Sunday, February 27, 2011

Some Days It All Comes Together

First things first, though.  I tied flies this morning and afternoon at the first annual Sparse Gray Matter fly tying event alongside of a bunch of talented fly tyers.  The event was sponsored by Shannon's Fly Shop and Dette's Fly Shop, and held in Califon, NJ.  It was a terrific event, well attended, and from what I could see everyone had a good time.  Special thanks to Dan Ansbach who put it together for Shannon's, and to Joe Fox, of Dette's Fly Shop in Roscoe, NY.  Joe tied some beautiful classic Catskill style dry flies, carrying on the traditions of his heritage I know would make his grandfather,Walt Dette, proud.

After the shindig, I headed out to fish the South Branch of the Raritan for a few hours by myself, after a long week in Boston, and had one of those rare days it all comes together.  When I got to the stream ,the air was crisp and cool, but not cold, with a slight breeze to chill the cheeks.  The sun was bright, and higher than it has been in recent weeks, with the slightest hint of spring.  The river was cold, as expected, but clear and a little high - just right for late winter fishing.

And the fishing was incredible, especially for this time of the year.  I saw a few bugs in the air, midges and a couple of Little-black Stoneflies, but the fish were not on them.  So I tied on a LaFontaine brown and yellow sparkle pupa, and before very long I was into fish.  In two hours or so, I brought to hand/net a number of wild brown trout, averaging 7-8 inches, and a few rainbows as you can see below.  BIG rainbows, holdovers that must have fed quite well over our harsh winter as evidenced by their hard fighting attitude, and bulky bodies.  Every fish took the one and only sparkle pupa I tied on first.  I did have to change my tippet a couple of times after landing a few fish, as it had frayed a little, but I used only the one fly.  Of course, I sharpened the fly every so often, which helped I'm sure, as some of the takes were very soft. 

It was a day to remember, with good friends and meeting some new ones at the tying event, and then a quiet late day on the water with the sounds of a woodpecker in the woods and fish on the end of my line.

Life is good.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sparse Gray Matter Fly Fishing Event Tomorrow

Dette's Fly Shop and Shannon's Fly Shop, two of NY & NJ's oldest fly shops are sponsoring the first annual Sparse Grey Matter fly tying Event on Sunday February 27, 2011 at the Califon, NJ Fire House on Main St in Califon, One block from Shannons Fly & Tackle...10AM-3PM

All are welcome to come tie, so bring your vise and materials, or just come to observe.  A number local bamboo rod builders are also expected to attend. 

There is no charge (although small donations are happily accepted).  So come shake off the winter blues and join us.
If you have any questions, call Shannon's 908-832-7392.

Thanks to Dan Ansbach for arranging the event.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Knee Deep Fly Fishing.....Another One Goes in Head First

Knee Deep Fly Fishing is a Washington, DC based fly fishing guide service serving the Capitol Region.

A good friend and passionate fly fisherman and fly tyer, Micah Dammeyer, has finally got swept away by the swift waters he fishes.  Micah is now a professional Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor.  Now I know what some of you may be thinking, "Yep, another guy that loves to fish that thinks he can make a living at it."   While that may be true for some, as we know many who have gone in over their waders, this guy's for real.  One of the most important keys to success is enthusiasm for what you are doing, and Micah has enough for all of us.

Located within a short drive to a number of streams - including the Big Gunpowder Falls, Patuxent and Patapsco Rivers and, last but not least, the Potomac River and it’s largemouth and smallmouth bass fishery- the options for an exciting day on the water are many. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for a new river to fish, Knee Deep Fly Fishing can help get you out and learning some new water.

Knee Deep Fly Fishing offers fishing instruction as well as fly tying instruction to help keep you busy this winter.

Link: Knee Deep Fly Fishing

And he knits, too!  Something to keep your head warm while you ponder the trout refusing your fly yet again.............

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Midge Fishing on the Madison River.....Or, Why Do I Live in New Jersey?

Craig Mathews fishes the Madison River in February. Check out all the rising trout!!!

Looks like I have to move the office in Boston to Bozeman......very soon.  I'll tell the boss my life depends on it.  It does, doesn't it?!

Via: Blue Ribbon Flies

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunrise to Sunset on a Sunday

As the sun came up this morning, it threw a vast narrow ribbon of vibrant pink and violet across the eastern horizon.  The 15 or so deer that lay beneath the oaks and cedars outside my window had no idea what they were missing, nor do I think they cared.   A while later, when the day had brightened and melted away the colors of dawn, it was off to teach back to back fly tying seminars at Shannon's Fly Shop in Califon.

Finally, I managed to get to the river at around 4:40.  The water was cold, but not too bad, and as clear as the air.  When I hooked and landed my first fish on a LaFontaine brown and yellow sparkle pupa, it was 5:20, but still light.  How far away can spring be with the daylight hours closing in and taking over the hours of darkness?  From then until dark, the three of us caught fish, and called it a day only because we couldn't see anymore.

It was good day all around.  The tying seminars went well, with every spot taken for both sessions, and the fishing was good.  Sleep will come very easily tonight...........

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ain't That the Truth

"They say you forget your troubles on a trout stream, but that's not quite it.  What happens is that you begin to see where your troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they're just not such a big deal anymore."  - John Gierach 

Get out and fish....and don't forget to sharpen those hooks!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wild vs. Stocked Fish Swimming Performance

Here's an interesting article that was posted on Moldy Chum today about the differences in the swimming abilities of wild fish and hatchery fish. Nothing surprising, but interesting all the same......

Fish and laser beams sound like things out of a sci-fi movie, but a combination of the two is being used for important research into the future of rainbow trout.....

The full article can be found here: Columbia Basin Bulletin

Sharpen those hooks!