Monday, January 16, 2017

Starting out 2017 on the saltwater flats of SW Florida

Florida pelican

2017 is off to a good start fish-wise.  My first fish of the year was a little crevalle jack.  Pretty cool!

Small crevalle jack

Over the last few years, I've fallen in love with Southwest Florida.  It is a fly fishing paradise.  I went down there with dreams of huge snook and tailing winter redfish.  I never could find the redfish even though I waded miles and miles of flats.  I did, however, find snook, jacks, barracuda, and a puffer. I'm still new to saltwater fishing and I need more time to explore and learn.  Rest assured, I won't die until I figure it out!  Until I get more time, I'll keep practicing on carp.

Small snook

Snook have become one of my favorite fish of all time.  They are vicious, sneaky predators that get huge, fight hard, and jump like Missouri River brown trout.  I caught a bunch of smaller ones and stuck one huge one which exploded out of the water when hooked.  Then, it raced under some dock pilings at the same time our boat was being blown into an adjacent dock.  The impending disaster, my undersized 7-wt, the wily snook, and a dock piling covered in sharp barnacles prematurely ended the fight.  I'll never forget it though and those Florida snook better keep an eye out for me next time.

Feeding snook

We stopped at a marina with a bonafide snook preserve.  Here, you can feed the snook that reside underneath the marina's bait dock.  I saw a huge silhouette and threw in a shrimp.  About 20 3-foot + snook appeared and destroyed the shrimp.  I shit my pants and spent the next hour feeding them and taking pictures.  Wow, what a cool fish!

Little barracuda

I also caught a couple of little barracuda.  These little guys were beautiful and put up a hell of a chase and fight for their size.

Mom's black drum

My mom caught this nice black drum and the following porcupine fish.

Porcupine fish

I was untangling a knot in my line and when I picked it up I thought I had hooked a bunch of weeds. Turns out it was a puffer, on the fly!


Small spotted sea trout

The wildlife and beauty of SW Florida is outstanding. I can't wait to get back.  I've got a feeling it wont be long!

This is an unfiltered picture I took with my phone!  It looks like a painting, crazy!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Carpmas!!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks around here.  2016 is just about over.  I'm hoping that my first fish of the new year will be of the saltwater variety (more on that soon).  We'll see if all my practice with the carp will pay off on the flats of the Gulf Coast.  Stay tuned...

Friday, December 2, 2016

Dun Magazine - Winter 2016

The winter issue of DUN Magazine is here!  I just love this magazine.  They always seem to have at least one picture of a carp in each issue.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shop for amazing Montana fly fishing holiday presents for a great cause

Blackfoot River Outfitter's Memorial Float

A whole lot of awesome for a great cause

Online auction Fri. Dec. 2 thru Mon. Dec. 12

Enjoy once-in-a-lifetime guided fishing trips, a custom teardrop trailer, river floats, awesome gear, and much more in our annual auction to benefit a clean and healthy Clark Fork River.

Bidding begins online at noon on Friday, December 2 and ends Monday, December 12 at 10pm. You don’t want to miss this one!

Check out these amazing opportunities:

  • Guided SUP, river boarding, and raft trips
  • Fully-loaded custom tear drop trailer
  • Exquisite hand-made bamboo fly rod from Sweetgrass Rods
  • Horseback riding and lunch at the iconic E Bar L Ranch
  • Scenic float or fishing trip through restored confluence
  • Round of golf & lunch at Rock Creek Cattle Co.
  • Seeley Lake condo time-share—hunter’s dream!

Much more!

Image, text, and links taken from an email composed by the Clark Fork Coalition.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The mussels are coming! The mussels are coming!

Photo courtesy of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

According to the Missoulian Newspaper, the Associated Press, and The Daily Interlake, "Preliminary testing has indicated that an aquatic invasive species may have moved into the Missouri River."

The Daily Interlake reports: "Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Greg Lemon said Monday evening that a water sample taken from the York Islands fishing access south of Townshend was found to be “suspect” during initial testing by state scientists. He said additional testing is needed to confirm whether the sample contained larvae from zebra or quagga mussels, two species of invasive mussel known to multiply aggressively and generate costly damage to aquatic ecosystems and infrastructure."

The Daily Interlake also wrote: "The finding comes about two weeks after mussel larvae, known as “veligers,” were confirmed for the first time in Montana waters at Tiber Reservoir. Another sample taken from upstream in Canyon Ferry was inconclusive, but a visual microscopy test indicated the veligers were present in that water body as well."

In the words of Vice President Biden, "This is a big fucking deal!"  And it's a big deal, not only for the waters where the larvae may have been found, but for all the connected waters (ie. the Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin, Big Hole, Beaverhead and the Lower Missouri.  Not only that, but it will make spreading the larvae around the state of Montana via recreationists, that much easier.