Warmwater

Lippa4Life Review

Lippa

So, since June of 2016, I've managed to contain my excitement about releasing our film, "One Man's Trash".  We also decided to keep it a secret and build some curiosity around what type of fish we were targeting.  Being that we didn't want to give any hints, we have kept more than just the species a secret.  We also haven't told anyone about some of the great gear we used and other stories that accompanied this excursion. So the first that comes to mind, and an absolute essential for targeting Bowfin, or any toothy creature for that fact, is the Rising Fly Fishing Tools Lippa4Life.  I've been visiting and fishing for Bowfin in the swamp several times a year for the past 9 years.  There are two things that are a fact about Bowfin, they are slimy, slick,  and loaded with several rows of very sharp, fine teeth.  In the past I've used the standard "boga grip", which are a fine tool which has become an industry standard among all fishermen.  However, the Lippa4Life has 2 clear advantages.

First and most importantly being; If you intend to release fish without harm, the wide rounded pincers of the Lippa4Life do not puncture through the jaw of the fish you are gripping (even when thrashing violently as the Bowfin love to do).  That means, no blood, no mess and most importantly you release the fish back just how you found him for the next sport angler (or alligator) to catch.  That's the whole idea behind the Lippa4Life and it works perfectly!

Second, the Lippa4Life is lighter and has less moving parts.  I don't like leaving things laying around on the boat deck or fumbling for tools when trying to release a fish.  I kept the Lippa in my pocket and attached to a belt loop thanks to the optional coil leash.  The only thing I did add was a small, lightweight, stainless Night Ize S-Biner to make attaching easier.

Rising makes a lot of great tools and this was just one of several we used on this trip and many other trips we take.  Swing by the site and check out their tying tools, nets and some sweet apparel.  Click here: http://www.risingfish.net/

And, if you didn't catch the premier of our film at the 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3t) stop in Atlanta, there are two more local screenings before it goes life on the inter-webs!

Well worn and well worth having!
Well worn and well worth having!

Down on the Farm

Photos By: Justin Dobson

The long weekend brought a few of us together for a bit of a change to our normal routine.  A somewhat car camping style of fishing.  It’s been a Memorial Day tradition for the last 5 years to gather at a local nursery farm pond with friends and enjoy several acres of nothing but trees planted in perfect rows and a couple small ponds filled with bass, bream and catfish who haven’t laid eyes on flies and poppers since last year.  The car was packed up the night before with the essentials; sandwiches, some watermelon and few celebration brews.  Pulling into the farm and locking the gate behind is like some sort of V.I.P. treatment.  Being able to park a stocked vehicle right next to a stocked pond all day is like getting a room with all the incidentals covered.

Arriving in the morning with the sun just peaking up over all the perfectly placed ornamentals and crop of next year’s Christmas splendors you can’t help but want to ruin the calm with the ripple and chug of a big popper in hopes of creating a much more impressive top water explosion.  The conditions of the ponds were far less than ideal.  The area had received near 6” of rain over the previous weekend and sedimentation made the pond into a cesspool of turbid chocolate milk.  It would have been easy to give up after over an hour of making long casts and stripping time after time hoping to spur some sort of bite just with the disturbance of ripping plugs all morning.  We changed plugs and repeated the process without much success.   If I was just stubborn enough, I would’ve stuck to what worked the last 5 years or what I thought should have been successful.

We changed tactics and scrubbed the bottom with dumbbell eyed streamers and a few crazy looking rubber skirted chenille worms.  Dozens of small bass and some big bull bluegill later and what started as a dismal day turned out enjoyable.   This is the third fishing day in the last 4 months that I began thinking the day would be a complete loss and have ended with some moderate success if not just a feeling of making the best out of it.

The catches weren’t trophies, except maybe for a few “titty bream” (This is new lingo I picked up this week from a seasoned southern angler who I shared my photos with and he informed me a titty bream was one so big you have to hold him against your chest to take the hook out).  It was definitely evident these fish were as susceptible to sunburn as I was.  The water being so stained these fish had very little, if any color.  After 7 hours down on the farm, I feel I’ve added some much needed color to my own skin, even if it’s bright red.

The Bass and Ass Show

Photos by: Jamie Keown/Justin Dobson     

Spring is in the air, it’s the time of year the bass and bow’s start to do the nasty and the burden of wearing waders will soon be a distant memory. Sure we fish year round and don’t get me wrong; some of the best fishing can be had during the winter months, when most are huddled around a warm fire you’re often left alone in the peace of all to catch trout until your heart’s content. There’s just something about spring…waking up early to throw dries at risers, or tossing poppers in the evening on the local farm pond. It’s as if everything is awakening from a long nap, you know the kind you’d like to take but time doesn’t allow.

Spring is also the start of our trips to Pop’s pond. Pop’s pond belongs to Kyle’s (or KPV as we call him) grandpa. Pop’s pond is a magical oasis on the outskirts of the town we live in. (If I told you anymore than that about the location, well I’d have to kill you.) The pond is your typical farm pond or in Pop’s case it’s more of a lake. It’s slam full of fish and rarely sees any pressure. It’s one of those spots that you hear guys talking about over beers at a bar, discussing how in the hell they’ll ever gain access to such a magical place. I’ve been fishing Pop’s for several years and throughout this time KPV has always made it a point to remind me that there are some big bass in Pop’s pond.

We had already made several trips to Pop’s this spring and I had been trying to convince JD to join us, but life always seemed to get in the way as it usually does. Finally last Saturday everyone’s schedule aligned and with warmer temps forecasted we decided to get an early start in hopes of getting a few on top before the sun warmed the water. We fished hard throughout the am with not much to show for our efforts besides a smaller bass that KPV talked into eating.

Around 12:30 JD decided to call it quits and retreat back to the casa for some evening yard duties. With nothing going on I had kind of figured he thought Pop’s was nothing more than a farm pond full of cow manure not the magical bass filled oasis we made it out to be. Honestly after the morning we were having I couldn’t blame him. I had considered jumping ship long before he called it quits, as I was fresh out of barley pops and the biscuit from Guy’s Biscuit Barn had long since ran its course.

We decided to press on anyway and just as JD disappeared from sight I set the hook to what I thought at the time was another blow down. After a few head shakes I realized it was no pine I was into. KPV just so happened to be on the phone at this time, and the fish made a few runs around the boat before making a hard run for open water taking my line along with him. Realizing I was into a good fish KPV abruptly ended the call and began to paddle like hell after the fish. After finally getting some line back and a few more hard runs around the boat I was able to get the fish to the top and catch a glimpse for the first time. Silently I thought to myself looking into the water at this big slob of a bucket mouth “damn KPV was right, there are some big damn fish in this lake”. Somehow we got the fish in the boat and after a few photos we let it go, to hopefully return and grow a little bigger. It was the first time in many years of fishing that I’ve had my fishing partner say “hey, I want my picture made with it to”. We fished a little longer before deciding to call it quits. I text JD a picture as soon as I got home and the reply I got was “Unreal, it only took me packing up and heading home for yard duty.” Unreal is right my man!