Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Bluefin tuna in P.E.I. are so hungry they no longer fear humans

Warm-blooded fish with streamlined, torpedo-shaped bodies, they can accelerate faster than a Porsche 911, and reach speeds of more than 125 kilometres an hour over short distances. Despite this prowess, they're far from being conservation campaign darlings like pandas, elephants, and polar bears.

​“Here is an animal that, if it was a land animal, it would be revered," Brian Skerry, Bluefin's underwater photographer notes in the film. "Nobody would ever, I don’t think, allow it to get close to extinction. But because it’s a fish — because it’s sort of out of sight, out of mind, and cold and scaly — people don’t seem to have that same reverence."

Read the full article here: National Observer

Via: Moldy Chum 

Sharpen your hooks and don't eat Bluefin tuna.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Tying A Micro Egg

We all know trout love the eggs of trout, salmon and other fish, and it seems they have a particular fondness for them in winter.  Most of the time anglers fish salmon egg size patterns, of which there are dozens of patterns.  Here Tim shows how to tie a micro egg pattern for times when the larger imitations just don't do the trick.  Once you get the hang of it, tying these should be fairly easy; after that, the biggest challenge for many of us will be seeing what we are doing.  As usual, Tim's instructions and camera work leave little to chance for those that want to tackle the micro egg.

It occurred to me while watching this video that there may be another use for a yellow or orange micro egg.  I always wondered if the trout feed on the bright yellow egg sacs that Hendrickson spinners drop on the water.  If you have ever seen a Hendrickson hatch, you know the females have bright yellow egg sacs on the end of their abdomens that fall off and sink to the bottom of the stream.  Do you think trout feed on them?  It would seem that its an easy meal.  I may have to tie a few of these up and try them next spring during a spinner fall.....you never know unless you try.

Sharpen your hooks!     

Monday, December 18, 2017

Flies We Are Tying

I've been doing a lot of fly tying lately, some for my own fishing, and others to fill wooden fly boxes that are gifts for a couple of friends.  There's nothing like spending an hour or two (or more) in front of warm fire on a cold evening tying flies and thinking about the days to come when you can tie one on the end of your tippet and tempt a trout or two.

Here's a few Pumpkinhead Midges that have become a winter fishing must-have for me.     

(Click images to enlarge)
And here are a few Mathew's Blue-winged Olive Improved Sparkle Duns.  This fly has been my most effective bwo pattern the past few years both here in the Northeast and in the Rocky Mountain trout streams.  The more they get chewed up, the better they seem to work.  Tied on a DaiRiki #125 in sizes 18-24 - these are 18's.

Black and red Smoke Jumpers imitate midges and small mayflies well.  I know a few guys that fish the Upper Delaware River system that love this pattern, especially when the trout get fussy.

And finally, a few Prince Nymphs round out the bunch.  This is a great pattern for just about any freestone river, particularly those with good populations of Isonychias.  I often fish these in tandem with a scud pattern right on the bottom.  And yes, for those of you that know I rarely use head cement, I used UV Bondic on the heads because it just looks right for this pattern.  After all, it has to look good to fish well. ; ) 

And sharpen your hooks!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Visiting Santa

The boys visited Santa today and as you can see they are not too sure about the dude in the red suit with the big white beard.  I think they'll be happy they made the trip though after he brings presents to them at their house, our house, and grandma's house!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dispatch From Ed Ostapczuk

Dec. 1st – NJ wild trout stream: Our youngest grandson needed someone to pick him up after school in New Jersey this afternoon, so I volunteered. I did this partly to help family, and partly to attempt to catch a December trout. I had lots of options, for larger fish, both wild browns and rainbows, but I chose to wander a special place instead, in pursuit of little wild brook trout. This is revered soil, steep in American history, paid for dearly by men committed to the ideals of a young nation. Plus I thought I might be able to seduce a few trout on dry flies, maybe for the last time until next spring.

I wandered some trails and found my way down into a hollow. The brook was clear, cold, and very low; somehow I don’t think the Garden State received as much rain as the eastern Catskills did in late October. Fish dimpled as I setup; a few tiny midges buzzed above the brook. Still I attached a #18 Adams, one of my favorite flies for situations like this. Without much effort, I successfully put all these fish down without nicking any. Thus I slowly worked my way up the tiny flow.

Soon I came upon a favorite spot, one that has always produced for me no matter the conditions, one where I think a spring seeps into the brook. Fish dimpled; I nicked two here, then caught my first little wild brook trout, all five inches of a mighty fish.

Continuing on I moved several more fish. Wherever one dimpled, it took my Adams though I fell short of hooking them all. And in likely looking spots, if I twitched the Adams--- a la Leonard Wright, often a fish would appear out of nowhere to grab it. I probably moved about two dozen fish to the dry fly, catching 9 brook trout.

Then around 12:30 conditions changed. For one thing, an overhanging branch stole my only #18 Adams on a sloppy backcast. So I attached a #18 Dorato Hares Ear, but it wasn’t the same, no fault of the pattern I’m sure. Shade creeped throughout the hollow, and masked the brook. Air temperatures dropped, bugs disappeared, and trout stopped rising. This little flow was shutting down for the day.

I spooked a couple more trout in sunlit tailouts, even a fish that probably pushed 8” to 9” long. But I only caught two more brook trout before quitting at 1:15 PM.

Thus today I wandered and fished this hollow for 2¼ hours, catching 11 wild brook trout 4” to 6” long all on dry flies, but only two fish during the last forty-five minutes.

If one has never fished this time of year, or during winter, I feel that angler has truly missed something unique. For one I know when summer fishing at Frost Valley, some days catching trout by the dozens, I often take moments like those for granted and don’t value each individual trout as much as I should. This time of year I believe the angling window of opportunity is very narrow, often one needing to be on the water when fish are active for a limited time. When a trout stream comes alive, when bugs move and fish feed, when a trout--- no matter its size--- puts a bend in one’s rod, and then just like that, everything shuts off for the day, maybe several days, those are magically moments to be appreciated and not diminished.

As Rene Harrop wrote in Trout Hunter, “Treat each trout as an individual and with respect. A wild trout is a worthy opponent; therefore, study it carefully and take nothing for granted.”

Growing up in the Garden State I never knew this environment existed, a sad commentary on my part. For now I’m probably done fishing for December, unless I get a bad case of the piscatorial itch, or we get a very warm day and I try a Catskill stream still open in hopes of finding a few rising trout. But for now, December is in the books.

So that’s it.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Perfect Body

I've been tying a lot of Catskill dries lately, and I thought I would share what I think is the key to getting a nice even body on a quill bodied fly. It's kind of like building a house; you have to start with a solid, level foundation so that the framing can be laid evenly on it.  In fly tying, that means making uniform, purposeful wraps of thread as you tie in the butts of the wing and the tail of the fly.  Simply put, every wrap of thread should have a purpose.  

Here's a Red Quill showing the before and after of the quill being wrapped.  I've coated the quill after wrapping it with head cement, which draws out the rich, red color of the natural red hackle stem.   I don't care for dyed quill quill bodies as they are too uniform in color.  Stripping a natural red/brown saddle hackle of the hackles, wrapping it, and then coating it after wrapping it brings out what is to me the perfect male hendrickson body imitation.        

Sharpen your hooks.