Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Gift of Rain

We got our first good dose of rain in months yesterday, and it was much needed.  With the cold weather on its way, the very low rivers we had would have been very vulnerable to anchor ice if we got one of those major freezes.  Instead, we have rivers full to their banks today that look more like chocolate milk than trout water.  That's okay, in a few days they will recede and clear, and if you're up for spending some time out in the chill, they should fish well.
You likely won't see any dry fly action, but nymphs and streamers will take fish.  Be patient and don't be afraid to fish the skinny water.  You would be surprised how often trout hold in the skinny stuff as long as it has some cover, flow and a quick route to deep water protection.  Faster runs that have a choppy surface and bank side water comes to mind this time of the year.  Not that the pools and deeper runs are not going to hold feeding fish, it's just that this time of year I seem to have some pretty good days fishing the "other water".
I like to start downstream of where I intend to fish, and work my way up, casting a weighted nymph without split shot into likely holding water.  I strip my line back to me just short of pulling the fly, and if my line or leader stops or jumps, I lift my rod.  Drop your fly right along side of rocks and what's left of overhanging shrubs and leafless tree branches.  Cover the water systematically and take your time.  I find fishing this way to be very relaxing and easy on the mind, as well as productive.
Flies?   I like pheasant tail nymphs, with or without a bead, pumpkinhead nymphs, beadhead caddis larvae, weighted hare's ear nymphs, weighted scuds and zebra midges. No need to get fancy, tie on a fly that you know works for you - don't guess or hope, go with a pattern you have confidence in.  If you like a two fly rig, by all means, fish that way.
Dress warm, bring a friend, and enjoy the clean, chilly air, and the peace being on the river in winter brings.
Sharpen your hooks!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Montana Fly Fishing Magazine

If you want to be in Montana fly fishing, or would like to know more about it as you plan your trip there in the future, or just want to feed your obsession, here's a great magazine for you.  Good writing and some great photography.

Click here: Montana Fly Fishing Magazine

Saturday, December 15, 2012

One Thought.........

If you do nothing else today, tell your kid(s) that you love them. It's the only thing that truly matters in this crazy world.
I spoke to each of mine yesterday, and it was the best sound in the world......

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Beadhead Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Nymph

This is one of my favorites, particularly in the winter months.  Tie some up and fish them hard, with or without a dropper.

Sharpen your hooks.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Couple of Bright Spots on an Otherwise Gray Day

Today was one of those late fall days that keeps most fisherman off the water and in the house.  Most, but not all, and I was one of those that just had to get out and see what the trout might be up to.  The sun hid behind the heavy clouds, and the air was damp but still.  Last night's rain brought the river up some, but it was still mostly clear but quite chilly.
The fishing was unhurried and pleasant despite the chill, and the trout cooperative.  A couple of nice rainbows and brown came to hand, and this monster that took a black beadhead bugger, brightened the day considerably.
The other rainbows came on nymphs, and a simple soft hackle took the brown. 
Sharpen your hooks! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tying the Hornberg Dry

Who knew?  A Hornberg dry? I sure didn't until Tim Flager tied it and produced this fine video.  Like the well-known wet, its a fairly straightforward pattern made from common materials.  It looks great, and as Tim shows here, it catches fish.


Hook: Dai Riki #310 size 18
Thread: 6/0 Olive Danville
Body:Flat silver tinsel
Underwing: Yellow saddle hackle fibers
Overwing: Mallard flank fibers
Hackle: Mixed grizzly and brown

Tie some up, and sharpen your hooks!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2012 NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year Video

As I've previously posted, we had a great time at the event this year.  Tim Flagler produced this video of the day's events, and as usual, he did a great job capturing the highlights of the day.  He even caught me on tape holding a jar of florescent red salmon eggs - yep, I tied those, and we'll be making a video of how you can tie them, too.

It was very enjoyable to spend the day with, and speak in front of, so many friends and truly good people that volunteer their time to various activities in TU's conservation efforts in the Garden State.

We hope to see you at next year's event, when Angelo goes for the three-peat, and who knows maybe it will be one of you that takes the title.
Sharpen your hooks!