Wednesday, August 31, 2016


So, yesterday I opened up Instagram on my iPhone and thought I'd check the #glassisnotdead hashtag to see who had been posting what.  I knew the numbers of photos tagged with #glassisnotdead were getting up there, but I caught it just as the number hit 25,000 posts.

How crazy is that? 

I was an early adopter to Instagram and it's been interesting to see this application grow and change over the years.  I know that hashtags can and are way overused but #glassisnotdead will always be something that I'll always be stoked about since it's allowed myself and others to follow along with the experiences (even the road trip pizza pie) that came from fly fishing with fiberglass fly rods.

So, if you're posting on social media please remember to tag your fiberglass fly rod adventures with #glassisnotdead.  I really enjoy seeing the images and I know others do too.


Last night I got back to my hotel room and noticed a video several friends on Facebook had shared on their pages.  I clicked through and was half expecting it to be just a couple minute flick as must social media videos are.  What I instead found was a really interesting almost twenty-eight minute film highlighting not only concerns over an aging oil line but also the story of friends fun hogging their way through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan surfing, trail running, biking, and soaking up everything that is awesome about this Great Lakes state.

The film highlights Line 5, a sixty-three year old but actively used oil pipeline, that runs through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, under the Straits of Mackinaw, and down across the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the growing concerns of the repercussion of what an oil spill would do to this pristine area.

Take some time and watch the full film.  You can find more information on the For Love Of Water and Oil and Water Don't Mix websites and get involved to support the work that is being done to keep an environmental tragedy from happening.

As a Michigan native, this hits home and things need to be done sooner than later.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

6 Good Reads

I am sitting in class in Nashville this week and while putting this together this early morning I realized that each story that I had put away for this post has a theme of travel and searching out new experiences on the water.

Enjoy each of these stories but don't blame me if you suddenly need to pack up the vehicle and get out of town.  I'm thinking that Belize is only two and a half weeks away...








Can you believe that September is just a couple days away?  Howler Brothers is kicking things off by dropping the Fall 2016 Collection which is full of sharp looking pieces for the coming cool days on the water and fireside nights with family and friends.

Visit the Fall 2016 Collection page to see what's new and remember to use the discount code "TFM14" for 20% off your order on most items.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The B.I. Chronicles - Goodbye Until Next Summer

When I think back over the years (six and counting) that I've made trips to Beaver Island, it seems like the last day almost always gets weathered out which ends up being totally fine with the group since after a week on the island it feels like time to go home.
On the last morning it also takes me a bit of time as host to button up the house, pay the bill at the Dalwhinnie Bakery & Deli and tip the girls out, make any last minute flight over arrangements with Island Airways to get back over to the mainland, and finally, get everything squared away with Captain Kevin Morlock of Indigo Guide Service as far as guide fees for the group.  The conversation with Kevin also includes locking in the week for the upcoming year and then making sure The Fisherman's House is reserved as well.  Over the years I've found it's easier to work this all out while still on the island instead of emails and phone calls over the winter.

We woke on the final morning to the winds kicking up and after breakfast it was decided that three of us would stay on the island until afternoon, walking into a couple spots and battle the wind, while the other three would take an early flight over and begin their drive back southward. 

After I had all my hosting duties done, Kevin and I jumped in his truck and drove to several places where we walked in to see if we'd find any carp cruising the shoreline in the off color chop of the waves.  We ended the half day near town and had a few carp slow cruise by with one legitimate shot that I promptly screwed up.  Oh well. 

We waited for awhile longer and then decided to call it.  It was time to head to the airport and then begin the long road trip home to South Carolina.  It had been an excellent week and I am already looking forward to next June to enjoy another week on the island.

Thanks again to the group that tagged along this year and for the hard work by Captain Kevin Morlock, Captain Steve Martinez, and Captain Austin Adduci of Indigo Guide Service making sure we saw a lot of the area and had more than our fair share of shots at carp, smallmouth, and pike.

KICKSTARTER - Sport Bumper: Ski Bumper/Sportsman Bumper Mini

You might remember that over a year ago I posted a quick T.F.M. review on the Sportsman Bumper and since then it's always on the back of the golf cart that we run back and forth from the house to the family pond.  It continues to be a great product and keeps fly rods and spinning rods upright instead of laying in the grass or leaning up against something only to be blown over in the wind and stepped on.

I wanted to tip everyone off that Sport Bumper has a new Kickstarter campaign going on for the newest version of the Ski Bumper and the Sportsman Bumper Mini.

Click PLAY to learn more...

I don't have a ton of use for the Ski Bumper but the Sportsman Bumper Mini is kind of genius as it's small but very useful in keeping track of fly rods or possibly a firearm.

Click through to the Kickstarter page and consider supporting this new project.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Places With No Names - Rolling The Dice

Sunday morning I was up early since I needed to pack up and move out of the hotel room in Sheridan and then meet up with Guide Clark Smyth of Rock Creek Anglers for a day on the water with friend and fly tier, Al Ritt.  We met at the Fly Shop of the Bighorns, picked through the fly bins for a few tricos patterns of course more hoppers and we were on the road just after 7 a.m. after a quick gas station stop for coffee and breakfast on the go.  We drove north to jump the state line into Montana and we were on our way for a twenty mile river float.

When we arrived at the boat landing it was kind of an early morning zoo with drift boats already on the water, guides meeting up with clients in the parking lot, and more drift boats behind pickup trucks rolling in as well.  Clark off loaded the Adipose while Al and I readied our gear and fly rods.  I had never been on this river and there were trout rising here and there even through the traffic jam of the launch. 

Minutes later we pushed off and though we could see birds already swirling around overhead on tricos, Clark's plan was to roll the dice and push past all the boat traffic to get out in front of other boats before the tricos started falling on the water.  This gave Al and I time to check leaders, tie on tippet, and then tie on flies to be ready when it was time to start casting.

As we pushed through the first several miles of river, we started seeing a good rise here, and there, and a few more over there.  Those rises turned into pods of trout in the slack water rising to tricos.  Clark slowed down his push to give Al and I a chance at casting at a few trout and it wasn't long before we both had caught a couple to get the stink off the boat.  

We continued our push ahead for awhile with the occasional stop to cast to a pod of trout that we just couldn't pass up.  We'd get a rise or two and then move on.  Clark wanted to make sure that we were well ahead of the others and as we were approaching a large island in the middle of the river we noticed a string of pods lined up on the right side of the river with actively feeding trout on tricos and then in the middle of the river ahead of a large island, another large group of trout were feeding as well.  This looked like a great place to stop and Clark dropped anchor on a shallow gravel bar.  Al and I hopped out of the drift boat and the cold water felt good wet wading.

Al took off to the edge of the river while I opted to walk upstream to cast to the trout that were feeding by the dozens in the middle of the river just ahead of the island.  Standing in the river you could hear the noise of the riseforms as the trout slurped down every trico they could see. 

The rolling of the dice totally paid off since we had the river to ourselves for almost two hours while we all worked rising trout on small trico patterns.  My preferred setup was a size 18 trico spinner (with pink wings) with a size 20 trico CDC wing emerger off the back.  More times than not the emerger was the winner but rises on the dry fly were fun to see as well.

Since we had quite a few miles to go, Clark suggested that we kept moving forward.  It was still thirty minutes or so before we saw our first boat coming up behind us and it was so great to have all that water to ourselves for so long.

The tricos finally gave up the ghost by late morning so Al and I changed tactics with hoppers on top with or without a small nymph dropped off the back.  We caught a few trout but things slowed down quite a bit from the success of the morning.  Thinking back, especially as it clouded up and turned stormy in the afternoon, I likely should have tossed a streamer but it's hard to break the hopper habit when there's a chance of a big snout coming up to eat it.

Late afternoon and conditions quickly changed from cloudy to looming thunderstorms in the area.  Clark pushed hard on the oars as a storm built up behind us and a heavy rain pushed down as we pulled up to the take out which made for a quick drift boat load onto the trailer, unloading of gear into the trunk, and in minu

Al and I have talked about fishing together for quite a few years now so this was just a perfect day (even with the storm at the end) to share on the water.  Clark Smyth of Rock Creek Anglers put a lot of river miles behind us and along the way showed us around, along with pointing out literally hundreds of trout, on a gorgeous river.  This was my last day on this trip on the water and a great way to wrap up an incredible experience.

GEAR NOTES - Adipose drift boats are crazy spacious so it was no problem to bring a couple fly rods along for the day.  I started the morning with the Swift Fly Fishing Epic 480 paired with an Abel Reels TR2 and the Swift Fly Fishing Glassline four weight double taper fly line.  This is a dry fly dream outfit and certainly one that I reach for over and over.  Clark hadn't fished any of the Epic offerings and was impressed as well.

When I switched over to hoppers, I opted for the Livingston Rod Co. Western Glass 8'6" five weight with an Orvis CFO III lined with Scientific Anglers SharkWave GPX.  The focus of rod maker Dusty Smith with his designs of the Western Glass line up is that they are capable and progressive in taper and this one was made for hoppers inside and out.  I had a great time casting this fly rod throughout the afternoon and I've found my new favorite hopper rod for sure.