Monday, March 19, 2012

Updates coming

I've been slacking with the blog for a few weeks, so I hope to put together a flurry of blog posts today and tomorrow to discuss some recent fishing (if that's what you can call it).  I also had the opportunity to hit up the Fly Fishing Film Tour when it stopped in Pittsburgh and it was a great time, so I hope to talk about that too.

The weather has been great, and I took the family on vacation, so those are my excuses.

Cheesy, yet appropriate youtube.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Laurel Highlands 2/19/2012

I had a chance to fish in the Laurel Highlands this past weekend on both Indian Creek and a smaller creek nearby where my wife's family owns a cabin.  I woke up early Sunday morning and headed to a stretch of water that looked promising on the drive in Saturday afternoon.  It certainly was a pretty stretch of water and the scenery was nice, but it was very unproductive fishing and likely was just time wasted that I could have spent on more productive water.  I fished an egg with a flashy pheasant tail nymph dropper unsuccessfully for about an hour and half before I decided to go back to the smaller creek at the cabin.

The water at the cabin was pretty low and I wasn't sure what to expect there.

To give an idea of water level, all the rocks to the left are usually under water leading up to the dam.

I decided to switch up my rig to a size 10 white egg sucking leech on a gut feeling.  It ended up being a great decision.  I walked over to the side of the cabin to a fishy looking pool I scouted Saturday night:

On my first drift through the pool, I hooked into a brown trout that came out of nowhere to hit the leech.

I continued to fish this pool for a few minutes when my brother in law pointed out a feeding trout that I had failed to notice.  After a few drifts (and a few snags in an inconveniently placed tree branch), I convinced it to eat...

I continued to fish this spot for a while with no more action and then I headed downstream a bit.

While I'm certain there were some fish holding here, I had no luck so I moved down to the pool below the dam.  I should be able to add some pictures of that spot once I get them from my brother in law's camera as I think he snapped a few while I fished.  When I got down there I dropped my leech in the pool to prepare to cast and an approximately 8inch brookie slammed it. I got it to hand, but unfortunately had no camera on me down there to snap a photo.  It was pretty though :)

A few minutes later something a little bigger hit my leech and when it shook it's head, it broke me off, taking my oh-so-productive leech that I only brought one of.  Oh well.  I tried to entice it to eat again, but was having no such luck so I'll have to revisit that fish when I return back up there.

Also of note on this trip was that I taught 10 year old to tie his first fly on Saturday night after dinner.  He picked it up really quickly and tied up a nice looking size 14 zebra midge.  He is all about learning more, and it was pretty rewarding to teach him how to do it himself and see his smile when he was done.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIY Flybox for under $10

I'm preparing for a trip down to Florida where I will be trying my hand at saltwater fly fishing for the first time.  I've been reading voraciously and have begun tying up some standard saltwater patterns like deceivers, clousers, and other marabou/bucktail streamers.  What I realized when doing this is that I don't have a box big enough to handle these large flies, so I started shopping around and couldn't find anything super cheap that did what I wanted.

I wasn't interested in spending $30 on a fly box for saltwater flies that I might use 1-2 times a year so I started a DIY Google hunt.  That's when I found this blog post and thought it looked like exactly what I wanted, the price was right, and it should be a fun Sunday project.

I headed down to my local fabric/craft store and was able to find everything I needed in under 5 minutes and my grand total came to a whopping $6 per fly box total.  Here's the breakdown of how construction went.

I started with the "photo case" from the craft store:

Photo Case Flybox

The other supply purchased was a corkboard from the children's department.  It's essentially just a firm blue foam on top of a standard cork backing.  It fits the box perfectly and the cork backing helps give some extra rigidity (is that a word?).  

Corkboard Foam

After placing the case face down on the corkboard, I traced the outline of the box with a pen and then carefully cut the shape out of the foam.  A fresh blade in my utility knife made this extremely easy.  


From here, it's just a matter of cleaning up the cuts a bit so things look tidy.  After that, I made long parallel cuts in the foam for the flies to be placed into.  I made mine kind of wide...on my next one I plan to place them a little bit closer together.  

Next step was pressing the foam/cork into the box.  If you traced the outline properly and cut well, the foam will fit tightly and hold itself in the box.  At this point, I suppose I could have glued the foam in, but the fit was so snug that I didn't feel it was necessary.  

DIY Fly Box

I placed a few flies in there to test out the box, and was really pleased with the results.  I plan to make at least a few more of these in the next few days.  For $6 a piece and about 10 minutes of labor, it's a no-brainer.

Fly Box With Flies

Flybox With Flies

Finished DIY Fly Box

Hopefully this shows how simple and cheap this box can be and is helpful to someone looking for a quick solution without breaking the bank.  Don't get me wrong, I love "nice" boxes from the retailers as much as the next guy, but in this instance and for this use I find this box to be perfect.

If you found this post helpful and would like to check out where I got the idea from, don't forget to look at Dharma of the Drift, which happens to be a terrific blog.

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?

I read a lot of fly fishing blogs.  A lot.  So I figured that I have to know enough about them at this point to make my own, right?  Sure.

I hit up blogspot, create a blog, and draw a blank.  No clue what to do next.

I'm preparing my first "real" post, I suppose...a play by play of a DIY flybox for large streamers or saltwater flies.  The project went really well and was super cheap, so I figure it should be shared with anyone who cares to read.

This being my first official blog post, I suppose some introductions should be made.  My name is Heath and I am an avid, (albeit relatively new) fly fisherman, a mediocre beer league hockey goalie, a music junkie, and an audio engineer by trade.  Hopefully this blog can become my creative outlet on the web and inspire me to share thoughts, crafts, music, and more.


And yes, the title of my inaugural blog post is stolen from a 90's album that I consider a guilty pleasure from my high school days.  So I leave with this: