Monday, November 25, 2013

Something I Said I Would Never Ever Do...

     I have always said I would never ever go ice fishing....ever. Last winter, our ice fishing guest post kind of got me to rethinking it but I kept focusing on the cold and kept saying "noway." This winter my husband and a friend decided they were going to go ice fishing so this weekend we went to find some ice fishing gear for him. HIM, not me. All day long when my husband would jokingly hold up an ice fishing rod and ask if I wanted it, I would say no. It kind of became a fun game to find silly reasons why I didn't like the rod and/or reel. Some of my favorites were: it didn't have red, it didn't have a cork grip, it's too expensive and it wasn't cute enough. ALL day I did this until...
 until he held up "Cherry Apple." When my husband held this rod and reel up this argument happened in my head:
Voice 1: It's Pretty!
Voice 2: Uh...NO!
The color is so perfect! It's cute! It has a cork handle! It's the perfect price! AND it has a cute name!
If you buy it, you will have to go ice fishing!
I could do it.
You freeze easily, you won't have any fun because you'll be frozen solid!
I can do it! I have plenty of warm clothes than I can layer, plus if I get too cold I can go sit in the vehicle for awhile.
You are seriously thinking about doing this?
Okay, but only the rod and reel for now. Nothing else!!! If you like it, then you can get lures later.

      Remember My "Cuz It's Red" post? Well, here's more proof to support it. The ONLY reason I'm going ice fishing this winter is because my husband showed me "Cherry Apple" and I fell in love with it.

    Isn't it pretty? Looks like I'll be going ice fishing at least once this winter and be able to write my own ice fishing post...or 3.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

First Attempt At Fly Tying

    I decided that since I am hard on flies, I should learn how to tie flies. I pulled out my handy fly-fishing handbook (I love this book) and turned to the fly tying chapter.....and then I got on YouTube and watched a bunch of fly tying videos.

     The first line of Chapter 8 says "Tying flies is an utterly fascinating and relaxing pastime..." Awesome! Tying flies will be relaxing? That's great!

     The chapter starts out explaining the equipment, hooks and then it explains how to do this:

The above picture does not look relaxing.
     We bought this small tool kit with an extra bobbin for me to start with. Most of the advice about fly tying says to buy a good vise and make sure you don't get one that doesn't attach to the table. I ignored that piece of advice and went with this one. I didn't want to buy an expensive vise and then get frustrated and not use it ever again. I really like this little vise. I can bring this visze with me if I want to and it stores away very nicely in my overly full craft room. I will buy a nicer one later, but for now this one works great.

     The Woolly Worm was a great fly to start off with. It was a pretty easy pattern and was a great one to learn all of the basics to fly tying. The first step is to put the hook in the jaws of the vise.

     Next step is to wrap the thread up to the hook eye and then back down to the hook. This makes a good surface to attach the rest of the materials. It is very important to remember that tiny point of the hook is there. I kept catching my fingers on that little point when I wrapped the materials around the hook shank.

Time for the fly materials! The first material was the tip of the hackle feather. I made this tail too big but for my first fly I was focusing on making sure it didn't unravel and fall apart.

     Next, the rest of the hackle was attached. I've learned in fly tying it is important to plan ahead. The rest of the hackle is going to hang there for awhile but it is important for it to be added now for it to wrap around the next material.

     Next, chenille makes the body of the Woolly Worm. It is very important to leave space near the eye of the hook. I did not do this on my first fly and later when I tried to tie this fly on my line, I couldn't get the line in the eye.
     I forgot to take a picture of fishing the hackle, but you can see by making my tail too long I ended up with a lot of the fluffy part of the hackle and that isn't good. The fluffy part soaks up the water and doesn't work very well, BUT I am still pretty proud of my first fly even though he is fluffy and the eye is closed off.

     My second fly turned out a lot better. I made about 5 total before I had to stop to finish getting ready for our last camping trip. I was very excited about trying out my self tied flies and couldn't wait to catch a fish on them.

     Most of you know how frustrated I've gotten with fly fishing this year. In my backyard I can cast really well but as soon as there is water in front of me, nothing goes right and I end up frustrated. Not on this trip! I got tangled in a bush behind me a couple times, lost my strike indicator a couple times (found it once) and cracked the whip a few times, but then I took a deep breath and I was casting really well. I was even casting into the wind and was still doing pretty good. I was very proud of myself. I wish I had caught a fish on my flies but I think this was the first time I actually had fun casting with my fly rod so I was pretty happy.

       I'm excited for fly fishing next spring. This winter I will tie more flies and figure out how to add red to my fly rod and then next spring I will hopefully be ready to catch a bunch of fish on my fly gear.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Product Review For Mosquitno Products

You may remember from my Bug Off!! post that I REALLY hate bugs. I have another anti-bug product to share! Mosquitno asked me to try out a couple of their products and do a review. I haven't been able to try them against the annoying bugs yet, but so far I can already tell I love both products they sent me!
Mosquitno Products
      Mosquitno (pronounced "Mos-keet-NO") also sent me a bunch of information about their company. One of the coolest pieces of information I found was that they recycle the Bandz. You send them 10 used Bandz with a form found on their website and they will send you 2 free Bandz! They send you 1 as a thank you gift and 1 to help cover your shipping cost! The fact that they recycle the silicone bracelets is great but then there's the bonus 2 free Bandz that make it even better! They use Natural Insect Repellent so you don't have to worry about irritating your skin with chemicals plus they smell like citronella (I love that smell!).

     The first product is the Bandz. They come in adult size and kids size in a resealable pouch! The Bandz last for about 150 hours which is about 6 days. I like that I can give each niece and nephew one at the beginning of a long camping trip and I won't have to worry about giving them another one (unless it gets lost) until the next trip. If they put them back in the pouches, they might for the trip plus the rest of the month's weekend trips, helping in the yard and playing outside times. The Bandz come in bright colors, camo, tie-dye and glow-in-the-dark and are waterproof.

Mosquitno Bandz
      If we don't want to wear the Bandz, Mosquitno also has Spotz. Spotz stick to your hat, bag, shirt, jacket or anything else you want to stick them to! They come in 5 different themes (I have the Sports Shapes pack) and there are 6 Spotz per package. Spotz last around 72 hours which is 3 days and you can put them in a baggie when you're not using them so they will last a little longer. I can't wait to try these on my hat or visor on those fishing trips that the gnats and mosquitos insist on flying around our faces.

Mosquitno Spotz
      For more information about Mosquitno products visit their website at: Their online store is closed for the winter, but they will reopen in the spring. Once I am able to test them out in the field, I'll do another post. I can't wait to try them out during our camping, boating, fishing, geocaching and atving trips next year. I can already tell I'm going to like them a lot.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Bandz and Spotz for free from Mosquitno as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Retailer Public Relations ( Company in consideration for review publications.