Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Hope you all are enjoying this holiday season with your family and friends.  Here's a photo of my three children when they still believed in Santa Claus. 


I'm looking forward to having this week off and the plan is to get some fishing in at least a few days.  Reports to follow.  

Cheers! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pat Cohen aka Super Fly

One of the great things about the fly tying and fly fishing shows is that we get to see and meet some incredible fly tyers and people that we might not otherwise have.  Pat Cohen is one of them.  He is an incredible deer hair fly tyer/artist, who not only can tie the standard bass bugs very well, he also creates birds, fish and other wildlife out of dyed deer body hair and feathers using only thread and a steel hook.

Here is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird he recently tied for me to give to my bride.  Ain't that the tits!  Seriously, it's feathers and various colored deer body hair tied on a hook and clipped to shape.   


To view more of Pat's creations and for information on purchasing them, go to his blog: Super Fly

The Fly Fishing Shows are coming up soon, and Pat will be a several of them demonstrating his talents to anyone that wishes to watch and ask questions.  Stop by his tying table - just look for the guy with the colorful flies and a crowd.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tying the RS2

We sat down this week with Tightline Productions and made this video on how to tie one of the most effective small flies we have ever fished - Rim Chung's RS2.  For many tyers, this is a difficult fly to tie, but with a little practice and attention to the details, it is worth the effort.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vinnie's Isonychia Nymph Video

This week we bring you a great nymph pattern that my good friend and regular fishing partner, Vincent Caffarra, developed.  The Isonychia, or Slate Drake as it is commonly known, is very abundant in our Eastern freestone rivers and streams and this pattern mimics the natural well.  In the video, the fly looks somewhat light in color, but once it gets wet it looks like the real thing.  Again, thanks go to Tightline Productions - Tim and Joan Flagler - for another well-produced video.



Fish them all year 'round in sizes #10 down to #16, and sharpen the hook every so often.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Struggles of Mankind

Mr. Q, the master chef and my agent at arms, went fishing yesterday as he usually does on Mondays.  He reports the fishing was tough.  It seems his "trout" would only take very small flies and ignore all else.  Even then, the catching was most difficult despite it being a warm December day.
 
Was it a success?  Yes, and here's the proof.  It took a size #22 midge tied by the Q hisself.


So you may be wondering what its like to be a chef and a trout fisherman.  While I am speculating, I do watch the man while he fishes, and I see the frustration on his face.  He hooks and lands a nice trout, and while it hangs in his landing net the internal struggle begins......."Do I keep it?  Douse it in egg and then cover it in flour.  Lay it in a simmering bath of melted butter, diced onions and some minced garlic?  How good would that be with some rosemary roasted red potatoes and a tall glass of Guinness?" 

He looks around to see if anyone is watching.  He looks at the hapless trout curled in his net, one eye seeing through his soul, and then thinks, "No, he must go back to fight another day."

"Maybe not, I haven't had fresh trout in ages."

Then he comes to his senses and realizes he is in the Gorge and must release his catch, or suffer the consequences of knowing he kept a fish where that is not permitted.....or maybe he just realized the trout is a pellet fed, hatchery version of the real thing that no matter how magical his cooking is, would still taste like wet cardboard.

He releases the fish to fight another day.

Nice job Mr. Q.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Short Report

Who said it was going to be warm today?  It wasn't warm, but it wasn't real cold either, but the water sure was!  I spent the day fishing the South Branch of the Raritan with Lou DiGena, and we did pretty well considering the conditions and the fact that I froze my ass off.

The day was fairly bright, with the sun mostly tempered by high thin clouds.  It did break free of them every so often to warm the hands and face.  The air was in the upper 40's, and the river was somewhat high, clear as gin, and 42 degrees.  Yep, it was a day we needed thermal pants and dry feet, and Lou had them, and I did not.  I forgot my thermoply pants, and my right foot was mostly wet thanks to leaking waders.  Still, we fished a good 5 hours or so and had a good time bringing some nice fish to net.  We fished a very rocky section of the river, and the high water made it tough to wade, especially with my cold, stiff legs.  Almost took a swim more than once!

We caught all rainbows, some decent sized ones, and all of them fought hard.  I got mine on bead head Bird's Nest, LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger, and one on Walt's Worm.  Hooked a couple on the Pumpkin Head, but none came to net.  Lou was using a Czech nymph set-up with three flies, and the only one I can remember he got fish on was the Bomb.  It's big, gnarly gold bead caddis larva tied on a #8 scud hook - I guess Lou's trout wanted big and ugly today!  He got some photos and perhaps he'll post some on his blog - Fly and Fin - link on the right----->

Nothing like fly fishing for trout in December.....and catching fish!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Does the Pumpkin Head Midge Work?

It was so nice yesterday, I took the afternoon off and headed to the South Branch of the Raritan to enjoy what may have been the last warm day of the year.   The air was calm and warm, nearly 70 degrees at 1:00pm, with high scattered clouds breaking up the bright blue sky. 


I started out fishing a scud with no takers, so I switched flies to a Pumpkin Head.  I fished it on a short line, no weight, letting it drift freely in the water column at whatever level it wanted.   In short order I was rewarded with a nice rainbow.  Take a look at that Pumpkin Head in the top jaw of the fish.......      


After releasing the fish, I continued to work the run and soon was again rewarded with another rainbow. You can see how clear the water was.  Steath was the order of the day - short, slow, careful steps to minimize wake and foot noise on the bottom.  Here again, check out the Pumpkin Head in this one's jaw.   


It went on this way for a while as I worked my way down through the run taking a step downstream every few casts.  I hooked and landed quite a few fish on the same fly, before surrendering it to a tree branch that hung over the bottom of the run.

I then moved up river to a slower, deeper pool, where a new Pumpkin Head nymph drew the trout to it like a child to candy.  After a while I switched to a beadhead Bird's Nest just to see if it was the fly or the presentation.I used the same size Bird's Nest, on the same leader and tippet, and did not even get a hit on it.  So I switched back to the Pumpkin Head, and caught a few more fish.......some days it goes that way.


Darkenss came early and with that, the fishing had to come to a close. The air had cooled and my head was clear, and the catching had been as good as one could expect. It was a wonderful late November afternoon on the river that will feed the mind when tying on those cold winter days to come when the sun is low and wind is high.

If you missed it, the video on how to tie the Pumpkin Head can be found on the right under Fly Tying Videos.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2011 One-Fly Competition and NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year Award held at the Raritan Inn in Hunterdon County, NJ

The New Jersey Chaper of Trout Unlimited held their one-fly competition and annual banquett recently at the Raritan Inn in Califon, NJ, and Tightline Productions filmed the festivities.  It was a very cool but sunny day, well attended, and the competition went down to the wire.  We were there for the fishing, and had a great time catching up with friends and watching the guys fish for the big prize.  Congratulations to Angelo Conti, who won the event.


This is likely to become an annual event.  We'll post info when next year's is planned, so you can join the fun.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

“Far Side of the World” Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

Our friend and photographer, JB McCollum, recently returned from a trip to Southeast Asia where he captured images of the people, the land, and the history that defines this region of the world.  And to celebrate, he invites the public to join him on December 9, 2011, at the Fordyce Studio in Long Valley, New Jersey, on opening night of his Photo Gallery Show.
  

 Please join JB, his family and friends, including Mr. Caddis Chronicles, on Opening Night from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at:

Fordyce Studio
16 Schooley's Mountain Road
Long Valley, NJ

Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served.

The show runs from December 9, 2011 to January 13, 2012.

GALLERY HOURS

MWF 5-7    Sat/Sun 11-2
APPT. ONLY - Dec 23-Jan 2 call (908) 268-5773  

For further information and directions
please feel free to contact JB at
(908) 268-5773 or
jb@jbmccollum.com
http://www.jbmccollum.com/

Hope to see you there.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Head Fly Beads

Since many of you asked, here is the info on where I get the Fl. Orange beads (Pumpkin Heads):

LINK: Wingaersheek Flies

They have all kinds of tungsten and other beads, as well as a selection of other fly tying materials.  Also, they will be at the Marlboro, MA and Somerset, NJ Fly Fishing Shows in January 2012.

Tie some up and don't forget to sharpen those hooks...and they will get dull as the tungsten beads gets the fly DOWN on the bottom.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Pumpkin Head Midge Video

Here it is, the Pumpkin Head Midge.  At least that is what I call it, for obvious reasons.  It's just a version of the hot spot nymph, which for the record, we did not invent.

The Pumpkin head midge is a very effective fly that works quite well now, and in the winter months.  It will also take fish the rest of the year as well, so don't leave home without it.  I use pheasant tail for the tail and abdomen, and a bump of white/clear zelon or antron for a wing bud, or whatever - I just like the contrast it gives the fly.  And the peacock herl thorax speaks for itself, or I should say the trout have spoken in favor of it since it was first used to decorate womens hats back in the day.


Again, kudos to Tim and Joan Flagler of Tightline Productions for their extra effort in producing another great quality video in record time. We hope you enjoy it.

Stop by our tying table at the International Fly Tying Symposium this weekend if want a tutorial on this or any other fly for that matter.

International Fly Tying Symposium

The big fly tying event is finally upon us this coming weekend.  As usual it takes place at the Doubletree Hotel in Somerset, NJ.  We'll be there tying flies along with many other outstanding fly tyers from throughout the world.  So come on down if you can and stop by my table and say hi.  We'll have the tying videos we've made with Tightline Productions playing on a monitor, and we'll be happy to show you any techniques or patterns you may have questions about.

LINK: International Fly Tying Symposium

The show hours are:

Saturday 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday   9:00AM - 4:30PM

Hope to see you there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do You Smell Something?

I do, and it's my fishing!  I did get out yesterday for a couple of hours, and managed the skunk.  I did hook one of the bastards, but this time the trout won the battle- popped the fly off like my 5X tippet was really 8X.  Yep, the knot broke.  It happens.

When I left the house I was full of positive anticipation.  The weather seemed to be good and the river called, so we suited up, rigged up, and set foot in the cold, clear water.  And it was cold, very cold in fact, and before long I was wishing I had worn my thermal pants and more than a sweater.  But I fished hard until the cold made my fingers hard as stone, and worthless for the most part.

We all need days like these.  They teach us that the seasons have really changed despite bright sun and calm skies, and wishes for days past.  And so we need to change our clothing choice and fishing tactics. I guess its all part of the experience, and in the end, its all good.

On another note, the homestead is back together as of today with the exception of the metal chimney cover/cap, and the gutter.  This is a good thing, because I was getting tired of hearing the deer laughing in the morning at the state of the house as they drank from the pond.

AND if you are in the area this weekend, be sure to come to the International Fly Tying Symposium at the Double Tree Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey.  Stop by and say hi, I'll be mixed in there with the gang of fellow Jersey boys.

LINK: International Fly Tying Symposium Homepage

Check your knots and sharpen your hooks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Post "Shit Happens" Post

What happens to a tree before it becomes firewood?

It falls on your house......


That was some snowstorm - way too early and way too much.  Our power was out for 9 days, we were out of the house for 9 days, and we now have enough firewood for the next 20 years.  Our contractor did a great job putting the house back together this week, and the only thing left to repair is the fireplace.  

No one got hurt, and we still love living in the woods, surrounded by hardwoods, birds, deer, fox and the quiet that let's you think and dream free of the static of suburban living. 

Today we're going to make another fly tying video with Tightline Productions, and then we'll fish until dark.  River conditions are great - the water levels are good, clarity almost too good, and most of the leaves are out of the water column.  And we have the perfect fall weather - cool with high thin clouds and a slight breeze.

Sharpen your hooks........and your chainsaw.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Time Out for Technical Difficulties

We got clobbered by the No'easter this past weekend, so we won't be posting for a few days...or fishing, or tying, for that matter. 

We have no power here at the homestead, and no fireplace to keep warm, thanks to an oak tree that came down on the house Saturday night that took out a corner of the house and the chimney.  We were out at the time, so we didn't experience the noise mayhem it must have made when it fell.  Our street was blocked by a number of trees so we have been walking in and out from 1/2 mile away.  The town is clearing the trees now, and I'm waiting for the insurance adjuster and writing this using my wireless card.  Things will be back to normal before you know it.

Anyway, hope you all are well, and we'll be back after a short break.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Sparkle Emerger Under Water

Here is a follow up video to our last post that Tim Flagler from Tightline Productions made, that shows how the sparkle emerger captures air bubbles around the abdomen.

Tim prefaces the video with the following:

This fly cannot be judged by how it looks in the vise or in the fly case at your local shop. It has to be seen underwater, imao that's where fish spent most of their time.

The following video illustrates some of the fly's many attributes like trapping air bubbles and translucency, but it falls short by not showing its most important feature– the wonderful shimmery look the antron sheath has underwater, in a real stream with natural sunlight. Gary believed (I know this from reading his book) and so do I, that the shimmer is what makes trout really take notice.

LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger Underwater from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tying the LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger

The Orvis news posted our latest tying video, which is one of our go-to flies all year.  We tie them in the 4 primary colors that Gary details in his ground breaking book, Caddisflies.  These colors will cover 80% or more of the available caddis in North American trout streams.

1. Brown & Bright green
2. Brown & Yellow
3. Gray & Black
4. Ginger 

LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.


Enjoy and feel free to ask questions.

And sharpen those hooks!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Name Calling

By now you have likely seen the video we made with Tim Flagler on how to tie a bead head Bird's Nest.  It was picked up this week by one of the fly tying magazines and posted on their website.  The video prompted petulant comments from a tyer who made it clear that my version is NOT a Bird's Nest, as he had seen the original tied by the originator, Cal Bird.

The reason?  My version has the hackle tied "beard" style, while Cal tied it with the hackle enveloping the fly 360 degrees.   He went on to say that Cal disdained our way of tying the fly, and concluded via underwater observation, that Cal's way of tying the fly killed compared to "these quarter round patterns."   

Interesting.......my results show that the fly works equally as well tied either way and that the fish don't give a shit.  The fly works, period. 

And that leads us to an important question, which is: If a fly is NOT tied exactly as the originator tied it, can it still be called the same fly?  I sort of feel I'm wasting my time here, as I think most of us feel that it doesn't matter as long as the change is minor and/or does not change the overall appearance of the fly. 

Here are a few examples of other flies that are tied differently than the originals, which coincidentally, I found on the web site of our detractor:

* The original Pheasant Tail nymph as designed by Frank Sawyer, was tied with only pheasant tail and copper wire and had no legs.  Some versions are tied with a peacock herl thorax.  And still others are tied with legs.  All of them are called Pheasant Tail nymphs.
* The original Adams was tied with mixed brown and grizzly hackle golden pheasant tippet for the tail.  Some tie the tail with moose body hair, or dun hackle fibers.  Again, all of these versions are still called an Adams.
..........

Anyway, we got out on one of the local trout streams today and managed to bring a few rainbows to net.  A hot spot caddis larva and LaFontaine sparkle emerger did the trick.  The water was clear and cool, and still a little high.  The air was calm, and cool enough that by dusk you could see your breath.  Little Blue-winged Olives came off sporadically, as did size 16 light caddis, but the trout weren't interested in taking them off the surface.   It was good to be on the water with only the sounds of squirrels foraging in the trees above, and the geese above them, flying over in formation.

Now I wonder if I am sharpening my hooks right.  I guess we'll have to make a video and wait for the comments.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fishing and a Video

I like to fish in the fall (or Autlumn) as much as any time of the year.  There are fewer anglers on the water, the trees are showing their true colors, and the birds and other animals are on the move again after settling down for the summer.  And it just seems to be a quieter time to be on the water.

Last week Tim Flagler asked me to help out on a video he was asked to make for the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, to promote their fall trout stocking.  We met up with the good folks from the hatchery one early morning and did some fishing in the South Branch of the Raritan River for the cameras, and this is what Tim put together using some of that footage along with a bunch of other shots from the hatchery and elsewhere.  If you're interested, I'm the guy in the red cap that doesn't know what the hell he is doing with the fly rod.


I also managed to get out a few times recently, all before this week's stocking took place, and the fishing has been good.  In addition to catching plenty of wild fish, we also caught holdover trout from the spring stockings and before.  Oddly enough, I did go to the pool where some of the footage above was shot for an hour or so, and only took two fish that I think were put in the day of the filming.

The rivers are in great shape for this time of the year - a little high, clear and cool.  During the day there are some Slate Drakes hatching and Tiny Blue-winged Olives.  Just before dark there have been small size 16 tan/gray caddis that come of in waves.  It's pretty cool the way these caddis will hatch in a wave that lasts maybe 5 minutes, the trout come up for them, and then they disappear along with the rising trout like someone flipped a switch.  Then 15 minutes later, they show again for a brief time. Mr. Q managed to catch a wild rainbow, brookie and then a brown the other evening during one of the caddis hatches, all of the fish around 6-inches long and pretty as a picture.  These caddis are fast fliers, keeping low to the water, and I have yet to capture one to I.D. them because of this.  I think I know what they are, but I'd rather know for sure.

Wednesday late afternoon, was also productive, with scuds and beadhead Bird's Nests being the ticket.  Caught a bunch of wild and stocked fish in the quiet that only fall can bring.  While fishing through one long riffle, I had the pleasure of watching a mink as it moved about the rocks and limbs on the opposite bank, occasionally taking a brief bath in the cool river. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tying the Copper Beadhead Bird's Nest

Here's another tying video produced by our friend Tim Flagler at Tightline Productions.   I just tie the fly; Tim does the real work, and it always shows in the finished video.  Watch in full screen mode, the clarity Tim gets is incredible.

I had fished the Bird's Nest nymph on and off over the years with some success, and then one day back in the 90's, I was introduced to a bead head version. I was fishing the Beaverhead River in Montana with friend and guide, Cory Tumolo, and he was having success with a size 18, gold bead head Bird's Nest and offered me one. Shortly after tying it on, I was into one of those hard fighting browns the river is known for. In fact, for the next two days, it was my fly of choice when the trout decided not to rise. Since then, this fly in various sizes has occupied my nymph box - most of them being a copper bead head style, as that version has been the most consistent producer for me throughout the U.S.

On Northern California waters, it's the only bead head fly I fish.  And on my home waters of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, it's one of my go-to patterns when I have to fish subsurface.  It can fished alone, or in tandem with a smaller nymph trailing a size 12 or 14; I also will fish small Bird's Nests trailing a larger nymph.  It goes with out saying that this fly can also be trailed beneath a high floating dry fly to cover both surface and subsurface feeding trout. 

If you don't already fish this very effective nymph, I recommend you add some to your fly box, and use them with confidence.  The medium brown version shown here is the original color and most popular among fish and fishermen, but they also can be tied in olive, cream and dark brown.

And don't forget to check your hooks when you fish, and sharpen them when needed - you'll catch more fish. 

Go get 'em!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Tying Video - Soft Hackle Mayfly Emerger

This one has been picked up by Midcurrent, so we just have the link.

http://midcurrent.com/videos/tying-a-soft-hackle-mayfly-emerger/

This is a most versatile pattern as you can just change the throax color and hook size to imitate all of the different mayflies in their emergent state.

It's one of my go-to patterns all year 'round.  Tie some up for the fall on a size #12 hook, with a reddish brown dubbed thorax - this imiates the Slate Drake (Isonychia) quite well.

And sharpen your hooks!  You'll catch more fish.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Great Autlumn Sedge Soft Hackle

Here is my soft hackle version of the Autumn Sedge we highlighted in our last post.  This fly imitates the emerging pupa quite well.  Fish it dead-drift then lift it when it gets to likely holding water, or fish it on the swing and let the current lift it at the end of the swing as the line tightens.  These are tied on size #10 hooks - the first is tied on a Czech Dohiku hook, and the second is a Dai-Riki dry fly hook.


We tied these using orange 6/0 Danville thread, the body is a mix of equal parts yellow and orange dubbing with a smidgen of brown to mute the bright colors, the rib is doubled and twisted 3/0 brown monocord, and the collar is a brown speckled hen body feather.

(Click on images to enlarge)

This is an easy tie that works well this time of the year, fished any time of the day.  We've been known to fish them with a split shot on the tippet to get them down into the deep holes and runs.  Fish them through the run and don't lift the fly to cast again until the current has brought the fly to the surface.  We get some hard takes on the end of the drift just as the fly ascends to the surface.

Have fun and sharpen your hooks!    

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Real Orange of Autumn

The Great Autumn Sedges have been hatching quite well this year on our streams, despite the recent floods and prior summer heat.  If only we could get our asses away from work long enough to fish, we might enjoy the colors of Autumn both in the trees and on the water.

This is a big mother of a bug, size #8-10, and quite the looker.  Wings bathed in a soft orange, clearly veined, and with large rust colored eyes and long antennae, this caddisfly is loved by both trout and fly fishers alike.  Although it hatches primarily very late in the day and after dark, it hangs around flowing trout waters in the early morning hours and at dusk enough that the fish are familiar with and will feed on them.  In fact, we will blind fish our low-floating dry version over likely holding water and take plenty of eager risers.

For you eggheads, these are the eastern October caddis - Pycnopsyche (sp.).  They hatch from August through October, with the apex of the hatch occurring in late September into early October most years.

A large orange and partridge soft hackle is a good wet for the emerger - add a fur dubbed thorax to add a little bulk and lend a better silhouette to the mix. 

Here's the adult:       


Here is my low riding adult imitation: Ruddy orange body; amber zelon underwing; orange dyed elk body wing; touch dubbed hare's ear for the thorax.  Size #10 dry fly hook.  This pattern has worked well for me as a general searching pattern early and late in the day this time of the year.


Here's is an elk hair caddis version I tied for those of you that prefer this style.  The body is ruddy orange, the hackle is bleached grizzly, and the wing it natural elk hair (the color is washed out by the flash). 


Tie some up and give them a shot.  And be sure to fish them in the skinny water and right up against the bank.  Trout will lay in water only a few inches deep this time of the year if left undisturbed.

Good luck, and sharpen those hooks. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tying the Iris Caddis

You've seen the step by step photo tying instructions we have posted in the past, and they have been good (sort of), but this is the tits! 

Seriously, Tim Flagler aka Tightline Productions, has produced the first Caddis Chronicles full length tying video.  We chose Craig Mathew's of Blue Ribbon Flies, Iris Caddis pattern, as it is a killer fly when the Hydropsychidae are hatching on just about any North American river or stream.  And they do hatch, from May through September.  It also imitates other caddis species that hatch in a similar fashion - drifting in the surface film for a short period before launching straight into the air.

Tie some up and fish them, you won't be disappointed.

All comments and feedback are welcome!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

After the Flood Video

Tim Flagler works fast! It was just a couple days ago he filmed us fishing after the flood and he already has a video of us on the web!  (See my post of 9/5)

Nice job, Tim!  And yes, we do need to spread out......you would still have to film all of us though, so put on your running shoes. : )

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Visual Flight Rules? Not a Chance.........

We are experiencing a very low, thick cloud bank that's full of wet.  Seriously full of wet!  The vast grayness hanging just above the treetops dropped it's load earlier today and the rivers again exceeded flood stage.  And in so doing, they also have zero visibility!  Even if the trouts had GPS on their dash, it would be worthless - like a drunk in the dark.

If you are in the area Sunday morning and happen to have your tying tools with you, stop by Shannon's Fly Shop in Califon, and join me for a couple of hours of fly tying - we're going to do Flies for Fall Trout.  How to tie them and how to fish them.  The fish may not be able to see your flies, but that doesn't mean they won't look good to us. 

It's a great way to watch me make a fool of myself in front of a tying vise and a gang of strangers, and maybe I'll learn something at the same time.  It's always fun.   We'll do a couple of dries, and a couple of wets/nymphs, and maybe take a request or two.

And why should you want to do that?  So you can go out to your favorite stream on a cool October morning when the trees are in all their golden glory, and do everything right so one of these beauties comes to your fly and takes it like candy.....

 
Now that's living!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Fishing Was Fine

After a somewhat long, forced withdrawal from fly fishing for trout thanks to hot, dry weather, we fished last evening.  The river is still somewhat high and still turbid, but not so much so that we couldn't fish our flies and have the trout pick them out of the suspended particles flowing by them.  It was a warm, humid evening with calm skies tinged by the soft golden glow of the late summer sun.

We were actually fishing for a purpose.  Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions wanted to put together a video of post hurricane trout fishing to show that the fish are still right where they were before the storm.  He was also hoping to get some footage of the proper way to release a trout after landing it.  Me, John C., Len R., Jim of Shannon's Fly Shop and his mate Donna, all met at the river and did our best to give Tim what he needed.

As you might expect, not much was happening on the surface so the order of the day was nymphs and streamers.  We all hooked fish and managed to land a few nice ones, mostly on nymphs in the course of a few hours.  The trout are right where they should have been despite the way the river had flooded the week before.  They were all healthy and fought hard - several managed to break me off before I could get them to hand.................see what happens when you don't fish for a couple of weeks?  The mind and the muscles get rusty!!!!

It was great to be on the water with friends.  There is nothing like spending an evening standing in cool flowing water, warm summer sun on your face, fishing, and sharing some laughs with your friends.  Sure, we fished much too close to each other under normal circumstances, but sometimes the catching takes a back seat to bullshitting.

AND.........

Mr. Q. caught a beautiful brown a few miles down river from us.........I got this photo from him when I got back to the fishing shack.  Way to go buddy!        

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Does Size Matter?

I know we're digressing again, but the rivers are just too full of water and debris to fish right now. 

The old wives tale says that the bigger the acorns, the worse the winter to come.  If you believe in that stuff, we're in for a doozey this coming winter season.  This is a typical acorn from one of the oaks on my property this year.  The things are huge!   This photo is not doctored or p-shopped, just a little ole acorn next to George for perspective.  When one of these fatties falls from its mother and lands on the roof, it sounds like someone is tossing rocks at the house.  


The squirrels may be happy now, but that may change when they are freezing their asses off this winter trying to figure out where they stashed them.  And the deer, they think they're in candyland right now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"No Shortage of Good Days" John Gierach

Our rivers are flooded and off limits at the moment, so we're left to tie flies and comtemplate the conditions we'll arrive at when we do get on the water in the hopefully near future.

We're also spending too much time checking out the web for snippets of trout, flies, clear water and other related stuff to live vicariously through until we can do it ourselves.

I found this ditty posted by our friends at Moldy Chum

If ever there was someone that has life pretty much figured out, it's this guy.  He'd likely beg to differ, but if it came down to it, I seriously doubt he'd want to wear our shoes, if even for day.

TURN IT UP!


What's in your portfolio?  Does it really matter?

Screw it.  I'm going fishing........

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Confirmed

Yep, we had an earthquake.  Actually, Virginia did yet it was felt here in Jersey as well as in many other east coast states and even Canada. 

We also confirmed that we have have a Black-chinned Hummingbird visiting our feeders.  They are a very rare visitor to our neck of the woods.  I showed a photo of one of the hummingbirds to a bona fide bird man, and he instantly identified it as a Black-chinned.  I knew it was different from the others, as it has a very deep purple throat and the black area above is nothing like the Ruby-throated species.  It also has a beak that is noticeably longer than the ruby.  Pretty cool stuff.

On another note, more fly fishing related, the rivers are rebounding nicely after a long, hot summer with little precipitation.  The recent rains and cool nights are just what the trout ordered.  We hit the mid fifties here in the woods last night.  Unfortunately, I'm off to Boston in the AM, but I hope to hit the rivers this weekend with rod in hand and flies on the line. 

Until then, tie some up and get out on the river and fish!

Earthquake??

I think we just had an earthquake............even the trees were shaking.

Monday, August 15, 2011

You Can Observe a Lot by Just Watching

Saturday the heat, humidity, low water and generally poor stream conditions continued in my general location, so trout fishing was out.  I spent much of the day doing yard work, and after lunch I sat out on the deck and watched our feathered friends for a bit.  Like Yogi said, you can observe a lot, especially if you remain still.

Here's a couple of piliated woodpeckers searching for food on the silver maple off the back corner of our house.  They worked their way up the tree from here, circling the trunk as they ascended the hulking old hardwood, all the while communicating in soft squeaks and chirps, sounding much like guinea pigs as they went.  If you closed your eyes, you would have thought there were furry pets nearby.  


Here's a close up of one as it listens for crawling bugs under the surface of the bark.  They better take advantage of it now, because come the fall, the tree is coming down before it comes down on its own.


And here is the very best of why I love living where I do. I have identified about 6 hummingbirds that frequent our feeder by there coloring.  One, a mature male dominates the others.  He sits on the wire and puffs his ruby red chest out when the others fly close.  And if they have the nerve to try to feed while he is present, he chirps loudly and attacks them with abandon.  Still, they all manage to find the feeder free of antagonists often enough that they can feed without stress.  Karen and I often sit out on the deck after dinner watching them as they feed.  They are beautiful birds, and for some reason, watching them can be the most relaxing things I can do.      


Here  is the alpha male taking a sip of my home made nectar.  I make my own - the pre-made stuff you buy has dyes and other preservatives in it that I don't want these beautiful wild animals to ingest.

 
The tiny birds are fascinating.  They hoover one moment, and then the next they are streaming away like a winged bullet into the canopy.  When they hoover, the sound of their wings is pitched differently depending on whether they are moving forward or backward.  Sometimes they just hang in the air without any lateral or horizontal movement whatsoever.  They must be the most agile animals in the world.

The moral of the story...........just because you can't fish, doesn't mean you can't enjoy what nature has to offer. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

A View From the Riffles and Runs

I held the tiny nymph on my fingertip, a mere speck I duplicated with a clumsy fake.  As I cast it into the fast moving current, I too became a speck, held by the expanse of beauty that surrounded me, engulfed by a sense of peace as enormous as the nymph had been small.  Amonst the mighty scheme of things, I felt I had a place.  - Chiya Sagara

I love this quote.  It captures the sense that while we fish, thigh deep in the flow of a cool trout stream, we become entangled in the natural world that is truly much larger than we alone can ever be.  There is no truer peace than when one surrenders their being to that which they cannot control.

We do this every time we step into the fishes world..............  
    

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Build it, and They Will Come......

We are not always sure where they come from, but they find the forums.  On one of our regional NY,NJ and PA fly fishing forums, we found this post (exactly as we found it) under the topic "Jurisdiction Question". 

Anywho there is a (what jerseians would call a WTS) trout crick that rolls off the top of the appalachians for maybe 1/2 a mile in NJ, then into NY for almost equal distance (ny water is bigger and further downhill thus had the greater # and bigger trout (as usual)). A precarious spot indeed, in years of late ive noticed more DEC (more toward hunting season). if i wanted to stalk this creek for the wild trout it has and i stepped into UNPOSTED nj land and cast a fly would i SERIOUSLY get in trouble if a CO was there (excluding the instance he was looking for such an act and if so hes an A-hole who has it out for either; me, loves the crick, hates new yorkers, or hates fly fishermen). i mean really? the creating of borders cut a small trout crick in half and i cant fish the pool ahead of me because i dont have a 80$ trout stamp non resident SHOT AS HELL nj license? that creek is MY TOWNS CREEK.

you know what? its not posted nj so F it, im a born native of this town and i intend to fish its sparkling waters until i cant lift my arm or my leg

So the question becomes......

If you run into this guy on the water do you:

a) Talk about the fishing and what flies are working
b) Call the authorities and tell them you found Sasquach
c) Ask him why he pees like a dog
d) Ask him if he has any Grey Poupon
e) Run like hell to the nearest post office to see if his picture is on the wall

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It May Be Legal, But it Sure Isn't Ethical

I'm out running errands today and while in the Califon area, I decided to drive along the South Branch of the Raritan, where the road parallels the river for a mile or so.  The river is very low, and the water temperatures lately have been in the low to mid 70"s most days.  Poor conditions for trout, particularly if they are stressed from fishing.  If left to themselves in the deeper holes and cooler stretches, they will survive quite well.

The river level is low, so low in fact that the tops of many rocks are high and dry, when typically they will be under water.  The water is very clear and trout are easily spotted as they hang just above the bottom barely moving.

In one stretch I observed two guys in the water standing next to a large, half exposed boulder about 25-30 feet off the mouth of a major trout spawning tributary.  On the top of the boulder they had a pale blue, plastic bait container, and they were casting their wormed hook right up into the mouth of the creek.  I've been fishing near this creek for 25 years, and in the conditions we have now I have seen dozens of wild and stocked trout stacked in the deep mouth where it meets the larger South Branch.  Today was no different, you could see them from the road. The creek is cool, and the trout are there because it is a thermal refuge; a respite from the harsh conditions of the main river.  They are there as a matter of survival.

So why do these idiots think it is okay to fish for them? 

Are they starving and in need of food?  From the size of their waists and jowls, that was clearly not the case.  Is this the only thing they could do on a hot August day?  I doubt it, and in fact, they could have fished for warm water species if they were so driven to cast a line.

Some states have fishing regulations that prohibit anyone from fishing within so many feet/yards of where a tributary enters a trout stream in the months of July and August.  Why?  So dumb asses like these two guys cannot fish legally for trout that clearly do not want to be disturbed.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

CDC and Elk - Tightlines Productions

I had lunch yesterday with Tim Flagler, the mastermind behind Tightline Productions, to talk about making some tying videos. Looks like he will be doing some video of yours truly tying flies and sharing my far-fetched theories on why and how I tie them, along with the best times to fish them.   At least that's the plan.  The end result might be somewhat different, but we'll give it a shot.  Whatever the end product is, we'll stand by it.  In the very least, we'll dispense another viewpoint to add to the already vast amount of information floating around the web and confusing the masses.   

Tim has been doing some tying videos of various flies he fishes, and we'll share one of his favorites here.  He is an accomplished tyer, and like a lot of us, he has some unique methods of his own to share.  The CDC and Elk is a caddis dry that is attributed to our friend on the other side of the pond, Hans Weilenmann of the Netherlands, one of the finest tyers in Europe.


Enjoy, and check out some of the other videos on his site.  Stay tuned for the animated versions of some of the flies I have featured here in past posts........post pasts? 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Art Meets Fly Tying

Our friends at Moldy Chum seem to have a sixth sense for finding fish, fishing news, and fly fishing related stuff, and this one's a fine catch indeed.


Shawn Davis is a chemistry teacher. But his spare hours are spent amidst lean feathers, fine wire and tiny hooks, practicing the age-old craft of fly tying. Turning such a practical thing as a fishing fly into an artwork—and innovating while doing so, as Davis does—serves as a stirring reminder to search for art in the everyday.


My wife thinks I spend a lot of time tying flies!! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tying the LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger

This is one of our most effective subsurface and film flies.  No matter the month or river, this fly produces fish thanks to the abundance of caddis in all our trout streams.  It also produces gray hairs and the grinding of teeth for many tyers..........as Mr. Q recently said in one of his more serious comments........ "I can't make that stinkin' bubble right."  And while we agree it is one of those "I don't really like tying them" flies, we think they are worth the trouble.      

Here is how we tie a brown and yellow LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger.  It's a little different from the way Gary LaFontaine originally tied it, but we think it's an easier way to tie it and in our experience it is just as effective.  Also, I tie all mine with wings, and if I decide to fish them deep as a pupa, I just clip the wing off.   

Using black thread, tie in a tuft of golden yellow antron fibers as shown on the back side of the hook shank.  It looks like a lot here, but that's the photo; it's really pretty sparse.    


Next tie in another bunch of fibers on the side closest to you as shown.  It should be a little fuller than the first bunch, as you will be pulling out some to form the trailing shuck.


Next dub the abdomen with a brown and yellow mix of antron or rabbit and antron mix.


Now, using your dubbing needle, separate a dozen or so fibers from the nearest bunch of antron and then pull both bunches of the remaining fibers toward the front allowing them to form a sheath around the abdomen.   Tie them in as shown with two or three at most, wraps of thread.   


Now simply use your dubbing needle to pull the fibers out away from the abdomen to form the "bubble" of antron fibers.  Once you have them pulled away all around the body, hold them tight in place, and make a few tight wraps to lock them in place.  Clip off the excess in front, and twist and clip the shuck as shown.


Tie in a clump of brown mottled deer body hair as shown.


Clip off the butts of the deer hair, dub a thorax with brown rabbit, and tie it off.  Finished!


That wasn't so hard, or was it?  It really isn't hard to do, but for some reason it is a pain in the neck to do.

Tie some up, and remember, effort = reward.

You will catch fish on these flies!    

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Conservation Gets the Rusty Machete Treatment

An Appropriations Subcommittee in the U.S. House left conservation funding and policy a mutilated corpse on the floor of their hearing room yesterday.

The funding cuts don’t put conservation programs on life support, instead they just left the corpse on the floor to bleed out. And to make sure they sent a strongly worded message to those of use who are about conservation, they added provisions to the legislation that undermine critical conservation and environmental policies.

Read the full story here from Dispatches from the Middle River:

Conservation Gets the Rusty Machete Treatment

See what happens when we elect people with their head up their asses?  They keep them there..........

Via: Moldy Chum

Monday, July 11, 2011

To Fish or Not to Fish


We've hit that time of the year when you head out to fish not knowing if you will actually fish or give the fish a break.   Last night I fished the South Branch with the not so anonymous Mr. Q, and before fishing I checked the water temperature as it had been fairly warm during the day.  The temperature was about 67 degrees according to my stream thermometer, which is right on the cusp of too warm to fish for trout.  Above 68 we stay off the water as it can be lethel to trout if they are stressed at that temperature, and catching them does just that.

There was little bug activity except for an occassional light cahill, yellow sally or caddis, but fish did rise when one would float over their lie, which was rare.  I saw three rises, and managed to catch two browns, both of them on an Iris Caddis.  Not bad and as it was a beautiful evening, cool air and calm, we'll take it for this time of the year.

As for today and likely tomorrow, most New Jersey trout streams are going to be too warm to fish.  There may be some smaller wild trout streams that will be cool enough, but that's about it.

Give the trout a break, and carry a stream thermometer if you are fishing during the summer months. When you get to your destination, check the water temperature before you fish, and if it's over 68 degrees don't fish.  If you have a ways to drive to get to the river of your choice, call the nearest fly shop for stream info and temps so you don't make the long drive only to find out the water is too warm for trout.   

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fishing with Mr. Q and Mike


Yep, that fog shrouded figure standing just upstream of the Hoffman's Crossing bridge is the infamous Mr. Q.  Somewhere below him, hidden by the fog, is his friend Mike.

It was Sunday evening after a day of warm rain followed by high humidity.  The river remained cool - 62 degrees - and so we had fog, lots of fog that formed a blanket over the cool water.  We also had a rising river the whole time we were fishing, that slowly brought with it cloudy, turbid water.  Needless to say, there were no bugs hatching, and very little fish activity as a result.

And the best part; Mr. Q outfished me!  He managed a wild brown on the swing with his sulphur a LaFontaine sparkle emerger.  I managed to get skunked, as did Mike.

Just another evening on the water with friends........dirty, rotten friends that caught more fish than I did. ; )

Always a pleasure, Mr. Q.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three Flies Well-chewed Flies From the Weekend

I tend to be fairly straightforward when it comes to the flies I use and carry for fishing at any given time, and this past weekend was no exception.  My vest always has more empty pockets than those that are occupied by fly boxes and other tackle, as opposed to the guys I fish with, who when they put on their vest add tonnage to their total weight.

I fished a total of 5 fly patterns the entire weekend, and probably no more than 10 flies total.  Of those 5 patterns I did fish, only three patterns were the fish takers.  Below are the three patterns that worked, and the other two patterns that didn't work but were fished, were a blue-winged olive thorax, and the other a light cahill.

First up is the Iris Caddis, which is one of the best caddis emerger imitations we have ever fished.  We've been tying them on size #16 Dohiku dry fly hooks, and the combination of materials and Czech steel make for a very effective imitation.             


Next up, the Isonychia, or Slate Drake, emerger.  These big, juicy flies draw trout from the depths when the naturals are present, and this weekend we got to enjoy the rewards.
  

Finally, we have the Sulphur Usual.  This pattern in size #18 and 20, was our most successful with the finicky trout of the Delaware.  Despite other flies hatching in much greater numbers - Blue-winged olives and large Sulphurs - this fly brought the most trout to hand.  Talk about a simple but effective pattern!


The other necessary ingredient was a fairly long leader, 12-13 feet in total length, of which 30" was 5X tippet.   

Like I said in the prior post, the fish were not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but a good cast, a drag-free drift that was well-timed, and your reward would be the quick, soft sip of a trout taking your offering.

How sweet it is!     

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Few Days On the Delaware

As promised, here's the report on one of the best three day weekends we've had this year.  We arrived on the West Branch of the Delaware early after on Friday, unpacked, had a beer, kissed the wife and went fishing.  The weather was cloudy, humid and windless, perfect conditions for hatches and rising trout.  We were not disappointed, as when we got to the river there were loads of bugs on the water and rising trout.


Before you think it was easy pickings, let me tell you a little about the upper Delaware river system. There are loads of bugs and trout that feed on them, but the fishing is fairly technical and demanding most days, requiring anglers to use all of their skills if they want to be successful.  Just because the fish are rising and taking naturals off the surface, it doesn't mean they'll take your offering just because you present it over their feeding lie.  If you don't believe this, just ask the many anglers that fished this weekend that didn't catch anything.  We saw one drift boat, complete with guide and two anglers, fishing to a number of steadily rising fish without so much as a refusal.......in the course of an hour or so, every fly they cast went unnoticed by the feeding trout, all the while the trout continued to take natural after natural off the surface.  

And their were bugs, lots of them - small sulphurs, large sulphurs, slate drakes, blue-winged olives, paraleps, light cahills, cinnamon caddis, dark gray sedges, duns, spinners and even some stonefly adults.  Here's a large sulphur - Ephemerella invaria - that landed on my tying vise as I tied Friday evening....that's our bonfire in the background.      


The blue-winged olives were everywhere Saturday afternoon, yet we didn't take a single fish on a BWO imitation. Instead, we did well with slate drakes and small sulphurs, which were present in fewer numbers, but clearly the day's special on the menu.  Here's a clump of blue-winged olives I lifted off the water with my finger tip - they were that numerous! 


I took this 18" or so brown on Friday on a #18 snowshoe rabbit foot sulphur pattern.  Take a look at the broad tail on this fish..........powerful fighters and all wild fish. 


And here's a typical wild Delaware River rainbow.  These boys fight like no other trout I've ever caught.  This one was maybe 12-13", but still managed to make my reel sing as he went on a couple of long runs that ripped line line from my reel.  Did I say they also jump clear out of the water when hooked?  


It was a great weekend fishing with friends.  I'll post some pics of the flies I used when I get a chance.  In the meantime, get out and fish! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Heading North in the Nick of Time

Looks like our timing is just right for a trip north to the West Branch of the Delaware as the NJ rivers are bank full and chocolate milk in consistency. Kevin and I planned this trip a while back and we've been looking forward to it ever since with all the traveling for work all spring.  The rivers up there - the east and west branches of the D - are in fine shape as they are tail waters.  The Beaverkill and Willowemoc are not, and they resemble the NJ rivers.

We'll be camping right on the WB, so the fish will be at our doorstep the whole time, although we're just as likely to hit other stretches of the WB and the EB over the next few days.  The overcast skies should be ideal for hatches during the day, as opposed to when there is bright sun and the fish don't start looking up until just before dark............trout tend to mess with us more when they can commiserate in good light conditions (see previous post).

Post time is in 15, so adios amigos.  We'll be back in a few days will a full report complete with photos and other embarassing details.

I have my hook sharpener, do you?       

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Trout Are On To Us

Vinnie and I hit a stretch of the South Branch we haven't fished this year and did well, but split the species. He caught all browns, and I caught only rainbows, despite fishing within a hundred yards of each other the whole evening and both of us using sulphur imitations.  Probably coincidence, but unusual all the same as wild browns dominate this section of the river. 


And yes, the trout are on to us........why else would they rise sporadically through dusk, and then once the sun exits the landscape and our eyesight with it, do they begin rising all over the place?!

They're setting us up, that's why.

Seriously, they have clandestine meetings behind a big, midstream boulder and every so often they send out a scout to rise in a random foam line once or twice, just to keep us hanging around. If we are lucky, we manage to make a good cast, get a good drift, and hook the bastard when it takes our offering.  That trout damn well knows we are going to release him after we bring him to hand, so it's no big deal; he's taking one for the team, and they all have a big laugh behind the boulder right under our waders.  

Then when it gets dark, they spread out and feed on the multitude of hatching and egg-laying insects drifting on the surface film, all the while knowing we can't see a thing!

I can hear their laughter now..................  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Boxed In and Bugless

Yep, it's true, the minute you write about how good the hatches and the fishing are you get smacked right in the face with a humble pie!

I hit the river last evening, and when I got to the water, I was the only one in sight.  It was about 7:30 by the time I stepped into the drink, and the air was calm, warm and humid.  The water was cool, clear and somewhat on the low side, but definitely very fishable.  As I tied on one of my soft hackled sulphur emergers, I thought to myself how lucky I was to be alone given all the fisherman I saw upriver on my way to this spot.

No sooner did I think the thought than I hear someone in waders stomping through the field behind me to the water.  I turned, he stopped at the water's edge and said hi.  I said hi out loud, and muttered something else under my breath, sort of like, "Crap, not only is someone else here, but he had to do a bee-line straight to where I was."  As far as I could see up and down river, I did not see another soul, yet there he stood on the bank behind me.  What are you going to do?  We exchanged pleasantries; he asked if I was going to wade up or down stream, and although I had intended to work my way upstream I told he was welcome to slide in above me.  As surprised as I was when the angler showed up, he was gracious enough to stop and ask me what my intentions were before he stepped in the river.

He walked up a ways and soon we were both casting to trout rising sporadically near each of us.  I had plenty of water below me to fish, so I was fine........or was I?  No sooner had I thought this, than another angler came in below me to fish.  He gave me plenty of room, so no problem there, but I was boxed in. 

If I had more time, I would have left the river and gone somewhere else if only to have the opportunity to cover water as I fished.  Since there was only maybe 45 minutes of daylight left, I stayed and fished the water around me, frustrated that I was limited to where I could move.  There were fish rising around me, and I caught some, but I continually had to rest them as they would go down after missed strikes or when I managed to catch a fish because of the commotion.  I made the most of it, but generally I like to cover water and move.  Welcome to New Jersey fly fishing.......

Then there were the bugs, or more accurately, the lack of bug activity.  Unlike most other recent evenings, there were only a smattering of sulphurs coming off the water, a few midges and a random caddis for laughs.  At least that was the case while there was light.  Shortly after dark I could see in the headlights of cars going by, that the air was filled with sulphur and cahill spinners as well as various caddis and other flying insects. 

So there you have it. We caught some fish, and who the heck knows what will happen next time we get in the water.......maybe Anonymous knows, but I sure don't.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Bugs and the Trout are Cooperating, So Get Out and Fish!

We've managed to bookend our weekly trips to Boston with some outstanding evening fishing the last two weeks.  Our fishing has been late afternoon into dusk and with anywhere from 5-10 bugs on the water; 90% of the fishing has been with dries!

We have seen large sulphurs, small sulphurs, light cahills, gray foxes, blue-winged olives (several species), isonychias (slate drakes), yellow drakes, paraleps, dark blue sedges, cinnamon caddis, and black midges.  The mayflies have been both duns and spinners depending on the evening.

The trick has been to figure what the trout are feeding on at any given moment, and being observant enough to notice when they switch from one bug to another.  Some nights they have stayed on one insect, and others they have stitched from one to another to another.  Of course, if that isn't enough, one fish may be feeding on the emerging cinnamon caddis, while another is feeding on sulphurs!  Most evenings we have had to use 6X tippet to get the drift we need and catch fish.

It's been loads of fun and challenging.

Sharpen those hooks as you fish, and you'll definitely hook and land more trouts!          

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Photos and Thoughts of the Last Few Trips

The tools......................


The river, high and off-color, which has been the norm this spring......... 


A wild fish............


A stocked fish.......


A fly that continues to puzzle me: why does it work?...............


The hatches - sulphurs - have been epic some evenings, and the trout, more often than not, have been only marginally interested in them.  One evening a couple of days ago, there were two different species of sulphurs hatching, and they were on the water and in the air in tremendous numbers.   We're guessing the high water levels and limited visibility have hampered the trout's ability to see the flies on the water above them.......why else would they be passing up the thousands of flies moving along on the current half-submerged and crippled.  Easy targets to say the least............

So, when a fish did rise, we tossed a simple snowshoe rabbit foot sulphur dry on the end of 6X tippet, and in most cases we hooked the fish and landed it.  Otherwise, we fished a soft-hackled sulphur emerger and did well....we also continued to experiment with Walt's Worm, which seems to be some kind of trout candy .........and we are still scratching our heads.  In fact, we are quickly going bald! 

The soft-hackle sulphur we are fishing is the same pattern we wrote about for the hendrickson, but this one is a size #16 and 18, with primrose colored dubbing for the thorax. Tie some up and give them a go!

And don't forget to sharpen those hooks!