Sunday, July 27, 2014

Why Not Another?

Figured while I had the stuff out with the camera set up I'd tie one more for you. This is the Leech Yarn Leech. Another super simple, super effective fly that's been working great for me. 

(If the above video doesn't work, you can see it here)

Hope you can get out there, be safe, and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Another First Attempt

So, a couple of posts back I was bitching talking about how I couldn't get out fishing as much as I'd like.Then Howard over at Windknots & Tangled Lines suggested I make a fly-tying video to help pass the time. Here's the result of my effort, let me know what you think: 

(If the above video doesn't work, you can find it here)

Hope you can get out there, be safe, and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Friday, July 25, 2014

Out with my Boys

"Sometimes the stars align" is usually taken to mean the great things that can happen, but it implies that usually they don't. That's been my July, car trouble and the time/effort involved in making up for the unexpected expense has kept me off of the water. This in turn has made me lose more than a little sleep. So it wasn't really a surprise when I hadn't really slept the night before I was supposed to head 'up North' to continue working for my Dad. I let him know that I wasn't going to be making the two hour drive to work when that was about the amount of rest I'd managed. Of course, after that I couldn't sleep due to the thoughts of work missed and all that crap... So I tied some flies. No (or little) sleep isn't great for production tying and I wasn't really getting anywhere when my oldest woke up and wandered downstairs. I said, "let's go hit a stream" and he replied, "Nah, let's take out the boat". So we loaded up the boat, along with little bro, and headed out to a lake I have very little experience with that isn't too far away. (Never mind the argument of, "if you're too tired to work, why aren't you too tired to fish")

Nice place
Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about taking both boys out in the little 'tin tub' boat all by myself but the boys were their usual well-behaved selves and there was little to worry about. Even though we don't have a motor yet, the boat still offers way more mobility on the water. Especially when you consider how hard it is to move around when you've got two young'uns. It also supplies some needed options when it comes to technique. On the boat I can easily have the boys troll, jig, drown some bait, or cast and retrieve. All while I'm able to still get some fishing of my own in. This trip it was all about finding some fish (they seemed to be holding between 25-30' of water) and doing some vertical jigging. I really like using this technique with my boys because it's fun, effective, and not reliant on casting skills. The fish finder takes some of the guess work out of the equation and keeps the kids engaged even when the fishing isn't fast and furious. (for this reason I like to keep the fish icon option on and the 'fish alarm' too, anything to keep their attention).

Hard to get a good pic in a small boat

Unless you're Cado and can pull off the one hander
Usually when I'm out with the boys pure catch & release goes out the window. They love bringing home dinner, and I get to teach them some selective harvest. This makes some people's skin crawl, and I get that, but most fisheries are meant to sustain some harvest (it's even encouraged at most) and I see nothing wrong with keeping enough for dinner (here's a write-up on what the biologists say). Enough is a very useful term in all of this, and for my family two mid sized fish is plenty for a great meal. There's no reason to keep some for the freezer in my opinion, I'd just be robbing myself of an excuse to go fishing again, and if I wanted to eat frozen fish I'd buy some at Walmart. 

A couple of nice Tigers for the table
The boys put in a hard day's worth of fishing, I did more rowing than I was prepared for, and we all came home happy. Our sunburns were earned through some serious sunscreen and the fish cooperated just enough to make our efforts seem justified. Hope you can get out there, be safe, and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

The fishing's just an excuse to get out here

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No Fishing

I'm in the later stages of a truly epic Summer. I've caught more fish over 20" this year than I think I ever have before, have fished in relative solitude, gotten out with some great people to fish with, explored new water, and gotten my kids into some good fishing. 

Well, that's over. Car trouble has once again pulled the funding out from under my fishing habit and now I'm back to work trying to make ends meet. Luckily, I've been able to pick up some extra work with my Dad that, once payday comes, should fit the bill. Unfortunately, this doesn't help me out of my current dry spell. I've been tying flies, trying to figure out this net building thing, and reading but it just doesn't seem to be scratching the itch. 

The woodworking thing has been a lot of fun and has helped to fill out some of my days off, but most of the time I'm thinking about where would be good right now and how long it'd take for me to get there. But until the car gets fixed and I can recoup some losses I'm stuck. This is the time of year I spend most of the winter looking forward to, ironic that I'm incapable of taking advantage. 

I guess my lucky streak had to end sometime...oh well, I realize that I've been ridiculously blessed. I'll stop my sulking and try to accomplish something in my down time.  Hope you can get out there, be safe, and enjoy the water.

At least the views are good around here

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Keeping with my awesome summer schedule, on Tuesday I headed into the woods to meet up with a fellow forum member for the first time. He lives on the other side of the mountain range so it makes sense to meet in the middle. Luckily the middle has some of the best fishing opportunities in the state. I was excited to be getting back to a couple of lakes that I haven't been to for a few years, and it showed. First I forgot my camera and had to run back in the house for it. Next, I forgot my lunch/dinner/water and had to run back for it. Then I forgot a jacket but didn't realize that until much later.

Not my destination, but an interesting pond for another time
I decided to take a route up to the lakes that I haven't taken for about eight years. Not sure why I haven't been up that way in that long, or why I chose that route when I was supposed to be meeting someone, but I did. The trip up the canyon was just as awesome as I remember, though the road leading down to where I was heading seemed much worse than I remember. Nothing like puckering your butt while trying to keep the truck on the road.

Lake number 1 (which ended up being stop number two for me)

Pretty high, and yes, that's snow.

Arrived to find the guy I was going to meet already out on lake number two (not a surprise since he didn't have to work that morning) and tried to quickly get set up. Despite trying to hurry I noticed that he was getting into quite a few fish while I was pumping up my kick boat and getting everything else out. Definitely makes it hard to focus. Once on the water I quickly found some fish and picked up a couple on a Double Renegade on a sinking line with a slow retrieve.

Always a nice view around here
Once we got close enough to each other I called to my fishing partner and introduced myself. Tom paddled over right away and hands me a couple of his flies that were the hot ticket so far. Great looking flies that seem to be a simple tie - exactly the type that I love. Then he detailed exactly how he was getting into them: cast out 50' of line, slow troll until the line sank, then strip the fly back in. Seemed very generous of him and hopefully I'll be able to return the favor someday. The method worked like a charm and I was getting lots of hits and some hookups right away. Unfortunately, not long after that Tom had to leave but I'm sure we'll fish together again and hopefully soon.

This bow fought like a much bigger fish
Ended the day by going over to lake number one and getting skunked even though the fish were rising like crazy to a midge hatch. Missed three fish while getting progressively colder. Why did forget my jacket? Why are my waders leaking? At least I knew why my hands were shaking. Called it a day and made the trek back home. It was nice to get out again during the week and great to meet and learn from another angler. Can't wait to do it again. Get out there, be safe, and enjoy the water over the holiday.

- Kidder