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Bryon Anderson

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About Bryon Anderson

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 08/10/1970

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  • Favorite Species
    smallmouth bass
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  • Location
    Holland, MI

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  1. 2 3-weights, 7' and 7'9" 2 5-weights, 8'6" and 9' 3 6-weights, 8' 8'6", and 9' 2 7-weights, 9' and 10' That's just the current lineup; there are quite a few more that have been broken/retired or given away. The above being said, I really don't putting a one-line-weight-only label on many of them. For example, the 7'9" 3-wt. will also throw a WF4, one of the 5-weights is really a 4/5 and another is really a 5/6, as in one of the 6-weights. My 9' 6-weight was built on a blank sold as a 5-weight, and the 9' 7-weight was built on the blank that the same manufacturer sells as a 6-weight. The 10' 7-weight that Steeldrifter (Midwest Custom Fly Rods) built for me is currently loaded with a WF8F line. And so it goes. Numbers may not lie, but they don't always tell the "whole truth" either.
  2. Very nice set of flies arrived today -- excellent work everyone, and thanks atxdiscgolfer for hosting!
  3. I am going to be on Marathon Key from April 27-May 8 ,2021. I have budget for 2 days of guided fishing. I've never been to the keys before, so I'm looking for recommendations-- guides, what to fish for, etc. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
  4. Note the Michigan registration on the pics of my Nucanoe -- Michigan has that same requirement. I had to register it to run a trolling motor.
  5. That unit was made by me out of 1/2" HDPE (aka Marine Starboard). It was designed not as a casting deck but as a rigging station and gear storage (there is a compartment hidden below the top). However, it is sturdy enough to stand on if I wanted to. It is my homemade version of a similar unit sold by Nucanoe. Theirs is made of 1/4" plastic, though, and has a sliding drawer for storage. Theirs is $140 new; I built mine for $50. Yes to both. The paddle I bought with my Frontier was a "convertible" model--you could detach one blade and replace it with a handle for stand up paddling. I've also simply paddled it with my current traditional kayak paddle while standing. Both paddles have been pressed into service as poles on occasion as well. 🙂
  6. I said you CAN run a motor. I didnt say I do. As it happens, I bought a trolling motor a few years ago and built a foot controlled steering system to go with it. I used them a few times, and decided they weren't for me. Too much hassle, too much weight, and I enjoy paddling the kayak. That being said, I don't see a problem with people using a motor if they want to. I mean, the actual "point" of kayaking (or any other recreational activity for that matter), as I see it is just that: recreation. Having fun. If no one is getting hurt, who cares how someone else does it? I do agree with you about the safety issue, to a point. If someone isn't capable of self-recovering from an unplanned dunking, at the very least those people shouldn't be kayking alone. And every boater, regardless of tyoe of boat or fitness level, should be taking proper safety precautions-- PFDs, knowing how to control the boat, etc.
  7. My 2014 NuCanoe Frontier 12. I bought it and love it for exactly the same reasons Utyer stated in his post. 7 seasons of hard use and still going strong!
  8. I actually checked all the boxes, because they were all true for me. I checked "Other" because I have many times come here for advice and/or discussion on things not strictly related to fly tying or fly fishing, notably photography, but also vehicles, camping, woodworking, and probably several more that escape me at the moment. This is a great forum. I've joined dozens over the years, but this is the only one that I've actually continued to visit over the years.
  9. I'm on your side Jamie -- I have never liked the Catskill-style dries. They are beautiful to look at, but they're a pain to tie correctly and they seem to look for any excuse to flop over on their sides or flip upside down on the water. I have and will always prefer parachute dry flies. They look more realistic on the water and they land upright just about every time. The only Catskill-style dries that I fish are the Royal Wulff and the Humpy, and I modify them by trimming the hackle flush with the hook point underneath so that they'll have a snowball's chance in hell of landing upright on the water. Same goes for my caddis flies that have the collar hackle. I would also go +1 on the Clouser Minnow. I know it's supposed to be the most effective popular killer never-miss catches-anything-that-swims blah blah blah, I just don't catch fish on them. In fairness, though, that's probably largely because I think they're ugly and therefore rarely tie or fish them. I am surprised by the number of people who have said they don't have luck with the Woolly Bugger. I have to wonder if those folks have been tying them unweighted -- unweighted buggers are the only ones I've never scored with. I always use at least bead chain eyes to get them down a few inches, if not a tungsten bead or a conehead. Rubber legs are a good enhancement for buggers as well.
  10. Bill, I totally agree with you on the price they're asking for their pedal drive, especially given that, based on the chatter I see on the Nucanoe Facebook pages, they haven't quite git the bugs worked out of the design yet. If I wanted a pedal-power kayak--and money was no object, I would have to go for the Hobie Pro Angler with their new Mirage 360 drive--you can actually pedal the kayak sideways! That's impressive https://www.hobie.com/miragedrive360/
  11. No parent is perfect, and we all have those moments that we look back on and cringe with shame forever after. That happens even in normal parenting circumstances. With all the additional stress of doing that job during this pandemic...well, I can only imagine. The fact that you care enough to recognize your mistakes and work hard to do better is what matters.
  12. Like Steeldrifter said, I have lots of warmwater opportunities fairly close to home (might be because we live at the same latitude in the same state lol) but I dearly love the trout rivers that are all 2-3 hours' drive north of home. I have a buddy who has a driftboat and a cottage near the Manistee River, and he fishes a lot in the spring (April through June), so I get in on as much of that as I can. By the time true summer arrives, he gets pulled into various projects I know not what, but they all involve his wife, kids, and grandkids. At that point, I tend to switch my focus to bass and panfish close to home for the most part. When I was younger, I would think nothing of jumping in the car after a full day at work and driving 2 hours north and fishing until well past dark, returning in the wee hours, grabbing a very little sleep and doing it all over again the next day. Now, after work on a weekday, I'm more liable to think, "Hmm...4 hours of driving for 4 hours of fishing, or 2 hours driving for 6 hours fishing?" And, more often than not, that ends up playing out the way you'd think it would. Now that my kids are off to college, I imagine I'll get more of the full-day (or two-day) excursions on weekends that I've been squeezing in maybe every other weekend up to now. Time will tell.
  13. Okay, well, that gets my vote as the best McFly Angler video EVER 😄 Your son is awesome and you are a great dad. Nicely done. This really made my week. 😊
  14. I grew up in rural north-central Missouri. To say that fly fishing was not much of a thing there would be quite an understatement. "Fishing", at least in my family, was a food-gathering method that involved worms, bobbers, and catfish. Fishing for largemouth bass with artificial lures was considered about as fancy as it got, and was practiced only by "serious" anglers. Even among those guys, catch and release was unheard of. If you happened to have a good time while fishing, good for you, but that was not the point of the thing. The point was to catch fish to eat, period. As a kid, I wasn't much of a fan. I liked being outside, but worms, leeches, crawdads, and a million other creepy-crawly slimy things that appeared to be part and parcel of the fishing experience--no thanks. Not to mention the boredom of sitting for what seemed like hours watching a motionless bobber while the sun beat down, the mosquitos and chiggers ate you alive and all you could think about was where the nearest water moccasin would attack from...after a few tries, fishing was a hard pass for me. Fast-forward about twenty years. Like several others who have shared their stories here, I found some old fishing rods in a basement while cleaning it out. I still don't really know why, but that made something click for me. I wondered if I tried it again, the way I wanted to do it, if it would be different. Turned out it was, happily. I decided to skip the bait thing entirely and bought a shiny new spinning rod and a bunch of the cool-looking lures I had coveted as a kid. I lived then near a great bass lake that had a bunch of old rowboats for rent for $5 per day. I spent a lot of time there, caught some fish, and had a lot of fun. For all that, though, it was still just...fishin'. If I caught a fish, I kept it and ate it. I had fun doing it, but still didn't really see much to it beyond periodic recreation; a diversion from my college classes and the crap jobs I was working to pay for them. Then I saw "The Movie". Now, I know what you're thinking: "Oh, geez, another one of those guys...", and I wouldn't blame you, but it's not like that. Not exactly, anyway. I loved the movie, but it had nothing to do with the fly fishing. I loved the story -- Norman Maclean's writing, Robert Redford's direction, the cinematography--perfection. What I remembered of the fishing scenes was how they were always accompanied by this sensitive piano music and slow-motion photography, like it was holy or something. What was up with that? Honestly, I found it a little silly. It just didn't jive with what I knew of fishing. It did, however, remind me of the first (and only) time before that I'd ever seen anyone fly fishing. That was many years earlier, on a little lake called Lake San Lyn, near my hometown. My parents had taken us there to go swimming, and there was a man wading around in the shallows, waving a long, whippy rod back and forth, to no apparent purpose. I asked my dad what he was doing. He said the guy had a little piece of thread tied to his line, and he was flicking it around trying to make it look like a fly lighting on the water over and over. His tone was less than respectful. I never quite forgot about that guy, though. It was one of those things that bounced around in my head for years in the place labeled "I should really learn more about this some time." Shortly after I saw the movie and it brought the weird guy whipping the little piece of thread around on Lake San Lyn back to my mind, I met a guy from Michigan. He was a friend of my then-fiancee's who had come to Missouri to get his Ph.D. in Philosophy. He'd recently seen the movie, too. I was like, "What was up with those fishing scenes, though?" He, being a fly fisherman since childhood, tried to explain it to me. I didn't really get it, and the conversation ended in us agreeing that, when we both got to Michigan (where we both intended to move after graduation), he would take me fly fishing. A few years later, that's what happened. We fished the Au Sable and the Manistee rivers that day, and I have fly fished at every reasonable opportunity since that day. That was (oh, here comes one of those moments...) almost a quarter-century ago. Although Jordan got me started, and taught me the basics, I've done the vast majority of my fishing on my own, as is my preference. If I had to name another "mentor" in my fly fishing life, it would have to be the Huron River near Ann Arbor, MI. That was where my wife and I lived for the first two years after we moved to Michigan. The river was within sight of our apartment, and teeming with smallmouth bass. It was there that I really learned to fly fish. Reading the water, wading, casting, fighting fish, all of it. That river taught me to catch fish with a fly rod. Landing in that crummy, roach-infested apartment on its banks was one of the luckiest things that ever happened to me! So that's it -- not the most conventional "how I became a fly fisherman" story, maybe, but it got me there, and I'm glad for that.
  15. Experiences like that are one if the best things about fishing, in my book. Great story and photo!
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