Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Czech nymph

I haven't really had a chance to fish since the San Gabriel trip so I've been tying some new creations. Since the last trip yielded lots of brim on tiny flies I started looking at creating some new ones in size #12 or #14. I found instructions in a fly tying magazine on tying czech nymphs so I did some using pearl tinsel, mono line, some scud dubbing on size #14 nymph hooks. The end product looks really convincing and is easy to tie.

I spent about 40 minutes at a local pond before work this morning trying it out and caught brim on almost every cast! First cast caught one. It was cool! I have to remember to tie more of these little critters!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I love ebay!

I sold three fly reels today on ebay that I had lying around and got around $300 for them! On the average that's pretty close to what I paid for them altogether so I'm pretty happy! I've made some great buys on ebay like my Teton Teton #5 reel with spare spool that was new for $100, the Sage VT2, my Sage SLT (had the warranty card and was like new-in-tube for less than $260), and on and on.

Now, what to do with the proceeds ? I sold my Scott SAS 8wt last year (on ebay and made a slight profit over what I paid for it) and have yet to replace it. I'm really considering a Sage XP or Xi2 this time. I've seen good buys on new or lightly used ones with warranty cards on ebay for between $350 and $450 which beats paying $630 for one. It's either that or just buying a Sage VT2 8wt but I'ld really like the premium rods and with the extra cash in hand, I don't think my wife would be to opposed me paying an extra $100 or $150 out-of-pocket for one (or maybe she would).

The 8wt would be primarily for whenever I need to cast large/heavy flies, windy conditions on the lake or when I get the chance to go after redfish at the coast. But since I don't go to the coast every month, I'm not sure if the Xi2 is the way to go though I really want that rod!

Oh well, I guess I just have to go cast each of these three side-by-side and decide and then look for a good deal on ebay. Man! I love ebay!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Doctor visit

For the past three days I had some swelling and what appeared to be an infection in my large toe that likely was due to bacteria getting under the soft wet cuticle while I waded this past weekend so I went to see my doctor this morning. I explained the nasty water and he agreed it was likely as I explained and went ahead and drained the infection and prescribed antiobiotics to take care of it. I also told him I wanted a Tetanus booster since it had been a while since I had one just in case so they gave me one. Hopefully the infection will clear up quickly. I'll probably fish out of the kayak a bit more until the water conditions in the rivers improve.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Opened a water quality/spill report

After I mentioned the nasty conditions of a certain section of the San Gabriel river to some fellow fly fishers, one suggested I open a report with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). I went ahead and called the TCEQ hotline this morning and did just that. I explained as where the section that was foul was and what we encountered, e.g. areas of unpassable bright green floating algae, and they gave me a report number after I gave them all the details and my contact information. They told me they would turn it over to the regional arm of the TCEQ to investigate the water quality. I sure hope something good comes from it. I don't consider myself any more of a environmentalist than anyone else but something had to be done about it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Adventures on the San Gabriel River

Yesterday I intended to fly fish a new section of the San Gabriel river on the north fork below the Georgetown Lake dam. I met up with my friend Andy at 7am and he had been there 30 minutes before me with no luck. We found no flow so he asked about other spots to try. I told him that the San Gabriel City Park put-in may have more of a flow and was near. So we went there.

The water seemed to be flowing so we waded. Right off, I noticed the water looked less clean than usually and there seemed to be more slime and silt on the bedrock. We caught a few bass and I caught a very nice Rio Grande Perch and we waded down to the first long pool before a small dam below a railroad bridge. On the way, I also ran across a 3ft long snapping turtle pictured here. I wouldn't want to step on one of those suckers in waist deep water!

Without kayaks the tidal pool would be kind of difficult to pass. Luckily, we saw one of the kids whose dad owns the property around there and got permission and where led over the railroad bridge and some paths to fish the other side.

The water was algae green and not like it usually looks plus there was a smell of sewage. We fished there for a while and caught several small bass and kept going past the small dam. The farther we went the worse the algae and scum got and the water smelled like a pig pen.

We spent close to 6 hours wading and while we caught fish, I was glad to go home and shower. I'm sure Andy went to sleep since he was really worn out.

This morning, I met up with another friend, Richard, at the original spot below Georgetown Lake and proceeded down the trail to a low water crossing. There was a decent pool above the crossing we tried first with no luck. The water though looked much better than where I was yesterday.

We then proceeded downstream and found a some pools with a couple of carp. Eventually, we determined that the brim wanted any fly in size #10 to #12. With a size #12 zug bug, I'ld catch one bluegill, red breast sunfish, green sunfish and rio grande perch after another on almost every cast. We probably caught at least 50 or more each. This was definitely a spot for my 4wt.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I like the VT2!

I'm starting to really like the faster action found in this rod. I didn't catch any big bluegills today but just a few dink bass but the rod performed very well. I discussed with a friend of mine going Saturday morning to wade fish the San Gabriel river. Of course I intend to take the VT2 along!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Early VT2 trial tomorrow!

I had lunch in the office then went to a nearby park that has a small lake and retention pond for a walk. The lake is where I caught my biggest bass and I've seen some big bass around 5lbs in the pond though I've only caught up to a 2lber.

The water in the main lake was algae green. Such a shame. Since the owners of the lake (a local church) started building next to it, it seems the water quality has suffered.

The pond on the other hand looked fairly clearer than usual and that let me see lots of HUGE bluegills protecting nests! I also saw some bass cruising like sharks amongst the nests.

So, I think I will stop by the pond early tomorrow morning before work to see how they attack a fly. If they take it eagerly, I will be back on Saturday morning with my kayak since with all the trees surrounding the pond, it is difficult to cast from shore to some of the choice spots plus I'll be able to approach the 'gills and bass more quietly.

Yet Another Sage Fly Rod

I purchased a 4-piece 9 foot 6wt Sage VT2 off ebay last week and got it yesterday. I paid half-price for it and it was new. It still had a plastic ring to hold a price tag on the stripping guide sans the price tag. The cork still had what I call "cork dust" on it indicating it was unfished. The only thing was it didn't come with a warranty card or the case. I have a case already and I can live without a warranty though it would've been nice.

OK, now for a short first impression of the rod. Even though it says it weighs in at 3 3/8 ounces, it feels heavier. It feels heavier than my 2-piece Sage 7wt SLT (this rod is smooth as butter) which supposedly is 3 3/4 ounces and my 4-piece Sage 5wt Launch which is 3 1/2 ounces. Both these latter rods are medium-fast action rods though they have plenty of backbone. The VT2 definitely has some backbone and is stiffer. I expect it feels heavier due to the faster tip which may be where it has additional weight compared to the other rods even though overall it's supposedly lighter. I have to say though that the color of this rod is very nice. It has similar qualities to the Launch in that the color changes slightly depending on the light and perspective. Head on it looks a deep blue but sometimes it looks like an aqua or blue-green color.

OK, so how does it cast? It's pretty accurate and easy enough to cast even though it's slightly stiffer than the other two mentioned rods I own. It loads well and allows less false casting before shooting the line out to 60ft without much trouble. It casts a 6wt and 7wt WF line easily enough. It also roll casts well.

I still like my SLT 7wt more but I think I'll get used to the VT2 and expect to sell the Lamson Radius I have on it and put the Lamson Velocity 3 I have on the 7wt since it seems to balance better and replace the Velocity with a Ross Rhythm 3.5 that has slightly more backing capacity.

I'm going to try and fish with the new rod this weekend for bass (and maybe carp) and see how it does.