Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brown Trout On The Swing!

So many things contributed for me to go fish the Mad River today! We got a lot of rain over the past week! Ohio got so much rain that almost every fishable piece of water was unfishable in a 3-4 day span of time. I took my tube flies and my friend and we went to fish the maddening river! No bobbers where used by me today "shocker", and no lead was used by me either! This river has driven me to drink. This river as far as technical fly fishing goes in Ohio this is number one! We would hook up with about 20 browns the largest being hooked by me would spit the hook due to me smoking a cigar with my wrong hand! This would pose a costly mistake. He or she would have been at least 20” plus brown trout. O well this is why I love to swing flies with a switch rod such a new challenge. I would break out the 5wt Deer Creek switch rod by TFO. This time my switch rod would be loaded with 350 grain Skagit and a 6.6’ of T-8. The flows where med-high high flows! These conditions would turn out to be perfect for fishing sculpin style tubes in olive! The air temp was in the mid to upper 30’s and the water temp was about the same! Well folks take care and enjoy the pics! Fishing is not over with yet! Thanks Lou you have made me fall back in love with her yet once again!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wrong Weather Report, Great Company, Fishless, Great Water Conditions

Well I hope everyone who has read my blog to date had a good Thanksgiving holiday. We are driving back from a fishless adventure. I'am fine with being fishless due to the fact there are more important things going on while you're fishing than just catching fish. Take for instance fishing with friends and catching up with you and reconnecting with there lives and the good the bad and of course the ugly. We arrived in New York on Friday at 0530 and suited up. We would arrive on the spit of sand awaiting daylight and mind you this was on Friday. Walking downstream we saw several head lamps turn like a warning to a plane where not to land. I laughed with my buddy Andrew that they see us walking down and afraid we would crowd them. I'am not that type of guy who gets close enough to smell your wader stew! I would begin to fish tubes all day and swing flies. I would be fishing my Deer Creek 8wt Switch rod loaded with the SA Compact Skagit 550 grain. The tip of choice would be a 6ft section of T14. The flows of this Lake Ontario tributary was awesome moderate to high flow depending on what part of the river you where standing in. No fish would be hooked in this first section of the river. We would press on farther up stream to a much more popular fishing hole to find only two people standing there. We crossed the river only having to recross the river due to the flows to actually get safely to the other side of the hole. I would yet again have ample room to swing more flies. I was using colors such as chartreuse over yellow, chartreuse over orange, yellow over orange, and grey over white with a mallard flank collar. All tubes would be tyed on plastic tubes except for the grey over white. The grey over white is on an Eumer tube in silver. This tube would give me one head shaker and that would be my only action of the day. The weather was bright and not very nice for a steelhead outing. The water was very cool probly in the forties. We would take yet another drive to go find new water and hopefully some fish. The fishing in the first tributary in years past has fallen off dramatically and in my opinion it cause less people to show up so it is a win win situation. For the most part it was a great trip to spend with Andrew. I did get some great landscape shots. Please enjoy your stay.

Tom G.

PS I will post the pics when I get back to Cincinnati

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Holiday

I would like to thank everyone who has come to my blog and to wish you and yours a safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Tom G.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Casting, Casts, and Swinging Flies!

Well today would be one of my biggest tests of two handed casting. I loaded my rod with a head of T14 in 14 foot (196 Grain) and 12 foot (168 Grain) lengths. I have a Deer Creek Switch rod that’s an 8wt (400-600 grain). I loaded it heavy today. I was able to cast and turn over large deceiver patterns made of deer hair with little to know problem. My anchor placement was further out of the water, and the head was closer to my hand in the rod guides. This is going to happen with a slower rod like the one I own. I like the slow action rods I feel more of the fight and casting effort than most on the water’s edge! I did manage to swing and hook up with one little plump smallmouth! Well the water levels where great, and the weather was warm. Remember when casting the less effort you physically put into the cast the better your casting stroke will be! I did find a fossilized cast from the Pleistocene era, and a piece of fossilized coral. It is amazing to me when you can find lying on the ground when you’re just relaxing enjoy the pics.

Take care all.

Tom G.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Driving, Soaked, Sleep Deprived, Hungry, and Mother Nature’s Canvas

Well I found a crack in my oar that I use for my pontoon boat so floating the Watauga River in Tennessee was out of the question. I found this on Wednesday, and needed to figure out a fix quick! I thought what in the world I’m I going to do now! Well after a long night’s sleep and feeling depressed I called up a good friend in Northeast Ohio and asked if I could crash at his house for a few days. Mind you I call my buddy at 0639 on Thursday! They said come on up and stay with us! I acted like a little school kid again. I then realized I was going to have an easy day in the office on Thursday. I asked my direct manager if I could take off as soon as I had 4 hours in the office. He said I don’t have a problem with that. His response gave me the green light. I told my wife and she said go. I got home swapped out trout dries for steelhead swinging flies! I checked my gear a few times loaded up the truck kissed Carolyn “my wife” good bye and said your awesome thanks! There I was 75 MPH and bound for the Great Lakes shoreline. I must have looked like a mad man trying to get out of southwest Ohio. I arrived on Thursday night at Joe and Wendy’s’ house and we sat around telling stories how I once woke up to 36” snow drifts and me in panic mode! O good times I said, and we all laughed. I was not sure where to fish on Friday. I thought about going automatically to New York, but good friends of mine where telling me to remain in Ohio. So I did fish Ohio on Friday. I was worried about guides getting to my spot before me, and so I was there out of sure boredom 2 hours before dawn! I had so much time on my hands I had a Cliff Bar for breakfast and smoked a cigar. I stared at objects that I thought where moving, and come to find out they were not. I did however scare the raccoon half to death by almost taking a nap on the river’s edge awaking to him scuffing his claws on the rocks! I turned my head lamp on him hoping what I was going to see was not a coyote! It was a cute lil fur ball that about tripped over backwards when I hit him with my head lamp at about 15 feet away! Needless to say I remained awake after that. The sun came up and I proceeded to swing my 5wt switch rod with a trusty olive tube fly! I swung that switch rod for about 3 hours and nothing! I switched tips from T8-T11 from 1’-6” to 4’-6” ad nada! I know this is fishing but wow no takers. This was not typical of this run/pool I was at. I said ok time to succumb to the Great Lakes mentality. I placed my other spool on my switch rod and dumped the Skagit into my back pack for a weight forward Steelhead taper. I placed a bobber onto the leader some split shot an egg pattern and a size 14 olive caddis. I nymphed my little arse off in staging water, fall holding water, and then for the sake I need to look there in winter holding water. My bobber went under I set the hook and there she came out of the black tannic stained water. She was not a happy camper. She immediately took me towards a tree and I pulled her out of that with side pressure keeping her off balance. She then took me for a walk down through two large holes in about a 300 foot stretch. I would then land her tailing her, and then asking myself, “How I’m I going to get a picture of this large hen”! I called to a complete stranger whom almost drowns earlier that morning trying to cross the river in one of the worst areas. I asked him if he would mind taking a picture of this fish. He gasped and said she huge, and I said yes she made my day for sure. Well after taking that single fish my whole entire weekend was made. Years past she did not give up a fish like that to me so that day, and that moment was her gift to me! I would share some water with this new friend of mine, and try and help him connect with a fish before leaving him for the day. I then noticed how black the water was from the tannic stain of the leaves. It was so bad I was not surprised I did not connect with a steelhead due to the floating leaves. There were so many leaves it looked like all the leaves in northeast Ohio came to that creek that morning for a swim! I saw only one guide and his clients on that river in the morning. I did hook the fish below him so it was a happy day! So I hauled my carcass out of the river to return to base camp! The colors on the tree where basically done but you could tell it was an amazing fall as far as colors go. I would then drive to New York on Saturday. I awoke at 0200 to be on the river at 0530. I drove through a rain storm that was so bad I almost stopped to look out for Noah’s Ark. It was coming down in sheets, and I’m not going to talk about that gail force winds! So off to the river to see some old friends! It was good to fish with them. We would be in the rain all day long! I was dry on the inside, but soaked everywhere else. I would not have heavy enough tips to get my flies down to the fish. I had to use the eggbeater! Sorry to disappoint you, but sometimes you need to know your limits! I hooked two fish and landed one! Well this is it so enjoy the pics! I’ll be returning to the promise land the day after Thanksgiving!
Take care,

Tom G.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hang in there folks!

There will be lots a pictues of fall foilage, and little fish porn! The fishing has been good by my standards, and headed to NY in a few hours!

Be well,

Tom G.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rant Vultures, Mosquitos, Leeches!

Local Fly Shop Going Out of Business Rant!

Why when a local fly shop closes people you have never seen before at the shop flock to the shop. They have never been to the shop before. When some ones down on their luck you are the first ones to go there and get some great deal! Karma that’s all I will say! You will get yours believe me! The Karma fish is watching. Good luck SW I will be in touch!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Double Taper 7wt

Yes friends a Double Taper casts like a dream on the Switch Rod. Dry action has begun on this rod! To bad its later in the season! I can overhead cast it, and roll cast 25' or less. I can pick up a considerate amount of the line off the water and trap the line and recast to the same holding lie two handed! I ordered another Skagit Compact 375 grain it will be here just before the trip to Tennessee!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

5WT Deer Creek Switch Rod Post 1

Well today was the maiden voyage of the 5wt Deer Creek switch rod. I have to say I’m really impressed with its abilities thus far. I lined one spool of the mid-arbor reel with a Rio Skagit Short 275 Grain and it does not load the rod well in my opinion. For short casts under 40 feet you will be fine, but any greater distance you will be at a disadvantage. The second line I put on my other spool was don’t laugh a triangle taper! I put a 10wt triangle taper on it to see how the rod would react. This line rod combo will be a blast for warm water species sight fishing to carp, gar, and smallmouth! I have ordered a 375 grain compact Skagit from Rio from my local shop. I’m hoping all will be better! Sunday I’m going out to cast a 7wt Double taper on my 5wt switch. I hope this will be a little more finesse than the 10wt triangle taper “lol”! Here are some random shots from today! O yes almost forgot I did not catch any trout, but I did catch bluegills on a dry fly today in the frog water!
Tom G.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Waters Are Fishable!

I'll have the new 5wt switch rod out swining for the fence Saturday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Reels and the 5wt switch rod are here!

I have spooled up the Orvis Mid Arbor wit ha 275 Skagit Rio line ,and about 200 yards of backing along with a 10wt Wolf Trinagle taper again with about 200 yards of backing. This set up will be for small steelhead and inland tailwater trout I see no reason for more backing! I will have pics next week, and hopefully this rain will have subsided and I can fish them both! i'm really excited about this. Stay tuned it will be worth the weight I think!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Otter Box

We have all been there and said “I wish I had a hard case to carry my cigars, keys, cell phone, lighter, and digital camera”. The Otter Box Company has come through for me for years now. I have taken this to fish in the ocean, and all the fresh water you can imagine. I have never had a problem with these cases. They can be found at The Otter Box’s’ have dovetail construction closing latches that ensure that the object inside stays inside. There are several boxes that have a liner in them. I like the yellow color the best due to its high visibility! I have lost my cigars in the surf and they remained dry 20 minutes later when I found them adrift in the rocks!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Big Mix Up on the Reels!

Hang in there folks. The shop messed up my order for the reel! It should be here in about 2 weeks! Grr the 5wt switch rod is collecting dust!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Custom Fly Wallet

We have all said at one time or another, “why there is so much stuff made overseas anymore?” There are several answers to that riddle! I have found a craftsman of leather goods right here in the United States “imagine that”. His name is Marc Crapo of Ashton, Idaho and his website is I was looking for something truly unique for my smaller flies. I’m constantly changing flies and placing the wet ones next to the dry ones. I’m tired of the colors bleeding onto each other before they dry. I called Marc and inquired about a fly wallet. The fly wallet I have is 8”X4” close and open the fly wallet is 8”X8”. This fly wallet retails for $179.00 US dollars plus shipping and handling. The full grain leather wallet is made from a whitetail deer in his region. The artistry is what really drew me to his work as you can tell by the brown trout I had him place upon the wallet. The button is honed and shaped by him is antler and is another detail that gives the fly wallet added touch. The perspective I had Marc duplicate on the fly wallet was not easy. I was holding this fish as you can see in the comparison photo! The fly wallet is a direct representation of the photo. So many times we see art that does not look like the photo! The lining of the wallet is 3/4” thick sheep’s wool, and is 1” smaller than the outside dimensions of the fly wallet. I will have this fly wallet for a long time, and I plan on using and abusing it allot. Thanks Marc for your truly unique creation. Marc wanted me to tell anyone whom may want a wallet crafted by him to contact him and mention this article. If you mention this article in the next 30 days from today 08-25-09 he will discount the price by 30% by placing an order in the next 30 days.
Tom G.

Hang in there folks!

I have been working like a madman the past 2 weeks! My fly lines are at the fly shop waiting for me to pick up. I'm going to try a triangle taper on the switch rod and see how it casts. The reel is on its way in the mail. Work has been just really busy with all the tri-state emergencies!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New Purchase!

Well I'm a owner of the Deer Creek 5wt Switch Rod. The new reel is on order, and all I have to do is wait! I'm really excited I'm going to match the reel and rod with the Rio Skagit Short Fly Line in a 275 grain! I'm going to be really doing alot of swinging flies with this for all warm water speicies and some cold water ones too! This will start a whole new tube tying pattern for me! Not only will I have sinking tips custom made by me, but will also have new custom floating tips!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Team Dramamine

Remember the time when you were 20 years old and bullet proof? I remember the days putting on my Marine Corps uniform and feeling that way. Well these past days going out and trolling for salmon would put me back in my place and remind me how old I’m “being out of the Marine Corps for 17 years”. We set out for Ludington, Michigan at 1930. We arrived at the launch site a little later than planned “due to our driver had a little lapse in navigation memory”, but that was ok by me Lake Michigan was going nowhere! Mike the fishing would prove to be just as hot buddy! We shipped out of the boat launch to fish the area called the bath tub to the stick! The bathtub was more like a very very shallow depression. We ran out there in 1 foot or less waves that day. I was feeling like a little boy going fishing for the first time. Eric L was kind enough to be willing to take a true greenhorn trolling for King Salmon. I thought to myself sure it would be tough we got the whole lake to find fish, but never truly grasped the concept until after our trip how much of a science it really is! I noticed on the color monitor that was the fish finder a huge ball of something down at 50 FOW “feet of water”. We placed our down riggers at 35-40 FOW using Lyman plugs. I had Eric write a little about the plugs. Eric L writes, "I was introduced to Lyman plugs a few years ago during a fall trip to Ludington. Plugs have always been a late season staple for great lakes trollers but most of the plugs used are hollow plastic with a Dacron & bead chain harness to hold the hooks. Lyman lures are wood plugs, made in Canada with the hooks permanently attached. The action of these wood plugs is where I believe their advantage lies. Not only does the plug swim like any crank bait but it also has a random darting / searching motion that have to be seen to be appreciated. I have found these plugs to produce year round and I always have at least one in my spread. Good colors are your typical greens, silvers, blues, and my personal favorite glow mother of pearl. These plugs are a little hard to find but well worth the effort, as was proven once again on this last trip where they accounted for over 70% of our total catch including one beautiful 18 lb male Chinook." We hooked up on our second pass with the full lead core going off c click click click click click click click click…… the reel went screaming as Eric yells fish fish fish! Eric gave me the rod and it was fish on! I was amazed on how I could still feel the fish even though it was anywhere from 100’-200’ away and on heavy tackle! So there we were a double within 1.5 hours or trolling. Good electronics and a keen since of what to look for were key in hooking fish on this trip. With the day rolling on we would hook 7 and land 6 on Friday. We would go back the ramp late on Friday and get to camp. The following day would be a whole weather different day! We awoke to 10-20 knot winds and we heard the surf pounding the break wall! We set out in the boat that was build for this type of fishing! Everyone except Mr. Bulletproof took Dramamine! This would prove to me that I’m that old! We hit the open water and due to Eric super coxswain abilities we trolled on! Eric new his limits! All boaters should have their head screwed on tight when getting on the big water! We got slammed by 2-4 waves all day from sunup to sundown! All of a sudden the full lead core goes off on my side, and I set the hook on a fish that said let go for a walk! He took more line off the reel, and I got nervous! I was really nervous! The lake was raging and I was fighting a big fish. This fish would take probably about 100 more yards of line out until I got it all reeled in. I reeled him close the boat and finally saw just how large he was! He would be about 19 pounds and still really not happy with the Lyman plug in his mouth! That King headed straight for the planer board we had out on our other line! I thought you have to be kidding me! Eric said ok hold on hold on and said hmm lets adjust a little! Eric would reel in the planer board and I continued to fight the fish. Erics’ dad Mike was at the helm at that time and oddly enough when the fishing was good he would always be driving! Well after holding my breath and praying to the great king in the sea Eric would net the fish and the Lyman plug just fell out of his mouth! I nearly fell to my knees knowing it was all pressure keeping that fish hooked! I held the rod high keeping maximum pressure on the fish ensuring a better hook and land fish ratio! I was amazed at the strength of these fish. We all cheered and slapped the king in the cooler! Then the long 8 nautical mile ride home started! Well with 4 foot swells and me just finishing my last cigar for the day we headed in. I was ok for the first 4 nautical miles, but then Mother Nature made my belly turn to jelly! Everything started to get warm on my body! My lips began to dry up and I knew this was not good. Mike started to get bad also, and Eric was like this is fun “yea right”! For a solid 20 minutes I felt like true crap! I was amazed at the feeling. I never ever had this before so not feeling so bulletproof I stared at the blackest horizon I could find and concentrated on it. We made it back to our safe harbor. Eric and I pulled to boat to the dock on the windward side and Eric said,” wow that guy is coming in to fast watch him smoke the dock”! The guy smacked the stuffing right out of the wooden pier that the dock was attached too. He ripped his antenna off the side due to the boat dipped like a football player lowering his shoulder! So we headed to the nice campground for the trip! We then decided to sleep in the next day. I went to take a shower and the monsoon started! We missed it by seconds lightning and wind. I curled up like a little puppy in my sleeping bag and fell fast asleep! I could have slept on a bag of nails that night. We awoke to blue bird skies and a lot of wind well not as much as yesterday! We trolled the same areas, and got blanked that’s fine with me I thought. We went to fish out of Pentwater, Michigan for the evening bite. We would go and find our next lodging camp ground. Now when you think of camping you probably don’t think about how close to your neighbor you will be. At Charles Mears State Park you would be so close to your next door neighbor you could hit them with a spit wad up wind! I caution all people who would go there to camp if you want quiet days, and quiet nights’ buddy this is not the place! If you like parking at the mall at Christmas time and setting a tent there this place is for you. The lake at this location would show us a little love but not much. I did catch a Lake Trout on one of my tube flies on a down rigger! That was cool to see that fish on my new creation! We would run form a storm or two but with Erics good coxswain abilities and taking no chances we remained safe! I do have to comment on three idiots kids who saw us towing a large boat with a large truck and kept on staying at the fuel pump not letting us pull up to the pump! I walked up to the car and asked them are you done? They said yes they are waiting on some one. I said well can you move so we can fuel up due to your done? He said no we are waiting on our friend. I said you pulled up here to gas your car, and since we are taking up three counties with our vehicle I think you should be kind enough to move so we let traffic through, and park in front of the building where your friend walked in. He sat there and I pulled out my Marine tone and said move now! He moved me mugging me the whole way, what a little tool-bag! Well we drove home after fishing the same water on Sunday morning! Beat down and tired, and yet one more scenic tour “lol” we made it home safely! Thank you Eric, and Mike you guys are good folks!
Tom G.
2-5's and 2-2's ! !

Lots of driving, sleep deprived!

Well just got back last night from Lake Michigan, and I'm pretty wooped! In the next 3 days I will post the trip report!

Tom G.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I will be leaving for Michigan soon!

I must warn you there will be blood and fish porn hopefully. We will be using some trolling tube flys that I have tyed up. My family would like some salmon, and that’s what we will be trolling for.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

O Rubber Lips with a side of Smallie and a Sprig of Gar

Fished in Ohio today and I was on the prowl for Mr. Rubber Lips. This time of year is the only time I sight fish for anything. Most of the tributaries here in southern Ohio are low. I took out the switch rod and went to the river. The morning coolness would slow the carps’ metabolic rate a little, and would give me ample time to stalk Mr. Rubber Lips! I would look from a high bank and spot fish, and then traverse the river to fish from the opposite bank to cast into their feeding lie. I put on an olive tube tied with olive Finn Raccoon and olive flashabou. This tube would be a 1/2” copper tube followed by a number 2 red octopus style hook. I started with 8 pound tippet “mistake”, and proceeded to watch the fish feed. Their tails would come across the top of the water as they made their lazy way up stream. I waited until the sun broke the tree line and shined down on the water for about a half hour. I used a 3.5 foot section of T8 accompanied with a 3’ section of 8 pound tippet. I was casting from 30 feet away to ensure I would not spook the quarry. Carp have an amazing knack for knowing where any angler is at any time once you enter there domain. I think me casted 3 times and then the carp picked up my tube fly and did one head shake and broke me off! I must have sounded like a little school kid yelling that someone stole my lunch money. I was so happy and mad all at the same time. I swung a fly and the carp took it. Not only did the carp take the fly on the swing, but broke me off and left me standing there as if to say now what! I would tie on another fly “but leave the 8 pound test tippet on dumb move”. I would tie on another leach/sculpin pattern this time and this fly was more elaborate than the other I had lost previously. Well remember when your teachers used to say to you history does repeat itself? I found another willing participant to take a fly, but this time it was in faster deeper moving water. I would set the hook it would turn sideways in the current and snap my tippet like it was horsehair tippet. I was a little sad but I had no one to blame but myself! I needed to change my setup but I did not and I paid the price. I would site fish to six other carp much smaller than the others with no joy. I would pick up and access the river just above the estuary water. I would find four smallies that could not refuse my shad pattern. I also jumped a 24” gar today that took an olive leech spey. All in all it was a great little outing. I really recharged my batteries. I sat upon a gravel bar today to watch the birds, and to smoke a cigar to think about Buckeye. I was home early but happy.
Wade Safe, Tom G