A short fishing trip

A few days back, my father-in-law and friend, and I traveled over to a new place to fish. My friend had a float trip on the Huron River a few weeks prior, and I had really wanted to get over to try out the fishing on this warm water fishery.

I’ve heard stories of the late-August hex hatch combined with a river full of smallmouth bass, and I had dreams of hooking into a slew of smallies. The reality was we had a fun time exploring some new water, stopping at a new fly shop, and hooking into a handful of fish.

We stopped at Colton Bay Outfitters before we hit the water, because I wanted to pick up a couple hex flies just in case. I also picked up a couple streamers and a book on the Huron written by local fisherman Dirk Fischbach.

We headed out to one of the metro-parks that lie along the river north west of Ann Arbor, and found a nice little spot with a short hike to the river. After a long while, my father-in-law caught a giant creek chub a ways down from where I was standing.

fil_fish

Both him and my friend hooked into a smallie, but I came up empty handed as we decided it was time to move onto a different location. We loaded up in the car and headed down to the next metro-park, and hopped into a nice section of the river. My father-in-law hooked into a little smallie right away, and I decided to wade into a section just above where he was fishing that looked promising. I switched over to a black conehead rabbit-strip streamer, and after about 20 casts I hooked into a nice little smallie.

smallie

The sun began to sink, and we continued to fish alonga nice section of the river. My friend said he started to see a hex spinner fall as dusk hit, but I don’t think we had any more bites the rest of the time there. We decided to pack it up as the light dwindled, and headed back home. It was a great time learning new water, and hooking into some fish as well.

dusk

Got some good coffee this week

I haven’t posted in a while on this blog, as I’ve been focusing my fishing efforts over at my new blog. However, I went on a short trip over to the west side of Michigan. I got to visit a couple coffee shops and picked up some good coffee.

In Saugatuck, I picked up some Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from Uncommon Grounds in Saugatuck (http://uncommongroundscafe.com), and another batch of coffee from Ethiopia from a cafe in Holland, MI called Lemonjellos (http://lemonjellos.com).

Even better I was able to get pour over coffee in both locations as well. It was some amazingly good coffee, and I wish there were some cafes like these in the metro Detroit area.

Also, right next-store to LemonJello’s in Holland, is a cool music shop called The Full Circle. Owner loves what he does, and provides a good selection of used CDs, a better selection of vinyl, and a promise to get you almost any other music you may want very quickly. I was able to pick up a copy The Elms, Truth, Soul, Rock and Roll. Good stuff.

My first fly rod build

So, I have decided to embark into another realm of the fly fishing world. I have decided to build my own fly rods. Well, at least I’m going to give it a try. I ordered up enough parts to build three rods as “trial builds”, and so that I could lump the shipping costs together and buy some of the materials in bulk.

I ordered the hardware, glues, thread and tools from Hook and Hackle and Janns Netcraft. Based on some recommendations I found on several rod building forums, I ordered the blanks from Sevier Manufacturing. Lastly I found a web site for a company called Cork Specialties where I was able to get the grips for a very good price.

While the parts where on the way, I decided to build a rod wrapping jig. I found plans on some different web sites ranging from fancy wooden jigs to modified show boxes, and I figured it would be easy enough to come up with something decent. I bought two pieces of poplar and some screws from Home Depot. Combined with some scrap wood, my hole saw, and a chop saw, I was able to put this together in about an hour.

rod_jig

The parts started to arrive, and I decided that my first rod built would be for my first daughter. I began building a pink and purple 6-foot 2/3wt for her. I found a purple aluminum reel seat on Ebay to match, and the first thing I did was installed the reel seat and grip using U-40 Rod Bond paste.

handle_closeup

Next I began wrapping the hook keeper and guides onto the rod. I choose purple thread on black hardware, and I think it is turning out pretty good so far. There are a few fuzzies showing up on the thread wraps,but after some epoxy goes on I should be able to shave them off.

wrap_closeup

I purchased a rod drying motor from Janns Netcraft for around $12, and am planning on building a drying jig next based on my wrapping jig. I am almost done wrapping the the guides to the rod, and then I will put some decorative wraps in, and then I should be able to begin the process of applying the epoxy to the guides. I will try to post more updates to the blog as I finish the rod up and start into my next one.

rod_wrapping