Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Most Beautiful Fish On Earth - A Fishing Report

Last week Doug headed south to North Carolina to fish with a couple of his friends from the U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team, Hunter Hoffler and Hunter Enloe.  They fished the Nantahala River in western North Carolina, within the Nantahala National Forest, and near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The river is a tailwater that Trout Unlimited lists as one of the United States "Top 100" trout streams. Doug tells me it is an incredible trout fishery.

Doug reports that the fishing was great.  The top flies were metallic pink bead Hare's Ear nymphs, CDC collared Hare's Ears, and Squirmies, mostly in size #12, and although Doug didn't say, I would bet they were tied jig style.  All of these flies are competition style flies you can Google to see and get the recipes for.

So what about these most beautiful fish on earth?  That is what Doug calls the Nantahala's wild rainbow trout, and he may be right.

Looks like I'll be taking a trip to North Carolina with Doug in 2015.

Sharpen you hooks.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We celebrated  last evening with my three children, Megan, Matt and Leigh, and Jon and Nate and of course, Henley.  And below the Little Man celebrates his first Christmas morning.

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The 6/0 Olive Danville Effect

This morning I was the instructor at the Sunday free fly tying class at Shannon's Fly Shop in Califon, NJ. We had a good crowd, about 12 guys, and a few more standing, watching, and enjoying the proceedings with the rest of us.  It truly is a lot of fun for everyone; we tie a few flies, share fishing stories, have plenty of laughs, and in the end I think I get as much out of the sessions as the folks that come to learn.  And if that were not enough, eleven of the twelve tiers were using olive thread!  I wonder where they got the idea that olive was a good thread color for most flies?

Shortly after I got home from the class, my daughter Leigh and the Little Man, Henley, arrived at the house to stay for a few days.  After we ate some lunch, the three of us went out and got our Christmas tree and a wreath for the front door.  At ten months old, Henley clearly has no idea what all the fuss is about, but he seemed to enjoy all the activity at the farmstand where lots of folks were buying trees, wreaths, poinsettias and apple cider.  

If you haven't asked for it already, 6/0 olive Danville thread would make a great gift this holiday season, don't you think?

Sharpen your hooks! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tying the Hippie Chick Midge

In keeping with the winter fly theme, in this video, Tim Flagler ties up a simple UV midge pattern shown to him by our friend Bill Sylvia.  I haven't fished this one, but I've heard noting but good reports on its effectiveness on local rivers and streams.  

Sharpen your hooks.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tis the Season

Henley and his cousins Beckett and Mya, visiting Santa at Bass Pro Shops.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A View From the South Branch

(Click photo to enlarge)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Changing Seasons

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend.  On Thursday, my friend Paul sent me a photo taken from the deck of his house in Roscoe overlooking the Beaverkill River,  When I saw it, I recalled that I had taken a photo when I was at the house in early October when fishing with Douglas. The photos are taken from slightly different angles through the same gap in the trees that frame the river below.  You can see there is a lot more water in the river now then there was two months ago. Of course, the view is wonderful any time of the year.


Despite the chill, there is something magical about being along a river this time of the year.  The cold air is often so still the only sounds you hear are winter songbirds, a squirrel gnawing on a hickory nut in the trees above, and the soft gurgle of the low, clear river passing by.  Looking down the river corridor, a layer of blue-gray smoke blankets the tree tops as it wafts from chimneys below; the last remnant of the fires warming homes that line the valley floor. Even the fishing is unhurried - the lack of insects and the need to know which one, or ones, the trout are feeding on frees the mind from the burden of choosing the right fly for the situation. One simply ties a subsurface fly they have the utmost confidence in and fishes it accordingly, typically deep and slow to bring the offering right to the fish's nose.  The takes are gentle, often belied only by subtle vibrations of the angler's line where it pierces the surface of the water.   The fishing is easy. The catching? Well, sometimes that happens, too.

Sharpen your hooks.