Monday, February 10, 2020

Something Old and Something New

The past week has been been a bit on and off for me. Some kind of bug took hold of me and man it beat the hell out of me. Today I feel like I'm back.

The Partridge and Olive. This is a soft-hackle I have written about in many blog posts. Although it may seem repetitive I can't tell you the importance of this fly. It's a pattern that has caught fish for me wherever I've fished it. It is not just a trout fly but it has taken bass both small and largemouth. Bluegills with rock bass and crappie. It's a fly you should have in your box.


This could be the most beautiful brook trout I've ever caught. The trout was taken from a small stream in the Shenandoah National Park. The trout took a partridge and olive soft-hackle. The fly was cast into a pool. I saw the brookie move towards the fly. He followed it and as the fly came close to the shore I thought the brookie would back off, instead he grabbed it.


When your coming off a bad week, what better way then a hot dog to make you feel better. Do you notice the way the hot dog is cut on the ends? There is a reason.




37 comments:

  1. Whoa Alan that's a beautiful fish! Tell me do you ever add weight to your line when fishing soft hackles or do you like them up in the film?

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    1. Dean F
      Thanks
      Dean I never use weight on my SH's I like them free swimming in the currents. I have used them tied on heavier hooks to bring them down a bit.

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  2. Hi Alan, I only eat hot dogs with natural skins and we always slit the ends, in the form of a cross so they end up looking like yours, after cooking. It provides two crunchy tastey bites but other than that I have no idea why. Its something we have always done.

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    1. John Dornik
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      John natural casing franks are the only frank to use. The slits do provide that additional crunch, but that's not what I had in mind. Mucke's Martin Rosols, Hummels, Grote and Wiegle all great NC franks.

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    2. Hi Alan, being originally from Buffalo, Sahlen's hot dogs are the only ones I'll eat! Awesome natural casing franks made in Buffalo, and Ted's Hot Dogs serves them up the best: a little burnt! And that SNP brookie is awesome! That's right in my back yard here in Va. Now if only knew how to fish soft hackles...
      Regards,
      Dino

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    3. Anonymous
      Thanks
      Dino it seems all regions of the US has their favorites. One common thread with them all is the fact they have natural casings. I envy you living so close to a brook trout area that is just so beautiful. It's federal protection will keep it that way. Soft-hackles fish themselves...

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    4. Dino by the way, I have been in the meat/provision business all my working life. Back in the late sixties there was a company out of Albany NY named Tobin Packing Co. They made a "First Prize" NC frank that was awesome.

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  3. Alan
    Wow,those hot dogs look delicious--the next time I grill a one I'll split the ends. Got to give the soft hackle a try with some of those bluegill I hope to land on Smith this year.
    Sorry you're under the weather; hope it's not the flu--thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill Trussell
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      Bill I know you are a bluegill angler and I know if you try soft-haclkes on them you'll be quite happy.
      No flu and I'm almost ready to fish again.

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  4. What a fish! My mom used to put little perpendicular slits in hot dogs, maybe 3-4 per side. She said it stopped them from splitting. It seems her method would yield a drier dog though, as the juices would likely have more space to leak out. In your strategy, I bet it also keeps the casing from splitting, but holds in more of the juice during cooking?

    Again, that brookie is GORGEOUS!

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    1. Hibernation
      Thanks
      Will I know many people who also slit the franks along the side. This does allow for the juices to flow out as you said. Just slitting the ends and grilling them without excessive heat will allow a nicely textured juicy frank.
      I really love that brookie, great memories incorporated there.

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  5. Alan,
    Amazing colors! One of the most colorful brookies I have caught was on the outskirts of Shenandoah. The dogs look great. Best tasting hotdogs are those cooked over a campfire on a stick.
    JJ

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    1. Beaverdam
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      Joe those Southern Appalachian brookies are special.
      Hot dogs cooked that way are not forgotten. When outdoors and it's time to eat hotdogs are like steak.

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  6. A noted chef Pepin cuts from one end to the other half way in, then on that side cuts half way in every half inch or so. These are fried in a pan yielding in a dog that fits on a hamburger bun as it curls up in a circle.

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    1. Unknown
      Thanks
      I've never heard of a hotdog cooked in that fashion. But if Mr. Pepin made it it's worth trying. I wonder if the Howard Johnson restaurant's served them that way?

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    2. I worked at Hojos for 15+ yrs.in the 60/70’s. We scored our “franks” 5 times on each side. They were then put into clarified butter before grilling. Then into a buttered/grilled bun with proprietary mustard and relish. Tasty. Perhaps what the brook trout seek in a soft hackle as well.

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    3. Bill/Tully
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      Bill what ever happened to HoJo's. They were a true family restaurant. I heard there was only one left still doing business. Their macaroni and cheese and fried clams are a fond memory for me.
      Perhaps your right on the soft-hackle.

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    4. I think this is what occurred from what folks who were still there told me. Mr Johnson’s son sold the business in the very early 80’s. He retired to Florida. A British firm bought the company. The property/locations were pretty valuable. After a few years they realized it was not the company they thought they were buying. The decided to just walk away. The restaurants were mostly acquired by Marriott, the hotels by Red Roof Inns. The franchise operators were allowed to continue to use the Hojo name and orange roof as long as they franchise stayed in the same ownership. As time moved on, ownership changes happened. Less orange roofs. The last one was on Bangor and I am not sure of its status. It was a great place to work as a kid then into mgt. You learn a lot working with the public over the decades.

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  7. Hi Alan

    That is one amazing looking Brookie there....... Olive is such a common colour in nature, no wonder it is such a popular colour for our flies.

    That hot dog looks so good too. Unless you go to a specialist outlet, most hot dogs in the UK are trash. Much better is our great British 'Banger', the best ones I have had are from a Butchers in Manchester called Lords of Middleton. Their Moonraker & Scholes Sizzlers (named after the former England & Man Utd footballer Paul Scholes who grew up close by) are food of the gods!

    Thanks for sharing

    Alistair

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    1. Anonymous
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      Alistair most national brands of hotdogs leave a lot to be desired. Then you have to local companies which have long family histories in the making of hot dogs. These are the ones to buy.
      I have heard of your "bangers"...a well known dish from the UK is "bangers" and mashed...two of the worlds most gratifying comfort foods.

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    2. Bangers, mash & (onion) gravy is a favourite of my better half, I prefer 'toad in the hole'. Whoever though of sausages in Yorkshire pudding needs a memorial to their soul. Not sure if you get that on your side of the pond???

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    3. Alistair, no we can't get that here but I'm going to try it.

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    4. Recipe on it's way over to you Alan

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  8. Everybody has a different way to cook their hot dogs. I'll just say great Brookie.

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  9. Beautiful brook trout! Soft hackles are an important part of my arsenal and can really save the day. I have never slit my dogs on only the ends but I will give it a try. Feel better!

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    1. NJpatbee
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      Pat making slits on the ends allows the dog to cook without bursting which will cause the loss of the juices. Allowing the dogs to cook slowly while keeping an eye on them, and when the end slits open your hot dog is cooked to perfection.

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  10. Alan,
    The flies and brookie above are exquisite along with the "dogs" you have pictured. You are exactly right about the hot dogs being best regionally! The slicing of the ends and down the sides I have never heard of although it sounds like a great idea! You can't beat them cooked over the campfire!
    Hungry in den,
    Dougsden

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    1. Dougsden
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      Doug you can't beat locally made products. I explained to Pat above the thought behind the slits. Outdoor cooking is tops...

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  11. Alan, next time your up in Maine check out Bonneau's sausage kitchen. Sauagekitchem.com

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    1. Unknown
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      I won't be up there for some time. I did check out the website and man that's my kind of place. They do mail order.

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  12. I think that is the best picture of a brook trout I have ever seen. The way they color up in the fall is something to behold, most especially in person. They seem to emit their own light at times, Alan.

    Hot dogs, once in a while I have to have one. My wife and I buy Kayem's which are darned snappy when bit into. Some brown mustard on it, hard to beat. Chili, onion, and sauerkraut we are really living it up! Haha!

    Best, Sam

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    1. Sam
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      Kayem is an old MA. company. I first came to know them back in the late 70's. Good NC franks...you like to load that frank up. Feeling better and stronger each day. That 45 degree Sunday is looking good.

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  13. I also want to add that I hope you are feeling better!

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  14. Glad to hear you are healing up and getting stronger, Alan. I have my eye on that 45 degrees on Sunday! Last time out for a brief time earlier this week I saw a nice fish rising, one of those types of rises that leaves a few bubbles that drift downstream for a ways. I tried for it, but to no avail. I now know where it hangs out though.

    Best, Sam

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    1. Sam, don't you love it when a trout rises and you have no idea what it's eating. Winter angling can be a challenge. I'm happy you had the chance to fish.

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  15. I do, Alan. I was in the river and saw nothing so whatever that trout was eating had to be very small. I don't tie them, but have a few real small midges that someone gave me. I will give those a try tomorrow on the smallest tippet I own which is 6x. You never know.

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