Saturday, November 27, 2010

BITE IT! Fly Anglers Answer Bite Guard Surveys

   The 2nd of two articles, BITE IT: Fly Anglers State Preferences for Fluorocarbon or Wire Bite Guards When Fishing for Esox, is complete!  Please visit the Featured Article page if you would like to read about what professional fly anglers prefer for bite guards when they fish for Esox! On this page, there are profiles of the anglers, photographs, and the anglers' answers to the surveys about fluorocarbon and wire bite guards. (The first 'Properties' article is posted below on this Home page & includes a quiz question in which the winner will receive a Twitch-tied musky fly)
   Comments about the Featured Article post may be made here and are welcome.  It was a pleasure to write the articles and a greater pleasure to post the responses from these anglers who are so obviously enthusiastic about fly fishing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

BITE IT! Properties of Fluorocarbon & Wire Bite Guard Materials for Esox

     Determining which bite guard material to use when fly fishing for pike/musky can be daunting for some, and for others, there is only one possible choice.  Many factors can play a role in this decision and a follow-up article (to be posted this week under the Featured Article tab), complete with feed-back from fly anglers well-versed in angling for Esox, will address these factors.

   However, knowing the properties possessed by the various ‘leader materials’ used to make bite guards can provide a solid foundation to help one better understand the  potential outcomes of using each material.  In other words, which material do you believe  boats more Esox, is reliable, and not a pain in the backside to use?

    To clarify, this article strictly discusses the bite guard (shock guard, bite tippet); generally a 10-16” length of the leader which attaches directly to the fly.  Fly line material, which has different construction and characteristics than leader material, is not discussed.  Furthermore, the super-lines or ‘spectra-based’ lines, while they may work in a pinch, are also not discussed in depth here.  They have some excellent properties, but they are not very cut resistant.  Therefore, scissors, sharp-toothed pike & sharp rocks can cut this material.

A Clearer Understanding of Fluorocarbon
   Prior to the advent of ‘Seaguar’ the first fluorocarbon monofilament created by the Japanese company, Kureha, & officially introduced to the United States in 1992, heavy nylon monofilament was used by some for bite guard material.  However, nylon mono is more visible in water, is prone to abrasion, has more stretch and breaks down in sunlight.  While some undoubtedly still use this material as a bite guard, others may agree that the affordable nylon mono has a better place in the leader -such as the butt section- where its purpose is well-served farther from the mouth of a toothy critter.  

   Then, fluorocarbon made its appearance and over time it has improved in quality to allow for a more fishable material.  Many of the characteristics purported by manufacturers appear to be comparisons to nylon mono, but are, nonetheless, characteristics to consider when determining a bite guard choice.

   The light refractive index is 1.3 for water, 100% fluorocarbon (in contrast to line material which may have a fluorocarbon coating) has an index of 1.42, and mono’s index is 1.52.  Hence, fluorocarbon is less visible in water.  The material is also abrasion resistant, dense, and does not absorb water.  Therefore, it is resistant to toothy attacks, rocks and other structure, it sinks uniformly, and its breaking strength does not change when wet. 

   Manufacturers also claim that the material has good knot strength, low stretch rate, is chemical and weather resistant, and is unaffected by UV light.  However, many believe that fluorocarbon is not ‘knot-forgiving’.  A knot poorly tied with fluorocarbon will have a high failure rate.  And while the initial cost of fluorocarbon may be considered by some to be off-set by its long shelf-life, this also means it does not readily break-down in the environment. What type of impact do those clipped fluoro tag ends and the broken-off bite guards have on the environment? (For that matter, what pollutants are created when any leader materials are produced?)  While improving, fluoro still carries the reputation of having more memory than nylon mono and of being ‘stiff’, affecting the action of the fly.

   In summary, fluorocarbon is abrasion-resistant, yet bite-offs can still occur and nicks can severely weaken a bite guard; it sinks readily, so a subsurface fly may be helped, but your popper may struggle to ‘pop’; it refracts light similarly to water, possibly increasing hook-ups, but your bite guard is only as clear as it is clean; it is nearly impervious to the sun’s rays, therefore having a longer shelf/water life, but environmental factors could cause others some concern.

   In addition, all nylon mono knots can be tied with fluorocarbon, plus the diameter of fluorocarbon (.026”) is smaller than mono (.030”) when comparing the same pound (50#) test.  It generally appears that the most popular pound tests in use for bite guards range from 40-80#.  As one approaches the latter range, knots become more difficult to tie and some choose to use snaps/swivels to attach their bite guard to the rest of the leader and to the fly. Of course knots are still required, but it is easier to switch out the bite guard and/or the fly without having to tie as many knots.  Some fluorocarbon is also marketed to change color when in the water and another brand is pink in color yet the manufacturer claims it is still ‘invisible’ to the fish. Expect to pay at least $23 for 25 yards of decent quality fluorocarbon, but one can spend more than $50.

No Breaks for Wire
   Unlike fluorocarbon, wire offers different materials from which to choose.  Leader material choices include stainless steel, both single-strand and multi-strand; and of the latter, there are either nylon-coated or non-coated options.  Furthermore, titanium wire is also available in single-strand and multi-strand construction.  This includes nickel-titanium (Nitinol), a type of titanium wire which is widely offered for leader material.  The alloy was developed in 1962 for hand weapons and tools, other products evolved, and in the very latter 1900's it was also developed as leader material.*  

   In general, all wire materials mentioned above are corrosion resistant, have very good strength, and are impact resistant.  Many anglers, regardless of which bite guard material they use, will agree that wire can stand up to a toothy attack better than non-wire bite guards.

   Single-strand wire has a smaller diameter than multi-strand wire of equal strength.  Pertaining to stainless steel, it has been claimed that it is easier to make a bite guard with this material than with multi-strand, yet many users of the latter would argue this.

   While both single and multi-strand wires, particularly stainless steel, can kink, single-strand will do so more readily and it is also more difficult to straighten when simply bent.  A kinked or bent wire, at the least, can affect the action of the fly, and, at most, cause a break-off.  When a kink occurs it is often best to trim off or change the bite guard.  Stainless steel multi-strand wire is more flexible than single-strand wire, potentially improving the action of the fly and allowing it to be coiled and transported more easily with less risk for damage.

   With the advent of nylon-coated multi-strand stainless steel wire, manufacturers claim that it is easier to tie a coated wire to monofilament line and it helps to prevent knot slippage.  Other features are that it offers increased abrasion resistance, increased line life, and a reduction in line visibility.  There are also a steadily growing number of colors available.  However, it is also possible for the nylon coating to become damaged, necessitating a trim or a bite guard change, and some coatings can be more reflective, increasing the visibility of the bite guard.

   Compared to stainless steel wire, manufacturers and anglers claim titanium wire has more kink resistance and abrasion resistance.  It is also flexible and has a 10-15% capacity to stretch.  The material has very little memory, generally returning to its original shape after being bent.  This durable material has a darker, non-glare finish.  However, others have expressed concern that the material can be brittle.  There are also claims that it is more challenging to tie knots with titanium wire and that the types of knots available to be tied with this material are limited.  Furthermore, it is not possible to complete a haywire twist with this wire and it may be challenging to effectively crimp the wire.  This strong material does, however, possess a smaller diameter, making it less obtrusive in the water.  
   In summary, wire is very abrasion resistant, with little chance of bite-offs.  However, kinks will severely increase the chances of a break-off.  Wire is more visible than fluorocarbon in water & some wire can be more reflective, possibly affecting the number of hook-ups.  Newer wire materials are more flexible and offer improved tie-ability, yet special skills and tools may still be needed.  The smaller diameter of wire may leave some considering: if a material possesses a smaller diameter and is very abrasion resistant, could it increase the likelihood of causing harm to the body or teeth of a toothy critter?

   In addition, only a specific number of knots can be tied with wire.  One should start by following the manufacturer’s recommendations.  The approximate inches in diameter of stainless steel wire: single-strand (.016) and multi-strand (.024), and titanium wire: single-strand (.018) and multi-strand (.021), at 50# test, for example, is smaller than nylon monofilament (.030) and fluorocarbon (.026) of the same test strength.  It generally appears that the most popular pound tests in use for wire bite guards range from 20-50# tests, partially dependant upon material used.  Knots, swivels, snaps, crimps, and a (nylon) twist melt can be used.  There are a greater number of colors now available to match the environment/water conditions.  Expect to pay $1.85-39.00 for 30 feet, dependent upon material used, and then plan for additional costs if you need wire cutting tools and wish to use snaps, etc., with your bite guards.

My Take On All This Mumbo Jumbo:       
   A greater share of the choice between materials will boil down to:
1) Reducing bite-offs or break-offs
2) Decreasing line visibility and increasing hook-ups
3) Comfort-level and skill with which the angler uses the material
4) Personality-type
5) What material is readily available in the angler’s location.

   I have friends who use either material and I’ve fly fished with guides who use either material.  At this time, I use fluorocarbon bite guards, but my mind remains open to change.  I’ve never had a bite-off or break-off, but I have not landed large quantities of Esox... yet.  I generally fish in stained waters and the success rate when fishing with others who use wire is running fairly even.  The fly has appeared to make more of a difference than the bite guard.  For me, it’s about comfort level and personality.  I love the ease of a loop-to-loop connection.  I can pre-tie all of my musky flies with bite guards, toss them in a case and switch out flies with ease.  While I’ll cast all day and into the night if the choice were all mine, I’d tend to over-fish an unsuccessful fly because I wouldn’t want to re-knot the wire bite guard, or I’d let the bite guard get too short prior to changing it.  I am selectively lazy.  On the flip side, I do occasionally imagine hooking up with that first 50-incher:  An amazing fight ensues, that is, until I get my first bite-off.  Like I said, my mind remains open to change.

Which Bite Guard Material to Choose?
   There isn’t an absolutely right or wrong answer.  It’s an individual choice.  However, I do have a few suggestions to help one on to the path of bite guard happiness. 
   Visit a fly fishing shop; one that caters to those who love to fish for toothy critters (& there are a lot of similarities with shops that cater to saltwater fishing, too) would be more beneficial.  You will know you’ve found one when you see tying and fishing materials geared toward Esox, and if they offer guided trips for musky and pike.  The personnel here can help one narrow down which material to use and then provide instruction in how to attach it to the fly and the rest of the leader.  Don’t forget the local fly fishing club, which could certainly be of assistance. 

   Using the internet, research specific materials and don’t forget to visit the fly fishing forums to read comments and to ask questions.  Once the material type is further narrowed, I’d recommend revisiting the computer and searching for customer reviews of specific product brands, not forgetting to differentiate between customer-use error and product faults. 

   Also, if you elect to use snaps, swivels, or crimps, buy the best quality possible, since they are more pieces of equipment added to the leader which could fail.  Furthermore, stay size-appropriate, as you would be adding more weight and visibility to the leader.  

   Practice tying bite guards before you get to the water.  If you’ve elected to use wire, visit a craft store to purchase 49 strand wire.  While you may not get the same flexibility and ease of tying that you would get from fishing-specific material (or the knowledge from fly fishing junkies at the shops), you can still purchase material for less cost to hone your knot-tying skills.  For fluoro users, buy nylon mono or 20# test of fluoro to begin tying knots. After all, this other material could be used elsewhere on the leader.  Finally, buy quality materials!  If you cut corners when it comes to bite guards, a toothy critter is more apt to do some cutting, too.  (Written November 2010)

*Links to reference materials for wire leader material:

Quiz Question:  Why is it hypothesized that pike deposit their feces outside of their forage range?
(E-mail me by 12/26/10 at with your answer and a number you've chosen from 0 to 300. The person with the correct answer who is closest to the number I have chosen will receive one of my hand-tied musky flies.) 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bite It! Fluoro vs Wire. The Research Goes On

   I'm still doing research for the fluoro/wire bite guard articles. (first article now posted 11/22/10) AND... 2 days ago I began contacting a number of musky and pike junkies, including fly shop personnel and guides. Responses were coming in the next morning and I couldn't be happier.  There's alot of knowledge & experience out there & I'm happy these folks are willing to share it!  Support your local fly shop, tip your guide, and why not make the effort to teach someone else something about fly fishing?  We've all got something to share.  ~Twitch

Forget the Lettuce...Put Some Trout in Your Salad!

   Click on the Reel to Creel page if you'd like to add your freshly-caught trout to sandwiches or appetizers.  Afterall, so many things taste even better with horseradish!  ~Twitch

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Great 4 Days of Fly Fishing!

The WI-MN Diaries - Oct. 15-18, 2010

   2 states, 3 rivers, & 2 broken rods in 4 hard days of fishing.  Return again for more photos and tales of musky, pike, smallie, and steelhead fishing, and -of course- good friends.  (Photo: Capt. Ouitdee Carson casts for musky on the Flambeau River.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The WI-MN Diaries  - Part 1, Sept. 25-27, 2010

   Kate and I load up the CRV as quickly as we can.  I'd just finished a long day at work and we knew there was a long night in front of us.  We head out from Moline, IL., by 6:30 pm.  We are Hayward-bound.  We hope we are musky-bound, too.      
Day 1:  For the love of fly fishing and the Northwoods, Kate and I reluctantly get up early after the previous night's 7 hour drive to Hayward.  A breakfast stop at the Spider Lake Cafe nets me the pleasure of visiting with MCO musky guide Brad Bohen and introducing him to Jackfish Kate.  Brad tells us the guides and a film crew are taking it to the water today.  We discuss how the current high water-levels may affect all of our fishing.  After breakfast, Bob, owner of the Spider Lake Motel, kindly provides Kate and me with a map marked with areas to fish.  Today, we hope to explore as much water as possible.  The 'real' fishing begins tomorrow.
   Next, we head off to the urban, clear-water, sand-bottomed Round Lake.  It's purported to have musky and trophy-size smallies.  We split up and wade waist and chest-high, casting in the clear water.  No fish today.  Walking back along the shore, I scan for unusual rocks, but end up with a rubber salamander(it now rides on the dash of my CRV).  I also leave with a wet leg.  My waders have sprung a leak.  Oh well, whaddya do?  We get back in the suv and keep exploring. 
   We are boat-less and the water is far from optimal.  Yet, if it's possible to shore-fish, we wet a line.  As with anything in life:  If you don't try, it definitely won't happen.  At the swollen Teal River Boat Access, I cast solo while Kate briefly checks out the water upstream.  We again run into Brad and the boys, checking out the water conditions.  They are shocked (& I'm amused) when I tell them I've landed 3 musky here.  Of course, I quickly admit the truth!  I feel a bit foolish being 'caught' shore-fishing this water, but I tend to walk my own crazy path.
   Lastly, Jackfish and I shore-fish along the Chippewa and then head for Don's cabin.  Good company and home-made pizza await us.  Along a 1/4 mile stretch of road, we spot turkey, a large black bear, and elk.  Kate, who regularly fishes in Canada, says it's the largest black bear she's ever seen.  Nice way to finish the day!
   That night, our musky guide, Don Larson (the Pondmonster), provides tips on proper musky leader construction, including the wire bite guard.  Kate is also 'pro-wire' and her 9wt gets a new leader.  My opinion remains open, but I stick with my Seaguar fluoro.  We discuss our fly selection for the next day, and get to sleep early.
Day2:  Don treats us to coffee and home-made blueberry pancakes, and we then head out for our full-day float on the Chippewa.  A mist rises from the water on this beautiful morning and by 9:30 we're in the drift boat.  Within 5 minutes, Kate has a fish on!  I have the camera, Don has the net, but (dang!) the musky unhooks itself at the boat.  Kate is using one of Don's flies.  It has good action and rides 'hook up', proving itself to be weed-free.  I enjoy casting my flies to the weeds' edges, but must frequently remove weeds from the hook, greatly reducing my opps of engaging a musky in battle.  I will be tying some flies differently in the future.

   It's a beautiful day on the Chippewa.  Trees paint the shoreline in green, red and yellow.  A few trees appear dead, but Don tells us these are 'Black Locusts', the last trees to dress and the first to undress.  We have a quick lunch on the boat and get back to fishing.
   While Kate has fly fished longer than I, this is her first time fishing for musky and the first she has been in a drift boat.  She taught herself to double-haul the week prior to this trip (impressive!) and today she is learning where and when to cast when 2 anglers are fishing in a smaller boat.  I occasionally duck, hold my cast, or smile; remembering when I learned these same lessons last year.  In February, when I was confined to crutches and a cast, Kate was one of a few friends who helped me continue to fly fish.  I'm very happy she's come on this trip.

  "I got one!", I yell.  The fish leaps from the water and puts on a good show.  Soon, a frisky little musky with a toothy, over-sized mouth is netted.  I liken it to a large-pawed puppy - minus the cuddle-factor.  Pics are taken and the fish is released. 
   Kate briefly hooks another fish, and then, I later miss a strike.  Too soon, our day-long float is over.  However, I'm so hungry even I think our flies are looking good enough to eat.  Don is soon out of the boat, towing us up the creek where we drop anchor for the day.  Kate and I are grateful for our guide's hospitality and knowledge of the water.  However, we are thrilled when he invites us to fish the next day!  I believe the water-level is stabilizing and quietly think 'the bite will be on' tomorrow...
Day 3... starts with another home-made breakfast.  Today, a light wind is blowing.  We head down the creek and back to the Chippewa.  Soon, our flies take to the air and water.  We have only 1/2 day to fish, so no time is wasted.  The wind keeps me on edge as, a couple of times, I hear my fly whiz past my ear, much closer to my head than I prefer.  I initially avoid casting up the middle of the boat, but eventually adapt.  Kate seems to have found her groove. 

  "Bite me!" and "Eat it!", I say, as I try to impart these feelings to the action of the fly.  Today, we are all more relaxed and loose, therefore more alert and ready to set a hook.  Also, 9, 10, &12 wts will paint the water and Don will allow himself a little fly fishing.  It's a great day! 
   After a little 'strip-n-twitch' action, I retrieve my fly and say to Don, "Rub this fly and give me a little luck!"  Don decides he can do a little better than that, opens his cooler and produces a cold can of Leinenkugal.  Our flies are all christened with Leinie's Au jus and we get back to casting.  Don ensures that the rest of a good WI beer does not go to waste.
   "Fish on!!", I yell.  This musky is larger than yesterday's and likes its acrobatics.  It takes a little longer to fight, and the pleasure is all mine.  Then, I see another boil and yell to Kate.  She sheds her camera for her 9wt, but there will be no doubles this day.  With the help of my friends, I boat a respectable 35" musky, pics are taken, the victory Musky Dance is completed, and the fish is released...never so annoyed as to be so popular.

   And that is how our day continues to progress.  We sauce the flies another time, Kate has a fish on, and I boat 2 more leaping, tail-wagging Esox under 34 inches.  The fish seem to like my fly, a modified 'Hang Time' pattern, so I never switch it.  However, after the first fish, Don politely suggests I check my bite guard.  Frayed!  Lesson learned.  Always check the leader after any strike.
   Near the end of our short day, Don gives the oars to me and he unleashes his 12wt.  In the meantime, he also suggests that Kate try my fly.  She picks up my 10wt & begins to cast.
   Soon, STRIKE!  Jackfish is visibly excited but remains cool. I, on the other hand, want her to land her first musky so badly, I'm barking out, "Set the hook hard! Keep the line tight! Let out some line!"  Jeesh, a slap may have been in order but her hands were full.  She lands it!!  Don nets it and we take pictures of Jackfish Kate proudly posing with her first musky.  That, readers, is an ideal ending to a Northwoods Fly Fishing Trip.
(Thanks Pondmonster!) ~Twitch.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fly Fishing for the Soul, Mind & Body.

  Cast for Recovery into the Healing Waters!  Please visit the page, 'Casting It Forward', to look at national, non-profit organizations which are fly fishing specific and helping others.  Perhaps you or someone you know may benefit from becoming a volunteer or a participant in one these organizations' outings.

Monday, October 4, 2010


  Feeling hungry?  Looking for some Omega-3's?  Take a gander at the first fish recipe on the Reel to Creel page!  It's healthy, tastes great(so I'm told), and fun & easy to cook.  And even better:  you can cook this fish fresh on a campfire every day of the year in NE Iowa.  Winter doesn't stop us from fly fishing here.  In Iowa, the trout season never ends.  Is it heaven, no, it's Iowa.
   Please check back again.  A lake trout salad recipe will soon be posted.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Check Out the Fly Tying Page!

 The Fly Tying page is up and running!   'My Fluffy Butt' is the first fly tying recipe to grace the page.  This fluffy but not fancy streamer/leach pattern has proven to be a tempting morsel for bass and pike.  Tie it, try it, and let us know what you think!! ~Twitch

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Headed to Hayward

Why all the silence? Gearing up for another fishing trip!  Wishing that all the rain with potential flooding doesn't spoil opps for another musky fly fishing adventure on the Chippewa in Wisconsin or affect my fly fishing buddies too badly.  Hope to come back home with more fishtales to tell, and more time to get the pages on this site up and running(before the next fishing trip)! ~Davis

Thursday, September 9, 2010


   Jackfish Kate and I arrived at the quarry around 10AM on what would soon be a hot, August day. The water-level was down, but we could still cool ourselves wet-wading the nearly knee-deep water flowing above the limestone ‘shelf’ bordering much of the quarry. Fly fishing, photos, and exploration ensued.

      I cracked out the 10wt, knowing this was too much backbone for the intended quarry, but wanted to prepare for upcoming blind dates with musky. The rod was loaded with a Guinea Bugger. Jackfish chose a 3wt and smartly fished the steep quarry banks.

    I landed & released a skinny 15” largemouth on my bugger. Then, time was made for photos and exploration of the sister quarry. Just a ~30’ thick wall separated the two stone fish bowls. The banks of this latter quarry were more suited to spin fisherman, but I expect to wet a line there someday. Rock and brush habitat made great cover for the bluegill, shiners, suckers and lone bass that we discovered when stopping to scan the clear water at one end of the stone tank.

   Amidst the hot afternoon when the fishing was slow, we had a quick lunch of PB&J & got back at it. Despite the skimpy quantity of fish landed, the challenge of fishing this water and the diversity of fish present here will easily draw me back again. I hope Jackfish Kate agrees to return.

   Jackfish chose to get acquainted with her new 9wt (We’re both headed to musky country in October.) and to tie on a heavy fly. I switched to ‘My Fluffy Butt’; a red, lead-eyed, white-colored fly which pike find tasty. I was beginning to doubt Esox still lurked here, but knew this fly would get me down more quickly to cooler water.

   And Bang! Fish on! Oh, was I happy. During the fight, I was able to direct the victim onto the limestone flats & net me an Iowa Quarry Bonefish. Well, not a bonefish but a slick-looking, lively white bass that was also a species-first for Twitch.

   A little later, just when I thought My Fluffy Butt was safe from toothy critters, it was nipped and followed by a pike! Strongly marked and no longer quite able to carry the tag, ‘hammer handle’, it re-submerged into the cooler depths, never having known the thrill it provided me.

   I believe that My Fluffy Butt and a certain pike will have a date in October. Bite it again, Esox; I dare you!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fly Fishing at an IA Quarry

   Late last week a close friend came from the great fly fishing waters of N. MN to visit me and my IA homewater. Must be one heck of a friend, right?! LOL!!  Seriously, though, while quantity of fishing opps are not the same, quality fishing and fun are certainly present in Iowa. I believe he enjoyed the fishing more than we both expected. I'd also planned music and rib fests, & time with friends. However, once that fly fishing fever hit, thoughts of all else but fishing faded, aside from catching a few winks and grabbing a couple of cold ones.  We fished French Creek and then Bloody Run(day 2) in NE IA.  Buddy couldn't believe how many trout were in French.  He fished hot both days.  Lots of browns, then bows.  I didn't fish my worst and really started to get the hang of nymphing with a dropper on the Run.  On day 2, we had two doubles.  Cool beans!  A hot day + hiking + quik-dry clothes= swimming in trout stream.  Whew weeee!
   Next day:  sleep in, burn gas getting lost driving through an area which could've been found in the movie Deliverance, then find quarry.  Let's just say at least one of us used a fly rod that day, and I won't say who, and my buddy will remain anonymous. haha.  The bait caster did land more largemouth. However, when we experienced our 3rd set of doubles(!) that weekend, twins in the 15-16" range, I'd swear the one on the long rod was just a little larger. While there are many bass out there much larger than 16", that was my best fighting fish to topped the fight of 'Dale' the 18" smallie I took on my birthday in June.  Both bass were taken on a Guinea Bugger; my confidence fly.  Do you remember the feeling you had the first time a fish took the fly you tied?  Fly fishing as a sport and an art is not easily or quickly learned.  I expect to be a lifelong student of the fly, enjoying & appreciating each new discovery along the way.  I'm into my 3rd year of fly fishing, and when one is 'in the groove' slightly more frequently and for longer periods of time, that feeling reaches the soul & I believe that is what keeps most of us casting the long rods.  Heck, you don't even have to boat a fish to be awash in that awesome feeling(think 'musky on the fly')...but then land one, too, and ooh lala!
   Anyway, tomorrow morning I will take 'Jackfish Kate' to the quarry.  She has introduced me to new waters and now it is my turn to return the favor.  Life is good.  The 8 wt was perfect for the first trip, but I plan a little 10 wt action this time around.  I hear pike lurk in the quarry...but more importantly I also sense musky in my near future.  The 10wt is calling.  Gosh, I love casting that rod! 
  I hope to add some pics from the quarry to the blog soon.  Either way, it will be a mighty fine day.