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Monthly Archives: June 2012

It is summertime and in between rain storms, watching LSU baseball get beat by a VERY good Stony Brook team, and catching up on UEFA Euro highlights, I have been squeezing in some fishing (both fly and spin) after work. The usual suspects are around, like bream….

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bass….

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and catfish….

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But this gar made my week. I caught it in a ditch not far from the house. It is not the first gar I’ve ever caught on the fly, I’ve had some luck with poppers, but believe it or not, it is the first fish I’ve ever caught on a fly I tied. With inspiration from Kent Edmonds, it is a very simple nylon rope fly that doesn’t even contain a hook. I tried to get a self portrait of this monumental occasion, laugh with me through the picture progression:

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I probably caught something else in that ditch too, E. coli perhaps, it is nasty, with an outfall right under the bridge, brownlining at it’s very core. The ditch produces at times though, last year it produced quite the variety of fish, upstream of where I was at. This spot has a ton of gar though, hopefully I can perfect the technique, the hook set is a bit different than I’m used to. I had 3 eats before I landed this one, I pulled the fly right out of their mouth each time. Need better water clarity too, it had just rained that day and it was tough to see the fish. Hoping for even better results next time out………..and no illnesses in the interim! Fingers crossed.

Fished the neighborhood pond after work yesterday. Caught 5 bass and 5 catfish, most on this big brown woolly booger. Nothing too big, the catfish fought pretty hard though.

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I also caught a bass on a slider and in his gullet were 3-4 snails, I tried to get a pic, but the macro focused on his gill rakers instead. You can kind of see a snail on the right. I had no idea bass would eat snails, this pond is loaded with them. Should keep the bass fat and happy. The more I fish, the more I realize that bass eat everything.

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Back in March I got an email from Drew Gregory about trying out a paddle clip belt from Tory Bell at Dawgknots similar to one I had made up for myself. Of course I jumped on the invitation, I was curious to see how it compared to my own, hopefully it was an improvement.

Why does one need a paddle clip belt? The two main reasons I have are stealth and convenience. Often times I am fishing shallow water with spooky fish, any abnormal vibration will send a fish fleeing. A paddle clip belt allows me to attach the belt to myself and I don’t risk making noise when I place it down on the boat. It also makes it convenient to switch from paddle to rod, I don’t have to reach down as far, allowing me to keep my eyes on any spotted fish, so I can make a cast without guessing where the fish is.

The belt, in my mind, is now a necessary item I take with me kayak fishing, especially when I plan to stand and fish. Mine is a little uncomfortable, especially with the prototype rod holder I put on it. I’ve had a chance to use the Dawgknots belt a few times now, in fact I’ve got it on in this video, you can hardly tell it is there except of course when you see a horizontal paddle:

I think the belt is a definite upgrade to my design. Tory uses a lightweight backing plate behind the actual paddle clip that makes it much more comfortable to wear. It also clips together and cinches tight, meaning it should fit any sized person, I actually had to cut off some excess nylon. My old design only allowed for the use of one belt hole because the other belt holes were occupied by the zipties to secure the paddle clip. It is a lot cooler looking too with the braided paracord, like you find on survival bracelets. So in a pinch you could cut it up and use the paracord.

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The belt is not found on the Dawgknots site yet, I think Tory is still getting everything finalized. If you’re looking to get one soon, you might try shooting him an email, which you can find on his website. All the belts are handmade, very high quality. Of course he has other products as well that you may be interested, check them out at Dawgknots. Tory is a great guy to deal with, you won’t be disappointed.

UPDATE: Looks like Dawgknots is no more.

Sunday

Day 4 was not much of an encore for Blake and I, but more a much needed day of rest before we packed up and headed out. I did some halfhearted fishing, but after breaking off a few times I gave up. I hooked a few fish before then, but landed none of them. Mom caught a pretty nice trout though, on an inline spinner that Blake had tied for her (think wooly bugger with an attached spinner).

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That afternoon we all took a ride to the Toccoa to check out the footbridge on the Benton Mackeye trail. We all agreed it was over-engineered for the pedestrian traffic it sees, but our wives took comfort in that fact as it swayed while others passed us by.

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That night we sat around the campfire, a perfect way to end a trip up to the cabin.

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Monday

Monday morning we headed out with the Subaru packed to the gills. While Blake and I fished, our wives had a good time at the outlets in Dawsonville and the Arts in the Park Festival in Blue Ridge. They did get a chance to stop by the new Blue Ridge Fly Fishing to pick up some swag and flies for Blake and I. I didn’t even have to ask – that’s love. I think they enjoyed the trip as much as we did. There is just something about those wild trout that gets my adrenaline going. I know they aren’t big, but they hit dry flies with reckless abandon and when you do hook into something bigger than 8″ – it is exciting! Especially with our 1 and 2 wt rods. It was sad to leave the cabin, but we’ll be back.

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