Category Archives: Uncategorized

Big Gun Shootout

A leftover photo from last month’s Big Gun Shootout at Picnic Island Park in Tampa. Below is the winning team Chris Homer, Greg Peterson and Dave Chouinard. Chouinard took top individual honors, edging out Homer.

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Filed under Fly casting, Uncategorized

Fly Fishing Expo

Mark your calendar. The biggest Fly Fishing show in the state of Florida is only a few days away. This weekend, Oct. 18-19, The Florida Fly Fishing Expo will get underway at the Plantation Inn in Crystal River.
Among the scheduled speakers are Chico Fernandez, Flip Pallot, Jon Cave and Rick Grassett. Admission for the two-day event is $10.

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Filed under Education, Fly fishing, Fly tying, Uncategorized

Sunny side up, Please

I’ve been chipping away at this sight fishing for reds quest for about a year or so now. During that time, I’ve analyzed tides, water depth, flies, weather, where to fish, where not to fish, when to go, when not to. Water depth is probably THE most important factor in Tampa Bay. With so-so visibility, you need skinny water to sight fish. You can persevere with higher water, but it’s almost damn near impossible to sight fish a red wading or out of a kayak in waist deep water.
The next most important factor is probably the most overlooked. It’s not wind, although I must admit I’m addicted to Wind Finder and live for those glassy mornings. However, I’d argue the sun is more important than a calm day. I didn’t realize this until I was chatting up Keys guide John O’ Hearn for a story I’m working on. O’Hearn said he’d take wind over clouds any day. A day later, I realized why.
Wednesday, it was blowing double digits out of the North. The tide was low enough, but the water movement was lousy. I fished anyway. I kept expectations low, and I was pleasantly surprised. Spotted at least a dozen reds during my afternoon trip. Had shots at five or six. One chased my fly, but didn’t eat. Rarely have I seen this many solo fish on foot or in my kayak and this was with a mix of clouds and sun. When the sun was out, I could pick them off. When the clouds settled in, I felt as if I were in the dark.
Bottom line: The sun is huge for sight fishing. If you don’t have sun, you’re essentially relying on tailers and we all know how sporadic that can be. So, pray for no rain and plenty of sun.

Another day on Old Tampa Bay.

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Filed under Education, Fly fishing, Uncategorized

A Dose of Fish Porn

It’s raining today in Tampa. Fishing’s been put on hold until the skies clear. The next best thing to do, if you can’t fish, is to watch others fish. If this doesn’t get your heart pumping, you’re hopeless.

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Filed under Entertainment, Fly fishing, Uncategorized

Back to the Mountain Streams

I started fly fishing in 1989. Back then it was mountain streams and spring creeks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  One of my first instructors was Henry Williamson, a guide from North Georgia. He taught me to cast when my loops were the size of boulders. Henry, from Sky Valley, Ga. was born to be a guide. He likes a good cup of coffee and a good story to start his day. Usually, he always delivers both.
The first trip with Henry was with my dad, who had a mountain house up in Sylva, N.C. Back then, fly

Henry and Jimmy Carter

fishing was not as popular as it is today. A River Runs Through It, after all, had been released. Henry was one of the few guides in the Western N.C. area at the time. We found out about him through word of mouth. We were not disappointed. It’s been almost 25 years since that trip and my father and I are going fishing again next week to celebrate his 70th birthday near Cashiers, N.C. Fittingly, Henry will be our guide.

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Filed under Fly fishing, Uncategorized

Morning Glory

It’s always good to wake up to a stress-free day at the beach. Nothing like a cup of coffee and a morning breeze to calm the nerves. The ocean was flat, which would have made for a perfect day to search for tarpon, but they’re probably a month or so away from making an appearance at Crescent Beach.

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Man’s Best Friend

I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize my best friend — Twink, my female black lab, who serves a number of important needs — daily office companion, morning alarm clock (who can sleep through the clatter of paws on a wood floor) and superstar retriever of dove, duck and the well-thrown frisbee.

I used to run Twink in field trials, but now she’s retired and a great house dog. She turned 10 last week. 

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Filed under Misc., Uncategorized

Fly fishing Dispute Heads to Court

 Former Washington Redskins running back John Riggins is suing the host of Fly Rod Chronicles for using footage of Riggins not approved by the former NFL star.
Sadly, fly fishing, like everything else, has become a business.
The lawsuit

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Filed under Misc., Uncategorized

Model Planes

Anyone remember the control line Cox airplanes? Had one as a kid. Never got it off the ground long. Crashed it over at P.K. Yonge. I was crushed for years. A few summers ago, I was on Ebay and ran across a couple PT 19s for sale and bought them. One was the red and white one in this video. The other was a blue and yellow one from the 1970s that I had and two others were newer models that I actually flew over at Lincoln Middle School. Only the over 40 crowd had any idea what the hell I was doing. It was comical. It was nice to find a bit of redemption. Yes, I still have the planes back in my attic in Gainesville. The red and white model is exceptionally rare.

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Filed under Entertainment, Misc., Uncategorized

The Weather

I had hoped to get out on the water today, but it’s raining and the wind forecast doesn’t look good. Although the outlook was reasonable earlier in the day, rain is on the way — along with more wind. Hopefully, things improve as we head into the new moon tides later this week. It’s been a crazy summer — either too much wind, too much rain — or both.

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Filed under Fly fishing, Misc., Uncategorized