The Functioning Fishaholics

Apr 162012

Well since Jeff ditched me last weekend FOR A GIRL (and some fishing) I figure the least I can do is share his report…   Sounds like he had a great time in that shiny lightly used new boat of his.  It also sounds like the fish are biting at Marsh Creek.  He says we’re supposed to fish this weekend but the weatherman says rain…

Jeff:  Well I saw your report…so I figured I would give you mine. Was on the water from 8 until about 330…caught a bunch of short fish from the launch, Willie’s, and Musky cove. Spent the whole day down at the dam end. Ran into a school of perch in the back of Musky cove and it was a blitz…caught the biggest one I have ever caught.

Yellow Perch Marsh Creek lake

Jeff's Perch

Pulling out of there (The wonderful and talented wife I left you at home for) picked up the lunker for the day…

Largemouth Bass Marsh creek pa

Jeff's wife could easily out-fish me...

only female felt like she weighed a pound and a half. Over all great day on the water…with these batteries I can easily run for 8 hours Included are two fish shots and a glamour shot…so you dont forget what I look like haha

Fishing Marsh Creek

Man I miss this guy...

Thanks Jeff for passing along the fishing report and glamour shot.  Although wifey thinks it’s kinda weird, I had Cafe Press make a poster for my wall.  Hopefully the rain holds off next weekend!

Have you been out fishing in PA with your wife?  Catching anything?  Is she outfishing  you?  Let us know in the comments below!



Apr 152012

Yesterday was an amazing day for fishing in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  Other than a little wind, the weather was perfect for an eight hour 2012 PA fishing license workout.

I almost went fly fishing with one of my blogger buddies but he was having a rough morning.  My mom and dad were already on the water at Green Lane Reservoir so I decided to grab my spinning rod and join in their fun.

When I arrived at Green Lane Reservoir mom and dad weren’t having any luck. The water was still a little cold so we decided we’d move to a stretch of warmer water below the reservoir known as Deep Creek Dam.

I decided to take mom and dad to one of my favorite places on Deep Creek to see if we could catch a few Smallmouth Bass.

Smallmouth 3 deepcreek 4-14-2012

Deep Creek Smallmouth

I have to keep reminding myself that it is only April and I’m Bass fishing.  Even though Deep Creek is smaller and warmer than the main reservoir, fishing was  still fairly slow.  The Smallmouth Bass above was one of the many smaller fish that we pulled out yesterday.

Smallmouth 2 deepcreek 4-14-2012

Another Smallmouth Bass from Deep Creek

Mom and dad were fishing with worms as usual and were catching some average sized Smallmouth Bass and hand sized Bluegill.

Bluegill Deep creek dam 4-14-2012

One of dad's Bluegills

Mom found herself a quality sized “Striper”.  I keep reminding her that they are called Yellow Perch but hey, if she wants to tell people she caught Stripers at Deep Creek…

Yellow Perch Deep Creek Dam  4-14-2012

Mom's "striper" ehm... Yellow Perch

I had one nice sized Smallmouth Bass for the day.  A little smaller than I’m used to for my spot but still a nice fish.

Smallmouth 1 deepcreek 4-14-2012

My largest Smallmouth of the day

I also hooked into a pretty nice Largemouth Bass.  This fish was as strong as an ox for its size.  Most of the fish we caught from Deep Creek yesterday were very healthy and strong.  This is always good to see in an area that is heavily over fished and constantly cleaned out by people who keep every fish they catch.

Largemouth 1 deepcreek 4-14-2012

Deep Creek Bucketmouth

Here’s a shot of its face…

Largemouth 2 deepcreek 4-14-2012

Ooh look a Bass face...

If you’ve read this far I’ve saved the best for last.  Usually my dad is the fisherman “along for the ride.”  While mom and I are the family fishing addicts, dad sits quietly next to us enjoying nature and catching a few Bluegills here and there.

Yesterday dad stole the show.

dad's carp 4-14-2012

Dad's Carp

Dad caught his first ever Carp.  With a little guidance he was even holding it like a pro!  This was easily the best fish of the day.

My favorite part of fishing with mom and dad is watching them catch big fish.  Although they only use live bait, they usually pull out a few nice fish on every trip and seeing their eyes light up is awesome. (even if the biggest fish isn’t mine)

dad's carp 2 4-14-2012

What a face...

While I didn’t end up fly fishing I had a great time on the water.  And who knows, seeing the nice fish mom and dad pulled out I might just have to go back to using live bait…

Did you get out fishing yesterday?  Catch anything?  Let us know in the comments below!



Apr 102012

Wow time sure flies!  The opening day of Southeastern PA’s Trout season was two weekends ago and I still haven’t passed along part 2 of my opening day story!

If you didn’t catch part 1 of the Trout season opener click here

Rock Bass 3-31-2012

This Rock Bass ROCKS!

After catching our limits of Trout in record time, mom and I decided to extend our fishing day and go look for Bass.  The Rock Bass above was caught on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.  This was the first spot we visited.  I landed this Rock Bass using my 8wt Sage Bass fly rod (kind of like hunting deer with a bazooka).

The spot I picked on the East Branch is usually chock full of ready and willing fish, unfortunately it was still a little cold for the fish.  Mom was getting bored…

Not wanting to leave one of my favorite fishing holes I pressed on.

Mom kept pestering, “let’s go check out the new spot!”  “This spot sucks, let’s go check out my place.”

Now to be fair, I knew of the mudhole pond Mom wanted to visit but had never fished there.  I researched the place before opening day and while usually stocked with Trout by the township, it was skipped over this year.

I thought to myself, “I don’t want to fish that algae choked, sesspool of a township pond.”

“Let’s go, I wanna go to my spot.”  “Let’s go, Let’s go…”  Like a anxious toddler, Mom bugged me over and over again to check out her new fishing spot.

“OK old bag!”  I muttered (much softer than I intended).  “I heard that!” Replied Mom.

While “old bag” is a term of endearment in my family, I felt bad about not saying it louder.

“OK we’ll check out your fishing spot!” I replied.

 Persistence equals fish.

We arrived at Mom’s spot to greet a few other ragged groups of anglers.  Sitting on pumpkin colored Home Depot buckets, dunking worms, radioactive Powerbait, and gosh knows what else, it was apparent by the looks on their faces that they weren’t catching fish.

Mom decided to throw on a worm and join the crowd.  Sticking with my trusty Panther Martin spinner I decided I’d churn up the water and see if I could find some Bluegills to keep myself occupied.

About an hour into the expedition, I was convinced that this bore of a fishing trip would become a “casting skills challenge” when suddenly…

Largemouth Bass 1 3-31-2012

Oh hello there...

As you can see from the picture above this Largemouth Bass was a little big for my tiny spinner.

15" or so?

It was about 15 inches long and somewhat chunky.  Finding a healthy Largemouth Bass in a little mud hole like this was awesome.  I was shocked and had to find more…

A few of the other fishermen came over to take a look,  “you gonna eat that one?” they asked.  “Sorry guys this one’s too pretty to eat.”  and with a flick of the wrist I quickly returned this beaut back to the mud hole.

Largemouth Bass 3 3-31-2012

Largemouth #2

Working my way around the pond, I happened upon another smaller Largemouth.  These fish were in great health and even though it took some effort to find them I was having a blast.

Mom was still getting skunked in her new spot.  Now that I was two fish up I decided it was a great time to start relentlessly picking on her,  “Hey, do you need some fishing lessons over there?”

We often pick on each other (especially when fishing) and today was Mom’s turn to be on the receiving end.

Largemouth Bass 4 3-31-2012

My 3rd Largemouth Bass had a problem

My third Bass had a bit of a problem.  While I caught this fish on a Senko, the hook sticking out its head wasn’t mine.  This leftover body piercing had to go.  Gently pulling out the proverbial thorn in this Bass’ face, I carefully returned another big fish to the water.  Feeling smug about my good deed I continued to work the shoreline.

Just then something awesome happened…  My rod doubled over!  (here’s where the “fish story” starts)  There was a BIG fish on my line! After a little fight with the monster Mom ran over to see what all the commotion was about.

“I don’t know if I can get him up!”  The steep angle of the water’s edge and abundant vegetation made landing this fish a chore.  I guided my catch over to the side of the pond.  Knowing there was only one way, I gently grabbed my line.

“You can do this!”  Mom yelled.  With a quick and forceful pull that would have made KVD jealous I attempted to throw this 3+ pound bigmouth into the air.

Easily twice the weight of the other large fish I had landed that day, it was instantly apparent that this was a bad idea.  My 8lb Transoptic line strained under the weight of the finned creature.  Lucky for the fish my hook popped out of his mouth and with a large splash the king of the mud hole returned to his kingdom.  I almost cried big boy tears…

“I want to try one of your spinners.”

Completely shocked, I picked out a few spinners and handed them to Mom.

To say Mom could win the Bassmaster Elite with only a can of worms would be an understatement.  The woman is a fishing machine.  (I secretly think she knows how to speak to the fish).

In my almost 25 years of fishing with Mom I can’t say I’ve EVER seen her use a lure.

rainbow trout 5 3-31-2012

They don't make women like this anymore...

Within a span of an hour Mom used my spinner to hook into two nice holdover Rainbow Trout from last year.  What can I say the woman is a fishing MACHINE!

After I scolded her for “lipping” a Trout, we decided to pack it up and call it a day.  On the way out mom hooked into a small Crappie.  Our fishcounts were now tied at 3 each.

What a great day!  I think I’ll be giving “The Mud hole” another look in the near future…

Do you say rude things to your mom while fishing?  Is she ALWAYS right anyway?  Does she out fish you?  Let us know in the comments below!



Mar 312012

When is the opening day of Trout season in Southeast Pennsylvania?  


Trout season opened today in SE PA

Trout season officially opened in SE PA today

For my family the beginning of Trout season has grown into the most celebrated holiday of the year.  Mom and I have made this a special day of family bonding and this year we even brought dad.

Arriving at 6:30am we quickly rushed to place our chairs on the bank and stake our claim to the best  spot on the pond.

Trout season officially starts at 8:00am and with our spot secured it was time to attend to other business…

wawa breakfast 3-31-2012

Wawa... Breakfast of champions

Leaving mom and dad to guard the folding chairs, I made a quick dash to Wawa for some coffee and grub.   With a lighter wallet and a heavy feed bag I made my way back to the pond.  By this point other fishermen had begun to descend on the area.  As I devoured my morning prey I admired the rises and ripples that were being made on the water…  Yep.  The stocked Trout were hungry too.

After what seemed like an eternity, a gentleman at the head of the pond proclaimed, “It is now 8:00.  Time to fish!”

To catch the first fish is an issue of pride, with the intensity a school yard footrace we were off.

My plan was simple:

Rod 1:  Rigged with an indicator and #8 egg hook loaded with orange Powerbait.  A secondary hook was added as a dropper with some lighter line in case the trout were being picky.

Rod 2: A small brass Panther Martin spinner with an orange feather dressed treble hook.

After missing light bites on my first cast with the Powerbait rod I decided to give rod #2 a try.  Who needs bait anyway?

Wham!  a nice 12″ Rainbow Trout slammed the spinner and easily came to shore.  In the excitement I forgot to grab my net.  The first fish threw the hook and flopped back into the water…

With added urgency, I repeatedly cast my spinner and soon I felt another tug.

rainbow trout 3 3-31-2012

The end of the rainbow

The pace was frantic.  Other fishermen all around the lake were landing trout left and right.  Mom, Dad, Me, Dad, Mom, Me…

rainbow trout 4 3-31-2012

Speed fishing

In PA the daily limit is 5 fish per person per day.  Even with a few catch and release encounters, Mom, Dad, and I had our limits by 8:30am.   The opening day of Trout season is usually the only time during the year I’ll keep fish and to have reached our limit in 30 minutes was down right insane!

After catching our fish, we hung out for a little bit to socialize.  I saw a kid catch a snail…

kid catches snail

Kid catches snail!?

Before we left my mom noticed a little kid who had been getting skunked all morning.  This was unacceptable in mom’s book.  Everyone else around the pond was catching fish and this kid needed help.  With the precision of a seasoned fishing guide, mom sprung to action.

She showed the boy where to cast and after a few tries he hit the mark.

His bobber danced around on the surface of the water but he was unable to set the hook.

“You need to get rid of that bobber.”  Mom proceeded to give the now bobberless boy a five minute lesson on how to feel the fish biting without a float.

The boy returned his orange Powerbait to the spot where he had previously missed a fish.  A few seconds later Mom’s lesson payed off.  The boy set the hook and started pulling in a sizable stocked Rainbow Trout.

Frantically my whole family scrambled for our net.  There was no way this kid was going to lose his first fish of the day.  As the fish flopped around inside the net our mission was accomplished.  one child, one fish, lots of smiles.  His family thanked us and we began to pack our gear.

By the time we were rolling out of the parking lot the boy was into his third fish.  My Mom is a fishing machine.

Returning to my parent’s home, it was time to prepare our catch for the freezer.

Opening day of trout season trout pictures

A sink full of work...

While I won’t go into the details of preparing our catch for consumption, I will say that with three people we made short work of cleaning the fish.

Afterwards, over a warm cup of coffee, we sat and pondered the idea of a 30 minute “day of fishing”.  Mom and I agreed.  30 minutes was about 5 hours and 30 minutes short of our standard.  At our day’s limit for Trout we decided…  It was time for Bass.

Stay tuned for more of today’s story: 2012 PA Trout Season Opening Day pt. 2


Did you get out for SE PA’s opening day?  Are you stuck waiting in another part of the state?  How do you feel about stocked Trout?  Let us know in the comments below!





Mar 252012

Last night at 11:46pm I came to the realization that after all of the hard work and fanfare over my new DIY fly tying desk, I neglected to actually tie anything on it.

Two weeks with no fly tying makes me cranky…

With a burning desire to put some Bigmouths on the end of my new Sage Bass rod, I decided to tie up something furry.

Clouser madtom group 3-25-2012

A rarely seen Clouser Mad Tom party!

I learned to tie this pattern from The Blogger Formally Known As Lunker Hunt.  If you would like a great step by step on how he ties (or tied) this fly you can check out his video on Youtube.

Clouser madtom 1 3-25-2012

The evening's first attempt

On my first three Mad Toms I used MAGNUM bunny strips which gave the flies some nice bulk.  The fur is barred olive, green bucktail on top, white bucktail on bottom.

Clouser madtom 2 3-25-2012

#2 had a change up for the eyes

The second and third Clouser Mad Toms I tied I decided to go with painted bead chain eyes.  These flies remind me of baby frogs and I decided yellow would look better on a frog than red.  I also like the smaller profile of bead chain.

Clouser madtom 3 3-25-2012


My fourth and fifth Mad Toms were tied with Cabela’s bunny strips.  This fur was much thinner than the magnum variety and gave the flies a slimmer and more baitfish like appearance.

Clouser madtom 4 3-25-2012

Blue beauty...

It’s hard to tell from the photos but I used darker bucktail on the top and lighter on the bottom for both of these.  This blue Mad Tom has a  a little bit of crystal flash for “flair”.

Clouser madtom group 2 3-25-2012

The evening's haul

All of these flies were tied on #6 4x streamer hooks.  Now that I’m playing in the realm of Bass I think my next purchase will be some larger hooks.

Overall these flies are fairly easy to tie and have a very short materials list.  I think I’m going to get my act together and see if I can go catch some Bass lose some of them today!

Are you chasing Bass on the fly?  What’s your favorite pattern?  Let us know in the comments below!


Mar 222012

There is nothing I hate more than guys that copy other people’s posts but after seeing this video this morning I’m going to hope epic Troutmaster Troutrageous! Mike will forgive me for stealing this.

Turns out there was a sewage spill in Valley Creek last weekend.

The video below states that there hasn’t been a fishkill (yet) but most likely the effects of the spill won’t really take hold until months from now.

sewage spill in valley forge national park

Feces and Fish don't mix

If you fish Valley Creek for its beautiful Wild Brown Trout, you may not want to watch the video below.  It made me sick to my stomach.

For the full story click here:

I know this shouldn’t need to be said, but I’d caution anyone from wading downstream from where the “incident” occurred.  Don’t tie knots with your mouth, and for heavens sake, stay away from “surface feeding (or should I say floating) varieties of “brown trout”!

valley creek turns into a toilet

No need for one of these... Please just go in my pristine trout fishing paradise!

Help spread the word about this incident.  I tend to be a bit of a news hound but this one almost slipped under the radar.  You’d think the headline:

“Raw Sewage Spill In Valley Forge National Park”

would be a big deal…

Will you think twice about fishing Valley Creek now that it’s filled with sewage?  Have you ever caught the other variety of “Brown Trout?”  Do you think news about “The Situation” going into rehab is more important than a raw sewage spill in a national park?  Let us know in the comments below!


Mar 222012

A guest post by:  Larry Chandler 

Thanks to the internet and smartphones, it is fairly easy to find almost any information about a local spot such as a restaurant or entertainment venue.   Unfortunately, finding information about where to fish and what kind of fish might be available has not been so easy to find.  However, anglers in Pennsylvania can now locate any fishing hole thanks to the Fish PA-GPS Guide app.

What is it?

Basically this is an application for a smartphone or tablet device.  For a small fee you can purchase the app and download it to your device.

GPS fishing guide for PA 1

GPS fishing guide menu

What does it do?

The app gives anglers exact driving directions to fishing areas on rivers, streams and lakes.  It works for boaters as well as folks looking to wet a hook from the shore.  The app uses your current location to provide you with the proper directions on how to get to your chosen spot. The current database has more than 4700 different destinations available for anglers.

Is there more information available?

The app does more than simply point you to a spot.  You have the ability to search for places based on a particular species of fish, available seasons or even particular styles of fishing such as trolling, fly fishing or floating.  You can choose a spot to launch a boat or pick an area good for wading or simply fishing from the shore. Best of all, the results will be listed in order of distance from your current location.  So, if you are searching for a spot likely to hold brown trout, you can find the CLOSEST spot in just a matter of minutes!

GPS guide for PA 2

GPS fishing guide maps

Enhancements for Trout and Bass

If you really are in search of trout waters you can narrow the results in various ways.  The app can show the nearest approved waters that are stocked with trout, point out any locations with special regulations or help you navigate to the steelhead areas out of Lake Erie.

Bass anglers can search the big lakes that are known for holding quality bass and even find detailed information for largemouth, spotted, or smallmouth bass.  Other warm water fish like pike, Muskie, walleye, crappies and catfish are also covered.

Good Info for Boaters

For boaters wondering if their particular rig will pass the regulations on certain bodies of water, the app can tell you what type of motor is allowed as well as the maximum size.  Then, you can pick the boat ramps and launches nearest to your location in order to get fishing quicker and easier.  Available docking points and marinas are also indicated to keep boaters safe and in supplies during their outing.

The technology advancements of our time seem to be permeating every part of our lives.  Smartphones that can do thousands of tasks are becoming an almost vital part of our lives.  Now these little devices can finally do something that a Pennsylvania outdoorsman really likes; point them to a good fishing spot!

What do you think of this type of technology?  Is it something you would like to try out, or do you prefer more traditional means of locating fish?  Give us your feedback below and provide us with your opinion.


Larry Chandler is a freelance writer that often works with trout fishing guide Kurt Schultz.


Mar 202012

I’ve got a secret…  I’ve been secretly sneaking quick 30 minute fishing trips on the way home from work…  Almost every day…

Some people would call this addiction…  I call it PRACTICE.

My usual “on the way home” spot along the Skippack Creek is currently closed to fishing.  Due to the stocking of trout for the opening day of PA’s Trout season, I won’t be able to fish there until March 31.

So until the end of March, I’ve set my sights on an un-stocked stretch of the Perkiomen Creek.  The water is open but so far catching a fish in 30 minutes or less has been extremely difficult.  It’s almost like the water is dead.  Lots of bugs, no ripples, no fish.

After multiple whippings with the fly rod and churning up the water with all manner of lures I finally found this…

Perkiomen Creek Smallmouth Bass

Perkiomen Creek Smallmouth Bass

While I would have loved to catch this little guy on a fly rod, the trusty ol’ spinning rod and Senko were today’s answer.  This is the first fish this year that I’ve caught on my spinning gear.  Up until this point it has only been Trout on the fly.

perkiomen creek smallmouth bass 3-20-2012

First Smallmouth Bass of the year

30 minute fishing trips are not easy.  In the early spring the water is still fairly cold and finding the right pattern, lure, and spot can be difficult from shore.  These outings are awesome practice.  When a single lure change could mean losing 5 minutes of fishing time, every decision counts.  Do I walk upstream?  5 minutes upstream, 5 minutes back to the car, that’s 1/3 of the trip!

If I ever get the chance to fish a tournament, I’m going to remember these lessons.  Timing is critical when you’re fishing under the gun.

Today the clock was on my side.  It felt good to visit with one of the residents of the Perkiomen Creek.

As the weather warms up I think I”ll be spending a lot more time here…

Do you steal time to go fishing?  Should speed fishing be an Olympic sport?  Let us know in the comments below!


Mar 192012

Apparently if you are an amazingly talented painter like Christina Deubel you can make art out of anything!

A few weeks back Christina contacted me on Twitter and explained that she is doing an entire art show based on flies that were tied by fly fishermen on Twitter.  She wondered if I would send her some close up photos of my flies which she would then use to create unique works of fly fishing art.

Nothing against other artists out there…

But most fly fishing paintings are a little bland. Something needed to be done, great art is unique, someone had to shake things up a bit.

In with the “normal” fly pictures I sent Christina, I decided to include some “experimental patterns”.  You know, a few selections with flair,  something  to kick an artist’s creative mind into overdrive.

As if on cue Christina picked the most outrageous “experimental” fly of the group.  I call it The Dark Crystal… A fly pattern that was inspired by a Muppet.

the dark crystal was an 80's movie this was the bird creature

A bird creature from The Dark Crystal... Inspiration!

While I haven’t officially entered this fly pattern into a certain fly tying contest, I’m pretty sure it would win.  Nothing says over the top more than tying flies with Cabela’s grab bag material!

Well, enough about my crazy fly design.  Check out this painting!

FunctioningFishaholicsFly by Christina Deubel

Functioning Fishaholics Fly by Christina Deubel

Pretty cool eh?  It’s almost like she painted a little soul into this inanimate object.  More life, more motion than I could ever capture with fur and feather.  Maybe I see it because it’s a copy of my creation but I really think something special is going on in this painting and I dig it.

To make things even better, Christina’s donating some of the proceeds from her show  to The River Ambassador Program.  You can read more about that here.

I want to thank Christina for painting one of my creations and allowing me to share her work on the site.  PLEASE take the time to view the other stunning paintings she’s done for this show on her site.

Do you like fishing art?  Should I have stuck to a more traditional fly pattern?  Let us know in the comments below!



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