Friday, December 30, 2011

Hello, New Year

Reflecting on last year's goal, it looks like things went pretty well.  In looking back over my last few months of posts, I feel pretty good about the content. I think they represent me well. I like music, fishing, poetry, and video/photography. I think the posts have started to reflect that. I wish I were a better writer.  I wish I could write introspective stories like Gierach or some of the great bloggers like  EMB, or Sanders. Maybe that will be the goal for next year. Do not waste words. Use them with purpose. Adjectives aren't always necessary. I will continue fishing, filming, shooting (photography), and sharing music, but on top of that, I will try to hone my writing skills. More specifically, writing related to fishing.

So there it is, my goal for 2012: Learn to write a fish story. 

*** Okay, so I'll add a few more so we can have a list:

1. Learn to write a fish story.
2. Continue reading and supporting my fellow bloggers.
3. Continue sharing through video and photography my fishing experiences.
4. Catch a red fish.
5. Catch a tarpon.
6. Catch a 20+ lbs striper.
7. Return to Shenandoah to try tenkara fly fishing.
8. Try kayak fishing.
9. Catch a 12" brookie in Virginia

Last year's goals are below with the results. 

1. (X)Truly understand the spey verses one-handed debate. - Okay, so was a kind of a joke, but I did try to understand how passionate fly fishers can be about their preferences for fishing, whether that be spey, tenkara, or strict dry fliers. 

2. (-)Fly fish Minnesota's Driftless area. - Oh man. I was so close. I could have done this. I even had an offer from Justin at WFF to come fish with him. Unfortunately, it was just too close to moving day. Chances of it happening this year? Not great. But I am heading back to Mn/Wi in April.... Maybe I can figure out a quick trip.

3. (-)Fly fish during an explosive hatch. - Another No. When I fished the Big Horn in Montana last spring, we just didn't hit the right conditions. That being said, I did manage to fish some busting false albacore that might be a saltwater equivalent.

4. (X) Be more like Phil Dunfee: "I'm a cool dad, that's my thang. I'm hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face." - This was a shoe in. Phil and I just have the same sense of humor. 

5. (X)Tie flies to match a hatch. - Montana worked in my favor here. Red midges pupae. Easiest thing to tie but we hammered the fish.

6. (X)Blog 2 poems per month (minimum). - I think I was pretty close on this one. At least to the point that I'm happy with my effort. I often write things that don't get posted as well, so it may not show on the page. 

7. (X)Organize/create my tying bench. - organize... ha. no. create... well I suppose. it is a door as a table and a bucket for a seat. I'm watching craigslist and curbsides for a possible replacement.

8. (X)Take better pictures of my fishing outings. - I think I was able to accomplish this. That being said, video took a much larger role this year. It has been fun shooting and editing fish outings and trying to keep up with this guy :)

9. (x)During intern year, when I have a chance to fish, spend that time with my wife instead. Not every time, but at least once :)  - I would say I did this. Since moving to Virginia, I've found much more fishing opportunities than in Nebraska, and I've made a point to spend time with Sara instead. 

10. (X)No matter where I match for residency, find some local fishing. - Check. So much fishing here.   It is a bummer that many of the fish require a boat. But no worries. I'm still planning on getting that big striper and redfish. With or without the boat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wassail! Wassail!

The Christmas Carol, Norfolk style. Nicely done. 

The red curtain at the Wells Theater, Norfolk, Va
Marley was dead, to begin with. 
Here's your cue, Tiny Tim.
They did a great job highlighting music of the 1800s using classical instruments and fake English accents. It was our Christmas gift to each other, and it was a good one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blog Suggestion: Winona Fly Factory

As things stay crazy through December, I've had less and less time to read the blogs I enjoy, tie flies, and find fish. One blog I try to return to from time to time for inspiration is Winona Fly Factory (WFF)

I have a soft spot for WFF because Winona, Minnesota is near my home town in the Driftless Area of Minnesota. Justin, the author, is a spectacular fisherman, fly tier, and writer. He documents his trips through and tying so well with detailed descriptions and great photos. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fly Night

Last night, we explored. We searched for the wind protected spots. Beneath bridges. In Marinas. At the yacht club. Looking for light lines where stripped bass would be waiting in the shadows. Waiting to ambush bait fish with poor attentions spans. The minute the bait fish lets itself get too close to the dark water... BAM! It exists no longer. It is now a part of the rock fish.

I had to retie some tippet before we left. As a refresher, I searched for some diagrams on the nail-less nail knot and perfection loop. I came across these helpful diagrams over at Jason Borger's place, Fish, Flies and Water. (He drew them himself).

Step 1. Make a loop in the leader material, then wind the short end of the leader around the fly line and through the loop. Wind the short end up the fly line. Drawing by Jason Borger

Steps 2 & 3. Simultaneously pull and twist ONLY the short end of the leader to spin the knot over. Don't over tighten. Slide the mono coils down toward the end of the line, push them together while gently drawing out the extra mono, then tighten firmly (really firmly) and clip off the ends. Drawing by Jason Borger

If you want to avoid having the butt end of you fly line catch on the guides, there is this option. I didn't do this, but it is a cool idea.

Step 1. Insert a needle into the end of the fly line about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch, and then out the side. Allow the needle to remain in place for a couple of minutes so the plastic of the line will stretch a bit. Drawing by Jason Borger

Step 2. Trim the end of the mono to a point, pull the needle out, and thread the mono in the end of the fly line and out the side. Now tie a Nailess Nail Knot. Notice that the leader now comes right out of the center of the fly line. This connection will flow through the guides very smoothly. Drawing by Jason Borger

Perfection Loop.

So after all that preparation, we struggled to find the fish. We had to stay away from the CBBT because of the wind. It turned out to be our last effort where we found the busting fish. Many were out of reach, but Kevin was able to hook up and solidify this as my new "go to" spot at night.

Blurry Kevin. Blurry Fish. Crystal Clear Memory.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dive in.

I've got to bust down the stairs in about two minutes.
I'm flurrying through these words.
I want to tell you things are fine.
It is going to be a good night.
I'll get some dinner, at least a granola bar.
I don't expect sleep.
I don't expect peace.
I expect work.
But just for now, I'm taking two minutes

to take a deep breath and smile.

A song like this will get me through the night.

*** awesome giveaway at tight lined tales of a fly fisherman.... okay, actually it is at TFM. 12 days of christmas with what sounds like some pretty awesome stuff.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goodbye November

Since the big trip to Harker's Island, I had only made it out fishing once. I've started to set my sites on the striped bass, and with that in mind, I've been searching for potential habitat. Here in Norfolk, the tasty water tends to be out of reach when wading. I've been told I'll be settling for smaller fish if I insist on wade fishing with the fly rod. I have to say, so far, I'm fine with that.

Here are some photos from a recent walk (no fish caught) along with some other shots. It was a gorgeous night exploring Willoughby Spit near the base of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.

My buddy Kevin and I went down to Harker's again on Monday. It was a last minute decision. No big fish, but it was a wonderful day.  So very relaxing.

Next up, I think I'm looking at some night fishing. Apparently the stripers like water with lights. They ambush schools of bait fish drawn to the lights.

Kevin with a world record flounder on a fly rod. Wow.

Zeeba. Our big dude with a fluffy belly.
He's not watching anything in particular, just spacing out mid bath.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Harkers Island Blitz

My alarm went off at 2:30 AM.  We wanted to be on the road by 3 to catch the 8 o'clock ferry to the island. It was a gamble to hope for both good weather and fish, but, as I now know, the prospect of catching false albacore will make you do silly things.

We made small talk most of the way there, avoiding all topics regarding weather hoping not to jinx the day ahead. It is funny what we will do to feel like we are in control. The night before I left, Sara came home with a pack of Swedish Fish for good luck. I popped one or two in my mouth every half hour that day convinced it would do the trick.

Arriving at 7:30 gave us just enough time to gear up and pay the ferryman.  Shortly thereafter, his Carolina skiff was cruising across the water taking us to our destination. The cool morning air felt as good as a shower. I was refreshed and awake, excited for what was to come.

As the boat glided into the shore, we began sizing up our territory. Walking to our first destination, I noticed the sand on the island was made of broken down seashells. They clinked like wine glasses or wind chimes with each step.

After picking our first spot, we began to fish.....

The talk and mood during the ride home was lighthearted. We gambled and won. The Swedish Fish did the trick.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rest Easy, Friday Night: Vol. 4: Neighborhood Edition.

It occurred to me that I grew up next to some very musically talented people. So, for this edition of Rest Easy, Friday Night, I thought I would share some music from my "neighbors."  I'm using neighbors loosely.  I went to high school with each of these people and we lived less than 5-10 miles apart.

Bret and I go back to little league baseball. He is a wonderful writer and has a sense of humor to rival Andy Samberg. I used to grab a mid-run glass of water from his house on those humid Minnesota summer days.

Second: Enter Jeramiah Nelson, also here, and here. A prolific troubadour who plays with many midwestern musicians including Brad Hoshaw (RE,FN: Vol 3). A year ahead of me in school, we took the bus home together in 5/6th grade. He was a bit of a rebel even then.

*note, "nothing to lose" was covered by Brad Hoshaw in the previous friday music post. That's right, the dots are connecting.

Lastly, we'll go with Nathan Miller and the Unstoppable Company. In all fairness, he is my brother's age, but we still overlapped in high school.


There is also Mark Noseworthy of Pink and Noseworthy who lived a mile or so away from us. He was in my brother's grade as well. Great guitarist. To be honest, I don't know his stuff as well. But the link is there if you are interested.

So ends the Neighborhood Edition of Rest Easy, Friday Night. That's a lot of music.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


A little homage to the time and energy we dedicate to preparing for a day of fly fishing. Next Monday I have a day off. I'm waking up early to blast down to Harkers Island with a buddy. We hope for agreeable fish as well as weather. Enjoy the short clip. It turned out a little melodramatic, which makes me laugh in hindsight. Not sure how that happened. I like tying flies. Maybe it is because I was really tired.

The longest title ever: Storm Trooper Tie-off: The Other Side of Fly Fishing (or Preparing for Battle)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hickory Dickory Dock...

The mouse ran down to Harkers Island in search of it's false albacore. Come the 14th, this mouse hopes to wet his ears with albie sweat. I've got some tying to do.

Buddy Kevin with the prize.


P.S. Remember to "fall back" with daylight savings time.  That's this weekend. The last thing you would want is to show up to work an hour early on Monday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

E-zines and Poems.

Several online magazines, or "e-zines," came to my mailbox inbox this week.

First we have the inaugural issue of Southern Culture on the Fly. It is a well done e-zine, and if you look closely, you might see some contributors you recognize. Pretty darn awesome. A nice video of carp fishing, an article on the Appalachian Brookie, and much more.

Next we have the a fun journal about the fly fishing, hunting, and related art of Argentina, Chile, and Patagonia. The Patagonia Journal. There are some great photos here. You'll have South America on your wish list before you get to page 10.

Lastly, there is the always awesome Catch Magazine. Issue #20. Some great photo essays including Alaska and New Zealand. Let's just say this: After checking out the latest issue, I'm moving us to British Columbia... or Alaska... or New Zealand... or wherever it is those guys were fishing in the tropics... Hard to decide :)

Now for November's two-for-one poem post....

Lovely Things.

I went for a walk
Not expecting to catch a thing,
But hoping to understand the waters
I came away with a list of lovely things:

Spicy brown mustard and wasabi
The way you wiggle out of your jeans
Exploring new waters to fish

Peanut butter cookies, soggy with milk
You and the cat on the couches asleep
Retinas in stereo-vision
French press coffee.

Squeaky, warm, salty cheese curds
And drinking whey from the bag
Sliding the fish back into the water
Quiet at the end of the day.

Lying on the couch at my parents house,
with only the light coming form the Christmas tree
Breaking a sweat,
A cool, fresh breeze.


Skinny Love.

It was on the Pine Ridge Reservation
Of the Lakota Souix
While playing cards with the Jesuits
In an old Catholic school
Drinking root beer floats
When I first heard the song
"Skinny Love"
Performed by Bon Iver
And it echoed through
My marrow
And is moving me still

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rest Easy, Friday Night. Vol. 3

I first saw/heard Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Dead Lies at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Ne. We listened for about 45 minutes and I bought their self-titled CD. It is outstanding. Here is his newest project. It is the "rough draft" of his upcoming CD. He will put the sales money from this rough album towards a fully produced studio album.

A slower sound. A step away from the light hearted. Calming and refreshing.

He also dose a pretty decent version of a Ke-(money sign)-ha song.


On a separate note, here is a paragraph from yesterday's Writer's Almanac, a daily email/radio short by Garrison Keillor on Minnesota Public Radio. The segments include a daily poem and noteable events in history that occurred on the day.

This blows my mind. It amazes me to think what this man has seen and heard.

"Today is the 98th birthday of Joseph Medicine Crow-High Bird, best known as Joseph Medicine Crow, who was born in 1913 into the Apsaalooke people -- the children of the large-beaked bird -- near Lodge Grass on the Crow reservation in southern Montana. Joseph Crow is the oldest living man of the Crow tribe and the last traditional Crow chief. As a writer, he has produced seminal works on Native American history and reservation life. But it is for Medicine Crow's writings on the victory of the Cheyenne and Lakota warriors led by Crazy Horse and Chief Gall over the U.S. Cavalry and George Armstrong Custer that he is best known.
Joseph was the first member of his tribe to attend college and was in the middle of graduate studies in anthropology when World War II began and he joined the Army as an infantry scout. He'd learned from his grandfather that a warrior must have the strength and intelligence to carry out four traditional military acts, a process called "counting-coup," in order to qualify as a chief, and Medicine Crow completed all four during the war. One highly prestigious act was to make physical contact with an enemy and escape unharmed, and on one occasion, he fought and grappled with a German soldier whose life he then spared when the man screamed out for his mother. On another, Medicine Crow led a war party to steal 50 Nazi SS horses from a German camp, singing a Crow song of honor as they rode away.
After the war, Medicine Crow returned to Montana where he was appointed his tribe's historian and anthropologist. He began writing academic works, collections of Crow stories and the Crow creation cycle, nonfiction books for children, and his memoirs, to mention just a few. Medicine Crow's step-grandfather had been a scout for George Armstrong Custer and an eyewitness to Custer's Last Stand along the Little Big Horn River, and as a boy Joseph had heard many stories of the battle; today, Medicine Crow is the last living person to have received direct oral testimony from a participant of Little Bighorn, which he has written about in Keep the Last Bullet for Yourself (The True Story of Custer's Last Stand) and other works.
Medicine Crow has been awarded the American Bronze Star as well as the French Legion of Honor. A White House press release naming Medicine Crow as a recipient of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom praised him for his "contributions to the preservation of the culture and history of the First Americans," saying that those achievements are only matched by "his importance as a role model to young Native Americans across the country." 10/27/11 Writer's Almanac

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crabcake Pizza

With white cheddar, white sauce, apples and pecans. Food coma in the Nash house.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

need some new gear? be sustainable. buy used.

I just noticed a fellow fly fishing blogger is selling a bunch of great gear for dirt cheap prices. Patagonia is being sustainable and encouraging its customers to resell their goods. Why not do the same from a fellow blogger? Head on over and check it out if you are interested.

Gear includes:

a couple packs, fly rods (tenkara and conventional), rain gear and digital camera with more gear to come.

If I needed a new pack, I'd be all over it, but I'm trying to fix a fly rod right now.


I can't say for sure what happened.
In fact, I don't even know why.
I assume somewhere in my back cast,
I hit my rod with my fly. 
When using heavy flies like clousers,
You need to open your loop.
Tight loops can cause collisions,
Breaking rods which makes you feel like poop.

Here is a video addressing how to avoid hitting your rod with your fly, 
and another about casting heavy flies in wind so you don't have a situation like mine.

As with all situations and the curse of the being an optimist,
There is a silver lining for me.
In shopping for rods I made sure to purchase
One with a "no questions asked" warranty.

Ring.... Ring..... Riiiinggg... "Hello, thank you for calling Wild Water Fly Fishing.
How can I help you?"
"Hi.  It's me.... I broke my rod again"
"No problem, David! Send it back, and we'll return it shiny and new"

This stuff just happens. It is good that I have a warranty. It is an ooportunity to thoughtfully evaluate my casting technique. And writing a poem about it makes me less frustrated. So, it isn't the end of the world. It is just a broken eyelet. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Specks in Hand

A day off spent on the water. 

The speckled trout will be leaving us soon making way for the striped bass. 

One thing that made yesterday unique was the company. I fished with a buddy from the local fly fishers club. He works in conservation and participates in the Virginia's fish tagging program. We made sure to measure, record, and tag several specks including one nice 16.5" fish at the end. 

I practiced a bit more with the camera experimenting with release shots. Fortunately, the fish cooperated as there were plenty of specks in hand. 

Music is by The Flaming Lips, "Fight Test."

Enjoy the music. Enjoy the fish. Happy Friday. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Poem: Culture

When the only tool you have is a hammer,
The whole world is a nail.
An ongoing sickness,
Hard to prevail.
Blinders on a horse,
Its beautiful mane,
Woven tightly into a shining braid.
A different hat,
Or tool for the trade.
Bound by culture,
No one's insane.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coffee Talk...

I'll give you a topic:

Last night, I went out for an hour and a half to try and catch a dinner. Mama Holman, did you hear that? I went for the specific purpose of bringing fish back for dinner. Just so you know, I typically let all the fish go. Mostly because it is work to clean them and I have plenty of food in the fridge.

This isn't a post about my thoughts on catch and release. This is a post about license fees. Since Labor Day, I have noticed a lot of commercial fisherman placing gill nets off shore, and last night, there was a 300 foot net about 50-100 feet in front of the jetty I was fishing. Now I don't know all the rules about how close you can be to jetties and site specific regulations, but it seemed pretty close to me. Therefore, I looked up the regulations this morning. It turns out, it may be too close (I read something about no closer than 300ft to a bridge or jetty), but that wasn't what got me thinking.

I pay $17.50 for a saltwater license as a resident of the state of Virginia.

A Virginia resident commercial license is $190. The license fee for one reccreational, 300ft gill net is $9.00 and $24 for one commercial gill net between 600-1200ft. 

I am supportive of responsible commercial fishing, just as I am in favor of responsible farming for corn or cattle or watermelons. I was simply interested in the prices of commercial vs recreational licenses. Is $190 + $24.00 a fair price to be able to harvest fish with a gill net? Given the relative pressure that a commercial fisherman can place on fish populations versus a single recreational fisherman, is that cost an appropriate proportional increase?

local net fisherman pulling up the catch
Okay, don't get verklempt.  Talk amongst yourselves...


Oh, and did you hear? OBN's B-day this week. Lots of opportunities to win outdoor gear to review. 
Head on over and see what happens. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eastern Shore

When plans change and schedules suddenly open, there is potential. A gift of time and opportunity. Maybe you clean, catch up on paperwork or sleep, get outside or meet up with friends. 

I've found, when I come across one of these unexpected free days, I simply hope I can look back when the sun has set and feel satisfied with the outcome. 

I enjoy the feeling of surprised satisfaction. It is like knowing the cookie jar is empty, but looking anyway out of habit, and, after tilting the jar, one last chocolate chip cookie slides out of the ceramic bear's toes. You now have a second chance at enjoying the cookie. Savor or devour it, that is your choice. When all is said and done, you just hope the cookie was as rich and delicious as you anticipated. 

Last weekend, I found an extra cookie. An unexpected day off. As it turned out, that cookie turned out to be one of the best I've had in a while. Why? Let me recap the events for you.

Friday Night
I leave work Friday night after a long shift and even longer week expecting to return at 5am the next morning. At 8pm, I get a phone call saying I don't have to come in on Saturday. "Take the day off," they say.  Being that I have the night shift on Sunday, I won't have to return two work for another 45 hours. 

This is looking like one delicious cookie. 

All of a sudden, Sara and I have a weekend together. We can do whatever we want. This was already all I could hope for, and then I remember a conversation with my fishing buddy, Brad, from the previous week. "I've got vacation all next week," Brad said. "Just let me know if you get a day off and maybe we can get some fishing in."


I make the call. As it turns out, Brad and his wife, Sue, are heading up to their families place on the Eastern Shore. Invitation extended. Invitation accepted. The plan is to kayak, fish, eat, drink, and play cornhole... That's what we Midwesterners call Bean-Bag Toss. Personally, calling it "cornhole" makes me a little uncomfortable. It just sounds... well, it sounds like butt hole. No thank you, very much. So we will just say the plan was to play some bean-bag toss which is a fun game. But I digress...

This cookie just got some chocholate chips. 

We were there by lunch. Get the tour. Check. Eat the sandwiches. Check. Ready the boats. Check. Rig up the rods. Check. Push off.

And there is it, a big glass of cold milk next to that gooey, chocolaty, puts-Martha-Stewart-to-shame cookie.
Into the boats.
We paddled through the channels of the marsh. 
Fiddler crabs scurrying over muddy banks and oyster beds.  

Brad, Sara, and Sue.
When we paddled far enough, we walked to the fish. 

Sara and Sue.
The march ecosystem can look desolate and teeming with life all at the same time. 

Brad switches to a spinning rod to find a flounder.
The fish were on. Spec after spec. 
They couldn't resist the slow retrieve of a self-tied clouser.

Brad landing my catch of the day. 19" Spec.
Even a perfectly placed drop of water on the camera lens won't taint the memory of that day.

Heading home.

Sunday saw me back at work. Rejuvenated. Refreshed. Revitalized. Thankful and well fed. That was one spectacular cookie.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

video: exploration to culmination

I dedicated a 7 hour day to searching my local shores for my first speckled trout. 

It took all 7 hours, but my efforts were rewarded. 

It's funny, the fish seem so much bigger in my memory. Maybe it would be better to leave the camera at home. The video keeps my stories too honest.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rod Review: Wild Water Fly Fishing 9/10 wt

Well, I finally did it. I bit whatever bullet people refer to when they bite bullets, and bought a saltwater fly rod. I've been saving a little money each month. Researching the best options for my price range. Reading reviews. Asking peers. Doing all the things you are supposed to do before making a significant purchase.

The result? I went with an outfit. The 9/10wt 9' 4 piece Wild Water Fly Fishing Saltwater Starter Package. 

Some things you should know about me before we go any further. I've been fly fishing with a pretty flimsy 5wt for most of my fly fishing career. It is a rod I built myself in high school. I've have a pflueger reel on it and it has the same floating line on it now that it did when I first spooled it up. I know. I'm terrible. Secondly, I've briefly fished with a TFO, Sage and a Martin fiberglass 7-8 weight rods that give me my comparison for this review.

Who is Wild Water Fly Fishing? It is a relatively new company (founded in 2006) founded by Eric Dodds to fill a spot in the market by providing better quality rods for less money. Besides selling to individual buyers, it seems like the company is hoping to fill fly fishing guides' rod tubes with a quality rod for the .... unpredictable fisherman :)

So how did this baby hold up on it's first outing? In short, outstanding. The rod blank is listed as "slow," which left me expecting something comparable to my 5wt or the fiberglass. Maybe that was me being naive, but this rod was much faster than I expected. The weight distribution/balance felt very natural, and, when I was able to pull off a decent double haul, the line shot like butter. Smooth.

The cork handle was durable. The reel is sturdy and easy to control. After getting used to the clicking of a pflueger, it is odd to have something so silent. But I liked it. I even dropped the reel on the cement halfway through the day without any consequences (besides just being frustrated with my own foolishness). The rod even held up to a feisty speckled trout that should make its appearance in the next few days...

When I set out to buy a new rod, I wasn't necessarily looking for an outfit, but I was looking for a couple things in particular. I wanted a heavier weight rod. I wanted to spend less than $150 for a rod and reel. I wanted a 4 piece to make travel easier. I wanted a good warranty. I got all of those things with the Wild Water Rod. It has a lifetime warranty. No questions asked. The only stipulations are that it isn't transferrable between buyers. You have to register the rod, and it is $35 to get a new rod when you send it in. Maybe not as good as some warranties but much better than others. $35 for a brand new rod is pretty darn sweet. Of course, I hope to avoid it all together :)

Was I hesitant buying a brand that wasn't as well established as say, Redington, for example? Well, yes, a bit. But from the reviews I read, I felt safe with my decision. So far, I have no regrets, and I don't anticipate any in the future.

Here are the specs from the website:

Complete 9/10 Fly Fishing Starter Package for Saltwater

  • Blank Action: Slow
  • Blank Color: Dark Gray
  • Blank Flex: Mid
  • Length: 9 Feet
  • Line Size: 9 or 10
  • Material: IM6 Graphite
  • Number of Sections: 4
  • Rod Case Length: 31 inches
  • Rod Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Winding Color: Black

Lifetime Warranty on the rod - not transferrable between owners. You also have to send $35 with the rod when you want it replaced. 
Center disc drag die cast aluminum large arbor reel
Backing and weight forward floating line
9' 0X tapered leader
Rod Case
Fly box with 3 flies (Candy Eel, Red and White Deceiver, and Swimming Crab)

I also tied several clousers for the outing. Here they are, in all their fluffy glory.