Monthly Archives: February 2014

F3T Review

The  2014  Fly Fishing Film Tour stopped by Tampa earlier this week and the reviews were positive, a big step up from 2013 when the F3T was a big disappointment. The three-hour event offered saltwater, freshwater, humor and drama. In the end, there was something for everyone, which is all you can ask for from a collection of films. Not everyone is going to like everything; but everyone should like something.

The F3T is more than just about watching a few fly fishing flicks. It’s about the camaraderie. It was good to see many of my local FF buddies, including Keith Sawyer, Dayle Mazzarella, Ted Hagaman and Joe Welbourn among others. Can’t wait for 2015.

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Filed under Misc.

Waders II

Last newsletter, I reported leaky waders. I filled them with water, probed and prodded and researched online. YouTube, Vimeo, Google. Name a resource and I went there. Bottom line: There was nothing I could do.

I had a leak in the seams. Multiple applications of UV Loon wader repair helped, but even after several trips and more coatings, my feet were still soggy. I even got in the pool as a test run. That didn’t work. Why? Because seam leaks get exposed during movement. A long walk on low tide usually reveals leakage. Standing waist deep in your pool for 10 minutes doesn’t require the material to stretch enough.

The leaks were at the cuffs, just above the ankles where the waders meet the neoprene stocking feet. Evidently, I had overstretched the material, when after each fishing trip, I would yank my tired feet from each stocking foot. Don’t do this. Take each foot out slowly. Don’t do what I did and step on the ground and pull to create leverage. Sit on the edge of the tailgate and slide your waders off as you would a pair of socks. It takes a few more minutes, but it’s worth it. Your waders will last longer. Mine were fine until I got lazy. I had always been a little careless, but more fishing trips (gotta love those low winter tides) exposed the issue.

So I didn’t have much choice. It was time to use that Bass Pro gift card that I got for Christmas. I coughed a few extra bucks for express shipping to catch a full moon morning tide with a NE wind.


New waders just in time

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Filed under Education, Fly fishing, Misc.

It’s Here

The Fly Fishing Film Tour’s stop in Tampa is less than a day away.  Wednesday, Feb. 19, the F3T visits the Tampa Pitcher Show off N. Dale Mabry Avenue. Doors open at 6. The show starts at 7.

If you haven’t gotten your tickets, it may be too late.  Now in its eighth year,  the F3T has become a must-do event for fly anglers. You can usually count on the serenity of freshwater films to be balanced with the power and speed of saltwater flicks. Not every film has a quality story line, but most offer exceptional footage. In layman’s terms, we refer to this as fish porn.

In 2012, the F3T rocked. 2013? Not so much. This year looks promising. Here’s a clip from “50,” a film by Orlando film maker Graham Morton, who brought us Riding High. His latest work is a tribute to the Gold Cup, a big-time tarpon tourney in the Keys. Enjoy.

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Filed under Entertainment, Misc.

Tarpon: Get ready

Winter has yet to release its grip on Tampa Bay, but only a few months remain before tarpon arrive. The silver king is the perfect foe for the fly rod.  One of my favorite flies is the Tarpon Toad.

It’s pretty simple. All you need is rabbit strip (tail), marabou (collar) and EP fiber (for the head). Below is a picture and a video. The big key is to use long scissors to trim the head for a cleaner look.


A Tarpon Toad

A video from In the Riffle, a great resource.

Another from  Matt Thomas.


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Filed under Fly fishing, Fly tying

A Good Read

Pat Conroy has a new book: The Death of Santini, a sequel of sorts to The Great Santini, a 1976 novel about a son’s love-hate relationship with his father, a Marine Corps pilot. Both books are based upon Conroy’s turbulent upbringing. The Death of Santini goes into great detail about Conroy’s family history, his life at The Citadel and his literary career. I’ve read three of Conroy’s books — the other two are My Losing Season and The Lords of Discipline —– and his latest work may be his best yet.

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Filed under Misc.

The Weather

An unusual number of cold fronts have hit Tampa this winter, leaving anglers with blustery winds and colder than normal water temperatures. The sight fishing opportunities, as a result, have been sparse so far. Any day that’s been decent has been sabotaged by south winds, which push the water into the Bay and cause the tides to higher than predicted. More water means more places for the fish to hide.

Apparently, the position of the jet stream,  which normally flows farther north. Not this year. Here’s more from the Tampa Bay Times and the Associated Press.

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Filed under Education, Misc.

Buccaneers & Bones

The fourth season of Bucs and Bones has started, so it’s time  to crank up the Outdoor Channel for a dose of quality saltwater fly fishing. The schedule: Monday, 9:30 a.m.; Wednesday, 6 a.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m.;  and Saturday, 6:30 a.m./7:30 p.m. Previous seasons featured actors Michael Keaton and Zach Gilford; on board this season is musician Huey Lewis.

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Filed under Entertainment, Misc.

Getting Skinny

I’m always looking for a lighter boat. Lighter is skinnier, which means you can float shallower. That,  essentially, is Joe Welbourn’s motto. Joe, owner of Carbon Marine in Tampa, has developed a lightweight canoe, the Cirogue, a square-backed, 50-pound fiberglass paddlecraft that seats one or two and can be poled or paddled.

The Cirogue

The Cirogue

Joe and I were both hoping the Cirogue would handle a small outboard, but the 2.5 HP Suzuki just didn’t work. Actually, it propelled the boat just fine; it just didn’t allow for enough clearance in the stern, which was a mere inches from the water. The big issue is weight. With the motor and angler seated toward the back, the little boat is out of balance. Gheenoes and other small craft don’t have as much of a problem with handling a small motor, because they weigh more. More weight apparently helps stabilize the boat.

Welcome to the catch-22. Everyone wants something light that they can sling over their shoulder and attach a small motor. Well, the reality of physics is that you’re almost going to have to trailer your boat if you want to motorize it.  If you want something light enough to portage solo, go with the Cirogue. It paddles and poles great and can handle two anglers. One person poles, the other fishes. Works well for sight fishing.

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Filed under Education, Fly fishing

Fort Desoto Park closed

One of my favorite fishing spots is on hold. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Fort De Soto Park will remained closed through Monday after low water pressure sparked concerns of bacterial contamination in the park’s drinking water and bathrooms this weekend.

Pinellas County spokeswoman Mary Burrell said the boil water advisory issued for the park and portions of Tierra Verde south of Madonna Boulevard will remain in effect until at least Tuesday morning.

Burrell said closure was specifically related to concerns about the park’s water supply. The beach and surrounding waters were not contaminated in any way.

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Filed under Conservation, Misc.