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.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

John Popper In Breckenridge


We just got back from a free show in Breck. John Popper from Blues Traveler sat in on a local band. It was awesome. We were 3rd row. It has been a long time since me and the wife have been to a show. Its been a long time since we had a night to ourselves. Grandma Elsa watched baby lady while we walked the 2 blocks to the show. There was no open container law so we drank. We enjoyed some mirror pond, odells, and the coors that I found in the snow this morning. I also found a pint glass. I met some bead lady with an angora face mask. She looked like one of Cobra Comander's soldiers. She apparently ties flies.


What a combo. So they jammed out for a while and we made some new friends. A russian chick invited us back to her place in Georgetown for crepes. Kinda random. Then there was the dudes toking some major stink weed behind us. They were obsessed with my faux fur bomber hat. Kept petting me and what not. I had some banter back and forth with John. I shouted out between songs 'what about mr poppers penguins' the Jim Carey movie and all that. He responded that he had not seen the movie. Then I shouted out a request for the wife about some Mountain Song and he played it.

It has been a great night being out with the wife and having a few drinks. Now we are about to destroy some home made crock pot chili over artisinal pasta.

Tomorrow I hope to fish either south park or the Colorado river.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Foray Into Tenkara

I'd seen the adds for Tenkara USA in the fly fishing magazines for several months. I thought it was an interesting way to fish- simplistic. Just a telescoping rod and some line with a fly. I read a story by Geirach in Fly Rod & Reel about using the telescoping poles and saw the owner Daniel Gallardo post about his company on the LinkedIn forums.  I didn't think I'd ever have a use for one.

I started fishing my home lake with friends after school in 1984 with varnished cane poles with some mono tied on the end. White bread for bait. It was fun. The first time I saw someone fly fishing they had this long line off their rod. The guy was casting poppers toward me (standing on my dock on Lake Audubon) in Reston. He was on a pontoon boat. I was intrigued.

I went home and took one of the old poles from my grandfather in the garage. I tied on a long piece of monofilament to the tip and tried casting some old floating hula poppers from my grandfathers tackle box. It was fun. Didn't catch anything. I eventually got a fly rod and the rest is history. I figured Tenkara was the same thing, just splatting or dapping a fly into some water in front of you.

I was in Oahu a year or so ago and saw a local dude dapping pieces of white bread for some fish along Waikiki beach. He put each fish in a plastic bag and took them home. I asked someone where, maybe him, I can't remember, were he got his telescoping pole. I was told the bike shop in town. I went there and got a 'wonder pole' made of plastic and from China for $13. It was 12' long and I fighred I now had a Tenkara style rod and wouldn't need to shell out for a real pole as I had seen in the adds with Daniel the owner.

That telesoping pol sat in my closet for a full year before I took it out. I had intended to dap for bluegill with come clients. Never came to fruition. Why would I need a rod to fish small streams and dap to brookies when I never get up to the mountains.

Flash forward to January 2012 and the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset. I follow @TenkaraUSA on Twitter for a while. Tom Sadler goes by @TenkaraGuide on Twitter too. I hear about it. Daniel posted a picture of his booth at the show on Twitter so I knew where and what to look for. I found him and he put one of the telescoping rods in my hand. It was so lightweight. Nothing like the plastic wonder pole in my closet. He put on the line and I was able to cast about 20+ feet. I had always assumed you just dap a fly in the water, I was immediately educated on the fact that you could cast a fly some distance. I was sold. I told Daniel I had seen one rod on my local stocked stream, it was collapsed. I started to think I wanted one of these rods but didn't need one. He gave a great interview you can hear in Itunes. Its the S02E03 about 10min in .

A week later the wife tells me we are going down under for the month of May. I was thinking ahead of what rods to bring. I immediately thought of the Tenkara rod. It is so compact its silly. It would fit in my day pack's avalanche pole pocket. In addition, I was planning to drive to Colorado in a few weeks. I wanted to take the baby fishing but didn't want to deal with a shoulder bag of flies and a reel, and all the hassle of other gear. The simplicity of the Tenkara was just what I needed. I went to the website and purchased the rod. I picked the 12' model.

The rod showed up just a few days later. It came in a small plastic tube. An instruction booklet and two bumper stickers were included.

I packed the rod for my trip to Colorado. Today I went fishing. The baby hung out with grandma. I got to the Blue River and set up the rod. I tied on a bead head pheasant tail and a mysid shrimp. I put on a tiny thingamabobber. I walked down to the water and began to cast. What fun!

I was getting some of the BEST DRIFTS I have ever gotten. The flies drifted between boulders and down chutes. I was able to cast to the other side of the river! No guides to ice up, no line to get tangled around my boots. No reel to deal with. Such a simple idea. Fly fishing at its basic roots.

I worked my way downstream. I was  convinced I was going to get skunked but I was having too much fun. Just casting overhand and roll casting. The accuracy was spot on. There were two other anglers staring at me. They had no idea what I had. The one who I spoke with had no idea what Tenkara was. I showed him my rig and he was interested. He had only been fly fishing for a few weeks so he nodded his hat and went on.

I waded along the river and spotted that red band of a healthy and fat Blue River rainbow. One that feeds heavily on mysids. I cast and cast to it but nothing. I switched to a tiny Mercer poxyback nymph of size 18 or so. I got a tangle and by the time I got it done I lost the fish. Might I remind you that this was the first time I have been trout fishing since 2009. I forgot what crystal clear trout streams looked like. No litter. No brown water. The fish was gone so I moved on and across the hole. I came across 3 rainbows pushing the 20 inch range. Turquoise backs with the red band. Too much for my rod. I wan to hit them with streamers tomorrow. I waded down and drift the rig through a riffle.

Forgot to mention that I showed Tom the rod in his driveway yesterday and he was dumbfounded. Has Tenkara not made it to the the mile high city?

So I drift the nymph through and the indicator goes down. I lift the rod and there is a dink of a trout. I was not sure how to bring it in. I pointed the rod up to the sky and the line came back to me. The dink flew to my left and hit the water. I lifted the rod and it bounced off the water and was gone. I shouted "I caught a trout with Tenkara". I fished a bit more and then headed back to the car. The rod was collapsed with the line on its spool over the rod. So simple.

Can't wait to use it again out here, in Australia, and back home.

I hope my first of many stories convinces you to get out with one of these rods. It really is a lot of fun and brings us back to the original method of our affliction.

The rod will also help me teach those who don't have the abilitly to fish with both hands or able to work a rod and reel together.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

D.C. --> Denver Road Trip Mobile Uploads

The DSLR was packed away in its pelican case for the drive out here. The hound dr jones and I left Alexandria around 5am on Friday and got to Denver around 2:30 Saturday. The trip was mostly uneventful. A tractor trailer with farm equipment on it tossed a rock at my windshield and amazingly didn't break it. I didn't take pics until Kansas as the roads we not straight enough. You will notice I have a series of a bag of chips. The change in air pressure caused it to expand. I think it might pop as we go up another mile in altitude in the morning.

Here are pics from the road:





















Thursday, February 16, 2012

S01E33 Planning For A Fly Fishing Trip

Here is the next in my series of podcasts. This may be common knowledge, if its new to you, I hope this helps you plan your next trip.

S01E33 Planning For A Trip  --> click for streaming audio
This might be old news to you. However this is my formula/method for fishing a new location:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fly Fishing In The Wind

I could go on and make this about casting in the wind, using heavier lines and flies and rods etc. But thats a different story. I did bring 8wt rods with 8wt floating and 10wt sink tip.

I was out with a client yesterday when the winds kicked up. We watched the cold front blow in from the west onto Four Mile Run. Snow squalls came in and the wind kicked up the water.  Waves were splashing us and I was almost pushed over into the water several times. The water at low tide with the waves was thigh deep. Some spots were waist deep as the tide dropped.

Over night the wind picked up. Temps dropped and we got a dusting of snow. Our power went out several times.

I had a client today. I was to pick him up at National Airport. I pulled over to the Roaches Run waterfowl parking spot. The tide was out with the wind. The shore line was exposed like I had never seen. I walked around and waited for my client to call to pick him up.

My client and I pulled in behind the buildings along Four Mile Run around 4:15pm. The wind was still whipping around. I had expected the water to be blown out of the stream and the fish to be concentrated in the deep holes.

I did not expect that 75% of the water would have been blown out of the stream, leaving 50% of the stream bottom exposed. Its a strange percentile in the last sentence. It has to do with depths and water in the deep vs. shallow. Don't worry about it too much.

Places where my shoulder bag was submerged yesterday, spots that were waist deep etc were dry today. Here are some pics. 






Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nice People Still Exist

I had an out of town client book me for last Saturday. He was coming from Colorado and was unable to bring his waders. I had a pair of Orvis waders and Simms boots I could squeeze him into no problem. If that was the case, this post would not exist.

Less than 48 hours till fishing time, I was asked if I could accommodate his brother. I said absolutely. I then inquired about his wader size and was told "2xl size 12 shoe." That was a size I didn't have. I said I would take care of it.

I had to think of who I could borrow a pair of waders and boots from. I have some big friends in Maryland but they are far away. I did have a client and his dad over the summer. They were built like Paul Bunyon.

I e-mailed client Mark and asked if I could borrow his waders in exchange for a few free hours of guided fishing. He agreed. He sent me an e-mail at 9:30 on Friday night that it was ok for me to stop by and pick them up. As I had a long day Saturday, I was already in bed. I jumped up and got in the car. I turned on my phone GPS and headed out towards Burke.

My GPS stated I was 200' away from my destination when the battery died. I didn't have a phone charger with me so I couldn't charge it off my car. And my AC adapter broke so a charger wouldn't do me any good.

I'm now trying to remember the address. No luck. Hopefully Mark looked out the window and saw me cursing at my phone. My options were to drive home and check my e-mail on the computer and come back or go to the nearest shopping center and use a phone to call the wife.

I drove over to the Caribou coffee. I asked if they had a pay phone (an old device where one put metal based money in a round, coin form, and dialed a local number). They didn't. Instead, they gave me their phone-he was about to let me use his cell but then grabbed the store phone. I made 6 calls to my wife. She was in bed when I left. Had earplugs in as someone in the house snores (?). And thus didn't answer the phone. The kid behind the desk was being nice, as I was dressed like a slob. Black hoodie, black Patagonia puff pants, and a baseball hat.

I was steaming. The wife didn't answer so now I was going to drive  home. There was a guy next to me with a computer. I asked if I could check my e-mail. He said he wasn't allowed to. Not sure what that meant.

I saw a young lady in the back on an apple computer. I walked over to her and asked if I could use her machine. She let me log on and check the e-mail. I wrote down the address. I gave her my card and offered some flies, hair feathers, or earrings. Within a few minutes I was back at Mark's street and at his house.


Its nice to know there are still some nice people out there willing to let you use their phones or computers and even loan you a pair of waders.

Turns out the brother fit in my size large waders with 10 boot foot. I dropped off the waders at Mark's last night.

You may remember Mark as the client who was holding his leader at Gravelly Point and caught a white perch while the fly dangled in the water.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Inside The Fly Fishing Show @ Somerset 2012

If you didn't have the chance to make it to Somerset 2012 Fly Fishing Show, here is a bit of the show for you. I have some pictures to share and Producer Jason and I walked around and interviewed some people. The last couple of interviews didn't come out. The sound was recorded through the computer mic not the hand held. So the concessions girl, SIMMS, and Grease Trucks sound like they were recorded through a wet wading boot.

Take a listen.

Stream Podcast episode 1 
Stream Podcast episode 2

Listen On Itunes (AND BE SURE TO RATE IT)



http://www.projecthealingwaters.org/




  1. Andy Mill - Tarpon Guru & Aspen Extreme Cameo
  2. Crosby Beane - Hardy/Greys
  3. Henry Cowan - Georgia Stripers
  4. Kevin Arculeo - Coolest Flies Out There
  5. Natural Retreats
  6. Pete Kutzer - Tall Dude and Orvis Casting Guru
  7. Simon Gawesworth - Speyborn & Rio Products
  8. Captain Sarah Gardner - Flygal Charters & Outer Banks Fly Fishing
  9. Derek Deyoung - Canvasfish
  10. Evan Burck - Allen Fly Fishing
  11. Nick Curcione - Temple Fork Outfitters
  12. Lefty Kreh - Temple Fork Outfitters
  13. Tom Rosenbauer - All things Orvis, The Bonefish Caption Contest
  14. Trent Jones - Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders
  15. Tom Baltz - Orvis Endorsed Guide
  16. Jay Lovering - Northern Virginia Trout Unlimited
  17. Brian & Colby Trow - Mossy Creek Outfitters
  18. Steve Monahan - Temple Fork Outfitters
  19. D. Scott Doty - Korkers
  20. Daniel Gallardo - Tenkara USA
  21. Barry & Kathy Beck - Photographers
  22. Mike Heck - Falling Springs
  23. Kiki Galvan - Ms. Guided
  24. Beau Beasley - Eastern Fly Fishing, Virginia Fly Fishing Festival, Author
  25. Martin Bawden - Flymen Fishing Company
  26. Capt. Paul Dixon - Rise Fishing Rods, Fly Fishing Montauk
  27. Mike Batcke & PK  Stealthcraft Boats and Fishingporn
  28. Robby Lepczyk - Great Feathers Fly Shop
  29. Brooke - AnglingBookstore
  30. Dave Whitlock - Tyer, artist, author, etc


Simon hiding out while listening to the ManU-Liverpool match
 Stealthcraft boats
 Lights on inside



 bottle opener
 Ostrich plumes

Tyers wall
Bears Den



 Sculpin

 Bears' Den
Lots of flash


Inside the show


Random pictures


 Inside the show
Bulk estaz
Lots of tying materials

Dave Whitlock signing print
 Full bird skin
 Dave Whitlock nymphs
Casting For Recovery cupcakes 
The computers for the survey. I wonder how many poo germs were on those!
C.D. Clarke

Mike Heck 
Falling Springs flies 
 Pimped out Derek DeYoung boat
Random reels
 Korkers drainage system and soles
Tenkara USA
 Daniel Gallardo
 Snowhite and Lefty
 Nick Curcione
 Kevin Arculeo
 Tom Baltz

 Simon and Bill
 Mossy Creek flies
 Martin from Flymen
Korkers 

Natural Retreats
Tenkara nets





 Puppy
 PK's tats
 Stealthcraft
Kevin Arculeo flies 
 Chicken fingers with fries and mozzarella sticks on a lousy bun
 Grease Trucks at Rutgers

Ranch Tooth




 
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