IGFA Relocating Hall of Fame and Museum Exhibit

     Got an email the other day from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) letting members know that the board has decided to move the Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit from sunny Florida to Springfield, Missouri.  It will be setup in a new wildlife museum and aquarium that is being built by the great Johnny Morris (think Bass Pro Shops).  This move is considered a partnership that will allow the Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit to have the financial power of Bass Pro behind it, exposing it to many more anglers and sportsman.  It will also allow the IGFA to free up resources and maintenance costs associated with the exhibit and focus them on core programs like, record management, angler education, rules, and game fish management world wide.  This doesn't come as a surprise to many since the board members have been in discussion with Bass Pro about this move for several months now.  
     The South Florida IGFA Facility will still be owned and operated by the IGFA and will continue to house the E. K. Harry Library of Fishes the largest collection of books, films, and photographs on recreational fishing anywhere in the world.  As well as housing a new convention center, record keeping facilities, and general office space.
     This is a wonderful strategic move by the IGFA in an ever changing business climate.  I for one am happy to see that the management of the IGFA is willing to make these kind of necessary changes to safeguard the future of ethical angling, education, and record keeping on an international level.  I encourage all anglers to consider joining the IGFA.  Your support will ensure that our children and grandchildren have the same angling opportunities we now take for granted.
     Tight Lines.

The Yeti

     "I always wanted one", that's what I said to help rationalize the purchase.  Seriously though, I have wanted one for a while.  I remember the first time I saw one on tv.  It was during an episode of Saltwater Experience and the hosts were using it as a casting platform while chasing bonefish in Florida.  The issue I had was how do you explain why you spent that kind of money on a cooler when you in live in a state that is frozen for half the year?  The kayaks!  Starting a guide service and purchasing those kayaks has finally given me a guilt free excuse to be a Yeti owner.  I went to Rutabaga Paddlesports with the Versaboard and Slayer Propels measurements in hand, excited to pick up my own Yeti cooler.
     Yeti coolers aren't new, they have been on the market for a while now.  They are what I would consider a premium cooler.  Built for abuse, they're one piece rotational-molded.  This means that the sides, corners, and walls are all the same thickness and extremely tough.  So tough in fact that they have earned IGBC Bear Resistant Certification.  That is insane!  Add to that the thick rubber latch closures, padded nylon rope handles, and a full freezer style gasket and you end up owning one sweet cooler.
     Since I am going to be using my Yeti in a number of situations and on multiple boats I bought the 35 quart Tundra model.  Actually it's considered an anglers model with a paddle holder added to the side of the cooler.  This lets you attach your SUP or kayak paddle to the cooler.  A simple, but welcome feature that should allow me to keep the decks of the boats clean and free from possible snags while fly fishing this summer.  I added a precut SeaDek foam top to the Yeti to provide me with some padding while using it as a drop in seat or standing on it to sight fish for carp.  The SeaDek top was a perfect fit and matches the flooring in both the Versaboard and Slayer Propel pretty well.  I love the look and so far it's holding up well.  It has accompanied me to multiple expos and speaking engagements so far this winter/spring.
     Yeti coolers are not for everyone.  The price can be an issue for some people.  You may be one of those people who just can't wrap their mind around owning a $300 cooler.  If that's the case then good for you, just don't be one of those people that bad mouths them without having ever used one.  It is one hell of a cooler.  They are built to last a lifetime and take some serious abuse.  If you want one of your own or just have some questions stop by Rutabaga Paddlesports in Middleton, WI or check them out online at www.YetiCoolers.com.
     Tight Lines.

     

   

Fly Box Update March 2015

     We have been pretty busy here at ShoreboundHero.com lately.  Expos, speaking engagements, articles, and guided trips have kept us chasing our tails.  That said, early inland trout season is upon us and open water game fishing is right around the corner.  Here's a list of the flies we've added to the boxes (we own 2 now) so far in March.
     In the Orvis Box:
  • KC Creature Tan Winged x2
  • Cartoon Hopper x2
  • MFC Triple Decker x2
  • Scuds Olive, Pink, Orange x2 each
  • Pheasant Tail Nymphs x2
  • Gryphis Midges Olive x4
  • Bluing Olive Mayfly x2
  • Disco Midge x4
  • Killer Bug x4
  • Stonefly Nymph Pattern x4
     In the Cliff's Box:
  • Vampire Custom Fly Pattern by Mike Small
  • Slide Winder Custom Fly Pattern by Mike Small
  • Hawg Frawg Custom Fly Pattern by Mike Small
  • Rainbow Leech Custom Fly Pattern by Mike Small
  • Polk's Dirty Rat
  • Ballok's Big Boy Perch
  • Ballok's Northwoods Ninja
  • Dirty Little Secret
  • Chocklett's Game Changer in White x2
  • G/S Rooster
  • Jared's Outlaw Chartreuse, Purple, Pink
  • PuckerLip Bisharat's White/Red
  • Anderson's Reducer
  • Skinny Dip
  • Femme Fatale Yellow, Purple     
     Tight Lines.

Driftless and Muddy

     It's no secret that I like to try new things when it comes to fishing. I am always looking for a new species to chase, new gadgets to try out, or for new bodies of water. Since I started fly fishing last year all I kept hearing about was this magical place called the Driftless. Stories of beautiful ancient landscapes, small towns, and amazing trout streams seem to go hand in hand with this almost mythical area.  
     Recently I was invited to go out on a rather well known stream with a new friend. He was going to show me some access points and try to help this "Lake Fisherman" learn how to better read moving water. I packed up my St Croix rods, a small selection of flies, and a big thermos of coffee. Then drove across town to meet up with the man that would finally introduce me to the Driftless area.
     When we arrived at the access point the first thing I noticed was how similar this place looked to the area of Iowa that I grew up in. Surrounded by dormant corn fields and the sound of song birds I felt a million miles away from the normal hustle and bustle of Madison. Hard to believe that we were only 15 minutes from the city. Soon we had on our gear and started wadding up a ridiculously small creek. "You sure trout live in here?" I asked as we battled through mud that tried to suck us under. "Yeah, the conditions are just a little muddy from the snow melt running into the creek." I asked what I should tie on the line and he said, "Streamers."
     After digging around in my fly box for a bit, I tied on a crazy little streamer that I had bought the week before while wandering through Orvis of Madison. It had rubber legs, a bead, and a hook eye so big, that I could attach my line to it on the first try (I'm pretty spoiled by my 80lbs PowerPro). I made a few casts and true to form I was stuck in a tree. "It happens" he said, it's kind of a tight area for casting.  I was trying, but with all the overhanging branches I was a mess. If I didn't hook a tree, I hooked my hat, or my waders, or my backpack.  Soon however I got the hang of watching my back cast and was plopping that little streamer down on the edge of the riffles.
     We had a wonderful morning even if the conditions were a little less than ideal. The stream was blown out and muddy as hell. My buddy explained to me, where to cast, what a lie was, and were I would normally find the trout once the creek cleared up in a few weeks. All things considered, I had a great time on the water. Even though we didn't catch anything, we were outside on a beautiful spring day in the middle of a legendary area, and that was more than enough for me.
     Tight Lines.

Vibrations Tackle Booth Time Lapse

     Last weekend I attended the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show as a Prostaffer for Vibrations Tackle.  I always get questions from people about what it is that I do when I am at the shows.  Long story short I promote the companies products, in this case the Echotail.  For fun I setup a GoPro camera on Saturday morning and just let it run for the first 3 hours of the show. 
     Tight Lines.

Cliff's Bugger Beast Fly Box Review

      Well I finally broke down and bought a second fly box. I was simply running out of room to add more flies to the large Orvis box I bought last year. Not really because of the number of flies that I owned. It was more about the size of the flies I have been buying lately.
     As most of you are probably aware I spend the majority of my free time chasing muskies around the Madison Chain of Lakes. Musky flies normally have big hooks and large body profiles. Those attributes were eating up a lot of precious space. I needed a box that was made for the big stuff. After shopping around and reading a lot reviews I found the Cliff's Bugger Beast from Cliff Outdoors.
     The Bugger Beast is one of the biggest fly boxes I have ever seen. It measures out at 13.5 inches long, 9 inches wide, and stands at almost 3 inches tall. That is so large that I can load up both sides of the box with huge flies and they don't get squished together. The foam inserts are slotted and hold the over sized hooks associated with these kinds of flies tightly in place. I have dropped the box a few times (oops), and later when I opened it up everything is neat and tidy.
     The Cliff's Bugger Beast is a well designed and thought out fly box. It holds the BIG flies you need when chasing the largest of predators. It even fits snugly behind the seat of my kayak. To get your own Cliff's Bugger Beast just follow the link.
     Tight Lines.



Installing a BooneDox Rudder

Stock Plastic
     While researching the new kayak the only complaint that came up in reviews was the turning radius.  Seems that while the speed of the Propel pedal drive is a major advantage on the water, it's small rudder was a bit slow when it came to turning the beast around.  Turns out that the stock plastic has inherent issues associated with flex under load.  Since I intend to put this kayak in a lot of different paddling situations I decided that something needed to be done so that I wouldn't have to deal with any of these issues on the water.  After a few Google searches I came across the BooneDox Rudder.
     Right out of the box I noticed that it didn't have a lot of parts.  Just a stainless steel bolt, white plastic spacer, and the BooneDox rudder.    It attaches simply to the Native Slayer Propel and Mariner Propel line of kayaks.  It extends the rudder length by about 3 1/2 inches.  This allows the kayak to turn noticeably quicker.  The BooneDox rudder is constructed of steel and has been powder coated to ensure a long rust free life.

The installation is super simple:
     Remove the center screw and rudder plate.  I know it looks intimidating, I kept envisioning C clips and springs shooting out all over the basement when I opened it.  Turns out the rudder plate is a solid piece or plastic so no worries removing it.
     Pull the stock rudder out of the cavity from the bottom of the kayak.  Place the white spacer on the BooneDox rudder then push the BooneDox back up and attach the plate.  Tighten the included stainless steel screw and your done.
     See nothing to it, probably the easiest thing you'll do all day.  Check out the BooneDox rudder if you own a Propel driven kayak from Native Watercraft.  They're made in the USA, and have a great reputation for quality in the paddlesports industry.
     Tight Lines.



Bobbing for Crappies

     I recently had an article I wrote published on Lake-Link.com.  It's a quick read that explains the use of spring and slip bobbers for late ice/early open water crappie fishing.  Check it out here if you get a chance.
     Tight Lines.