Monday, September 28, 2009

He Could Have Been Talking to Himself.......

Thanks to Ron Luchesi for this one

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 11, 2009


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