Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Matching The Shad Fry Hatch | Stripers at Dusk

Last night was the first shad fry sighting of the season. All of the baby American shad born in the spring have suddenly appeared. We saw a school around the outflow of Four Mile Run just before dusk. As the tide came in (high tide was 9) we started to see the shad fry begin to breach the water's surface as they fed.

I cut off my client's fly and put on a 4" Clouser minnow as soon as the breaches became a regular event. Time to match the hatch. As the sun set we began to see signs of stripers moving up and into the top of Four Mile Run. Those splashes could not be mistaken for any other fish.

My client and I began our walk out and I had him casting to the Alexandria shoreline. Stripers were busting bait all around us. Baby shad lept out of the water to eat bugs all around us.

I began to film the shad popping out of the water. And as with all videos you see on Facebook, 'you'll never believe what happens next".


If you don't know how to tie a Popsicle, here you go: 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Simple Redfish Crab Fly Pattern

If you listened to the most recent podcast (Charleston) you know I got into a redfish recently. I was fairly unprepared for this trip as I'd never targeted redfish. I wanted to tie a fly that would bring fish to hand. I did some minimal research and found a simple crab pattern from the Itinerant Angler forum. I'd post a picture from there but you have to be a member of the forum to see images.

  • Barred craft fur
  • Medium dumbell eye
  • Diamond braid (rootbeer, pink, etc)
  • Size 4 saltwater hook
  • Mason hard mono 20lb for weed guard (not in video)

 Here is the video:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meade's Gutless Frog Fly Tying Tutorial

I didn't really know about this pattern other than from Instagram. I decided to tie it as I had all the materials:

  • 1/0 worm hook
  • Rainy's float foam size large
  • Round rubber legs

I finally found a use for my Zuddy's Leg Puller too. 

I was not satisfied with the video tutorial(s) out there so I created one myself. This is my version with an extra set of rubber legs.

This fly floats/rides hook up and will rarely get caught in weeds. It floats like a cork, and the action is spot on for a kicking frog. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Low Country Food & Fly Fishing In Charleston

Its been a trip over a decade in the making. We finally got a chance to go to Charleston to EAT. I did  some fishing too. This was the first non-work related trip we've taken in four years. My first time fishing in salt water for four years too.

I wanted to return to Low Country Fly Shop to get a full podcast but didn't have time. The podcast from the trip will be linked when its ready. While in there Paul Puckett gave me a few spots, pointed me toward the colors for local crabs, and sent me on my way. The wife gave me about 5 min to be in the shop so I had limited time :(

If interested in staying at the same location, contact Josh at Green Flash 

Pictures are 90% food 10% fishing and are not in chronological order, thanks Picasa:

Portable DVD player from our realtor. Listening to Nemo 5x in a row was better than 8 hours of "why" and "what is your favorite color" questions from a three year old.

 This gets me every time..
 First signs for Pedro
 South Of The Border ! I have not been there in 20 years and the boss wouldn't let me go this time :(
 First stop in Charleston is Teds Butcher Block and it was so worth it.

 Effing amazing chili
 Panchetta and roast chicken sandwich. I could have wept it was so good.

Wagyu beef with mushroom and cheese
 The stair architecture was beautiful, oh hey look, coeds
 The next morning brought heavy rains and flooding
 Lizards out front
 More architecture
 Gnarled, old branches with small leaves. Most leaves had a thick, waxy cuticle. Everything was lush, even me.
Kiawah Island beach. No litter. Never seen bikes on a beach before

The Battery in Charleston
This guy had a home-made device to remove and keep broken off gear from Folly Beach Pier

Schools of shrimps along the Battery
Leon's Oyster House

Top 10 of all things I've ever eaten. Char-roasted oysters
Hush puppies in honey-butter
Coors Banquet on tap
Fried oyster sandwich
Fried chicken sandwich.
This is their version of a mimosa. Fresh squeezed lemonade with prosseco. Win
Back to the bungalow to tie some crabs.
Look what I picked up. A new Nikon!
What the what?
Horseshoe crab. Biggest I've ever seen.
Shooting line with a switch rod and Rio Outbound short. One false cast and into my backing. So much fun. I learned a long time ago that where there are dolphins there are no fish. I didn't catch anything. Dolphins about 5' in front of me.

Taco truck. I asked the girl who took my order who was cooking, she said 'mi mama' and I knew I was in for a good lunch
Starfish. Told y'all this is out of order
A skimmer working the tide pools.
Ooo tacos
Carne asada and pollo. Fresh lime and home made hot sauce
I really liked this porch in the Battery

Charleston Beer Exchange
Cypress. $5 burger night at the bar here. Makes Whitlows back home seem rather dodgy with their frozen pre-made patties
Palmetto lager, the wife ordered this and I took a sip while she took the pixie to the loo
Fries. Home made ketchup. Parm
Fried  mac-n-cheese in beer cheese sauce
View from top level to the open kitchen
Deviled egg with pignoli, fried green olive, something else
The $5 burger. House ground. Fresh bun, pimento, tomato, butter lettuce, yea it was that good
Back at the bungalow with the regal. Tying up some shrimpy Clousers
Tying up leaders
My first attempt at redfish. Incoming tide.

David Babb from Flyin The Flats showing me the ropes. Site as of now is under construction. Follow on Facebook and Instagram. Great clothing. You'll see me in it below
There were some gator looking holes. We stayed away
If you don't know, I have a habit of touching/grabbing/picking up wild creatures. I've been bitten by everything from a wild lion to red snapper, and a penguin. This was a blue crab. I picked it up from behind the safe way yet it gave me the reach around and pinched the eff out of me
Spartina grass- this stuff has sharp tips and kept poking my delicate thighs
David in his Charleston blue shirt. Very comfy. I should have worn shorts and the wife should NOT HAVE GIVEN MY FLATS BOOTS AWAY WHILE I WAS AT ICAST

It didn't take long for the fish to show up. Each day we fished it was an hour later with more water as the tides became higher and the full moon got closer
Fiddler crab. Peter M. in AP Bio ate a live one of these in high school
Mmm, picklewort. Its a salty, crunchy
We split up to cover more ground. I worked with David on his casting. His distance greatly improved. It was fun tossing his TFO rod out there. We had shots at several fish, none tailing, all cruising
This is the crab pattern I picked up from Itinerant Angler forum
Our neighbors at the bungalow had some lemon pie. Yes please
Off to Boxcar Betty's which trumped Leon's for texture of the chicken
Few items. I'll take one of each please

Precious cargo
Buffalo chicken fried. Worth the drive.
Picked up some bourbon at at 300 year old liquor store
The pixie repping Flyin' The Flats
Josh  took both families out on his boat. Patience lost that hat 3-4 times to the wind. She didn't want it but we kept going back for it
At least this crab gave me a warning
Climbing up.  The water was super warm
These kids decided to chase me and throw mud at me
The Folly Beach marina
Kayakers at low tide. Playing no with the Nikon and light levels

Old boats that didn't make it from storms
She has to have her sippy cups in koozies now. Specifically Royal Australian Air force koozies
Dolphin strand feeding

This light house is now out in the water and no longer connected to land

White Duck Tacos
We stopped off for tacos on the way back to the bungalow
Checking tides. Its hard to get out on a good high tide with a family sharing the car
Duck taco
Bulgogi taco
? taco for the wife
? behind the counter
A church that sells fireworks!
I was dropped off at the flats for one hour of fishing with my new flats shoes from Walmart
I took the above pic and about 30 seconds later I blind cast to and hooked up with my first redfish

I was rather excited

We then headed to the Obstinate Daughter for dinner. My old co-worker's husband from Cheesetique is the manager. It was goooood. Southern Living just named it top 3 in the south for food
Behind the name

Fried peppers with dipping sauce. The smaller ones were sweeter
Fried polenta sticks with marinara
Dude, the gnocchi with spare ribs......
This is what the wife ordered. Shrimp something?

The Folly Beach pier has this section closed off. You have to pay $5 more to fish this spot for mackerel. Not sure why

Lunch at the Butcher & Bee. 
Sweet tea with an S was my choice to drink

Reclaimed wood bar
Roast Beef..........
Fried okra with lardon, potato, onion, peppers
Choice of teas in mason jars. Free refills
Lamb pita
Ok, the bathroom soap was so fragrant I had to buy two of them. And they were expensive but worth it

The B&B lot was next to a distillery. I stopped in for a sip and picked up a bottle of their fragrant gin

Off to my cousin's place on Seabrook Island. It was like a resort
Look what I spotted
Jerry's backyard
My cousin was proud to hook (snag) oysters on a hot dog
I threw some flies but got nothing. Super high tide rolled in with nothing
Then we fed apples to the horses
This horse was mad we ran out of apples. It kept knocking me over with its head and stomping its foot

Family portrait. Still laughing as this horse was hitting me
Sunset. Wanted to dine with the cousins but it was too late for our kid
We played catch with the pixie
As the wife went out for takeout I tied up some more flies
Then we opened a bottle of expensive red we picked up back home and had held onto for a fun night. Then I watched JAWS
My dinner was ok. The mac salad was good
Breakfast at the Lost Dog Cafe
Spicy bloody Mary.
International eggs Benedict. OMG
This lady was walking her birds on the beach (not a euphemism)
Finally found the Witch Doctor
Biscuits and gravy
I was sooooo bored at the beach. Its like watching paint dry. Other than looking at bad tats on lots of flesh I had nothing to do. Nothing to read. I watched these boat tailed grackles pick out barnacles and eat them. Fun stuf meh
Once I found my first fossilized shark tooth my fun began. This is from a mako
A mantis shrimp
Then off to the Witch Doctor with David and Rachel. Someone enjoyed the Popsicles

Brussels sprout pizza
Perfect combo of textures and flavors in this Asian biscuit taco
Finished eating and hit up the flats one more time
This spot was dry at high tide the other day

With the wind, high tide, and moon you'd think the conditions would be perfect for fish to show up. No fish showed

Packing up. This is the outdoor shower at the bungalow

Front view
Off to the farmers market. Our first pride parade and it was loads of fun
Some break dancers
A fried egg and potato roti

This lady was just staring. The shirt would be funnier if  not in SC

Someone found a pony to ride
Grits with slow cooked brisket
Volcanoes in the Kitchen. Great band

Some other crabs I tied up

I loved the roads down there
My tying station

Fancy door in the Battery

Never seen steps like this
Window boxes
Flags saying no to cruise ships

Out of order for sure. That crab that wanted to mess with me

I love shooting pics at farmers markets

This drag queen was about 6'4" with biceps the size of my skull

Sweet grass baskets

And when the pixie says no to the paparazzi its time to drive back to dc

And we drove through Fredericksburg, Va on the way home. This always makes me laugh