I was playing around in the park today with a Flying Pig Liquid Series 8wt and just wanted to show what a cannon this rod really is. Here's a couple of 105+ casts tossed out there absolutely effortlessly. I will put these up against the best distance rods in the business.
Shark Tales No More. Live Sharks Caught in Minnehaha Creek
Shortly after Jaws opened in Minneapolis theatres back in the summer of 1975, the number of swimmers using our area lakes and pools plunged significantly. So, when a 10 year-old Minneapolis student approached Minnesota DNR biologist Dan Marais about three fossilized shark’s teeth she had found in Minnehaha Creek, he could only smile to himself. More shark tales, he thought. That is, until he actually saw the teeth.
They did, in fact, come from sharks. However, two of the specimens were clearly not fossils, but teeth shed from a contemporary shark. Curious about the origins, Marais called a colleague at the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to help identify the teeth and perhaps avoid falling victim to a hoax. What he learned made the small hairs on the back of his neck stand up.
After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year, a report by Gulf marine scientists had warned that the enormous amount of pollution back-flushed into the Gulf of Mexico would cause many species of marine animals to either relocate or perish. That expected decimation of the food chain led to warnings of a possible migration of coastal sharks into rivers where a higher oxygen content would support more aquatic life. Specifically, they were watching for the common Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas). The stuff of legends, this aggressive shark was already known for its ability to live, feed, and even breed in extremely shallow fresh waters. Bull Sharks had previously been documented as far north as the Ohio River. They have also been attributed to most of the attacks on humans worldwide.
Lab technicians positively identified these two teeth as having come from a two-to-three year-old Bull Shark. However, it was a semi-classified document dated February 12, 2006 from the Wisconsin DNR that really set the wheels in motion. On that date, ice-diving biologists captured a nearly comatose five-foot Bull Shark in Lake Pepin, a widening of the Mississippi River. They were responding to reports from several startled salvage divers of a sleeping, “shark-like fish” in the open cab of a pickup truck that had gone through the ice a few weeks earlier. The Wisconsin divers located the truck in approximately 18' of water with the shark still inside, apparently hiding from the swift current. But the cold water had slowed its respiration and metabolism so much that it was barely alive. After an examination, the fish was tagged with a radio location device and released back into the river (Wisconsin regulations do not allow the keeping or transport of live, non-game fish). Sadly, marine biologists doubt the fish will survive until summer without the needed quantity of minerals and trace elements found in saltwater. Worried about the negative effect on local recreation a man-eating shark might possibly cause, Minnesota officials ordered an immediate sweep of Minnehaha Creek. On Saturday, March 26, conservation officers began their search below the falls using ultrasonic stun devices to drive any fish downstream and into gill nets strung across the mouth of the creek. Despite catcalls and hoots from park patrons, the team worked downstream throughout the day and into the night. It was difficult work with shallow water and an unusual number of recently downed trees blocking the creek. A little after midnight, two juvenile sharks were captured along with dozens of rough fish and several spawning Northern Pike. Both sharks were malnourished and docile, but in overall better health than the larger Lake Pepin specimen. The two fish are now in a special hospital tank at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, undergoing observation and a slow acclimatization back to salt water. The staff there have named them Lenny and Frankie, after two of the characters from the 2004 animated feature, Shark Tale. This summer, scientists plan to install experimental freshwater sonar devices to watch for sharks in the two-mile stretch of the Mississippi between the Ford Dam and its confluence with the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling State Park.
For the safety of its visitors, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board ordered signs prohibiting cliff diving or swimming in or below Minnehaha Falls until further notice. So what about those two teeth? Technicians dated them by comparing tannin stain penetration to known levels in the Creek. They judge that the teeth had been in the creek for 7-10 years. Long before Hurricane Katrina. Laura Zimmerley, feeling vindicated nowadays, can be heard humming the theme song from Jaws... Dah duh, dah duh
We have finally received some of our liquid series 4 weights!!! While we wait for the rest of the Liquid line of fly rods due in August we will be offering 25% off on all of our 4 weights. The cost will be $134.99 right thru June. These rods have been described as effortless to cast, and weigh in at an amazing 3.0 oz. We cant wait to get them into peoples hands!! Just follow the link and take a look!!!
We finally got in our first trip to the driftless area this week and might add we did very well. We tried a new stream this time which we found to be loaded with brown trout and fished it for a full 6 hour stretch. The thing I noticed on this stream was that these were some of the most beautiful brown I have ever seen in the driftless. As well as being very bright in color, one of the characteristics that made a great number of them stand out was the bright "blood red" accents that ran the entire length of the top and bottom of the tail fin. I have never seen this so much in the Wisconsin browns? Is this a specific strain quality, or most likely a stream specific trait? Sorry didn't get any pictures to post.
I'm not quite sure I get the allure of fly fishing from a kayak. I will make it a point to toss some flies from my sisters this year. With all I've read on it lately it must be the best thing since sliced bread. We will see. Like I said.....I don't get it.
Fishing on the Root River was pretty good this past week. Over the mid-week anglers had some nice trips and were able to land some nice spawning steelhead. Over the weekend, fishing remained pretty fair. Saturday morning and Sunday late afternoon were especially productive. Unfortunately the incidental catches of suckers rose greatly.
Lincoln Park had the most fishing effort. Anglers were stacked close to the weir's downstream refuge and all the way down to the upper river segments of Island Park. The most successful anglers were drifting wet flies or casting small spinners. Many anglers reported success on white and chartreuse colors. Catches rates varied but the majority of harvested steelhead ranged from 4.5-6.5 pounds.
In Quarry Lake Park anglers had mixed success. While fishing for many anglers was slow at times a few anglers were able to land some nice steelhead. Fly fishing was the preferred method but some anglers were also casting spinners or drifting spawn sacs. Location not bait seemed to the biggest factor for success. The middle river segments were slower then the upper segments near the Horlick dam. Further downstream in the middle of the golf course were some very productive holes were the steelhead were holding.
At the Horlick dam, while fishing was a little slower on Saturday, it picked up on Sunday afternoon as the air pressure began to drop. Steelhead were very active at the foot of the dam and a lot were visibly seen jumping into the dam. Only a couple fisherman were out at the time and they had some nice catch rates. The harvested steelhead ranged greatly from 2-8 pounds. While the weir's upper caudal fin clip was found a some the majority were unmarked. This indicates a good amount of steelhead are past the weir and more should make their way upstream this week.
American grannoms hatch all over the country. Specifically the little black caddis, hatch throughout all the midwest and eastern trout streams. Usually the best place to find them in abundance is throughout most tailwaters. A good imitation would be something in a size 16 or 18. They start showing up in early to mid April, and can be found usually deep into June. Hatches seem to come of in the mid to late mornings as the day starts to heat up and go right into the afternoon hours. These hatches often produce sporadic very aggressive feeding, trout literally boiling the water, while you'll hardly ever see an insect leaving the water. These hatches can be very fun to fish, but it is critical to match the emergence very closely.
On Saturday, May 21st, 2011 there will be a Driftless Area Banquet & Fundraiser including a pig & lamb! roast at the West Fork Sportsman's Club. We will also be holding a fundraiser which will include, among other things, both graphite and cane rods to benefit TUDARE, Driftless Area projects; and, the West Fork Sportsman's Club. On that Saturday night we will be honoring Dave Vetrano for all of his years of outstanding and leading edge stream and habitat improvement. It's fitting that we hold this event at the WFSC as it is Grandfather of stream improvement efforts not only in the Driftless Area but nationally as well. TUDARE (Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Restoration Effort) IS the standard for stream and habitat work nationally thanks to the efforts and support of the residents of the Driftless Area, local TU chapters, Jeff Hastings; and, the resources provided by individuals and groups outside of that area. We invite anyone who can read this to join us on May 21st, 2011. We will be inviting all of the MN, IA, WI & IL TU chapters to join us as well. If your chapter or friends are thinking of a spring outing in the Driftless Areas, and why wouldn't you be?, why not schedule it on the week-end of May 20 - 22nd to coincide with our banquet? We will be having free casting lessons, mentoring on the spring creeks, steam side conservation presentations, etc. If you group would like to join us in activities outside of the banquet, please contact me. More updates will be posted here; and, a new site specifically for this event http://www.springcreekangler.com, which will be updated shortly. The Driftless Area is filled with relaxing and wonderful activities for non-anglers as well. From canoe trips down the Kickapoo, winery visits, Amish tours, etc., to just kicking up your heels and relaxing, the Driftless Area is a very special part of the world.
Here is the proof for our embroidered logo fly rod tubes. The will consist of embroidered "Flying Pig" logo with larger "Flying Pig Performance Fly Rods" printing to the side. Looks Like we are going to make our late April release!!!!!
For the last year I have been utterly obsessed with gaining more and more distance on my fly casts. A couple of days ago I picked up some SA Mastery series Expert Distance 120' fly line. I strung it up to my 9'-0" 5wt Liquid series prototype fly rod in hopes that when I hit that 90' mark I wouldn't have to deal with the tangled backing getting caught up in my guides. BOOM! After a few casts I sent one sailing to about the 105' range. Ha Ha!! Love it!! 20 more feet and I think I'll have a Chance. From here out it will be a slow go to get that extra distance. I think it will be possible to get that extra 20' this summer. I'll need to put in the time though. You can bet I will post if I ever hit this mark!!
I have found in the last few years that the conventional wisdom of the "smaller is better" theory for crystal clear spring creeks doesn't always pan out. I'm fact more times than not I tend to up size my nymphs when the going gets tough. If I'm not trying to match a specific hatch, I quite often go to a larger nymph to trigger some vicious strikes. Look under any rock and you will most always see some larger nymphs clinging to the rocks. I will often step up to a size #12 bead head pheasant tail (yes that's right...chicken size!). The fish in these smaller creeks often cant resist the meat!! Next time the going gets tough give it a try!!
You can lurk the Midwestern steelhead forums looking for any signs of an accurate stream report. You can look closely at steelhead blogs to see what might be happening. You can check stream flows and water temperature to see if they are there. But what it all boils down to is that ....THE FISHCAM TELLS NO LIES !!
On February 23, 2011, the first season for Gila trout in Arizona history opened at Frye Mesa Reservoir. The Arizona Game and Fish Department in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Trout Unlimited volunteers, stocked the reservoir with about 800 Gila trout that came from the Mora National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center in Mora, NM.
This is the first known fishing season for Gila trout in Arizona. Gila trout, which are listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act, occupy a small number of streams in Arizona which are used towards recovery of the species. Currently, fishing is closed at all Gila trout recovery streams in Arizona, including Frye Creek above the reservoir. Anglers are able to fish for the Gila trout stocked into Frye Mesa Reservoir because they were surplus fish from the hatchery, primarily broodstock fish.
There is a one-fish bag and possession limit for Gila trout, but it is recommended to practice catch-and-release so other anglers may enjoy an opportunity to catch a Gila trout. The reservoir was previously stocked with non-native trout including brook, brown, and rainbow trout; thus, anglers may enjoy catching a variety of trout species in one location.
Since I haven't had the chance to get out fishing yet this spring, I figured I would go to my local park and at least work on my casting a little. I took one of our 9'-0" 6wt "Liquid" prototypes out for a little workout with a few different line weights. I think what most if not many fly casters never realize is that the line weight rating posted on the fly rod is simply a recommendation of what the manufacturer suggests is the best weight line to use. That day I had anywhere from a 4wt line all the way up to a 7wt and I gotta say they all worked rather nice for the rod. It comes down to personal preference. If you like a slightly slower more relaxed action don't be afraid to overline you're rod a weight or two. If a faster action is what you like, go down a line weight or two. Lets not forget any fly rod will cast a multiple of lines. It boils down to which feels right for you. We can only recommend what we think feels the best to us on a particular rod. That's not to say that others might like a different feel than us and a slightly different performance characteristic. Experiment and find out what feels the best for you. It can make a huge difference in you casting....and catching for that matter.
This baby right here in a size #8 called the hellgramite (obviously a stone fly nymph) has caught more Lake Michigan steelhead for me than any other fly in my box. I usually drop it about 1 1/2 feet behind an orange estez egg with a split shot about 2 to 3 feet up. Tick it along the bottom and hang on!! Deadly!!
We are heading into week two of the early spring season for the driftless area of Wisconsin. In the last two years I have worked at the most four months. The construction trade aint what it used to be, and the well has pretty much run dry. I've seen $1500 dollars in car repairs in the last week or so, and to top it of I need a new pair of wading boots. The only thing that will save my month is to get out there on my favorite creek, feel the peace of a calm driftless valley, and have a run at a trout ot two. Funny when you need something so bad, its always the toughest to get. Makes me wonder if I'll ever get out there. Right now its something that I need more than ever.
Trout anglers, you've been dreaming about it since September 30 and it's finally here. The early catch-and-release trout season opens at 5 a.m. on March 5 and runs until midnight May 1. A few changes have been made since last year:
•Anglers are not required to use barbless hooks. Artificial lures and flies are still required. •Wisconsin's official list of classified trout streams has been updated and contains 58 more streams that have been classified as trout waters since 2002. Most of those 260 miles are found in west central and southern Wisconsin counties and will be open for the early season. •New online maps and interactive maps will make all of the trout waters easier to find and provide other information to increase anglers’ success.
Fly fishermen have only one goal. To push the boundaries of what we think is humanly possible in pursuit of the experience of a lifetime. The fly fisher is not one who is content with idly waiting for the moment, but rather one who is compelled to explore every nook and remote corner of the globe in pursuit of a lasting memory. It's not so much about the actual fish as it is about the journey. As beginners we take the first steps in what may take a lifetime to master. Along the way, if we push ourselves hard enough, we can gain exceptional knowledge of the sport, but perhaps most importantly a change in attitude becomes evident. We realize there is so much more to life than safety,and convention. Some of us will inevitably choose to suppress these passions and wait for a moment in time when we are not so "busy " with lives tasks. Perhaps saving them for the day when pigs fly. Others of us have seen this elusive little creature, and realize that life is too short for excuses. The ones who live for a thrill, and find passion in every passing minute. The ones who have already encountered their pig on the wing. Dare to ask yourself in which camp you fall. You most certainly already know the answer.