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Judging Others: Western Civilization’s Favorite Hobby!

You wake up in the morning, turn on the kitchen TV and you’re inundated with the latest “news”. It’s not news at all, rather it’s someone elses opinion on the behavior of others. These others are “Godless, viscious, screwed-up, losers, crazy, slackers, irresponsible, communists, dirty, lazy, far-left, far-right, extremists”, on and on and on. By the time you get to the office, you’re psyched! You are outraged! You are indignant! You are angry! At the water cooler the great minds come together. “Did you see the news this morning? Those bastards! Those ungrateful pagans! Those unpatriotic devils!” Well, here you are. Another day in paradise. You have somehow justified your existence. You are not one of “those”! Thank heaven (which, by now, you have the personal hotline to that sacred place).! What’s happened, my brothers and sisters? Where did we lose that wonderful gift of understanding, of tolerance, of walking in another’s shoes before judging him/her? There’s no question when something is truly evil. All you have to do is find out the facts and then you can judge. But, you must find out the truth. Not the party line or the media propaganda! No, the real truth! You think this is easy? It is incredibly difficult! And it’s designed to be so because our society’s leaders find it much easier to shepherd us in the direction they prefer if they make the facts hard to get. Used to be you could get the facts from the BBC. However, they have become such a lucrative enterprise that now I find myself being a little suspicious of their reputation for telling it like it is. I must admit, if they could provide me with the truth, I might judge them differently. Ball is in their court! Anyway, please be kind to yourselves and those around you. It doesn’t cost you anything. It’s easy to do. No one else needs to know, so you’re safe. And you just might learn a thing or two. You might even find yourself at the water cooler not being part of the rampant pack but rather truly listening. Then you will think. Then you will wonder. Then you will approach wisdom!

Sincerely, Capt. Bob

My Brother’s Keeper: An Outdated Concept?

I have seen many horrible things because of my involvement with Commercial fishing, the outdoors, Nature and man at his unbridled worst. However, I have also witnessed some truly wonderful things in the realm of man caring for his fellowman. The roughest of poachers. The most vile of pirates. The most territorial of mountain men. I have witnessed their true caring for those in need. I know, in my heart, that man is a noble creature, capable of magnificent things. So all the horrors I see, all the horrors I read about, all the horrors I hear about, will not make me surrender my belief in the nobility of mankind. I must believe it’s there. Covered up, I agree. Not newsworthy, unfortunate. Not in keeping with the “bottom line” philosophy, true enough. Nonetheless, it’s there. If you doubt, look harder. Look outside the “box”. Look when you get you’re morning coffee-those people have a name. Look when you go to the drycleaner-those people have children. Look when you get your car washed-those people have families. Look when you have your house cleaned-those people have dreams too.Did you ever notice that when you do something charitable, you feel good? Do you actually believe it’s a coincidence? Don’t be a fool. Be intelligent. Be human!

Sincerely, Capt. Bob


Did You Ever Get the Feeling That You Are Stuck?

Most of us have been there. It’s like living in a sea of Jello. The vitality of life is gone. Everything seems so hard to do. Things drag on and on. There is no joy, no happiness, no enthusiasm, no excitement. How did this happen? When did this happen? You, who had all those dreams. Your Mother was enthralled with your creativity, your happiness, your love for life, your imagination! What happened? You could hardly wait to get old enough to venture out and pursue your dreams. Now you are tired, careworn, disillusioned, crushed, hopeless, depressed. Why? When? How? You have succumbed to to the inevitability of the consequences for letting others determine your course in life. You have chosen from options A, B, C, and D. Or all of the above! It’s not too late, you know. Try something different today. Try being nice to someone you don’t like. Try giving a dollar to that homeless person. Try helping someone in the supermarket. Try volunteering for the Scouts or the Senior home. It does not take much to turn your life around. The consequences are joy, happiness, enthusiasm, courage, health, fortitude and lots of other really neat stuff! Why wouldn’t you want to try it?

Sincerely, Capt. Bob




Let’s start from the beginning. You arrive on the River, ready-to-go.

1. Do not get closer than 10 ft. to the water. Stand still and observe. Any fish, bait or fly activity? Where’s the best place to start and with what system? Floating line, skated fly, sunk fly, sink tip, etc?

 2. Start fishing while on dry land. Many fish hang 3 ft. from the shore. Patiently increase the distance of your cast in 2 ft. increments. When you’ve reached a comfortable maximum cast, take 3-5 steps downstream.

3. Use any method you prefer. Some purists will use only one method no matter the conditions. Others swing a fly when they can, dead drift when appropriate, strip a fly, cast upstream, downstream, directly across, use the Grease Line method, etc. Whatever floats your boat. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT!

4. Enjoy yourself! Relax! This is not your job. Most Steelhead take your fly when you’ve done nothing special to entice them. You will catch as many fish if you’re totally focused as you will if your mind wanders and you enjoy the setting.



Just got back from 12 days offshore. We were reminiscing about some of our best days. Before I left for this trip, we heard some weekend warriors discussing trolling speeds. They swore that 6 knots was about as fast as you could go and still expect to catch fish. Well, many times have we dragged the baits at more than 10 knots and slaughtered the fish, especially in clear, calm water. Do not be afraid to try anything when you are not catching. Remember, Tuna have exceptionally keen eyesight. So when it’s calm and clear, speed it up and you will have a better chance at hooking up! 

Good fishing, Capt. Bob



After 15 days offshore, to see the inlet is a welcome sight! We had a good trip. Bigeye, Yellowfin, Swordfish, Mahi and Mako. Anyway, I just wish some of you folks are old enough to remember the good old days! Either that or ask us to help you recapture that glory! It’s still out there. There’s a vast difference between real adventure and virtual adventure. I’m curious to know if anybody’s out there?

Sincerely, Capt. Bob



We were down in Key West a while back during a real cold spell. It seemed all the fish turned off. We could read them deep and stacked-up! How to catch them on a fly? We happened to have a downrigger on board so I hooked a blue and silver Streamer on, let it down 20 ft. and guess what?? We started to catch Sailfish from 16 ” long up to 50 lbs. What a surprise and a delightful day! I’m curious to know if anyone else has had a similar experience. Please comment if you have.

Thanks, Capt. Bob


Good evening—–It’s a beautiful evening to come back to port after 11 days longlining. The older I get, the more I sympathize with the fish! Anyway, through the years when people found out what I did for a living (fish), most would say something like, “What a great hobby! You must have alot of patience”! I rarely answered these inquiry/statements, but nonetheless they bothered me. Have I devoted my life to pursuing a hobby??? I don’t think so! I am a serious man. I’ve built successful businesses, made millions, lost millions, so I’m not one to devote my creative powers to a “hobby”. The most honest way to characterize my relationship to fishing is to call it my passion. Of couse, not the same kind of passion as loving someone. But, pretty close.I am so grateful for the gift of fishing. I don’t know about you, but even when I’m not fishing, I am fishing! Thanks for listening.

Sincerely, Capt. Bob


Hi—-Every-once-in-awhile I find myself waxing nostalgic. As a commercial fisherman we found ourselves all over the globe. The ladies loved us and we loved them back. I wonder what would have come of those relationships if we carried them to the end? Probably run out of steam because lust is not the same as love. But the deeds of a young man are the memories of someone in his prime. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sincerely, Capt Bob



I just got an offer for one of my Scrimshaw Letter Openers. I was asking $39.95 and the offer was for $12.00. I understand that in today’s world the art of Scrimshaw is not understood. It’s a lot of work! However, the fact that most people don’t know, brings me to the gist of this blog. When I grew up, we had mentors. It was a noble tradition of passing on knowledge without competition and with good feelings. The elders shared their knowledge and understanding with the youngers, and it was a wonderful way to learn and grow. I’m just wondering what my fellow-bloggers think of this. I welcome your comments.

Sincerely, Capt. Bob


You come upon a pool in a trout stream and all is quiet. Where do you start? Tie on a # 12 Caddis Fly and give it some animation. Let it tear up the surface. You will be amazed at the vicious strikes you can provoke! I used to waste time by floating the classic dead-drifted dry fly. No more! Try the hitched fly, the skittering fly or the skated fly. You will be amazed! Life is not static on a river. There is always something trying to get away. Sit, watch and you will observe what I am talking about. May the river gods smile upon you.

Sincerely, Capt. Bob  


Buying a flyrod that does what you want it to do, requires numerous considerations. First of all, what do you want it to do and under what conditions, ie. small stream, big river, ocean? Are you of strong physical build, moderate or frail. Are you left-handed or right, tall or short? How big are the fish you are targeting, the flies you will be casting and what type of line(s) you will be using? Ansering these questions will help you determine the line weight the fly rod should handle, the speed of the action and the type of taper of the rod blank. Will you be traveling with it on airplanes, ie. how many pieces should the rod be–2, 3, or 4? Once you have answered these questions, you will be ready to visit the Fly Fishing Shops and start wiggling rods. Take along the reel and line you will be using and attach it to the rod. Wiggle it again. Most Fly Shops will allow you to cast the rods in which you are interestd. Take advantage of this opportunity. This will allow you to find the fly rod you are looking for. One of the most common complaints when I guide Sports is that they cannot cast right with this “Stupid Fly Rod”. Follow the above-suggestions and you will avoid this dilemma. I hope you have found this helpful and would welcome any comments.

Sincerely, Capt. Bob


When you arrive at a river you haven’t fished before, you would do well to get no closer than 30 ft. from the water’s edge. Slowly sit down and force yourself to observe for 10 minutes. Within that 10 minutes, you may see enough to tell you where the fish are and what they’re eating. But then again you may see no signs at all. If the latter is the case then you must “prospect” for the fish, which essentially means to search. Depending on the type of water, you can begin two different ways: with a searching nymph pattern or with an attractor-type dry fly. If it’s riffle water, you should lift some rocks and see the type of aquatic life that’s in this section of the river. If you find something, by all means choose the nymph that simulates this critter. Step your tippet diameter down two sizes from what you would normally use. Remember, you are searching and may have to sacrifice a fish to get the information you need to be successful. If your in a stretch of dry fly water, choose an attractor fly like the Wulff series. Again, step down your leader a couple of sizes. If the traditional dead drift float does not produce, then try skimming the fly over the surface like a riffle-hitched fly in Atlantic Salmon fishing. You’d be amazed at the vicious strikes this can elicit! I hope this information is helpful to you. I am new to blogging so I would appreciate all comments. Thank you for reading my blog and may the River gods smile upon you.

Sincerely, Capt. Bob


It has been brought to my attention by someone very dear to me that I have neglected women in my writings. She is right! I did not do this purposely (I have daughters who would scalp me alive if they thought this!) but rather from a lack of realization that fisherwomen would be reading my stuff. Now that I have been hit over the head with an anchor, I will rectify this omission. From the point of view of Commercial fishing, the percentage of women involved is quite low. One notable exception is the female Captain depicted in “The Perfect Storm” who was highly respected by all her fellow-captains. There are others as well, but not too many. As for Sportfishing, there are many women who pursue this and do it as well as any man. I am honored to know a number of these fisherwomen and they not only do well in all the fisheries but they bring an air of gentility that is welcome by most of the emotionally-mature fishermen who ply the Piscatorial craft. One of our World Champion fly casters is a petite and delightful woman. Many of the top fishing guides are women. As far as learning technique, I find women much more amenable to instruction than lots of men. It is not uncommon to have to get through the ego of many men before they will take instruction. This is a lot of extra work. By and large, women tend to be eager to learn and make for easier students, especially regarding flycasting, because they can get down to the business of learning to cast much quicker. Ironically enough, women make excellent flycasters because good flycasting depends on timing and not brute strength. Many men tend to overpower flycasting whereas most women pick up the timing factor very quickly. There is more that I can say about this topic but I hope I have said enough to be exonerated. Mea culpa! In the future, I will be more cognizant that my readership is both male and female.

Sincerely, Capt. Bob