ONLY THE BEST

I have been pretty much obsessed with fly fishing for about two years now. My first fly rod was a Craigslist special for $30. It was a Southbend of some sort but it was enough to start a passion. My second fly rod was a St. Croix. I had to go back to what I knew. Since I’ve been a child, St. Croix’s have been my rod of choice for everything that swims. They are still my go to rod, but they have been forced to share that pedestal when it comes to fly fishing, especially recently. I love the my job of cleaning lakes in Orlando but getting out to fish around the country is what gives me great joy!

I have two Redington’s at the moment; the Classic Trout and the entry level Crosswater. Both are 8’6″, 5wts. The Crosswater has a faster action than the CT but both make me very happy along with being very capable rods. What I have found is that Redington offers a great rod at a price point most fisherman can afford, if not right away, but with a little effort and time. I do plan to splurge one of these days and opt up to one of the more premium rods but for the fishing that I do, I don’t feel there is a need for it just yet. I have caught several hundred fish with each rod, mostly panfish and bass, along with a few trout and they both keep coming back for more while still offering the same accuracy and sensitivity as before. I do find that I reach for the Crosswater more often just due to the tighter action of the rod and the distance that it provides on the cast. However, the CT is my go to choice for smaller streams and more finicky fish. I can really lay a fly down nice and easy with the CT. That softer action can really let you sneak up on a fish.

Recently, as in last week, I broke my CT on a hookset with a pretty decent bass on a pond where I live. I admit, my years of muskie fishing has created pretty powerful initial hookset so I’m sure that may of have something to do with the rod breaking, but it broke on the 4th part of the rod, right at the joint of the tip section and 3rd piece.  I was pretty upset about it. Not even a nice neat glass of Knob Creek made it better. The next day I emailed Redington about what happened and if there was an option to buy the 4th piece somewhere. This is what they wrote me back.

“That rod IS under warranty – even if you did not send in the warranty card, we will still honor your purchase and lifetime warranty. Just send in the rod along with the attached form filled out and $30 and we will replace the broken section(s) or the entire rod with an upgraded rod (since yours is discontinued), depending on what is available.

Let me know if you have any further questions on this process.

Just this past week I had the opportunity to take a short weekend flight to Erie and fish with a good friend on Twent Mile Creek in Erie PA. He is in the military out there and has been telling me for months how I had to get out there and give those trout a try. He fishes the canyon several times a month and always sends me fish pictures of beautiful rainbows and browns. One Saturday morning about a month ago, he sent me a few pictures of some big ones just to rub it in. It looked like so much damn fun, that afternoon I booked a Frontier flight for the weekend. It was going to be a quick weekend full of fly fishing, bourbon, and good times, but one that was going to be well worth the trip for sure.

The flight out to Erie was great. Several double Makers Marks on ice will make just about make any trip great though. They provided a nice little TV for the flight too which was a nice surprise. I landed in Erie to be greeted by my buddy and we went straight to Bass Pro to get all the crap he said I would need to make this a successful weekend. I had most of it already but there is always room for more…

The next morning we left for the creek at 3:30am. Corey kept telling me how trout guys get to the stream at the crack of dawn to stake out their spots for the day. It’s a class A stream, but there is a lot of pressure. Small flies and very light leaders were the key. I was used to pressured waters living in Florida but he kept telling me it was different out there. The trout guys give you space but at the same time, they are aggressive about getting to spots. He kept giving me pep talks during the hour drive to the stream to attack the water with a strategy or the good spots would be gone.

We arrived as the first ones there just as planned. We put our waders on and waited for daylight. Just as he predicted, headlights of other fisherman started rolling down the road not long after we parked so we got out of the warmth of the vehicle and headed to the stream to my buddy’s favorite spot. It seems I forgot to tell you, it was about 15 degrees that morning, which was just awesome. Let me tell you; standing in waders in an already ice cold tailwater, in Erie, in the dark, whipping flies around was definitely a new experience. After twenty minutes or so, my feet and hands were numb and frost bite was probably close to setting in. We each took turns like a tag team wading out of the water and walking up and down the shoreline trying to get warm while the other held down the spot. We were casting San Juans with smallest Copper Johns that our ice cold fingers would allow us to tie on.

We caught 9 fish total for day one. I caught 5, he caught 4. I missed multiple others and so did he. By afternoon the wind had kicked up so much it was hard to fish and we were both getting pretty pissed about it. It seemed like every 15 minutes our fly lines would get tied in double dipped camel clutch super knots that would require another 10 minutes of trying to figure out how it happened picking at knots in the line along with the eventual re-tie. By 5:00pm that day we had enough and decided to go make camp. Yes. We decided we were going to camp just down the road in a state forest so we would be close to the stream in the morning. The following pictures are before and after of our campsite. Lets allow the pictures to say 1000 words…Check out our fishing show on youtube if you have time for a few laughs!

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