Thursday, January 28, 2010

Women in Fly Fishing

As I cruise the Internet highway, I often come across interesting blogs, written by women who love the outdoors, good beer, and enjoy writing. Fly fishers, backpackers, hunters, and photographers.

This really isn't a new trend. Joan Wulff has been doing this for years and she can probably outcast anyone I know. Why is it that fly fishing dudes always make such a big deal out of women tossing flies? Why do guys want to show a woman how to tie a nail knot when they can probably do it better than you? This doesn't include the myriad of women who just do this because they "married into it".
Some guys might be intimidated by this, but to me, they've become a prototype of what I look for in a woman....I mean lets face it, how awesome would it be to have my significant other be as into the outdoors as me, without having to coax, teach and otherwise "train" about the great outdoors? Trust me, I've gone camping with women who's makeup case is as big as their gear bag and are afraid of the dirt and everything else.

I'll introduce you to a few of my favorite fishing women who I would LOVE to go fishing with.

April Vokey always seems to find a way into This Is Fly every month. She's a good writer and can probably guide northern streams and rivers better than anyone I know....and isn't hard to look at either. If you've been into fly fishing for a while, I'm sure you know of April.

Rebecca Garlock who writes The Outdooress is a fly fishing addict and a GREAT writer. I get a kick out of reading her, although I wish she would try her hand at fly fishing in the brine just once. Something tells me she wouldn't bother with those weenie trout up there in Idaho any longer after she sees a hog of a snook try to pull her under a dock. This is a chick who has caught huge sturgeon, so I have no doubt that she could handle any saltwater fish. She'd also be "safe" to take camping or backpacking....

The Fly Fish Chick is another fly fishing addict/writer. If it's good beer, good fish and wacky tunes that you like, The Fly Fish Chick is your girl. She's also training for the 2010 Texas Water Safari for Team Paddlefish Post before and after photos so we can see how your hard work is paying off.

Lizzy, AKA The Fisher Babe isn't included in the ranks of fly fishers yet, but she's working on it. Sequestered in the fishing mecca otherwise known as Nebraska, Lizzy LOVES fishing in Canada and looks great doing it. She promises to learn how to fly fish this year....

So there you have it! A sampling of women who fly fish. If there are other women out there who fly fish and write about it, let me hear from you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Teva LifeAgents Contest

Teva (the shoe company) is giving several people $10,000 to go on your dream adventure trip. All you need to do is write or present a video essay about the trip you would take with the money if you won. Details here

$10,000 is quite a bit of jack to take a dream trip.

Mine would be a backpacking/camping/fly fishing trip to Costa Rica....backpacking the eastern mountains, down to the Caribbean, camp on a pristine beach, and be wading a flat, fly fishing for bonefish.

Now I just need to find someone as crazy as me to go with.....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New FWC Regulations Regarding Snook, Bonefish, Tarpon

We saw a lot of dead snook amongst the loads of dead mullet and spadefish at Dunedin Marina on Saturday. I have never seen a fish kill due to cold weather on this scale ever.

This weather event has prompted the FWC to change a few regulations for the harvesting of snook, bonefish and tarpon (would anyone really keep a silver king or a bonefish?)

Here is the change. You can also see the original at the FWC website

I'd also like to stress that catch and release is still ok....

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued executive orders to protect Florida's snook, bonefish and tarpon fisheries from further harm caused by the recent prolonged cold weather in the state, which has caused widespread saltwater fish kills. The FWC has received numerous reports from the public and is taking action to address the conservation needs of affected marine fisheries. The orders also will allow people to legally dispose of dead fish in the water and on the shore.

One of the executive orders temporarily extends closed fishing seasons for snook statewide until September. It also establishes temporary statewide closed seasons for bonefish and tarpon until April because of the prolonged natural cold weather event that caused significant, widespread mortality of saltwater fish in Florida. The other order temporarily suspends certain saltwater fishing regulations to allow people to collect and dispose of dead fish killed by the cold weather.

"A proactive, precautionary approach is warranted to preserve our valuable snook, bonefish and tarpon resources, which are among Florida's premier game fish species," said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. "Extending the snook closed season and temporarily closing bonefish and tarpon fishing will protect surviving snook that spawn in the spring and will give our research scientists time to evaluate the extent of damage that was done to snook, bonefish and tarpon stocks during the unusual cold-weather period we recently experienced in Florida."

Snook season currently is closed in Florida under regular FWC rules, and there are also regular closed snook seasons that occur in the summer. However, the FWC executive order extends the statewide snook closed seasons continuously through Aug. 31 and provides that no person may harvest or possess snook in state and federal waters off Florida during this period unless the fishery is opened sooner or the closure is extended by subsequent order.

The order also establishes a temporary prohibition on the harvest and possession of bonefish and tarpon from state and federal waters off Florida through March 31, unless these fisheries are opened sooner or the closures are extended by subsequent order. The FWC executive order for the snook, bonefish and tarpon closed seasons takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 16.

The other FWC executive order temporarily removes specific harvest regulations for all dead saltwater fish of any species that have died as a result of prolonged exposure to cold weather in Florida waters. It also modifies general methods of taking dead saltwater fish from Florida's shoreline and from the water to allow the collection of saltwater fish by hand, cast net, dip net or seine.

All people taking dead saltwater fish under the provisions of this order may not sell, trade or consume such fish, and the dead fish must immediately be disposed of in compliance with local safety, health and sanitation requirements for such disposal.

In addition, all people taking dead fish under the provisions of this order are not required to possess a saltwater fishing license, and all fish taken under the provisions of this executive order shall be those that have died as a result of prolonged exposure to cold weather.

This FWC executive order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 16 and will expire at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 1, unless it is repealed sooner or extended by subsequent order.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fly Tying

Since I haven't covered fly tying for a long time (as pointed out by McFluffchucker and Ken), I'd like to share a few of my favorite fly tying video sites....this is where I learned the art of fly tying....although I'm sure YOU wouldn't call it art.

Captain Pat Damico is one of the best at teaching the art of fly tying to newbies and I urge you to watch him on Fishbuzz TV If you dig around, there are some other awesome videos there, like the Howard Films Location X vids and In Search Of Rising Tide.

Another one of my favorites is Captain Matt Wirt Watching his videos made me look into my flybox and decide that I could tie flies too. He makes it easy for the viewer and I like his versions of The Seaducer and other classic flies there.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mixed Metaphors and other stupid quotations

Here it is....the entire kettle of fish in a nutshell for ya...Oh...wait...I mean.....Errrrr.

Have you ever noticed that when purportedly intelligent folks either make serious grammatical errors in an e-mail with a "there, their, or they're"? I've noticed these same folks dole out the always popular mixed metaphors as of late. It's my humble opinion that people with degrees shouldn't be doing this.

*Quick refresher: A mixed metaphor is a combination of figures of speech that creates an incongruous or absurd image: "He's out of the frying pan and into hot water." "The sacred cows have come home to roost." "His victory is a springboard to rekindle his campaign." As these examples demonstrate, the colliding tropes are often idiomatic expressions or cliches.

A few shining examples:

"Don't burn your bridges till you come to them"

"Ya'all gotta take that like a grain of sand". Huh?

"We operate close to the bone by the skin of our teeth."

Do you have any examples?

I hope this doesn't add too much fuel to the oven and drop the Thanksgiving turkey and that you appreciate the inane humor life offers you at times.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

State of the Blog

My fellow bloggers and blog readers...

I've been writing on this site not quite a year, yet I have a readership that most would envy and have posted over 100 posts (not counting the several dozen that I deleted....and the fact that I was absent from the blogosphere for a few months after taking a near dirt nap).

Here at A Bad Backcast, I strive to provide interesting, informative, sometimes humorous, well written writings pertaining to fly fishing, camping, photography, fly tying and, of course stupid people....often including myself in the laughs....semi - intelligent commentary and, once in a while, a how to article.

I'm wondering 2 things....

What do you like to see and read about on this site?

And who are you? I often see folks visiting the site from the Feedjit wijit and the Google Stats. Most are repeat visitors who visit the blog on a regular basis but never say hello or leave a comment. Of course, there are quite a few who I do recognise who also visit every day.

So let me know who you are....if you like the site, and what you'd like to see more of. I just want to make this blog the best it can be.

Favorite Beers of 2009

Key West Southermost Wheat Ale - Very Nice

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout - Like a Guinness (yum), but different.

Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weisse Natürtrub - Very Nice!

Hurricane Reef Raspberry Wheat Ale - Tied with Dunedin - Reminds me of the Keys....

Dunedin Brewery Raspberry Wheat Ale - Tied with Hurricane Reef - Winner 5 years in a row!

Also had some crappy beers that tasted like malt liquor that were stashed in the beer isle masquerading as a reel beer.

Also, if you're ever in the Clearwater area, World Of Beer on Gulf to Bay is an awesome place to find any off the wall suds you might be looking for. I need to visit as I can't seem to locate any Hurricane Reef....

*Please note, I don't drink very often and when I do, it's usually just one or two...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Low water temps

Local water temps near Tampa today are 51 F. With clear skies and bright sun, hopefully the snook will be able to keep themselves warm enough to keep from having a high mortality rate. Snook usually become lethargic in waters under 58 F and can die from the cold in anything under 54 F for an extended period.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fly Fishing for Spectators?

I often fish in what would be considered urban conditions: seawalls near marinas, local parks, and the always popular with joggers, cyclists, and dog walkers, Coffee Pot Bayou.

One thing that I experience when fishing in this environment is the tendency to draw a crowd.....which can be quite annoying (sorry folks I'm here trying to fish, not perform a circus act). I don't enjoy whizzing 3/0 Owner hooks past peoples faces, or making sure my backcast doesn't snatch off your wife's wig....or YOUR wig.....or the pissed off jogger who runs into your backcast....

Another thing that often accompanies the crowd is the same old questions....

"Are you fly fishing?"

"You ever see that movie A River Runs Through It?"

"What do you catch on a fly in Florida?"

"We used to fly fish for trout in streams back in the day up north"

That's cool. I'm all about telling folks about the sport of saltwater fly fishing....except when I'm out doing it.

Would you approach the scary looking guy wearing a skull hat, Killswitch Engage shirt, earrings, with a scowl who looks like he'd kick your ass in a second, whipping a sharp object around?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom and her shadow on Thanksgiving

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thanks for putting up with me for all of these years....Thanks for helping introduce me to fishing and my love for the outdoors....and reminding me of how much I love it.
I can still remember being little and you and dad "fly fishing" at the canal with bees and little plastic frogs and catching bass....and being at the reservoir fishing with dough balls and catching a huge cat fish...and the camping trips to Old Mans Cave....and the time Deb caught a HUGE craw fish.

Most of all....thanks for being my mom!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Various Musings 1/6/2010

I was reading an interesting post at Fishing Jones yesterday about the children's book, "Goodnight Moon", which my mom tells me was my favorite book when I was a toddler. I searched online for the text for the text (you know, "goodnight comb. Goodnight brush. Goodnight bowl of yesterdays mush" or however it goes). Amidst my Google searching, I ran into an interesting Op-Ed from the New York Times from a few years ago when the publishers decided that the photo of the illustrator needed to be altered because he was smoking in the photo, and then humorously went down the super liberal road of nit picking every other thing in the book that needed to be changed, lest our children be subjected to dangerous living conditions....and Pete, Why IS that rabbit in the illustration fly fishing for another rabbit with a carrot...and why is he holding a net in mid cast?

Also, on a totally unrelated topic, over at Fiberglass Manifesto Cameron is having an "Old School" contest where you can win a super sweet William Joseph chest pack/day pack. I for one LOVE William Joseph gear as evidenced by my horribly written review right here on this blog.

Am also putting together a list of my favorite beers from 2009....It should prove interesting to try and remember them all.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Key West Southernmost Wheat Ale

This fine adult beverage was enjoyed by us on New Years Eve. Very nice Belgian style wheat ale, but with a slight lilting of Key Lime. Very much like a Hoegarten, not Blue Moon. A true wheat ale...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nothing like fishing on New Years Day

Started the New Year out right by taking Julie and Chris out to Double Branch Creek to do some winter time redfish hunting. It was also meant to teach Julie how to use a spinning rig and a DOA shrimp. (no fly casting yet, although her skill at texting while fishing is pretty impressive) There was a nice dock and a few mangrove edges to cast to, as well as a bit of rip rap here and there. With a water temp in the mid fifties, we didn't catch or see anything, but it was a good day to get out cast.

We also scouted a few spots in Safety Harbor with only a few return trips found. That section of the bay is SO shallow and only offers a few spots worth returning to.

Also found that although Lacy prefers sleeping on a couch/bed/chair, she'll stoop to sleeping in a dog bed if she has to....