Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fly Fishing Early Spring in Lower Mobile River Delta


Mobile Delta 1Spent a beautiful afternoon on the lower Mobile River Delta today.  The contrast  between winter hungover Cyprus trees draped in Spanish moss, early spring blooming flowers, and palm lined backwater creek banks framed a tranquil backdrop.  Quaint river boat homes welcome anglers into a time warp of earlier and more simple times.

Mobile Delta 2Enjoyed spending a few hours on the water with a friend, Stacey Martin, who has depth of experience on the backwaters of the Mobile River Delta.

Mobile Delta 3We caught a couple bass and spooked 3 alligators totaling 25ft in length from their early spring slumber.

Mobile Delta 4A great fly to use in early spring is a gurgler fly pattern, which will bring out the predatory instincts of bass that reside in backwater creeks within the lower Mobile River Delta.


Mobile Delta 5

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved

Mitten State Angler

Mitten State AnglerSeventeen years ago, my good friend Ed Roden and I went to a Trout Unlimited meeting in Clinton Township, Michigan.  I overlooked the fact he was outfitted in a Ohio State University Buckeyes sweatshirt that evening.  It was the beginning of growth in our friendship that took a path of fly fishing flowing streams, conservation efforts to the habitat surrounding them, and many hours in the board room developing watershed management plans with other like minded friends.

We’ve had some memorable moments up north.  One that comes to mind is breaking down in a Jeep Wrangler on a logging trail two miles off the beaten path, only to learn the tire wrench was rust welded to engine compartment of the vehicle.  Then there was our first Hexagenia Limbata hatch we fished together where I was so excited for the upcoming spinner fall, that I had to leave the river to visit nature’s restroom three times in last hour before sunset.  I’m known for mistaking crows for turkeys on fishing trips and we’ve also had some good floats on drift boats together.  Yet, the best memories I have of fishing with Ed are those when we sat on river’s edge talking about life, waiting for a mayfly hatch to emerge.  Maybe it was the day when we were enjoying lunch beside our tent when to our surprise large trout started feeding on an unusual mid-day Hex hatch!  We drove ourselves crazy trying to catch those browns that day, but didn’t so much as get a bite.  Whether talking about life or experiencing the out of doors, good times they are.

Ed has developed into quite a proficient fly angler, both for trout and even bass.  I look up to him more than he knows, and since moving 1000 miles south five years ago have missed his companionship casting flies among Michigan cedar lined streams.

He has recently launched a blog.  I think you will enjoy his stories and insights he has to share about the sport of fishing.  He enjoys kayak angling, and uses the paddle craft to pursue fish in streams and lakes.  Check out the Mitten State Angler at  I know you will enjoy it.


Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved

Fishing Tournaments Expand Horizons

Tournaments 1Top finishers of the 2013 Eastern Shore Fly Fishers Tournament Series final point standings:
Pictured from left to right are Chuck Fisk (tied 3rd), Jeff Deuschle (1st place), Aaron Rubel (2nd place), and Stacey Martin (tied 3rd).

I used to despise fishing tournaments, however, I’m finding that participating in them forces me to stretch boundaries beyond my comfort zone.  Before fishing in tournaments, I targeted just a few species.  I am now learning more than ever about many different fish and techniques to catch them due to the various categories and types of tournament formats that exist.  A lot of tournaments are awarding points toward overall standings for catching multiple species.  Additionally, fly fishing categories are popping up in a lot of places, which provides an avenue to measure my progress versus others participating.  One aspect I look for in a tournament is catch, photo, and release.  I think this is the best way to ensure tournament fishing doesn’t negatively affect the fishery.Tournaments 2

My 2014 Tournament Schedule:

Great Days Outdoors Magazine New Years Tournament: Month of January

1st Place in Leopard Redfish category (award pictured above)
3rd Place in saltwater Sheepshead category



Eastern Shore Fly Fishers Bass & Bream Tournament: February 21-April 16th
Mobile Bay area

2nd Place Overall Bass/Bream Combined


Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Assoc Spots & Dots Inshore Saltwater Tournament: March 15th

Did Not Place


Lay Lake Open (Coosa Canoe & Kayak Fishing Tournament Trail): March 29th
Fly Fishing Division
Birmingham, AL area

Did Not Place


Eastern Shore Fly Fishers Speckled Trout & Pompano Tournament: May 15-July 16
Mobile Bay area

Did Not Place


Lake Neely Henry Open (Coosa Canoe & Kayak Fishing Tournament Trail): June 7th
Fly Fishing Division
Gadsden, AL area

1st Place in Fly Fishing Category


River Bassin Kayak Fishing Series Regional: July 26
Saline, Michigan

7th Place Overall


Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association 5 Rivers Fall Tournament: November 1st
Mobile Bay area

1st Place Speckled Trout Category – Won fly fishing against 75 competitors fishing conventional tackle

Kingfisher Classic: November TBD
Weeks Bay
Potential Fly Fishing Division

Did Not Place

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved