Bobwhites & Back casts

The first quarter of the year is always a busy time in the outdoor world. I am trying to wrap up quail season in the southeast while fly fishing on the Florida coast is getting fired up. I spent 3-days in Winghaven lodge hunting at 20 Degrees, and had a banner hunt. Then a weekend at Prairie Wildlife hunting quail at 30 degrees. The quail were flying very hard in those colder temperatures. Then three days later I was getting off a plane in Miami Florida with enough gear to open a small fly shop, and it was 85 and Sunny!

It was my first time at Winghaven and it sure was a treat! We had great food, fabulous bourbon, and a wonderful quail hunt in the rolling hills of Eastern Kentucky. Our guide was a young lady named Brittany and her pack of dogs Lucy, Lacy, and Daisy. What a treat it was to see a young lady working hard in the outdoor community. We tend to just say “we need to recruit more women into the outdoors”. I disagree and think we need to recruit the right women and Ms. Brittany is one of those women. It was cold, the quail flew hard and the dog work was amazing.

The next weekend found me down at Prairie Wildlife in West Point Mississippi. Now this is what I call my home lodge and I love everything about it. From Ms. Emily at the front desk to Marty the gentleman who keeps the fires burning and gets hunters their birds. A couple years ago I hunted there and was paired with Todd Robertson as my guide, and I have tried since that day to make sure I hunted with him. All the guides are great but hunting with Todd is much like hunting with an old friend. His pace and demeanor are that of a gentleman bird hunter from back in the glory days of southern quail hunting. We normally hunt his dogs Izzy and Hootie. This trip he asked could he bring a young pup to see how he worked. We didn’t hunt the young pup long but he sure did do a great job! We managed two good days of hunting, despite the cold. I am typing this thinking about getting back down there one more time before the end of the season.

There are a lot of great hunting lodges these days and they all offer great hunting opportunities. However Prairie Wildlife offers an experience rather than just a hunt, and the experience is phenomenal.

I left Prairie Wildlife on a Sunday. Then Wednesday I was getting on a plane in Nashville Tennessee headed to Miami. The plan was to link up with “On the Fly Magazine” for a few days of fly fishing for my favorite saltwater fish, the snook. When I boarded my plane it was 34 degrees and raining. When I deplaned in Miami it was sunny and 85 degrees! Talk about a great feeling after two weeks of bird hunting where is was lucky to get above freezing. We were scheduled to head to the everglade’s but a scheduling conflict prevented us from going that way,

So we headed to Stuart Florida to fish with 772 Fly and Light Tackle Charters. On the way there we stopped at a couple fly shops that were, in total honesty, not all that impressive. Then we happened upon Whites tackle shop. White’s is a fly shop with a gear shop around it. The staff was extremely welcoming, knowledgeable, and they were happy to point two tourists in the right direction! Since the first trip out was night fishing for snook we hunted up some food and a good cigar from Southern Draw Cigars before we headed to the ramp. We caught plenty of fish and laughed until our stomachs hurt. If you want to catch fish, learn a little biology of the area, and improve your cast then 772 fly and light tackle is your guy!

Review: Lakewood products take down shotgun case

I have been using the Lakewood’s Products take down shotgun case for a couple years now and felt it was time to talk about this magnificent piece of equipment.

As I have stated in other reviews, on different Lakewood’s products. The case is constructed of a very durable foam lines denier exterior, ballistic nylon bottom and ABS plastic interior. This particular case also has a foam lined interior that wont scratch your shotgun,

The stock compartment has a removeable spacer to accommodate even the longest of stocks, I am 6’2 with long arms and don’t need to remove it. It also is roomy enough for adjustable butt plates and cheek risers. The forearm compartment will also handle any forearm you will ever encounter. There is a storage compartment that will hold a multitude of accessories. The barrel compartment will accommodate even the longest target barrels, Mine are 32 inches and there is 6 more inches of available space. It has space for 6 standard choke tubes, the only downside to this case is it wont hold extended tubes in the holders but, the accessory compartment holds cases for extended choke tubes so no worries there. To make the case deep enough for extended choke tubes would take away from the slim design and would add weight to the case. This case is also available in 1,2, or 3 barrel options that are perfect for Skeet and Sporting clays shooters.

I bought the case to transport my clays gun back and forth to the range but it has since turned into my travel case for my hunting trips as well. The case, as with all the products, is virtually indestructible.

I would give this case 5 stars for the itinerant bird hunter and target shooter.

Review: Lakewood Products “Clay Shooter Case”.

Being an upland hunter, sporting clays shooter, and fly fisherman I tend to be a bag hoarder. I have bags on top of bags. Like most however I only really use a handful of them and the rest were just money down the drain. That is not the case with the Clay Shooter Bag from Lakewood products. Being a hard sided case was the first thing that got my attention. I have a closet full of soft sided range bags that all got retired when this case arrived.

The case is typical of all Lakewood’s products in that the exterior is a foam lined denier Nylon with a ballistic nylon bottom. The interior is made of ABS plastic. I have literally parked my Polaris UTV on this case and not collapsed it!

The things that set this case apart from my plethora of soft bags is that is has three compartments, The sides are capable of holding 200 shells and the center compartment holds another 200 empties. I generally carry 100 rounds, A pair of Ranger Shooting glasses with multiple lenses, Orvis shooting gloves, and my Otopro Hearing protection rather than the total payload of 200 shells and 200 empties.

Other handy features are the adjustable shoulder strap and the fact it floats. Floatability makes this a great bag for the waterfowl hunter since it floats with 200 rounds of shotgun ammo inside of it! The soft exterior pocket is perfect for lens cleaners and range cards.

Review: Redfish Brushes from Sight cast Fishing Company.

I have been tying flies professionally for many years, The invention of the Brush was one of the most significant developments in the craft. For most of that time two major companies have dominated that market. Well not anymore since Sight Cast Fishing Company came out with their Redfish Brushes.

Most, if not all brushes available today are very uniform in width with little “Fishy” characteristics. They look great in a vice but lack that fish appeal. This is where the Redfish Brushes shine. They are crazy all over the place in length giving a much better profile. They also have rubber legs built in the brush.

Redfish brushes don’t come in every color in the spectrum but, they do come in the RIGHT colors.

  • Sandbar Tan
  • Golden Bronze
  • Shrimp Pink
  • Copper Rust
  • Blue Crab
  • Purple Black
  • Olive Copper

The brushes are destined for greatness in fly fishing shallow water.

Cabela’s Instinct, Prairie Runner, jacket review.

Its tough to find gear, especially clothing, that is both high quality and functional. Cabela’s seems to have found that balance in the Prairie Runner jacket. Although probably not designed for the Southeast its a perfect fit. The coat is heavy enough for those rare 20 degree mornings yet light enough to wear up to roughly 50 degrees. Its tough to find an upland jacket that’s not just to darn hot for southeastern hunting conditions. The pit zips come in very handy when the temps push 50 during the midday.

The jacket features a front loading and backloading game bag than is more than generous in size. The game bag also has an internal suspender system to better distribute weight, that’s a huge plus when hunting pheasants and you are trying to carry 5-6 birds any distance at all.

This coat also has plenty of pockets. It has 4 zippered pockets and two bellows pockets. The bellows pockets will comfortably hold well over a box of 20/28 gauge shells apiece. It also has a pocket that is designed to hold your tracking/training remote. Most jackets have pockets but this one seems to have the right pockets!

I can say this jacket is in fact very water proof and breathable.

Most upland coats fail the range of motion test but not this one. The sleeves are designed to facilitate not just motion but the motion of mounting a shotgun and swinging through a bird. The polyester ” stretch” in the sleeve area helps that range of motion a lot.

Other features are the D rings positioned about the bellows pockets and the compartment for a water bladder.

Over all this coat gets 5 stars in the upland coat department.