A great place to visit, both virtually & physically. If you are ever in the Midwest, this is a must stop place to get some guided service. Friendly, knowledgeable, and great trout fishing. Thanks Mat for all the information and awesome shop you run. Rock on!

Nette Fische!

This is Jonathan’s friend in Germany with some impressive trophies. Nette Fische!

building your own ride

my friend Charles took on the task of building his own ride from scratch. He bought the plans for the Kayak, got some wood, and built his ride. He plans to give this first one to his friend, and will continue to build more soon. Like building your own rods, there’s something nice about building your own ride. Nice Charles, impressive. Looking forward to mine soon ;-)

fishing in the sky

My friend Jonathan is travelling and fishing for a few weeks. He sent me some pictures and when I saw them, it looked like he was fishing in the sky, through the clouds. It’s such a pleasant experience to fish mirror like autumn waters, early in the morning. He is slowly making his way to his home in California, but fishing along the way. Nice photos Jonathan, thanks.


till spring

I went out to my favorite lake, on the last day of the seasons for 2008. I fished here less than other years in 08, travelling to other places to fish & exploring different lakes around town. Still as it always does, I felt it greeted me in a familiar & comfortable way. Funny, sometimes you have to travel away to be able to see & appreciate what is right in front of you. I’ll be sure to be here, when the season opens in 2009. Thanks for another great year.

내가 아끼고 좋아하는 호수에 2008년에 마지막으로 다녀왔다. 여기는 10월 중순에 season 이 끝나고, 다시 3월이 되야지 다시 열린다. 올해는 그전 해들보다 많이는 찾지는 못했지만, 그래도 여기서 낚시를 배웠다고 할만큼 그동안 많이 찾았던 곳이다. 거의 언제나, 예상할수 있을만큼 잡고, 또 잡는 어종도 항상 같다, 그래서인지 가끔은 재미가 없다고도 생각든다. 하지만 그래서인지, 익숙하고 편하기도 하다. 어디를 떠나야지 근처에 있는 것들에 대한 소중한 마음을 느낄수 있듯이, 이곳은 다른데 있으때 제일 많이 생각나는것 같다…마치 고향같이. 이곳을 이렇게 좋아 하면서 뭔 좋은일 할것이 없을까 생각하다, 이곳을 관리하는 기관과 같이 이곳에 대한 낚시 규정을 다시 쓰기로 약속했다. 올해 겨울에는 규정을 다시 잘 쓰고나서, 내년 봄에 나가서 다시 만날 물고기들을 생각하면 기분이 좋다. 이날은 올해에 마직막 날이니, 낚시를 하지 않을까도 생각을 했지만, 그래도 하는것이 기분좋게 마무리 할것 같아 잠깐 던졌다. 내년을 약속 하듯이 짧은 시간안에 많은 고기를 잡을수 있었다. 내년에는 우리 형도 한번 대리고 와야 겠다.


new house

My friend just completed his new house this week and I went over to congratulate him on his new home. He designed much of it himself, and I know he poured a lot of his heart into the place. The place looked beautiful, and the movers were just starting to bring in some stuff today. I took a stroll down his back yard, following the peninsula that was part of the house. It backs up to a small but deep lake. I could not fight the urge, so I walked back to the car for my rod & some flies. The fish at this lake were naïve, striking at anything that dropped on the surface. I stood there for about 15 minutes, and caught about nine bluegills. All were healthy and medium sized, which is promising for other larger fish. I’ll have to work something out with my friend, so that I make use of this grounds…maybe I’ll rake the lawn or something in exchange to fish these waters. It’s good to have friends who own land with good fishing in the backyard.

pretty close...

I feel am close, to achieving my goal of meeting 200 fish in 2008. I guess there’s many different ways to count how much fish you’ve caught. Usually, when you lose count of how many you’ve caught during a trip, means you have caught enough. 200 is a random number I chose, partly because I thought I would be able to achieve it, partly because I knew it would be hard for me to do it. I’ve never counted fish, and perhaps this will be the last year I do it (or not). If I continue to count, I wonder if that number goes up… or do I just start counting more “prized” fish… or do I start to add in other elements like weight, location, time of day…so on. There is something fascinating about keeping document of things that happen to us, in this case the fishing. December is approaching and I will soon find out if I will be freezing my butt off out on the water all of December (trying to meet my goal) or if I will sit in a warm room sorting the 200 fish photos (then go freeze my butt off on the water). I am not sure which way I like it better.


my 4 weight

Catching a fish like this on my 4 weight rod, makes the day out on the water worthwhile. I hooked up with my fishing pal and mentor to throw some flies around. Sun was about to set and I slowly walked a brownish red woolly bugger along the shore line. A strong tug, then I see the line moving out towards the lake. I was more cautious this day because I had just recently hooked but lost some good fish. A few more smaller ones then we went for the beers and wings. As we loaded out gear back into the car, I noticed how different yet same out car was. Full of shit bursting into the rear seats. Jim had more camping stuff, but pretty much the same mess of equipment explosion. Conversation was good, discussed Hemmingway and his writings on fishing. Talked about how cool it would be to relive the Two Big Hearted River’s experience. That or otherwise, a grand trip was brewing...that's good. No matter how good the conversation was one rule: don’t mix wings, poppers, onion rings, and flush it down with Blue Moon beer. I had a rough night that night.

Oh, almost forgot. Of all the rods I own, I am pretty sure the 4 weight is my favorite all around rod. It is light enough to cast in the smallest of streams, yet with clever maneuvering, you can catch some pretty big fish. Wind will affect a 4 weight line, but you can cast through some of it, and that’s usually good enough to get the fly out there. I’ve caught more fish on the 4weight rod than any other rod, not only because I use it most often, but I think the amount of tension and action provides the most accuracy for me. I intend to catch a record fish on my 4 weight, even if that catch eventually breaks the rod, hopefully after I land it.



I headed up to Waukegan harbor early Saturday morning to check out if anything was happening. It was happening. There were lines of fishermen along the pier, and I spotted a few fish cruising along. I took out my 9wt fly rod, and in the first cast hooked a steelhead. It was unexpected and I wasn’t prepared for the fight. I stumbled to set the drag, and it started to take the line out. I was standing on rocks on the top row, so I needed to climb down, plus I didn’t have a net with me. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to land this one, but I was going to fight it as long as I could. I was able to see the fish come up a few times, and that was good enough. Here’s what I learned about fishing these big fish: the fish set to hook on its own, have a net with a long neck handy, have a hook that’s sturdy enough, and let the fish run (and don’t grab the reel). After about 5min or so, the hook came off, almost bent flat. I only stayed an hour or so, but left full of hope for the next time I’ll be out here. As I walked back to the car, I saw a dead fish floating around. I thought about the fish that was at the end of line, and how I will meet its kind soon enough. See you soon fish.


paying for it

It was still early morning, at least a good couple of hours before the sun would show it’s face. The cool October air greeted us, and you can smell November in the dark. The ground was damp, and it breathed when we stepped on it. The hike was a going to be a tough one, bush whacking through thick brushes. The lake sits in a picturesque setting, the edges of the banks almost unnaturally trimmed. The fish fight hard here, and they are gullible, as flies they are used to are good to eat, and have no hook in them. I went to my usual spot, and they sat at the far back, under the slanted tree. Third cast, fish on. The sting of the hook sends the rainbow 3 feet into the air….

I would have loved to write such a story… unfortunately, this story plays out only in my imagination. I went to a trout pond (the kind where you pay by the pound), caught some big farm raised rainbows, took them home (catch and keep only), and then cleaned them to place onto the grill. I never caught so many trout in such a short amount of time, I never threw trout I caught into a bucket, and I never cleaned a fish before…at least not until this past weekend. Trout pond is kind of strange, like a self serve fish market. You know what to expect, you catch big trout, and still you are somewhat happy. For me the fun lasted until I got home and looked into the plastic bag filled with ice and trout. Then I dreaded the thought of having to clean the fish, almost a sense of guilt. The only way to get rid of the guilt was to eat the fish, put to some good use and not waste it. As I cleaned the fish, I thought about how this would come in handy if I were fishing somewhere wild, and I decided that I would eat the catch. In that case, the fire will be made of twigs, and the only ingredient would maybe be salt. I cleaned it all right, removed the head, tail, and fins. I cleaned out the inside and was surprised how clean the cleaning was. Kids were freaked out, wife just passed by whispering “we’re not eating that”, and I had fish guts to remove from the sink. I might go back someday, probably sooner than I imagine, but for now I’ll stick with bluegills I can place back into the lake. Unless I find someone to keep my catch, as the cleaning wasn't that fun.

Maybe this entry freaks out the trout lovers out there, who can't stand the sight of dead trout... so be it. I felt all primative and I kind of liked it. Rhaaaaa-

Mending your fishing trip

A friend of mine reminded me of an obligation to upload to this blog. He was right. We discussed this obligation and ability to share the passion for fishing over a few beers, and we started discussing what it meant to us to fish, especially fly fish. 

To find the time, the spot, and truly enjoy discovering the hatch and conditions to have a meaningful and successful fishing experience. Then shit happens.

What happens, though,  if that 5 piece breaks, on the beach, or on the boat? What happens if you didn't have the means to pack 2 rods ( $$) or you were on your own, on the beaches of mexico, staring down
 some beautiful flats?

You make do, and make what you have work. When my new 5 pc. fly rod snapped between the 3 and 4 piece, I tried a hard carved insert hardwood plug, a polycarbonate splint made from a cut up tape cassette box, and the following overlap joint, wrapped with medical tape. Duct tape works even better, so pack some. 

This worked best.

I landed 6-7 palometas in the surf off the Mexico resort with a small white shrimp pattern, and totally salvaged the vacation get away mini-excursion while the family was sleeping. 

Never lose the capability to solve your own problems, and go fishing.


cherry trout 산천어 만나는 첫 가을.

(내친구가 영어로만 쓰니까 머리가 아프다고 해서 어설픈 한글로 써봅니다)

내가 좋아하는 형 두분이 올해 가을에 산천어를 만나겠다고, 계곡 속속을 탐색하고 나섰다. 가끔 전화가 오면, 새벽같이 나가는길에 피곤하지만 들뜬 목소리로 “산천어 만나러 간다” 하고 얘기를 해준다. 내가 얼마나 같이 가고 싶은지 잘 알기 때문에, 전화라도 해주는 형들 전화가 반갑고 마치 같이 가는것과 같이 기분이 좋다. 어두운 새벽 고속도로길에 나서는 기분이 어떤지 상상이 잘간다. 도착하기 전에는 언제나 안절부절 마음이 더 들뜬다. 최근 다녀온 사진들을 몇장 보내와서 여기에 올린다. 고기가 좀 작기는 하지만, 고생해서 잡았을 생각을 하면 소중하다. (하지만 알지 형, 고기는 일단 좀 크고 봐야해..ㅋㅋ)

낚시도 3 단계가 있다고 얘기하는것을 들었다. 첫 단계는 아무리 추운날씨에도 강가옆에서 캔참치나 샌드위치 최대한 간단하게 먹으면서, 서로 도착하면 찟어져서 거의 끝날때까지 말이 없고, 잠도 최대한 가까운 여관에서 잠깐 눈만 부치고 나온다…그야말로 헝그리 정신에 낚시특공대 스타일이다. 첫 단계는고기 잡는것에 모든 집중이 되어 있어서 아무리 먼길도, 멀게 느껴지지 않고, 아무리 춥던, 덥던 견딜만 하다. 또한 모든것을 효율적인 자대로 본다… 거리, 날씨, 장비, 등등. 장비는 초대한 적게 가지고 나간다고 해도, 거의 모든 상황에 대처할수 있는 완전무장을 하기가 쉽상이다. 장비에 대한 욕심은 사람마다 다르지만, 대체적으로 그다지 좋지 않은 장비로도 많은 고기를 잡겠다는 의지와 꿈이 풍부하다. 나같은 경우는 아직도 제일 애정을 같는 낚시대는 내가 처음 샀던 10만원짜리 대다. 그 낚시대와 같이 재미있고, 많이 잡았다는 느낌이 아무리 많은 대를 사도 같은 느낌이 다르다. 어쩌면 그래서 내가 이렇게 많은 대를 사고 있는지도 모르겠다. 이제는 낚시대를 몇대를 샀는지를 잊고있는 상태이니, 아마 너무 많이 샀다는 증조일것이다. 첫 단계가 아마 낚시를 제일 하드코어 하게 하는 단계인것 같고, 현제 내가 있는 단계인것 같다.

두번째 단계는 모든것이 좀 더 화려해진다. 일단 많은 장비중에서도 고가인 장비만 들고 나갈려고 한다. 점심도 재대로 맛집을 찾아 다니게 되고, 따뜻한 밥을 찾는다. 잠도 좋은 곳에서 자려고 하고, 옷과 모든것이 기능과 더붙혀, 멋있는것을 찾아 입는다. 낚시도 아무대서나 하지 않는다, 여행이 화려하게 변해간다. 아직도 낚시는 하드하게 하지만, 그외에 갖춰야 하는 것을 다 갖추기 시작한다. 일단 낚시가 좋고 고기가 많이 잡혀도, 식사때는 밥먹으로 갈수 있으면 2 단계라고 보면 된다. 나도 분명히 2단계를 왔다 갔다를 하지만, 아직은 굶고도 낚시를 하는것은 큰 문제가 아니다.

세번째 단계를 들어스면, 일단 큰 별장을 지어 놓고 (아니면 빌리든), 밥먹고 놀다가 기분내키면 낚시대 들고 한번 나갔다 오는 단계다. 이때는 날씨가 후진것이 낚시에게는 좋다는것은 알아도, 좋은 날씨만 골라서 한다. 주로 장비는 custom 으로 주문제작된 대나무 낚시대를 애용하고, 고기를 잡는만큼 사진을 찍고 있다. 이때 가끔씩 벌래이름을 라틴어로 얘기해야지 성숙된 플라이 낚시꾼으로 생각하고, 고기잡이를 고기잡이 이상으로 심각하게 받아 드리기 시작한다. 대화가 조금 따분해지고, 곤충학, 어류학, 등등 학학이 많아 진다. 낚시는 여전히 잘한다, 하지만, 고기잡는 재미를 잃었다고 생각들정도로, 너무 도사가 되어 있다.

난 2단계까지만 가려는 생각이다…대나무 낚시대만 빼고….그것은 하나 사고 싶다. 별장은 형들이 하나 사면 된다.