Friday, March 30, 2012

oh fer...

Or rather, 0 for 3 to be precise. Those who know me best understand that I am not, by any stretch, a morning person. On the occasions that I do rise early, it is to catch a flight or fish. Happily these days, it's to fish. So it's with some dismay that I was skunked this week. I found myself falling out of bed around 5:30 on 3 separate mornings and, back home by 8-ish, I was scratching my head as I started my work day.

Day 1 - My neighbor, Greg, and I set out to hit the water in the early morning. I find myself needing to convince Greg that there are actually fish in the Farmington River as he and I have been out a handful of times together and I cannot bring him to fish. For that matter, I pull goose eggs when we are out together. I can't figure it out...we hit a stretch that has been very productive for me during this mild winter and, once again, nothin', zip, nada. Fortunately, both of us look at catching fish as a secondary benefit and enjoy the act of fishing and being out as much as landing fish.

Day 2 - Yet another rousing by my Blackberry alarm at 5:30. Convinced that today will be better and armed with an array of nymphs, I set out to an area that some rave about however, it's an area that I have difficulty fishing for some reason. Ok, lack of skills and or experience, but that's another story. I work my way through water that just screams FISH...nothin'...ok, let's move on, there looks to be some fishier water nearby. Hold on, is that a group of rising fish as 6:15 on a cold morning? Yep, I happened on a group of rising fish, porpoising, to their meal of choice. I was rigged for nymphing so I stood by and watched this event for about 15 minutes. Slowly inching my way into position, in flat water, I knew I would have 1 chance at this cast with my set up. My lure broke the glassy surface like a kid doing a cannon ball at the town pool. Success, 1 cast - 1 hook up, dammit...jump, head shake...gone! Surface activity shut down.

Day 3 - At this point, the circles under my eyes make me look like the wrong side of a Mike Tyson fight. What the hell, could I really get skunked a 3rd trip in a row? Being a total glutton for punishment, I again ventured to an area that is well thought of by many anglers yet, again, I struggle in this area. I begin surveying some nice looking water as I start to rig up. After a fruitless 30 minutes, I move to another area further downstream from my present locale. Again, all signs point toward a positive result however, I'm not sure what happened next. Chalk it up to a little frustration, possibly a little laziness or maybe just dumb luck...slip, fall, dunk...freaking COLD. Now, at this point, the sane person in me says, " maybe we should just call it a morning, head home, grab coffee and start working earlier today" - but then, the stubborn Irishman in me says, "I'll be damned, I got up at 5:30 to fish and I'm gonna do just that"

Well, with a left arm soaking wet, water doused pants inside of my waders and just the right amount of "what the hell", I stuck it out for another hour or so. Bad idea. At that point, my heart just wasn't in it at all. I was frustrated for having taken a dunk. Frustrated for not having landed a fish for a 3rd straight outing. Frustrated for not being able to figure out what I am doing wrong these last few trips...some days I feel like I take 3 fishing steps forward and than 2 back.

I've often referenced, in past posts, that I enjoy the time out in nature as much as I enjoy the fishing and that just being able to be out is satisfying enough. I think it might be time to rethink that concept. Do you think that Derek Jeter goes up to home plate thinking, boy, I'm just glad to be here, I don't need to get any hits today. I seriously doubt it.

I guess I should remind myself that, if it were easy, everyone would do it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Silly title for a blog entry however, that was the recurring word my ears picked up as I wandered around the Farmington in the wee hours of the morning. I could just feel every other thought leaving my consciousness and the focus really turned to fishing and the surroundings of another unusually warm morning. I've been hearing how hot the fishing has been lately and I wasn't disappointed as it took me all of 11 minutes to get a March brown trout under my belt.
a healthy Farmington Brown
Will my goal of landing a brown trout from the Farmington each month this year intact, I continued moving around a stretch of water that alternates slower pools and faster riffles. The browns came from the slow water on tiny, and I mean tiny, BHPT nymphs. I was able to land a few Rainbows that were none to happy to have been fooled by a large cased caddis nymph. There were 2, in particular, that I was pleased to net as both jumped numerous times and, in the past, I've tended to lose bows that jumped 4 or more times.
nice Rainbow jumper
Overall, a bunch of fish to net, no one to be found on the river that early and a great start to the day. I also had my first opportunity to test out the new Canon Powershot D10 and let's just say the jury is still out on that one. Here are a couple more images taken underneath the surface - a full review will be coming over the next week or so as I would like to get out a couple more times before I pass my humble judgment on this camera.

subsurface bow
nice clarity
about 6" under the surface
squirmy brown

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Homestretch.

Just when I think that sheet rock gets me excited, along comes the carpet. With the installation of the carpet today, our basement project is virtually complete. All that's left is to move the kids playroom from the main floor to the basement.

It's really impressive when you are able to watch skilled people perform their jobs and transform such a lifeless area into great, useable space. Sadly, I think the basement is now the nicest part of the house.

Built in bookcase hides crawlspace access
I was very pleased with our contractor for this job as he left no detail out. I looked at this as just "another basement " however, the finished product feels like anything but a basement. We don't have walkout access however, with the casement windows, recessed lighting and bright paint colors, the room really has a great presence.

I'd like to say this was the project for 2012 however, I foresee a master bathroom addition in our future. I don't get my wife, I can't figure out why she complains about sharing our only full bath with 3 boys.

Finally, my thanks to those who helped with this project. In particular, our friend Mr. Murphy, who spent countless hours rewiring our entire panel, securing recessed lights and, in general, doing a ton of electrical work that otherwise would have cost us a small fortune...thanks Paul...I owe you one.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Orvis should offer a rehab clinic.

So let's see, we are in the midst of one of the best stretches of March weather I have ever seen and the CT DEEP started stocking earlier as a result of this warm up. Have I fished a single day this month? Nope! When you start a new job I have a feeling that taking a personal day so soon would be frowned upon. So, here I am, left to wander through pictures of catches past...sometimes wandering is good because you find pictures like this one - Don't worry, no fish were harmed in the taking of that photo.
Bear's first Farmy Bow, with a little help
When I have had prolonged stretches of time, anything beyond a week, when I haven't been able to fish, I wonder what people do to satisfy the desire to hit the water. First, I have concluded that blogging doesn't take the edge off. I have however, decided that Orvis should consider offering some sort of rehab clinic, preferably far, far away from fishable waters. At the very least, a hotline to get you through until you are able to wet a fly...I guess that's what the podcasts are for.

On the plus side, I learned this week that 2 of the accounts that I am responsible for are L.L. Bean and Orvis...talk about bringing the drugs directly to the addict! I wonder if I can set up a payroll deduction directly to Orvis?
gratuitous Delaware River brown image
The image above is from a trip to the Delaware last year. This brown, the largest of I landed on a dry, was taken during the early part of the Hendricksen hatch. 

On yet another positive note, I've begun to make arrangements for the 2nd annual Delaware float trip that will be coming up in about 5 weeks. What a difference a year makes...in 2011, I was freaked out by the crazy amounts of snow and rain we received early in the year. My trip was almost cancelled due to water that was to high to float safely. This year, I find myself looking at the complete reverse situation. The lack of snow and precipitation, in general, have many areas flowing below seasonal norms. It's somewhat rare that I really splurge on myself however, after the pure enjoyment of last year's trip, I decided to make this an annual event. I booked the trip through the Delaware River Club and was really pleased with the entire process. The guys at the shop are serious about fishing and I got a kick out of how much they enjoyed looking at the "fish porn" or rather, the pictures from each day's float. I'm hoping to reserve the same guide again as well. Bruce knows how to handle a drift boat and when to provide the necessary instruction without making you feel foolish. Five weeks can't pass fast enough at this point...

Hopefully, I'll be dumping this monkey from my back this weekend and will try to hit the river while the action is still hot. I can't blow my plan to catch, at least, 1 Farmington brown each month this year...


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Willie Nelson and TFO.

Wow, has it really been that long since I posted...yikes...

All I can think of lately is Willie Nelson's song, "On the road again". Having moved into week 2 of the new job, I have been going flat out and, sadly, fishing is not in the back seat, it's in the 3rd row. I haven't been out on the water in a few weeks now and I have missed being out during this amazing run of mild temps and rising fish. I guess the one plus from my previous statement is that I have been so busy with work that I have not had time to get cranky for lack of fly time.

I work in an industry made famous by the Swiss. Now, I'll leave it to you imagination as to which of the Big 3 it is: Chocolate, Finance or Timepieces - the first 2 guesses don't count. I like to jokingly refer to my career as the longest part-time job I have ever had. I started working in a jewelry store the summer of my freshman year of college. I worked at this store for the duration of my college career and ended up working for them full-time after college. I was young, I thought it was good money at the time and most important - I liked what I was doing. After a few years, I completely burned out on the retail side of this industry and was fortunate to get a job on the wholesale side.In this business, to get a job in field sales with a good company usually requires that someone dies. Fortunately, I had some good friends that helped me get into the largest manufacturer / distributor of Swiss watches inhe world. I recently ended a 14 year  run with one Swiss brand and find myself working for another. I've spent alot of time in hotels these last 2 weeks and I have had time to take stock of all those things that wander through your mind when you are alone.

I only found fishing within the last 6 years and strangely, I can't even recall how I found what would become the most enjoyable thing in my life outside of my wife and boys - ok, maybe I'll put fishing after my dogs too. I know we were living in New Hampshire at the time yet, I can't recall what lead me to find myself at Bear's Den Fly Shop in Massachusetts. I walked into that shop and looked around at items that were completely foriegn to me. Now, one would think that someone who was interested in getting into fishing would choose to start with a simple spin rod but no, why would I go that route. There was something romantic, nostalgic and pure about fly fishing and those characteristics had alot of appeal to me. With the help of a gentleman at the shop, I was paired to a  5wt Temple Fork rod and and Orvis Battenkill reel. This would be the only rod in my arsenal for a few years and even now, as the rod collection is pushing double digits, I like to remind myself of something I heard a long time ago...in golf they say that, regardless of the clubs you are using, you can either play or you can't. I like to apply this saying to fishing as well in that it helps me remember that it's not about the gear but the experiences you have on the water with friends or solo.

Now, that TFO rod might not have been the most advanced, traditional or sought after but having the memory of the first fish caught on that rod is priceless. I've sold or traded a couple rods in recent years yet, I cannot bring myself to part with the TFO rod that rests in the corner of my office. I'm sure that one of my boys will have that rod soon enough - as a side note to that thought, I was particularly pleased when my 6yr old asked me to take him to one of my secret fishin' spots this coming weekend. Weather permitting, he just might get a chance to try that rod.

Later this year, August I think, The Weary Angler will turn 1. TWA was born of a genuine love of fishing and my desire, not so much to share with others, as to remember for myself. At the time I started TWA, I was traveling an insane amount and was just tired. Tired of airports, hotel rooms, eating somewhere other than my home and having to Skype with my kids at bed time rather than being there to tuck them in myself. At 40, I feel completely refreshed with my career and even though I am the newbie on the team and have a new company that I need to learn to navigate, I am no longer weary. The blog name will always remind me to love what you do and don't get to a point where you name a blog partly as a result of how your job makes you feel.