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

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.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The International Fly Tying Symposium

We had a great weekend at the Symposium sharing a tying table this year with Tim Flagler, who as most of you know from his videos, is a very talented fly tyer. It was a lot of fun tying with him as many folks who have seen his work both at the vice and with producing the videos, got to meet him and show their appreciation for his efforts. Knowing first hand how much time and effort he puts into each video, it was great to see.   

Here's Tim putting the finishing touches on a nymph.

Douglas and his friends came to visit us today, which was a highlight of the weekend.  Doug, Bryson, and Alex, are members of the USA Youth Fly Fishing Team, and they share a passion for the sport much like I had at their age (and still have). Here's a short video I took of Doug today as he explains what some anglers do to get drag-free drift with dries to Tim.  Not only is Doug a very good fishermen, he can also articulate the nuances of the sport equally as well.


And finally, here's Bryson doing his imitation of Tim at the vice.

Sharpen your hooks. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tying the Smoke Jumper

I'm back in the saddle again, having sat down with Tim Flagler this past Sunday to tie this wonderful midge pattern under the lights.  It couldn't be simpler to tie, and the variations are unlimited.  I tie it here in a size #16, but recommend that you carry them in smaller sizes as well, especially for the winter months when the trout sip the little bugs hatching from the meniscus.

And don't forget to come see Tim and I and all the other fly tyers at the International Fly Tying Symposium this weekend at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Raritan, New Jersey.  Click on the link to the right for more information.

Sharpen your hooks!