Category Archives: Uncategorized

Excuse me, Pardon me, Excuse me, Coming through

Four years seems like a sufficient amount of time to take a break from blogging don’t you think?

I supposed that it was time to take up writing a little again. Particularly since in my long absence of blogging I have left off trip reports from, ceased from kibitzing on The Drake and have pretty much sequestered myself into a niche of rod making and conservation overload. Hard to believe that when I left off blogging in ’08 I was still involved solely with Back The Brookie. Since then I have taken on a new role in Trout Unlimited and have really dedicated much of my time and effort there.

Make no mistake, there has been fishing. There will always be fishing. And believe it or not, writing. Last year I started writing a book. This has been an ambition of mine for quite a long time and honestly, I think getting back on the blog horse might be the best thing for this book project to actually take off. I’ve been pretty dissatisfied with the product and may have to chuck the whole thing and start again. I’ve done that with several of my video projects and have ultimately been glad for that decision.

Speaking of video projects, I’m sure everyone has seen my latest videos…one on native trout conservation efforts in West Virginia and also a short video on the 2012 Bucket Brigade. I have acquired an HD camera and have gathered about 6-10 hours of footage this spring that I have yet to start hacking up. In addition to numerous short videos I have put together the following:

  • Vandalia Angler (a 40 min video about fishing in WV and bamboo rodmaking)
  • Montana Orr Bust (a documentary of a trip to Montana with the Orr family)
  • Vandalia Angler 2 (a video about native trout conservation)

None of these turned out the way I wished or envisioned. I am determined to put together a film that looks as polished as one you might see at F3T, but I lack the obvious sponsorship and film team – operating on $0.00, myself as the crew, a laptop and all too often am fishing with other anglers who have no interest in my filming antics and are tricky to get to cooperate with the camera. But what I have more of than anyone else is determination (or delusion, depending on your perspective).

So my children, through a flurry of bullets I’ve returned to this blog project again. Let the party begin.



fishin shows

They appeal to the audience. Apparently.

I haven’t watched a fly fishing show in a long long time. Fly Fishing America used to be pretty good. The saltwater ones are good for about 10 minutes, then you get irritated that they are doing all this in some location that would cost you the price of a year’s tuition in a local university to fish and you zap the screen. Fly Fishing “Adventure” movies and shows are now getting to that point. I like what AEG, Felt Sole Media, etc. have done to an extent, but I am completely disconnected from it. Nobody I know has the means to trot the world doing that stuff so it seems more like scifi than angling.

Then there are the big fish. Which are cool and all, but I kind of get bored just watching people catch big fish. I tend to think there are other folks like me that would rather see really cool locations, not stream locations, but interesting surroundings in vague regions of states that middle class fishermen like me can realistically expect to find. I also want to see native species and some more conservation, science, journalism and ecology thrown in. Trout Unlimited is really pumping up their new show, which in theory has promise to involve those aspects. The host of the show is a guide from Colorado who was one of the anglers on Felt Sole Media’s ‘Running Down The Man’ catching roosterfish in Baja. That alone makes me real skeptical that much quality of those listed attributes will be met. Now that movie is great, but it in essence meets those above mentioned things that I don’t like about new fishing media. The host being a western guide, I also don’t anticipate much seeking of small native salmonids like 5″ westslope cutthroat in an alpine trickle, conchos trout in the Mexican desert or 6″ brookies in West Virginia for that matter. That’s the kind of stuff I’d like to see, but fat chance it’ll get air. Also, on the Itinerant Angler podcast said host mentioned that he was amazed at the work that TU was doing in other places. Personally I’d prefer the host of this new show be someone who is already well informed about TU matters from state to state. An entire season of doing nothing but fishing and talking with the NLC rep from every state TU council would be intensely interesting. The NLC reps could explain what is going in their state and show a bit of fishing for native species in their state. How cool would that be? I’m not going to pass my official judgement though until I see it.

MacLean, SchMacLean

Sull McCartney sent my recent photoshop creation to John MacLean for his enjoyment. I was hesitant as I predicted some sort of legal threat. In “On The Big Blackfoot” John mentions the marketing boon that the book/movie A River Runs Through It created. I’m fairly confident that I broke some sort of copyright laws by even looking at a photo, let alone tampering with it, but it was all cool. John responds,

  Tell Phil the picture is very amusing and he needn’t worry about applying for legal aid. Thanks for sending it.
  Best wishes, John N. Maclean

blog entry marathon begins now

If you’re reading this then you’re one of 3 people who is still checking my blog. The holidays started a snowball of brainfreeze that essentially shut down progress here. But I promise to at least post random meaningless thoughts almost daily for a while now.

On Buster Wants To Fish, a fly fishing blog I check pretty often, they claim that nobody cares what anyone wants to pontificate about indicator useage. Well then, why pontificate about any freaking thing concerning fly fishing, catching of fish, angling wyth ye hook or life for that matter. People that fly fish are people that cared enough about angling in general to curiously take it to another level. We mostly all started with bait. Some strange curiosity compelled us to do something difficult, learn to fly fish. Therefore our brains do not generally operate on pure poo. We philosophize we fly anglers. Get the hell over it.

Oh, and strike indicators are crap. Comparable to using rubber worms & powerbait on a fly rod and leaving the plastic on your cork grips. Suck me. I have an opinon and you may not agree with it. I also like tree hugging environmentalists and raging capitolism at the same time.

So that actually segways into the next topic of Phil’s introspection…a job interview. I’m interviewing for a position for the WV Rivers Coalition soon. Anyone with any grandiose vision on this non-profit group that’d like to share please do. I’ll give it my all at the interview, but I would like to know more than they’ll give me at the interview before I can make a decision to join on.

I’d like to fish somewhere this week if anyone is interested in tagging along. Shoot me an email.

Phil’s 2008 Agenda

It’s too cold to do anything right now. I can’t even do much rod work in my garage shop right now because it is so cold there. Varnish won’t flow. I’m operating on very little sleep this week as well. But just to feed a nugget to the blog here are a few goals for 2008:

  • Hit Vandalia Angler II hard. I promised to have the next DVD released by Fall 2007 and I failed on that. I was just not happy with the quality of the footage I was getting related to my vision for the project. Like I told Shockey, I may end up scrapping 50% of my footage. Just wasn’t good enough. Despite that I’m only working with cheap equipment and on a 10 cent budget I still intend to put out something that is as good as any other fly fishing production going. Not to mention that the message is too important to screw it up. The message being conservation. This film will have a conservation twist to it and I have multiple interviews I’m going to try to get going in the Spring. I will not even venture as to when I will finish this thing as I’ve been wrong before.
  • Tarpon fishing in Florida. This is the goal anyway. Andy has been after me to go with him on annual tarpon trips the past 2 years and I’ve bailed on him at the last minute each time. Going to try to pull it off this year despite the fact that my wife may be quitting her job and going back to school full time.
  • Backpack trips, multiple. Several guys have expressed interest in some trout bum trips this year and I intend to pull a few off. I want to pack/fish through the Otter Creek, Red Run, Laurel Fork and Seneca Creek backcountries. Hopefully I can get them all this year.
  • Take my 3 year old son on way more fishing trips than I took him last year and get my 2 year old daughter more involved as well. I don’t have access to any farm ponds within 1 hour of where I live so it is tough to find somewhere that I can get immediate success for a short attention span type of kid. That has been my deterrent to date. If anyone would give permission to my kids for some farmpond fishing or have any suggestions in the Charleston area please let me know. The public waters around here are not very user friendly for kids.
  • I want to do several smallmouth floats this year. I bought a new 9′ pontoon last summer and only had it out one time and that was on a pond. I intend to do a couple of floats in it this year including the Elk River above Sutton Lake and hopefully some part of the Greenbrier, preferably the upper stretches where stopping to fish native brook trout tribs would be an option.

friday toons

There’s something I like about Nikki Monninger of Silversun Pickups. Apart from the hotness. I don’t know, maybe that’s it. Anyway, wonder if she’s the one Dave Grohl sings about in Darling Nikki? I can see it.

Back on last week’s theme of Swedish Indy Rock. The Concretes have a few tunes I like. I got a copy of the mp3 of their Rolling Stones cover Miss You that was really good. I’m iffy on this song, but the video concept is neat