Friday, May 23, 2014

Stuff I use part 1.... My rods

I've decided that mixed into my post I'm going to throw in a few stuff I use post, give kind of an overview on the fly equipment I use and why I use it.

 Everywhere I go I'm always talking about fly fishing, it maybe be talking to people that fly fish, talking to friends and family about fly fishing, or just those random encounters. When I talk to many people that don't fly fish I normally get 3 answers to why they don't, A) there ain't no trout in these waters, what am I gonna catch with that, B) all that whipping around with that thing just looks like a big tangled mess,(translation it looks hard), C) that's way to expensive that's an elitist game.
  Of course the answer to A is anything you can catch with a rod & reel you can catch with a fly rod, B it's really not all that hard, heck if I can do it.... and C)  not exactly... Welcome to what I use part 1.

(A few of my favorite rods)
  The 3 rods to the left are my most used fly rods, they are all Eagle Claw Featherlights! A 6'6" 4/5wt, a 7' 5/6wt, and an 8' 6/7wt with a switch conversion I did. None of these rods cost me over $30 the 6'6" came off eBay, the 7' and 8' came off I really must say these are absolutely my favorite rods to fish!
 Let me give you a little back ground.... I started fly fishing a little over 5 years ago, I did like many do I went to a big box store and spent about $200 on a starter pack 5wt rod, reel, line, accessories, and a nifty little chest pack. It was a faster action fly rod that wasn't a bad rod but to me it never had much feel to it, I could cast but not really well, but I caught some fish and had fun!
   Fast forward a couple years and on the beautiful Llano River I met Brandon Robinson we started talking about fly fishing and I mentioned to him my dislike for my current rod and how I had thought about upgrading to a more expensive rod, that's when he told me about his favorite rod and put one in my hand, he almost didn't get it back. I was amazed at how much feel that yellow rod had in my hand, how I could feel it load and if you let it, it told you what to do.
  As soon I as I got home I began scouring the interweb searching for one I soon found one on ebay with a Martin 61 that I ended up getting for like $15 it was an older 7' 5/6 I put the cabela's wf6 I had on my other rod and soon began to make great feeling cast, further and more accurate than I had before. My addiction had begun I was on my way to becoming a #glassgeek!  I then picked up the 6'6" on ebay for less than $20 and a few other glass rods all for less than $100!
 I then ran across a featherlight switch rod on and knew I had to build one, so again to the interweb.  I found 8' claws at for around $20 and a few other parts on different sites and made the switch, needless to say I love this rod!!

So a fly rod for $20, is it still too expensive? .... "oh a $20 fly rod I bet it's cheap and will fall apart" I've put these rods through the ringer, I've caught everything from stocker wimp trout to big striper and hard running carp on them in fact here is a video of Brandon putting the backbone of a 6'6" on a carp
It's funny to me, I go to a lot of fly fishing events and people talk about the latest greatest and the big bucks rods. In our little circle of Claw fans we talk about them to but they normally end in "yeah but my claw can do that"
If you're new to fly don't let the price of magazine page fly rods scare you. You can find Claws of all sizes on eBay,, and Even if you are an avid fly fisher pick one up but beware, it might cause you to slow down and actually have fun!
Stay Fly, Be Blessed, see you on the river,
Gabe <>< 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Zazzy Pop Poppers

Being that Jeff Jones decided to do a run of Zazzy Pop Poppers after a long hiatus, I thought I'd repost this from an old blog, love these things!!!!

After what seamed like an eternity I received a brown envelope in the mail (OK so it was only a few days) After opening I found inside the most awesome poppers I’ve ever seen in my life! I gave Owl at Zazzy Pop freedom of choice on the eight I ordered from him and trust me when I say he did great. I was only saddened by the fact that they arrived on my Monday and I would not be able to get them in the water for several days. I literally pulled them out of there fly box (yes they have there own because they deserve it) and just admired the fine craftsmanship every night when I got home and debated just putting them on the wall or from the visor of my car but something that zazzy has gotta catch a fish.
Finally I got a day off so I woke up early (well early for my day off ) made some coffee, loaded up my fly pack and Camelbak, and headed up to the lake. After a 2 mile hike to an old fishing pier on the back side of the lake I tied the shiny new blue pencil popper to my tippet ( hind sight should’ve changed the 6x tippet to 3x) and made my first cast. Even casting with a bothersome wind coming from a 5-6wt 7ft glass rod they casted great shot it out about 40 ft and started to chug it back. POP-POP-POP pause, POP-POP- pause, then it seamed if the water under the fly vanished as a green and black head exploded out of the water engulfing the popper. I easily strip set the hook as the thought hit my head Gabe what tippet is on that line (6x) wow that fish is bigger than the 3lb test and its headed for cover. I grasped the line firmly and lightly applied pressure to the rod butt, it still ran against me. I knew if it hit the branches and weed bed of it’s home I’d lose it so I leaned into the rod just as it hit cover and pop, limp yellow fly line fell back on the water. I was crushed I had caught a possible lake record Fly bass and…… that punk took my new popper. Then it hit me, wow these are sweet, third cast and a couple pops and the big boys come out to play. So I cut the tippet off went to a 3x and tied another popper on I started to cast towards the same spot when I saw something surface, it was my zazzy pop that punk broke my line stole my popper and then spit it out. I decided to catch my popper back so I began to cast out to it and strip back in, not fishing just trying to retrieve my fly I’d hit the loose pencil popper and it would wiggle and shake in the water then go to rest. After the third or fourth attempt the wildest thing happened, it popped, wiggled, then went to rest ,then the water boiled and it was gone, ARE YOU SERIOUS TWO BASS JUST STOLE MY POPPER!!!!!!
Accepting my defeat I pulled in my line and decided to move to another location. As I was hiking around the lake the wind picked up even more as my iPhone alerted me of severe thunderstorm warning with hail and chance of tornadoes so I decided (translation: wife called said Gabe get off the lake now there is a big storm coming in) to haul it back up the trail to the car load up and head for cover. I got to the car as the sky opened up and rain, wind, thunder, and lightning bashed down as I crossed the dam the light chop turned to white caps. I drove home blessed by the day I was given and thinking, some where in this lake is a trophy bass that stole my popper but his brother popper will avenge him!
Later on that day the storm cleared and it turned into a nice sunny,windy, day so I went down to the river and tossed my #8 into holes and washes and pulled out several fun bass.

So it's been a while........

When I started this blog I had the intent of keeping it up but like so many things in life they often get put on the back burner. My schedule at work has changed and it ended up putting a little more stress on me than I expected. I haven't been on the water as much, haven't been tying as much, and as you can see haven't been talking as much. Rest a sure I still fish any time I can and I still tie when I feel the need but, life has been getting in the way! I've been doing some soul searching and trying to find myself amongst the chaos that is life, I'm sure we all do this trying to balance work, finances, bills, family, goals, wants, needs, and fishing.
  I have long claimed to be a sufferer of TAS or Terminal Angler Syndrome, I must fish it is who I am, it is my center, the meat of what I am. Ask anybody that knows me, I get grumpy, moody, irritable, if I'm not on the water. My out look is grim, life is not full!
 I have been blessed to keep "the beast at bay" I had an awesome trip down the Colorado with a good friend of mine in a drift boat, caught some really great fish, and had an awesome time.
Also I must thank my good friend Brandon for the many outings we have taken here on the Brazos
Brandon riding my Diablo

So I guess my point of all of this is to give you a brief insight into what's up with me and that yes I'm still out here fishing when I can and doing what I do. I really hope that I will pick up my blog better and get back to doing what I do. I will do my best to bring you more fly and paddling awesomeness from here in Texas, and other things that I find! I want to thank all of you that follow my blog and as always ,
Stay Fly, Be Blessed, See you on the River,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What's up Y'all

So as you where all fore warned The Fly River Turtle is a warmwater creature and therefore spent most of the winter hibernating! As I look at my blog I haven't touched it since last month (I figured I was going to be inactive but geez) I've actually got a lot to write about, I finally got my DIABLO!!!!! look for a full and continued write up on that,
Received an awesome Christmas gift from dragonfly angler, look for multiple write ups about the great things coming from this guy 

Made my own custom Eagle Claw switch rod (insert evil laugh here)

And continue to try to tie my ultimate craw

Last but not least please check out I don't think I've ever been touched more by a project she's wanting to use horses to take people that have disabilities fly fishing, it's awesome just to hear her idea, "she had me at hello" lol but for real check it out she is legit, I gotta say the 2 coolest things I've been able to see was watching disabled vets fly fish and watching disabled kids ride horses you put those together that's a lot of stoke!!!!!
But at any rate, Stay Fly, Be Blessed, see you on the water

Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Ultimate 12 days of Christmas

Hey everyone it's been a cold icy couple of days here in North Texas! I honestly haven't been out in over 24 hours. I don't know how some people do it. I'm already going stir crazy!!!
  Needless to say I've spent a lot of time behind the vise and kicking around on the World Wide Web, and I started looking at all the cool stuff there is out there and if money was no object what I'd get myself for Christmas, be warned some things are crazy price and some things are easily obtainable!

So lets kick off my ultimate 12 days of Christmas (que music)

On the First day of Christmas my true love would give to me a sick lifted Jeep Waggy (with a 6bt diesel converted to run on WVO,3/4 ton running gear)
On the second day of Christmas my true love would give to me a kick ass Eddie Bauer Airstream
On the third day of Christmas my true love would give to me a green boat from Towee
On the four day of Christmas my true love would give to me an Amigo from Diablo
(Megan never gets enough props)
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 5 lines to use
1) Cortland Carp Boss
2) SA Titan
3)Royal Wulff Ambush

4)Rio Smallmouth

5) Rio Perception

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love would give to me an Epic 686 in olive please
On the seventh  day of Christmas my true love gave to me an awesome TFM Yeti
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love would give to me a Cheeky Ambush reel
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love would give to me a true blue Epic 990
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love would give to me an Able super 9/10
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love would give to me Feathers, Fur and Flash
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love would give to me killer Howler Bros Gear
So there you have it y'all that is The Fly River Turtle's ultimate Christmas!! No I don't think I'm getting any of them well maybe the feather fur and flash, nor do I expect it, I'm just saying it would be super sweet!!!!!!
But at any rate.
Stay Fly , Be Blessed, See ya on the river,

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dub the Thorax

OK first off go check out it is one awesome blog, second go to not only is he an awesome blog but he's giving stuff away! Hopefully I will be doing such soon!!
Fish on, Be Blessed, See ya on the River,

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dreaming of Warmer Times

  I must admit November - February is my least favorite time of the year, I do not like cold!! Luckily in Texas we have short reprieves from the murder that is cold ( FYI in the book of The Fly River Turtle under 60 is COLD) although this week has not been one, it's cold like ice and stuff cold. I was doing laundry at the house and pulled a pair of shorts out of the dyer and thought man I just wore these last week. but since Friday it's been pants, hoodies, vest, jackets, flannel and work!
  I probably might not post much in the cold times of the year, my brain goes into survive until it gets warmer mode!! I've been doing a little tying and surfing youtube for motivation. I tied up this articulated streamer based on a foxy clouser turned out kind of cool.

Looks cooler in person tied in some old jig skirt and some eyes in the tail looks cool if we get some warm days, I'm gonna fish it thinking in current with the heavy head and long articulated tail it'll fish low and slow in current and just wave come and get it!!

 I also came across a sweet video on youTube of one of my best bros, fishing for one of my favorite fish on my favorite fly rod,

great carp fishing on a 6'6" claw look at that bend, check out Brandon on
he's a fly pimp although he's been a little preoccupied I'm super happy for him!!
But at any rate
Stay Fly, Be Blessed, See ya on the water,