Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Iron Fly Chicago (burbs)

Iron Fly is coming to the Chicago burbs!

"If you're looking for a good ole bitchin' time, then mark your calendars for June 4th (next Thursday).

IRON FLY is going down at T-woods in Wood Dale. 6 PM start time for mini games until the main event.

If you're into fly fishing, fly fishing curious or none of the above, come on out!! Everyone and anyone is welcome to participate, especially, those who have never tied!!

I've got some awesome swag to giveaway, and the only way to have a chance at it, is to be there!!"

All Ages.  All fun.  Come hang out and have a good time!  It'll be a blast and there's a ton of cool stuff to be won!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Better late than never... (or another Chicago spring.)

Spring is finally here.  Mostly.  It's been another messed up cold one and as usual I've slipped in to my spring mode of fishing.  I've been checking out new water I've been thinking about all winter, having hit and miss success, waiting for things to heat up and always forgetting to post the latest fun.
Things should get going more consistently around here any day.  I've got a couple trips coming in the next few weeks and my local waters are finally warming up and starting to turn on. 

I'll just throw out a sort of overall spring round up and little photo dump of what's been happening in the last month or so-

New water spring smallies

Highway drying rack

Big flies and glassy water.

Suburban assault

First River carp of year.

Lakeshore Coho.  Unfortunately not caught by me...
The future is bright

After years of going to Sheboygan I finally fished its River

Wo Fat-  The Black Code 
Live at Freak Valley Fest
Texas heavy blues, stoner, doom, heavy psych, whatever you want to call it, it's awesome.  I've been listening to a lot of this stuff the last couple months.  Something a little different this time.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Orvis Spring Days Chicago

Orvis Spring Days is around the corner and this year I'm pleased to be a part of the events in the Chicago area!

Tomorrow April 25th I'll be out hanging over at Orvis Yorktown for the day tying big flies and talking local fishing.  On hand will also be my friends Zeph Michaels, and PJ and Donna Smith.  They'll be giving various presentations on trout, bass, and musky.  It should be a good time and with the current weather forecast it's probably the closest you'll get to fishing around here! 
More details at:

Then next weekend May 2nd I'll be over at Orvis Chicago hanging out and giving a presentation on Chicago fishing opportunities.  We have a great local fishery here that is often over looked that I'll be discussing.  My friend Jen Ripple will also be there talking about the history of women in fly fishing and where it's heading today.  This is also guaranteed to be a good time with super fishy people.
More details for this one at:

Hope to see some folks there!

And of course here's some new music for ya-

Cold Blue Mountain-  Branch Davidian Compound
Some heavy heavy awesomeness.  (Skip to about 2:00 if you get bored with the intro.  It's worth it.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Santa Rosa Redfish

I just got back from a trip down to Santa Rosa Beach, FL.   My wife and I went down and spent a week with some of our closest friends hanging out at the beach and pool.

Besides spending some quality time with some of my favorite people on this planet I had the goal to go out and find my first saltwater fish.

I've only tried fishing salt on one previous occasion a couple years ago.  Suffice to say I came away empty handed.  I gave it an honest try but to tell the truth I felt a bit in over my head last time.

So this time when I found out we were going, I dove into research mode.  Combing through websites, forums and Google maps.  I searched patterns and watched almost every redfish fly video on YouTube.  I set up my rods, tied a bunch of flies, and had my gear all set.  I was as prepared as I thought I could be to DIY a day or two.
Choctawhatchee Bay, Santa Rosa Beach

However, luck always helps- and I was lucky enough to run into a local fly fisher one day while messing around at a park on the bay.  He was cool enough to point me to one of his regular spots where he said he has lots of luck.

So the next day I got up early and went and spent the day out on a grass flat on Choctawatchee Bay.  I skipped renting the kayak and just waded.  I ended up sun- burnt and bug- bitten but had a great day on a beautiful flat and managed to find a couple of reds.

Gotta love the tail spots.  And that blue edge is fantastic.

Shrimp slider action!
I was thrilled with my first little rat red and was happy to have met my goal of catching something from the salt.  The second slot red cemented the day as a winner.  I'm still awfully stoked to have caught a couple.  And to do it DIY and solo.  I love guided days as much as the next guy but there's something about being able to seal the deal on your own and under your own power.  (And it's always nice to save yourself $600!)

It's not huge but I'm pretty damn happy none the less. (You can tell by my smile there!)

One of these days I'll get back down south and chase these guys again.  It'll definitely happen.  Maybe north Florida again or meeting a buddy over in coastal Georgia.  Who knows.  Another species and location to add to the list!

For now it's back to fresh warm water and snow. 

Opossum Holler-  SOKY Session
A longer couple song live clip because it's awesome.  A pretty cool new take on some classic genres.  I really dig all the different influences they blend together to create their pretty unique sound.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Midwest Drift Carp Swap

I was lucky enough to get in on the first ever The Midwest Drift Carp Swap this year.  After Fly-Carpin decided not to do his annual swap the dudes over at TMD were willing to pick up the torch. It was a fun swap- I don't think I've ever tied up ten of one pattern at a time before.

You can see the full results and all of the submissions on the Carp Swap page over at the  The guys did a great job putting together a database that includes a recipe, notes, and some super sweet photos.

Here was my submission- a small hardback crayfish

And here's what I came away with-  I'm looking forward to getting these wet and seeing what damage I can do on my local carp population with them.

Native Daughters-  Summon Everest
I recently discovered this band and they're amazing.  As a 5 piece with two drummers they put out some kick ass instrumentals.  Check it out

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

UAFF on With Jack Russell podcast

Recently I was invited on to speak With Jack Russell- a local podcast about people in Chicago doing things.  While this is something completely new to me I had a blast hanging out and talking with him for a while.

So if you're curious about the ramblings of an urban fly fisherman in Chicago check it out.  I did my best not to sound like a tool and to make it interesting.   We talked about some of my philosophy towards fly fishing and fishing in Chicago, Chi-Tie, and a bunch of other stuff.

Keep an eye on With Jack Russell.  I see some more good things coming from him in the future.

Check it out at:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Anticipation is the best Motivation

A few posts ago I mentioned I had been a little unmotivated early this year.  The holidays and cold weather had me in a rut.
Well I got a trip scheduled for spring break and that was what I needed to get going again.  My wife and I are heading to the Florida panhandle for Spring Break to hang with one of our closest friends and her two awesome kids.
I'm planning on renting a kayak for a day and DIYing a near by bay.  I'm hoping to have better luck finding some reds or specks than the last time.
I've done all the research I could and scoured the message boards and Destin fishing sites.  I know where I'm heading and I think I have a better idea of what to do.
Of course I'll also hit the surf a few times while everyone else is sleeping.
Here's some of what I've been tying up in anticipation.  I think I'm about set but I'm sure I'll pick up a few more when I get there.
Sweet little baitfish

The required sliders
Some badly tied marsh crabs. Hopefully good enough.

Absolutely necessary

Bulls on Top from Shallow Water Expeditions
In my research I found this video.  It might be a couple years old but I absolutely love it.  I really like some of the charging shots as well as the refusals and misses.  It's something I think we're all familiar with!  I'll definitely be bringing with some poppers just in case I get lucky enough to find willing fish.  Long live topwater! Enjoy.