Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bird Watching, Bird Feeders & Seeds

I have been watching birds feed from our back porch for years.  I’ve never bothered to find out the name of some of the species, I was just content watching them fly in and out through the day. It’s not that I am clueless as to the names of some of the more common birds that visit the feeders; such as the Cardinal, House Wren and Morning Doves, but others I didn’t recognize. 

I decided a couple of weeks ago I would make an effort to try and identify the other colorful birds that frequent my feeders; so my first stop on this bird journey was Barnes and Noble. The big box book stores can be overwhelming with the volume of books. I spent some time sorting through numerous books that dealt with everything about birds. I finally found a small handbook titled “Birds of Alabama” which had everything I wanted to know about the bird species in Alabama.
This little book is loaded with information about each species of birds. ----according to size, color images of male and female, types of nests, number of eggs, incubation period, type of food and much more. For someone getting into bird watching at a beginners level; this book really got my attention.
The book states the types of bird seeds that will attract different species to your feeders.   
I’ve been using the Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for years to attract numerous species of bird. It is probably the most popular of all bird seeds.
I just started using the Pennington Ultra Premium Nut and Fruit Blend Bird Seed. I read in the book where this seed will attract even more species of Sparrows and Wrens. I may add another feed later such as the tiny White Sunflower Seed, but for now I feel this is a good seed start.
I’ve had this feeder in use for years and over time had to add a tray on its bottom to collect all the sunflower hulls. The birds will crack the outer shell to get to the soft seed inside. I am cleaning the tray out daily. Notice the cast iron tray bird feeder; prime for another type of bird seed in the future.
This copper feeder has the nut and fruit blend seeds. I am seeing more Sparrows and Wren species since I started using this feed.
Adding the piece of round metal below the feeders made it squirrel proof.
Guys I'm sorry for the blur on this video, but it was shot from my den filming through the window. I wanted you guys to see the activity around the feeders. I believe most of these birds are Goldfinch. Let me know if you think they are a different species. I believe I have found a new hobby!







Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Uni-Thread Leader-Quite a Find!!

Rain, sleet, and a light dusting of snow have kept me inside most of the week with the exception of my gym time a couple of mornings. This time of year I am on the computer a lot watching fly fishing videos and doing some research involving fly fishing equipment and accessories. One of the accessories that got my attention this week was the Uni-Thread Furled Leader. It’s not that I had never heard of a furled leader but I wanted to learn more about this leader before I went out and purchased a couple. The main reason I want to try a furled leader is drag problems I encounter at times fishing the mono leader especially on downstream drifts. I hope this leader will aid in eliminating some of the drag I experience when fishing a dry. What’s your take on the furled leader?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Memorable 2015 Fishing Trips

This is the time of year I get to thinking of landing beautiful rainbow and browns on the Sipsey and Caney Fork. As stated in my last report it will be some time before that happens, because of high water on both tailraces. So all I have to satisfy the urge to cast to a live trout or bluegill is viewing some of my trips I made in 2015. This past year was my best on the Sipsey when it comes to landing quality rainbow. I think as each year passes I get more accustom to the tailrace and which patterns work at a particular time of the day and season. One of my best trips of 2015 was a trip where I felt I landed most all the quality trout I had lost the day before. I felt I really learned some things on this outing about position casting, patience, and how to really concentrate on the movement of the indictor, which in this case was a dry and a stick on indicator.
Back in early April of 2015 right before the spawn begin was one of my favorite trips going after some super size gills. The reason this trip really stands out in my mind was how hard I had to work to land some monster bluegills that were extremely weary of any boat activity anywhere near the super clear water where they were located. The numbers of huge bluegills I lost from break offs in brush and not getting a solid hook set was another reminder of this trip.
Bass fishing was somewhat limited for me in 2015, because I was so busy going after the big bluegill on Smith and the rainbow on the Sipsey. Of all the bass outings I had this past year one was really memorable because I was breaking in a new bass bug line and using some really big poppers to attract big spots on Smith.
  Looking for to 2016 for more fly fishing action!!!!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rods

Thought I would share this fly rod find I discovered the other day while searching the net. Troutlet is selling their Feather Light Eagle Claw Fly rod for 32.00 bucks in lengths of 6 ½ ft., 7 ft. and 8 ft. All these rods are fiberglass and have the stainless guides and taper fit fiberglass ferrules. I am probably going to order the 8 ft. one as if I needed another fly rod.

No fishing for me on the Sipsey heavy rains here has shut down the tailrace for weeks. Both generators are running every day with muddy water being released below the dam. The water at the tailrace outlet is higher than I have ever seen it. My first fishing trip will be the sometime in February. So in the meantime I will enjoy conversing with all my blog buddies.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Top Five Fly Patterns for Winter

I am sure a lot of you guys have heard of Hatch Magazine, if not I thought I would share a blog post that was written back in November of this past year. The post details his top five fly patterns for the winter months. I use some of the same patterns he mentions in his post, but what I found interesting is the various comments he received from his readers.
I have become a fan of Jonathan Barnes Fly Fishing Videos. His videos are filled with lots of information about the type flies, equipment, and the techniques he uses to land the different trout species he is pursuing. If you are free for the next 25 minutes this one video featuring soft hackles is worth the watch.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Spending Time in the Woodshop

Thought I would share with you guys one of my woodworking projects I just finished this week. My daughter mentioned to me some weeks ago that the children’s little table and chairs were broken. The table legs had come off and the chairs were all broken. So I volunteered my services to build a table and chairs out of solid wood, instead of the compressed wood they were using. The solid wood version should last the grandchildren for years.  I have a small woodworking shop in my basement that keeps me busy with different project throughout the year especially during the slow fishing months. It will be weeks before I get to wet a fly because of all the rain we have had here lately, so I have time to spend in my shop.

 Cathey plays an important part in a lot of my woodworking projects with the painting, stencil painting, staining and varnishing. My main job is the construction work and sanding the finished product.
Gorilla glue will hold anything together including these chairs and table; some tuff stuff!!!