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As you know I don’t normally promote other guides on my page. However, seeing how Rocky is in Tennessee he isn’t exactly competition.

I had to travel to Knoxville for work so that meant I needed to look up the fishing opportunities. I came across a few guides that offer drift boat trips so I sent some emails looking for an afternoon trip if I could fly in early. Rocky emailed me back within an hour or two. There were others that emailed me back but it took more than a day. As a guide I always respond to emails right away so Rocky got my business. We set up the trip within an email or two and kept in touch over the next month or so until it the date arrived. He was always prompt and friendly when answering my questions and I had a lot of them.

The day of the trip arrived and of course the weatherman was actually right that day and the weather wasn’t looking the best. Due to the threat of some good storms we set up on a section of water we could motor up-stream and work back down to the ramp just in case we needed to run for cover. I was more than ok with that. I will fish in anything except lightning.

I knew we were fishing for big fish when I was handed an 8 weight rod with a 350 grain sink tip and a medium size streamer tied on the end. I say medium-sized because we fished much larger later on. I was pumped. I don’t get a chance to fish this way often. We motored up to the low head dam and started back down. The first pass down stream I connected with a nice feisty Rainbow Trout that found its way to the net. Not the huge fish I was hoping for but a good start anyway. Over the next few hours we found a some more fish that wanted to play but my ability to connect with them and put them in the hoop was lacking. The weather also was constantly changing. The skies cleared and the sun shined bright. Not exactly what I would call good trout fishing weather. Overall the catching wasn’t great but the fishing was excellent. I will definitely be coming back for revenge.

Rocky is a professional guide with top quality equipment. It was my first time casting a Orvis Zero Gravity rod and now I want to buy one. Everything from the boat to the reels were in excellent condition. A condition that isn’t always found on a guide boat even though it should be. It was obvious that he has a vast knowledge of the area waters and how to fish them in various conditions. I would highly recommend anyone coming to the Knoxville area to give him a call and set up a trip.

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I am going to start off by saying if you like reading fishing stories just scroll right to the bottom of this post click on one of the links and buy the book. I’d say that sums up how I feel about this book and I probably could end the review right now but i’ll dig a little deeper.

For years I have enjoyed the writings of John Gierach. I own almost all of his books and at one time did own all of them. Now I am not going to say Mark is the next John Gierach, He would have to get a lot better at fly fishing to do that.  What I will say is that if you enjoy John’s work you will definitely enjoy this book.  Mark doesn’t an excellent job of telling the stories of his fishing adventures along with adding in a little hidden message here and there.  Somehow he can even take a bad day fishing and turn it into a great story. Well there is no such thing as a bad day of fishing but you know what I mean.

Someone told Mark that he enjoyed his stories because they were just the right length to read in the bathroom each morning. I am going to disagree with this book being brought into the bathroom. My reason why is that you will likely find yourself sitting there on an uncomfortable seat surrounded by a less than pleasant smell much longer that you need too be. I also would not try to read one of the chapters of the book quick while you have your coffee before work. More that one morning I was late leaving the house because one quick chapter turned into three.  For those of you that might not be good at picking up on subtle hints this book is very hard to put down once your start.

The stories are very easy to relate to on many levels. If you are from New York or fish in New York you will likely enjoy the fact that most of the stories take place on New York waters.  Unlike many fly fishing books that the author only focuses on fishing for trout Mark chases anything that swims.

Now for the bad parts. After reading this book I really want to quit my job, buy JP Ross out of fly rods, and just fish.  I can’t remember why any of that was bad. Oh yeah I have a family to take care of and if I quit my job I won’t be able to afford JP Ross rods. If you don’t already own a JP Ross rod you might after reading this book. I have one being delivered this week and I have a feeling it will not be the last. All kidding aside there was not one part of this book I didn’t enjoy reading. If you have a fishing book collection this is a must add.

I have a feeling there will be more great books in the future from Mark and I am looking forward to adding them to my collection.

Here are some places you can buy Reflections of a Fly Rod by Mark Usyk. Now click one of the links and spend the $15 bucks. You will be glad you did.

https://www.createspace.com/6680094

Reflections of a fly rod by Mark Usyk

https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Fly-Rod-Mark-Usyk/dp/1540779289

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reflections-of-a-fly-rod-mark-j-usyk/1125422100?ean=9781540779281&st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP62465

 

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Today I finally was able to fish one of the Echo rods I purchased a couple months ago. The rod has been fished by multiple customers and I have made some demonstration casts with it but never had time to fish it myself. 

This morning that changed when I decided to head to the river for a couple hours. As I hiked to a couple holes that I have only fished by drift boat I imeaditly noticed how light it felt to carry. I have it paired with an Echo Ion reel and Airflo line.

The rod fished very well. I was casting a 1″ Air Lock indicator four size b split shot and an egg pattern with no problem. I was able to cast overhand, roll cast, and single hand spey cast this rod with no issues. The 10 foot rod makes mending line a breeze. It was a typical steelhead day so I was fishing in rain, sleet, and snow all just two hours. Oh and add wind gusts of 20 mph which made casting tough but the Ion got the job done. 

Unfortunately I didn’t find a steelhead that wanted what I had to offer so I still haven’t fought a fish on it. However, my customers tell me it handles fish very well. At around $160 I think it’s a top choice for someone who wants a high end performing rod without the high end price tag. Pair it with an Ion reel for another $100 and you have a killer combo for under $300. 

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In the end of June I had the pleasure of staying at the Hungry Trout Resort in Wilmington, New York  for 3 nights. It is one of the nicest fishing “lodges” I have stayed at. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and affordable. 

If you are bringing the family along they have a pool and playground area. Also hiking and biking trails are just across the river from the property.

Yes the West Branch of The Ausable River runs right along their property. You can walk from your room right to some very good pocket water behind the resort. In fact our last morning I caught 2 nice browns back there after all the spots we planned on fishing already had people fishing them. 

There is even a fly shop on site. Along with a pub and restaurant that serves up delicious meals and cold drinks. I will be reviewing them in later posts.

Overall as a fishing resort I rate The Hungry Trout Resort 10 out of 10. Everything you need is on site including the river. The staff is friendly and I started to wonder if being a fisherman/woman is a requirement to be hired. Also it’s a great place to bring the wife and kids. You can walk to the river leaving them the car to explore the many near by attractions. That is assuming they don’t fish. 

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It has been almost a month since Jamie and I went on a guided fishing trip with the one and only Matthew Delorenzo. Matt works for the Hungry Trout Resort and took us on their Brook Trout Adventure to their  private Twin Ponds area. I had been wanting to do this trip for 20 years and this year I decided was going to be the year.

We requested Matt as our guide because after following him on Facebook for a couple of years I thought his personality would fit us well. I was right. He is a great guy and a lot of fun to fish with. He has great knowledge of the waters and the fish as well. An added bonus is his expert loon call.

It was going to be a bright clear hot day so we needed to start early and met Matt at 5 am. It was far from ideal trout fishing weather. He drove us to the ponds where we put the canoe in and he explain what our strategy for the day would be. In true Adirondack fashion we would be trolling streamers on sinking line. I was excited as I have always wanted to troll for brook trout and I have always wanted to catch a big brook trout.

We did exactly that. Our second fish of the day was a 5 pound monster that Jamie landed. It was also the only fish he landed but he wasn’t complaining. I landed 8 catching a nice 3 pounder as my last fish of the day. I had caught the biggest brook trout of my life 3 times that day. It was awesome each time a bigger one came to the net.

If you want to catch big brook trout but don’t have the time or the gear to hike back to a remote pond you need to book this trip. It doesn’t get any better. The ponds are in the middle of no where but you will be taken to them by vehicle. You will most likely leave catching the biggest brook trout of your life. It is well worth the money spent. Jamie and I have already booked our trip for next year with Matt. Next year he will be stuck with us for 3 days.

I don’t normally endorse other guides but in this case Matt is not direct competition even though we both guide in New York State.  We guide different waters and even if he did also guide on the Salmon River in would still have written the same review.

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I am going to start with a disclaimer. Hero Drifter floats are the only custom made floats I have used. I am not comparing them to other custom floats or even plastic floats such as Clear Drift.  I am comparing them to mass produced balsa wood floats.

Hero Drifter floats are hands down the best floats I have ever run. I have now been running them for a couple weeks and they are awesome. Michael Weber makes some sick looking and sweet running floats. The quality is seen immediately when you take them out of the heavy duty shipping container he mails them in.

I ordered a dozen Ninja’s and a half dozen of his Rock star floats with my logo on them.  I am going to very loosely say these compare to the Raven balsa wood floats.  I say loosely because they only compare in size and shape. The quality of the Hero Drifter floats is so much greater that there is no real comparison past that.

The first time I fished them I couldn’t believe how much better they ran.  I had always wondered is it worth spending a little more than double what a mass produced float costs? The answer yes absolutely. Once you fish them you will understand. They run the edges of seems and stick there.  They make it some much easier to get the bait where you want it. If you run a quality pin reel and keep the line of the water you will be amazed at how well they hold the line you want them too. There is nothing worse then having your float move from the line your a trying for right before it gets where it needs to be. You will not have that problem with Hero Drifter floats.

My clients have been loving them and it has actually made my job easier. When the float runs true and stays where it should it is so much easier for people that are just learning to float fish.  Last Saturday I met a couple friends after my trip and let them borrow a Ninja for the afternoon. Both of them sent me a message later that afternoon and had nothing but good things to say. They were shocked how much better they were than the mass produced floats they had been using.  They also both plan on ordering floats in the near future.

If you are ready to step up your float fishing game ditch the Raven’s and order Hero Drifters. You won’t be disappointed. If for some strange reason you are just give me a call and ill buy them from you.

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If you live in or are traveling to western New York to fish this place is a must stop. The owner Danny Colville prides himself in provided the best gear for a good price. I personally haven’t been to the shop however I have made multiple purchases over the phone. The customer service is excellent and Danny is a wealth of knowledge.

I was ordering some things from him while I was in Connecticut and told Danny how I wanted to try fishing out there. Having fished there before he started asking questions. Next thing I knew he was on his computer while still on the phone with me doing some research to help me out. That is when I realized this guy was serious about customer service. His advice led me to catching my first ever stripped bass.

Now for the custom tackle end of his business. I will start with a disclaimer that I do not currently own one of his reels or rods YET. Danny is currently making custom center pin reels that I believe are going to take over the high end reel market. These things are sweet. There was a lot of thought put into the features of his reels. I look forward to fishing one in the near future. His custom rods are some of the sickest looking rods you can buy. There is so much though and care put into the rods when he constructs them. I have talked to a few people that fish them and they absolutely love them.

Colville Outfitters and Custom Tackle is located at 4475 Lakeshore Rd, Hamburg, NY 14075. If you are in the area you should definitely stop in and check it out. You will not be disappointed. If you are in the market for a center pin reel or a custom float rod give them a call. Make sure to like their page on Facebook also.

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