is it cold here?

I have to admit, it's now officially getting cold. Even with waders and thermos, it was cold standing waist deep in icy waters at Diamond Lake. Even the texture of the water seems different, it's brittle....it feels rough. Didn't do so well catching fish, mainly because I was feeling too cold and couldn't get myself to cast far enough. I think it's time to do some more shopping for serious winter gear, to get suited up properly to deal with winter. I guess I need some of that special formula to help the eyelets of my rod from getting frozen shut with ice water from the line. The fish are still there, just need to be able to reach them at the right time & place.


will this fly fly...

This weekend, I took the leap and started to buy gear to tie my own flies. I had resisted this for a long time, mainly because I would rather use that time to be on the water fishing. Now that winters rolled along, and although I intend to fish through the winter, I will definitely be able to have some time to try tying my own flies. For the moment, I think I like it more for the designing part of it than having it being really effective, but I am sure I will get to the point where I will want them to work. I have seen some innovative use of materials and the overall gesture of some flies are definitely very elegant, sometimes inspiring. The first attempt turned out like...well like the first attempt. It's more difficult than it seems and I seem to have fingers that are too thick for the fine tying lines. I will keep trying, and I can't wait to catch a fish on a fly I designed. I think that will feel pretty special.

give me bling....yes fishing bling

I was looking for fly patterns on the web and I ran across this website that creates lures with bling...literally. The lures costs anywhere from couple of hundred dollars all the way up to thousands, and is the home of the famous million dollar lure. They are more custom decorative pieces of jewels, but I did sit back and thought about fishing with such things. I wonder if I would fish differently in general, and when a fish struck the lure, how carefully I would bring it in. It's definitely worth a look. ( http://macdaddysfishinglures.com/ )


lake cuyamaca

I was glad to hear that Lake Cuyamaca ( http://www.lakecuyamaca.org/ ), has reopened after the tragic fires in California. I had an opportunity to fish this lake before the fires and I wanted to write a short entry about the beautiful place.

This 110 acre lake sits on top of the beautiful Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego. The drive up to the lake is a pleasant one, and for a Midwest guy like me, the scenery is a fantastic one. And it (scenery) changes with each step up in altitude, from a desert setting to a mystical forest, and then to a forest that is more familiar. This beautiful scenery with the hope of meeting a trout had my heart in a good mood the entire drive up.

The high altitude of the mountains keeps the water nice and cool for the rainbow trout, sturgeon, smallmouth bass, crappie, and bluegills that are stocked all year round. You can purchase a California fishing license right at the tackle shop, as well as a day pass to the lake. There are some selection of flies and other gear, but bring what you need as it's limited in selection. The lake is strictly catch and keep, and no fish can be released except for undersized small mouth. The shop gives you a small piece of paper with the daily catch size and number limit. It was windy when I went, and even thought it was still late summer, it was pretty cold (bring warm clothing).

I started by walking around the entire lake, fishing from one spot to another but not spending more than 10 min in one spot. I wanted to see the entire lake and walk in the land that surrounds it. Like the drive up, the land around it had a lot of different faces to it. From mud that was nearly knee deep to dry, crackled land that had me lost for a moment, and onto rocky, bushy areas. It took me a good 4 hours to walk around the entire lake, and it was a fast paced walk. I saw people on floaters and on boats fishing in the water, but with the wind and all, I decided to stay on land and discover it that way. The fishing was okay for that day, producing smaller fish, but I guess I was focused more on discovering the lake than fishing that day.

It's a good lake, and one I know I will be back at soon. Next time, I will have many more fish photos now that I have spent time to discover the lake. Till then...

where the low sky mates with the sea

Rise, brothers, rise; the wakening skies pray to the morning light,The wind lies asleep in the arms of the dawn like a child that has cried all night.Come, let us gather our nets from the shore and set our catamarans free,To capture the leaping wealth of the tide, for we are the kings of the sea!
No longer delay, let us hasten away in the track of the sea gull's call, The sea is our mother, the cloud is our brother, the waves are our comrades all.What though we toss at the fall of the sun where the hand of the sea-god drives?He who holds the storm by the hair, will hide in his breast our lives.

Sweet is the shade of the cocoanut glade, and the scent of the mango grove, And sweet are the sands at the full o' the moon with the sound of the voices we love;But sweeter, O brothers, the kiss of the spray and the dance of the wild foam's glee;Row, brothers, row to the edge of the verge, where the low sky mates with the sea.

Sarojini Naidu, The Coromandel Fishers


i will remember you

I caught a fish most people call trash fish around here. Most consider it a nuisance and a mistake to catch one. Most think of it a lowly fish, because it eats from the bottom of the lakes. They are not the pretty and they are not aggressive (as game fish should be). They are unpredictable so catching them is unpredictable. Around here, people throw them away when they are caught...

I caught one of these fish, and I thought about what people call it. I thought about how if fish had emotion, what it would be thinking. I thought about what it would feel like, to be caught and not be prized. I took a picture with it, because I wanted to remember it. I took a picture of it so people can see it around the world and maybe think about why we fish (and what we catch). As I let it go, I thought about a different person catching it, and even if that person called it trash fish, if it will feel different knowing that someone prized it. I will remember this fish for a long time, for all it traits and the thoughts it brought me.


a few more pics from NYC trip

Charles getting ready to take us out.
Some more fish

going deep in NYC

I went deep this weekend. Real deep to hunt for stripers...big ones.

The journey started with an early morning Friday plane ride to Newark, NJ. My friend Charles met me at the airport and we headed straight to the marina in Brooklyn. We were pretty excited as it's been a while since we hung out together, and the thought to catching some stripers together definitely put a kick in our walk. The weather was colder than we expected and it was drizzling. We debated for about one second on if we should fish today, and in one second the decision was done. We were fishing - rain or not.

The second day was a lot more relaxed, and with daylight, a lot less intensity at sea. We slept on Charlie's boat to save travel time, and started fishing immediately after sunrise. Charlie's boat is one of those Catamaran boats, with an exceptionally smooth ride. It was quiet and fast, pretty much cutting through the waves. As we traveled through the various spots Charlie knew of, often switching gears between the light and heavy tackle. I was reassured to hear that my friend also enjoys the various types of fishing, and wasn't stuck on one style. (we both agreed that we liked all fishing expect the lazy kind). It's a nice feeling, riding around fishing, and talking about the next place we should meet when the weather gets too cold. Seems like it will very likely be Florida, to catch bone fish on fly rods.

It was a weekend to remember, fishing next to my friend, the stripers, and the beautiful ocean. For me it's a special feeling, going back home to NYC and discovering what I didn't know about it (the excellent fishing). I am sure I will be back next season to meet these stripers again. Keep fishing Charles and see you on the water again soon! Happy Birthday my friend!


my mentors

A mentor is a trusted teacher or adviser. I've had the fortune to meet not only one, but two in fishing. Each time we go out to fish, I come back with more knowledge than I left with. From techniques of catching the fish (how, where, when), to why we catch fish, and on why we set them free. They are mentors who will spend time to explain to me, the various aspects of entomology, physical geography, ichthyology, ethology, environment, and of conservation ... but we can just as easily switch to conversation levels that are near high school kids. Each have a different mentoring style, but both mentor through demonstration (catching more & bigger fish). Both love to fish as much as I do, and both love to talk about it (as much as I do). However, of all the things I continue to learn from them, probably the most important is that fishing is mostly about the friendship built in the process, and of time spent to reflect upon the decisions we make each day. If we catch some fish along the way, even better.

why we fish

The previous articles all inquire about new found passions in fly fishing, and express the wonderment and excitement of these new experiences. The simple answer is, my young apprentice- is these feelings and experiences never change, the inverse is actually realized. That is the magic of fishing.

Each new experience has the potential to eclipse the last, and each memory stored of great experiences age well, and are chapters in passing on the stories of adventures gone by.

The quest is the part of the game, the appreciation, and the preparation, and of course the catch and depending upon the ecosystem, the release.

It is this reason why we fish.

More of the basics, and some serious concerns soon.