Sunday, May 31, 2009

A New Switch Rod

At the end of July I will be purchasing yet another switch rod. I found my 8wt switch rod to be a great tool for certain species. I found myself yearning to get a 5wt switch rod. I will be purchasing another Deer Creek Switch Rod. I will be putting on is the Large Arbor Battenkill Number IV, and spooling it with the Rio Skagit Short 275 Grain. The hard thing was to find a rod in a lower price range that carried a warranty that I thought was a good deal. Now I want to chase fish at the other end of the spectrum. I want to skate dry flies for trout, and warm water species. Yes, for those who know me I said dry flies! Don’t faint I did not turn into a snob. I will still be chasing most of my fish subsurface. I have a large trip already planned for next spring to central Pennsylvania. I want to really work on my casting throughout the summer targeting rising fish. I will be chasing chubs, and whatever else that rise to feed! I will keep everyone up to date as the time gets closer. For now I’m tying flies for summer smallies and carp!

Wade Safe,

Tom G.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Teeth did this!

Tiny Yellow Stone
Carp, Smallmouth Outing with a Twist and Teeth!

I never think I’m going to catch fish. For the most part for people who know me say he would be happy just to hook fish. Well today I would fish some skinny water, and then a huge carp hole. I fed the trio of dogs grabbed my backpack then headed to the river. I used my 6wt on the skinny water hoping to find some smallies! I did manage one smaller Rock bass. After the Rock bass I noticed new silt, and sand devouring the creek bed. The rock formations where covered and the smallmouth habitat in this stretch is ruined. The agricultural runoff here is horrible, and has gotten a lot worse in the past 12 months! I left after walking 2 miles back to the truck. I went to the carp hole! This hole is known at least to me to have some piggies. There are several carp in this hole averaging 8-10 pounds. Armed with my switch rod and my 6wt I went walking down into the small gorge. I would get there at 10 o’clock. I decided for some odd reason to fish my switch rod first. I put a piece of T-11 6’ long and with that 8# test mono for the tippet. I used a 3” long olive tube fly. This tube fly looks like an olive sculpin or leech. I would D loop a little. I nailed a really nice 60’ cast. The cast fell I counted to 15 and began to strip slowly. I was hoping at this point a big Mr. or Mrs. Carp would snatch the tube fly. Well what I felt was thump, and then a little drag went out as this fish would lazily go to the middle of the pool. I knew this was bizarre for a carp. It did not thrash or head shake. I pulled on it and make sure the hook was set. The fish then came again slowly to shore well within 15 feet anyhow. There it was it’s not a carp it’s a musky I said to myself holy sh!t! Well with 8 pound mono as tippet this won’t last too much longer. The musky saw the shoreline and felt the pressure I was putting on it and decided to give me one musky roll and off it went! The switch rod did really well I loved the feeling of power it had with the esox! I will go there next time with a bite guard on the next trip. I was pretty tired at least my arm was. So I decided to put on a shad imitation on my 6wt and try for some carp! I put on my type 6 sinking line and hooked into a big carp! It did not run all it did wall roll, roll, and roll! It snoted up my line pretty bad “for anyone who has fly fished for carp you know what I mean”. The fight would last a few minutes finally I broke it off putting too much pressure on the fish. The hook came back screaming at me. That was the end of the day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Ohio River

Ohio River Pattern Photo By Jim S.

Well shes still producing fish from the spring, but times are getting lean already. The big mature Whipers are at the second gate at the dam. The river level IMHO was low, and thus the fish are farther out. I did take the egg beater and the switch rod today. Skipjacks where taking my Ohio River Pattern with reckless abandon, but the White Bass wanted hardware since they where over 85 feet from my casting range with the switch rod. The water was cool to the touch, but had alot of sand and silt still in the water colum. I will be heading out yet again on Monday in Indiana looking for Mr., and Mrs. Smallmouth!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Switch Rod Review

Switch Rod Review
By Tom Gribble

I remember when I purchased my first fly rod in 1993. I remember when I sold most of my fly fishing gear at the beginning of this darn recession. The switch rod craze caught me, and this would be a great time to reinvent myself as a fly fisherman. I purchased a Temple Fork Outfitters Deer Creek switch rod. This switch rod has a simple design by Bob Meiser and Mike Kinney. The rod is rated as an 8wt and for 400-600 grains and is 11 feet in length. The thread used on the blank is copper, and the wraps around the guides are blue. The blank has a great deep cobalt blue color to it. The rod blank in certain lights looks black almost. The ferrules of the rod blank are marked with alignment dots. The dots allow the angler to ensure he or she is putting the rod together correctly. The rods action is medium-slow. I have used this rod all over the Great Lakes Region. I have chosen two lines for this rod. I use the Scientific Angler Supra Skagit line WF-8-F that is rated for 550 grains. I have picked up a Scientific Angler Steelhead Master Series WF fly line in a 10wt. This line on this rod balances well. I use this line when I strap on a bobber to my line. The reel that I do use is the Orvis Large Arbor Battenkill Number 5. I cut 10 feet off the running line and now the line and 300 yards of gel spun backing fits like a dream. I have used several tips with this rod. I use T-8 in 2’, 3’, 4’, 5’, 6’, 7’, and 8’ lengths. I also use T-11 in 2’, 3’, 4’, 5’, 6’, 7’, and 8’ lengths. The power in the rod is amazing, and very light to cast all day. I have found myself with the correct conditions casting across medium size rivers and large creeks easily. The handle set up on the rod is spot on. There is ample room to change our hand anchor position with very little problem. The rear handle is the perfect shape and size in my opinion. I have targeted fish on larger Ohio River tributaries White Bass and Whipers. I have nothing but praise to say about the rod on those species of fish. I have also swung traditional tube flies for smallies and steelhead on large New York tributaries with no problem. The price point of this rod is $349.95, and accompanied by the warranty in my book it’s as good as gold. If you have any questions at all please contact me.

A nice hole!

A Steelhead from the trip!

Thanks Andy for the pic!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Great Lakes Fishing

Picture by Andrew G.

Picture By Andrew G.

Photo by Jim S.

Photo by Jim S.

Photo by Jim S.

The Smell of Smallmouth, Steelhead, and Wader Stew!

I left work on Tuesday 12th and I was so happy to leave the job site that we have been at since January. I knew I would be gone for 5 days. Jim would be joining me to New York for my annual Smallmouth trip. We drove to Akron, Ohio on Wednesday the 13th at 0930, but first Jim would have to deal with his devil house that tried to stop him from making the trip. We left Cincinnati at approximately at 1030 am. This would make us a little later getting to Akron, Ohio. No worries Andrew whom we would continue to drive with to New York would be working most of the day. We arrived at Andrews House to swap out cars, and transfer equipment to another car. With on stop at the Village Tobacconist in the mall we would continue northeast to our destination. Traffic was light on our way to the hotel. It never ceases to amaze me the characters you run into while on a fishing trip. I always attract the most intriguing people. For example Jim needed super glue for his dry hands to close some bad cracks in his fingers and hands. We found the super glue, and along with that Jim gets to verify with his 90% grey hair on his head that he is over 16! We found this a little ridiculous, but not as funny as the supervising check out lady informed us it’s a controlled substance for kids under 16. Someone needs to tell her about the one single hairy eyebrow she was sporting! It looked like a handle bar off my Schwinn banana seat bicycle when I was a kid. I could not take my eyes off of it I was drawn in like watching a train wreck! We then proceeded to get back onto the NY Turn Pike. Here I would notice the next funniest thing. The toll booth workers were not exactly doing cartwheels in their little huts! Throughout the time we spent up there we found they would not for the most part smile, say hi, have a good day, or even be friendly! If you hate your job I can understand that. If you’re going to handle giving out turnpike tickets all day and change back to the idiot that gives you a twenty instead of a dollar and thirty cents. You need to suck it up cause your using more muscles to make a frown that a smile! Well the hotel was clean and nice. The front desk had a mechanical breathing puppy in a bed behind the counter. This puppy was small and looked real. The puppy fooled me I said out loud; ”hey what kind of dog is that to the motel worker?” Hey said in response that’s a toy dog, and I repeated myself yet again. He said it is a toy. The dog was a toy and not a toy breed I felt so dumb after that. We all laughed because we thought the little turkey was real with his little tummy going up and down as if he was real and breathing. We would venture to a larger Lake Ontario tributary to fish for Steelhead. We would connect with six steelheads, but only landed three of them. I used my switch rod a 585 grain Skagit Supra SA line counting the eight feet of T11. This set up would be used the whole trip along with my TFO TiCr 6wt armed with a WF line. The Steelhead took a grey/white Finn Raccoon spey tube fly. The tube was a copper 1/2” tube lined. The grey and white was alternated with some flashabou mixed in the center. We then left the larger Lake Ontario tributary to go to a larger Lake Erie tributary. The smallmouths were feeding with reckless abandon. They ate clousers, leeches, and deceivers. The fly hook sizes ranged from 1-2/0. Clousers that were used came in many different colors. The colors ranged from black over white, yellow over white, olive over white and light tan over white. Some of the patterns used did have red tied behind the eyes to look like gills. We would hook into so many smallmouths we tried to see what we could not catch them on. After three days of this, and being beaten by 20-40 mph wind gusts we were ready to come home. I know Andy, Jim, and I had a great time. Its funny how things work out sometimes even though some people out there do not know what’s available to them to fish for in their back yard, “there's smallmouth in that body of water”. Wader stew was a joke during the trip due to all the sweat and the cooking of man utensils!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Well World.....

..I will be very busy for the next few days gearing up for the smallmouth trip to NY. I will be gone from 5/13 - 5/18. I will have plenty of pictures. I will also be writing a detailed review of the my switch rod the Deer Creek 11' 8wt.

Take care and wade safe see you when I get back,

Tom G.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Warm Water Swinging

Holy cow the creek dropped like a rock. This creek has an amazing amount of gradient in it for being a tributary of the Ohio River. I did swing flies for the white bass. The pattern was the same as last time. Grey and white Finn Raccoon palmered forward with a few strands of holographic flashabou tyed onto the tube. The day was nice over cast and 70 degrees! I did not see another soul fishing today since everyone including myself thought everything was completely blown out.
Take care all,
Tom G.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Steelhead Swinger

The following tube fly is tied by Nick Pionessa of the Oak Orchard Fly Shop in New York "he does a better job of tying this pattern than I do obviously". I have added a red throat to it. I thought I would share this pattern due to the warm water species that I will be targeting with it. Nick calls it the “Steelhead Swinger”. With the dumb-bell eyes it will sink like a rock. The tube is 7/8” long, and can be made from just a plastic tube, or a metal tube. I used the old prismatic holographic eyes made by Metz. The body can be anything you feel like placing on the tube for cover. The spine can be rabbit of any color. The belly is just folded schlappen. The red throat is placed between the tube and the schlappen or between the rabbit strip and the tube. The Oak Orchard Fly shop has several other patterns for the Great Lakes Basin that are on their website at


Tom G.