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

Friday, June 28, 2013

Preparing For 2013 Potomac Snakehead Tournament

Tomorrow is the big day. The 2013 Potomac Snakehead Tournament.

There has not been a whole lot of gear preparation. I just have to make sure I have all of my cameras ready, a stove to cook on at night in the boat, finger stripping guards, and my digital fish scale/lip gripper. I've gone through my rods. I've chosen a few 9' 8wt rods, one 10' 8wt, and my 9' 10wt that Tom put a second cork grip on.

The plan is to fish in the weeds at high tide and in the channels at low tide. The tourney starts in the afternoon on Saturday and ends the afternoon on Sunday. I'm not sure how late I'll fish on Saturday night.

The team is made up of 6 of us from the Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders, chosen from "board members" to those who know how to row a boat (so I can get a chance to fish). Most think they can row a drift boat until they get in the seat and its not what they expected.

The biggest preparation has been in the fly department. I've been tying up several of my curly tail flies, some Clouser minnows, and some gar flies. If I see gar, I'm casting to them!

The other fly pattern I just started tying is the Pat Ehlers' Grip Reaper. I've been looking at this thing in his catalog for years. I finally sat down to tie it the other night. I can't tell  you in words how cool this thing looks in person.

The key to these flies is WEED GUARDS. 

 Lot of mice. They are super easy and cheap to tie. They splat heavy and have great motion.

You can find the tutorial to them on my Youtube page. 

Next up are the Clouser minnows. I've been playing around with the colors. I got about 20 packs of super hair for $1 each at the Fly Fishing Show last winter and have loads of varieties to choose from.
 Here are the gar flies. They boated 2 gar last weekend. It was a bite on about every 5th cast. Such fun.
 And here is the Grim Reaper. Dude, you have no idea how cool it looks in person.
 This one has some MFC rubber legs included.

 And since a picture of a snakehead with a baby goose in its stomach surfaced this week, why not a duck fly?
 A couple of curly tails.
 This is the boat. We'll rotate who fishes and when. My biggest concern is dehydration. I have a bunch of plastic pints from the salad bar full of water and in the freezer to keep the cooler cold. I'll have Gatorade too.
 Chartreuse curly tail.
And be sure to stop in at the weigh in. Its less than 30 minutes from DC. There will be live music, FREE BEER and FREE snakehead and oyster tasting. Be sure to pick up some swag from the merch table.

I'll be recording a podcast to get up to y'all soon. Hope to see you at the kick off tomorrow or the weigh in on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Any Reporter Writing About Snakeheads Please Read | 7.11.13


It starts now. I can't take it any longer. I now start an online movement to ban these redundant images from being  posted. They are tiresome and lack any creativity or effort. 

This image was used AGAIN in an article that was just posted on the internets

I'm calling you out Rick Chandler. You have no creativity in picking images for your article. 

And anyone who uses this article should have their thumbs slammed in my 1981 Honda Accord doors if that car is still around: 


There are way more images out there of actual northern snakeheads taken from the Potomac River than these images from where ever. They have been circulating for a decade and it needs to stop right now. STOP THE INSANITY

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Recent Tidal Basin Excursions | 6.4.2013

Just got back from my 3rd trip to the Tidal Basin in the past 7 days. Its been a slow week with a light client load (thus not a lot of blog posts recently) so I was able to get out once with the kid, once solo, and today with some friends.

Last week with the kid was fun. Loads of bluegill as the tide was in and the fish were up on the wall and under the overhanging trees. I had a limited amount of time to fish with her as it was her birthday and we had to get her to a cupcake at 5pm.

We missed a nice bass by the MLK memorial. We walked over to the Kutz Bridge pond. Under one tree was a small snakehead, about a dozen carp, and a goldfish.

None of the fish were interested. It was truly frustrating. Especially when the kid who is getting potty trained is shouting 'poop poop poop' when I'm trying to be all sneaky quiet.

Then  POTUS flew over.This wasn't POTUS, this was a chopper doing circles around the basin. It was not normal to see this.

The next outing was this past Sunday. It was an overcast day. The one before was bluebird skies and I could see in the water. Not this day. It was choppy water and wind. No visibility. I could barely see my curly tail fly a few inches down.

Fishing was slow. I moved clockwise around the basin as usual from the FDR. I missed maybe two nice fish but couldn't ID them as the water was off color. Both were just off the wall. I made it over to the Kutz pond and I got massive tug from a fish. It was a nice largemouth. I pulled it up over the wall and was quite pleased.

A family walked by and I asked them for a picture. Turns out they were tourists from China. The dad wanted a picture with me after my solo picture. So for the bit I had the son take a picture of me with the dad too. Then the dad offered me Chinese cigarettes. I declined. The bass was really nice. Though when I have snakehead on the mind this is just bycatch.
 Here is the pic the son took of me and the bass.
 The storm was making its way over. The wind picked up and the rain started. I was having too much fun to do my normal anal retentive obsession with Doppler radar. I did not check it once while fishing. I managed to get over to the Ohio Drive bridge. One big snakehead came up for air so I set up camp and worked the bridge. I managed a nice largie that tailwalked a couple of times and leaped out of the water for the tourists.
Today I had some free time again. I met up with Mike and Khalil. The tide was out. The most out I've ever seen. The shoreline was exposed along the wall in some parts.

The structure along the wall was visible so I made a mental note of exposed trees, pipes, water outflows, and chunks of concrete. We even noticed coins littering the rocks below and along the Jefferson Memorial sea wall.
 Here is a big goldfish.
 I'm gonna say the fishing sucked due to the lack of water and the fish just not being there. I spotted a few mudding carp. One small snakehead, and a dozen bluegillhere and there.

POTUS flew over us on his way to Bethesda to meet up with wounded soldiers.
 Khalil peeled off just about the time Mike and I finished. We found a few gar in mating pairs but none were interested (they were getting it on and feeding was not on the list of foreplay) I found a full can of beer, making it the second of the year. This one went in Mike's new Patagonia hip bag bottle holder.

I called it at 4:30 as I had to deal with traffic on I395. Can't remember the last time I got skunked. It was a learning experience being there on a blue bird day with a super low tide. And I was able to test out my VestPac which I'll be reviewing soon.

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