Archive for August, 2012

Just as I start to think that I am getting really good at fishing, something like this happens.

My phone buzzes, and shows that I have a picture message. From my dad. And this is what it is…

So much for my 21 inch catfish I caught a few weeks ago. What can you even say about this except be awestruck… It looks like it belongs on the cover of a Cabela’s fishing catalog…

Thanks to my dad, I have developed a love for the outdoors, hunting, and fishing… although it did develop much later in life then he would have liked. I’ve worked really hard to become a better fishermen. I read the magazines and the books. I put in my fair share of time on the water. And I catch a few nice fish here and there…

But he goes to the lake and almost effortlessly pulls up a master angler channel catfish trophy…

However, a few minutes later I also got this…

Ha ha! That makes me feel a little better. That would be my trip to the Harlan County Reservoir.

Congrats on your master angler, dad… and you still suck.

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Fighting To The End

Things I have learned from fly fishing:

No matter how big or how small, a fish will fight until the bitter end… especially in the face of a creature that is a hundred times it’s size and strength. Most fish will fight even harder as you get them down to the last few feet of line. After they have been lifted from the water, they will still flop and fight for freedom. They have ruined several pictures as I have tried to pose with them; and many have fallen out of my hands and to the ground, even as I have worked to remove the fly and return them to the water.

A fish never gives up, ever. What a way to approach life.

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When I managed to sneak out to Bowling Lake this weekend, I was greeted with a pleasant surprise… and it was not that I was about to get skunked!

In the corner of the Bowling Lake parking lot, I saw the above picture. It seems that a local girl scout troop had taken it upon themselves to volunteer their time cleaning up Bowling Lake park.

The young ladies of Girl Scout Troop 20298 deserve a big pat on the back!

It is wonderful to see a group of youngsters pitching in; not only to protect the environment, but also to protect our fisheries. As an angler, I am all about conservation of our natural resources to maintain open, and free, access to fishing opportunities for the public. Projects like this make our city parks more enjoyable, make healthier lakes and waterways, and helps to maintain a high level of civic pride in our community. Taking care of our parks and waters shows that our community values resources like Bowling Lake, and shows our city government and the Nebraska Game And Parks Commission that money spent on these parks is money well spent.

These young ladies are a shining example of why Nebraska is the home of the “Good Life”…

And as their full garbage bin clearly shows, they put in a lot of work… and that keeping our parks and waters clean is an ongoing job that is never done.

Great job ladies. You made one fly angler’s day when he saw this. It made getting skunked a lot easier!

I posted this picture Sunday, but take a look again. Doesn’t Bowling Lake look great???

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Exciting Day For Flies Over Nebraska! And it doesn’t even involve a trip to the lake… Weird!

Announcement Number 1:

Flies Over Nebraska Celebrates 1000 Hits!

Wow… What a long, strange journey it has been!

…I have always wanted to start a speech like that… I still may if ever given the chance.

I started this blog on June 24th after a long road trip to go fishing… in which I almost got completely skunked. And by fishing standards, it might have been better to get skunked. (Wow, skunked twice in a summer, maybe this blog was a bad idea…)

Since that time I have learned a lot about blogging, fly fishing, and myself. I learned I am a stat junkie… so thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog… or to my grandma for reading the blog 1000 times. Or to something in between.

Announcement Number 2:

Flies Over Nebraska Has Been Nominate By A Fellow Blogger For The “One Lovely Blog” Award

When it happened, I didn’t know what it was. Or what I was supposed to do. Part of me is a little embarrassed to admit that I was waiting from someone from WordPress to actually contact me about the award…

Now as I post this, I can hear the simultaneous laughter of all of my fraternity brothers from college and all of my father’s friends. Can’t wait to hear all of the “lovely” jokes I will be the butt of for a few days…

Never-the-less, I gladly accept the honor.

I was nominated by the blog The Cheeky Diva (again, cue fraternity brother laughter). I take no shame being a man in his late 20s following a blog called the “Cheeky Diva”. You should check it out… I have been following her blog almost since I started blogging, and have found it very entertaining. I have also learned a lot from it too. I especially appreciate that she is a fellow Nebraskan Blogger. There are not a lot of us. Definitely support her since she supports me. And stop laughing Billa…

As writer, I think the best way to judge your work is by the feedback that your work generates. Here is what The Cheeky Diva posted on her blog about me:

1. Flies Over Nebraska-A blog devoted to the joys of fly fishing, fatherhood and life in the Midwest. I love this young man’s opinions and pictures, even though I don’t fish.

Pretty awesome. My goal with the blog is to appeal to the non-fisher and bring them into my dirty little obsession. Looks like I must be on the right track. It’s great to hear positive feedback! She even listed my blog on her list as “1.” Maybe it means nothing… maybe it does… I’ll vote that it does…

As part of the unbreakable rules of the internet and blogging, I must post the rules of the award, share seven things people might not know about me, and “pay it forward” by nominating other fellow bloggers. Can’t argue with that, I don’t want the blogging police to come knocking at my door.

Here are the rules:

-Thank the blogger that nominated you

-Post 7 Unknown Facts About Yourself

-Nominate 15 other bloggers

Without hesitation, seven things about me:

1) I hate the flavor of mint. Hate it. I even buy special non-mint flavored toothpaste.

2) Unless I am at work, I always wear a baseball cap. Always.

3) My casual wardrobe consists of two types of clothing… Summer: T-Shirts and Cargo Shorts, Winter: Hoodie Sweatshirts and Blue jeans.

4) In addition to an addiction to fly fishing, I am also addicted to college football.

5) I have, do, and always will think that Nebraska is the greatest place on earth. Yes, I have lived in other states. Yes, they all suck.

6) In college, I picked up a bad habit of smoking. After college, I quit smoking cold turkey. I consider this one of my greatest accomplishments.

7) I am also obsessed with Punk Rock… I bet you would be hard pressed to find another fly fisherman standing in the water humming Jawbreaker’s “Save Your Generation”…

Four Other Blogs Worthy Of “One Lovely Blog”

4??? Yes, I haven’t been blogging very long. I reserve the right nominate up to eleven blogs at a future date. Take that internet (punk rock!)…

1. nowherespecificlines: Train graffiti and the occasional fly fishing photo. I love finding beauty in unexpected places.

2. The Fly And I: A fly guy a lot like me also blogging about fly fishing. Only in Utah. And he has trout. Jealous.

3. Memoirs Of A Flygirl: A fly fishing blog by a female. Don’t see very many of those! Great pictures of the sport!

4. Lightningpen’s Blog: Makes me laugh… and not about fly fishing for a change!

Notifications forthcoming.

Thanks to everyone for reading my blog. I have no plans on stopping anytime soon. I appreciate all the support thus far.

To the next 1000 hits! Let’s see if we can get there faster!

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So, I have some other blogging and work projects to work on… that I was hoping to get today… but I was giving an offer that I could not refuse. The chance to go fishing!

I have been nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award”, so I need to put together my acceptance post; which is a little more work then I thought it would be. I was also trying to coordinate that acceptance with my 1000 hit; which should be here today or tomorrow.

In the mean time, I have in-laws who are in town who offered to watch Little E for a couple hours specifically so I could go to the lake. So I was gone…

Yesterday it rained for a little bit. Right before and during the rain is a great time to go fishing. After the rain… not so much. Fishing is always a lot harder after the rain. Undaunted (at first), I pressed on…

First fly to be tied on: A Royal Wulff. Optimism Level: 100%

At first, the signs were promising… I watch a couple pull in a channel catfish off the bottom using worms. They said they were having moderate luck; so I was feeling pretty confident; even though they were using a completely different fishing method them me. I started delicately casting my Royal Wulff onto the water, hoping for a strike. And hoping. And hoping… Then begging… And begging some more…

After I walked a big “C” shape around the lake, leaping from my favorite spot to spot, I finally conceded that the fish were not going to hit dry flies. Thanks to the recent rain, there was a nice new shine of new algae growth that had deteriorated water clarity… making tough for fish to see my surface flies.

“No big deal”, I thought. No fly is right all the time. Switch flies and keep moving.

Next fly up: Green Bead Head Reaper. Optimism Level: 80%

This fly represented a complete 180 in strategy. Instead of fishing a bug intimation on the top of the water, the idea here is to fish what is a tiny bait fish in the top few feet of the water. You cast the line out and quickly pull the fly back toward the bank; like a bait fish running for cover. Works great against a variety of species, including Bluegills and Crappie.

I mean normally works great… not today.

There are few guarantees in fly fishing… catching fish is definitely not one of them. Fly fisherman always say that fly fishing is not just about the fish… days like today put that statement to the test.

Something that is guaranteed in fly fishing? Wind knots… I am pretty sure that in the process of creating the universe, a deal was cut to create fly fishing… that in exchange for the infinite pleasure and passion that the sport provides, fly fisherman were to be contractually obligated to deal with wind knots as often as possible. Here is my “at least once per trip” contractually obligated wind knot…

Two tried and true methods had been defeated. All I had brought with me to the lake was my ultra-light 3 weight dry fly rod. My rods designed for my heavier flies were left at home. At this point I had realized that I was probably about to get skunked by mother nature.

When man comes close to reaching his breaking point, his methods become more desperate. Here was my act of desperation…

Fly number three: A red Chernobyl Ant. Optimism Level: 25%

Sure, I had just tried to fish a dry fly with no luck… but I thought I had just seen a fish hit the top of the water (whether I really did or my mind just wanted to see a fish hit the top of the water is a different story)…

This fly was the biggest fly I had brought that my poor little 3 weight rod could handle… this foam concoction lands on the water with a healthy “plop”, and can be pulled back with a giant wake behind it with legs wiggling all the way. It’s not suppose to look like anything; at least anything outside of the Chernobyl Containment Zone. It’s just suppose to look buggy.

I started casting to where (I thought) I saw the fish hit the water. After a couple casts, I felt my line tighten!

But it was on this… (Optimism Level: 5%)

But I still pressed on! I even tried sight casting to a tiny baby bull frog; who at least showed the slightest bit of interest…

Until I caught a weed on the bank… (Optimism Level: 0%)

What can you do but laugh at this point?

Well, laugh… and try to think of cool things to say about the whole trip on the fly fishing blog that you just started a few weeks ago.

At this point, I surrendered. Might as well have fun, and try to get a cool photo for the blog. I thought it would be neat to get a picture of my fly line uncurling over the water. Here is what I came up with…

This last one is the fly line zipping back past me on a back cast. I only took about 60 pictures to get three that turned out half way decent.

And of course when you are trying to take pictures of yourself fly casting, you are not really paying attention to the act of fly casting… and this inevitably happens…

Oh well! Getting skunked while fishing is better then to not have fished at all!

Thanks to my in-laws for giving me the opportunity to go out! I needed a break in my crunch time at work!

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Odds and Ends

Short post for today… Still no fly fishing since we have family in town and we have been entertaining guests. On top of that I am not feeling well tonight, which makes trying to blog a lot harder.

We did get a little rain today. “A little” being the emphasis, but seeing the picture above is still reassuring. Let’s fill those lakes back up! I did get a chance to practice in the backyard for a few minutes. I even got my 1 1/2 year old nephew to let me help him fly cast a couple of times. Now I might have a second kid to train…

I have some exciting news on the blogging front. More on that tomorrow… If I am feeling better and work does not kill me first… I have one more week of crunch time.

(Hopefully) see you tomorrow, blogosphere!

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Fly fishing is definitely an addiction… because I am suffering from withdraws. Noticed the dark window in this picture… because I have been sitting at my work computer grinding into the night time hours. Aww… crunch time!

At least I loaded some “trophy” shots onto my computer to serve as my desktop and screen saver… that way when I space out for long enough, eventually my computer will start showing me multiple pictures of myself fishing… and provide me the opportunity to mentally escape to my memory to relive the experience of that particular fishing trip…

Wow, I really need to go fishing…

 

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