Friday, July 04, 2014

Independence Day

Good Morning Folks,

I hope you're all doing well today! I just wanted to wish all my readers a very happy Independence Day holiday! For those of you who hail from outside the U.S. I hope you all have a great weekend. Instead of talking about fishing on the blog today I wanted to share with you guys what I consider to be one of the most important documents in all of human history. The United States Declaration of Independence. If you've never read it then, please, take a few minutes on this important day to read it. If you have read it, give it another look. It absolutely amazes me the intelligence with which this letter was composed.

I wish you all a very safe, fun and happy Independence Day!

Tight lines,

-Nick


The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett Lyman Hall George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton
Page URL:
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html
U.S. National Archives & Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road,
College Park, MD,
20740-6001,
• 1-86-NARA-NARA • 1-866-272-6272





Saturday, June 07, 2014

Fish, Local History, and Fish!

 Afternoon Folks,
  I haven't gotten around to posting in a while, so this one's a bit pic heavy.  Because of that, I'll try to keep the rambling short!  I've been fishing every chance I get lately and the Little Girl and I have been checking out some of the historical places we have here in North Georgia.  So, even though I'm out of school for the summer, we're still staying pretty busy.
Antiques are another of my passions. 

  The first set of pictures is from an evening in the kayak on Lake Lanier.  I caught a few little bluegills, but the fishing didn't seem to be too good.  The lake seems a lot busier this year, I'm having a more difficult time finding quiet places to fish without jet skis and speed boats flying by the whole time.  I'm still exploring some of the different areas of the lake, hopefully soon I'll find a good, quiet, fishy spot all to myself!
  The next few pictures are from a little day trip we took up toward Helen, Georgia.  We spent a few hours walking around the North Georgia Zoo and Wildlife Wonders park.  The Little Girl bonded with some young Pygmy Goats that were ready to adopt us.  If we had a bigger backyard, I wouldn't have been opposed to bringing a couple home myself.  I'm a little more partial to the chickens and miniature donkeys though.  After a wonderful German lunch at Hofer's in Helen, we stopped at Nora Mills Granary to feed the trout by the dam.  This stretch of river is owned by the mill, no fishing is allowed unless guided by one of the Unicoi Outfitters guides, catch and release only.  I'd love to do it, but I'm in no position to pay for fishing!  We ended up getting a tour of the mill, samples of the grits and had to buy a few pounds of assorted grains before we left!  A great little roadside stop, you should really check it out if you're ever in the area.  And, don't forget the trout above the dam, they put on a better show!
  I've got some pretty good fish pictures next.  I've been fishing Suwanee Creek a lot to avoid the traffic on Lake Lanier.  I found a pretty good hole where the creek doglegs and it seems to hold a good many bluegills.  The last time I was out there was  a beaver swimming around checking things out.  I think that's a good sign for the health of the creek!
  Lastly are some pictures of the historic Poole's Mill covered bridge outside of Cumming, Georgia.  It was a very picturesque spot and I look forward to going back with the kayak and a flyrod!  I do hate to see so much graffiti on a historical landmark, some people have no respect. I am fascinated with the milling marks on the old timbers and love that it's all peg construction!
  I hope you're all doing well, and that I didn't ramble too much for you!  Enjoy the pictures and get out and explore the fishing holes and history in your backyard!
  Tight lines!
      -Nick
  
 
 
I won a 3-month subscription to PostFly Box on Instagram. Each shipment includes a sticker, so I found an appropriate place for it!

A nice bluegill on a white popper taken kayak fishing on Lake Lanier.

Another nice little bluegill.
Just a fly-keeper shot.

Two week old Pygmy Goat kids nursing on the Little Girl's fingers at the North Georgia Zoo and Wildlife Wonders park.


A look back downstream at the Granary building.

A view upstream on the Chattahoochee River from Nora Mills Granary looking above the dam.


The hand-built log dam at Nora Mills Granary.  This is the last privately owned dam on Chattahoochee River. There's been a dam on this spot for over 150 years!
Did you know that the phrases "a damsel in distress" and "keep your nose to the grindstone" both originated in stone ground grain mills?


I know I've said this before, but I have a major fascination with water-powered mills!

They may be tough to see, but these are the trout below the dam at Nora Mills Granary.  I stopped counting at 20!

A good looking Suwanee Creek 'gill.

Another good Suwanee Creek fish, possibly the biggest yet!
Trying to shake the popper! Beautiful colors on this Suwanee Creek bluegill.
My favorite hole on Suwanee Creek.  Makes casting tough.

The aquarium at the Macon, GA Bass Pro Shop.

A monster Bluegill in the Bass Pro aquarium.

The vintage fly display at Bass Pro Macon.

Beautiful bridge.  The center support was added recently to shore up the sagging bridge.


100 year old milling marks.

The underside of the bridge.

The bridge from upstream.  You know there's fish in that water!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How Weather Affects Fish: Research Series #2

Mornin' Folks,

I found this great article on weather.com about how the weather and the solar and lunar phases affect fish and game activity. I figured I'd post it here, in its entirety, for you guys to look over and to make it easy for me to find again!

Tight lines!

   -Nick

How Weather Affects Fish Activity

Related Links

  • Get Your Fishing Forecast

  • See Lakes by State
    Want to increase your catch? 

    You're not alone.
    Every angler is interested in catching larger fish, faster. Every angler also knows that the best fishing times are when the fish are feeding, which is typically at dusk and dawn. But there are other factors to consider, too. Here's more ...
    A History of Solunar Tables
    The quest to determine the best times to hunt and fish is not a recent project. For hundreds of years people that made their living hunting and fishing recognized that there were certain times when wildlife was more abundant. The lives of most Native Americans were completely dependent on knowing the best times to hunt and fish. People who base their existence on the ocean or lakes have long understood that solar and lunar influences help determine the best times to fish.
    What is generally known and almost universally accepted is that fish and game are more active at certain times of the day, most noticeably at dawn and dusk. It is also generally agreed that many game species are more active during certain phases of the moon as well as when the moon is in certain positions in the sky each day. All of these influences have an individual effect that can be observed and in some instances measured.
    Much of the early research and understanding of solar and lunar influences was pioneered by John Alden Knight. In 1926 Knight began his studies of various influences that affect wildlife activity. This research resulted in his publication of tables that illustrated periods in each day of major activity and minor activity. To substantiate his research and theory, Knight analyzed data for over 200 record catches of fish. His analysis concluded that 90% of the catches were made while in the effect of the new moon and while in a "solunar period".
    Additional proof of Knight's theory was provided by a biologist at Northwestern University. Dr Frank A. Brown had live oysters flown in to his lab in Chicago, Illinois. Oysters open their shells at each high tide. Dr. Brown wanted to see if this opening and closing was the actual result of the changes in water flow from the tides or from lunar influences. Dr. Brown discovered that after about a week the oysters had changed their opening and closing to correspond to the times that the moon was directly overhead and underfoot for Chicago.
    Solunar tables have been used in some form since 1936. Since that time, the most significant improvement in our understanding of influences on wildlife activity has come with more recent capabilities to calculate and observe the combined effect of multiple solar and lunar influences. The days and times of these combined influences result in periods of significantly increased activity, which are shown in Weather and Wildlife Charts.
    Solar Influence
    The sun is the largest body in our solar system and some would say exerts the greatest influence in our daily lives, as well as that of wildlife. The primary solar periods that are factored in Weather and Wildlife charts are dawn, dusk, midday and midnight. Each of these periods is determined based on the exact time of sunrise and sunset for that specific location and date.
    The sun has its greatest influence when it is at its zenith or most directly overhead. That point occurs around June 21st each year in the northern hemisphere. Even though the solar influence on wildlife within each day is significant, the day-to-day and even the week-to-week change resulting from this solar influence is incremental and not very noticeable.
    Lunar Influence
    The moon is also a large factor in the day-to-day lives of people as well as wildlife. Some of the lunar influences are obvious while some are not. The most obvious and measurable affects of the moon on the earth are seen with tides. The gravitational force of the moon is one of the primary influences in the rise and fall of tides. The period that the moon exerts its greatest influence at any specific location on earth is based on the relative position of the moon, the distance the moon is from the earth, and the angle of the moon above a certain location at that specific time.
    Most evidence and conventional wisdom indicate that the periods of greatest lunar influence on wildlife are when the moon is most directly overhead and then again when it is most directly underfoot (opposite side of the earth). These two positions are usually referred to as "major" activity periods or in other charts as "excellent" activity periods. There are two other daily periods of lunar influence that occur halfway between the overhead and underfoot positions, and they are usually called "minor" or "good" activity periods.
    When the moon is at perigee (closest to earth) all other lunar influences are magnified. This is also the case when the moon is at its highest declination or so called high moon. The moon phase has also been shown to indicate, if not directly cause, certain heightened periods of activity.
    Weather and Wildlife Charts
    What determines why one specific day is a better day to fish than another? Why are you more likely to find fish feeding at certain times of the day than others? These are good questions that anyone is likely to have when looking at a solunar table.
    Virtually all wildlife repeats certain activities each and every day. All fish and animals must eat and rest to sustain life. The movement necessary to accomplish these basic needs is what provides all of us with the opportunity to observe and to harvest more game and fish. Our ability to understand how these solar and lunar influences affect feeding activity has made hunting and fishing more predictable. Weather and Wildlife charts are a simple way to graphically combine the solar and lunar influences discussed above and illustrate the results in a clear and easy to read format.
    Best Time of the Day or Peak Activity Time
    During each day the sun and moon exert their individual influence on each and every hour. Each hour and day will have a different combination of these influences. The Best Time of the Day Chart shows the entire day graphically so that you can quickly determine the peak activity times for fishing at your specific location. Times that show a higher rating have a greater combination of solar and lunar influence and thus a higher probability of heightened wildlife activity. Sunrise and set, the two most significant solar periods, are also indicated on the chart. All Weather and Wildlife charts are generated for the specific latitude and longitude from the data entered. The Best Time of the Day Chart can also be viewed for a total of ten days including the current date.
    Declination and Diurnal Inequality
    Anyone who has used solunar charts or tables (sun and moon) to predict wildlife feeding activity is probably familiar with the terms "major" and "minor" period. As discussed earlier they are also often referred to as "excellent" or "good" times. These major times occur when the moon is directly overhead or underfoot and the minor times follow the major times by approximately 6 hours. The lunar event from which each of these times are calculated is called "transit", or the daily point that the moon passes the meridian at that specific location. Transit occurs sometime between moonrise and moonset, but not always halfway between.
    The other two lunar events that affect the intensity of the feeding activity periods are "perigee" and "high moon". High moon is another name for the monthly point of maximum lunar declination.
    To understand the "high moon" effect it is important to understand that the lunar orbit is not on the same plane as the earth's equator. The moon's orbit is tilted in two different planes 28.5 degrees off the earth's equator. At some point in its orbit, the moon will be 28.5 degrees above the equator and approximately two weeks later it will be 28.5 degrees below it. The moons orbit varies between these two positions during the month, appearing to advance to the north and then retreat back to the south. This advancing and retreating is what is called lunar declination. The highest declination or "high moon" is determined when the moon is at its highest altitude angle.
    Diurnal inequality is what causes one of the "major periods" to be less intense or weaker than the other major period during the same day. This is also why the two high tides during the same day are almost never equal. Most solunar tables are based entirely on daily transit times. A few tables include a "high moon" effect with no consideration of declination. Only Weather and Wildlife charts incorporate all the above-mentioned factors to provide the most accurate ratings possible.
    Game Fish
    Understanding the affects of the sun and moon on wildlife is only one part of the complex puzzle that helps predict when game animals and fish are most active. First and perhaps most important to putting together the puzzle is a good understanding of the individual species being pursued. Most game fish species are carnivores and will eat a wide variety of foods, but quite frequently they feed on other smaller fish. Fish are opportunistic feeders and will feed ravenously when hungry, and when food is readily available. However when full they may totally ignore the food source. There is an extremely large number of different species of fish that are sought after in both fresh-water and salt-water. Weather and Wildlife charts rate the lunar and solar events that generally affect all fish. However, each species has certain specific habits and diet that requires specific knowledge and individual study in order to understand their feeding tendencies.
    Weather
    Weather is the single most significant factor that affects wildlife activity. Every one that has spent time fishing knows that changing barometric pressure or frontal activity can bring fishing activity to a halt even in peak activity times. Weather and Wildlife Charts are based on steady fair weather. Changing weather may result in activity levels less than what is shown in the chart. It is also true that knowing when weather will stabilize is equally important to predicting heightened feeding activity.
    Understanding the impact of weather on the individual species of fish you are pursuing as well as other factors including depth fished, water temperature and clarity are also important factors in your success. Perhaps the most important reason for viewing and understanding weather as a factor in your fishing plans relates to safety. High winds and cold temperatures can be a deadly combination when you are unprepared. There is a great deal of information available on the Internet for people who want to learn about the anatomy, habits, diet, reproduction and many other facts about various game animals and fish.

    http://www.weather.com/activities/recreation/outdoors/fishing/fishingarticle.html

    Sunday, May 04, 2014

    Georgia Panfish Research Series: 1-Identification

    Afternoon Folks,
      I hope you’re all doing well today.  I don’t know about where you are, but here in Georgia we’re having an absolutely gorgeous Sunday, high in the low 80’s and not a cloud in sight!  I think I may have to hit the lake this evening! 
      In my last post I mentioned that I’d been doing a bit of research on the panfish species that inhabit the lakes and streams around me, so this post is my first installment on that topic.  I firmly believe in giving credit where credit is due.  The information below is not my own original work.  Rather, I copied the info form the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website.  I hope by being up front with that that I’m not breaking any rules.  One thing I did do, however, was put all of the information together.  On the GA DNR website you have to click an individual link to each fish species.  For our purposes, I thought having it on one single page would make things a little easier.  It’s one thing to see a picture of what you’re trying to identify, it’s a whole lot easier when you can compare pictures together.  You’ll also see that each post has its original image credit intact as well. 
      Each fish description from DNR is excellent, and the artwork in incredible (…to be so talented!), but I particularly like that the state record weights are included with each description.  I knew that crappie could get pretty good size, but I can’t imagine pulling in a 3 pound Bluegill!!! A new goal to aim for indeed!
      Look over the info here, and let me know what you guys think.  I’m going to keep researching and see what else I can find of interest.  Post any questions down in the comments and I’ll do my best to research an answer.  Now get outside and catch some fish!
      Tight Lines!
        -Nick

    Bluegill

    The bluegill is round and flat, with a distinct dark spot or smudge at the base of the dorsal fin. The ear flap is entirely black, which distinguishes it from a lot of other sunfish. Its back and upper sides are dark olive-green to black, and its belly is reddish yellow. The bluegill also has a pattern of vertical bars on the sides. During spawning season, males can be especially dark or colorful.
    Scientific Name:  Lepomis macrochirus
    State Record: 3 lbs. 5 oz.
    Image D.Raver (USFWS)

    Black crappie

    With a compressed body, small head and arched back, the black crappie is silvery-green to yellowish, with large dorsal and anal fins of almost identical shape and size. It has a large mouth with an upper jaw extending under the eye. It has many dark spots on its sides and fins, which become more mottled toward the back. To differentiate between a black crappie and a white crappie, count the dorsal spines. The black crappie has seven to eight dorsal spines, while the white crappie has only five to six.
    Scientific Name:  Pomoxis nigromaculatus
    State Record: 4 lbs. 4 oz.
    Image D.Raver (USFWS)

    Redear sunfish (Shellcracker)

    The redear sunfish is a deep, slab-sided fish with pointed pectoral fins. Its most distinguishing feature is a red or orange edge along the ear flap. With light green-to-gold sides speckled with red or orange flecks, the redear has a yellowish-orange belly. The redear sunfish also grows faster and larger than other sunfish, often reaching 2 pounds with 1-plus pound fish common.
    Scientific Name:  Lepomis microlophus
    State Record: 4 lbs. 2 oz.
    Image D.Raver (USFWS)


    Redbreast sunfish

    One of the brightest-colored sunfish, the redbreast has green-to yellow-brown sides with reddish spots and a reddish-orange belly. It has bluish streaks on its cheeks and around the eyes. The most distinguishing characteristic of this species is a long, narrow (no wider than the eye) extension of the gill cover. These flaps may exceed a length of 1 inch and are entirely black.
    Scientific Name:  Lepomis auritus
    State Record: 1 lb 11 oz.
    Image D.Raver (USFWS)

    Warmouth

    The warmouth has a thick, oblong body, which varies from brassy to dark olive-green. It has broad, irregular dark bars that give it a mottled appearance. It is easily identified by red eyes and a large mouth, which is similar to a bass. Its upper jaw extends to or beyond the middle of the eyes. Three or four conspicuous dark stripes radiate back from the eyes across to the cheek and gill cover. The soft-rayed portions of the dorsal and anal fins are marked with rows of dark spots.
    Scientific Name:  Lepomis gulosus
    State Record: 2 lbs.
    Image D.Raver (USFWS)

    Flier

    Fliers are small, deep-bodied, compressed sunfishes with large dorsal and anal fins that are nearly equal in size. The upper jaw extends backward to the front of the eye, and the tongue has two tooth patches. Olive green to pale yellow sides are marked with several rows of brown spots. Small fliers have a prominent black spot surrounded by an orange circle in the soft dorsal fin.
    Scientific Name:  Centrarchus macropterus
    State Record:  None Noted
    Image D.Raver (USFWS)

    Information and images reposted from Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division at: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing

    Sunday, April 27, 2014

    Winter Is Finally Over!!!

    Hey there Folks,
      Thanks for checking in with me.  Now that winter is truly over and another semester of school is coming to a close, I can focus on the really important things in life...FLY FISHING!!!!  I'm afraid I haven't done much of anything fishing related in quite some time.  Last weekend it was finally warm enough to put the kayak on the water in Lake Lanier, so look for some pictures below.  I tried to stay abreast of what's going on in the industry, but since I live in the south, there is no steelhead run, no monster pike or musky and I don't own a decent pair of winter weight waders any more.  But, it's warming up, we're back into the 80s some and I'll be able to wet wade the mountain streams very soon.  So definitely keep checking back, because I plan on getting the blog up and running again in a big way this summer.  I'm still working on a post that covers the water access laws for the state of Georgia, so look for that soon.  Plus, I've noticed that with all the wonderful fly tying instructions that are on the web, in books and in magazines very few of them actually tell you how to fish the fly once it's tied, so, I've begun trying to track down that kind of information.  I'm still fishing my 6' 2-weight TFO rod, and still absolutely love it, but I've decided I'd like to get something bigger.  Not necessarily heavier, I love fishing an ultralight rod, but for casting out of the kayak on the lake I want to find an 8' or 9' rod.  I've got a very tight budget on that, so I'll try to keep updating my research progress here.  I've also been doing some research on Crappie and Bluegill.  Since I do most of my fishing in the lake and don't get up to the mountain streams as often as I'd like, I figure I need to get a better understanding of the fish that I'm catching more often.  Many flies that work on trout also work on panfish, but I'm pretty sure I could find some better flies that will target the lake slabs, and not just poppers, either!  
      I hope you all had a tolerable winter and are looking as forward to getting on the water as I am.  Thanks again for checking in and please keep coming back!
      Tight Lines,
       -Nick
    If you follow me on Instagram you might've seen that I won a 3 month subscription to PostFly Box Co.  This was my first shipment.  Very nice looking flies!
      
    Our first nice evening on the deck.  Enjoyed a pipe, had a Shiner Farmhouse Ale and added my PostFly Box Co. flies to my boxes.

    First day on Lake Lanier this season.
    This is the first and largest fish I took last weekend.  I'm pretty sure this is a male Bluegill, he took a black ant fly as soon as it smacked the water.  Hard hit and a great fight. Can anyone confirm or correct on species for me?

    Monday, February 03, 2014

    Stolen Hours

    Good Evening Folks,
      I was finally able to squeeze in a few hours of fly fishing this weekend. I was hoping to walk up river from the McGinnis Ferry boat ramp. Unfortunately the county has installed a fence with no trespassing signs running right up to the riverbank. I moved over to fish a very familiar stretch of Suwanee Creek instead. I was skunked again, but it sure was nice to fish for a bit. I listened to a Rob Snowhite podcast on water access rights last week, then coming across that sign on Sunday makes me want to do some research on Georgia's access laws. I'll write up a post on it as soon as I get enough research done. 
      I hope you're all doing well. 
         Tight lines and Happy fishing,
              -Nick

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    Burger and a Show.

    Good Morning Folks!
    The snow from overnight.
      I'm afraid I haven't been fishing in a while now, and it's starting to wear on me!  I'm going to have to get out soon, even if its just for a few minutes!  I heard from a friend of mine in Lubbock, Texas that our snowstorm here in Atlanta has hit the national news this week.  We woke up this morning to about 2" of snow on the ground, 12° temps and ice on all the roadways.  So, I guess I won't be fishing this week, either.
    Doe tracks on the front walkway, about 10' from the font door!

      On Sunday the Little Girl and I drove down to Jonesboro, on the south side of Atlanta, to attend the Atlanta Camping and RV Show.  It was a huge show and we're very glad we got to go.  It made for a fun day out.  I'm afraid the name of the show mislead me a bit.  With a name like "Camping and RV Show" I expected RV's and camping equipment.  The show had plenty of RV's, I think there were five or six local dealerships with lots of RV's on display, but they were there to sell RV's not show them.  The big surprise (and disappointment) for me was the lack of camping gear.  I was really hoping to see some tents and sleeping bags, backpacks and cooking gear, flashlights and water filters, but there was nothing!  There was one booth selling RV accessories, a couple insurance companies and a few hawkers with clothes steamers and kitchen knives.  There was very little information listed on the show's website, so I guess I had formulated my own idea of what it was going to be before we got there.  It was a lot of fun to check out the half-a-million dollar motor homes and all the different size and style travel trailers.  But even the tear drops (which I love!) on display were too heavy for my little SUV to tow.  The best part of the show for me were the campground booths near the entrance.  I was able to pick up the new Georgia State Park book, the Alabama State Park book, the KOA Kampgrounds directory and even a Yogi Bear's Jelli Stone Park flyer (I didn't know they were still in existence!).  So the show wasn't a total loss, the Little Girl and I always have fun on our day trip outings.
    The Philly Cheese Burger from Burger21.
    The Ale & Cheese fries. This sauce would be great on ANYTHING!!!
      The highlight of the day was where we stopped for lunch!  We had some errands to run up by the Mall of Georgia  and we decided to check out a newer hamburger joint for some lunch.  We had heard it was good, but never really heard much more about it.  The place is called Burger21 and when we walked in I was afraid it was one of those places that was trying way too hard to be trendy.  The burger combinations on the menu sounded awesome and the promise of organic angus beef always gets me excited.  When we got our food (order at the counter, they bring it to your table) I was stunned that my hamburger was actually cooked the way I ordered it!  That seems to be becoming a rarity around here. They had loads of different sauces to add to your burger or fries, but we opted for the Ale & Cheese fries, a beer and cheddar dipping sauce with bacon and green onions!  I got the Philly Cheese Burger with sauteed onions and peppers, provolone cheese and a horseradish sauce.  I was pleasantly surprised with how good it was!  The Little Girl got a Turkey Cobb burger which was also good (I have a problem with calling anything that isn't ground beef or bison a "burger" though), juicy and well seasoned.  The toasted brioche buns were soft and tender and a great compliment to the sandwiches.  On the way out we got a Double Espresso Shake from the shake bar in the dining room.  This was the smoothest shake with the strongest coffee flavor that I have had in a long time! 
      Hopefully I'll be able to get out and do some fishing soon, or at least have a chance to get some flies tied up.  Either way, I'm going to try to be a bit more regular with my blog posts.
      I hope you're all doing well, staying safe and warm wherever you are.
         Tight lines and happy fishing!
               -Nick