Father’s Day

I don’t have children. I never will. I’m okay with that though sometimes I feel like our culture isn’t. I’ve received the lectures on the benefits of having kids, the supposed glue it forms inside marriages, all while the person laments their lost life pre-children. Like many people, I’m the product of a divorce but I’ve always been okay with my parents divorcing. Even as a kid I was cool with it. I watched divorce ruin some friends and I watched it make some friends tougher. Sometimes relationships don’t work out. Some do. Having kids together will not guarantee a strong relationship, a fact lost on many people. Relationships, like life are a gamble that take hard work. I’m sure kids are hard work – hell it’s a full time job as I’ve seen with friends raising them. I was lucky enough to have two really cool parents who did the best they could for my brother and I. I don’t remember them fighting like I’d seen with friend’s parents who hated each other. My folks divorced and seemed to move on with their lives. As an adult with some life experience now I’m sure there was drama but they did a damned good job at keeping my brother and I from it.

Back to Father’s Day and being a childless adult in America. It is odd how folks will give you unsolicited advice on some life you’re supposedly missing out on by not having kids. Being an observer to some people’s lives I’m not so sure I am missing out. I’m sure parenthood sometimes returns its time invested back in dividends, that’s if your kid isn’t a piece of shit. Even good parents can have shitty kids, some of ya’ll need to admit that to yourselves. A few weeks ago I was cornered in a conversation and asked about why I don’t have children. My initial response was to scream, “MOTHERFUCKER IT AIN’T YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS YOU NOSY ASSHOLE!” but I didn’t. I explained why and I thought that was sufficient until I got The Lecture. As always, I smiled, nodded, and listened. After it was over I went back to my childless life just as happy as I was before twenty minutes of listening about a life I’ll never experience. I went back to being able to drop everything and bug out for a weekend to wherever my wife and I damn well please. I went back to a life of not having to save for a college education that most likely won’t guarantee a great job for Junior. I went back to my life. The life I am lucky enough to live with a woman who, after 17 years, makes my heart skip when I see her smile. I went back to going home to my dogs and my cats and sleeping through the night. I went back to making my way through life with beautiful woman next to me, content without kids.

On Father’s Day I went fishing with my wife and Finn. I called my dad, my step-dad, and my grandfather afterwards. All three men have helped me become who I am today and for that, I am eternally grateful.




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One musky eat makes it all worth it
















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Picture Dump #32

Couple pictures from before the rivers decided to blow out their banks and shut river fishing off for a bit. Mike Sepelak did a write up from his visit to Hoosierville last weekend.







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Who’s that rapper from Chicago that can kickflip? Uhh, Sir Lucious Leftfoot? No dude. Oh it’s one of them tight jean wearing dudes. Yeah!














Cold fronts suck. Heavy rains suck. Fishing with friends does not suck.

(oh that rappers name was Lupe Fiasco)


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Take a dog fishing

When Finn came to live with us about a year and a half ago I was determined to have a dog that could go fish with me. At 8 months, he was a holy terror on the water. That’s not hyperbole. He sucked in the boat. He sucked while I was wading. He just plain and simply sucked at listening. He saw action and had to get to it. I was at my wits end with him but then something happened and now he’s actually pretty cool to be around. It’s fun to watch his giant dog body and his still a puppy brain fight it out daily and friends even sometimes comment on his awesomeness. He might act like a horse with rollerskates on sometimes, but he’s getting there. If I’m truly honest, that makes me feel pretty damned good. I don’t really want much out of life. I already have an amazing and very understanding wife, a job that allows me to pay my bills, a nice house in a great area, a truck, and two great dogs. One loves water and one feels the same way about water as I do about stubbed toes. If you’re not greedy that’s all it takes. Your mileage may vary but a good dog can make everything great.

So, take a dog fishing. I did that. It was pretty awesome. I’ll let the pictures do that talking.
























Let’s go home, dude.


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Check out the June 2015 Field and Stream issue

Back in April I got a message from my homie Joe Cermele at Field & Stream with this image attached. I’d sent Joe some poppers over the winter and when the art team asked for some poppers for a photo shoot, he gave them a box, and they chose one of mine. Pretty damned stoked on that. Check out page 40 of the June 2015 Field and Stream magazine for the real deal. Happy is an understatement. I’ve been reading Field and Stream since I was a child and to have one of my flies in a popper article is so cool.

June2015 Field and Stream

The jig sets for these predator sized poppers will soon be available from River Road Creations so stay tuned.

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All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down

There’s a simple formula for having a good life. Surround yourself with awesome people, go fishing when you can, and have a good dog or two at your side.


towee rain







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Frickaseed Photos

I spend a lot of time rowing. I don’t mind. I like taking people fishing. I also like taking pictures. When rowing I can pick up the camera and shoot. Life works itself out.

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Fishing with the Tippecanoe Fly Fishers

This past weekend my fishing club had it’s annual outing at a private lake. Lots of fun was had, some fish were caught, then my wife brought the dogs out so I stopped fished to take pictures of the monsters.



























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Hardly Strictly Musky 2015

There’s a few places on the map that feel like old friends and McMinnville, Tennessee is one of them in my little world. Driving down back roads that I shouldn’t know but do and knowing what’s around those areas make it feel like a funky home away from home. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for the Home of Southern Musky as the Tennessee State Senate just proclaimed McMinnville and Warren Country, Tennessee to be. This year the Hardly, Strictly Musky event kicked off at the Foglight Foodhouse, an awesome little food spot right on the river. If you’re in the area you need to stop by. I hear the etouffee is amazing. Before dinner, Todd Gregory of Towee Boats gave a quick run down of the rules for the event. The last rule is always the most important rule anywhere you fish; Don’t Be An Asshole. It’s the simplest rule people love to ignore. If you’re an asshole, stay home.




Here’s where I should say that this year for me was a bit different. My boat partner had to bail. Work called and he had to answer. An aside here, a lot of folks think working in the fly fishing world is glorious. It can be I guess, but it’s still a job and sometimes that job can get in the way of fishing. Luckily my friend Tom decided to come down from Minnesota and my friend Jeff came in from Missouri. We’d decided we were going to spend the weekend helping Todd out as much as we could, fish when it felt fishy, and just have fun taking pictures. No serious faces, no stress, just fun with friends. Team Ozark Pile Voyageur was all about volunteering.





Watching Buddy McMahon’s musky mural coming together was my favorite part of the weekend. Buddy has some serious skill and it was put on display for all McMinnvillians to see. Friday night we met up at the Collins River Bbq and Cafe for dinner and beers after a long day on the water. The Pig Farm crew showed off some of the bounty from the Get Trashed event. Get Trashed is where people fishing take a few minutes from their day and fill a bag with trash from the river. Pretty damned cool idea from the Farmers. Stories were shared and after a few drinks everyone headed to their cabins or tents to get back to the water in the morning. Some of these diehards were sleeping in their vehicles in the parking lots of boat launches to secure a spot. That’s dedication.












On Saturday morning, Jeff, Tom, and I headed out to do a little fishing. We saw three fish but none came to hand. The fishing was tough that day. Blue bird skies and the fish seemed to get lockjaw. We floated a good section and then ran up a section to see if there were any fish. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there weren’t. Well, there probably were but they were laughing at us. We decided then that we should just spend the rest of the day cleaning the river. Our plan was to load my boat and truck with tires. I called Greg Morgan who organized it and said where can we get rid of the tires if we pull say 50 of them out? After much back and forth, we found out the problem with tires. No one wants them. You get charged to dispose of them. So if we cleaned them out of the river, we couldn’t afford to pay for disposal. So we filled 6 bags with trash. As an aside, next year I hear there will be a dumpster where we can get rid of tires! That’s huge for the river! We get that nastiness out of it and everyone will benefit.












We bounced off the river and headed back over to Collins River BBQ for the final night of Hardly, Strictly Musky 2015. The trash bags were unloaded and we were greeted by an incredibly happy Todd Gregory. He’d just gotten a message that Alan Broyhill had landed a 49 1/2″ musky. That was the only fish caught that day. Alan hit a homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning. Crazy how that works out some times. Congrats to Alan on the well deserved fish.
(photo credit: Peter Taylor http://www.ptpix.com/)

After dinner the swag was handed out. This year there was a mountain of swag from sponsors Towee Boats, Costa Del Mar, Scientific Anglers, Cohutta Fishing Company, TFO Fly Rods, Southern Culture on the Fly, Hunter Banks Company, 3 Rivers Angler, Vedavoo, Flymen Fishing Company, Wetfly, Clutch Tactical Fly Rods, SMITHFLY, SIMMS, Mayfly Coffee, SP3 Lubricants, MYSTIC Fly Rods, and the best prize of all, a custom guitar painted by Brad McMinn.

The winners of Get Trashed? Team Ozark Pile Voyageur. We scored some nice Patagonia gear, a rod, and random swag packed in the bags. Next year, we’re pulling tires til we’re tired..









And then as soon as it began, it was over. That’s really the only bad part about the Hardly, Strictly Musky event. It ends way too fast. Everyone packed up Sunday, some fished, and some like me, hit the highway as the sun was coming up for a long drive home. 2016 Hardly, Strictly Musky looks like it’s going to be even bigger and better so make sure you tell work you’re busy and sign up when more info is released this winter.

I want to especially thank Todd Gregory and his Towee crew for putting on this awesome event. The sponsors and the anglers for showing up. 80 anglers from 17 states is no joke for a fly fishing tournament that’s not really a tournament in the dictionary sense. The musky tribe keeps growing and that’s a good thing.

Lastly, thank you to Eric, Mark, and Matt Grajewski, Chris Willen, and Mike Schultz for letting Tom and I sleep on the most damned comfortable couches in the McMinnville area.

Until next year, friends…


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