Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The First Day Of Spring

On the official first day of Spring found myself fishing a small stream where the landscape looked more like Winter. I started my day about 10, with the sun out in force the air temps warmed up beautifully. As I walked to the stream I felt there was a new beginning coming to the woods and waters. The birds were very vocal, the trees that were dormant and had leaves still hanging on from last fall were tossing them aside preparing for the buds of a new season. The stream was open but the blanket of snow draped the edges, and caution was needed when walking close.

Several trees that fell across the stream were covered with small animal tracks, natural bridges that they no doubt prefer to use rather than the alternative. Fishing in winter can be beautiful, but it can be frustrating. March has never been a banner month for me, most times the fish are not cooperative. It's funny one day you will take trout from a particular run, and the next 3 times fishing the same place and it will be like your on a different planet.

After a couple of hours I walked upon this slow silent pool. Looking at it I thought of "wow that would make a lovely Christmas card"...I tossed out my offering and let the stream do the rest.

The response came very swiftly..I was greeted by a hard take. This fish was strong, mad and a bit surprised that the insect she bit, bit her back. A few little runs and she soon gave up. I placed my hand under the brown and lifted it to admire. Placed back in the stream and she was a memory of this day.

Winter has been hard on this stream, numerous blow downs have taken away some fine pools....but it has also created some very interesting new hide-a-ways....soon to be explored.

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Life Is Great"

Yesterday we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with the traditional corned...... and cabbage. Pardon me everything was traditional except for the meat. In place of beef, venison was used. Several pieces of odd pieces of deer were corned by me using a great recipe for the brine. The meat was placed in the brine about 7 day's ago, and was cured to perfection. The deer was placed in a large pot with various seasoning vegetables, then brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer. It slow simmered for 3 hours, and the other vegetables were added. It was allowed to simmer until the vegetables were cooked.

A cooked piece of shoulder, just perfect.

The first few slices held intact, but the rest sort of broke apart.

We enjoyed the meal, Jeanette said that I should corn the whole deer...she thinks it's the best way to eat venison. Today I have a few slices left and I will fry them with potatoes for breakfast.

Pastrami, anyone.....perhaps next year.

Friday, March 17, 2017

That Crazy Fly

Happy St. Patrick's Day. I hope you are enjoying you Irish Bangers for breakfast with some lovely fried potatoes...and may your corned beef dinner be the best.

This is a post about a crazy fly and the day's of last April fishing it. I hope you'll enjoy the change in scenery, Spring as opposed to Winter which is getting very old.

I may attempt to get out on the water today and perhaps manage to bring one of these to hand...using that crazy fly.

My corned venison is about a day away from being fully cured. I'm slated to enjoy it on Sunday...stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"In A Different Light"

Do fish see colors? That's a question I've heard talked about since the day I tied on a fly over 30 years ago. My answer has been no, but the argument can be made that it's yes simply because if the fly your fishing is dark and what's on the water is light chances are your dark fly will be rejected. Now I grant you this is a very simple explanation, and there are so many other things at play that will cause a fly to be rejected.

Below I have tested a few soft-hackles and spiders in a glass of water to try and simulate what a fly looks like in it's emerging stage. I've used various patterns, all different accept for the first two. This little experiment shows some pretty big differences in how a trout looks at a fly.

The first two flies are partridge and orange patterns, the same exact fly. You can see the orange silk body showing through the very sparse dubbed body. Also visible are the tiny air bubbles trapped in the dubbing and along the hackle fibers.

This is the exact fly as the first. Notice when photographed in a different light the fly looks totally different, especially the color. The trapped air bubbles are more pronounced and the body color takes on a different light.

This is a partridge and orange tied without any dubbing. This fly has a slight-sparse thorax and partridge hackle. The trapped air bubble is highly visible.

You can also see a very distinct rib in the body. This is accomplished by winding just the silk thread. It is not clear in the photo but those ribs in the thread catch light an act as another attraction.

In this last photo the fly has a fully dubbed body, it is slightly tapered and has a gold tinsel rib. Naturally the tinsel rib will draw attention but the key is the almost perfect ribbing in the body showing an insects natural segmented body.

A key to all of these flies is the's alive.