Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Fly Fishing Show - Somerset New Jersey

The big fly fishing show is this coming to New Jersey weekend - January 29, 30 & 31 - at the Garden State Convention Center 50 Atrium Drive in Somerset, NJ.  We'll be there all three days tying flies, signing books, doing presentations, and on Sunday teaching a fly tying class.  Show Hours are: Friday 9am – 6pm  Saturday 8:30am – 6:00pm and Sunday 9am – 4:30pm.

Here's my schedule for the weekend:

Author's Booth - Friday 2:30 PM, Saturday 3:30 PM, Sunday 11:00 AM

Friday Seminar - Strike Room 1:00 PM – Eastern Hatches and their Imitations

Saturday Seminar - Catch Room 2:00 PM – Eastern Hatches and their Imitations

Sunday Seminar - Strike Room 1:00 PM – Fishing Dry Flies and Emergers for Trout

Sunday Fly Tying Class - 2:00 PM - Tying Simple Dry Flies for Sophisticated Trout - Students will learn how to tie and fish a number of very effective mayfly and caddis dry flies/emergers that require three or less materials to complete. Tying instruction will also include detailed information on when and how to fish each fly as the pattern applies to a specific hatch or emergence. 6/0 olive Danville thread is optional, but preferred. Intermediate. Click HERE to register.

Fly Tying Class: Bring your own lamp, vise, tools & a basic selection of materials.

For more information on the show, directions and other programs being offered, click here: The Fly Fishing Show - Somerset, NJ

Hope you see you there.

Sharpen your hooks!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Birthday Henley!

It's hard to believe that Little Man is not so little anymore.  The next generation of fly fisher in the family is as tall as kids typically one year older.  Let's hope he switches to a baseball cap by the time he gets on the water. : )

Sharpen your hooks.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Live the Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys Trailer

I've been fortunate enough to sit with Joe Humphreys and talk fly fishing, laugh, and learn about life on a number of occasions, and it has made me all the more richer for it.  He's a wonderful man who inspires many people in subtle ways, and some not so subtle ways; he has a passion for fly fishing and life that rubs off on just about everyone that has the pleasure of meeting him.

LIVE THE STREAM is a documentary about fly fishing legend Joe Humphreys and his lifelong journey to share the sport he loves while inspiring a greater respect for our local waters.

This documentary tries to keep up with Joe “Hump” for one year both on and off the stream as he inspires first-timers and professionals alike to better their fly fishing techniques in the splendor of nature. It’s a relatable and moving story of youthfulness in the heart of life’s progression, a film that explores the significance of family and community foundations and the idea that water can be a healing resource for anyone that steps in the stream. Even if you know nothing about fly fishing there’s something for everyone in this endearing documentary because for Joe, fly fishing is a lifeline.........

Read more about this project and how you can contribute here: Live The Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys.

Sharpen your hooks.

Monday, January 18, 2016

More On Matt's Buzzer

On December 24, 2015, I posted the Tightline Productions video (see it here) on how to tie my buzzer and since then we have received a bunch of emails with questions on the fly.  It's really nothing special, buzzers have been around for a long time, and this is just the way I tie it, which has been very effective when either fished alone or in tandem with another nymph or under a dry. 

On these flies I have used a piece of red/orange flexx floss for the "wing case", whereas in the video I used red dyed goose primary sections, which is how I tied the original fly many years ago before the rubber floss was available.  I tie them with and without beads, the beadless ones work quite well fished in tandem behind a larger nymph in faster sections of tail waters.  Also, in the original I used Sally Hanson Hard as Nails for the finish, which works well and doesn't require a UV light to cure, but does takes two coats and has to be turned to avoid dripping or sagging.  Once you have tied a couple, you should find them fairly easy to whip out using Bondic or any other UV cure product.  The key is keeping the fly slender, particularly the abdomen.

Here's a black Matt's Buzzer without the bead head.

Here's the original chartreuse with and without the bead head, with the flexx floss wing case on a size #12 hook.

I also tie them in olive, yes, using 6/0 olive danville thread for both the abdomen and thorax, and in $3 dollar dip brown, which is 6/0 tobacco brown danville thread - color #47.

Tie some up, and sharpen your hooks!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tying the Snowflake Sculpin

I've  known, fished, and tied flies with John Collins for many years, and I can safely say his passion for fly fishing has never waned.   He's created some very effective, unique patterns, such as his Electric Caddis, that is a standard in many fly boxes in these parts.  His flies catch fish, and his Snowflake Sculpin is no exception.  Here John teams up with Tim Flagler to show us how to tie this effective streamer pattern.  I can say from experience, this pattern works, as I have caught some very nice trout on it, particularly in the winter months.

Don't hesitate to tie this pattern in other colors to imitate the various sculpin and minnows that most certainly live in the waters you fish.  If there are trout in a creek or body of water, there are minnows, and this pattern can imitate them all just by changing the color scheme.

Sharpen your hooks.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Second Outing of 2016


Despite having a touch of the flu, I decided to fish today, believing that a positive outlook was the best medicine.  I also figured that with an extended forecast calling for much colder temperatures over the next couple of weeks, I would have regretted it if I stayed home.  Besides, my nose was going to run and my stomach was going to feel like crap no matter where I spent the afternoon, so why not spend it doing what I love.

The day was damp, and the air heavy, often with a fine mist falling from thick gray clouds.  The ambient temperature was in the low 40's, with an off and on breeze making it feel colder at times.  The river had remnant shelf ice along the edges from a couple of single digit nights during the prior week.  Water was clear, at a nice level, and fairly chilly as registered by my bare hands.  I saw a few anglers up and down river from me, but I was mostly alone and happy to be on the water.

As I always do before I rig up, I cleaned my fly line.  The photo below of the cleaning pad after I ran my line through it illustrates why: it removed quite a bit of fine dirt and river scum from the line even though I had only fished once since I last cleaned it.  Just think how much "stuff" coats your line when you don't clean it for weeks or more!  It only takes a few minutes and it really does make a difference - your line will float and handle very well (like new) every time you fish, and at $75-80 a line, it will last longer - a win-win proposition.        

Today the trout were in the quiet water, at least they were for me.  In three hours of walking the bank and working all of the water within casting distance, I caught a bunch of nice rainbows, all of them in the calmer water alongside the faster runs.  I did fish fast water, too, the pockets and deeper pools, but to no avail.  I also did something I rarely do, I fished two flies.  The anchor fly a Walt's Worm, with a brown and yellow LaFontaine sparkle caddis pupa as a dropper about 12 inches off of the heavier fly.  For the record, I tie the dropper to the eye of the anchor fly, not to the bend.  I like that this set-up leaves the hook of the anchor fly unencumbered.  Here's the largest fish of the day, a nice rainbow that took the Walt's and jumped a few times before coming to net. 

All in all, it was a good day on the water, especially for mid-January.

Sharpen your hooks.

Bubble Feeding Whale

Our friend Bill Shuck sent us this video of a large whale bubble feeding right off a dock in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Welcome 2016

So here we are, another 365 day journey around the sun has passed and a new journey has begun.  It's not like anything stopped, we just passed a milestone known as January 1st, and kept on moving on. Did we learn anything during the 2015 journey?  I hope so, after all, what's the point if you remain static from journey to journey.  With a new job and a long drought that gave us historic low flows in our region, we learned a lot both in the office and on the stream. And the best part was spending time with my grandson.  We spent the better part of the holidays down in Hilton Head with the little man and his mom and dad, and had a blast enjoying our family and daily temps in the low 80's. Here's Henley and his mom on a short flight we took to spend the day in Charleston - Henley's dad was at the controls.

And we started off the new year by catching our first trout of the year after we got home.

Sharpen your hooks!