Thursday, March 4, 2021

Carpenter Brothers Fly Rods' New Website

Cris Carpenter is a heck of a dude.  He is a husband, father, and educator.  He is also a heck of a bamboo rod builder!  Cris has been building rods for years and has honed his craft to what I would call perfection.  Everything that puts into a rod is done with thought and purpose and he never misses a single detail.  These rods are pieces of art which only matches their function on the water.  Due to the increase in popularity of fly fishing over the last year, Cris has been busy building and selling rods all over the United States.  He has also come out with a reel he designed as well.  As if that wasn't enough, he also recently developed a website to show off his work and to allow people to make inquiries about his work and place orders with him.  I have included his phone number, email, and website below.  If you decide to purchase one of his rods, you will not be disappointed.  I can speak to that because I own one.

Mobile: 816.769.7961



I have spent some time in Cris's shop and learned a lot about building bamboo rods a couple of summers ago. We split bamboo, sanded down parts and even attached guides. I found a new appreciation for not only what he does but how he does it. Through a generous benefactor that shall remain nameless, and to my utter shock, I was gifted one of Cris's rods. Aside from the custom tube, and hand-stitched sock, the rod itself can only be described as flawless. When you hold the rod, you can almost feel the hours of hard work that were poured into it. When I cast it for the first time, it was almost as if I finally realized what a real fly rod was supposed to feel like. That is the best way that I can describe using his creation.  Even if you are not in the market for such a rod, please take a moment just to appreciate what fine work he does.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Shed Hunting Trip #2- A Mixed Bag

 Last weekend I was able to do a little shed hunting on some public as well as private land.  While I didn't find any sheds on the public land, I was able to pick up some trash and see the biggest turkeys I have ever seen in my life.  That is not an exaggeration either.  For a moment, I thought a couple of them had grown third legs until I realized those extra legs were beards!  The pictures DO NOT do justice these monsters justice.  I'm glad they aren't predatorial or I would have run for my life in fear.  I also came across some big coyote and buck tracks too!

As for the private land, I was able to shed hunt with the landowner's high school son, Jake.  You might recognize Jake as he has been featured in a few posts and a YouTube video.  Jake is a great kid from an amazing family.  This family also has an amazing piece of property and were gracious enough to let me go on a little shed hunt.  I had never explored this piece of land before and was just guessing at where deer would feed and bed.  There wasn't a huge amount of timber to hunt but there were signs that suggested there were some deer in the area.  About 10 minutes into the hunt, Jake and I met up and compared notes.  We were planning our next walk when we both saw it at the same time.  Both of our mouths dropped, we giggled a little bit, and then I took off in a dead sprint!

Looking back, this was a jerk move.  We hadn't laid any ground rules (ha, that's a double entendre) for our hunt like "finders keepers" or "this is your land so these are your sheds".  I shouldn't have been so greedy or selfish.  If you're reading this Jake or Jason (Jake's dad), I sincerely apologize...but I'm going to make it up to you!  

In a second act of generosity, both of them agreed to let me keep the shed because I found it first.  I tried to argue with them but they weren't having it.  Like I said, these are good folks.  In a small act of retribution though, I have made a few modifications to the shed and I am going to give it to Jake.  All it took was a little bit of power washing, some stain, and a drill press.  Now Jake has a holder for his fly tying tools that has a cool memory attached to it.  I hope he likes it and I hope this helps relieve my conscience.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Meet Waylon

 You might be seeing and hearing more about this cute little guy more.  More info to come in the future, but for now, here is some cuteness from Waylon.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Ryan Walker Flies

My buddy Ryan Walker, of Ozark Smallmouth Alliance, is the smallmouth guru of southern Missouri.  He is also a master fly tyer, in my opinion.  If you would like to see his work or purchase some of his patterns, just click on the links below.  Ryan is also really active on social media and actively promotes smallmouth conservation.  If you give him a follow and/or a purchase, I don't think you will be disappointed.  Just check out some of his stats from his Etsy store!

293 sales and counting.

He has a perfect 5 star rating.  

Excellent quality and a perfect fitting fly box!

Here are some of the reviews that customers have left at his store:

"Excellent customer service and the quality was great!"

"Great assortment of flies. Really enjoyed the customer service and updates regarding my order."

"Super Fast Shipping! Great Product @ a great price!"

"Ordered several items, all great quality. The flies are absolutely stellar!! Had one minor problem with my order but is was fixed immediately! Great customer service. I will definitely be ordering again soon!"

If you need flies, an assortment of flies, a hat, a sticker, a mug or a coozie, my buddy Ryan has you covered.



Instagram: @ozarkssmallmouthalliance

Friday, February 26, 2021

The Complex Bugger, Hunger Strike and Lockdown Minnow in the Tester Tank

Last week I detailed some new flies that I have been working on and developing.  I finally got them in the tester tank and wanted to show some footage with you.  The olive and white articulated streamer is the Hunger Strike.  The white articulated streamer is a Lockdown Minnow.  The streamer with the black tail is a Complex Bugger.  I am also working on getting these into the Etsy store and will announce when they are available if anyone is interested in purchasing them!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Black Fly Creations- One of My Prizes Arrived

Last week, I posted about how I won a contest on Instagram that Black Fly Creations was conducting.  You can click here for that post.  Yesterday, I received part of my winnings from the contest and I could not be happier with my prize.  That smile you see in the picture below is 100% genuine!  The design, the fit, and the feel of the sweatshirt is outstanding.  It also screams that I am a fisherman, which I also dig.  I saw a meme the other day that said something like, "I do four things in life: fish, buy fishing stuff, research fishing, and talk about fishing."  I am sure this shirt will be a great conversation piece and a way to show my passion for our fine sport to the world.  Black Fly Creations has many more products to offer and you can see all of the links below the pictures.  I have had the pleasure to communicate with Steve, the owner, a few times and I can vouch that the folks that run this company are kind, generous, and thoughtful people.  If you're ever concerned about who your money is going to when you spend it, you can rest assured that it is going to good folks at Black Fly Creations.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

New Record Black Crappie in California

There are A LOT of crappie fishermen in Missouri!  I some some folks that target this species exclusively and spend quite a bit of time chasing these tasty fish.  It is with those folks in mind that I post this article that I ran across on field& a couple of days ago.  Can you imagine reeling in a crappie that went over 4 pounds?!?!  It is a pending new state record as well!  That's a pretty impressive fish and a heck of a story.  For the full write-up, just click on the link below.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Shed Hunting with Mason and Cody

It has become a tradition that my sons and I go shed hunting at least one day a year and it is usually in late February.  Each one of them has found antlers in the past with a little help from dad, but this time, they did all the work and found success on their own.  We hit a couple of conservation areas around the Kansas City area last Saturday and finally had some success late in the day.  The antlers are definitely starting to drop in this area but some of my buddies have reported seeing bucks still holding antlers as well.  It is a great time to hit the woods and fields to find some antlers and other treasures.  I'm not sure who originally made this statement but I believe it with all my heart: "I've never found time spent amongst nature to be a waste of time."  Good luck if you decide to go antler hunting and even if you don't find an antler, you will probably find something that you didn't even know you were looking for!


Monday, February 22, 2021

2021 F3T Stoke Reel

I'm a sucker for a thoughtful, exciting, heartfelt film that involves pretty scenery and prettier and/or large fish.  I think I just summed up the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) in one sentence.  In all honesty though, if you like to travel, fly fishing, or both, this is a special event.  As with most things, this event is going to look a little different this year but that's okay.  Fly fishers are flexible if we are nothing.  And while it isn't going to be as fun as sitting in a theater oohing and awing and geeking out over your favorite thing with a bunch of other like-minded folks, please consider supporting this event.  Many events and businesses are still struggling to navigate and survive in the current economic climate.  It is my fear that if we don't support the F3T, it might cease to exist and that would be a darn shame.  I am including some links and details below as well as the F3T Stoke Reel in case you are interested.

Link to the F3T homepage:

From the F3T website in case you were curious about how and when the film tour can be viewed.

"This special online event for the 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour will take place from March 10 - April 4th, 2021 (ends at 11:55pm MST). You can watch the film at your convenience, any time within this window. As long as you are accessing from the 1 linked device that you initially logged in from (linking begins when we go live at 7pm EST on March 10th), you may start/pause/restart/rewatch at any time until April 4th at 11:55pm MST. "

Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) YouTube Channel:

Friday, February 19, 2021

Black Fly Creations

Recently, Black Fly Creations conducted a giveaway on Instagram.  The giveaway involved some flies, a sticker, a hooded sweatshirt, and some face mask covers.  I was fortunate enough to win the giveaway and I felt compelled to pass along their information.  After doing a little digging, I quickly realized that Bly Fly Creations is WAY more than just an interesting Instagram follow.  The Black Fly Creations website has some creative and innovative products that range from cell phone covers and pop sockets to apparel and facemasks.  All of the designs are thoughtful and original.  If you're in the market for some new fishing gear, just click on the links below.  If you're looking for a good Instagram follow or some great YouTube videos, their social media is as impressive as their products. 



Instagram: @blackflycreations

Use #blackflybugs and #blackflycreations


YouTube Channel Link: