The Functioning Fishaholics

Sep 092011

Even though the  rain and flooding continue this week in Pennsylvania there is a bright side.

No, it’s not your insurance check, it’s…


Are you ready to get Artsy Fartsy Fishing up in here?  Thought so.





Are you enjoying our loose definition of art and photography?  Would you like to see us break out into a new creative direction?  Let us know in the comments below!

Sep 082011

Jeff and I returned to Marsh Creek last Saturday to see if we could rustle up some Largemouth Bass.  The last time we were on this lake was on June 18th over two months ago.  We were very excited to be back.

It was very obvious early on that Marsh Creek had a run in with Hurricane Irene.  The water was high and very green.  Usually the lake is clear for at least a few feet but on this day we were fishing in pea soup.

Marsh creek Largemouth 1 9-3-2011

Jeff's First

It was almost an hour after we got there that we found our first fish.  Jeff’s first  Bass was hanging out in the back of one of the coves in a foot of water.

Usually The Functioning Fishaholics do best when the sun is just coming up over the horizon.  Since I was late to the boat launch (BAD BAD MATT!) and we took the canoe across the lake first, we missed out on most of the dawn action.

Marsh creek Largemouth 4 9-3-2011

Hard fishin'

We had to vary up our game quite a bit to stay on the Bass that day.  Jeff and I have been lulled into the magic of the Senko worm.  It has produced awesome fish all summer but the dark green water at Marsh Creek was making it too hard to find fish.  Jeff opted for a Rapala Original Floater and was able to pull the first two Largemouth Bass of the day.

Marsh creek yellow perch 1 9-3-2011

My first

I have a confession to make.  When my lure strategy gets shot down I chronically search through my tackle box for an answer.  Pretty sure I was about 3 compartment boxes in when I stumbled upon this guy.  I decided to try a small chartreuse Crayfish crankbait I had found at Marsh Creek on a previous trip.  This Yellow Perch decided it was go time as we pulled the canoe into another cove.

Marsh creek Yellow Perch 2 9-3-2011

Yellow Perch #2

I caught my second Yellow Perch about 20 yards from where I found the first one.  Back in the murky cove, it seemed that bright chartreuse was the answer.

Marsh creek bluegill 1 9-3-2011

Jeff's catch of the day

Jeff caught a few more Bass and the lunker pictured above before the wind started kicking up.  We have had a few bad experiences with canoes and wind on Marsh Creek so once it got windy we decided to make a run back towards the dock on the other side of the lake.

Marsh creek Largemouth 2 9-3-2011


As we made our way back I landed this little guy.  I’m always amazed at how light the Largemouth Bass are at Marsh Creek.  The picture doesn’t show it very well but this one had almost no visible green on its body.

Marsh creek Largemouth 6 9-3-2011


About 100 feet from the dock I hooked into this fatty.  With clearer water on this side of the lake, the Senkos were working their magic.  I hooked this bass on a Gary Yamamoto Senko in Watermelon/Black color.  Talk about getting a big smile on your face after a hard day of fishing and fighting the wind!


How’s the fishing been lately?  Still feeling the effects of Irene?  Let us know in the comments below!



Sep 022011

Seems like Fall is on the way and lots of creepy crawlies are coming out of the woodwork.  This week’s Functioning Friday is dedicated to arachnids.

Spider via wikipedia

Gross! (via Wikipedia)

Check out this video of a big spider I caught eating something on my garage.  Sorry for the shaky camera work this was shot with my phone.

WARNING:  If you don’t like bugs click here

YouTube Preview Image


Are the bugs invading your home this time of year?  Are you taking pictures to help you design fly patterns?  Let us know in the comments below!


Sep 022011

Never enough time to go fishing?  Remember, time is never something you have, time must be made.

Tuesday night I made time to go fishing on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.  I say “made” time but I would honestly consider this hour stolen.  In late August, in Southeastern PA, sunset starts at around 7:30pm.  I arrived on the water at about 7:35pm after a trip to Lowes to purchase some PVC pipe for rod tubes (more on that later).

Because I was short on time I decided to skip the fly rod and go straight for my spinning rod.  Yep, Senkos were on the menu.  The sun was quickly setting but after a weekend of hurricane weather I was ready to fish!

USGS depth chart for the East branch of the Perkiomen creek


Notice anything odd here?  Say hello to my little friend Hurricane Irene.  This usually mild mannered creek spiked from 3ft to 13ft due to Hurricane Irene’s rainfall.  It amazes me that not even three days later the flow was only a foot above pre-hurricane levels.

120 days east branch USGS data

120 Day Rainfall

Here’s another graph that shows the depth of the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek over 120 days.  Mother nature and her daughter Irene are really amazing  when you look at the numbers.  Some local reports are calling this a 100 year flood for the area.

I was ecstatic upon arriving at one of my favorite fishing spots to see that the water was relatively clear and only a little fast.  Unfortunately that would be the end of the seeing part of this trip.  As I began casting my Senko to the far side of the creek bank, the daylight quickly vanished.

Smallmouth Bass east branch perkiomen creek 8-30-2011

First Fish

My first fish was a bite in the dark.  I’ve grown accustomed to watching the line while fishing Senkos.  Presented with this blind challenge I adopted a strategy of quickly popping my line up to remove slack without pulling on the Senko.  This way the action of the bait would not be affected but I could better manage slack and drift in the line.  I also believe 80% of strikes on a Senko happen between when the worm hits the water and the first time it touches bottom.  By focusing on the first drop I was able to land my first fish.

Smallmouth Bass 2 East Branch Perkie

Hurricane Fish

My second fish would be my last for the night.  As the darkness closed around me I quickly realized that while I couldn’t see anything the mosquitoes had no trouble finding me and making a pincushion out of my elbows.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have a ton of experience being alone in the dark in remote outdoor places.  While I know the list of things that can “come get me” in the dark is limited to other humans and aliens I still get an uneasy feeling like I’m being watched.  Usually I push past it and keep fishing but with it going on 8:30pm and two fish caught I decided it was time to head home for dinner.

The fish were fairly ravenous after the hurricane and I’m hoping that their activity extends to this weekend where I’ll be doing a little lake fishing for Largemouth Bass.

How’s the fishing been after Irene?  Let us know in the comments below.



Aug 292011

I got a little something in the mail last week from one of the coolest fly fishing blogs in the universe.


Ladies and gentlemen behold:

T! Legit To Quit...

A 100% genuine, limited edition, T! aka Troutrageous shirt!  I would show the back to you but then you’d have no reason to head on over here and check it out.  Rumor has it there are five of these shirts still available for purchase, then they are gone FOREVER! (or at least until Mike has more printed).

Oh, and in case you are too cheap to buy a shirt, you might want to check out what I also got in the mail.

Tower of power

Yep that’s right T! stickers!  Mike sent me two of these stunning monochrome masterpieces!  I decided to affix mine to the “tower of power” (aka my fly tying stuff holder).

If you’d like to purchase a sticker for your car you have two options:

1.  Head on over to one of the best darn trout blogs in pa where you’ll be able to view pictures of cool people with cool T! gear and perhaps beg the blogging genious into sending you one or…

2.  I’m willing to part with my unused limited edition T! collectible sticker for $2134 US dollars.  Yes that’s right for a small sum you can have my unused sticker.  You’ll also be donating to one heck of a Cabela’s run (I promise not to spend it all on one fly rod).

*Disclaimer:  These amazing, limited edition, one of a kind, works of art on fabric and sticky paper were provided to me in exchange for a sum no greater than $0.


Do you have T! merch?  Does someone you love have T! merch?  Let us know in the comments below!

Aug 282011

Going to keep this report short and sweet.


Went out fishing early in the morning, 5am.

Rock you like one of these

Hurricane Irene was rolling up on PA, expected to start raining at 9am.

Biot Free Bead Head Prince

I threw this

I was using some “biot free” Bead Head Prince flies I had tied up.

My first Brown Trout on the fly

Valley Creek, I caught my first Brown Trout on the fly.  This would be my only fish for the day.

Brown Trout from Valley Creek

Here's another shot of this nice Trout

This fish was awesome.  He jumped, he stayed on the line, he delivered a once in a lifetime experience for me.

Hero pose

This is an over photoshopped photo of the fly I used.  It did well.  It deserved a hero pose photograph.  It now rests comfortably in one of the trees at Valley forge National Park.

Valley Creek Rocks

Valley Creek rocks.  The weather held out until 11am.  Although I didn’t catch anything else that day, one was enough.


Do you remember your first trout on the fly?  Let us know in the comments below!

Aug 282011

This post was nominated by one of our readers (thank you!) and was awarded the honor of being a “Reader Approved Outdoor Post” by the Outdoor Blogger Network.  We are proud to receive this award and thank the Outdoor Blogger Network for all of their hard work in building such a great community!




Ready to become a fly fisherman?

Before you run off to buy your very first pair of Simms waders you might want to give this a read.  The truth about fly fishing could make you switch from Orvis to Ugly Stik in as little as five reasons.

The truth is, fly fishing sucks…

Looks simple enough...

If you are interested in getting into fly fishing life will not be easy.  Brace yourself, here comes five reasons why you may want to go and buy a can of worms instead.

1.  Good gear costs an arm and a leg

This one is obvious.  Walk into any outfitter, fly shop, or even local sporting goods store, and take a look at the prices.

Are you down with spending 20% of the cost of a used car for a fishing rod?  Do you also know that 9 out of 10 rods end up meeting their maker by being slammed in a car door?

Take a look at some of the “great deals” I found on Amazon:

2.  Trees, weeds, rocks

Are you content with catching trees, weeds, and rocks 90% of the time?

Let’s take a look at what fly casting looks like for the beginner:

“Oops!  I just backcast into a tree.”
“Ok, now my line is free.”
“Oh wait, I’m stuck around some weeds.”
“Ok, good I’m free again.”
“Woohoo!  I threw a cast into the water!”
“Wait…  Is that a bite?”

“Oh crap, I’m snagged on a rock.”
“Sweet I didn’t lose my fly.”
“Hang on, I’m in a tree again”‘
“There goes my fly and tippet…”

This cycle will repeat over and over until you give up (or drown yourself).

If you fish any of the beautifully wooded streams in Pennsylvania, you can count on spending most of your fishing trip dealing with removing hooks from places they don’t belong.

3.  “wind” knots and knots in general

"Wind" knots

If you read up on fly fishing you’ll quickly learn that “wind” knots are somewhat of a normal occurrence on the water.

They’re called “wind” knots because, “you really suck at casting and you’ll probably put your eye out” knot, is just too long of a name.

As a beginner you will become very familiar with “wind” knots.  Most of the time they happen because you suck at casting.  You will also become very familiar with tying knots as you’ll be replacing your tippet over and over again due to the “wind.”

4.  Spooky fish

Want to catch wild Trout?  Even with the stealth of a ninja, the fish will hear you.

As you hobble your dumpy, wader clad, butt down the stream bank, the Trout are listening.  While you are busy breaking sticks, falling on your face, and whistling while you walk, the Trout are finding their hiding places.

By the time you make it to the water the fish have already been laughing at you for quite some time. Since you are a rookie, you’ll top it off by jumping right into the water, wading across the stream, and stopping two feet from where you plan to fish.

Please don’t stop to wonder why you got skunked.

Not again!!!!!

5.  Your first Trout will make you cry

That’s right.  You better be ready to look like a sissy boy on the river.  If you are anything like me, you’ll spend most of your beginner fly fishing trips catching 4″ Bluegills and the occasional Bass on topwater flies.  Wild Trout will remain a mystery. When you try to fish for wild Trout you will become very familiar with the skunk.

The first wild Trout you catch will bring tears of joy to your eyes.

My first Brown Trout on the fly

Yesterday I caught my very first wild Brown Trout on the fly.  It was one of the best days of my life.  While I didn’t ball like a baby, I will admit there was some moisture building up behind my glasses.

All by myself, on a misty morning, a hurricane rolling in, I caught my first Trout on the fly.  It was 6:56am.

I have a fly rod that was donated by a good blogger buddy.  I tie my own flies on the cheap.  My waders say Cabela’s on the front.  I don’t wear fishouflage.  I even use an altoids tin as a fly box.

  • If you can be cheap
  • If you don’t mind catching more snags than fish
  • If you can deal with tying the same knot over and over and over
  • If you can tiptoe
  • You might just endure long enough to enjoy one of the best hobbies and moments of your life

I hope you took the time to read through all the BS in the beginning of this article.  Fly fishing can be hard and at times it sucks but it’s also one of the most rewarding pastimes around.  Nothing worth doing is ever easy.


Do you LOVE fly fishing?  Was it too hard for you?  Let us know in the comments below!

Aug 212011

Right before the thunder storm rolled in this morning my backyard was literally overtaken by birds.  While I’m used to the occasional visit by a flock of birds, today was different.  I’ve never seen such a variety of birds all at once, tons of Starlings, two or Three Blue Jays, Chickadee’s, and a couple different kinds of Woodpeckers.

Male Pileated Woodpecker (via Wikipedia)

At one point I counted four woodpeckers at once in my backyard.  Did they peck my eyes out?  No.  Did I get a sweet video?  YES

Take note of the bird kung fu battle at 2:30

YouTube Preview Image


I hope you enjoyed this video of a Male Pileated Woodpecker (the big one) and the smaller Female Downy Woodpeckers.

Are you into bird watching in Southeastern PA?  Let us know in the comments below!


Aug 212011

Spent a few hours on the water last night at Peace Valley Park.  Lake Galena was nice and calm and there was a good deal of activity in the shallow water near the pier I was fishing from.

My first fish was caught on a white/purple shallow diving Shad crankbait.  This Largemouth was hanging out about 10′ from shore and hit the lure like a little monster.

Lake Galena Largemouth Bass1 8-20-11


Unfortunately… he did not wish to have his picture taken.

I caught the second Bass on the other side of the pier using a popper about 5′ from shore.

Lake Galena Largemouth Bass2 8-20-11

Nice light coloring

From what I could tell these Largemouth Bass were chasing baitfish.  At one point a 3″ baitfish jumped clean out of the water onto the bank and was almost devoured by a duck before it flopped back into the water.

I spent about 3 hours fishing at the pier and saw tons of Bluegill underneath.  I didn’t have any lures small enough for the Bluegill, otherwise I would have caught about 50.

If you are looking for a good place to take your kids fishing, I suggest trying below Lake Galena’s piers with worms.


Did you get to fish this weekend?  Let us know in the comments below!



Aug 202011

Fishing has no geographical or political bounds.  Fishermen don’t always follow the same party.  Heck, most fishermen can’t even agree on what lure, fly, or bait to use.  That my friend, is what makes this country (and fishing) great.  Diversity.


While mixing fishing and politics is generally a sure fire way to incite an argument online, I’m going to break one of my own personal blogger rules and attempt to unite fly fishermen under one political cause.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the newest addition to The Functioning Fishaholics “world famous” tee shirt line.

Lefty For President

Lefty For President

Show your support for this new campaign (and our site) by picking up your very own shirt!

Do you think Lefty would make a good president?  Let us know in the comments below!

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