Archive for July, 2012

The drought ridden perennial flower is of course the most cunning, elusive, and dangerous of all the fly fishing targets in my backyard…

Who says you even need water to fly fish?

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This week’s fly tie of the week: Bead Head Reaper!

A great streamer fly for a variety of fish. This is my go to fly for crappie… but it also works for almost any other panfish. It also rides hook up in the water; which is great for the aquatic growth that overruns Nebraska waters in the summer. I prefer green in size 12. Fast and easy to tie, I never leave home with out it!

Materials: Bead chain for eyes (I stole my from a light fixture), marabou, and green tread.


Tie on thread…

Add eyes…

Tie marabou to the back of the fly…

Twist marabou into string…

Wrap forward…

Whip Finish…

Go fishing!

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“The solution to any problem–work, love, money, whatever–is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be.” ~John Gierach, Standing in a River Waving a Stick

Little E and I got out of the house this morning and spent a little time at Holmes Lake. I brought the fly rod out with me and tried to doing a little fishing as she played in the sand. Tried being the key word… I only got about 10 or so casts in before Little E demanded that she “do it”. After a couple of times of her driving my rod tip into the water, I decided that it was time to move on to the jungle gym and other 2 year old appropriate activities. Who knew that a two year old lacks the coordination, precise timing, and patience that casting a fly line from 9 foot pole requires?

Any time on the water is good time. Especially if I can share it with Little E… even if it was only a few minutes. To be honest, I got more casts in then I thought I would…

Starting this blog has given me the opportunity to start to realize exactly what it is that drew me to fly fishing. By trying to write about fly fishing, I have had lots of thoughts pass through my mind. About why I started, why I keep doing it, why I am hopelessly addicted to it.

When I started, I thought I would write all about the actual fly fishing… the technical details, what the fish are biting on, what works and what doesn’t, etc. But that is not my voice. You see, I am probably best classified as an “intermediate” fly fisherman. I’m good but not great; I still have lots to learn. If I tried to write about the technical aspects, I would fail miserably… because I am still learning them myself. The process of learning the sport could be compelling subject to write about, and I probably will; but if you are looking for anything more then how to get started in the sport, you are in the wrong place. There are plenty of good “how-to-fly-fish” blogs on the internet, many of which I follow.

What I have recently realized while on the water is that the art of fly fishing mirrors my personality… it’s artistic, a little bit eccentric, complex, beautiful, simplistic, and difficult all at the same time… It’s best performed in solitude; yet in doing so it attracts the attention anyone who sees it. It requires observation, patience, contemplation, constant attention, mental toughness, stealth, and the ability to spring into action at exactly the right moment.

For me it is also an escape…

I have not had the easiest of lives. My life is great now… I have a loving wife, beautiful daughter, great career, and a supportive family. But it was not always like that. I have had to overcome some tough challenges in my life… the scars from which I still live with to this day… and continue to challenge me…

Fly fishing gives me the chance to escape from everything… to clear my mind… to become one with nature… to feel like an alpha predator and to realize how small I am compared to existence all at once…

Fly fishing is magical, and it does have an aura about it that is challenging and comforting at the same time. It gives me incredible insights into my life and experiences… and has an uncanny ability to highlight the highs, and the lows, of my life…

The reason why I was drawn to creative writing in college was that I discovered writing has powerful ability to act as a release… a pressure release value for my emotion. Fly fishing gives me the ability to capture those emotions; and over the last month, I have discovered this blog has been great way to release them.

Until I started this blog, I had written almost nothing in the last three years. Someday I would like to write my memoirs. And his blog is empowering me to write again. Hopefully it will not be too long before I can put a pen to paper and start to document all the ways in which I “Fly Over Nebraska”… How fly fishing helps me do it… and everything in between. That is what I want this blog to be about.

I wish I would have known about the John Gierach quote at the top of the post sooner… He is spot on… and since I have only been fly fishing for two years, I have a lot of catching up to do!

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5 years ago today, one of the two best things that has ever happened in my life took place… my wife walked down the aisle at our at our wedding.

She has been the biggest influence on my life. She also “tolerates” my addiction to fly fishing… and many other annoying habits that I have.

She is truly the most amazing woman I have ever met.

Happy anniversary sweetheart!

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Finally! Instead of 105 degrees, it was a much nicer 85 tonight! A chance to get on the water! The score?

Pawnee Lake: 2 flies – Me: 20+ Fish

Now, most of those fish were White Perch… and catching White Perch is no challenge in Pawnee Lake.

Even though it wasn’t a challenge, it was nice to be false casting over the water… and having a tight line at the end of my pole…

Who cares if it wasn’t a challenge. It was fishing. And it was awesome.

It also gave me some time to think about the voice that I would like to take with this blog. And I have some ideas with where I would like to go with it.

After the sun went down, I did manage to catch one game fish. I pulled a White Crappie up right before I came home.

I guess it pays off to keep pressing through the perch. Eventually a nice fish will come up.

Funny, I could say the same thing about writing… keep writing and a gem will arise eventually.

Right? Right???

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I majored in Creative Writing in college… I have done almost nothing with it. Since I have been blogging for about a month, I have really enjoyed it. The reason why I enjoyed writing in college was that it was an excellent release for all the pressures in my life… and there have been a lot!

That’s also why I enjoy fly fishing, it’s a great escape from the pressures of life! Writing about it has only enhanced the experience; in the same way that fly fishing with flies I tied myself enhances the feeling of catching fish.

WordPress has a challenge that sound interesting to me as a writer… post every day for the year. Okay, I missed half the year since I just started blogging… so I am going to try for the rest of the year.

What I have discovered about my own writing since I graduated college is that writing has fallen by the wayside… there are no deadlines to come up with assignments for grades, and that has affected all my writing. I find it hard to write for myself since I am not writing at all. Challenging myself to post everyday seems like a good way to jump start my writing again. Plus I think about fly fishing all the time… I might as well write those thoughts down. I wonder how long before the writer’s block kicks in…

Plus, Spot my pet bluegill needs company… he lives on my writing desk. And yes, I caught spot on a fly, one I tied myself.

So with that, (Spot and) I am throwing my (our) proverbial hat in the blogging ring… here goes nothing!

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The heat wave in Nebraska continues… It’s too miserable to fish in this heat.

In the mean time, I found this picture on an old cell phone while looking for a different picture…

This is the first Rainbow Trout I ever caught… from the dawn of my fly fishing days. I believe I caught it on a green woolly bugger. Nebraska Game and Parks stocks trout in Holmes and Bowling Lake a couple times a year when the weather cools off. This picture was taken sometime mid October 2010 a couple of days after the stocking…

I remember looking at this picture on my phone every chance I got. Part of me was amazed I even caught the thing… the other part was amazed that I caught something so beautiful. Rainbow Trout have been my favorite fish ever since…

It’s kinda neat to see how much my fly fishing has evolved in the last two years… and how much better I am documenting my catches. This picture is horrible! I remember holding on to this trout so tight, because I was scared he was flop out of my hand before I could get a picture… he went airborne a couple of times in the process of landing him. I caught many more since and they put up a great fight!

Now I take time to properly stage a picture. The Blackberry I had at the time was a horrible camera, and my iPhone takes way better pictures (long live the iPhone!). Not to mention that I catch way more fish now! Hopefully the blog improves at the same rate!

Even though it is a bad picture, it brings back some great memories of that day…

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