Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Christmas Gift Idea, A Childhood Memory And Sweet Stuff

My son and I returned last night from our 30th annual Pennsylvania deer hunt. This was one of our finest. We have had better years in terms of harvests but like fishing success is not measured in terms of catches but instead in terms quality. Neither one of us filled our buck tags, which does happen and while that can be disappointing it did not lessen our enjoyment. There were several firsts that happened on this hunt and I'll tell you about that in a later post.

Christmas is coming and I'd like to toss out a possible gift request. John Gierachs' book "A Fly Rod of Your Own"...I have not read it but like all of John's books I'm sure it will be good.

When I was growing up we had a ground meat sandwich filler called "ham and pickle", truth be it actually never had much ham in it, more like balogna and veal loaf. It was ground together with pickles and them mixed with mayo. It was served on white bread it was so good. I still make it today but I use more ham and less bologna. I also like it with crackers.

Blueberry coffee cake...lots of blueberries and cinnamon and brown sugar, now bring on the coffee.
I promise I'll have a fishing report in my next post along with some thoughts on "tails"

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Pearsall's Silk And..........

Good morning friends.. I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving and now that we are working on cleaning up the leftovers, my favorite is turkey soup and I'm sure you all have a special dish that's created from the leftovers.

I don't know how many of you tie with Pearsall's silk threads. Well I do and I have had a problem with them for some time. Their spools come unmarked, meaning the color is not labeled. This presents an issue when the fly pattern requires a certain color and I'm fumbling through my assortment of colors. Black, white, and red are colors that are pretty much easy to distinguish, it's the primrose, chestnut and others that are not so easy to distinguish. Pearsall's has a number system for their colors which makes it easy to identify the color, now if only they would print that on the label my life would be easier. A reader of this blog was kind enough to send me a color chart, and it gives both the number and color of the silk. Now I finally know the color of thread that I've had for some's salmonberry. I guess in the scope of things that are in our lives the color of silk does not make a big wave.."oh yeah"....

Here's a beautiful "North Country Spider"...It's called a Dark Spanish Needle. Tied on a size 14 hook, body of orange Pearsall's silk. a snipe breast feather, and peacock herl for the head.

I've been tinkering around with midges. The season is now at hand when these little bugs are a mainstay for winter trout. This simple fly is tied on a size 20 hook, black thread for the body, died natural mole and fox squirrel for the thorax.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

I want to wish all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Simplicity With Some Unusual Results

Foam Body Bee
Last week I posted a fly that featured a unique hook. It featured an up-turned eye. In my attempt to purchase some of these to replace my dwindling stock. My search came up empty. My final search was with E-bay and I came up with a seller. I placed my order and received them Saturday along with a bag of goodies that were given to me at no charge. One of the goodies was a bumble bee body made of foam. I went and tied up one and placed it in the fly box.

With the hooks I tied up a couple of flies featuring Pearsall's silk thread and natural Fox Squirrel fur...these flies are the epitome of simplicity.

This fly has a Pearsall's silk body, the color is a rust-brown, and natural fox squirrel belly hair for a thorax. The movement in the fur also works for legs-wing as an emerger.

This fly features Pearsall's maroon-claret silk thread body. The thorax is natural fox squirrel body hair. These flies produce a lot of movement which produces strikes. The one issue with fox squirrel is that it's tough to work with. If you try to work it to much it will become a glob of hair instead of a spiky buggy looking fly.

I took the three flies out for a couple of hours on Sunday and had a pretty good day. While all three flies produced fine results the bee really surprised me. The brookies hit it hard...bee patterns in late November.

Bill Skilton features these foam bodies and the ant patterns are killers......thanks Bill.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

November Days

These November days can be a tad different, talk about temperature swings. One day it's in the 50's and the next it's the high 30's and the next it's windy and cloudy. Given the chance to go fishing I take it and well the weather will not change for me so what the heck why not go. The streams at this time of year are usually in fine shape and offer some great fishing at certain times. Fly choices are narrowed down and you can fish top, middle or bottom, it's pretty much like that year round so why are the fly choices narrowed down. What I mean is you can choose pretty much the same dry fly all day, or the same wet fly and if you like use the same nymph. Is this my method of fishing November waters "no" but you could.

I like to change flies and types from time to time just to see if a sulphur parachute will work in November as well as it does in June. Perhaps a Partridge and Blue may turn a fish on, and a Mickey Finn this is a must try bucktail in November.

A beautiful brookie from a clear pool.

Several trout were observed in the tail of this run. I spooked them and the vanished up under the bank or the roots. I continued to fish further upstream for awhile and on the way back I approached this run from above. The fly drifted and a fish swirled.


Another November issue is ice. It's not everywhere but you had best beware of it.

Saw this little fella the other day. Don't know what he is but I guessed he should not have been where I saw him.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Some Work From My Desk

Good morning. A bright picture to start the day, along with my second cup of rich coffee and I'm ready to type. A good frame of mind is necessary to do this and all the help I can get as well as what medium I get it from helps. A few flies here, the first couple of them were tied with CDC. I never tried fishing them but they looked good on the vise.

The CDC spider. This one tied on a curved hook.

Another CDC fly...looks like it might be eaten.

These next two spiders are tied on some pretty cool looking hooks. They are Mustad 94842, they feature an up-turned eye. This one has a mole dubbed thorax and a very nice feather for it's hackle. The feather is from a partridge and is located on the shoulder.

This fly also tied on the up-turned eye hook. It features a sparse dubbed body of natural mole and another feather from the partridge shoulder.

Fumbling through Smiths' book North Country Flies I found this fly. Most of the materials I can't get but from the description I think it looked like this. I fished this the other day and it was working well until a tree ate it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Let's Warm Up

Have you ever tried these, if not please do.
This morning here in Newington CT we received our first snow..while it did not cover the ground it sure looked nice. The last few days have been a bit chilly. The weather while being normal for this time of year the milder temps of late Oct. and early Nov. had us fooled or maybe complacent.

It is on these cold days that a good hot soup or stew makes us feel so good. I have a couple of my favorites I'd like to pass it along to you. Most are fairly simple and require inexpensive ingredients. Try one or both and I think they will be your favorites too.

Beef stew in a cast iron skillet. Beef cubes, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery salt, pepper, soy sauce, and flour or cornstarch just to thicken.

Yankee Bean Soup..some ham cubes, vegetable broth, onions, carrots, small white beans, and pepper. Serve it with crusty bread, or your favorite crackers.

Skillet corn bread. Corn muffin mix, a tad oil, and some fresh corn.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Frosty Morning In November, With Spiders In The Riffles

My last outing, I believe it was Thursday was one of those real frosty mornings. The overnight temps dropped significantly and there was a tin coating of ice on the pond in front of our condo unit. So I prepared myself and was ready for the crisp day ahead. Walking to the stream signs of "Jack Frost" were all around. The sun glancing off the trees and landscape gave a Christmas touch to the woods. As I reached the water I was in a mind set that I would see a layer of ice that would form at the edges, well it was not there. I looked for those ice crystals that form from splashing water on the branches that lie in the water and they were not there either. So perhaps it did not effect the water temps at all and maybe it would be a fine dry fly day. I had other thoughts.

I chose instead to fish "spiders" and to fish them in the riffles. Riffles are my favorite areas to fish, most times they are productive and with the right fly I have had some outstanding days.

Boy can Mr. Frost paint.

The head of a fast riffle. A strike can come here as well as in the middle and the tail.

The fish took the spider at the head as it was brought back and then allowed to drift back.

The water here is shallow and it is clear. There is a place where a brookie will hold. It did and in a flash he struck the fly...

Small stream wild brook trout are "masters" of their habitat. They can almost disappear in scant water, amazing creatures for sure.

What a nice coffee streamside. Another wonderful day in brook trout forest.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Cane and Silk Review and Some Thoughts

A review on the Cane and Silk fiberglass fly rod. This rod has now been fished by me for some time. The particular model is a 6'  2-3 weight 3 piece. I fished it with both a 2 and a 3 weight DT floating line and found it handled both lines well, but I seemed to have done better with the 3 weight. The action on the rod is soft and its presentation of the fly was delicate. While I did not fish this rod on bigger waters "like the Farmington" I feel it would handle that task very well. There are some small streams where the added length this rod offers will be an asset and I look forward to many days fishing this fine rod.

Last week at a presentation I was part of the interest in this rod was very high. The quality of the workmanship and the affordable price were key.

Some of my friends posing with the Cane and Silk rod.

I have had several requests on how I set up my leaders for fishing small streams. It's pretty simple and has worked for me for years. This diagram shows how I do it.

Some classics on there way to West Virginia....I took this photo in an attempt to create a little quiz for a future give-a-way...stay tuned.

Lastly I would like to mention the tragic death of Roy "Doc" Halladay....great pitcher and over the years has offered us many memorable games. As a Red Sox fan I remember many a game we faced against him.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Back Home Again

Yesterday morning I woke up to a light rain. Looking out the window the plans I had made were not looking good. Heading downstairs to have my first cup of coffee I noticed Jeanette was already to take her walk, at that point I said it's raining and the reply was "not for long"..she then told me the weather guy said the rain would stop and the day would be one of those hit or miss shower days. Well it looked like the plans were on, and with that I sat down and had some breakfast. A few more cups of coffee and I was getting the gear put into the car.

I had chosen to fish my home waters this day. It had been awhile since I drifted a fly and was anxious to see how it had fared the recent heavy rains of the last weeks. My eyes could not believe what I saw, the little stream was transformed into a whole new place. There had been some heavy tree drops onto the stream as well as log jams causing the old pools to become entirely new.

The water volume was up and the trick was to try and locate where the trout might be.

Sandy bottoms were seen where there was gravel and large branches clogged many of the undercuts.

I managed to locate a willing brookie. It took awhile, maybe the changing of the clocks to EST threw them off.

There were places along the stream where the "glorious season" still could be seen. Some time was spent here to savor it, even the mist in the air could not dampen the beauty.

In a run as beautiful as this, how fitting it was to be able to hook the most beautiful brook trout of the day along its riffles.

A home water jewel. These days are dwindling and I am very lucky to have had a day like this.

Friday, November 3, 2017

United Fly Tyers Of Boston

A wonderful evening. I had the pleasure of presenting to the United Fly Tyers of Boston. The UFT are the oldest fly tying group in the U.S.....A great group of guys who made for a very interesting night for me. In such encounters a lot can be learned in a short time, and I learned a lot.

One of the highlights was the informal Q&A that followed the presentation. There was a great deal of interest in the Cane and Silk fiberglass fly rods, and a couple of flies seemed to be talked about were the Ausable Bomber as well as the Lackie Special.

I personally want to thank Bob Wilson, and Brian well as all of the fine people I met last night.

I believe I've seen this fellow at Red Brook.