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2014 Photo Wrap Up

2014 was a great year spent in the outdoors.  Here are a few pics wrapping up the year that was:

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Rowing the Boat

I think there are two types of people in this world, those who enjoy rowing and those who put up with the task until they can get off the sticks. I’ll admit it, I like to row. It may sound strange to those unaccustomed to fly fishing but casting from a boat floating down a river requires constant focus and attention. Reading upcoming water, thinking about presentation, considering changing out the bug, trying to keep line from catching on that damn boat bag zipper again, critiquing the last cast, and about 100 other thoughts are incessantly zipping around in my head. In the rowers seat I’m able to appreciate the river, unwind, and maybe have an occasional cigar. My reaction to seeing a bald eagle is totally different in the seat compared to when I’m fishing which is just a quick glance and the obligatory “we’re in luck now fellas”.

I enjoy the challenge of putting friends at that perfect distance where the boat isn’t likely to spook fish yet not making them struggle with long casts they can’t consistently deliver. Alternately, I hate the feeling when I blow it and have the boat on the wrong line or completely forget about the glass eating boulder at the head of a run. The process of successfully hooking and landing a solid fish is heavily dependent on the rower. The mayhem of the fight is way more intense when the rower is not doing his part in the job. I have the opportunity to fish with some guys that are very good at the task of rowing. What strikes me the most about how they go about it is that I don’t think about boat position while they are on the sticks.

Take some time to improve your game in the rower seat. Put some effort into giving your casters their best opportunity to hook up. Your friends will appreciate the effort and maybe put a few in the boat worth remembering years down the road.

Mio


Win a Rod! Bass 1fli: THE LINEUP

2014 marks the 3rd rendition of the annual Michiganfly smallmouth bass 1fli competition.  At stake is the highly coveted and equally elusive Duke and Lily Cup.

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This year to add some excitement into the event – everyone that follows this blog can get in on the action!  Below you will find a complete lineup of the anglers that will challenge for this year’s championship – please send your pick to win the cup to bob.barber@mysticoutdoors.com.  If you choose the winner you will be entered into a drawing to win some sweet swag a Mystic Inception Fly Rod (5wt or 8wt) and the entire collection of all the loser’s flies used during the competition, so that you can go out and be a loser on your very own water!

Please submit your pick in this format:

  • Name:
  • Email Address:
  • Winner Prediction:

Here’s the lineup – you only get 1 pick, make it count.

DAN MOSER (Tiny Elvis)

danThe Scoop

The reigning champion, 2013 winner of the Duke and Lily cup jumped out to a huge early lead and continued to post giant numbers of fish throughout the day.  He closed out the competition in impressive fashion, catching more fish than the rest of the competition combined!  The pattern used by Dan last year to propel him to the winner’s circle has been banned for use this year as it was deemed unfair to the competitor anglers and the fish.

Strength

He is relentless, and unafraid of deploying unorthodox methods and flies in a constant search for a competitive edge.  Won by such a large margin in last year’s event, holds a significant psychological advantage over the rest of the field.  Knows what it takes to win, unless (see below)………….

Weakness

Suspect knot tying skills resulted in an extremely early exit from the 2012 competition, as he lost his bug 10 minutes into the contest during a routine retrieve due to a poor knot.


Jeff Cole

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The Scoop

The 2012 champion suffered an upset defeat last year.  Well known giant fish catcher, Jeff consistently puts fish in the net no matter the species (and they are usually giants).  Thought to be part human/part machine – a CYBORG.  Imagine Robo Cop having a love child with trout guide.  Adding to the lore of his cyborgness – recently suffered a broken elbow, went to a scrap yard to secure some spare parts – patched himself up and is better than new.

Strengths

Tireless with precision aim on casts and the ability to watch his bug with one eye and look ahead to plan his next cast with his other eye.

Weakness

Has a propensity to find pike, even in waters that have very low numbers of pike.  This may result in an unintentional ‘saw-off’ knocking him from the remainder of the competition.


Rich Felber

Winfield Winchester (Baldwin MI,): "One time on that computer thing I saw a guy put an empty Coke can right over top of a beer can."

The Scoop

Unquestioned leader in facial hair configurations using his man hair sculpting abilities to confuse and frighten other challengers.  The 2012 version of the Winfield/Winchester man face threw all of the other competitors off their respective games for more than half of the competition.  It has also been said that the fish were so terrified of it they refused to eat for an entire week as they feared having to come face to face with it when caught.

Strength

Solid all around fisher – great caster, great tyer – puts up huge number days.  Facial hair grooming skills add in a significant intimidation factor.

Weakness

Streaky – can put up double digit days or low catch days.  If he’s hot, there’s none better.  One slip of the razor blade could destroy his distinct advantage in the manscaping capacity.


Bob Barber

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The Scoop

Doesn’t do any one thing better than any other competitors, and is working to reinvent himself as a streamer fisherman.  Placed 2nd in the 2012 and 2013 contests.

Strength

Will come to the contest with a thoroughly researched and developed unique fly.

Weakness

Shoulder injury leaves his status as “questionable” to last throughout the entire day – may limit casting abilities significantly.  Basically, he is a giant pansy that can’t cast and blames it on a bum shoulder.


Matt Svoboda

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The Scoop

2014 newcomer brings a hardcore streamer fisherman mentality to the fold, and is an avid pursuer of smallies.  Is a real life commando – and uses his military expertise to eliminate opponents and fish.

Strengths

Ties clean and precise flies that have great movement and lifelike qualities.

Weakness

Casting tends to tire as the day continues.  Can be easily thrown off his game by calling him “bro” all day – for some reason he hates to be called “bro”.


John Ridderbos

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The Scoop

2012 participant failed to get on the board, although he did not enter the 2013 contest – he walked away with the prestigious Schultz Outfitters 2013 Bass 1 Fly tourney in 2013.

Strengths

Best tyer of the group.  Will come prepared with a proven fly pattern that is bomb proof and able to stand up to fish after fish.

Weakness

Remains to be seen if he can overcome his 2012 performance in this competition format.  Confidence will be high after wrecking the competition at the Schultz event last year.


Rich Youngberg

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The Scoop

Commonly described as a “Fishy Mofo”.  He seems to be able to convert PBR into the only nutrients needed to survive and function at a high level for extended periods of time.  He is a survivalist can probably trek all of mount Everest in a half day with nothing more than a gum wrapper, paperclip, rubberband, and PBR.

Strengths

A fishy guy – seems to always have his bugs in the water at the right time in the right spot.  Knows what it takes to get it done.  Mental preparation is a strength as well.

Weakness

May be very warm during the event, causing him to have to spend precious fishing time downing PBR’s.  May run out of supply of PBR and will shut down completely.


Ryan Randolph

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The Scoop

A true king of the swing, Ryan is a 2 handed nut.  While he prefers the way of the spey, he is an extremely efficient bug puller.  He is a gifted talker, and will work his magical words to throw other people off their games.  His trash talk is so effective that Super Bowl Champ Richard Sherman hired him as a part time coach during the off season to work on his trash talk game.

Strengths

Strong overall fisherman, that has the ability to intimidate other competitors with his football player mentality and size advantage.

Weakness

Swinging for smallies is not as effective from a moving boat.  If everyone brings ear plugs or hums show tunes loudly, his trash talking can be easily negated.

 


Joe Donati

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The Scoop

Ever heard of the “Donati Vortex”?  Google it – it’s a real thing.  This dude is the real deal – solid and consistent with giant explosions of huge days.  Is a multi species and environment fisherman – small stream trout to big bay bass/carp fishing.

Strengths

Extremely adaptable and consistent.  Joe has the ability to adjust appropriately to nearly any situation presented to him, and find fish. Stays confident throughout the day – is definitely the most positive fisherman in the group.

Weakness

Gets extremely excited about catching fish – even gets equally as excited when others catch fish.  He has been known to celebrate by jumping up and down, giving multiple fist pumps in the air.  This could result in serious injury preventing him from fishing 100% throughout the day.  Also, while he is extremely adaptable – he does not spend as much time pursuing smallies in the river as some of the other competitors – this could make him prone to finding himself well behind the other anglers after the first shift.


Meet the Mutts

You’ll find that Dan and I both are proud owners of some pretty fantastic pups!  They are parts of our family and sources of unlimited amounts of entertainment for us.  Now that you’ve kind of met us – its time to meet our mutts.

Dan’s Pups

Fletcher - Kid is a riot in the boat

Fletcher – Kid is a riot in the boat

 

Lilly

Lilly

Bob’s Pups

Bruce - my BFF fo life yo

Bruce – my BFF fo life yo

Chalupa – part pistol, part ninja, 100% badass
Chalupa Batman - part pistol, part ninja, 100% badass

Chalupa Batman – part pistol, part ninja, 100% badass