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Showing posts from February, 2015

How to tie a Clouser Minnow

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The clouser minnow is a great little bait fish fly pattern that seems to work in every environment.  Freshwater, saltwater, lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds, big fish, little fish, if it swims and eats anything bigger than zooplankton you can probably catch it on a clouser minnow.  I recently attended an intermediate fly tying class at Orvis of Madison and learned how to tie this pattern, step by step.

To tie the Clouser Minnow your gonna need a few materials:
Size 5 Streamer HookBlack ThreadDumbbell Head (weight and size varies)Pearl Krystal FlashWhite BucktailChartreuse BucktailFirst, place your hook level and start your thread about 1/8th inch to a 1/4 inch from the hook eye.  Our instructor said to leave yourself a generous amount of space since we will be tying material down all way down to the eye of the hook.
Second, place the dumbbell eyes on the hook.  A good tip he gave was to tie them in an X pattern then pull the line tight.  This will help keep the eyes nice and straight on the …

2015 Madison Fishing Expo

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It's that time of year again, time for the Madison Fishing Expo.  I will be in attendance in Booth 612 helping out the Vibrations Tackle team Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  New for Shorebound Hero this year, my Native Watercraft Slayer Propel kayak will be on display with Rutabaga Paddlesports fully rigged for the 2015 season.  So make plans this weekend to check out the Madison Fishing Expo.  On a side note I will have the new stickers with me, free of charge.
Tight Lines.

Kayaks and Foam a SeaDek Story

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The first thing I ordered for the new Native Watercraft Slayer Propel and Versaboard was complete SeaDek kits.  For more info on SeaDek products follow the link here.  For our purposes all you need to know is that SeaDek is an adhesive backed foam padding that is precut to fit your boat.  It's waterproof, provides good grip in wet conditions, and is extremely durable.  I contacted SeaDek and ordered a set for the 2015 Slayer and Versaboard.  Once they arrived I called my buddy Richard and we set about getting them installed on the boats.
To install the SeaDeking you need to prep the surfaces of the kayak.  You'll want to start by removing all the deck rigging.  If you don't the chemicals can stain your rope, trust me!  For the Native boats all that's required is a phillips screwdriver (your kayak may need other tools).  Since the Slayer came with some padding already installed, I had to rip it off the bottom of the boat.  Then I washed the whole thing down liberally wit…

Ode to a Bucktail

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So simple in your purpose,
so deadly at your trade.
Spinning so enticingly,
with a spoon shaped blade.
Oh how we love you,
so basic in design.
Quietly working magic,
flawless every time.


Unless you don’t,
perhaps you're broke.
When you stop,
hooks they fail.
Over weed beds,
without a tail.

Easy repairs,
a simple fix.
A subtle snap,
and then you’re back.
Simply spinning,
fish on the way.
I see the follow,
a bait well played.

Tight Lines.

The New Boat

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My new boat has arrived for the 2015 season.  It's a 13 foot Native Slayer Propel in Lagoon Blue.  I am also excited to announce that I have recently joined the Pro Staff for Native Watercraft and will be both guiding and tournament fishing from this amazing watercraft.  The Propel is a pedal driven fishing specific kayak that allows the angler to move both forward and backward hands free!  This is the only boat currently on the market with this ability.
I first saw this boat a few years back at Canoecopia and have been enamored with it since.  As an angler I love the idea of being able to go hands free when on the water.  In the past I have always struggled with trying to maintain my position when I am casting. Winds, current, and boat traffic, have always worked together to burden my kayak angling experience.  With this boat it should no longer be an issue.
I will be outfitting my Propel as a flagship boat and using it for The Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Tournament Series. It will b…

The Curse of the White Bass

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As we unloaded the atv I was full of hope.  Today I had an expert with me on the ice and I knew I'd get my chance to catch fish.  Though I had been beaten in the past, today would be my day!  However, I believe that to tell this tale properly, a little back story is in order.
The curse started about 4 seasons ago.  I was on Lake Monona in one hell of a snow storm.  Determined to put something on the ice I stuck it out in some truly miserable conditions.  Squinting through the blowing snow I suddenly saw my Vexilar light up like a Christmas tree.  It was a white bass school, and it was huge.  I began to aggressively jig my Echotail waiting for the telltale jack hammering from a fish below.  Maybe I was just to cold that day, or maybe I had to big of a bait on my hook, regardless of the reason, I missed fish after fish.  Then as fast as they arrived, they vanished into the vastness of the frozen lake.
Each ice season since I have had opportunities to land these little fish.  Each time…

Can't Fly Fish With Your Boots On

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Always looking for new experiences I stopped off at the Madison Fly Casters, Winter Indoor Casting Event.  Lately I have been looking for ways to bridge the gap between conventional fisherman and fly fisherman.  For me, both styles of angling are really interesting and they both require an incredible amount of skill.  Skill that can only be developed through time on the water.  I have witnessed amazing casting skills from both breeds of fisherman in the past and I want desperately to figure out how to get these two distinct groups of anglers together.  With this in mind I decided that I would attend and spread the word about the Capital City Muskies Club.  Besides, I'm down for any opportunity to cast a line during these long Wisconsin winters.
I arrived at the Keva Sports Center in Middleton a little late.  It wasn't my fault really, I had just gotten back from the Milwaukee Harbor and for whatever reason my dog was in no rush to finish her business out in the yard.  I ended u…

Thought He Was Lying

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The other evening I was talking to my buddy Mark about his recent outings on the ice.  He told me a story, I thought was a lie.  It goes something like this...
Mark and a friend were out on beautiful Lake Kegonsa doing some tip up fishing for walleyes.  Mark set his 3 tip ups out in a semicircle baited with shiners and went back to the shanty.  Shortly after he sat down he had a flag.  He ran out to set the hook and fought the fish for a few seconds before the fish snapped the line.  Mark still had his tip ups rigged with 8 pound fluorocarbon line and size 8 octopus hooks a classic brown trout rigging.  He picked up his tip up and headed back to the shanty to retie his line.  While working on the tip up he had another flag.  Rushing out on the ice he noticed that the spool was spinning and started the process of fighting the fish.  After a few minutes he got a little over zealous and once again, broke off the fish.  Feeling a little defeated he headed back to his shanty, now with 2 tip…

Fly Box Update January/February

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After attending the Orvis of Madison fly tying event awhile back I have had flies on the brain.  Today while waiting for them to load the line and backing on my new Mirage V fly reel, I found some more flies I couldn't live without.

Here's whats been added to the Orvis fly box as of February 2015:

1x Puglisi Yellow Perch
2x Montauk Monsters in White, and Green
1x Smack'em Spey in Black
1x Kinkly Muddler in Chartreuse/White
1x Cowen's Floating Minnow
9x Schultzy's S4 Sculpin 3 each of Olive, Gray, Rust
3x TH Rubber-Legged Bugger
2x Jan's Carp Tickler in Red (since mine are in trees all over Madison)
2x May's Identity Crisis in Olive
2x Hise's Carpnasty in Rust
4x Carp Bitters in Rust and Olive
1x Woolly Bugger (I tied myself)
1x Panfish Streamer (I tied myself)
2x Weird Little Green Yarn Thing?

That about wraps up February and it's only the 6th.  Who knows, we may have to do another update later this month since my fly tying kit is scheduled to arrive next week.
T…

2 Great Apps for the Shorebound Angler

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As shore fisherman we kind of get the short end of the stick when it comes to help via electronics.  The boys in the boats have depth charts, water temps, lake contours, and side scan imaging at their disposal.  Often times the shore based anglers I meet have no idea that they can have some of these same things in the palm of there hand.  I use a few apps on a regular basis that have helped me immensely in both my personal fishing and my guiding here on the Madison chain.   The first one is Google Earth, the second is Navionics Boating.  These two apps have become as important to me as my rod and reel.  In fact they have had such an impact on my fishing that I now purchase my mobile devices based on how well they can run these applications.
Google Earth is a free mobile app that many are already familiar with from desktop use. Google Earth lets you scroll through aerial views and allows you to explore large expanses of land in a short amount of time.  It also lets you sort out water acc…

Chicagoland Fishing Expo In Pictures

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This past weekend I was invited by Vibrations Tackle to help out at the Chicagoland Fishing Expo.  It was kind of overwhelming and I could never do the experience justice in words, so I'm just gonna park some photos here for everybody to look at.

Tight Lines.

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