We hope this post finds you and yours healthy and happy this season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa .....happy whatever the hell you people celebrate these days. Oh yeah, Happy New Year also. (saved a post)
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
I was once asked by an employee of a large outdoor store what my favorite fly rod was. Not wanting to cause any bad feelings I quickly said "A bent one". One thing I want this blog to be is helpful to people. I have wrestled with the gear review option for awhile and have come to a few conclusions. Gear likes and dislikes are suggestive. I am not sponsored by any manufacturer and receive no reimbursement so that gives me a more open mind. I don't want this blog to look like a virtual fly shop with thirty links to sell gear either. My boat and truck don't don any decals (When did fly fishing begin to look like NASCAR anyway)? What I will do is give an honest assessment of gear that I have used at a minimum of at least one season. Gear reviews that rate a product out of the box are beyond useless. As are magazines that continually give a thumbs up to every new gizmo that comes down the pike.
With that said expect reviews on gear not normally seen in fly centric writings. More to come in the coming weeks.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
"I want other people to be able to partake in this same amount of fun".Ed Ward from Skagit Master
That says it all. Two handed rods are a ton of fun to fish. Whether spey or switch. This is a leader I've been tying for introductions in two handed casts. One stumbling block most people have when learning two handed techniques is anchor placement. To help visualize where that is I use 30 lb. (.023) of Amnesia red running line at the end of the line. Attach anyway you prefer. When you add the leader listed here it greatly increases your ability to track your placement. I've used it on both traditional and Skagit lines. It's not just for practice as I've caught a few fish with it also.
- 36" x .021 Amnesia running line (red)
- 24" x .019 Amnesia running line (red)
- 12" x .017 Maxima Chameleon
- 12" x .015 Maxima Chameleon
- 10" x .013 Maxima Chameleon
- 6" x . 011/ 0X Rio Power Flex
- 6" x .009/ 2X Rio Power Flex
- 18" x .008/3X Rio Power Flex
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Fishing movies have improved tremendously over the last decade. Whether instructional or the destination type, there are some really good flicks out right now. While at a local shop last week I was given a film to peruse. While not available at this time, keep an eye out for 'The Take' from Costa Del Mar. The film documents the lives of the crew at the Snake River Angler. If you've ever thought about guiding, working in or owning a fly shop as a career this will give you a "behind the scenes" look into reality. Highly recommended for those thinking of becoming a lifer or part timer. After working in both ski and fly shops I can relate to the staff a little too well. As for the guiding part of the movie. Let's leave it at what Boots Allen has to say near the end of the movie. Enjoy.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
It's that time of the season where I change gears. Winter fishing in Maine can be done. I've done it. I'm still doing it. But to be honest every other place I've ever fished in the winter has been much better. Spring creeks that maintain a constant water temp and rich tailwaters with abundant aquatic life make winter sessions productive. Either pick your days here, book a flight or diversify.
I'm diversifying. Nordic, telemark and backcountry skiing beckon. Ice and mixed climbing tax one's physical and mental condition. It's like being a shark. Keep moving. Be ready for the 2011 season.
As far as this blog goes expect to see some changes in posts. I can write the same trip report until mid March and it won't change. I won't help feed the shack nasties.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Winter doesn't officially start until the 21st, but it looks and feels like it now. At this point it's all down to conditions. Here are a few ideas for some winter sessions.
- Play it safe. Shelf ice, snow and cold water temps are a great combination for disaster. Wade conservatively. It's not the time to find out if you can cross that section of river safely.
- Fuel up. Hit that greasy truck stop mid morning. Stay hydrated(with water).Bring a few snacks along.
- Look for air temps that are in a warming trend. 30 degrees or warmer are ideal.
- No need to fish early. Start at 11:00 or so. I usually end around 3:00.
- Nymphing. It's what's for dinner. Choose confidence flies. Work good looking water thoroughly. I'll present six or seven times at the right depth before working new water.
- If you hook up to a fish. Stay put. Trout tend to herd up in winter.
- Go light. You don't need a ton of crap for winter fishing.
- Spare gloves in your pockets and a change of clothes in the truck.
- Keep an eye out for flotsam in the river. A dislodged piece of ice can ruin your day.
Friday, December 3, 2010
I've been pretty good this season. I've shown patience, humor and a professional attitude. I shared info and gave away "Hot Flies" everyday.I made sure I apologized to the river when I needed to.
If you could send one more fish like the one above before the end of this season I'd really appreciate it. If not a couple of plane tickets to Santiago or Auckland.
P.S. Beer in the cooler. Out in the barn. Help yourself.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I've had a few conversations these past weeks with clients inquiring about trips for the 2011 season. Some are purchasing "Gift Trips" for Christmas presents (great idea) for friends, partners or family members. Most are surprised that I suggest a wade trip over a float trip when it comes to novice anglers. While a drift boat trip is great fun, beginners will gain more from wading than a float. Here's why:
- If you never have cast a fly rod before, your trip turns into a $300+ frustrating casting class with a nice lunch.
- Having the ability and skill to cast at thirty or more feet greatly increases your success rate.End of story. Don't buy into the B.S. of float trip catch rates being higher than wade trips. It all comes down to angler ability, conditions and attitude.
- Reading water is paramount while float fishing. Either end of the boat needs fishing eyes.
- Book a trip that will mimic the skills you will need to fish on your own. Wading is a skill that is just as important as casting.
- The novice can get some quality, individual attention. This can be tough when floating.
- Nymphing is easier wading than from a boat for the beginner.
- They don't have any gear. That's not a problem. We can outfit nearly everyone head to toe for a wade trip.