Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Couple of the Year - Ohio Idiots Edition

In April of this year, nearly 31,000 dead fish were found floating in a three mile stretch of the Rocky River.
Federal and state officials announced charges against Renato Montorsi, 79, and his wife Teresina, 74, along with their collectible coin company located in Strongsville, Kennedy Mint, Inc.
“Last April, Mr. Montorsi tried to dispose of a drum of liquid cyanide by putting it in a dumpster, the drum was marked as being toxic, clearly labeled as such and it clearly had the poison sign, the skull and crossbones on the drum,” said Steven Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Investigators said the garbage company refused to take the dumpster, and allege that Montorsi found his own way of disposing of the chemical.
“He took a hammer and a sharp metal object, according to the indictment, and punched a hole in the drum after he had moved it to a storm drain, a storm drain that fed directly into a branch of the Rocky River,” Dettelbach said.


Via Moldy Chum

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Photos From Our Montana Trip

As I sit in front of the fireplace, warm and toasty, outside the wind continues to increase in speed, the rain falls at sharp angles, and the gray skies hang low and ominous.  It doesn't look like we'll be fishing in the very near future, and who knows what the rivers will look like when we do, as they are calling for serious rainfall late today into tonight.  I do know the fish will still be there, they just may be holding in newly formed runs and holes, as is often the case when flood waters reshape the river beds.  
In the meantime, I thought I would share some more photos from our Montana trip last month.  This little guy, a pine martin, watched me and Mr. Q as we fished a fast run on the Madison below his rocky bank. He stuck around and watched closely, perhaps looking for tips on catching trout, until a large bird of prey glided over us and sent him running for cover.         
Here's a rainbow trout parr that was feeding heavily on small caddis, hoping to become a monster of the deep someday.  From the way it was eating, that may happen sooner than later. 
Here is the upper Gallatin River meadows looking northwest - the smog from the Idaho fires dulled the distant mountains.  The fires had that piny, burning sap smell that reminded me of those cold nights after the holidays when we'd go to the town mulch area to watch the Christmas tree bonfires when we were kids.
And here's Mr. Q., as he tests his skills (and patience) on the Madison River in the meadows of Yellowstone Park.  The wind was brutal that day, and the currents varied and inconsistent, and trout rose everywhere for hours to white miller caddis and blue-winged olives.    
I'm going to post this before the power decides to go off.  If you arte in the Northeast , be safe.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year Video

With the date (November 10) fast approaching, I thought I'd post the Tightline Productions video from the 2011 event.  As you can see, we had a nice Autumn day, albeit on the chilly side with the normal November mid-day breezes, which made the casting contest a challenge, but everyone seemed to have a great time.          

For more information, see our post of October 21, 2012 below, or click here: New Jersey Fly Fisherman

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Autumn's Splendor

I managed to get out and fish the last hour and a half of light yesterday; there's nothing like dusk at the end of a warm, calm Autumn afternoon.  The trees are now in their full glory - golden amber, yellow, red and mixed shades of each filling in the fading greens of summer.  The river was clear and on the low side, with the colors of the fallen leaves scattered in the water and on the surface. 
The low water conditions made for some tough fishing as many of the trout likely saw me before I even cast my fly.  Where I fished there was little room for cover, so after spooking a couple of fish that hung within inches of the bank, I took the low approach with each run/pool, fishing away from the water's edge and from my knees.  I managed a few nice rainbows, all on a brown serendipity, and just before dark, I took a beautiful little wild brook trout on a Mercer's Missing Link caddis dry.
It's a wonderful time of the year to be on the water, so get out and fish!
Sharpen your hooks.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The 3rd Annual NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year November 10, 2012

The details are in and the date is scheduled for the NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year Tournament and NJ State Council Trout Unlmited Banquet.  The all day event will held at the Raritan Inn in Califon, NJ, and the contest on their private waters of the South Branch of the Raritan River.  The event is presented by Shannon's Fly & Tackle Shop and The Raritan Inn.  The whole day is a blast with food and friends - finished off with the banquet, raffles, awards, and yours truly as the keynote speaker.  Click on the notice below for the schedule of events and more information. 
(Click on photo to enlarge)
The NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year Tournament is a not-so-hard-core competition where one member from each of the 10 local T.U. Chapters competes with the others for the most points as determined by the number, species and size of the trout they catch during the day. The rest of the attendees serve as the bankside peanut gallery, providing encouragement and heckling the participants as they stand in the cold, clear waters hoping to hook the hog that will bring them and their chapter this year's award.  
Hope to see you there.
Sharpen your hooks! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tying the Thorax Style CDC Blue-winged Olive

Here's our latest tying video from Tightline Productions - the thorax style CDC Blue-winged Olive dry.  There are many mayfly species we call Blue-winged Olives and all of them seem to be a favorite on the trout's menu.  Generally, they have an olive-toned body that can range from light yellow-olive to dark brownish-olive, and everything in between, with slate blue-gray wings.  In most cases though, we tie them in a medium olive color with slate wings, as the trout seem to be less concerned with their color than some tyers.  There are times when it is necessary to match the body color more closely to the naturals, so feel free to tie them in any shade you wish, if the conditions where you fish warrant it.  Most species we call Blue-winged Olives tend to be #18-24, with some being larger, and some being as small as #28. 

Hook: Dai Riki #305 size #18
Thread: 6/0 Olive Danville
Wing: Natural gray CDC
Tail: Medium dun hackle fibers
Body: Medium olive Superfine
Hackle: Medium dun

The fall months are a prime period for hatches of Blue-winged olives, particularly on cloudy, showery days. In the Autumn, I typically will fish #18-22 in this style, and use patterns that are simpler to tie for the smaller ones that hatch his time of the year.  An olive or gray RS2 is a great small Blue-winged Olive pattern, which you will note in our RS2 video, I tie with CDC for the wing.  The reason I do this is that it allows me to fish the fly subsurface, or in the film, when trout are sipping the tiny insects off the surface.  In my experience, the buoyant CDC wing holds the fly just under the surface film much better than the webbing of a saddle hackle feather that is used on the original RS2.    
Tie some up, you'll likely need them in the weeks to come.
Sharpen your hooks!  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Pine Squirrel Streamer

Here's an all-around effective streamer pattern tied by Tim Flagler.  And to add to the fun, he sneaks in a little video of a brown he caught on one of these creations.

Sharpen your hooks!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


A few weeks ago now, I returned to one of my favorite places, Southwest Montana, with none other than Mr. Q.  It was wonderful to be back there in September, with the crowds gone and the sky lit up in bright reds and yellows at dusk, enhanced by the ashes of wildfires rising into the sky over Idaho to the West.  The days were warm and comfortable, and the nights very cold, with ice on the river's edge and our waders frozen, at dawn.     

 (Click on photos to enlarge)
We stayed at Kelly Galloup's Slide Inn, right on the banks of the Madison River a short distance below Quake Lake.  Here the river is fast and powerful, and the trout that reside in these blue-green rushing waters share those same attributes.  We caught many of them, mostly on subsurface patterns, with the brown Serendipity taking 80% or so of the fish.  Here's a typical Madison River slide area run - you don't wade the river much throughout this section, you walk the banks and primarily fish the water within a rods length of the water's edge.  If you find a large boulder, you fish the water around it hard and deep, and hang on when a fish takes your offering because they don't take it lightly, and before you know it they will be halfway to Ennis if you aren't paying attention.       
Here's a big brown I took one evening near dusk just below the run shown above on a #16 brown "dip".
And we fished in Yellowstone Park - here's the Firehole in the canyon a few miles above where it meets the Gibbon to form the Madison.  The water here is crystal clear, and deceptively deep.  We hit a fairly heavy hatch of white miller caddis that were hatching and egg-laying simultaneously.  They are a white #16 caddis that is best imitated with a hackled pattern, as the trout seem to key in on the skittering adults. A dead-drifted pattern would be ignored, yet the instant you twitched or skittered your fly, they would follow.......and sometimes grab it. 
And here's the Madison a mile or so below where it is formed by the two aforementioned rivers.  It is very much like a spring creek here, and full of rainbows and browns, that also chased the white millers, and sipped the blue-winged olives, that hatched throughout the day.  As you can see in the photo, there are a myriad of currents just waiting to drag your fly, and reveal it as the fake it is. The strong, gusty winds that course through the Madison meadows this time of year also make it a real challenge, but if you are patient and wait for a lull in the wind, you can take some of the most beautiful wild fish you'll ever lay eyes on.    
And here is the view from one of my favorite stretches of the Madison River, just below Hebgen dam looking down river and up to the sky.  The fish here are very strong and torpedo shaped.  They take flies off the surface so quickly as they bolt up from the bottom, that if you blink, you will miss the take and the fish, and they'll be back on the bottom out of sight.......and a little smarter for the wear.
Here's a female rainbow I took shortly after I took the photo above.  Check out the tiny black spots and pink gills plates and fins - typical of the rainbows "between the lakes". 
On the day before we came home, we hit this small creek that sits in the mountains just south of Bozeman. It is loaded with wild rainbows that eagerly took our dry flies - white millers and little blue-winged olives.  We took too many fish to count before a cold rain moved in and we decided to call it quits and go visit our transplanted friends in Bozeman, before heading home the next day.      
And here is one of those mountain creek rainbows - not very big, but beautiful all the same.

That's our story, and we are sticking to it.  I'll share more photos in the weeks to come, but no more fish pics as I only took a few, preferring to get the living gems back in the water as quickly as possible. We had a great time, and look forward to going back as soon as possible.
Sharpen your hooks!