Monday, January 31, 2011

Tea Leef Green

29 January 2011 8:00pm Doors@7:00pm  Mr. Smalls Theatre 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale, PA

What a great show. Perfect entourage of old and new friends alike. Beers were had and green tea filled the air as the show ripped on. Dancing would ensue as the night climbed into serenity.

~Set 1~

01. Set 1 Intro
02. Asphalt
03. Fallen Angel
04. Incandescent Devil
05. Cottonwood Tree
06. Las Vegas
07. Freedom
08. Drink Of Streams
09. Don't Curse
10. Tequila

~Set 2~

01. Set 2 Intro
02. Emma Lee
03. Devils Pay
04. Shallows
05. Easy To Be Your Lover
06. My Star
07. Waiting For My Man
08. Hello Mary
09. Rapture
10. Red Ribbons
11. Gasaholic
12. Nothing Changes
13. Sex In The 70's

Live Recording

I woke up the next day with a curious smile that affirmed my suspicion that I am one lucky man.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

beertrout. and bluegrass


Grannom Caddis

The snowy conditions of Western PA has brought me towards thoughts of spring. Warmer days sound nice. The Brachycentrus hatch can come in large numbers in the early spring and is a great opportunity for anglers to catch trout on dry flies. The Brachycentrus, Grannom Caddis, has been on my mind the last few days. These bugs look cool:

I decided that tying up a few patterns would help spark my interest in the hatch. Tying also helps me cure the itch of cabin fever. I managed to knock out a few peacock soft hackle, cased caddis nymphs and a dark elk hair caddis.
The nymphs came first with traditional Green Weenie patterns with and without beadheads. Also, I took a classic Peasant Tail pattern and added all the dark olive and green materials I could.
The wet flies came as a slight challenge because partridge hackle is rather new for me. I whipped out a few dark hungarian partridge and peacock on size 16 pupa hooks and also on size 14 TMC 2457 hooks. All the flies look solid for catching fish.
I wanted to have a few dry fly patterns strictly from Grannom hatches. I have a few rows of Elk Hair Caddis in different sizes, styles and colors. I did size 16 TMC with a peacock body with a mix of dark moose and elk hairs.

I'm not sure where I will be fishing the hatch this year. But think that the Little Juniata, Penn's, Oil, Neshannock and others will be considered.

Wait a few months and hopefully my bugs will produce a few trout.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Things

"No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in  his clothes; yet I am sure that there is a greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience." Henry David Thoreau Walden, Economy

I have an old chest pack that was purchased years ago on a steal. It is the William Joseph Access Pack

My pack has cigerette burns and broken straps. But it has done me well on many trips. The pack is highly versatile and has been able to serve me well on many of the famous streams the PA has.
But, lately I have been wanting to up my swag and get a new pack to flaunt on the waters. Really though straps are broken and zippers are worn. It might be time for a new pack. I have had my eye out on a few.

Today I grabbed a six pack of beers after worked. 4 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale's and 2 Magic Hat #9. I have two beers left. I checked out Patagonia's new fly fishing products and was amazed.
427 cu in.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I got a vise

A natural progression usually unfolds for fly fisherman. They start. Love it. By a nice rod and real. Tie flies. The progression can quickly become an addiction. I was always on the fence about tying flies. I could stop at a shop and buy flies. Then I tied a few and started catching fish on them. I managed to scrap up tools and materials to get me started in the tying world. But I have come to the point of addiction.

The vise plays a large part in the tying process. Many anglers start with a very basic vise that does the job nicely with basic flies. As the progression continues there is usually a need to upgrade the vise. Search any fly fishing forum and you will see countless threads about "getting a new vise". There are a lot of choices. I had been tying on a loaned Regal Medallion for the past few months. It had amazing clamping power but lacked the true rotary feature. The Regal was also rather ugly in my eyes.

The Regal did the job well and I was really glad to use it for so long.

I decided to order a new vice for Christmas. I received it last night.
It is a Renzetti Traveler 2200.

I had tied on this vise in the C-clamp version many times. The vise had always been my favorite because it was the vise my troutbum buddy tied on for years.

It is now time to start tying dry flies.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers

I was torn to include anything about the steelers. I was going to wait until gameday if anything. But I started feeling it after looking at a bunch of facebook posts. The post that set it off was a photo:

It is the "The Steelers Wluff" and is "guarenteed to catch some Jets fish" as stated by the tier Bruce Cox
Bruce also put up a great link on his facebook
Pretty good for a guy over 50!

The super bowel bug has never left Pittsburgh. But, with the recent cold spell that is hitting there is simple no way to slow down the steelers.


Hula Hoop

I managed to get down on a hula hoop before lunch today. Same great company as banjo night and bluegrass tuesdays. I really enjoy hula hooping. It really makes you feel your body. I become the master of my own future. This youtube video is wild and I wanted to share it, I'm the guy that does the cartwheel at 1:07


Friday, January 21, 2011

This could easily be you.

The Orvis Company has survived on account of a quality foundation that includes catelougs and advertsing. The Company boasts wonderful customer service that have gained them a cult following of shoppers. I don't own a stitch of Orvis but that is not because I don't like them. If an Orvis Wes Jordan rod was in my budget I would own one.

The Orvis ad on the back of FlyRod&Reel's winter 2011 issue caught my eye. My brain went wild with imagination as I scanned the ad. It entails a healthy smiled lady holding onto a 20+ inch char. One can tell that she finds great enjoyment in angling and probably is an accomplished one. The char was amazing with a healthy smile for the photo. But, it was the guide that really captured my imagination. He was a better looking guy than me and was living my dream. My guess is that he is 5 years older than me, so I have a few years to fulfill my dream.

The ad is for the new "high performance fly fishing [rod]" that is "called Access for a reason". The Access rod look sweet on the orvis site


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beer, Bluegrass and Bamboo

Part I: Beer

    When a can, cup or bottle of beer is around I’m the guy that will indulges. This case of 21st Brewery has really been getting hit up for the past few evenings. The after work beer, dinner beer, shower beer, before the event beers, (cheap beers at the event), and the post-event celebratory beers, all add to a stinger headache. The Black IPA accompanies the winter weather nicely with a warming sensation. The IPA feels like it’s a proper balance for the richer Black. Yet both these beers are over 6.5%. I’m glad to have the cheap event beers at Banjo Night. Yuengling will always be Pottsville’s finest and a staple for western Pennsylvania’s. 

Part II: Bluegrass

    I don’t always listen to music, but when I do it’s probably bluegrass. I can listen to four different versions of the same song without blinking an eye. The only thing better than listening is being there and watching it.
    Tuesday night has filled with the Bluegrass Jam at the Starlight Lounge in Blawnox at 364 Freeport Rd. The mood was mellow and the pens won. The jamming was genius with several groups forming throughout the establishment. The beers were Magic Hat 9 and Sierra Nevada IPA. Good company and great musicians made for an incredible evening at the lounge. It might turn into my regular Tuesday hangout.
    Wednesday was the much-anticipated second consecutive experience of Banjo Night. Great times with the same great company. Hula Hoppers twisted their hips up on stage while the tunes filled the air. The place feels like an Appalachian version of a German Beer Hall. Our beers came in plastic pitchers and contained Yuengling. 

Part III: Bamboo

    My fly fishing addiction kicked in after Banjo Night. I dropped a few words on local forums and watched youtube videos. I wanted to tie flies but the beers were still flowing. I watched this video: Octhopper  The opening line of “I love fishing hoppers on bamboo rods” punched my soul. I had do fish grasshoppers on my bamboo fly rod.
    The major issue is that it is the dead of winter and there are no grasshoppers. The other issue was that my beauty of a rod was in need of a snake guide repair. I finally took the time tonight to bust out the rod and examine the damage more closely. Thankfully Golden Witch has all the necessary materials to repair the old rod. 

    This rod is a testament to my stubbornness. I purchased it as I was writing my senior thesis on the history of bamboo fly rods in America. It would not have been proper for me to research and write about bamboo without actually owning one. It’s just a Wright@McGill Granger Victory. 

I’m going to finalize my purchase list and get an order to Goldenwitch that I can finally get this rod ready for hopper fishing.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Hell is Heaven

today was a planned fishing trip to waters that haunt me.  i've was chasing wild trout on this water for years with a low success rate...about 1 fish towards 50 months. yet i walked the 2miles up and through the hollow to find the drainage of these trout waters. the hike presented itself with the wonders of nature:

This trail is blessed with slight hiking traffic that allows for solitude with ease. the water that follows this trail have blessed me with countless moments of utmost intensity:

Today, the water gave up no wild trout.  but i found solitude without loneliness. 


PSYCHEDELIC NIGHTMARE (Monday, January 17th)
Originally designed to be a Trippel, this Ale is a complex blend, very malty and fruity. Beware of the high alcohol content because it may cause colorful nightmares! Sorry folks, there’s a strict TWO PINT LIMIT AND NO PITCHERS…

It was Russian Czarina Catherine the Great’s voracious appetite for stout that inspired the brewers of London to create this style. Since it had to be transported across the freezing Baltic Sea, Russian imperial stout was brewed as a highly-hopped, high alcohol stout to survive the long journey. TWO PINT LIMIT AND NO PITCHERS…6.00

both beers had the taste of a cold mountain stream with the kick of a goat added!


 North Country Brewing
Burgers, burgers, burgers.  Hold the onion and don't let the pickle get near.  Locally raise beef is the source for The North Country Brewery burgers. Lots of fries. Lots of fries. Get your burger at a medium and savor its glory.

Sampled a local beer:  


I was able to taste a honey-wheat brew from Provision Brewing Company that was sourced with 2lbs. of local honey. The brewer, Craig Cowan, simply stated that this beer "just tastes good". Thanks Craig!


The day granted me the with the urge to explore nature more. Winter can be a tough time for outdoor recreation but the need for exploration should be fulfilled. I guess it's time to plan more simple day trips out and about in western PA.