Tuesday, June 21, 2016

That Aha Moment

Every once in a while you meet someone who has the soul of a Fly-fisher. You realize this element of their personality but they quite don't see it in themselves or have not realized it yet. I take this not as a challenge but a responsibility to guide them on their path. Their journey from here on is of their own.

My friend fits this bill. We hopped in the car one day with fly rods at the ready. Driving to a secluded Large-mouth pond I hoped he would find this fun. We didn't need a spiritual awakening, but, in the shit storm called life it couldn't help. As Garret received casting instruction on the rickety dock I could see he was intent on learning. I assured him it was not as hard as others had told him.

Its probably not a good idea to take a first timer in 20 mph+ wind. He didn't seem to mind. His inner fly fisher was awoken. I had that Aha moment with him when I realized he like fishing, enjoyed a challenge, and would excel through tough situations until they were second nature. While fishing I saw the moment where Garret found his Aha moment. He shoulders eased, his smile broaden. His cast found rhythm.

   Another life changed...but don't give me the credit. His wife is a friend, too. I'd like to keep it that way. By the smile on his face he knows he's having that Aha moment.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Yin and Yang: Spin vs Fly

So many people take themselves, and fly fishing; to serious. My brother is a spin fisherman. I am a fly fisherman. This picture says a lot about the differences. We took this trip in February one cold day (20 F) in NY.

My brother:
1. Is warmer
2. Is not wet
3. Caught the only thing the day we fished. (A korkers sole)
4. Did not get sick after this trip

I am :
1. Happy despite being much less comfortable.

This picture shows the discomfort a fly fisher will subject himself to. If your a glutton for punishment or prefer chess to checkers...you are probably a fly fisher too!

Even though I am wearing the same Korkers as the kind of the sole we are holding...I did not take one off to take a picture of it. He actually caught that! A Sole fish. I caught two ground trout that day. Damn bushes and trees!

Neither of us caught a fish but we did it each in our own way and that has made all the difference.

Friday, June 3, 2016

UV Resin and the Nasty Syringe Tip

If your a fly tyer, chances are you use UV cured resin. If your like me and use a syringe it makes life easier. Clear Cure Goo has a way of clogging the syringe tips. No matter what I do I cant seem to completely remove resin blockages. SO FRUSTRATING.

The easiest remedy is :

1. Boil water in pot
2. Drop in Syringe tip
3. Remove Syringe tip with Straining spoon
4. Hold tip in fingers by the plastic (orange) end. The metal will be hot!
5. Insert needle repeatedly.

You will have a clean tip which flows smoothly and effortlessly.
Now you don't have to spend extra money on accessory tips. Happy tying!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


An excellent documentary about the real work horses of mountaineering and the struggles they face.

Click this link to watch:


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

High Mountain...Early Spring

You can never get out to early in the spring. If your purpose is to catch trout, well; perhaps there is such a thing as "to early". As I wandered up the stream I felt the unmistakable sensation of insects crawling on my neck.

My pattern of the little black stonefly was about three sizes to large.

As I crossed through a marshy area between two clumps of barren cat-tails; this orange bellied newt greeted me. The area was also home to a beaver family.

Native brook trout are elusive in this stream. So were the beavers on this day.

Nate leading the way on our visit to the head waters. As we sat and talked birds joined us in conversation. The gurgling of the brook and the light cool breeze drifting across my skin reminded that, "Damn I should have brought a sweater".

As I hoped in the car and cranked the heat up, still wet from wading in boots and jeans, I had to laugh. I said to myself before this trip that I wouldn't wet wade. There will be many more trips this year. Chances are that I will break many more of the common sense rules I swear I'll follow... All in the pursuit of trout.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Food for Thought on Catch and Release

There are few species of fish as vulnerable as wild steelhead. These fish are beset on all sides by threats both natural and man-made. With their numbers dwindling, it’s safe to say, every steelhead counts. It’s vital that those of us who fish for them practice the best catch-and-release practices.
However, common landing practices can kill fish without the angler ever knowing. A team of biologists studying steelhead in British Columbia discovered this problem, quite by accident. These scientists were tagging steelhead with GPS trackers. They determined that the least intrusive way to capture the fish was, well, the same way we do it. With a fly rod. They landed the fish, tagged them with the GPS device and released them. When they went to their computer to track the fish’s progress they discovered something alarming.
Within two hours many of the fish they had tagged, and released in good health, were dead. They collected the fish and performed autopsies to determine what had gone wrong. In every case the cause of death was head trauma. It turns out that ‘steelhead’ is a misnomer. The fish’s head is, in fact, its most vulnerable spot.
When landing the fish the researchers had played them into shallow water where they would be easy to tail. As the fish came into the shallows they were on longer, fully submerged. Without the resistance of the water surrounding them, their powerful thrashing was able to generate momentum that is not possible underwater. The flopping fish simply hit their heads on a rock.
The fish appeared fine when released, but their injured brains began to swell and soon they were dead. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Fish have evolved in an environment where hitting their head on anything with enough force to cause damage is almost impossible. Their brains lack the natural protection enjoyed by terrestrial species.
Luckily, this unfortunate outcome is easily avoided. The angler has a couple of good options. Landing fish by hand in knee deep water is a little tougher but much safer for the fish. You can grab the leader to control the fish long enough to tail it. After a fish or two it will feel very natural. When possible, it’s best to use a good catch-and-release net. This is safest for the fish and easiest for the angler. A net helps you seal the deal while the fish is still fresh and requires little reviving.
Always control your fish once he’s landed. Keep his gills wet and support his head in case he makes a sudden attempt to escape. Keeping him, dorsal fin up, will keep his range of motion side-to-side, making it harder for him to injure himself. When possible keep him in deeper water. Never beach a fish when landing him and never lay him on the bank for a photo. It’s just not worth it.
Wild steelhead are a precious resource. Those of us who come to the river looking for them must lead by example and do our best to to be good stewards of these remarkable fish. Their future is, literally in our hands.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The I.C.U. Stimulator

Originally tied by Randall Kaufmann, this pattern is a staple of any dry fly box. My variation is tied with ice dub and has rubber legs.

Size: #6-16