Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Post Work Fun...

Our hunt in the afternoon cancelled late, so myself, Mike Luongo, and Mike Steiner went over to the farm with Jack and his labs.  These dogs are impressive hunting machines. We have never hunting behind flushing dogs before and wanted to give it a shot. We put up nine birds and all went back to the ground rather quickly. Fun time for sure...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Birds & Labs...

The weather was fantastic Saturday. 

1st bird down....

Mas and Ron in the back of Jack's truck waiting their turn. 

I just love the colors that a ring neck has.

Jack giving the afternoon group their instructions prior to the hunt.

Jack wrapping Babe's front legs right before the hunt.

I worked on Saturday to assist for the four large hunts that we had going on at the farm. I had a great time as usual. I enjoy setting birds and the best part of the day was hanging out with Jack and his labs. Jack has been guiding with us this year and his dogs from Three Cedars Retrievers are fantastic. Babe is a pointer and the other three are flushing dogs. Only hunting behind my pointing dog, I was obviously intrigued by this style. I joined the hunt in the afternoon, more less shooting as well as a few videos. Mas is just on another level when it comes to hunting. I saw him make a 300 yard retrieve. Rather impressive I must say. All in all, it was a fun afternoon in the field taking in a upland hunt. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cleaning Session...

The before....
The after....

With the baby starting to become more mobile, I firgured I should be a bit more proactive and put my hooks away. This also gave me the opportunity to throw out a lot of junk that I have no need for anymore as well as listing a few items on eBay. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Portrait of Zoie...

I have been working on a project of late with one of the art teachers at my high school.  Ken Musko will be doing some fish art to be sold at The Shooting Academy at Nemacolin Woodlands in the Spring of 2014. There will also be an online store in the short future which will feature a sketch and release as well. Nevertheless, my mother works at the same high school that I work at as well. I had shown her some of the sample art pieces from Ken and she immediately asked him to have a piece completed of Zoie. I thought this was an awesome gift to add to my art in my man cave. The picture above doesn't do it any justice of the quality. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

He's not a bad shot....

I wasn't really into hunting when at the age of 12. I had only gone hunting for deer a few times with my dad, but my only memories of that included climbing a tree stand on a hill side when you scared to death of heights as well as freezing after being up there for only a few short hours. I now understand why I got Zoie a few years ago. It has been 18 years since I have hunted with dad and I really enjoyed it. After setting Zoie free, the wind was blowing pretty strong and she was working at a slow pace.  At that pace though, she was methodical in her search for a bird. Five minutes into the hunt, she locked up in a patch of sorghum. We approached and she repositioned herself and was within two feet of the bird. As I approached, it flush for a perfect quartering shot. Dad blasted the pheasant and let out a yell with a fist pump. First thought that came to my mind, "what an awesome shot." Zoie retrieved the bird perfectly.  We ended the afternoon with two birds in the bag and only missed one during the short hunt.  Zoie held her points well in the snow filled wind. She worked close and used the wind well to her advantage. I had also taken my 28 gauge side by side today. It is beginning to be my favorite gun.  Lightweight and fits me perfect.  Can't wait to do this again...

Clouser Minnows & Strip District...

Tied up some Clouser Minnows for smallmouth near the house. On a hot a sunny day, the more flash there is, equals more action.  I also use a lot of bead chain eyes when fishing low water conditions as well. For the belly of the minnow, I used white Angel Hair.  Pictured below is the Ice Dub Minnow Back Shimmer Fringe.  It was recommended to me early in the summer by Lynn at Woodlands World.  He has used it on some other patterns and really liked it properties. Using both materials in conjunction, I was able to skip a step in the process because no flash was needed.  

You get two solid patches to use in each pack. I will experiment with the other color variations as well.

UV Knot Sense in action.

Met up with Brian since he was in town for a few days. We decided to hit up the Strip District for some cultural food.  I'm not saying Wholey's is cultural, but it's just good comfort food.  Above is the famous Wholey's Whaler. One pound of fish on a Mancini bun and a side of lobster Mac and cheese.  Out of bounds is all I have to say.  

Probably the busiest day to be there.  A lot of ice being produced.

Great looking shellfish everywhere...

Everyday there are fresh lobster rolls being made as well...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Miracle - Dubic Palms Cafe 2013

Every Christmas over the past seven years, I have made a trip to Youngstown, OH to enjoy the Christmas Miracle with some close friends. Mainly this is a small get together of a bunch of football coaches in the Youngstown area. Home of some of the best football in Ohio. It's always a good time. Just a couple simple rules: No spouses, No Wine, and you must do a shot of plum brandy. (Croatian Tradition). It is tradition to have a shot of it so that it cleans your pipes. And that it does for sure. 
This time, they gave me a tour of the smoke house. I am very big into smoking meat, but this shack is sweet. Great air flow and everything is fired by cherry wood. Whole chickens, Lamb, Ham, and a whole pig on all at once. The drippings from each item is the trick here in order to keep them flavorful.  

My dad and his close friend Joe enjoying their time at the Palms Cafe. 

Bloody Mary to start the morning. I will be enjoying these over the Christmas break. Just need to get some celery salt to make them. 

If you like Heineken beer, this Croatian beer is a treat. Comes in a robust 16 oz bottle and is a smooth as it gets. Karlovacko is a crowd favorite here at the Dubic Palms Cafe. I think my brother and I will be trying to locate a case of this for the holidays.  

Fat Head Heifer Groomer

I had so much success in the past two years on the south fork of ten mile using just a basic yellow zoo cougar, so I decided it was time to give an articulated version a try as well. A lot of the patterns that I have enjoyed tying as of late are Kelly Galloup's works of art.  A rather simple tie that many new at the sport could replicate on their vise. This fly is also not weighted. In order to fish it properly in heavy water, a streamer line would be most beneficial. If you don't want to spring the cash for a new line and spool, Poly-leaders and sink tip systems will do the job for a fraction of the cost. Lastly, it appears that I may need to clean up my fly tying area. 


Tail/Body: Yellow Blood Quill Marabou http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=0183

Tail/Body: Yellow Blood Quill Marabou http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=0183
Head/Collar: Yellow Dyed Deer Body Hair http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=1559

Monday, December 16, 2013

White Gonga....

Solid night of tying tonight. I wanted to put together a white version of the Gonga to add to my aresenal. Myself and some of the other guides have done very well with large white streamers when flows were high and off color on the river.  The lazer dubbing really adds the right amount of sparkle.  Can't wait to push some water with this on the end of my 7 weight. 

Hook: 4xl streamer hook 2-6
Tail: white marabou
Body: uv ice dub - pearl & white schlappen palmered

Hook: 4xl streamer hook 2-6
Tail: white marabou
Body: uv ice dub - pearl & white schlappen palmered
Legs: white rubber legs
Wing: white pseudo hair
Eyes: yellow dumbbell painted eyes
Head: white senyo lazer dubbing

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Articulated Gonga

I have been on a big fly kick as of late. I really like the look of the Articulated Gonga. A rather easy tie as most of the other large streamers. I did substitute Olive Laser Dubbing instead of Olive Pseudo Hair for the head. I like the extra flash in Senyo's Dubbing. Need to just get my Helios Switch rod on the river with these slabs of meat in my cliff's box.  

Crane Fly Larvae Pattern....

Called into a place in Shadyside, Pittsburgh to find this Shetland Wool. Jamieson's wool is hard to find locally, but it is a must in order to tie up some Crane fly larvae. 

Finished product. Very heavy weighted and its shaggy appearance looks great.

Gotta love the endorsement from Hatcher. Apparently in worked very well. He said the fish could not resist them. I will have a load of these in my box for the river since we see a bunch of crane flies their late in the evening.

Resort Photo Shoot...

Slow day at Nemacolin with no trips, but Mike Steiner getting in a photo session for some new ads. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Upland Hunting with John and Zoie....

Panoramic view of the farm. Hatcher and I enjoying some Peach BirdDog Whiskey. If you look in the background, you can still see Zoie tracking a chukkar or two.
Sweet point and retrieve from Zoie on this quail. Nice way to get my 1st bird with my 28 gauge.

Zoie and I after the hunt. 

Cold after a bath, but she wouldn't haven't it any other way.

Steelhead Adventures with Mike & John

Pulled these from Steiner's Instagram. Warm day in Erie produced some nice fish. 

Steiner back in his old stomping grounds. 

His favorite part of this season. Concord Grapes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tired Dog After a Hunt....

 Not even 5 minutes on the road and she was wiped out. She did really well today. Two pheasant in the bag. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A few fish after the meeting...

Hit a stream in PA on the way back we never fished, it turned out well!!!  I will let the photos do the talking...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Orvis Dealer Summit...

Just a quick live look in at the meeting. Lots of good stuff happening for all in the Orvis Family (Guides/Dealers). Orvis is going to attack the industry over the next year, can't wait to watch it unfold. Fishing  update to follow in the next few days...


Nice looking brookie fooled on a copper john...

Great colors on this guy as well. 

After the heavy rains that we had off and on, we did manage to make the most of our guided trips to anywhere that was fishing good. This father and son worked Dunbar for a handful of brookies and a couple browns while nymphing in the morning. As the water began to clear a bit more, some Blue Quills were out and fish were starting to take a few.

Yough Float...

Mike with a hook up in the front of the boat.

Matt and Mike float a section while they drift down to pick me up.

Almost past this spot up, but made one cast to land this fish. Best bow from the river of the year..

Matt, Mike, and I floated the Yough  in July and I finally got around to posting some photos from the outing. Water was great when we started and the fishing was solid as well. About half way through, we noticed that the water levels have dropped significantly. This really turned the fishing off the second half of the day. But all in all, a 20 fish day on the river isn't too bad. All bows and not one brown all day.