Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Does the Pumpkin Head Midge Work?

It was so nice yesterday, I took the afternoon off and headed to the South Branch of the Raritan to enjoy what may have been the last warm day of the year.   The air was calm and warm, nearly 70 degrees at 1:00pm, with high scattered clouds breaking up the bright blue sky. 

I started out fishing a scud with no takers, so I switched flies to a Pumpkin Head.  I fished it on a short line, no weight, letting it drift freely in the water column at whatever level it wanted.   In short order I was rewarded with a nice rainbow.  Take a look at that Pumpkin Head in the top jaw of the fish.......      

After releasing the fish, I continued to work the run and soon was again rewarded with another rainbow. You can see how clear the water was.  Steath was the order of the day - short, slow, careful steps to minimize wake and foot noise on the bottom.  Here again, check out the Pumpkin Head in this one's jaw.   

It went on this way for a while as I worked my way down through the run taking a step downstream every few casts.  I hooked and landed quite a few fish on the same fly, before surrendering it to a tree branch that hung over the bottom of the run.

I then moved up river to a slower, deeper pool, where a new Pumpkin Head nymph drew the trout to it like a child to candy.  After a while I switched to a beadhead Bird's Nest just to see if it was the fly or the presentation.I used the same size Bird's Nest, on the same leader and tippet, and did not even get a hit on it.  So I switched back to the Pumpkin Head, and caught a few more fish.......some days it goes that way.

Darkenss came early and with that, the fishing had to come to a close. The air had cooled and my head was clear, and the catching had been as good as one could expect. It was a wonderful late November afternoon on the river that will feed the mind when tying on those cold winter days to come when the sun is low and wind is high.

If you missed it, the video on how to tie the Pumpkin Head can be found on the right under Fly Tying Videos.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2011 One-Fly Competition and NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year Award held at the Raritan Inn in Hunterdon County, NJ

The New Jersey Chaper of Trout Unlimited held their one-fly competition and annual banquett recently at the Raritan Inn in Califon, NJ, and Tightline Productions filmed the festivities.  It was a very cool but sunny day, well attended, and the competition went down to the wire.  We were there for the fishing, and had a great time catching up with friends and watching the guys fish for the big prize.  Congratulations to Angelo Conti, who won the event.

This is likely to become an annual event.  We'll post info when next year's is planned, so you can join the fun.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

“Far Side of the World” Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

Our friend and photographer, JB McCollum, recently returned from a trip to Southeast Asia where he captured images of the people, the land, and the history that defines this region of the world.  And to celebrate, he invites the public to join him on December 9, 2011, at the Fordyce Studio in Long Valley, New Jersey, on opening night of his Photo Gallery Show.

 Please join JB, his family and friends, including Mr. Caddis Chronicles, on Opening Night from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at:

Fordyce Studio
16 Schooley's Mountain Road
Long Valley, NJ

Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served.

The show runs from December 9, 2011 to January 13, 2012.


MWF 5-7    Sat/Sun 11-2
APPT. ONLY - Dec 23-Jan 2 call (908) 268-5773  

For further information and directions
please feel free to contact JB at
(908) 268-5773 or
[email protected]

Hope to see you there.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Head Fly Beads

Since many of you asked, here is the info on where I get the Fl. Orange beads (Pumpkin Heads):

LINK: Wingaersheek Flies

They have all kinds of tungsten and other beads, as well as a selection of other fly tying materials.  Also, they will be at the Marlboro, MA and Somerset, NJ Fly Fishing Shows in January 2012.

Tie some up and don't forget to sharpen those hooks...and they will get dull as the tungsten beads gets the fly DOWN on the bottom.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Pumpkin Head Midge Video

Here it is, the Pumpkin Head Midge.  At least that is what I call it, for obvious reasons.  It's just a version of the hot spot nymph, which for the record, we did not invent.

The Pumpkin head midge is a very effective fly that works quite well now, and in the winter months.  It will also take fish the rest of the year as well, so don't leave home without it.  I use pheasant tail for the tail and abdomen, and a bump of white/clear zelon or antron for a wing bud, or whatever - I just like the contrast it gives the fly.  And the peacock herl thorax speaks for itself, or I should say the trout have spoken in favor of it since it was first used to decorate womens hats back in the day.

Again, kudos to Tim and Joan Flagler of Tightline Productions for their extra effort in producing another great quality video in record time. We hope you enjoy it.

Stop by our tying table at the International Fly Tying Symposium this weekend if want a tutorial on this or any other fly for that matter.

International Fly Tying Symposium

The big fly tying event is finally upon us this coming weekend.  As usual it takes place at the Doubletree Hotel in Somerset, NJ.  We'll be there tying flies along with many other outstanding fly tyers from throughout the world.  So come on down if you can and stop by my table and say hi.  We'll have the tying videos we've made with Tightline Productions playing on a monitor, and we'll be happy to show you any techniques or patterns you may have questions about.

LINK: International Fly Tying Symposium

The show hours are:

Saturday 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday   9:00AM - 4:30PM

Hope to see you there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do You Smell Something?

I do, and it's my fishing!  I did get out yesterday for a couple of hours, and managed the skunk.  I did hook one of the bastards, but this time the trout won the battle- popped the fly off like my 5X tippet was really 8X.  Yep, the knot broke.  It happens.

When I left the house I was full of positive anticipation.  The weather seemed to be good and the river called, so we suited up, rigged up, and set foot in the cold, clear water.  And it was cold, very cold in fact, and before long I was wishing I had worn my thermal pants and more than a sweater.  But I fished hard until the cold made my fingers hard as stone, and worthless for the most part.

We all need days like these.  They teach us that the seasons have really changed despite bright sun and calm skies, and wishes for days past.  And so we need to change our clothing choice and fishing tactics. I guess its all part of the experience, and in the end, its all good.

On another note, the homestead is back together as of today with the exception of the metal chimney cover/cap, and the gutter.  This is a good thing, because I was getting tired of hearing the deer laughing in the morning at the state of the house as they drank from the pond.

AND if you are in the area this weekend, be sure to come to the International Fly Tying Symposium at the Double Tree Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey.  Stop by and say hi, I'll be mixed in there with the gang of fellow Jersey boys.

LINK: International Fly Tying Symposium Homepage

Check your knots and sharpen your hooks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Post "Shit Happens" Post

What happens to a tree before it becomes firewood?

It falls on your house......

That was some snowstorm - way too early and way too much.  Our power was out for 9 days, we were out of the house for 9 days, and we now have enough firewood for the next 20 years.  Our contractor did a great job putting the house back together this week, and the only thing left to repair is the fireplace.  

No one got hurt, and we still love living in the woods, surrounded by hardwoods, birds, deer, fox and the quiet that let's you think and dream free of the static of suburban living. 

Today we're going to make another fly tying video with Tightline Productions, and then we'll fish until dark.  River conditions are great - the water levels are good, clarity almost too good, and most of the leaves are out of the water column.  And we have the perfect fall weather - cool with high thin clouds and a slight breeze.

Sharpen your hooks........and your chainsaw.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Time Out for Technical Difficulties

We got clobbered by the No'easter this past weekend, so we won't be posting for a few days...or fishing, or tying, for that matter. 

We have no power here at the homestead, and no fireplace to keep warm, thanks to an oak tree that came down on the house Saturday night that took out a corner of the house and the chimney.  We were out at the time, so we didn't experience the noise mayhem it must have made when it fell.  Our street was blocked by a number of trees so we have been walking in and out from 1/2 mile away.  The town is clearing the trees now, and I'm waiting for the insurance adjuster and writing this using my wireless card.  Things will be back to normal before you know it.

Anyway, hope you all are well, and we'll be back after a short break.