Sunday, September 24, 2006

SeaWorld Star

I took the family to SeaWorld San Antonio this Saturday since it was my youngest daughter's 6th birthday and that is what she wanted.

The park was relatively empty due to the season ending which was nice. Had a good time. I wish I could've packed a 4wt fly rod. The ski lake area by the Mango Joe's restraunt was crawling with huge monster sized voracious bluegills. They looked like pirahna.

Anways, I digress. We were about an hour early to the last Shamu show and the kids were goofing off in front when two park attendents came up and started talking to the wife. They asked if my youngest daughter would participate in the show! Cool! She said yes and they led us into the empty arena before the rest of the public.

Finally, it came time for her to take part and we were pretty nervous but she did really well. They gave her a necklace with a wooden carved shamu tail on it.

I don't think we could've planned a more memorable birthday for her.

Here she is with two of the trainers on the big screen

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Well, last week I decided to sell the Sage SLT 7wt 2-piece. It is a gorgeous rod but I like the 6wt and 8wt XPs more now so rather than let the rod sit in the closet, I sold it. I got just a bit more than I bought it for which was nice.

With the sale of the SLT this leaves me with four 4-piece XPs now. I hope I don't make any more rod purchases for a while. I will miss the simplicity of putting together a 2-piece (especially at night) but there are some advantages to a 4-piece that I think will make it better off (the ease of travelling with one for example) in the long run.

Maybe I'll purchase a 2wt or 3wt SLT one of these days when they end up being discontinued and I can fetch one at a discounted price.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lake Travis sunday morning fishing

I went out to fish one of my favorite areas of Lake Travis around Arkansas Bend park for a couple of hours in the kayak with my 6wt. As I was paddling out of the shallow flat I putin at around 8:30am, I saw one very decent carp cruising in the clear water and then to my right I saw one of the biggest carp I've ever seen pass me. It had to have been at least 40 inches long! This carp would rival a bull red. It was huge!

This morning out was the first real fishing trial for the XP 691-4. First fly I tied was the yellow and orange #2 gurgler I tied the night before. I was easily able to cast that fly over 45ft. The XP generates amazing speed and even with my poor casting abilities I am able to get the fly an inch off the shoreline from a considerable distance when I concentrate enough.

The water was smooth as glass and so that gurgler just seemed a logical choice. Coming around one of the first points I put the gurgler to the test on a drop off and caught my first small bass. Very nice! The rod tip bends well and the backbone in the rod is amazing. I caught three more fish that morning and left around 10:30am as the temperature rose.

I truly like the XPs. I think the combination of backbone and soft tip. There is also a feeling that if I were a better caster I could really tap into the full performance of that rod. One thing I like today that even with some of my sloppy casts I never once produced a bad enough tailing loop that it caused a windknot in my leader. That may be a first for me.

Yesterday I played around with my new XP 486 and that little rod is a rocket. Same characteristics as the bigger brothers but smaller and leaner. Even the cork handle is smaller than that on the 5wt. I'm not sure I like that much but I will get used to it.

I hope we get a lot more rain so I can do some river fishing soon. I'ld like to catch a nice carp with the 6wt and see if it can tame one. I think it can.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Being that my first redfish was caught on a gurgler I decide to learn how to tie my own of this versatile, effective and easy to cast fly.

I chose to use large cactus chenille instead of the hackle for the body as some folks use. I like the flash and the water repellency of the cactus chenille. Here are my first three versions using yellow closed cell foam. The yellow is fairly easy to see at a distance (plus it's what I had at hand) and I just varied the cactus chenille and thread colors. I think I may try these on some largemouth bass in the morning to see if they are light enough to cast with my 6wt. I tied them on a #2 size Tiemco 811S hook so I can use them in saltwater as well. I would like to tie some mini-gurlers on #4 or #6 hooks but I need to get some thinner foam first.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Inventory turnover

Last week I put up for sale my VT2 6wt and Launch 4wt and 5wt and they sold (for a total of $490). The new owner of the VT2 has already received it and is thrilled with the rod. I'm happy he's happy and the new owner of the two Launch rods will be picking them up next week. I can't say I became attached to the 5wt and 6wt but I'm probably going to miss the little 4wt a bit...maybe. I'm waiting for the arrival of a new Sage XP 8' 6" 4wt rod I picked up for 40% off which will take the place of the Launch. I've been having fun with the 5wt XP recently but I expect that to be more of a lake rod while the 4wt will be my small lake and pond rod for small bass and brim.

So, with the turnover in the recent couple of months it looks as if I'm pretty much an XP man now (486-4, 590-4, 691-4, and 890-4). This also completes the conversion from 2 piece to 4 piece rods. Well, not completely...there's still the 2 piece 7wt SLT. I'm really torn with that rod. It is such a sweet rod but having the 691-4 and 890-4 now, I don't really expect I will get much use from it. I do believe I can recoup the $250 I bought it for easily or get more for it but it's such a gorgeous rod though. *sigh* I'll have to mull it over some more I guess. Maybe when I have to pay my property taxes in a month or two will I have that decision made for me. *sigh*