Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Types and Colors Available

I have had numerous emails from people regarding the colors we have available. We are trying to get everything up on our site. But also see below.

Claw-Dads; Fern, Ivy, Black, White, Flourescent Yellow, Tan, Blue, Aztec Leather, Clove and Coffee Bean. CK Baitfish Tails; White, Black, Fern, Flourescent Yellow, Tan, and Silver. Ck Streamer Tails; White, Black, Fern, Flourescent Yellow, Tan, and Silver. Curly Tails; Black, White, Fern and Flourescent Yellow. Damsel Tails; Black, Fern, Ivy, Blue and Flourescent Yellow. Leech Tails; Ivy, Fern, Black, Clove. Musky CK Baitfish Tails Size #6/0-#8/0; White, Black. Musky Curly Tails; White, Black. Popper tails; White, Black, Ivy, Flourescent Yellow. Worm Tails; White, Black, Flourescent Yellow, Clove, Fern and Ivy. Frog Legs; Fern, Tan, White and Black. CK Baitfish Popper Tails; White, Black and Flourescent Yellow.


Ever see the movie "Blow" with Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp? Well its basically a regular guy who ends up being a huge dealer of Cocaine. So, I feel like I am in that movie.

My apartment is a bunker full of Claws and Tails. There are platic 4 drawer containers all over the place. Stached 4 high which just about touches the 8 foot ceilings. Right now, I have 50,000 bags with 10 claws or tails in each bag. Its sick.

The cool part is I can supply who ever needs these darn things. The better part is I don't have Cocaine piling up around my apartment. That could get complicated. Wait, tails are complicated. Ok maybe the phrase should be....."That could become illegal."

The tricky part to this tail this is marketing, getting the word out, advertising. That is the pain. its fun, trying to figure it out, but I don't make as much money selling tails and claws as I would cocaine. Hmmmm......wait...........relax. No worries.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Claws and Tails

Seems pretty lame for the title of a blog doesn't it? Well......the title has pretty much been an epic journey of trying to obtain synthetic tails to tie the CK Baitfish and the Claw-Dad. These two patterns were developed by guide Chuck Kraft of Charlottesville, VA.

Kreel Tackle used to produce these magical peices of synthetic material year ago. A few years ago, supply began to dwindle and finding a pack of claws was like finding a Musky sipping dry flies. They just weren't around. If you did find any packs, you purchased them all. Fishing the Claw-Dad and CK Baitfish became a witness protection program for flies. There was no tree or branch that was going to steal your fly. There was just no way. These flies became too valuable just because you couldn't find the materials to tie them.

A little over a year ago, I started to become frustrated as a fly tier. Not having an amazing material available seemed stupid. There must be a way. So I began to investigate, how and where these little peices of synthetic fabric could be made.

Well long story short, its done. With the help of Chuck Kraft and some investment of time and money, Eatern Trophies is now producing these little buggers once again. In the past year, we got our feet wet so to speak. Currently we are a few weeks away from unfolding the complete line of CK baitfish tails, Claw-Dad claws, curly tails, popper tails, damsel fly tails, leech tails, baitfish popper tails, musky baitfish tails, musky curly tails and more. There will also be more colors available than before.

If you are familiar with the CK Baitfish and/or the Claw-Dad and you need some of the tails or claws just email us. We can help you out. Keep an eye on the website for the new items that will be available right around the corner.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Trout in the Classroom 2010/2011

This is our second year doing TIC at the elementary school I teach at. Up until a few days ago we had lost all of our trout except for one. Since our first batch of eggs we have been having issues. We lost a lot of eggs and fry. This week we got a new batch of about 40 fry so our tank looks a little better than what it did. Its kind of funny to look into a 50 gallon tank and only see one little brook trout less than an inch long swimming around. I can only imagine what he is thinking. Even more so when he had 40 new friends show up from out of no where.

In a week or so I plan to have our first TIC video completed. It will be on DVD and free if you would like one. I am trying to get other schools in Alexandria tobegind the program so we can spread the word about how amazing Trout in the Classroom is. I will try and post more updates as we go a long. If you have any questions about TIC just send an email. Thanks.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nightmare on Trout Street

There are times in life where it just gets really bad. A car accident, a divorce, your house gets flooded or something of that nature. You just want it all to get better as quick as possible. But times like these can really bring the better out in all of us.

A few weeks ago I was painting a fish for a client. Know you have to understand, painting a fish is a very delicate process. The reproductions I paint are basically made of resin and plastic. This way, fish can be released back into their water habitat so they are not sacrificed in order to hang on a wall. There is a lot of preparation of a reproduction before painting. Fins need to be prepared and attached. Then they need to be heated with a hair dryer and formed to a more flowing shape so they look realistic. The eyes need to be set and the upper eye lid area needs to be formed. The teeth are tricky. Trout teeth are small but sharp. To make them I use wall spackling. It works well and when you pull a small dab up and away from the gum area, it gives a great peak which looks exactly like the tooth of a trout. The mounting of the fish is one of the most important parts of the entire process. Some reproductions I do are simply wall mounts. These are easy whether they are mounted alone or with a piece of drift wood. The tougher mounts are when the fish is done in a diorama type style on a wood base. These mounts have rocks, drift wood, grass and at times crayfish or baitfish. These items give a whole scene as to what was going on at that exact moment in time when the fish was in the river.

After coating the fish with a coat of primer, I began layering the base colors for this 20” brown trout. Things were going good and the fish was really coming together. I can tell when a reproduction is going well by two things. First, I get into this groove when I paint. It’s a mind set. It’s being able to see individual colors in the fish. The spots, the scales, the shimmer and things like that. The second way I can tell things are going well is the fish looks good when I look at it in the mirror. A mirror tells the story of how things are going. That different perspective lets me have a fresh unbiased look at the project. So with about 20 hours of work into the fish, I got to the point where the finishing touches were being done and I was planning the final gloss coats of clear. This gives the fish a wet type of look and it really brings out the details and layers of color.

With the final painting done, I wiped the fish down to take off any dust or junk that might have snuck on it and I got it ready for the first coat of clear. Having done many clear coats before this, the clear coat is the icing on the cake in regards to making a reproduction. It’s fun because it seals the deal and traps all the hard work and thought that goes into making some plastic come to life. With the first three coats of the gloss coat on, things were looking good. I was about 45 minutes into drying time and as I sat at my desk that’s when it happened.

I watched in shock and disbelief as the colors on the fish began to recess and merge. I swear this was a nightmare. This unwanted blending and mixing went on for another hour until it stopped. Or at least I thought it had stopped at the time. Thinking “Oh this isn’t too bad. I can fix the few areas that look bad and the rest of the fish has this great weathered look.” So I went to mixing and matching colors and repairing the areas that were so bad that the white primer coat was showing through. After a few hours of trial and error paint matching things were looking ok. This was at 2am. So I went to bed and went to work the next day.

The day passes and I return home after work. I throw my mail on the desk and walk over to my work area and the horror movie background music begins to play. Imagine the camera work in a horror movie as the camera zooms in the out frantically matching the erratic music. The paint on the fish resembled the bottom of a dried out pond in a drought. Cracked, pealing, continental collisions, upheaval, tectonic plate type movement of the America’s can’t even come close to what I saw. With my head literally in my hands, curse words flying, cold sweat and heart pounding I though, “What the hell am I going to do?”

I had no choice. I had to do the one and only one thing. I had to start over. I had to go all the way back to the beginning. So I did. Right then and there I drove to Home Depot. I purchased paint remover. The strongest I could find. I returned home and I began to remove the layers of paint. Not even noticing the burn that my hands were getting I labored until the fish was all the way down to the resin. The fish was clean. I was high. And my hands burned.

After some hand cream and a few hours of sanding and prepping, I was ready to paint again. Sometimes, terrible things that happen bring out the best in people. Personally I have experienced that too often in my life and I was able to add another event to that. With anger, frustration, a condo with wicked paint fumes and a ready to paint fish I knocked out the best paint job I have yet to do on a reproduction. I new the colors I needed. I knew the spot scheme. I knew I had to get this fish done and in 7 hours of painting, the fish was done was again. It was perfect. I new it before I walked it into my bathroom to look at it in the mirror. I was good. I was more than good. It was awesome. Now you may think, “OK here is the part where he uses the same clear coat and *#$&’@ it up again.” Well no. I am not that dumb. I used another type of clear coat. And as the clear coat dried, I watched. I watched for the first hour, the second and third hours too. Things were good. The second paint job was amazingly better than the first. It makes me wonder if I should just paint fish twice so they look even better. Who knows. All I know is it was over. The birds began to sing and the nice, calm background music that plays when the horror movie is over began to play. The Nightmare on Trout Street was over.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trout in the Classroom

Last year, I got myself into a corner. It was probably the coolest corner I could have been in. I had heard about Trout in the Classroom projects before, but I never really thought about doing it in the school I teach at until this past year. Now mind you, I am busy. I teach, I coach two varsity high school sports, I own a fly fishing company and I have an 8 year old daughter. Taking on another “project” like TIC would just be adding to a plate already over flowing with stuff.

Trout in the Classroom is a joint effort between Trout Unlimited and Fisheries Departments in many states. In Virginia, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries donates eggs to classrooms and schools that have the required equipment and set up to raise trout. Students and teachers raise trout from eggs. They take care of them throughout a normal school year and release the fingerlings into an approved watershed.

At my school, we have a 4th grade class raising the eggs. There is a lot to worry about with a TIC program. I am still a little paranoid about doing something wrong. The setup consists of a 55 gallon aquarium, a filter, a chiller, rocks, air stone filter, egg basket and lots of water. Our aquarium is surrounded by sheets Styrofoam in order to keep the water at about 52 degrees F. The kids in the 4th grade class created background art that decorates the back and side of the tank. They drew rocks, wood, fish, frogs, bubbles and plants to make our little guys feel at home when they get bigger. Mind you, our trout will be 2-3 inches long when they are released in the Spring.

Last week, at 10:45pm I picked up about 200 brook trout eggs from George Paine who is the Vice President of Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited. George and his were kind enough to help with the transfer from Richard Landreth and the Verona Office of the Virginia Department of Game and Fisheries. If you can picture coolers, ice, zip lock container, water bottles filled with stream water and lots of care you have a good idea of what it was like. It was kind of like caring for a very small newborn and delivering an organ for transplant. After I got the eggs in my cooler and I was driving home I even drove differently than normal. It was like I was driving with some sort of explosive device that could go off at anytime. I took curves slowly, I went easy on the breaks and I even drive the speed limit.

So we are about a week into our experience and we have about 130 eggs that have hatched into the Alevin stage. Pictures are located to your right. Video on youtube is soon to follow. Pretty cool stuff. Imagine what the kids are thinking.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Got Video?

Search EasternTrophies on YouTube.Com and enjoy. Find everything from Musky to Trout to Smallmouth and more. Also look for fly tying videos in the near future.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Sex Dungeon

So it seems that most of my clients are deciding to do extended day floats. Days are long and arms get tired after actively fishing streamer patterns for the day. But with the extra time on the water, clients are into many more fish, especially in the hours after 5pm.

Today’s float produced one fish before lunch. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and a front was going through mid morning until about 12 noon. After lunch, the wind calmed and fishing picked up. Many rainbows were hooked on Hellgrammite patterns including a trophy 20” Rainbow. But the day was owned by the new and already notorious Sex Dungeon streamer pattern. No I did't name the fly. Its a fly of Kelly Galloup's. The author of "Moderon Streamers for Trophy Trout."

You see, big streamer patterns come a dime a dozen, so to speak that is. Most streamer patterns are tied to look pretty so they hook the angler with its’ looks. Few streamers produce large fish and good numbers of fish. There are some though. The Kreelex, the CK Baitfish, the Zoo Cougar, the Clawdad and others are examples of patterns that produce good numbers of trout but also large trout.

The Sex Dungeon is the type of streamer that when you fish it, you know something is going to happen. Something is going to happen soon, fast and big. It’s as simple as that. Mike fished the Sex Dungeon for about two thirds of his extended day trip today. His fiancé, also fished the fly once she saw how the fly produced.

To put things bluntly, Mike landed two 20” Brown trout, numerous other rainbow trout and also 3 nice smallmouth bass. Carin, Mike’s Fiance, also landed numerous rainbow trout and also one solid 16” smallmouth using a Sex Dungeon. This fly is one to have in your fly box. You fish it hard. Long casts, hard foot long strips and 1x tippet. The strikes you get are solid and are even more exciting than using a topwater fly.

The pictures to the right are of the sex dungeon and some of the fish that were caught today using it. We do not have them on our website yet, but they are available for $5.00 a piece. Just give us a call or send an email with how many you would like and s shipping address. It is an articulated fly with two hooks, hackle, legs and a deer hair head. This fly is a true trophy magnet.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Extended Day Floats

I have fly fished many times out West and I always wondered if the guides would float until dark to and fish the entire day. No mind you, I am the type of angler who begins casting as soon as I get in a boat and I don’t stop until I get out. Use of the facilities is of course a temporary pardon during this time. But seriously, the hours from 5-9pm are usually one of the more productive times to fish. Why do floats stop around 5pm? I do know some guides that hold their start times to fish those better hours of the day, but why not fish for the entire day?

Last year I began offering Extended Day Floats where clients fish from early morning until dusk. A few clients took the offer and really enjoyed the added time on the water. Paying an additional $100 seems like steal when you are fishing during the best times of the day. I wish my guides had done that when I floated in Montana. After each float trip I used to go and fish after the trip was done. Once again though, I am a fly fishing wacko. Forgive me.

We have had a bunch of “wacko” non stop fly fisherman this year. There have been over 10 trips so far this year that have fished the Extended Day Float Trip. Young, Middle Aged, Older, it just doesn’t matter.

Last week, I had a float with Eric and Mike and we floated a 16 mile combination Trout Buffet Float. We started at 7:00am and we didn’t get off the water until 8:45. Talk about covering some water. The fishing was fair that day with a bonus 21” Brown Trout that was holding in a 2 foot deep run. Mike and Eric hanged in and fished well for the entire 16 miles. Fishing double fly rigs all day with #4 and #2 crayfish patterns is tough work. Hands cramp, arms get tired, and many a fly is donated to the river gods. But, all in all, the bonus time spent on the river is well worth it.

The three pictures to the right are from recent Extended Day Floats. If you have a float trip coming up, feel free to ask about options of turning your normal float trip, it a full blown, fish all day event.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Country Cafe

Over the years I have put many hours on the river. Whether it was guiding clients or fishing it myself, I have always enjoyed the time. Good trout rivers often have a diner where good food and atmosphere can be found. I had that special place.

The Country Café off of rout 135 in McCool, Maryland was that special place. I don’t think you could get 2 eggs, home fries, bacon and home made toast for $2.99 anywhere else but there. Yes, $2.99. That was the “Breakfast Special” and I had many of them. The home made bread was better than my Mom’s. Yes I said it because it’s true. Don’t hate me Mom. The home fries were real and cooked in bacon grease. I could go on and on about the food and the simplicity of the “Country Café” but if you are a client who ate there or an angler who stopped in at some point you know what I am talking about.
I don’t know why the “Country Café” closed, but I miss it. Denny’s just isn’t the same and there is a sense of emptiness to my morning routine now. Maybe someone will purchase the place and it will open up again someday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Flies for 2009

Eastern Trophies will be reopening the fly catalog on the website soon. Featured will be the fly patterns used to take big fish, really big, 2x tippet type, often toothy fish. Some patterns offered will be Galloup's Sex Dungeon, Butt Monkey's, Zoo Cougars, Blondes, Articulated Monkeys and Articulated Flatheads. These patterns and others will be available in many colors. In addition, there will also be fly patterns for Muskies. Eastern Trophies will also have it's own successful patterns offered on the site like The 6th Man and Flash Fly Clousers. If you have any questions about the flies we will carry or placing an order just send us an email or give us a call.