The Functioning Fishaholics

Jul 312011
 

After taking a nice walk through the woods with Mike from Troutrageous! this morning, I found myself with a burning desire to catch some fish and eat some food.

Fisherman needs food BADLY!

Mc D’s seemed like a good idea at the time…  Nothing like a burger and fries to replenish any burgers or fries I may have exercised away by this morning’s hike!

After slamming a kings portion of food into my gullet, I decided that an afternoon of fishing was in order.

"He spends too much time with those fish"

Fresh from a good skunking on Valley Creek, I needed to go somewhere where I knew I would be able to catch at least one fish.  I settled on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.

Today's East Branch Rockbass

Although I feel like I spend way to much time on this creek, a sure thing, is a sure thing.  The East Branch was still a little high and brown from Friday night’s downpour.  I decided the off-color water would be great cover for my clumsy wading.

Almost no color markings on this Smallmouth Bass

I was able to wade into a nice spot where I could hit all of the good areas of my pool with a minimal amount of moving.  My first fish was an awesome Smallmouth Bass in the 15″ range.  The fish lodged my hook in the net and was a real pain to get off.  I didn’t want to keep it out of the water for too long so I rushed thumbing his mouth and with a few strong wiggles the fish flopped from my grasp, back into the water.  BUMMER.

All in all, I caught two Rockbass and two Smallmouth Bass on my spinning rod before the bite shut off.  While the numbers were low the quality of fish was awesome for this small creek.  I had a handfull of nice catches and decided to call it a day.

Beautiful East Branch Perkiomen Creek Rockbass

 

Did you fish TODAY?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Jul 302011
 

Met up with Mike from the best fly fishing, Trout, and Tenkara blog in PA Troutrageous!  for a personal guided tour of some of the awesome secret fishing hot spots on Valley Creek.

A Troutrageous! Guide

We started the day around 7am.  There was lots of hiking and bushwacking to get in to some of the prized runs and pools along Valley Creek.  Mike was a kind host and gave me first crack at many of his favorite spots.  As a rookie fly fisherman I did my fair share of snagging trees and walking through good fishable water to remove flies stuck under rocks.  Mike didn’t complain even once!  He didn’t even get annoyed when I wanted to fish areas of water that he knew didn’t hold fish.

Any Trout in there?

While I have fished a small portion of Valley Creek once before, today’s trip encompassed about a mile and a half of water that was completely new to me.

I marveled at how cold the water in this creek remained even though it was 95 degrees outside!  At one point I even thought my waders were leaking due to the coldness of the water on the outside.

Butterflies, rocks, and clear water

We saw some signs of activity in the water and a few rises here and there but many of the Trout we saw in the Creek seemed to be taking it easy in the warm weather.

This is Mike casting

This is a picture of Mike casting.  I’m sure when he posts today’s adventure on Troutrageous! there will be plenty of pictures of me trying to pull my flies from trees and untying massive “wind” knots.

WTF?

Valley Creek is a beautiful and strange place.  While hiking we actually came across a coconut.  Yes, I am the idiot that looked up into the treetops (as if a coconut tree would grow in PA).

Despite all of the good times, snags, and coconuts, Mike and I were only able to get a few bites the whole morning.  I’m pretty sure the best chance at landing a fish belonged to Mike (solely based on the volume and strength of the of adult language that erupted when it threw the hook).

Even if no fish were brought to hand, I still had a great morning on Valley Creek.  Once temperatures cool off a bit this will be a fun and challenging spot for me to fish.

Stay tuned for my next post about this afternoon’s fishing.  Yes I spent 10hrs fishing today and Yes I promise the next post has pictures of fish.

Ever try Trout fishing in 95 degree weather?  Have you gone fishing with other strange and amusing blogging celebrities?  Let us know in the comments below.

Jul 302011
 

Made an extremely short trip to Skippack Creek on the way home form work yesterday.

Caught a few Bluegill, ran from some lightening, and saw some cool stuff.

Bluegill caught at skippack creek

Lil guy

This Bluegill and the next were caught in a heavily fished part of Skippack creek.  They both fell for a mini-hopper fly.  This mini-hopper is a variation (or my best attempt) at the mini-hopper that was tied over at Arizona Wanderings.  You can hunt through his site to find the pattern or you can just go here and pay AZ Wanderings for the real thing:  http://azwanderings.com/flies/flies-for-sale

mini-hopper flies

Here are my mini-hoppers

My mini-hoppers should really be called “micro-hoppers”.  I was fortunate enough to see the real version today and mine are about half the size and quality of the original.

Nice Bull Bluegill on Skippack Creek

Look at that dome!

This is going to sound a little weird, but I was actually a little proud of this Bluegill.  Not only was it huge for Skippack Creek, but it also had one of those big bull foreheads that you traditionally only see on monster Bluegills.  I catch a lot of these fish and they are generally just annoying and small but this one was unique.

After some close lightening moved in, I decided to move out.  On the way home I saw something very special and awe inspiring…

A DOUBLE RAINBOW!

A double rainbow over the Perkiomen Creek

The Perkiomen Creek is magical

Not sure if it was magical or just  due to all of the treated waste water in the Perkiomen, but this rainbow was EXTREME!

 

Have you been catching Rainbow Trout or chasing rainbows lately?  Let us know in the comments below!

Jul 242011
 

Boy do we like cake.  We like cake almost as much as fishing…

Via Wikipedia.org

So why are the Functioning Fishaholics eating cake and not fish?  In case you missed the title or the pic above, the  Functioning Fishaholics blog turned one year old today!  That’s right, just one year ago the fishing insanity peaked and this “literary masterpiece” was born.

We have no idea why we haven’t been committed to a mental ward yet for this excessive fishing gluttony but while we are roaming free let’s do some counting:

In our first year

  • 109 Published Posts
  • 170 Comments
  • 872 Twitter Followers
  • 5,180 Tweets
  • 89 Facebook Likes
  • 77 Google+ ers
  • 7 YouTube Videos
  • 2 Web Hosting Companies
  • 2 Blog Platforms

What an amazing year it has been!  But enough with the tooting of our own horn.  I’d like to thank a few people/blogs for really welcoming The Functioning Fishaholics into the world of outdoor blogging.  I could fill 20 posts with all of the amazing people we’ve met out there but I’m going to try to stick to the top 5 that made a difference early on.

Picture of a fisherman's birthday cake

Best Cake EVER!

T!  Number one with a T!  Troutrageous Mike has been there since the beginning and even though his blog is full of a lot of useless crap that has nothing to do with fishing, he’s still one of the best fishing bloggers on the web.  He also has a keen understanding of how blog promotion works and although we don’t like to post pictures of hot chicks in thongs on The Functioning Fishaholics, we still use some of his 2nd tier advice.

2.  The Outdoor Blogger Network –  The OBN was formed soon after we started this blog.  We got our foot in the door early and got to share in the bottomless pool of knowledge that Joe and Rebecca have in the outdoor blogging world.  They gave us gear to review and promotion through their community news section.  In the early days this news section accounted for almost HALF of the traffic coming to our site and we want OBN to know that we really appreaciate their site and all of the promotion that it gave us!

3.  Owl Jones – I have a bit of hesitation here but I mean it when I say, Owl Jones may be the only cat lover I have ever liked.  Owl is the Jim Carrey of the fly fishing world and lucky for him my favorite move is The Cable Guy.  I can also say Owl is the only man who has ever gotten me to write on my chest with a permanant marker (on film).  Whenever I think I’m getting too silly I look over at Owl and say Naaa….  Owl did it last week!

4.  Fishing in PA –  Nate from Fishing in PA.com was there from the start.  Even though he’s not as active as he was in the early days, Nate is still one of the original people I think about when I look back at the baby steps of this blog.  A fellow PA pal it was always good to know that someone else was catching fish (and usually bigger fish than us) in PA.

5.  Twitter – Ok I’m cheating a bit here.  Twitter has been the best social network for @funcfish since the beginning.  As we come close to the 1000 followers mark, I look back and realize that all of our blogger friends were made possible through interactions on Twitter.  Since I’m out of spots for the rest of the awesome people and blogs that have made a difference I’d like to leave you with a list of must follows in the world of fishing.  These people are more than just names behind an @ symbol, these are caring fishermen and women who are always there to share in every laugh and fish pic (no matter how small)

Tweeps

The oldest Twitter friends are at the bottom but please follow the entire list!

@ccamarco, @OneBugIsFake, @her3ma1, @ChrisChicoLopez, @NSTroutBum, @AJSutts, @theriverdamsel, @dvoproducer, @AncientAngling, @FishingPNW, @Flyentologist, @lordgreywolf, @CaseyKeener, @lukekujacznski, @YukonGF, @owljones, @SHARPSFA, @SomeFishBlog, @Lunkerville, @kyleindenver, @FoggyMtnMeander, @huntinthedream, @Jesperflugfiske, @BassMan_Euge, @BenGOutdoors, @socalsalty, @JasonDeCarlo, @Take_Me_Fishing, @fishandboat, @KayakFishPA, @visitPA, @Bass_Pro_Shops, @FactsofFishing, @totalfishing21, @Drumclog, @BassinDrB, @twreed, @vtbasser, @shefishes2, @PaFlyFish, @NAFishClub, @ghost1066, @ABadBackcast, @jim7226, @OBNetwork, @Tacticalbassin, @Outdooress, @Yough_Bass, @TheFisherbabe, @mgaryhanson, @FroggToggsGear, @troutrageous1, @FishingInPa
Were we jerks?  Did we leave your name off of the party invite list?  Don’t worry we still like ya!  Let us know all about it in the comment field below!

Jul 222011
 

If you’ve been keeping your eye on the news lately, you know the road has been a rough one for Borders Books.  Back in February, Borders filed for Bankruptcy and closed about 1/3 of its bookstores.  Today began another chapter in the Borders story, the start of the liquidation sale that will end the remaining 2/3 of Borders Bookstores.  This liquidation will shutter an additional 400 stores.

Borders Books at 1807 Fordham Boulevard in Cha...

Image via Wikipedia

In today’s electronic age, so called “dead tree books” are becomming obsolete due to the many e-book readers out there.  While Barnes & Noble’s Nook has gained an impressive market share, Borders third party e-reader never seemed to catch the e-book wave.

The Borders Bookstore in Montgomeryville PA was one heck of a place.  I remember when the store first opened in the beginning of 1998.  I was blown away by the idea that I could go there, sip on a coffee, and read whatever I wanted for free.  Looking back on it, I guess I should have bought more books.

The place that was once my refuge from boredom (and a great place to take a cheap date) was going to be leaving this world forever…

I wondered if the store was in some way rewarding me today for all of the time I had spent there when I was a teen.  Like an old friend, Borders Books of Montgomeryville seemed to know me.  It somehow reached deep inside of my brain today and figured out exactly what I wanted… what I needed.

The sign in the window said up to 40% off.  I walked into my former hangout for the last time and purchased what may be the final two books I ever buy from a Borders Bookstore.

The following two books are about fishing (duh) and were among scarce pickings in the “sports” section. More importantly than that, these books are the top two books in all of the world that I’ve been desperately meaning to buy. I don’t want to get too worked up here but dang Borders of Montgomeryville I’m going to miss ya!

River Monsters True Stories of the ones that didn't get away pic

River Monsters!

I’ve been thinking about buying Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones that Didn’t Get Away ever since I finished watching all of the episodes of the River Monsters TV show on Netflix.  Jeremy Wade is a genius on TV and from what I hear he’s a great writer too!

The Complete Book of Tackle Making

The Complete Book of Tackle Making

I’ve read parts of C. Boyd Pfeiffer’s masterpiece The Complete Book of Tackle Making on Google Books and from what I’ve seen so far it is a must have item.  The book covers just about any aspect of tackle craft and repair you could ever think of including: Spinners, Jigs, wire rigs, and even rod building.

While I’m going to miss my old hangout spot, these two books should keep me busy for a little while.  Thank you Borders Bookstore for running a great company while it lasted.  I know the cost of these two books and the others I’ve purchased over the years will never cover all of the time I spent in your store but I hope somehow it helped.

I’ll never tire of the feel of paper for a good reference book or classic.  While I like my e-reader for business and technical books, fishing books just belong on paper.

Are you going to miss Borders Books?  Have a special hangout story of your own?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Jul 212011
 

**  Please note – If you are from down south you may want to skip past this post.  It’s mostly about a Yankee doodle dandy crying over a lil’ heat.  **

This Squirrel Needed some AC!

If you don’t live in the Northeastern Part of the country you may be unaware that we are currently going through a pretty significant heat wave here in PA.  Temperatures are up, the humidity is here, and it’s to0 dang hot!

HOT

Now I know things like windchills and heat indexes are for wussies and all but take a look at that pic from the Weather Channel.com.  The time says 9:45pm the heat index in Northern NJ is still 104!  Sick right?

Even my car thought it was hot

I was actually thinking about doing some fishing on the way home from work(I know sick right?) and then I stepped outside.  The wind was blowing a little but the air held the kind of heat that one would only enjoy in the dead of winter.

As I drove home I wrestled with myself over the idea of going fishing.  I thought about the sweat… standing there in a hat… a fishing vest…  My tender flesh baking in the sun.  What if I overheated and had a heat stroke while battling a huge fish?  What if I got heat exhaustion and couldn’t cast…  Then I’d just be stuck there on the shore unable to partake in the sport of kings…

I decided to head straight home to the loving arms of wifey (and my air conditioning).

Later in the evening I did get to experience a little bit of wildlife in the form of the sleeping squirrel above and some pictures of other critters from my pond.

Other fish?

Feedin' time!

Sorry No Fly Fishing Allowed

Bet you're glad there's no Bass in there!

Hard to believe he was a tadpole two months ago

Word has it that temperatures will be even higher tomorrow.  Be careful if you are playing outside and make sure to visit any elderly people in your life.  They don’t always know to turn on the AC!

Oh I also found this cool real-time water temperature page from the USGS.  Check it out.

Are you or someone you know sweating their #$#$% off?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Jul 202011
 

Did a little after work fishing Monday on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.  Temperatures were in the upper 80’s and I decided to see if I could find some Smallmouth Bass.

I ended up with a few nice little Smallies.  One of the fish actually looked pregnant.  I also caught a nice Rock Bass which was a nice going home present and perhaps the hardest fighting fish of the day.

All of these fish were caught on 3″ Black and Watermellon/Black Senkos.  (Yes I know I’m a Senko addict)

Enjoy!

Jul 132011
 

Went out for a little after work fishing on the Perkiomen Creek last night.  I’m in the process of trying to prove that there are some REALLY big Smallmouth Bass in the creek.  So far I’ve been able to hook into some nice 15″ Smallmouth but not anything much larger than that.

Last night the temperature was in the mid 90’s and even though I was sweating bullets in my Simms fishing vest I still managed to find a few fish.

Perkiomen Creek Largemouth Bass

Perkiomen Creek Largemouth Bass

My first fish was this Largemouth Bass.  Sorry for the death grip in this shot but he was a little too small to lip and he was flipping around like crazy!  I don’t catch many Largemouth on the Perkiomen Creek so this guy was a rare treat!

I’m always amazed at how fish from a stream seem so much stronger and feistier than similar species from lakes.  Jeff and I talked about this the other day and we agreed that it may be due to the fact that stream fish are constantly fighting the current and perhaps it increases their muscular strength.

picture of a bluegill from the perkiomen creek

Preggers Bluegill

This Pregnant bluegill went after my 3″ black Senko.  Crazy to think that this fish is probablly only two inches longer than the bait it was trying to eat.

Are there smallmouth bass in the Perkiomen creek?  YUP.

Perkiomen Creek Smallmouth Bass

Here’s one of two Smallmouth Bass I caught tonight.  Pound for pound the Smallies from the Perkiomen Creek all seem to be great fighters!  Even though I used 10lb line these guys gave my fairly light rod a run for its money.

Here's another smallmouth from the perkie

Smallmouth #2

This Smallmouth Bass was the larger of the two.  I think someone should put a warning label on Senko lures.  THEY ARE ADDICTIVE!  I’ve never been a huge fan of plastic but after this summer I’m an addict.

I really think most people miss a lot of strikes when trying to fish these lures properly since having a slack line is one of the best ways to make sure the Senko is falling properly. Maintaining a slack line while feeling and watching for bites takes concentration and makes these baits great fun!

I’m starting to really get a feel for using Senkos and so far they’ve been the most reliable lure for catching Bass in the area.  I’m thinking about building a run and gun strategy alternating a Buzzbait and a Senko.  Sort of a “if they strike short dive bomb em” strategy.

Anyway more on that after I complete some more testing…

Time for a public service announcement:

Do you like hand painted lures?  Do you like custom baits?  One of my Twitter buddies @ghost1066 is doing some amazing things with custom baits.  He doesn’t know (yet) that I’m giving him a shoutout but if you are looking for a completely awesome one of a kind bait or perhaps a gift for the angler in your life, I suggest you head on over to his Etsy store (link below) and make a purchase!

Ghost Originals, Painted By An Artist

Ghost is an accomplished artist who has taken his love for art and applied it to the fishing world.  Check out some more samples of his work here:  Ghost’s handmade custom wooden plugs

To buy some of his lures:  Check out Ghost’s Hand made custom painted plugs at his Etsy store

 

Are you catching Smallmouth on the Perkiomen Creek?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 122011
 

We had a new Functioning Fishaholics Largemouth Bass record on Sunday from the secret spot.  In addition to the new record, Jeff and I caught a good number of fish.  Here’s some highlights.

 

Luckily that little turtle wasn’t deeply hooked.  We got him back in the water before he even noticed he was caught.

We were also quite fortunate that we didn’t catch that snapping turtle!  He was about two feet wide!  Even with a few shoves of a paddle the big snapper wouldn’t leave the side of the boat.  I believe he may have been trying to mate with the canoe!

 

Have you ever hooked a turtle by accident?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Jul 102011
 

“Oh yea I caught a few three pounders and a couple fives yesterday on the creek…  It was an alright day of fishing…”

STOP:  There is nothing that makes my blood boil more than the statement above or any of the many variations you’ll hear when talking to other anglers in Pennsylvania.

It seems that if you have 2011 Pennsylvania fishing license and the ability to cast a line you are guaranteed multiple three pound or larger bass on every trip.  At least that’s what you’d believe if you’d listen to what other anglers are saying…

I’m writing this article as a wake up call.  For all of you that think 12″ Largemouth Bass are three pound bass I have news for you.  You’re wrong.  I’d even venture that fat 18″ Largemouth Bass aren’t three pounders.  In fact, three pound Bass generally aren’t something you catch often in PA.

Now I could brag about the beautiful Largemouth Bass I happened to catch today and how it is by far the best fish I’ve caught this year and how it was 21″ and weight a little over three pounds but I’m going to be humble.

I know catching a REAL three pound Largemouth Bass in PA doesn’t happen on every trip so I figure I’ll be a sport and show you what one looks like.

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

3lb 21" Largemouth do exist in Montgomery County

Now that is what a three pound PA Largemouth Bass looks like.  Yes they do exist in Montgomery County.

As a rule of thumb:  If the fish isn’t as wide as your shoulders you probably don’t have a three pound bass.

And for those of you who throw monster baits hoping that the one giant fish of the lake will take your lure let me teach you something else.  This three pound bucketmouth was caught on a little 3″ black Gary Yamamoto Senko on a size 1 hook.

 

Are you rocking three and five pound fish in PA?  Am I just being a grumpy di*k?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

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