Let's just say we had a great time at the show as expected. Friday night we prepped by going out to Characters Pub and enjoying a good meal, good beer and got caught up with each other before hitting the pillow early. Saturday the show was very busy with lots of folks stopping by to chat, ask tying and fishing questions, and just talk about fly fishing. My presentations were very well attended, which is always a plus......one never wants to become passe', do they? There were a couple of highlights to the day, one being a visit by my college buddy Gary, stopping by and surprising me after a couple of decades of involuntary incommunicado. He and I hung out all the time at what was then, Mansfield State College (now University), and fished whenever we could; somehow we lost touch after a couple of years. Saturday it was like we saw each other yesterday......
And then there was Doug Freemann showing up with his mom - he is the young fly tyer and fisherman you may remember from my Somerset Fly Fishing Show post. He brought a few more of his flies. Here's a couple of Frenchie nymphs he tied after watching the Tightline Productions video on how to tie them. As you can see below, he does a great job, and in the tradition of all great tyers, he altered the fly to his own liking by using a peacock quill coated with Hard as Nails for the abdomen. (Tim tied his Frenchie nymph in the video with the traditional pheasant tail and wire rib.) Now we just need to get Doug out on the stream to see if he can fish as well as he ties. I'm betting he does. (I may have to bum a few of his flies off him, too, so I can catch a few....)
(Click on image to enlarge)
And here's an aerial view of one half of Tyers Row - some great fly tyers and good people all around. I'd show you the other half of the bunch, but my camera skills rival that of a drunk that's blind in one eye, and wears a patch on the other.
And here's my tying table, complete with the latest spool of Danville 6/0 Olive thread winding down (unwinding?) to the end. You can see the next spool not far away, anxiously awaiting it's turn on the Rite Bobbin.
Sunday was somewhat quieter, with a smaller crowd, and another good turnout at my presentation. I cast the new Hardy Zenith rod, a 9ft 4pc 5 wt, and after not buying a new rod for 20 years+, I'm adding this one to my modest collection. The rod cast with very good line control, and not so much speed that I couldn't forget about my casting stroke and focus on my target. A very nice fishing rod (as opposed to being just a good casting rod) for medium to big waters.
Oh, and Doug, have fun tying the rest of the March Brown on the winged hook I gave you. I'm looking forward to the result, and posting it here for everyone to see.....
Thanks for the report Mat - enjoyed the read. Also enjoyed your admission, confession to some (!) that you haven't invested in a new rod for some 20yrs. It's encouraging to those of us who rely on familiar and trusted tackle, that a veteran of our sport isn't necessarily using this years latest gear.
And have to ask, what is the 9' five weight that served you so well over the last couple of decades? And what plans for old faithful now?
Enjoy the new rod :)
Good question. My favorite rod and the one I use 90% of the time is Winston IM6 8.5ft3pc5wt. I never saw a reason to have more than a few rods for specific situations that fit my needs and "feel" when I fish. As you know, most rod changes are made so companies can sell more rods, and not necessarily because the rods are better fishing tools than the last latest and greatest model. I've cast hundreds of rods over the years, and the Zenith I cast the other day was definitely different in a very good way. The 9ft5wt I presently use for big water and wind is a 2pc T&T LPS. I've been looking for a 4pc though for travel reasons.
How was opening day for you?
That kid does tie some nice flies.....and a modest collection of rods? That's funny....I've seen that pile in your garage....
Hi again - v. sound reasoning Mat. I'm not against keeping up with the latest kit per se, but I can't afford too and I sometimes wonder of folk overlook the value of getting to know a rod intimately, and how to optimise it in a range of conditions. I used the same 6' 6" three weight for three seasons and nothing else... when I hooked up a 17" wild borwn on 7X tippet plus a #26 dun I know exactly what pressure I could apply to land and release the fish fast.... maybe I'm a slow learner :)
Opening day was wonderful, a full 8hrs on stream, covering a range of water in warm, bright conditions. The water levels are low, cold and there's little cover this early in the season. Four strikes, two hooks ups and one dink brought to hand... but was back in to the rhythm of casting almost immediately. Roy Christie has most of the pics on his camera..... Roll on Friday afternoon for a couple of hours. And hanks for asking.
... forgive the typo's/grammar... long day
Mr. Q, yes he does tie a nice fly. And, you are nuts! :)
Andy, glad you enjoyed your day on the water and your casting didn't lose a beat. I look forward to your report!
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