Shall We Shad Now, or Shad Later?

1. shad before 'dads.  "in the winter, crawfish may not hibernate like bears or some other animals, but they become very lethargic and largely inactive.  that means the bass have fewer opportunities to feed on them.  at some point, when they stop regularly finding craws, the bass will stop looking for them as much." (link) 

2. shad kill occurs when water temperatures hit around 45 degrees. "there are several things which may actually affect the die-off.  
  • cumulative lake temperatures (inlet and mid-lake temperatures may vary)
  • photo period (effect of cold temperatures may be affected by when they arrive)
  • metabolic demands (more need to feed in mild winters)
  • availability of food (severe winters may limit)
generally, a harder, more prolonged winter will mean longer, lower cumulative temperatures and less food   supply for shad resulting in more massive die-offs." (link)

3. too much shad might not be a good thing. "remember these fish for the most part have stuffed themselves slap full much like ole Uncle Ned on Thanksgiving.  now they have made their way to some limb, knob or other fishy recliner and are in a shad induced coma.  even though that fish is literally stuffed to the gills he’s still Uncle Ned at heart.  you go and slip a piece of chocolate cake by his nose, he’s going to eat it.  (link)


Time Flies when it's Flies Time

with Thanksgiving out of the way, i need to get back to it.  i think i gained about 10 lbs, mostly from sitting on my arse doing nothing.

i am getting geared up for my trip to Dallas.  with the help of PondBass blog posts, i've been able to map out some local places to go.  i'm just worried that the cooler water temps might slow the fishing down too much.  as if it wasn't hard enough already.  any thoughts and help would be appreciated!

meanwhile, i've been tying flies like crazy.  channeling Roughfisher, i've created my own custom wannabe dubbing blends.  they are not nearly as nice and uniform, but let's hope they get the job done. (now i wonder if Roughfisher will share his custom kimchi recipe)





here are just a few flies that i have tied up (don't want to bore you to death).  again, not pretty (i'm a lazy tier), but i think presentation will be more important than appearance.  in some cases, i changed an ingredient or two because i didn't have it on hand.

zimmerman's backstabber
moncrief's crazy dad

mcphail's crayfish

curcione's beach bug

don's bully bugger

petti's estaz tube jig

roughfisher's carp assassin

mctage's leather trouser worm

carp nymph

carp nymph w/ floss

roughfisher's carp crack

caolo's green diablo

roughfisher's fresh pimp (rust)

roughfisher's fresh pimp (peacock)

pattern links:
roughfisher's patterns, go to his website, or this.
zimmerman's backstabber
moncrief's crazy dad
mcphail's crayfish
don's bully bugger
petti's estaz tube jig
mctage's leather trouser worm
carrot nymph

regarding my previous post and the sexy shad fly, someone asked me about the jig hook i was using.  fyi, for all the flies that i tie on jig hooks, i keel weight the flies a la Dan Blanton to get movement and also keep the hook point riding up.

as always, comments, criticisms, questions, and tips are welcome.


All I Want for Christmas is a Fish

i'm going home to Texas for Christmas and New Years, and it's been more than two years since I've been back.  while it is not the same as going bone fishing in the Caribbean, at least i'll get to do some fishing, and maybe even sight fishing. 

so, i've been getting ready, and tying some flies.  from what i've read about the water i'll be fishing, there are carp, spotted bass, hybrid bass, white bass, buffalo carp, river carp suckers, blue suckers, redhorse suckers, largemouth bass, bluegills, white crappie, gar, blue catfish, channel catfish, and it will even be recently stocked with rainbow trout.  c'mon, i'd better catch something, even if the water temperatures will be low!

seems like threadfin shad is the primary baitfish, so here is an example of what i've been tying:

Sexy Shad
Not So Sexy Shad

the fly tying instructions i have been using as a general guideline can be found here.

comments, criticisms, suggestions, questions....all are welcome.



more to my prior point.

Conway Bowman from the Howler Brothers blog:

"Why do you think a culture similar to surf and skate culture is emerging in fly fishing? Both sports and the guys a gals who participate in them are into the adventure of getting away from the day to day grind and finding adventure.  Both sports parallel fly fishing because fly fishing is a soulful trip where ever you choose to do it.  Currently, there is a noticeable shift away from the status trip in fly fishing with the elite crowd and movement towards the more adventure/soul crowd.  It’s refreshing to see some dude in surf trunks, Converse high tops and an old vintage 70′s Fenwick fiberglass 12 wt casting to tarpon and out fishing the in crowd!  I love that.  That’s cool stuff."

Read the full interview here.

Fish for the Masses

of course...my first post is going to be a rant.  and i'm sure i'll be making enemies in the process.

if there ever was a sport that seemed to offer everyone access and acceptance, it would be fishing.  whether it be chasing down blue water fish or going after rough fish in your own 'backyard', everyone has potential access to some sort of fishing. 

and what's not to love about fishing?  it is like other sports, at times, physically and mentally grueling, and highly competitive.  however, unlike many other sports, you are competing against yourself and mother nature.  each 'game' is, by definition, constantly changing and never the same.  different days, different weather, different tides, different flows, different hatches, and a different you.

then why in the hell would anybody try to make any aspect of fishing exclusive?  why would any one angler look down on another?  we are not competing against each other.

one of my favorite blogs that i follow is Surfcaster's Journal.  i have not met Zeno, but judging by his posts, he is in my opinion, honest, humble, and down to earth.  he works hard, and is truly an ambassador of the sport.  a while back he posted a couple of video interviews with a certain tackle store owner out in Montauk.  you all know who I am talking about.

this interview just reinforced my first and only impression of this tackle store owner.  a couple of years ago in October, i was heading out Saturday morning with some friends for our first attempt at Montauk surfcasting.  given this store owner's stellar reputation, i knew i had to stop by and ask for guidance.  at the novice question of 'what are they eating, and where's the best place i could go,' he scoffed me, at the same time selling me some frozen clams.  it was a pretty cold reception.  silly me, i thought that buying a few super strike darters would warm him up, but i was wrong.  i felt like such an outcast that i vowed i would never step foot in that store again.

then i see this interview where this store owner is basically putting down the 'weekend' surfcaster.  what the @#$^?  why the snobbery?  not all of us can fish during the week.  especially since surfcasting for stripers is primarily a night time exercise.  he shouldn't mistake lack of fishing time with lack of passion since everyone's priorities are different.  just because i don't have a van staal reel, one piece custom made rod, or fish Sunday night thru Thursday night, doesn't mean i should be a surfcasting outcast.

nuff said. 

About Me, or rather...For Me

why the 'Accidental Angler'?  well, honestly, i haven't caught enough fish to give me confidence to say that it wasn't an accident.

this blog is really my feeble effort to keep track of all the fishing related information i've collected as a result of my newest addiction.  this is essentially going to be my fishing 'library' or reference database, and hopefully, some of you aspirational anglers will find this information useful as well. 

what you can expect:
  • information that i find useful in helping me become a better angler, and will optimize my limited time on the water
  • occasional rant or rave on fishing related topics (ok, maybe not so 'occasional' rants)
  • unanswered questions
what you will not find:
  • hero shots (i don't really have a lot, and i really don't want to post some of other people)
  • beautiful photography (i'm a terrible photographer, and usually i'm too busy trying to catch fish to stop and snap pictures)
  • fast and frequent posts
p.s.  i gotta figure out how to do this without violating copyright laws.