The Functioning Fishaholics

Apr 272011

OK so one more post about my dog Buddy and then we go back to fishing.  If you missed my last post it involved wading boots, a dog, and poo…  Check it out at your own risk!

Today I’d like to share a little weirdness that started right after “the incident”.  Check out the video below and you’ll see what I mean.

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For the record “go night night” means “Buddy get in the bathroom and go to sleep”.  Ever since “the incident” Buddy has decided that he now wants to sleep in the bathtub rather than on the floor.  I’d love to insert some witty comment here about why my dog now chooses to sleep in a bathtub but hey, I’m just a dude with a dog that likes to sleep in a bathtub…

Hopefully the weirdness stops soon!  I need to get back to talking about how I’m using the heck out of my PA fishing license!


So what do you think?  Do you have a good reason why my dog has chosen to start sleeping in a bathtub?  Let us know in the comments below!

Apr 262011

Do you believe in best friends?  Is it possible for someone to connect with you on such a level that whatever they do they will always have a special place in your heart?  Tonight an event happened that tested the limits of a best friends relationship.  This test would stretch the definition of a friend and challenge a Functioning Fishaholic to the utter limits of his compassion.

Let me introduce you to one of my best friends.  His name is Buddy.

Buddy getting into trouble

Not the incident in question...

Buddy is a Lab/Border Collie mix with a few health problems (seizures) and a giant heart.  As you can see from the picture above this wonderful bundle of canine love has a track record for getting into trouble and tonight was no exception.

Warning bathroom humor ahead

Last night something wasn’t right with Buddy.  He wasn’t his usual self and let’s just say there was a 2:45am “incident” involving the bathroom (where he sleeps) and a certain Canine bodily function.  Remember that scene from the Exorcist?  Anyway, please excuse the back story from the night before but I first want to make sure you know that what happened next is far worse than cleaning up after a dog at 2:45am.

The next morning

Wifey and I knew our pup was feeling under the weather but like responsible parents we both had to go to work.  He seemed OK when we left him and we were optimistic that things would be all better once we returned home in the evening.

Please don't leave me!

A sick dog will have his revenge!

Wifey was the first one home from work and had the pleasure of seeing the carnage first hand.  The bathroom was uh…  Let’s just say destroyed by a monster who spewed forth evil from both ends…  This STILL wasn’t the worst part (ok maybe for Wifey)

Speaking of Wifey, she’s a saint.  She puts up with me fishing all of the time and even serves as a front line of defense against “issues” like an exploding velocicraptor of a dog.  Although Wifey smiles and takes care of business, today would be the day that she and Buddy would have their sweet revenge.

Dad’s home

As I arrived home Wifey was almost done getting the bathroom back to normal.  I walked in the house, set down the food I had picked up for dinner (although neither one of us wanted to eat at this point) and began to change into more comfortable clothing for the night.

I'll be hiding in the office

A quiet voice and impending doom

“Baby?” a soft and timid voice questioned from the bedroom doorway, “I’m sorry… but your boots.”

My mind suddenly flashed back in time…  “Ya know, you really shouldn’t keep your boots in there.” she said as I placed my wading boots in the spare bathtub for storage.  “Aww don’t worry hun it’s where they belong!”  I wrongly stated a few months back.

My boots…  What happened?

At first panic filled my soul but then I let out a little chuckle…  She’s gotta be messing with me right?  I mean I keep my wading boots in the tub behind the shower curtain there’s no way Buddy could have…

I walked into the bathroom, a scene reminiscent of a funeral viewing.  My wife stood to the side, tears streaming down her face.  There was a deep tone of sadness in the air and a feeling of impending doom.  I pulled back the shower curtain to reveal the corpse of a dear friend…  My wading boots covered in a substance that can only be compared to something once seen in a Ghost Busters movie (but brown).

At this point I would have stabbed a human but this was different, this was man’s best friend, a 50lb ball of black fur and doggy meat.

How can you be mad at a poor little pup for being sick?

How could any creature do that to such a beloved (and barely used) brand new pair of wading boots?

But oh, he’s so cute and cuddly…

But what about the Trout, and Bass and…

Today I learned a very valuable lesson about being  a parent.  While I don’t have any “real” children of my own, I learned that sometimes children unknowingly ruin things that are near and dear to your heart.  Although my boots were new and some of the most comfortable footwear I’ve ever owned, this time the love for my dog won out.

The fishing Grinch’s heart grew two sizes today

While there was a good bit of Mennonite shunning towards Buddy I didn’t once yell or even project anger at my pup.  As much as I love fishing and my fishing gear, I guess there are some times in life where fishing needs to take a back seat to compassion and understanding.

Are we still best friends?  Only time (and a little soap) will tell!

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Has your fishing reputation been soiled by a four legged friend?  Let us know in the comments below!




Apr 232011

Tired of all of this rain yet?  If you live in South Eastern PA and enjoy fishing, you may be praying for a drought.  This April has been a wet one with four inches of rain so far.

Not sure about you but I’m tired of getting rained out on perfectly fish-able weekends.  Last night I tied three awesome crayfish deer hair jigs and I had to test them out.  I knew the weather forecast was for rain all weekend but  there were Smallmouth Bass somewhere for the catching, come hell or high water.

High water

I decided to brave the elements and head out for a mid-day fishing trip on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.

East branch of the Perkiomen Creek

Only a little high

It rained all night and there was a little drizzle coming down.  When I arrived at the scene the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek was a little high and fast but otherwise it was fairly clear.  I decided to tie on one of my new deer hair crayfish jigs and give it a go.

Here is a pic of my deer hair jig

Crawdaddy goodness

Hunting for dinky fish

The area I chose to fish was picked for one reason, it holds TONS of dinky fish.  During the summer months you can dangle a bare hook in the water under this dam and catch loads of small Bluegills and Rock Bass.  My goal today was to catch at least one of these dinky fish on my new creation as proof that what I tied was worth tying.  Even if it was a 3″ Bluegill I didn’t care at this point I just wanted a fish on the line.

I threw my first cast out across the dam slowly bouncing the 1/16oz deer hair jig off of the rocky bottom.  I quickly found that with fast high water 1/16oz and a clump of deer hair had trouble getting down to the bottom.  I brought my first cast back to the bank, no fish.

Two more casts were thrown with not so much as a single bite.  I tend to get a little impatient when I fish especially if I’m in an area where I shouldn’t be getting snubbed (especially by dinky fish).  I decided to bring my line in close and vertically jig the still water on the near side of the stream.

A gift

All of a sudden I felt something slam the line.  So far this year my largest fish was a stockie size Rainbow Trout;  This pull felt different.  My heart leaped into my throat, not only was this the first fish that bit my custom deer hair jig but this was a fish of size!

Smallmouth Bass caught on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek


13" Smallmouth bass caught on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek

13" is tough to measure with a thumb in a fish's mouth

When the fish latched on to my lure I wasn’t quite sure what I had on the line.  The East Branch is a great place to catch little dinky fish but I’ve never seen anything of size come from this spot.  I actually got to use my drag a bit as I walked down the bank closer to the water.  It was my mission not to let this one get off the line.  This was my first fish on my deer hair jig and I had a feeling it was the largest fish I’ve ever caught at the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.  This fish was special and I’m glad I was able to bring it in.

After measuring the 13″ Smallmouth Bass I went to remove the hook and realized that it was lodged smack dab in the middle of its upper jaw right in the bony part.  I was surprised I was able to set the hook hard enough to get it in there.  This fish must have been hungry!

A visitor

A little later (after catching zero additional fish) I decided to walk up stream a bit.  After a little time fishing one spot I noticed something strange walking down the bank on the opposite side.  It was a dog!  The dog walked down to the stream, got a drink and proceeded to watch me fish.  Not knowing if this dog was friendly or a rabid, man eating, stray I tried to play it as cool as I could.  I hoped it wouldn’t swim across and bite my face off.

Picture of a dog that was watching me fish


As I continued to fish this dog sat motionless on the other side of the bank all the while staring silently at me fishing.  It was weird and cool at the same time, just me and this random dog hanging out and enjoying the fishing experience.  I didn’t catch anything at this new spot but I threw a few extra casts for the dog’s amusement.

I hit up two other places on the East Branch and main part of the Perkiomen Creek but I wasn’t able to land any additional fish.  Sometimes one good fish can make your day and today was one hell of a day!

Oh yea and I saw a brain sucking alien monster…

wtf is this alien monster?


Hopefully another one of you outdoorsy types can help me identify this thing.  Until then I’ll be stocking up on canned goods and buying guns for the impending alien invasion…


Have  you or someone you love been abducted by weird wormy ball alien things hanging from trees?  How’s the Smallmouth fishing in your neck of the woods?  Let us know in the comments below!



Apr 232011

Its been a while since I’ve indulged in one of my favorite vices.  Tonight I was in the mood to dive in and enjoy this vice to its fullest extent.  I decided to take my vice to all new levels…  I danced the Crayfish jig!

Crayfish?  I'm a king prawn!

Crayfish? I'm a king prawn!

I know, I know, all this talk of vices and you were hoping this was a post about beer.  Fortunately for me this is a page (mostly) about Functioning Fishaholics not Functioning Alcoholics…

That being said, I used a fly tying vice to crank out a few of these makeshift crawdads and I hope you enjoy them!


Crayfish or Crawdad?

No matter what you call them these Crayfish hair jigs were easy to tie and didn’t turn out too bad for my first try at tying jigs from deer hair.  Here’s a list of the materials I used:

  • 1/16 (pre painted) black jig
  • 6/0 black thread
  • 2x partridge feathers
  • Buck (deer) hair

While this would have most likely turned out better with buck tail rather than buck hair I’m pretty satisfied with the result.  I managed to whip three of these together in about an hour.  I found that if you don’t use a hair stacker you can use larger clumps of hair and thus cut down on the number of times you need to wrap pieces of hair for each jig.

I can see these jigs working great on Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass and Panfish in the shallow local creeks here in Southeastern PA.  I can’t wait to get out there in some warm non-rainy weather to test these out!

crawdaddy hair jigs

Can't wait to throw this thing


Have you or someone you love engaged in a vice which involves deer hair?  Have you created a monster like the Crayfish jig above?  Let us know in the comments below!


Apr 192011

Ever get the urge to blow off a few rounds after a hard day of work?  Nothing like taking aim on a poor defenseless animal in a cage and popping off a few shots.  Today’s victim is this little gray squirrel.

This little guy is gonna get it

Yep he’s stuck in this cage and I’m gonna shoot him…  With my camera…

Had you going didn’t I?

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Trust me if this guy were eating wifey's plants SHE would have taken him out...

Now let me set the record straight, I don’t have anything against hunting.  If I had a hunting license and this squirrel was running free in the woods…  Well I reckon I’d convert him into some fly tying materials.

Lucky for Mr. (or Mrs.) Squirrel I set this trap to catch a troublesome “whistle pig” that has been eating my wife’s tulips.  After snapping some quick pictures and a short video I set this little guy free (something’s gotta feed the neighborhood hawks).

Apr 182011

Caught a fish today

Caught this bluegill today on a spinner


I checked out a new “top secret Trout” hole today.  Although I wasn’t able to catch any Trout I did catch the Bluegill above.  He loved my gold bladed black spinner.  I also had couple more fish on the line but they got off.

There were actively feeding trout in the pond and one even jumped up about a foot out of the water!  I use an exclamation point here because I’ve never seen a stocked Trout feed so aggressively.  It made me wish I brought my fly rod.

Phantom Midge (Chaoboridae)

Image via Wikipedia

I also saw some really large midges flying around and I’m guessing that’s what the trout was going after.  Lately I’ve seen a lot of midges large and small while out on the local streams and ponds.  I have a  little more to post on that but it’s getting late.  Maybe tomorrow…


Apr 102011

Is it too early to catch Largemouth Bass in South Eastern Pennsylvania?  This morning Jeff and I went to one of our secrets spots to try our luck and see if we couldn’t scare up a few Largemouth Bass.

After all of the shoulder to shoulder fishing traffic of opening day, we decided that we would rather attempt to catch dormant Largemouth Bass than deal with the over fishing currently going on in stocked streams.

Trip details:

  • We fished from dawn 6:30am – 10:30am
  • Air temperature 47-56*F
  • Cloudy with light 2-5mph wind
  • Water temperature 54*F
  • Water clarity slightly cloudy due to recent rain
  • Water level was high

The secret fishing spot while usually over-run with weeds is fairly clear at this time of year.  This was the first time we have used the depth finder at the secret spot and it was interesting to see that a lot of our assumptions about the depth of the lake were wrong.  We always thought that the center of the lake was the deepest part however after cruising around we discovered that the outside edges of the lake are actually the deep points.  The deepest part of this lake is only about 7ft with a majority being 5ft or less.

During the summer months we usually fish the vegetation around the edges of the lake.  The lily pads and channels between submerged vegetation usually land us a few nice sized Largemouth bass, bluegill, and the occasional Crappie.

Let’s just say it’s still a little cold for warm water fish…

April bluegill fishing

April Bluegill in PA

Well, here’s my Bluegill.  This is the only fish we were able to land today.  I caught him on a Rapala 2-1/2″ Husky Jerk in Silver.  We were getting some short strikes on the top of the water and at one point Jeff had something sizable on his line but it didn’t make it to the boat.  We tried slinging some plastics and even an inline spinner but my Husky Jerk and Jeff’s Original Floater were the only lures that caused any sort of reaction from the sluggish fish.

At this point in the year I’m pretty sure we’d have better luck fishing in the evening after the water has had a chance to warm up a few degrees.  It seems like the Bluegills are becoming more and more active and a few weeks from now it should be back to business as usual.  +1 for the fish count!

Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis)

Image via Wikipedia

One Bluegill beats the skunk any day!


How’s the fishing in your neck of the woods?  Catch anything?  Let us know in the comments below!


Apr 072011

Talk about quick customer service!  I emailed Rise Fishing yesterday as part of the Owl Jones Rise Fishing fly rod contest and in about 30 minutes (late on a Wednesday night) I got a response!

Rise Fishing's email response

That's service!

Now the quick response may have been due to the shocking nature of the video I sent them but if you want to see that you’ll have to leave me a comment below and ask for the link.  It’s too crazy to post!


Apr 072011

Here’s a great contest ran buy a great guy that looks like this


Eastern Screetch-Owl (grey morph)/Megascops asio

Image via Wikipedia Click for more "Owl"

I’m not going to tell you much about this contest because frankly I’ve already almost lost the shirt off my back.  I was able to get my shirt back but not without an encounter with a permanent marker…

The contest involves some great fly fishing gear from:

You’ll see a few more strange posts about this contest over the next few weeks (as I’m trying to win it).  I’m going to do my best to win but I always love a good fight so if you would like a challenge please check it out via the button at the top of this page.

Anyway that’s about all I have for this post.

Well, I don’t have any fish pictures, so here’s my cat.

Interested in seeing the video of me almost losing my shirt?  Let me know in the comments below and I’ll shoot you the link!  IT’S JUST TOO GRAPHIC FOR THE SITE!

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