Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

I decide to attempt a huge leap forward in my fly tying this week…

This weekend while at Scheel’s in Omaha, I browsed through their fly fishing section and came across some deer hair popper flies. I believe these are the coolest looking flies that someone could fly. My experience with deer hair up to this point was only a couple of muddler minnows about a year back… and they came out so-so.

I figured deer hair flies were above my skill level. That is until my wife walked by, saw what I had in my hand, and commented “that one is neat.” Then the competitive side of me took off and said “Neat huh? I can do that…”

Above is my first attempt. Not bad; although if you look close enough you can can see the stumps of the rubber legs I attempted to tie into the fly… I broke one off and the others came out of the fly at all sorts of crazy angles… so I just cut them off.

Tonight I sat down and took a crack at it again. Deer hair fly number 2:

I have to say, for my second deer hair fly, I thought I did a pretty darn good job.

So I kept tying… Deer hair fly number 3 on the left (next to number 2):

Three flies, and I think I have the process perfected.

And I only stabbed myself on the hook point once while I had flies in the vise tonight…

There are two things that I love about fly fishing. The first is how involved you can make the experience. The second is how there is always something new to try… a new fly tying pattern, and new technique, a new species of fish to chase. The hobby constantly finds new ways to stay fresh and challenging.

And what takes a few minutes to learn, takes a life time to master.

See you hunched over the tying bench, covered in pastel colored deer hair…


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Sometimes the best fishing trips are ones that don’t have a single bite…

In order to give mommy sometime to get her projects done, Daddy and Little E planned a whole day out. She had been asking place that has bouncy castles, ball pits, and everything else that would make a three year old’s day. And seeing an opportunity to use this to my advantage, I struck a deal with Little E…

You see, she has not be “volunteering” to go fishing lately. She’s three and everyday brings with it a new revitalization of the knowledge that their is a whole world for her to discover.

And she loves to explore. The loss of my fishing body becomes a difficult pill to swallow.

So we struck a deal. If she would go fishing for a couple hours this morning, I would take her to the “play place”. At first the proposition only brought tears… “I don’t wanna fish; I just wanna go to the play place! I only want to do one thing!” But after a few minutes, she took the deal.

On the way to the lake, we talked about how “sometimes I don’t like to go fishing”, but only because she wanted to play. I can’t say I blame her.

But then we got to the lake… and out came the Sponge Bob fishing pole…

She marched me up and down the bank, to all of the “good spots”… the spots where she could drop her toy jellyfish tied to the end of her line in the water, and then she could retrieve it. Each time she did, she held it proudly in the air. She would march it over to me and ask, as I have done so many times for her, if I wanted to pet her “shishy”. And after a quick pet, she would have to put it back in the water… and make daddy say “bye-bye fishy”.

As we continued this process, it didn’t take her long to realize that daddy had not caught a fish yet… but she had caught lots of jellyfish. And she let daddy have it…

“I am a good fisher-girl. I a better fisher then you.”

That’s my girl. Rub it in…

No, I didn’t catch a fish; or even had a bite all day. But when I told Little E it was time to go to the play place, I caught the greatest line of the daddy…

“I don’t want to go, daddy! I’m not done fishing!!!”

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A “Good Stick”: A term for an excellent angler; who can catch fish regardless of the circumstances…

One of my life goals is to have someone refer to me by this phrase.

I know a few good anglers. Several of them I grew up around; including my old man and his friends. I found my passion for fishing in my late twenties, and never really appreciated the knowledge they had to offer. I a lot of my fishing knowledge (and virtually all my fly fishing knowledge) comes from the school of hard knocks. But I grew up listening to their stories; and they inspired me to reel in a few of my own.

Another angler who has had a huge impact on me is a bit of a local celebrity here in Nebraska. Our Game and Parks Commission here in Nebraska has a fisheries biologist that writes a local fishing blog as part of the Commission’s public outreach mission. Daryl Bauer and his “Barbs and Backlashes” blog ( has inspired me in numerous ways. First of all, the guy is a heck of an angler. Second, he gives out tons of Nebraska fishing tips… if you are willing to read between the lines (no pun intended). And third, his wiliness to share his passion with the world was a huge influence on my creation of this blog. He takes a much more scientific slant on his blog; and by no means can I compete with that. I focus much more on the emotional aspects of fishing. But I have read every one of his blog posts since I rediscovered fishing…

I had a chance to introduce myself to him at a kids fishing tournament two years ago. I took two seconds to thank him for sending me some trout fishing info I emailed him for. That info lead to a great February tail water fishing trip that cured some mid winter fishing blues. I am sure he doesn’t remember me. And even though I only had a chance to say my name and thank you, shaking his hand was like meeting an idol of mine…

He has inspired me to fish, to write about fishing, and even to start the process to become a certified youth fishing instructor and teach others.

The weather here in Nebraska has taken a turn toward fall weather… cold, windy, and overcast. Today, I didn’t let this stop me. I had a couple hours to kill, and I had an itch to hit the water. Seven layers of clothing later, I was standing waist deep in Bowling lake casting right into a 30 mile per hour wind.

Less then ideal, but fishing is fishing. I love it even if I spend half my time fighting wind knots and horrible casting conditions.

Despite this, I read the water and devised a strategy. A stiff 8 weight rod, heavy jig head flies to bounce the bottom, and a painfully slow retrieve. The combination lead to a solid strike on the very first cast…

Despite the cold, wind, and less then ideal conditions, I kept fishing on. Several times I stopped and looked around. Even though I was at a very popular city lake, I was the only one on the water. Not many other people are brave/crazy enough to brave these conditions. I waded through the vegetation from hot spot to hot spot at my own leisure. I slowly worked each spot I knew on the lake; knowing that today I did not have to share it.

Alone on the water. Just me and the fish.

Bowling Lake could have skunked me, and I would not have cared…

And instead, the lake rewarded me with bite after bite…

The lake even rewarded me with a rare catfish on the fly today. I even had to reel him up.

When I got home and packed all my gear away, I started a general reading routine that I go through almost daily; which includes Mr. Bauer’s blog. On Friday, he had written about how although fish are affected by the weather and cold fronts, good anglers can still get a fish to bite. Bad weather does not always mean bad fishing…

He didn’t need to tell me. But a little confirmation brought a smile to my face. Catching fish on a day that most anglers wrote off provided a healthy boost to my ego…

I fish because I enjoy fishing. I don’t need external verification to know I am a good fisherman. I am a good fisherman because I enjoy fishing… rain or shine, skunked or once-in-a-lifetime day.

I am pretty sure that Mr. Bauer does not read my blog. Heck, I am not sure if anyone does (kidding). But how cool would it be if he did? And how awesome would it be if your idol thought you were a “good stick” too…

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Two weeks ago, I had an opportunity to take a huge step forward in my career in higher education. I have recently moved from the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, to the College of Education and Human Sciences. In many ways this position is my dream job… at least for the next step in my career. Leaving my last position was very hard, but I have a massive amount of opportunity ahead of me in my new role.

In other news, taking a new job is also a drain on your time…

And I have had little time to fly fish. Let alone write about fly fishing. But don’t worry; the story of the great fish in the last article is still coming. I caught it the weekend after my first week on my new job.

I would call that a good sign.

See hunched over the Undergraduate Bulletin, learning a new curriculum.


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Updated! Swingline has responded!

This post will have nothing to do with fishing…

Those who follow along with me on my blog should know that I am a passionate person. My life passions are, in order:

  1. My family
  2. My job
  3. Fly Fishing
  4. High Quality Stapling

Points 2 and 3 might be interchangeable… but I digress. My passion for high quality stapling actually arises out of my job. I absolutely love everything about working in higher education; except for one thing.

My stapler.

I have been cursed in the four years I have held my position by the fact that I can never have a stapler that operates correctly. I have been through every spare stapler in our office. Every one of them has jammed, broken, incorrectly, or poorly stapled. Often, the stapler is unable to even bind even a few pieces of paper together.

“Blame the user!”, my colleagues often say. Go ahead.

But I think there is a conspiracy afoot…

You see, I feel that the issue is with the quality of the staples that we are putting into the stapler. We have been putting SF13 staples into our staplers that require SF4 staples.

Big deal, you may ask. Well, Swingline feels so passionately about using the proper staples that they put this on each stapler they make.

Not with a sticker mind you; they literally engrave this on the staplers…

I think that sends a pretty big message. The right staples are important.

So why this rant?

You see, another co-worker of mine cut her hand today on a jammed staple while trying to pull it out. People in my office are now bleeding over the use of improper staples.


It’s not just me. And now people are starting to get hurt…

Thus, I am passionate about high quality stapling. Ask any of my co-workers.

Tweets to @Swingline regarding the importance of using the correct staples have so far gone unanswered…



I will keep Flies Over Nation notified should I receive corporate confirmation of what I know to be true.

In the meantime, for the sake of your loved ones, please use the proper staples…

Your knuckles could depend on it.



Swingline has confirmed the importance of using the correct staples after reading this post!


Flies Over Nebraska would like to thank Swingline. When loaded with the proper staples, they really are the worlds best staplers!

And I know… I have been through my fair share of staplers recently…

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