Friday, February 26, 2010

Help save St. Vincent's Hospital

I'm forwarding this message from a friend's son John. He recently had his second double lung transplant at Penn Medicine, Philadelphia. It was successful but if it wasn't for St. Vincent's Hospital, Manhattan keeping him strong and healthy he would not have had the strength for the operation.

I've lost several close friends to Cystic Fibrosis and we need to do whatever we can to keep clinics like this functioning and working towards a a cure.

Please read and sign the petition to keep the St. Vincent's CF clinic functioning. Lives depend on it.


Hello Family & Friends,

Lungboy2 here! I rarely ever ask for a favor but today I am asking for your help in a matter which is very close to my heart.

Most of you are probably not aware but the hospital I have attended for my pulmonary exacerbations, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center of New York, is in serious financial difficulties and as a result of this the Cystic Fibrosis Center, which has been my home for the 37 years prior to my first double lung transplant as I fought my battle with CF and today after my second double lung transplant, is in danger of closing its doors.

The CF Center has been a place of comfort and support for me. They kept me healthy and were extremely instrumental in getting me listed for my first double lung transplant at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Seven Years later they would again prove to be a formidable ally. They worked diligently to find a center that would perform my second transplant. During this time they worked expeditiously coordinating and disseminating records and documentation that were needed for my initial acceptance into the program at University of Pennsylvania (UOP).

Before, during and after my second transplant their concern, love and understanding shone through like a beacon of strength. They continued their tireless work on my behalf and were always concerned about my progress and in constant contact with the doctors at UOP. Dr. Walker from the CF Center at St. Vincent’s even showed up at my first bronchcoscopy post transplant to “say hello”!

They have not only been my ‘medical board of directors’ they have been like family and were very supportive and instrumental in many facets of my growth: first as a child, then in my troubled adolescence (those were great times, weren’t they? No?) and well into adulthood. But they were also the exact same thing to many patients whom I share this disease with.

There were instrumental in the first clinical trials for Pulmozyme, a mucus thinner for which I was a participant and later for TOBI an inhaled antibiotic that reduced dreadful side affect, side affects which I was a victim of prior to the advent of this new drug. They are currently conducting three of today’s most exciting clinical research studies: Inspire, Vertex-770 and PTC-124.

At 300 patients strong, this center is vibrant and on the cutting edge of CF research and clinical care. In my estimation it is one of the best clinics and hospital programs that I have ever spent time in.

I am not sure if there is really much we can do but I am asking you all to sign the petition. It will take as long as it takes you to write your name and address. And if you feel compelled please pass this on to others. Here’s the Go to the right side of the page under Contact Our Elected Officials and click on ***first sign the petition***

Thank you all for you love, friendship and support.

With much Love and Peace,


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Earthquake, Tying Classes and Fishing......Today!

As I was getting ready to leave to teach fly tying this morning, I was looking out the window at the bird feeder and a loud rumbling filled the air.  The floor vibrated slightly, and in seconds it was over - an earthquake.  Our house is only a few miles from the epicenter so we got the most of what was later called a mild earthquake, 2.6!  If it was cloudy and dark, we might have thought it was deep thunder in the distance.

Then it was off to back to back tying sessions at Shannon's fly shop - each a full house of eager tyers.  We tied a Chimarra caddis larva, a hendrickson emerger, and an egg-laying caddis pattern of mine.  Good fun.

After heading home and having lunch with my wife and her walking buddy Megan, I hit the river.  Clear blue skies, full sun and temps in the 40's.  Lots of snow was still on the banks of the river, which was a perfect level, clear and inviting.  As I rigged up while standing in the shallows, fish rose lazily to the few little black flies that landed on the water surface.

I fished the Chimarra caddis larva shown here -

And caught this beauty -
I also hooked two others, but they quickly threw the fly before I could gain any control.........I'm a little rusty I guess.

It's good to be busy...and catch a trout.         

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Okay...Enough of the White Stuff. When are we going fishing?!

It came down hard and heavy all day yesterday, nothing outside was spared of winter's wrath in these parts.  This one was taken yesterday around 4PM from the living room window - that's the front "yard".

This one was taken out the back door last night as the storm was winding down.

This one was taken this morning from the back door.  A winter wonderland - the birds managed to rid the feeder of snow shortly after I took this. 
Isn't it cool how deep-blue the sky is the day after a storm exits the land?  It's like nature's way of apologizing for the darkness, although the snow falling and the calm of the woods has it's own beauty........

It may be chilly, but I'll make a better effort to fish this weekend.  The trout may be feeding opportunistically, because after a mess like we had this week, they have got to be hungry for any little morsal that happens to drfit past them! 

I'm thinking Chimarra caddis larva, their winter drift patterns should be well established by now.  Tie one on! 

Brownline Report - Fly Fishing for Carp

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Opportunistic vs. Selective Feeding

Consider the long held theory that trout feed opportunistically sometimes, and selectively at other times.  The theory goes that when there are few insects of a specific species on the water, the trout will feed opportunistically - they feed on anything that drifts or floats past them.  That is, if they are in the [mood] to feed and there is no hatch, they will feed on whatever is available.

When there is a hatch, it is said that trout feed selectively.  The theory goes that there are many insects of the same species on the water, and therefore, the trout become accustomed to to them and will only feed on them - selectivity being that the trout will forsake all but the abundant (hatching) bug on the water.  They are being "selective".

Who makes up this stuff?

I believe that trout feed opportunistically all the time.  They can't afford to be selective.  How can they? Their number one instinct is survival, so how could they afford to be selective?  Yes, when they are in a feeding mode and a hatch is not taking place, they will feed on anything that passes by them that they sense is food.  And yes, when they are in a feeding mode and an insect is hatching in abundance, they will feed only on the insects that are hatching, and ignore all others.

But it is not selective feeding, it is survival - when an insect is hatching and many of them are available, of course the trout will feed only on them.  It speaks directly to their survival instinct - why take anything else but the bug that is hatching?  They can identify it as food, it's easy to feed on (little energy is needed because the prey is a clear and obvious food item), and identifying anything else is a waste of time.

Trout don't waste time.  They cannot afford to.  When they identify a food source that is abundant (a hatch) they will feed on only that.  It is an opportunity that minimalizes the need to waste any trial and error effort.

I used the term mode, as opposed to mood, to describe the trout's behavior when their bodies tell them they need to feed, intentionally.  One of the problems I think with fly fishing theories is that we tend to anthropomorphize trout behavior. i.e. "trout think".  They do not think, otherwise I might have said "mood" to describe a trout whose biological clock tells it that it needs to eat.  As in, "You know, I'm damn hungry, and there are a load of Pale Morning Duns on the water surface that I am going to sip in like pretzels and beer."

Trout behave, therefore, they cannot be selective.  Selectivity implies that they are making an intellectual choice.

Trout do not think.  They behave, and that behavior has been evolving for eons.

I'm not done with this one.............more to come.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day

The Fly Fishing Show......You Can't Please Everybody

It was over a week ago and I'm finally getting to it.  The show was fun, lots of good energy this year. 

It seemed that there were far more fly shops and dealers than in recent years, which was good to see.  A better balance between the shops and destinations.

My three presentations went well....Friday and Saturday were full, and Sunday was well attended, too.  The rest of the time I tied for lots of people and gave many sample flies away.  Saw a ton of friends and met some new ones.  All in all, one of the better shows the last few years.......who knows, maybe things are getting better and this was a sign.  Let's hope so.

I know I said I would write about some guy that shouted at me that I insulted him, and therefore, he was not going to buy my book, but I think I'll just say this:

When you are at these shows doing demonstrations, book signings, and presentations, you have people constantly asking you for this and that, and some unknowingly interupt or otherwise distract you.  You do your best to be polite and courteous to everyone, but I'm sure we unintentionally miss a few.  So it's possible that's what happened with this guy.  I'd rather he calmly asked me about whatever it was that peeved him so I could respond and/or apologize, rather than shout and run.  End of story.  Go fish!

The rest of the show?  Uneventful, but loads of fun.

On another note, I'm going to make an effort to get out and fish this weekend, even if it's only for a short while.