Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tenkara Fishing for Steelhead!!

Talk about taking something to an extreme, this looks like a blast.  I may just have to give this a shot sometime. 


Monday, December 21, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes Comes Thread Wisdom

Here's an interesting and humorous take on thread color choice, from Singlebarbed.  My preferred color for trout flies is 6/0 olive (95% of the time).

From the mouths of Babes comes Thread Wisdom

Start filling your bathtub................... 

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, December 14, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bill Dance - Fishing Expert

Here a few very funny adventures for your watching pleasure on a cold night..........turn on your speakers and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Has the Dumbing Down of America Reached Fly Fishing?

In this short blog entry by Merwin, he refers to it as flippancy, but that's not what I would call it.  It's more like the spoon-fed generation.  It's no wonder so many people are unhappy.  They don't want to work hard for anything, so they don't get the intellectual and emotional joy that comes from personal growth in their job or activities......they want to be boss right out of college, they want the magic fly or technique without trying to find it themselves, they want to be shown where to fish - not just the river, but the exact fishing hole complete with GPS coordinates of where the rocks are that the fish can be found behind...........

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

She told me, "I wish I were a trout........"

............that way you would be obsessed with me."

A friend's wife told him this as he asked if he might go fishing......again.

A couple of comments from the peanut gallery:

Maybe she should learn to fish?
Or, ask to go along and read or walk while he fishes? 
Maybe she should find her own tying flies?
Maybe she should be happy that he has something to do besides sit around the house and grow a gut?
Maybe she should be happy she KNOWS he is fishing, and not doing something that might really cause friction?

Maybe I should just go fishing and mind my own business.........

Anyone seen my wife? 

Last time I saw her she was acting like a trout.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Did You Smell Anything Yesterday?

I did.......skunk, and it was bad.

Yep, I got skunked yesterday for the third time this year.  Nada, nothing, not even a hit!  All 4 of us got stunk up, not that that makes it any better.  You would have thought one of us would have gotten lucky.....but nope.

The river was clear, a little low and quite cold - 40 degrees at 10AM.  The sky was clear blue and bright, and the air fairly warm for late November - mid 50's.

I was great to get out and enjoy the nice weather.   Later in the day, I went to the big farm with a friend and drove the trails until dusk to check out the property.  We must have seen over 300 pheasants - they were everywhere there was cover, or cover nearby.  Saw quite a few deer - a few good sized bucks in the mix, too.

All in all it was a good day.  The fish did beat us this time, but that's part of the game.

I'll be back.       

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tom McGuane Awarded "Angler of the Year"

A well deserved award to one of the finest fly fishing writers of our generation.   Do you want to read a good book about the sport we love, read McGuane.

I couldn't have said it any better, so here's The Trout Underground (Tom Chandler) take on the award...... 

Tom McGuane Awarded Fly Rod & Reel Magazine’s “Angler of the Year”

Monday, November 9, 2009

Autumn is Also for Music, the Dogs and Fishing

After my wife and I worked around the house and yard Saturday, she was off with a crowd of friends to the city, and I to a concert with friends.  The concert was held at the very large barn of a local man as a fund raiser for the Raritan River Watershed Assn.  Michael Monroe, a one man acoustic folk band from Minnesota performed mostly with his guitars, but also with flutes (one made of glass), and other instruments played on his guitar and synthesized into drums, cellos, violins and other voices for harmony and sound that was electronically looped - so well, that by the time he was a few mintues into the song that if you closed your eyes you thought was coming from a good-sized band, complete with back up singers.  Very cool stuff, and the barn had the chops acoustically to pull it off beautifully.

On Sunday we were up early and off to the OMB FTC field trials.  If you like being outdoors, dogs, horses, good people, good food and lots of exercise - yep, in that order, sort of - this was a great day.

Field trials are contests between dogs that show their ability to perform, in the field, the things they were trained to do.  In this case, all the dogs competing were bird dogs - dogs trained to find upland birds, stand on point while the hunter approaches and flushes the bird, and then retrieve it after it is shot.  (Although live birds were used, no birds were shot as the dogs handlers used blanks.)  The dogs, and handlers, compete against each other for placements and points, which are assessed by two judges on horseback that follow the "braces" - two dogs at a time compete against each other.  The better a dog is at finding birds, pointing and following its handlers orders, the more points it is awarded.

We were on a large estate just down the road that is full of fields, hedgerows, thick brambles and dense tree lines.  When a brace goes off, first the dogs move into the first field, followed by the judges and as many spectactors that want to follow and watch the action.  The "hunt" follows the same route for each brace, and in this case it was about 2/3-3/4 mile from start to finish.  You start and finish in the same field, essentially going in a big circle.  The entire area was planted with many quail and pheasant prior to the trials.

So the brace goes off and the dogs run off and scour the field, sniffing, turning and shifting as they go in one direction to the other.  When they sense a bird, they slow as they approach, then stop, point (most of the time), and their handler walks up and the bird takes flight.  A shot is fired, and then the dog moves on - the entire time each handler is shouting directions and/or blowing a whistle to signal the dog.  It's fascinating, fun, and very social.   Some dogs are very smart and well trained, and others just seem to go through the motions.  The birds, well, the quails are small, swift and erratic in the air.  The pheasants are big, and quite quick for their size and take a straight path to the next area of cover.

Working the dogs early in the day.
Working the last field in a brace.

And finally, today I took off and hit the river with a friend.  The water was clear under warm skies and hazy sunshine.  The trout were looking up, which was good as I decided before I even got the river that I was only going to fish dry flies.  I was not disappointed - brought many browns and a couple of rainbows to hand.  Here are the only two flies I used today - well-chewed and ready for retirement.

Do I have to go to work tomorrow?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Autumn Is For The Birds

No I haven't been fishing in a couple of weeks, so I'm a little wife would tell you I'm always that way, and maybe she's right.

The first "bird" we'll discuss is of the two-legged species. An older bird, who's wife is of the blue haired variety and one that generally takes an obstreporous view of even the slightest change. On Saturday morning, volunteers assisted Trout Unlimited in planting trees along a section of the Musconetcong River as part of their stream restoration project on this fine New Jersey trout stream. There were about 30 of us, mostly unshaven, unshowered middle-aged men like myself, some of whom smelled of the prior night's drinking activities. When all was said and done, we had planted over 300 trees along several hundred yards of stream bank. (Go to the NJ Trout Unlimited link in the right margin for more info and photos of this gnarly crew - and the two youts that had to put up with us.)

So anyways, this old bird calls the state and tells them he is going to kill all the trees we planted.  He also tells one of the volunteers he is going to spray them with Roundup.  Seems he thinks we did a bad thing planting these trees.  He prefers the grass - nevermind that he doesn't own the property - that grass is his and dang-it, them trees don't belong there, even if they stabilize the river bank.

On Sunday morning I did my usual greeting of the day - slowly opening the bedroom curtains to expose the wilderness surrounding the house so as not to frighten any creratures - and there drinking from our pond was a huge, ten-point buck with his harem of does nervously millling about the grass behind him.  By the time I got my camera, he had moved into the woods and out of clear range.

But all was not lost.  In the tree just off the corner of the house there was a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers.  Beautiful birds, clinging to the bark and turning their heads this way and that, as they crept along and studied the surface for burrowing bugs.  Here's one working away on its quest for breakfast.

And here are the two of them after they moved to a new tree further from the house..

There are birds and there are birds, some are so-called for their attitude, and some for their altitude.

I prefer the red-headed variety.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Going Back to Go Forward - The Rogue River is Free Again

If you have ever fished the Rogue River in Oregon, you what a beautiful river it is......and yesterday, "The wild and scenic Rogue River has become even wilder with the demolition of a dam that had hindered passage of salmon and steelhead to their spawning grounds for 88 years."

Here's the full story from the NY Times:

One more dam down, plenty more to go.....................

Monday, October 5, 2009

Early Autumn Bliss

A couple of friends and I fished Sunday afternoon and not only was the fishing good, the weather was mighty fine as well. Due to some technical diffculties, the posting of this report was delayed.................and also due to  those same difficulities my original text of the event has taken leave of this post.  (It is Friday morning, I wrote the original on Sunday evening......the time stamp is crazy....I'm very glad I don't rely on techno to fish.) So without further postponment, here is the report in an abbreviated form.  Hopefully, the photos will be worth a thousand words, or at least a few more than I have time to write here.

The river - low, clear, but cool and inviting.  Throughout the afternoon there was a steady hatch of tiny Blue-winged Olives and a smattering of October Caddis.  The trout cooperated and eagerly took a well presented fly.  In the faster riffles and runs, my October Caddis dry (see prior posts), was the ticket.  In the flat water and slower runs, a size #24 BWO thorax dry was the required imitation.

A typical wild brown trout taken on a BWO.

A decent sized brown taken on a size #10 October Caddis fished right up into pocket water at the head of a pool - the fly is still in his jaw.  The trout in these stretches were aggressive and the fly barely moved 6 inches after landing before it would be hammered.  Hooking these fish was difficult, but unless you pricked them on a missed set, they would continue to rise and you'd have another shot.

An October Caddis that decided to join the party at our house the night before.  He didn't seem to eat or drink much though.

My imitation as fished can see it in the trout's mouth.....I know, the thorax is light hare's ear.  It works better than if I use orange dyed hare's ear - go figure, or better yet, ask the trout why they prefer it this way.  It's one of the mysteries of fly fishing I hope we never figure out because it would stop being fun and delightfully perplexing.

Get out and fish before the falling leaves make it near impossble...............

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'll Take Mine in a Size 24, No Mustard

That's what the trout have been saying the last couple of evenings.  Anything less (larger), and we'll just take a quick looksee and not even move from our cushion on the stream bottom.

Even when the size was right, the drift had to be pretty darned good to elicit a rise and closeup inspection by the trout.  Only a perfect presentation was worthy of a take, and most of those were done with the utmost caution.  Nerves of steel were necessary to get a hook up, as the takes were so touchy - you had to wait a split second before tightening the line to set up.  They needed time to actually sip it in, as the fish somehow knew that an artificial fly typically disappeared the second their lips touched the fly. see the trout rise to the fly, he tips upwards and glides through the water column, eyes on the prize.  Sometimes he turns away at the last moment, seeing something he doesn't quite like, leaving a soft wake that pushes the fly just enough to see it move.  Other times, he opens slightly, hesitates, and if you can stand to hold your relaxed tension for one half second more, he sips it in...........barely.  When the hook did find flesh, it wasn't much.

This little, size 24, blue-winged olive took a bunch of browns and rainbows the last couple of evenings.  It got beat pretty bad, but is still fishable as you can see.  And because I'm blind, I didn't notice I had forgtten to flatten the barb on this one and only noticed when I looked at this blow-up of the fly.  Tsk, tsk..................

I also took a few on this simple midge emerger.

And finally, the Isonychia/Slate Drake emeger tied with a caribou hair wing.  As dusk approached each evening, enough of the naturals started to hatch that I could switch to this larger fly (that I can see, damnit) and continue to catch fish.  This is another well-chewed fly that will be fished until it falls apart or joins others in a tree branch.

Get out and fish.  The weather's fine, and the fish are cooperative.

There's nothing like a well-chewed fly!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Did Someone Rewrite the Rules of Common Decency? Or "Have a Nice F*#king Day

I must have missed the revised edition of the book of manners wherein it defines respect and common courtesy.   Apparently, some guy I met yesterday did get the newly published rules, and proceeded to show me shove them down my throat.

Here's how it went down, you be the judge.  Should I go back and kiss this guy's ass as he requested of me, or should I have kicked his ass, or just let it go as I did.

I was deep in thought about nothing and imbibing in the fresh crisp air of very early Autumn, fishing the top of a run where a number of trout were rising softly to take tiny blue-winged olives off the surface.  The long pool above me was empty as far as the eye could see - 150 yards at least.  Below me, about 50 yards downstream, was a friend who had joined me in the quiet pursuit of fishing tiny flies in low, very clear, gently flowing water to wary trout.  The only sounds were the soft raindrop-on-water sounds of fish sipping in the minutiae and song birds on the wing overhead.

I had just taken a small wild brown trout on an emerger when someone walked up the trail past me and proceeded to fish from the edge of the water at the lower end of the pool above me.  No problem there, he must be going to work his way up through the long,empty riffle/pool.  Plenty of fish in there.

Instead he worked his way downstream, eventually swinging his wet flies through the water I was fishing.  At first I ignored him, thinking he can't be that stupid that he thinks its okay to fish over me.  Maybe he was going to stop after making a few passes.  But no, not only did he keep fishing downstream, before long he was fishing within 25 feet of me. Not cool, not necesary.

So, I asked him if he was going to keep fishing downstream.  He ignored me and even made a cast right over my line.  I then said, "I guess you are going to ignore me as though I am not here."

Without looking up, he said he was just fishing his water and moving downstream. 

His water.  His WATER.  As though anyone else that might happen to be fishing should move aside for him.

I didn't move and before long he realized I wasn't going to. So he reeled in and hitched up the bank and started walking downstream just above me.  He then yelled, "Have a nice f*#king day!"

I looked up at him, and said calmly, "Are you kidding me?  I then continued to cast.

"Are you trying to intimidate me?" he yelled.  "What is that?"

I ignored him, and thought, What the hell is he talking about?

"Who the f*#k are you?  There are miles of river and you have to fish here!"  he had the balls to say. 

I turned and said, "Are you serious?  Do you think I should have moved on when you came?  You're nuts!........You need to learn some manners."

He then waited until he had walked some distance and then told me to, "Kiss my ass!"

I looked toward him and said in as sweet a tone as I could, "Okay."

"Jackass!" Was his only response......which he repeated as he walked down past Chris.

He then stepped in just downstream of Chris and again mumbled something about the jackass.  I then asked Chris if he was still using a bugger (woolley bugger fly), to which Chris loudly said, "No, I think there are enough BUGGERS in the gorge today!"

Touche'.................and have a nice day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Do Trout See in Black and White?

Does anyone really know for sure?  If they do, here's what our flies may look like to them.  Compare these to the same flies I posted the other day and besides the obvious color difference, you'll see the same bright and dark areas nicely contrasted.  In some ways, I prefer the subtleness of these over the colored versions.  The lack of color also allows the mind to focus on the textures of the materials - natures way of letting our eyes "touch" them with our mind.
The Leadwing Coachman wet fly - see the hardness of the steel, the smooth, ridged mallard feather wing, and the soft peacock herl body?  To us, its pleasing to the eye; to the trout its food....or maybe the trout also have an artistic lobe in their tiny brains just as we do when a well prepared dish is set in front of us.  "That looks almost too good to eat!"  Then we dig in anyway.

The October Caddis - the simple contrast of the soft fur body and thorax combined with the stiff elk hair wing over a bed of light bending antron.  I'm betting the trout would take it in this colorless state just as they do in our world of rainbows.

The Peach Sulphur - something about that quill body disturbs my eye.  Its too perfect, no taper or edges as might be found in a natural insect..................they work though, so who's to argue with a trout?

That's it for the art show.  Nothing earth shattering, but interesting all the me at least.  When I convert my photos to B and W, I always see something in them that I didn't see in the color versions.

Kind of like taking off rose colored glasses..................

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Fashions

Welcome to this year's fall fashion preview as tied by me.  You'll note the colors are subtle, earthy and the fabrics are applied with a sparseness that mimics the changing landscape.  As for the styles, they are carefully chosen to provide silhouettes that not only a tier can love, but that can entice even the most selective trout................I prefer selectively opportunistic, but we can go with the standard nomenclature.

First off the vise is the Antbeetle.  A small, black foam version with moose body hair legs and a smidgen of light CDC for a hat - the better to see it in fall's low-light conditions.

Next up is the CDC Blue-winged Olive Emerger.  Again, this one is small, tiny even, to mimic the late season mayflies that hatch daily from the smooth glides found on our trout waters.  Note the segmented body made with McLean's Quill Body.  Although the model is trying its best to give you a full view, the photo lacks the dark color found in the vise and on the stream.  Note to self, find better lighting provisions to allow for more accurate contrast and brightness..........   

Next up, Lenny's BWO Emerger.  This one strikes a straight figure, however, many tyers (including Lenny himself) prefer curved shanked versions.  The primary colors and texture are achieved with pheasnt tai fibers and copper ribbing, topped with a dark olive bead and wing of dark dun antron.  It's a beauty that turns heads on every river and stream it drifts through on the end of a tippet.

Taking a bow next is the Peach Sulphur.  This one imitates a small, late season mayfly that is found on many Eastern trout streams.  This one is also tied with McLean's Quill Body material topped by a simple CDC wing and sparkling antron train.

An Elk hair October Caddis is next up.  This is the traditional version perferred by most adult caddis tiers and fishermen.  It's big, a size #8 and 10 - a mouthful by any standards. 

And then their is my version of the October Caddis.  Here again, the photographer needs to go!  The colors although appropriately subtle, lack the true orange colors of the original as tied and set in the vise at the time of creation.  It is tied with an orange beaver dubbing abdomen with an underwing of amber antron topped by orange/brown dyed elk hair.  The thorax is a soft brown gray hare's ear dubbing.  Autumn dazed trout go crazy for this thing when the naturals are on the water. 

And finally, my fall favorite - the Leadwing Coachman wet fly.  When the fish are not looking up, this ubiquitous pattern is an effective trout taker when fished either dead-drift, or on the swing.  Tie some up and give them a whirl in the drink, and you won't be disappointed.

And there you have it folks, the latest in fall fashion from my vise.  

Go tie one on, now!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

FISH CAN'T READ - John Juracek, Muttering Guy and Other Good Stuff

"......and one morning you're staring at the mirror, wiping the mote of muskrat fur from your face while hungry moths ping off the sputtering florescent and you realize the gulf was as broad as the one leapt from spin fishing to fly fishing; there are those that tie and those that don't - and buying the damned flies would be cheaper."

From Three Flies Short -  

Here's a new fly fishing ezine with some real good writing and plenty of pictures for 

Before you buy your next fly rod, be sure to read - The Fly Life - Evaluating a Fly Rod by John Juracek.  John brings his usual highly pragmatic viewpoint to the things that really matter when choosing a fly rod for FISHING.

Tight lines.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Are Hunters Stupid? The Unintended Consequences of Wolf Hunting

"Most people don’t hunt, so the perception of hunting and hunters is key to how society will tolerate and support hunting as a legitimate activity. Yet most hunters seem to take the knee jerk attitude that anyone who objects to any form of hunting or kind of hunting, no matter how barbaric, is either a member of PETA, or just doesn’t “understand” Nature. The truth is that many of those objecting to wolf hunting are neither ignorant of ecology nor members of PETA or any other animal rights organization."

I don't hunt, but have no problem with others hunting within the law. I have no interest in any of PETA's agenda, as nothing good comes from extremism under the guise of doing good. That said, I couldn't agree more with the sentiments expressed in this article. Its' a little long, but full of perspective and good common sense, which seems to elude more and more humans everyday. Give it a read, if nothing else it will be like taking your mind for a walk - those neurons need a good, low stress workout once in while..............

Are Hunters Stupid? The Unintended Consequences of Wolf Hunting | George Wuerthner | Travel & Outdoors | NewWest.Net

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Combat fishing pits man against man in Alaska

"There are those who think of fishing as a contemplative sport. A chance to plant hip waders in a sparkling stream, stash a cold drink in the belt pocket and dream of man's mystic connections to the water and the dark shapes lurking below.

They, however, would not be many Alaskans, at least not when the sockeye start making their headlong summer rush up the Kenai River."  LA Times

Combat fishing' pits man against man in Alaska --

Not my cup of joe, but then again, I don't fish to eat...........

I guess this one gets filed under, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It Wasn't Epic, But We Had Fun

As promised, here's a report from the wilds of the Poconos.

Bruce and I arrived late Saturday afternoon and some of the usual suspects were already at the lodge. They had just returned from the river and had mixed success with nymphs, but nothing on dry flies. The river was somewhat high, but clear - as clear as a tannic stained river can be - and in beautiful shape.

We headed up river to fish, while the others decided to hang back for dinner instead of taking advantage of the best time to be on the water. We split up and I slid into a nice long pool. No flies were on the water, but that didn't stop me from fishing a small parachute hopper. My first cast with it resulted in a nice wild brookie taking the fly after a short drift. I continued to fish the dry with no success, so I switched to nymphs. Over the next two hours I took a number of brookies and lost a few others.

It started to sprinkle, so I took a short walk up to where Bruce was to see how he was doing and shortly after I reached him the skies opened up. It began to pour like I've never seen it. We hightailed it back to the car and by the time we got there, we were soaked to the bone. Before the run in the rain though, I did take this pic of a huge hemlock that succumbed to hemlock wooley adelgid .

Saturday night we just hung out at the lodge, listened to the rain, drank some beverages, and tied flies. As usual, we stayed up very late and laughed till we hurt and then slept like babies.

Sunday morning came with bright sun and warm, humid air. After breakfast we headed downstream and found nothing in the air and no fish rising. I took a trio of fish -a rainbow, a brook, and a brown - all on a beadhead Bird's Nest nymph. This one:

The day was perfect, although the fishing wasn't, but all was not lost. We fished until about 5:00, and during that time I caught another fish - yep, one more. And spent some time exploring and watching the hummingbirds work their way among the wild flowers that lined the river.

And finally, a photo from just below a small waterfall looking upstream.

Considering its August, I'll take a weekend like this anytime!

Having a Plan.........Excellent Piece From

"How many of us really know what is correct when it comes to handling fish? You don't get instructions when you buy your license so how does an angler learn? What have you learned? Note that in this case, no license was required. If you want a photo are you prepared for efficient snap and release? Do you have a plan?"

Unfortunately, this world is full of people (idiots) who don't plan even one minute beyond the present, let alone what they might do if they land a fish they will be releasing.

See you knee deep in the water, with a plan.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Finally Going Fishing!

Yes, despite the prediction of rain, we're about to head on out to a fairly remote stream in PA to do some fishing later today and tomorrow. The creek is nowhere near any kind of pavement or develpoment, so it stays clear and normal, even after a good soaking rain. The only thing that may keep us off the water is lightening.......and if that happens, we'll sit in front of a fire at the lodge and tie flies, drink wine, eat and tell lies. That's half the fun anyway.

Report to follow.

Funny Beer Commercial

Here's a good laugh via Moldy Chum. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This is "Fly" Fishing..........Do You Think Maybe We Could Tie Flies That Do This?

Check out this great footage of one of the world's best fishermen.


Museum Robbed of Birds For Fly Tying? That's Nuts....

I know us fly tyers are a little off-center, but do they really think one of us would go this far? I hope not. Maybe they just wanted to re-stuff some old pillows........

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Classic Tying a Classic

"It takes the 61-year-old (Marvin) Nolte four hours to tie one of his fully dressed Atlantic salmon flies. His finished flies are works of art that will probably never see a river or feel the teeth of a fish."

Click here for the full story:


Thursday, August 6, 2009

How To Lick a Slug

Here's a wonderful essay on Nature Deficit Disorder from the NY Times.

Let's all go out and lick a slug!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Saratoga Is For Horses, Lake George For Rain

We could have stayed another month or was great to get away for something other than work. It did rain every day but Saturday - opening weekend at the track - so that was fine. Sort of.

All the rain on the other days prevented me from wetting a line even for a short while. Never even got out on the boat. That said, we had a great time eating, drinking, listening to great live music, watching the races, betting and only losing $15 when all was said and done, and just plain old having fun. After hanging at the track for the better part of teh day, we hit a local post-race watering hole, and then went into town to enjoy the street festival.

A view of the lake from the Algonquin:

A view across the table at the Algonquin of my lovely wife and friend Barry toasting something. I'd like to think it was the mayflies clinging to the windows in an effort to stay out of the rain.

The ponies getting ready for the first race of the day. The weather could not have been better.

And here is the self-described, "Jew in a fox hunt outfit that blows a trumpet at the track", Sam, myself and Karen just after he treated us to some traditional and not-so-traditional bugling of the finest order. This guy is good - even did some Led Zepplin for shits and giggles.

So, that's I did on one of my summer vacations.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mercer's GlassTail Yellow Sally

Here's the recipe for the Yellow Sally dry in previous post.

Thread: Yellow
Hook: #10-12 dry fly
Tail/abdomen: One bright orange and 3 or 4 yellow glass beads on clear mono. Thread orange bead first then thread tags ends through each yellow bead. Knot the mono just past the last yellow bead and tie down - the knot will keep mono from slipping.
Body: Yellow dubbing
Underwing: Thin closed cell foam clipped to shape and tinted with yellow permanent marker
Overwing: Dyed yellow elk hair
Hackle: Grizzly or grizzly dyed yellow - the fish don't seem to care.

Have at it. Right now it's a killer in broken water.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Food (Imitations) for Thought

I'm not sure trout have the neurons in their noggin to remember a particular food that they would consider comfort food. But I can tell you that right now, their short-term memory has a hankering for these hatching, falling morsels.

Tricos, early morning. Over by 9:00AM, but a blast when you're still half-asleep and the air is cool and moist.
The above is a fairly standard imitation, the one below is Al's Trico, a wonderfully simple pattern that is very effective.
Evenings bring all kinds of falling bugs, and one of the best right now is the Isonychia spinner. It's a big meal and trout love 'em. This is my extended body deer body hair pattern.
And finally, a daytime into evening favorite, the Yellow Sally. This small, pale yellow stonefly hatches sporatically throughout the day and when they return to the choppy water sections of our streams to lay their eggs they draw trout up to them like a kid to candy.
Don't forget to fish terrestrials any time of the day - ants, beetles and hoppers - as they are definitely a trout comfort food if ever there was one......I think. All I know is they work.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comfort Food

Do trout have comfort food?

Yep, I'm back....more tomorrow, need to sleep.


Friday, July 10, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day, So Why Am I Here?

As much as I love the concrete jungle, today would be much better spent where it's green and lush, thanks to weeks of rain and cool temps.

That's all, just thinking before the next meeting. Cell phone takes a nice pic, huh? Hung it out of the sun roof. Can you hang something out of the sun roof? Not likely. Hang, hung, who cares? Got to go, almost post time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back From Paradise

Took advantage of having Friday off and hit the links. There's nothing like whacking a little white ball around ridiculously manicured turf, trying to avoid strategically placed little sandy beaches and thick horticulture lining the green carpet, with a couple of good friends.

Or is there?

Yes, there is something better...........

After spending the 4th with friends and family, I took off with a couple of friends to a distant watery, wooded paradise for a few days to fish. Who needs fireworks anyway? Take a look at this place:
And here's one of the denizens of this wonderful, far off slice of heaven:

This brown trout was one of many other salmonoids we caught during this outing. In addition to the browns, there were some very acrobatic rainbows and a few brook trout with colors that only nature can paint with her delicate, rainbow covered palette.

And then today, it was back to reality and even a meeting tonight in good old Jersey City.

When is the next trip? Are we there yet?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The People You Meet While Knee Deep in a River - Incident No. 392

While I was sitting on the bumper of my car last night getting ready to hit the South Branch, this guy walked past me and said, "Hey, how ya doin?"

I said, "Good". And he kept going, leaving bootprints on the pavement from the river in his felt soled, chest high, waders. He had on a old, fraying at the edges, greenish ballcap that had a standard issue, red Boston Red Sox "B" over the brim. His hair was over his ears and salt and peppery colored, medium height, wrinkled vest, net, and generally what you see these days on the river......that, or the other species of fly fisherman known as an "Orvis Cowboy". You know, the guy that has all the latest and greatest, highly marketed gear that thinks the more he spends, the more he looks like a bad-ass, top of the skill pyramid, fly fisherman.........Right!

So, a short while later, I'm at the head of a run casting to a couple of trout that were lazily rising to no apparent insect matter along the opposite bank. Downstream I see Mr. Redsox entering the lower end of the same long pool. No problem by me, he's 75-80 yards downstream of me. I do notice, actually can't help but notice, his casting style is less poetry-in-motion and more washing machine. Did you ever swish a stick back and forth in water? Well, that's what his casting sounded like.

A short while later I hook a small brown trout and it fights mightily, splashing about as I bring it in.

"DUDE! That's awesome, you nailed one!" I look downstream and there is Mr. Redsox now about 40 yards downstream of me shouting. "Cool!"

I said, "Thanks, it really isn't that big. I'll take it though."

"Oh, but man, you got him on TOP! That was soooo cool." He says, and then continues slashing the water.

I thought to myself, What's the deal with this guy? He's bobbing and weaving in his waders, casting like a monkey might if it had a fly rod, and he had this silly, happy as a clam, smile on his face. We, I mean I, kept fishing and out of the corner of my eye I could see Mr. Redsox slowly working his way towards me.

He lights a cigarette, and sucks in the first drag like he's a 4 year old kid using a straw and his glass is almost empty of lemonade. Hisssssssss.

I just smiled and tried to concentrate, but I kept thinking, What's the deal?

I get another take, but I miss it. Mr. Redsox sees it and at the top of his lungs, "Ohhhhhh, man, that was in your face man. Fail!"

I started laughing, "Do I know you?" This guy was hyper and having too much fun. Again, I thought, What's the deal with this guy?

And then, as though he heard me, he says quietly as though we were surrounded by cops, "Dude, there's nothing like getting stoned and fly fishing. Everything is beautiful out here."

And there was the moon..........


Rainy day woman would be proud.

Monday, June 29, 2009

More Fishing Vicariously - Death Wish XVI: The Stream Why

I did finally get out yesterday - last evening - and of course, 5 minutes after I got in the water it started raining. A cold, steely rain that came straight down from the heavens. The few flies I saw hatching ditched it when the drops came, never to return, even after the sky dried out as the light faded. I did manage one nice 15 inch rainbow on a cream drake emerger right just as the sky went from dusk to dark.......

So here's a better/more interesting report from our mosquito attracting friend at Singlebarbed:

Death Wish XVI: The Stream Why

What's bugging you?

On the river, you listen more than you talk.

As I've always said, it's not just about's a good read:

Fly-Fishing and Coping on the Big Hole Flathead Beacon

I do have one question/thought.....if gramps was so important, how come the guy didn't leave the river behind for the funeral? Just saying.......

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still No Fishing Going on Around Here.......

Yesterday we actually saw the sun for most of the day. It was beautiful, although humid, and after taking care of some business in the morning, I met a couple of friends at Fiddler's Elbow for a few hours of smacking a little white ball down the lawn and into a little hole. What else can you do when no river within hours of here is at normal flows and clear and you need an outdoor fix?

A wicked, 165 yard, par 3 from an elevated tee that just messes with your head as you line up your tee shot.
And here we have a 584 yard, par 5, dog-leg right.

A downhill par 4......look, blue skies!

It was a pretty quick 18 holes, thanks to all three of us hitting the fairway on just about every hole......and the fact that we had no one in front of us to slow us down or screw up our mojo. Scores in the 70's and a great time that didn't end was date night with my bride.

Now I have to go fishing.............