker's jeep filled up with rain the night before and her car horn was going off. Not fun on the ears (it was doing it on her drive home and I'm sure the people in traffic were not pleased). We all got in the car after breakfast and I was dropped off at the Esopus. It is a famous stream that I have read about since a kid. I always thought it was called the 'eee-soap-us' but they called it the 'eee-sop-puss'. They dropped me off at a small trib that I thought was too small to be this famous stream. I hiked down through the woods. Wildflowers and ferns covered the forest floor. I saw no fish and hiked for about 20 min. I had 2.5 hours to fish before they picked me up. There were old stone structures along the bank. 


    It was really hot and humid down here. I'm wearing wellies and long sleeves and my glasses are not only fogged up but covered with sweat. I can't remember when I was this sweaty. There was no wind down here and I was drenched. I walked a bit farther and saw bright lite. An opening in the woods:
    The opening turns out to be the reservoir where New York City gets its water. I walked the bank and came across a more ferns and wild roses. A  huge bird took off from a branch, it was the biggest eagle I had ever seen. I tromped along the bank and over broken beaver dams and up the bank where I could not walk the shore. I heard flowing water and headed toward it. Before long there was another trib flowing in. I hiked up hoping this stream crossed the same road where I was dropped off. I had about 1.25 hours left. 

    I later found out this was the famous Esopus. I fished drop offs, seams, pocket water and runs. I got a few bites but no takes. I was running out of time and had no idea where I was. I decided to jog the bank and fish the best spots. After about 45 minutes of fishing and jogging I came across train tracks. They looked like the ones from Stand By Me. I was a little creeped out, running out of time, and had no idea where I was. I ran along the tracks and came across a gravel road. I knew the reservoir was to the left so I took the road to the right. Before long I heard cars and found a staircase up to the road. 

    I walked to the right as that was the direction the others took to Woodstock. I came across civilization and called them for rendezvous. 

    We took off to the farm. THW and the snauz went for a ride on the mule and I went mousing.

    Decker's cousin showed up and I convinced her to try fly fishing. A brief casting lesson with a 4wt and she was ready to fish. And fish she did. She caught a few big sunfish before she had to take off.


    We all piled into the car and drove to the Hudson river for sun downers.

    Darkness fell and we returned to the dock. Decker hobled along the sidewalk and we followed. She took us to Ship To Shore. The food was awesome. A lot of Culinary Inst. Of America students stay in the area and open their own places. This place had the most well dressed salad I have ever had and my pasta main course was just as good.
    BLEU CHEESE BABY LEAF SPINACH SALAD  $9
    WITH CARROTS, RED ONIONS, CHICK PEAS & SMOKED BACON

    RIGATONI SAUSAGE $16
    GRILLED RED PEPPERS, FRESH MOZZARELLA, BASIL TOMATO CREAM SAUCE

    Full belly = time to sleep in car on way home.

    Sunday

    Got up and headed straight to the farm pond. THW was on the phone instead of filming. I should have waited for her. There was a bass just off the shore in a sunny spot between piles of vegetation. I cast to the fish and the fish took the fly after one twitch.  She hung up the phone and got some still images. 

    Time to head out. We had to watch the world cup match. I had been waiting 4 years for this match. I put on my Andres Iniesta Barca jersey and we took off. We found a bar off 81 in Pa. We had missed the first half but pulled into the 901 Pub in time for the 2nd. 

    We opened the door to a dark room full of smoke. It took me a moment to adjust my eyes. We convinced the bar tender to let us put on the match. The tv stations only went up so I had to click 150+ times to get to channel 3. We got the half time report and settled in. 

    I was amazed that this place had Broasted Chicken.  The chicken was awesome. Crispy, not greasy. Flavorful. We watched the game and had a few others from 81 pull off the road and join us. Of course Spain won and I was stoked. We got the bill and further fell in love with the place. The food was good, drinks cold, and cheap. Todd's beer was less than my club soda.
    We got back on the road after a nearly 2 hour break. Got home around 9 and started to unpack. I need to go finish that now but I would just like to thank Decker's family for a great weekend. It was like staying at a bed and breakfast. Apple orchards, hummingbirds, horses, ATVs, rock band, trout fishing, bass fishing, first timers catching fish, THW catching fish, on and on. 

    Ok, time to clean up the chaos in the house.

     
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