The Functioning Fishaholics

Dec 312011

I can’t say I’m sorry to see 2011 go.  It has been one tough year.  The Economy, family issues, work…  UGH.

While, smelly, slimy, muddy, cold, wet, hot, sweaty, frustrating, EXTREME, dangerous, and at times bloody…  Fishing has kept me going this year and it always put a smile on my face.

There were many moments on and off the water that brought me joy this year.  Here are a few of the highlights.

2011 included

  • Over 123 blog posts on The Functioning Fishaholics
  • Well over 125 fishing trips with over 400 hours of time on the water

#1.  Catching my first wild Brown Trout on the fly and other Functioning Fishaholics records

Valley Creek Fishing Report 8/27/2011

My first Brown Trout on the fly

#2  The Functioning Fishaholics first blog birthday

Happy Birthday – The Functioning Fishaholics Turn ONE 

Happy B Day!

#3 Meeting fellow bloggers and attending fishing shows

A Troutrageous!(ly) Guided Morning

Troutrageous! Mike

Philadelphia Fly Fishing Show

Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow

Indoor Casting pool at the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow

A casting pool indoors!

End Of Year Clearance – Fly Tying Symposium

#4 Learning how to be safe on the water

How To Fight a Fish And Not Die 

Lesson Learned

#5 Breaking Functioning Fishaholics records

The Functioning Fishaholics Record Book

What Does A Three Pound Bass Look Like?

Picture of a 3lb big mouth bass caught in Montgomery county PA

3lb 20" Largemouth do exist in Montgomery County

Deep Creek Dam Smallies Fishing Report 9/18/2011

What a beaut

Jeff’s Record Rainbow Trout

20" Rainbow Trout - Deep Creek


There were so many good fishing (and blogging) memories this year.  Thanks to the Funcfish crew for being the best fishing buddies a guy could ask for.  Thanks to the many blogger buddies and readers out there that make writing this blog worthwhile.  This sport and the anglers I meet are a constant source of joy in my life.  THANK YOU!

Do you have any memories of good times you’ve shared with us?  Did you have a favorite story we didn’t include in this post?  Let us know in the comments below!


Dec 302011

Did a little work at the fly tying bench tonight.  It was a great way to end a short work week.  Nothing like banging out half a dozen flies to calm the nerves.

Tonight I focused on two chenille intensive patterns.  The first, an old standby, the San Juan worm and a new fly (to me) that I found in my book called the “Fox Poopah”.

Poopah…  Haha get it?  (at this point I HAD to tie it)

As you’ll see in the pictures below I experimented with some red wire on my San Juan worms.  This should add some extra weight and with the colored wire (thanks AC Moore) I think it blends in rather nicely.

Image of a san juan worm fly tying pattern

San Juan worm #1

Here is another one I did.  I used thread to build up the fat part of the body. Tthis also doubles as the head of my fly.

Another image of a san juan worm

San Juan #2

The Fox Poopah was a pretty neat pattern to tie.  Pretty much a olive chenille worm with some dubbing and ribbing.  Antennae and legs are in there too but all and all it wasn’t too hard.


image of a fox poopah fly tying pattern

I'm a poopah

I really just like the name look of these things.  

Another image of a fox poopah fly

Fox Poopah #2

I changed up the dubbing on the head of this one.  I have some black UV ice dubbing that I would eat if I could.  Not sure how well it works on fish but the purple/black sparkly look is awesome.

third fox poopahfly

Fox Poopah #3

I thought this one looked the most natural.

an image of all of the flies I tied this evening

Tonight's haul

So here’s the haul.  Seven flies in all.  It’s always interesting to see how flies turn out.

While I’m still learning a lot I take pleasure in seeing all of the small ways each fly is unique.  Some people may call them flaws but I believe mass produced “perfect” flies are missing their soul.  The subtle flaws in my flies will hopefully make the fish smile and take pity on my humble attempts at trickery.

Do you tie your own flies?  Do you have a favorite pattern?  Let us know in the comments below!




Dec 292011

I’m going to miss this year end clearance stuff once 2012 rolls around.  For those of you who aren’t keeping track or happen to be a little slower than most,  I’m posting lots of stuff that never made it to the page this year.  Consider it clearance, the bargin bin, one last try before I delete it, etc.

Sign purchased with stimulus money

Today’s Year End Clearance post involves Deer.  Not big deer, not really impressive deer, just deer that were in my back yard one day.



Sorry fishing addicts, I want to tie up some flies for fishing tomorrow so you’ll have to wait a little bit for more fishy action.

Do you like nature?  Do you think mammals are stupid and we should stick to fish?  Let us know in the comments below!



Dec 292011

Wow.  2011 is flying by eh?  By my count there are three days left until 2012.  I’m excited.  2012 is going to hold some great fishing, the likes of which have never  been seen (at least on this humble blog).

As we travel farther down the rabbit hole of fishing addiction, allow me to present you with some more leftover footage from 2011.

Jeff, Mike, and I spent a whole day on 11-27-2011 doing nothing but fishing and drinking cheap beer.  We traveled a trail of fishing destruction many miles long, fishing four of our local bodies of water.  The shore fishing was rough.  We got skunked at three out of four spots but our last hour of fishing…  EPIC.

This day was a marvelous study in fishing addiction.  Three addicts refusing to leave the water (or waters) before they got a proper fishing fix.

Since this is a year end clearance post I decided to get a little crazy and present you with some trippy pics of our fishing addiction.  ENJOY!

Largemouth Bass caught on a spinner

The first bass of the day

The first Bass of the day was mine.  Running a silver #3 spinner along the coastline did the trick.  After a good day of catching nothing I practically jumped out of my skin when it hit.  Nothing like landing Largemouth Bass in PA at the end of November!

A nice Pickerel caught on a spinner

Mike's Pickerel

Mike’s Pickerel was next and it was awesome.  He was using a small Trout colored spinner and he followed the same technique of running it along the shore.  Thanks go out to  Jeff who was kind enough to handle the fish for Mike since Mike didn’t want to get his dress dirty.

Another PA Largemouth Bass Caught in November

Another beauty!

Another Largemouth hanging out along the edge of the weeds.  I love slow rolling big spinners in cold water.  Feels good to finally put the Senkos away for the year!

Last bass of the day (or night)

Last Bass of the day (or night)

As the sun set the day ended with a final Bass.  Yes there were other fish in between and yes I believe Jeff caught a few as well.  Once we figured out a steady pattern and it started to get dark the fish didn’t have a chance.


With three days left in 2011 do you have plans to fish before 2012?  Let us know in the comments below!



Dec 282011

To continue the discussion I was having over on Google Plus with some heavy hitters of the online fly fishing world…

After being a good boy for 12 whole months it appears I might have enough Christmas cash (along with change from the couch cushions) to buy a new heavy duty fly rod.

In order to keep wifey happy I’m trying to get the best I can for under $300 (although $200 would be awesome).

My Requirements:

  • Strength to chuck some heavy, meaty flies
  • Handles 3lb+ Bass
  • Ability to haul in a Muskie every now and again
  • Can be used for a saltwater trip every now and again

This? On the fly? Sign me up!

So anyway, I’m most likely looking for an 8wt rod.  The choices below were suggested by some other anglers but I would love for you to cast your vote (or make a new suggestion if you wish).  I know a lot of you have a 8wt you love and I trust you to help me find one of my very own.  Thanks for the help!

Do you like having the ability to help me decide what to buy?  Should democracy play a larger roll on The Functioning Fishaholics?  Let us know in the comments below!

Dec 272011

Today I had full intention of posting a useful article on fishing.  Then I clicked on some YouTube videos and well…  Let’s just say my evening quickly took on more of an “educational” tone.

Ya know, like when you were in high school and they would have “movie day”.  Pretty sure I slept through most of those movies in school but I bet they were like these and I bet these are educational.  So enjoy!

Today I learned about the Dragon Shark

My real name is "Frilled Shark" (via Wikipedia)

I also learned that sometimes they like to eat puppies…  No really.

YouTube Preview Image
Crazy eh?  Keep that in mind next time you think about long walks on the beach with Scruffy!

Interested in seeing some non-animated footage of a  Dragon Shark?  BAM!  Here ya go!

YouTube Preview Image

According to Wikipedia (I read it here) these Frilled Sharks live 160-660 feet deep and can be found all over the place.

distribution of the frilled shark, dragon shark

Now that you'll never swim off the coast of Georgia again...


I also ran into some new exciting footage of the Loch Ness Monster.  Not really sure if this one was faked or not but apparently they have caught the creature eating.  We now have a better idea of what bait to use!


YouTube Preview Image


I hope you enjoyed movie day.  If you learned something new let us know in the comments below!



Dec 242011

One epic fishing trip last July involved a whole host of wild animals.  We first met a curious raccoon in broad daylight (from which I ran screaming like a little girl).  Raccoons in daylight?  Never good.

After moving to another fishing location (several miles away),  we also met the little gem below.

picture of a bat that landed in the water at Green lane park

Is that a bird?

Jeff and I saw something fall out of a tree into the water.  At first glance we thought that a baby bird had fallen from a nest.  As the animal flailed around helplessly in the water I sprang to action.  Hiding the hook in my Senko worm, I continuously cast beyond the animal and pulled it closer and closer to shore…


Not a bird.

The creature had given up on trying to swim back to shore and after the earlier daylight run-in with a Raccoon, I deemed the day “Rabies awareness day” and decided that I was going to leave the bat to its own devices 10 feet or so from shore.

YouTube Preview Image

I walked away from the drowning creature as it swam helpless circles in the water and continued to fish downstream.  After a few casts it occured to me that I was ready to help this animal when I thought it was a bird but now that it was something a little less cuddly, I all but left it to die.

The wilderness Grinch’s heart grew two sizes that day…

I decided that one creatures life wasn’t worth more than another.  After a short period of “manning up”, I walked back upstream and with three or four well placed casts I was able to pull the little critter back to the dry bank.

Once the bat was on solid ground and showing signs of life I proceeded to run back downstream like a little girl.  I wasn’t about to let Dracula thank me for playing lifeguard.

That bat most likely died by now due to one thing or another but a great lesson was learned that day.  If you are going to help something (or someone) don’t change your tune when you learn they aren’t what you first expected.  If you commit to help see it through.


Do you like bats?  Would you save one from drowning?  Let us know in the comments below! 

Dec 232011

As we draw 2011 to a close I’m forced to think about all of the things I didn’t get to do this year.  Regrets?  Perhaps.

I’m going to do a few quick and dirty rapid fire posts.  Good news is you’ll get some great pictures to look at.  Bad news is there won’t be much story.  But hey what do you want for 50% off clearance deals?

The first end of year clearance item is the Fly Tying Symposium I went to with Mike and Mike from Dub The Thorax and Troutrageous!


Two awesome guys and one awesome time!  I look back on this trip as one of my favorite moments of 2011.

If you’d like the back story of this mid-November fly fishing extravaganza, check out their amazing posts below:

The best fly fishing blog in Montgomery County PA’s rendition (Troutrageous!)

The best fly fishing blog in Bucks County PA’s rendition (Dub The Thorax)

My original intention was to include the names of all of the masterful tiers that were there but hey, this is the end of year clearance…


Did you make the show?  Did you like my pics?  How bout the great stories told by Mike and Mike?  Let us know in the comments below!



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