Iron Fly - Lander, WY

Iron Fly - Lander, WY Dec 3 6:30 @ Lander Bar's Coalter Loft

The wicked.fish 2014 Christmas Wish List - Part 2

Let's keep going, shall we?




Item: a cape of Jungle Cock feathers.  

The cost: don't tell your wife

What you want this:  Let's just get it out in the open.  No other tying ingredient is more fun to bring up in conversation.  Am I right?  You know I am and that'w why you read this shit every day.

But for real, these feathers are amazing.  You tie up saltwater bugs?  You need these.  You tie up salmon bugs?  You need these.  

Look on eBay.  Right now, the feathers in the photo above are checking in at $175.  Strike while it's hot.  Maybe use your paypal account so you don't live in the doghouse with your new cape of feathers.  And yes, you'll cry when you lose bugs made with these things attached. 

More info:  eBay it, dude.  







What: a Regal Vise

How much:  about four bills

Why:  This is the only vise you'll need.  It handles any hook, it's a rotary vise, your friends will hate you on tying night.  

Info:  regalvise.com








You know what this is:  it is a big ass Yeti Cooler

How much debt will I incur to own this:  $550 dollars for the one pictured.

Why is this the most amazing cooler ever: Living in a cave?  Yeti coolers keep ice for a long time. The model pictured above ( the Tundra 125 ) hold 81 beers.  Plus, it's bear resistant.  

Did I just type out 81 beers and fail to mention something about that?  It holds 81 beers!  Take it in your new drifty and drink before the class III rapids - you won't feel thing when you sink your boat.  


The wicked.fish 2014 Christmas Wish List - Part 1

As the season of greed, excess and gluttony is upon us, I give you the wicked.fish Christmas Wish List for 2014.

Here are today's entries:






-Item: Clackacraft Eddy

-Cost: a lot, and if you get the bells and whistles, it's even more. Don't forget the trailer.

-Why you should get this:  Face it, you want a drift boat.  You can probably row though the same class III rapids that your guide handled with ease, all while telling you stories, offering instruction, handing you a bottle of water and untangling your line for the sixth time in ten minutes.  Just think, if you had a drifty, you wouldn't have to pay for those float trips anymore.  I'm sure your wife won't mind just one more toy in the garage, will she?

-More info: clackacraft.com



-Item: Patagonia Tractor Wading Boots

-Cost: $279

-Why you should get them:  You're still wearing felt soles, aren't you?  You're probably also throwing your beer cans into the landfill.  Get with the times!  Sure, felt offers good grip, but it also carries invasive species to all of the places you fish.  Try out some metal grip from Patagonia.  These boots offer super grip without the felt.  They also outperform screw-in studs any day of the week.

To be fair, you can transmit invasive species with anything.  No matter what you're wearing, make sure to do your part, ok?

-More info: patagonia.com






-Item: Scott Radian

-Cost: $795

-Why you should get this:  Scott has upped the ante again.  As if the S4 wasn't badd ass enough, they have set the bar with their made in the USA rods - again.  Go cast one and you won't need to read another word.  

-More info: scottflyrod.com


To be continued...


My Fly Fishing Family - Part 5

Dave at the Salmon River in NY.

What do you get when you combine decades of experience on the river with humor, kindness, cockiness, swagger and top it all off with a layer of crust?  You get  Dave Baker.  This is the guy that you want to fish with.  This is the guy you want to tie with.  This is the guy you don't want to eat lunch with.  Wait...what?

I met Dave at Clearwater Fly Shop.  We tied flies together on weekends and Dave was always there with his vise and his seemingly endless supply of Reese's.  His insights on tying have been invaluable and I constantly ask myself if the bug I just made would pass his inspection process.

When I first started tying, he would take the fly of my vise, cut the material off and tell me that my design isn't worth the hook it was on.  Lessons were learned hard, but I'm a better tier for it.

Fishing with Dave is not for the faint of heart.  If you have plans to do anything else that day, don't go with Dave.  Commit to a trip from morning until the dark of night - he's not leaving until the flashlights come on.

Dave has a way of making a 6 1/2 foot 3wt throw line like a spey rod.  We fished a small pond one day and he made that line shoot a good seventy feet with zero effort.  I guess that's the reward for years of practice.

The lunch thing.... yeah, ok.  One day, we're on the bank of the Andro eating some lunch and Dave is sharing Vietnam stories - something he tends to do.  I had to stop him mid story because the graphic details of his story made me almost lose my lunch.

That's the quick and dirty on Dave.  It's been a few years since we fished, but I'll bet within five minutes, he'd flash the four crooked fingers sign when I asked him how he was doing.

Here's a chance to get drunk and tattooed...


My Fly Fishing Family - Part 4



My first experience with a drift boat was on the Androscoggin River.  After meeting up with some fellas, I got the invite from Tim to join him for an Andro outing.  Tim, Steve and myself met up early in the morning and got right to it.

I've never seen too many easy access points to put a drifty into the Andro.  You've pretty much got to work for it every time.  This guy, Steve, had a new (to him, at least) Hyde and Tim was going to give him some pointers.  Steve hauled his boat to the river with his Honda Element (aka Toaster).  When we didn't see any boat access on our side of the river, we got creative.  We ended up driving across a railroad trestle to get to the only access point we could find. Steve took it like a pro.  We were in the water and on our way.

Fishing was phenomenal with everyone landing fish.  Tim and Steve too the sticks while I worked on my new angling skills.  After a few hours, we came to a dam and had to take out.  That was the easiest boat access point of the day.  We trailered the boat and hit the road, but we weren't done yet.  We made our way down river to the next put in.

The guardrail wasn't that tall.  It was about level with the boat on the trailer and drift boats don't weigh that much, do they?  On the other side of the rail was a 150 foot "trail" at about a 45 degree slope.  We roped up the front of the boat, slid her over the rail and lowered her down.  About ten feet into the lowering, the boat picked up some speed and made her way down to the river unaided.  Thankfully the hull was strong and no damage was done.

Float resumed.

When we took out at 8:30 that night, I was so tired.  My hand was cramped from holding a 6wt all day.  We took out the boat at the most brutal ramp possible, and I went home to pass out.

I lost touch with Steve not long after that day, but Tim remained a trusted mentor for many years.  We fished a few times, and shared some beers and good laughs.  One of my favorite days on the water was with him on the Connecticut River.  We fished a 90- degree day in his drift boat going after smallies.  I was still a rookie angler and my cast left something to be desired - actually, it still does.  He was at the sticks with me in the front. "Cast right there!", he shouted.  I threw my line and as he made fun of my choice of casting direction, I hooked into a massive smallie.  "Not too bad", was his compliment.


   I haven't heard from Tim for a while.  We share some mutual friends in Colorado and whenever I fish in a boat I think of him.  Every time I see a picture of Tim, I chuckle - he wears a gold bracelet on his wrist and you can spot it in every grip n' grin shot of him.

I hope Tim is rippin' some lips as I write this.

90 Days!

We have 90 days until the Wicked Winter Classic goes down.  Are you getting ready?

Want to be an event sponsor for the Wicked Winter Classic?

Information on how to participate as a sponsor in the Wicked Winter Classic will be released soon.  We're looking for people and companies to donate gear that can be used for our raffles and contests.  Want to help?  Email jneedham1 at gmail dot com.  Thanks, and stay tuned!

The all important fishing rig.

For an angler, there might not be anything more important than their fishing rig.  I'm not talking about a rod and reel, I'm talking about the rig that gets you there.  Your car.  Your truck.  Your bicycle.

Without our fishing rigs, we would be stuck.  Maybe you're fortunate enough to live on a stretch of river filled with big trouts, but for most of us, we've got to get there before we can even think of hooking into a fish.

When I first picked up a fly rod, I was driving a Mercury Sable.  It was a front wheel drive, V6 powered silver bullet.  It was great on the highway, but when it came to navigating those muddy and rough New Hampshire roads, it left something desired.  It wasn't a vehicle I ha picked out, it was my mom's old car.  My VW had given up the ghost and mom hooked me up when she got a new vehicle.

When the time was right, my passion for angling played a role in the purchase of my fishing rig.  The stars had aligned and for the first time ever, I bought a new car.

My Subaru Forester is a 2010 model.  It is dark grey, has the standard all wheel drive, a giant sunroof, seats that warm my ass, enough room to sleep in in the back, a decent 2.5 L four banger, and most importantly a hitch.  Oh yeah, the big selling point - a five speed tranny.

The Subie rolled off the lot with two miles back in October of '09.  Trout was there to help me pick it out.  He had to get in and make sure the seats were comfortable enough for his liking.  Once he approved and the paperwork was done, we hit the road.


The Subie at the Radium takeout after a day on the Upper Colorado.

I outfitted the Subie with a Thule rack and basket and later on added a Titan Rod Vault to keep my rods and reels safe and ready to go.  She handles mud and snow like a champ, offers a comfy ride and for the most part is pretty dependable.

Having a manual transmission and a hitch means that towing the drift boat is a snap.  Sure, the four cylinder struggles to haul a boat over Vail Pass, but I'm not blasting out six gallons of go-juice just to clear the hill.

So, that's my fishing rig. We just celebrated our five year anniversary.  She has about 130K miles now and I have no plans to move on just yet.  That car has been in almost every state in the US.  I've slept in the back quite a few times, and the Subie has been the common denominator in most of our adventures in the Jeff and Melissa household.

So, what;s your fishing rig?  Got a story to share?

Green River, Utah - Fishing Action

I'll take one!

My Fly Fishing Family - Part 3

New Hampshire in late March is pretty damn cold.  The calendar might tell you that Spring is technically the season, but Winter firmly disagrees.  Sometimes, Spring does win the battle for a day and the locals party like it's 1999.  For hardcore fly fishermen and women, that means sometimes going to desperate measures to get in some fishing.

You first need a place to fish.  Ponds are mostly iced over, and if they aren't, you can assume that fishing isn't allowed for a few more weeks according to the Fish and Game folks.  

There was one of those Spring days creeping up in the forecast and the Clearwater gang scheduled a little get together on a local lake.  The lake was open to fishing year-round and it also happened to be partially free of ice.  This called for a fly rod, a kayak and some good luck.  

We all met in the parking lot at the lake and geared up.  There was this guy I had met before at one of our fly tying events.  I had fished with his dad in the past year and just couldn't remember his name.  Everyone that was there participated in that internet forum and many had "handles" that they went by.  Flygal was there, as was Split Tail.  This guy was Northern Stylez on the forum, but I had to reintroduce myself (I'm still bad with names).  

It turned out that Jason and I had shaken hands three or four times.  He had brought his inflatable kayak and we got to chatting as we readied our boats.  

The day was crappy.  The ice was moving on the lake and at one point closed in behind me.  I had to paddle through it in my kayak.  I don't think anyone caught fish and we all froze our asses off. At some point, Jason's inflatable boat was looking very deflated.  I'm not sure if it was the cold water, or if he put a hole in the boat by hitting the ice, but our day wrapped up fairly quickly.  

Aside from "meeting" Jason that day, I'll always remember helping Nome get out of her neoprene waders.  She had either borrow them, or inherited them.  They were boot foot, neoprene waders that weren't cut for her.  They were big, except for the ankles.  She ended up grabbing the "Oh Shit" handle of a mini-van while two of us grabbed her boots and pulled.  She ended up stretched out over the ground with those waders stuck on to her feet.  

***** ***** *****


Fishing with Jason in Long Island Sound.

Jason will probably tell you that he caught the fish in the above picture, but it was in fact my stripah.  I was on the front of the boat and he was able to land the fish for me.  I'm fairly certain that all the other fish that day were caught by Jason. 



That's me with a sea-run brown trout.  Jason decided it was a good day to go fish the Mousam.  It might have been 12 degrees and my hands are still numb.  

New issue -This Is Fly - #49


Head over to: thisisfly.com

My Fly Fishing Family - Part 2

One especially hot summer afternoon, my mom told me about a friend that had a litter of Labrador Retriever pups.  Kat was her name, and she lived up the road in Parsonsfield, Maine.

When I pulled in the driveway, there were puppies running around the house.  There were yellow puppies and black puppies, and laying in the shade was the momma dog.

Kat greeted me and told me there were two yellow and two black pups that hadn't been claimed.  They were only 5 weeks old, so the whole litter was still running around.  I expressed interest in a yellow male, but before I could even finish my sentence, a tiny little bundle of whitish - yellow fluff and skin jumped on my leg.  I picked him up.  "Is this guy looking for a home?", I asked Kat.  "I think he just found one," was her response.

He squirmed around in my hands as I lifted him over my head.  He licked my face as I brought him closer.  When I set him down, he did figure eights around my legs before running over to play with his siblings.


Trout's first day at home was a tiring one.

He was a little guy.



Trout came home a few weeks later.  He was a day shy of being eight weeks old.  He was my buddy.  Within a few weeks, he went on his first fishing trip.  I had to carry him pretty much the whole time, but when we got to the river, he was curious and when he wasn't passed out while wrapped up in my blanket, he was busy getting used to his life as an angler dog.  He went for a quick swim in the cold water of the Ellis River.  My hands held his little shaking body as his legs kicked.  He was going to be a great swimmer.



Nome and Trout taking a break from fishing.

Trout spent a lot of time with me on the road.  By the time he was a year old, he had logged some serious miles.  He loved sticking his head out of the window with his ears flapping and his nose twitching with all of the smells that Northern New England had to offer.  We took a ride out to Colorado and when we arrived in Summit County I found a big dirt lot and threw a stick for him to chase.  He was felling the lack of oxygen one might expect at 9000 feet just as much as I was.  He got the stick, but he walked after it.  That was a short game of fetch.

I'm sure we were heading out to go fishing.

Fishing with Trout was sometime a real pain in the ass.  He loved swimming so much that he would follow me into the river.  If I was past knee deep, he would swim in a circle around me as I was fishing.  When I landed a fish, he was always there to bark at it and sniff it.  He never hurt the fish, just wanted to say hello.  They had the same name.

Trout died on January 5, 2010.  He became extremely ill on New Years and the vet told me that even with successful surgery, he would live a painful life.  That morning I sat with him as he passed.  I held his paw and he winked at me before closing his eyes that one last time.  He was less than two years old.

His collar hangs in my car.  Every bump in the road jingles his tags and I think of all of the miles I went with him at my side.  His photo hangs on the wall in our cabin.  He will forever be my best buddy and the lead dog of my fly fishing family.
Trout on the bank of the Saco behind Stephen's house.  

Video about Scott Rods


This has been around for awhile, but it's a great look at a great maker of fly rods.  

My Fly Fishing Family - Part 1

One of my favorite things about fly fishing is the opportunity I have been given to meet new people. There are those people you meet on the river and end up chatting with, the clients that keep you in a job, the shop owner that surprises you with kindness, and then there are those special people that become your family - your fly fishing family.

Shahab and Ryan.


There was a fly shop in Conway, NH.  It was this tiny little place, not much bigger than a tool shed.  It was situated on a busy road next to a house.  Across the street was the KFC.  There was a wooden ramp that went up to the back of the building, and out front a wooden sign that swung in the breeze. Behind the shop was an amazingly beautiful stretch of the Saco River.

The shop was called Clearwater Fly Shop, and when I walked through the door, I was greeted by a guy named Stephen.  He stood up from the table where he was tying up some rabbit fur based fly and shook my hand.  He was outgoing and seemed to be thrilled that someone new had stumbled out of the rain and into his store.   I sat down at the table and my life as an angler began.

Stephen and I must have chatted for two hours.  I left with a lot of new vocabulary, a new rod (we'll save that for another post), and most importantly, a new friend.

My life as an angler didn't launch as fast as other people I've met.  I was recovering from some pretty hardcore shoulder surgery and slinging fly line didn't really fit in to my shoulder's plan.  I did however, receive an invite from Stephen to attend an event he had organized in Wells, Maine.

Rob, Caleb, Shahab & Ryan.


The event has since become known as the "Saltwater Shindig".  It was an amazing weekend event on the coast of Maine to celebrate fly fishing, tying, friends, beer and food. I arrived on a Friday afternoon and was greeted by two women.  I remember thinking it was great that women participated in fly fishing.  Who would have thunk it?   Nome and Kathy were the first to greet me.  They showed me where everyone was and introduced me to my fly fishing family.

There were people out fishing, but the tides weren't optimal so there were quite a few people sitting around.  There was Shahab, who was tying up something beautiful.  Ryan was drinking a beer and his facial expression was telling me what he thought - "who the fuck is this newbie?"  There was a guy from Florida, Rob, who was on the phone trying to figure out where a hundred pounds of crayfish were at with FedEx.  Stephen was sitting in a chair, beer in hand, just kind of watching everyone.  It was like the Mos Eisley scene in Star Wars with a random collection of fish nerds from all over the place.

To be continued...






300 "Likes" on the wicked.fish page on Facebook. Thanks!

Just hit 300 likes on Facebook.  Wow!  Thanks all for the support.  Keep reading the wicked.fish blog and spread the word!


The Midge

Donate to PHWFF


One of the main reasons the blog was started was to raise some money for PHWFF.  If you can't make the Wicked Winter Classic, maybe you can help out today!

It's on!






Full speed ahead! 

Trash Fish

Social media exploded yesterday when this video hit.  I guess wicked.fish is late to the show, but so are you if you're watching it here.  Yeah.  

WWC Logo!


Dale and I have been hiding out from Old Man Winter working on the event logos.  What do you think?  Are we on the right path?

Do you have a river name?

The Colorado River above Little Gore Canyon


When I'm on the phone with mom, feeding the dogs, taking out the trash, pouring a coffee, sitting in traffic and taking a shower, my name is Jeff.  I'm a regular guy that watches TV, has bills to pay and complains about the weather like everyone else.  Life can be pretty boring.  There's work, trips to the grocery store and all the other day to day that everyone deals with.  But sometimes, when life gives me a break from that day to day monotony, I have a second name.  I take on a new persona.  My life suddenly becomes more interesting. I am Jefe´, or on especially good days, I am Von Jefe´!  On those days, life gets good.

My name has been Jeff as long as I've been alive.  I don't think I ever had another name that stuck.  My friends never called me anything other than Jeff (at least not names I can mention here).  I'm OK with my name.  It's easy to pronounce, spelling errors are rare, unless it's Jeffery instead of Jeffrey.  A few people tend to think the name should start with a G, but I'm not the butler from Fresh Prince or the giraffe from Toys R Us.

In 2010, life changed course.  The previous year, I had ventured past that mystical barrier known as Nebraska.  The car found itself pointed in the direction of Colorado, and once I crossed that border into Colorful Colorado, life was different.  The thin air changed me.  My wanderlust was quenched and I thought that if there was a paradise on earth, this might be it.  

When I met the crew at Cutthroat Anglers, it became clear that life as Jeff wasn't a descriptive enough way to live my day to day life.  One day I walked through the shop door and things were different - I was Jefe´.  Jefe´Von Jefe´.  The guys all thought it was funny even though I just stood there with a blank look on my face.  Over the next few weeks, it became clear that my other name was going to stick and to this day, Von Jefe´has been my "river" name.  

Since then, I've moved and taken up different career options and hobbies, but my name on the river remains the same. I am Jefe´.  I belong on the river.  What's your river name?

Fly Fishing...in Florida! For real!

If you're OK with subtitles...

Nantahala Brewing Company!

wicked.fish is a big fan of the Nantahala Brewing Company.  It's a brewery located in Bryson City, NC.  Haven't had a beer from there that I didn't enjoy.  Want to hear some good news?  They're going to be hooking us up with the space for the Wicked Winter Classic on Feb 22, 2015!


Got Netflix?

Got a Netflix account?  Did you know that both of these are available to stream?  Check 'em out!










take time to Breathe.


This one has been around for a while, but it's good to remember what it is all about.  

Tube flies

Anyone tying tube flies?  What materials are sparking your interest?  I'm continuing to experiment with different tubes, cones, etc. 



I've been using products from Pro Sport Fisher - check them out! They have an adapter that mounts to your vise and away you go. 

Oh, Canada!

Hey ladies!




Derek DeYoung

"Like" us on Facebook

Head over to Facebook and "like" us.  





Dragon Triple Windmill

Here we go...

wicked.fish

Yeah, that's the name of this blog.  Thanks to the magical interweb people, you don't even need a .com or a .org - now you can have a .fish, so I had to get involved.

My goal is to reach out to this community ( you know, the community of anglers, fly tyers, drunkards and fools who stand in cold ass water ) and spread the word.  Our lifestyle is somewhat different, and we have changed the way that fly fishing works.

I've invited a team of amazingly talented people to join in and make this blog a world class place to read product reviews, trip reports, catch the latest movie trailer, and share ideas.

Welcome to wicked.fish.




blah

Blah.  That's all I've got.  Building a bitchin' blog is work.  Shut up and let me work.