Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year Wrap Up

Tightline Productions has just released a short video that summarized this year's Fly Fisherman of the Year One Fly Tournament.  The video does an excellent job capturing the true essence of the event.  Take a look at it when you get a chance, especially if your a NJ angler and would like to get involved next year!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Book Announcement

I ran into my good friend Don Bastian at the Fly Tying Symposium over the weekend.  He was excited to announce that he was working on a new book highlighting 19th century fly patterns. The exact publishing date has not been announced yet, but I am looking forward to this one.

Some info on the new book from Don's website Don Bastian Wet Flies   ...

Don Bastian
The Whitefish Press
Have entered into a contract to publish a book on 19th Century Fly Patterns titled:
The Favorite Flies of
Mary Orvis Marbury
All 291 of the fly patterns from Marbury’s 1892 book will be replicated in a fly tier-
friendly volume including tying recipes.
Hackles, Salmon Flies, Lake Flies, Trout Flies, and Bass Flies –
Dressed by:
Eric Austin, Tom Baltz, Don Bastian, Dave Benoit, Scott Bleiler, John “CJ” Bonasera, Austin Clayton, Matt Crompton, Chris Del Plato, Ronn Lucas, Mike Martinek, Stanley Miller, Ed Muzeroll, Ted Patlen, Bob Petti, Roger Plourde, Paul Rossman, Dave Schmezer, Mike Schmidt, Bill Shuck, Leigh Shuman, Royce Stearns, Kat Rollin, Rick Whorwood, and Sharon Wright.
I would like to personally thank each of these contributing fly tiers. Their individual and diverse fly tying talents will enrich and enhance this project.
This book will present high-resolution photographs of the actual antique flies from all 32 of the original 1892 Orvis Fly Plates used for the painted lithographs in Marbury’s book,Favorite Flies and Their Histories, plus close to 100 additional 19th Century fly pattern recipes. For this privilege, a special acknowledgement and huge thank-you goes out to Catherine Comar, Executive Director, and Yoshi Akiyama, Deputy Director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, for their permission, assistance, and cooperation of The Museum.
This book will include an instructional chapter and notes on pattern origins.
The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury
Don Bastian
The Whitefish Press
The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury will present replications of all 291 of the historic 19th Century fly patterns from Mary Orvis Marbury’s 1892 book, including written and in some instances, updated dressings in a fly tier-friendly format. This combination of photographs and tying recipes will be available to the public for the first time since the publication of Forgotten Flies in 1999.
Exact publication date for The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury is not yet determined. However, to reserve your copy of the Limited Edition, please contact:
The Whitefish Press – or by writing:
The Whitefish Press,
4240 Minmor Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45217

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tightline Productions

I recently discovered what I think are some of the best fly tying videos being shown on the web these days.  These videos are being produced by Tim and Joan Flagler of Tightline Productions.  It just so happens that this is also a local company which makes it kind of cool.  I was introduced to Tim and Joan as well as their fly tying videos at the NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year event.  My jar dropped when I saw the quality of the HD tying video being displayed on a large TV at the event.  I have bumped into Tim and Joan a few times since then and recently asked them for permission to share one of their videos (which they were more than happy to oblige, in fact they encouraged it).  Many of you may already be familiar with their work, since it has been featured on MidCurrent and other blogs like Matt Grobert's Caddis Chronicles.

I love this scud pattern.  Its simple, effective and very similar to a pattern I tie and use myself.  Enjoy the clip and check out some of their other videos on Vimeo

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another one bites the dust!

The Finesville Dam on the Musconetcong River is coming down!  This project began in 2007 with a letter supporting the dam's removal from the owner. Then came feasibility studies, grants, years of public meetings and of course the ever elusive permits.

Finally work has begun on the dam's removal.  Once the structure is removed there will be plenty more work to be done restoring the river to its original condition.

This dam removal is the latest in a series of dam removal projects on this river.  A number of them have been successfully removed to date and more ambitious projects are waiting in the wings.

My hat is off to all of the individuals and organization that made this happen!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

He Could Have Been a Contender...

Actually, I'm just poking a little fun at my buddy Lou DiGena from the Fly and Fin blog who made a fine showing at the 2nd Annual New Jersey Fly Fisherman of the Year competition this past weekend.  I'm poking fun because I am actually a little bit jealous that he made a better showing then me during last year's competition.  Lou went into the finals in second place and missed taking all the glory by eight tenths of an inch!  Had he been allowed to retain his score from the morning session he would have taken first with a comfortable lead, but the rules called for all contestants to start with a clean slate for the final round of fishing.

This years event also coincided with the 40th Anniversary of the formation of New Jersey's State Council of Trout Unlimited.  The fly fishing event and the subsequent banquet was sponsored and hosted by The Raritan Inn and Shannon's Fly Shop.  They really put on a fine event and the fund raising banquet for the State Council was a blast.  My hat goes off to them for everything they did!

Although yours truly did not participate in this year's fishing competition, I did participate in the post event, fly casting competition.   Unbelievably, I took first place!  I say it was unbelievable because I competed against some world class casters, but the gods and the winds were on my side (sorry Darren!).

I would also like to congratulate this year's winner.   Angelo Conti from the Ernest Schwiebert Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  Angelo is only seventeen years old but he out fished them all.  Hats off to Angelo, New Jersey's Fly Fisherman of the Year!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reflections of Summer

Summer is officially over, for the first time since last winter I froze my ass off while out fishing.  It wasn't extremely cold but I was still in summer mode and did not dress as warmly as I should have.  The fishing was good, but I am already missing those golden days of summer.  As I stood in the rapidly cooling water, with melting snow slowly dripping down my neck, thoughts drifted back to warm sunlit days on the Madison River.

Three Dollar Bridge can get a little crowded (by Montana standards, not New Jersey) on a July afternoon but the fishing can be remarkably good.  I will usually walk a distance from the parking areas before fishing, but on this day I just walked to the river bank and started fishing my way upstream.  No doubt, fishing in the footsteps of many anglers who proceeded me.  It did not seem to make a difference though.  The fish came very regularly to small nymphs drifted through likely looking lies.

Some big...

Some small...

But they were plentiful and in a 100 yards of river I bagged a dozen or more fish under a blazing mid day sun. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.  But there were signs that this section of river is maybe seeing too much angling activity.  More than once I observed fish that should signs of being hooked a few times. Then I caught this emancipated looking fellow.

More snake than trout, not a very healthy looking fish, I doubt it survived the summer.  This was the only day we fished that section of river.  After that we looked for water off the beaten track to give these fish a break.  More anglers should do the same.  The Madison is a big river with fish everywhere.  It still amazes me how many people (myself included) flock to this particular place, and how good the fishing could be inspite of it all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank a Veteran Today!

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

George Orwell

Thank a Veteran Today!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fishing Companions

I had a little company on the river this weekend!  Although there are only three bears in this picture there were actually four, mama and three cubs.  It was tough to get them all in the same frame as the cubs always seemed to wander off.  They were very well behaved and spent the afternoon routing around on the far bank, looking for what ever bears look for in the leaves.  They seemed to be finding plenty to eat as they always seemed to be chewing on something.

Its great to see these guys on a regular basis.  I know a lot of folks have mixed feelings on the rebounding bear population here in New Jersey, but I like having them around.  As long as they stay on their side of the river!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall Colors

Forget the foilage , this is what fall colors are all about!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Buffalo Bug

While fishing the Gardner River this summer in Yellowstone National Park I observed a lot of buffalo under fur in the sage brush around the river.  When I returned from my trip and was putting away my gear I observed a small amount of this fur jammed into the corner of my pack's waist belt.  It must snagged there while we were busting through some heavy brush on our way down to the river.  This particular area was loaded with clumps of fur hanging off the brush so I am guessing that is where it came from.

I was just about to dump it into the trash when it dawned on me to try and use it in a fly pattern.  The fur in its original form consisted of long crinkled hairs with a light brown color.  I don't know if this the original color or if it was bleached out somewhat by the sun.  I raked out the bits of debris that where present, gave it a course chop with a pair of scissors and through it in my fur blender (AKA my wife's missing coffee blender) and gave it a whirl.  I threw it in a tiny baggie and forgot about it until it resurfaced a few days ago.

My original thoughts were to mix it with another fur since it did not look like it would dub very  well on its own.   I tried it straight up and discovered I was dead wrong, it goes on thread (even unwaxed thread) like a dream.  It produced a very buggy looking thorax on the first fly I tied.  I liked the way it came out but I'm not the one eating it.

I had an opportunity to fish it this past weekend and it performed like a champ.  I tied the pattern in two versions, one for clear water and one with a splash of color for off color or high water conditions.  Flows were running a little high and clear and takes by the fish were about fifty/fifty, so they are both keepers.

The Buffalo Bug

Hook:  TMC 100SP-BL
Bead:  Montana Fly Lucent 7/64" Coffee
Thread:  Uni 8/0 Camel
Tail: Wood duck flank feather fibers
Ribbing:  Fine gold wire
Abdomen: DK Quill Body 02
Thorax:  Gardner River Valley Buffalo underfur dubbing
Hot Spot: Optional - band of hot orange thread behind the bead

I'm now experimenting with the addition of wing cases of different types.  So far a pearl and green flash material is showing promise.

My only dilema is the miniscule amount of material that I have.  I'll be lucky to get a couple dozen flies out of it if I'm lucky.  When it's gone it's gone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Jersey's 2nd Annual Fly Fisherman of the Year Competition

New Jersey Trout Unlimited (NJTU) is celebrating 40 years as a State Council. 
On Saturday, November 12, 2011, NJTU along with Shannon's Fly & Tackle
Shop and the Raritan Inn in Califon will be hosting the 2nd Annual New Jersey
Fly Fisherman of the Year Competition.  A banquet will follow follow the competition in celebration of NJTU's 40th Anniversary.
Come out for an evening of fun, auctions and tales of lore as we celebrate the 
winner of the one fly contest review 2011 fly fishing year or the 
"rain / water year" as we have come to know.
Tickets are $60 (and strictly limited to 60 people) and available at Shannon's
Fly & Tackle - 908 832-5736.
Details available at and
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

IF4 is coming to New Jersey

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival is joining ranks with the Fly Fishing Show at various venues in early 2012.  For those of us in the tri-state area, Somerset New Jersey appears to be on the list.  According to Ben Furimsky, "Film Festival screenings will be held immediately following the conclusion of the Fly Fishing Show, about 6:30 p.m. depending on the venue. There will be separate admission charged for the films, but will be discounted for those attending the Fly Fishing Show".    It looks like the date for the New Jersey Show will be Friday January 27, 2012.

According the producers of the film festival.  “The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) consists of 16 short and feature length films produced by professional and amateur filmmakers from all corners of the globe, showcasing the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly fishing. From steelhead in Northern BC to chasing multiple species in Costa Rica, the variety of films will pique the interest of all anglers. IF4 contains exclusive content not available in any other fly fishing film event.”

I had the opportunity to attend one of these festivals a few years back in Denver and I can attest that they are a great time.  I'm looking forward to attending this one.

For you folks on the other side of the Deleware River the show will also be coming to Pennsylvania on February 18, 2012 after the Lancaster show.  I just may make that one too!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Jersey's Fall Trout Stocking Began Today

For those local followers of this blog, New Jersey's trout streams recieved a fresh influx of fish today.  Fall is the perfect time to get out and enjoy some quality fishing without the crowds of spring time.  Below you will find the stocking schedule for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, October 11
  • Manasquan River - 650
  • Metedeconk River, North Branch - 150
  • Metedeconk River, South Branch - 240
  • Tom's River (including TCA) - 360
  • Raritan River, North Branch - 920
  • Paulinskill River, and E/Br and W/Br - 1,720
Wednesday, October 12
  • Musconetcong River (including Point Mt. TCA, Hunterdon County) - 2,820
  • Pequest River (including TCA, Pequest WMA) - 1,550
Thursday, October 13
  • Big Flat Brook - 1,620
  • Wallkill River - 470
  • Black River - 330
  • Rockaway River - 1,290
  • Pohatcong Creek - 800
  • Wanaque River - 330
  • Ramapo River - 880
  • Raritan River, South Branch (including TCA, Ken Lockwood Gorge) - 2,570

Week 2, October 17-21, 2011

Monday, October 17 - No stocking
Tuesday, October 18
  • Giampetro Park Pond - 170
  • Hammonton Lake - 340
  • Mary Elmer Lake - 170
  • Maurice River - 400
  • Crystal Lake - 170
  • Grenloch Lake - 170
  • Oak Pond - 170
  • Sylvan Lake - 170
Wednesday, October 19
  • Greenwich Lake - 170
  • Iona Lake - 170
  • Schadlers Sand Wash Pond - 170
  • Swedesboro Lake - 170
  • Colonial Lake - 170
  • Farrington Lake - 340
  • Roosevelt Park Pond - 170
  • Rosedale Lake - 170
Thursday, October 20 - No stockingFriday, October 21 - No stocking
The access road through the Ken Lockwood Gorge in Hunterdon County that parallels the S/Br. Raritan River was heavily damaged by record flood waters. The Gorge will be stocked and fish will be distributed along the entire river stretch. However, the entire road between the lower parking lot and the upper parking lot is now closed to vehicular traffic. Anglers can park at the upper and lower parking lots and walk into the Gorge to fish.
The Big Flat Brook in Sussex County was severely impacted by heavy flooding in August that eroded stream banks and washed out access roads. In Stokes State Forest, the Crigger Road bridge and several stops within the public campground immediately adjacent to the Big Flat Brook will not be stocked due to flood damage.
A section of National Park Service Rt. 615 (Walpack-Flatbrook Road), from south of Haney's Mill down to the bridge in Flatbrookville, is currently closed to the public and fish will not be stocked in this stretch. The transfer truck (a pick-up truck with a tank on the back) may not be able to access some stocking locations in the Walpack area due to road closures and saturated grounds. Trout not stocked at traditional locations on the Big Flat Brook will be redistributed to nearby locations on this stream. Anglers are reminded that even if a location is not stocked, they can be successful targeting trout stocked last spring that held over in these areas.
Anglers who fish Lake Iona in Gloucester County may be aware this lake has been partially lowered for emergency dam repairs. However, at this time it is anticipated that the repairs will be completed and lake refilled in time for fall trout stocking.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Yet Another Reason To Fly Fish

Apparently all those styrofoam containers littering our stream banks can do a lot more damage than fouling the environment.

Earthworms...An invasive species

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fly Shop Owner Mauled By Bear In Bow-Hunting Incident

Fly Shop Owner Mauled By Bear In Bow-Hunting Incident

I was shocked to learn about this incident.  We spent a lot of time at the Trout Hunter Shop this summer during our annual pilgrimage out west.  I hope Rich heals up real quick.  He is a very luck man!  Things could have turned out much worse the way the bears have been chewing on folks out there this year!

Friday, September 23, 2011

All may not be lost...

Photo from NJ Fish and Wildlife website

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife have been working hard to salvage the fish from the draining lake in my previous post.  Still no word on what the eventual outcome for the lake will be but the division is working hard to save as many fish as possible.  

Here is a report on the situation from their webpage:

September 21 Update:
An additional 1200 fish were removed from Prospertown Lake on Tuesday, September 20. The fish were relocated to Pemberton Lake WMA. The lake will be monitored over the next two weeks to evaluate if any additional removal/relocation is required.
September 16 Update:
An additional 2000 fish were collected from Prospertown Lake and relocated to Turnmill Pond on Thursday September 15. A total of approximately 3000 fish have been relocated thus far. The lake water level will be monitored over the weekend. Another day of electrofishing is planned for early next week.

September 15, 2011

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has been performing a fish salvage operation at Prospertown Lake (Ocean County) since the outlet structure failed earlier this week resulting in the lake's water level dropping substantially. The lake, a popular fishing destination, is located within the Prospertown Lake Wildlife Management Area.
As of Tuesday, September 13, 2011, approximately 1,000 black crappies, bluegills, yellow perch, brown bullheads and largemouth bass have been collected by Division Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries biologists and Bureau of Land Management personnel. The fish have been have been relocated to Turnmill Pond located on the nearby Colliers Mills WMA. Two electrofishing boats are being used to stun the fish, allowing staff to net and transfer them into a nearby hatchery truck.
The failure at the 80-acre lake in Hornerstown is believed to have been caused by the deterioration of the lake's outlet valve coupled with the additional flows from recent storm events. The exact cause of the failure will be determined once the lake drains and a thorough inspection of the outlet can be made. The lake is managed by the division.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Death of a fishery...

Hurricane Irene hit the northeast pretty hard.  Two of my local warm water haunts were destroyed by the storm. Both impoundments suffered a catastrophic dam failure and subsequently bled out.  What happened to the pictured lake left is a bit of a mystery.  The dam looks intact, but it appears that the floodgates may have ruptured.  Water is still rushing out at an alarming rate from the base of the dam but the waterline is no where near the dam at the current time, so I have no idea where the water is coming from.  The coves and shorelines are littered with the remains of fish.

On the back side of this high and dry island (to the right of the egret) Icaught my largest NJ bass of 2011, a spawned out female that pushed the scales to the seven pound mark. This was a favorite place to fish. I could be on the water in minutes from leaving my driveway. It was a convenient place to drown some flies after work and still be home in time to put kids to bed.

I saw NJ Fish & Wildlife in there during the week trying to rescue fish from the receding waters. I have no idea what the future holds for this lake. Will the dam be repaired, the lake restocked and restored to it's former self? Or, will it slowly dry out and return to a meandering stream.  Only time will tell...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grayling In the lower 48

Grayling are a species of fish that have always intrigued me.  Usually associated with the far north and Europe, they are an exotic fish for a fellow that hails from New Jersey.  On our recent trip to Yellowstone Country we had an opportunity to fish for grayling in the park.

Grebe Lake has a healthy population of both grayling and rainbow trout.  The lake is an easy 3 mile walk from the road, the trail is as about as flat as they come for that part of the world.  Roughly three quarters of the shoreline is fishable, the rest of it is a tangle of deadfall from the big fire.  The lake once served as a hatchery for the park in the early days but any traces of that operation are long gone.  If you make the trek you will be rewarded with fine fishing in a wilderness setting. There are a couple of primitive campsites on the lake as well, if a overnight stay interests you, The walk is easy enough to consider packing in a float tube. Just be sure to check with the park on regulations concerning camping and watercraft.

My trips to this water usually occur in mid July and on every trip I have been blessed with blizzard like damsel fly hatches.  This year was no exception.  As a bonus, the fish showed no preference between the nymph or the adult fly.  Top water or down low, it was all up to the fisherman to decide!  Last trip out the adult damsels were a subtle olive color and this year they were a brilliant blue.

For nymphs a basic olive damsel pattern would work as good as anything else.

The highlight of the day however, is when we switched over to tenkara gear to take these fish.  Fishing with a tenkara rod proved much more effective and a hell of a lot more fun on these chunky, little fish.

Even a ten inch grayling would give you a run for your money, as the bend in my buddy Rick's rod clearly demonstrates.  Grebe Lake is a place I find myself coming back to year after year.  Its not a place your going to catch a wall hanger, but you will certainly experience quality fishing!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ironic isn't it...

A week ago I was concerned about a hurricane ruining my Florida vacation and now I am worried about this same storm trashing my house while I'm away. The storm missed us entirely here in Florida but is now bearing down on my home state of New Jersey. Return flights have been canceled and when we finally arrive home there will likely be property damage and power outages to deal with. However, there is a silver lining in every dark cloud, I just managed to book an extra day of bass fishing. So while Irene is kicking New Jersey's ass I'll be tossing flies in the Florida sun! I just hope my house still has a roof on it when I get home!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This could be a bust...

My bags are packed and I'm leaving for Florida tomorrow.   I was hoping to try out my Sage Bass Series fly rod on some Florida strain largemouth.  I have been very pleased with the rod's performance and it's ability to cast large bushy flies into the wind, but this may be a little tough.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Brookies and Bears

During my recent trip to the Yellowstone area we spent an afternoon on a small, off the beaten track, piece of water. A short hike, of a few miles, rewarded us with a day of great dry fly fishing. This particular stream was loaded with brook trout. Every piece of holding water held one or more fish. In reality, it did matter where you cast as the fish seemed to be everywhere! The numbers added up quickly, as we worked our way up stream casting flies to fishy looking water.

I started fished with conventional fly gear but quickly switched over to Tenkara as the water was perfectly suited for it. Once I changed over to Tenkara the fish came even quicker. Tenkara is THE PERFECT technique for fishing dry flies on small waters.

Fly selection was simple, a deer hair bee pattern was the only fly needed on that day. These little brook trout were not selective, which was a nice change of pace from the maddening, match the hatch scenario on the Henry's Fork the night before.

The fish were small but they were numerous. Most were little hand sized brook trout with a few 11 or 12 inch fish in the better water. I had a refusal from a 14" fish late in the day. That fish would have been a trophy for this water.

As we were packing up for the hike out we encountered a young grizzly. Things became tense for a few moments when instead of fleeing he rapidly closed the distance between us to about 25-30 yards. He then paced back an forth a few times before finally circling off to our right and slipping out of sight over a hill. I managed to get a few crappy photos. Manipulating a small point and shoot camera and bear spray simultaneously with two shaking hands is no easy task!

Unfortunately, when the bear finally left us, he left in the direction of the trail home. When I zoomed in to take this last picture of the bear disappearing over the hill, I hoped it would be the last we saw if wasn't. We crossed paths with him two more times on the way home, luckily he had no interest in us during those encounters.

Brookies and bears in the backcountry! A wild experience in the place these magnificent creatures, both large and small, call home!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back to the grind...

I'm back in New Jersey after two weeks in paradise.  The Montana trip was fantastic and I look forward to sharing the details over the next few weeks through these posts.  Now its time to unpack the bags, wash some very dirty laundry and start planning the next trip out west.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's no rumor...

The big bugs are on the Madison and the fish are on them. We had a stellar day today. We did a short float from Lyons to Palisades and put a mess of big fish in the boat, all on Salmon flies tight to the bank. Pictures and more details when I can dump them from the camera when I get home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 18, 2011


Once we finally arrived in the West Yellowstone area and got settled in, we checked around to see what's been happening on the local rivers. Rumor has it that the big bugs are still around. All the high-water this year has postponed/prolonged the Salmon Fly hatch. Folks are saying that the bugs are still around and fish have been getting stupid over them. I have hit this hatch a few times but usually miss it because of the time if year I come out. Keeping my fingers crossed...

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reflections at 30,000 feet

A long day of travel is in store for me today as I make the journey from New Jersey to the promised land of trout fishing, Montana. The journey is required until the day comes when I can pick up the family and relocate to somewhere a little more in line with my passions. So for now, it is a tight airliner seat, on a crowded plane, next to a snoring stranger. As I struggle to hit the keys on this jostled, turbulence ridden aircraft I look forward with anticipation to 10 days of fishing in the promised land and already missing the wife and kids staying behind.

After four hours in the air there will be another five or six hours of traveling on the ground, but come sundown I will be casting to rising fish on the Henry's Fork.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Somewhere over middle America

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Packing for Montana

It won't be long now.  I am starting to get the gear together for two weeks in the West Yellowstone area.  The annual pilgrimage is less than a week away.  I am tying flies during every spare moment I have trying to get the fly boxes in shape, but I think I am going to come up short as usual.  Rod and reel selections need to be finalized, waders and boots need to be washed, and clothing has to be pared down to the absolute minimum to make room for more fishing gear.

This basically means I need to empty the back of the truck into a rolling duffle.  N o easy task!  As usual, I will pack to much, forget something important and I'll fish with the same six flies the whole trip.  It happens every year!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Swapping the waders for a kayak

Big gun at the ready
As the season changes from spring to summer, my fly fishing shifts from coldwater to warmwater, from trout to bass and panfish.  What I like the best about this transition is the switch from wading to kayaking.

I love fishing from a kayak.  Make no mistake about it,  it's a hell of a lot easier to fish from a boat where you can stand up or at least sit above the water line to cast, but fishing from a kayak does have its advantages.  Silently gliding over the water's surface with minimal disturbance allows me to get closer to the fish. I can carry a lot more gear with me as well, including an extra rod rigged and ready to go.   I can cast for panfish with a three weight, while my big gun lies in wait in the rod holder.  When I come up on that bassy looking spot or a larger fish shows himself, I can quickly change outfits and make the presentation.  Its a great way to fish!  The kayak gets me into smaller, more remote waters where my bigger boat can't go.  I can throw the boat on the roof of my truck and be on the water in minutes once I get to the water.  There's no rigging involved, no batteries to go dead and best of all no fuel to buy.

Fishing simplified...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Toothy Critters

I have been encountering quite a few of these fellows during my last few warmwater outings.  The larger specimans usually make short work of the 1x or 2x leaders I typically fish for bass.  They are causing me to spend a lot of hours, at the tying bench, replacing lost bass bugs.  Some of these pickeral have been real brutes getting close to typical northern pike size, but these smaller guys can usually brought to hand without the risk of a bite through. Even these little ones can make short work of 1x tippet if they get the chance. 

 I think the next time I visit this particular lake I am going to tie on a short flexible wire tippet and target some these  larger pickeral.  I am also experimenting with some  braided lines as tippet material.  So far they are holding up well but I have not hooked any big fish with this set up to really put it to the test.  On light tackle they are great sport, they often spend as much time out of the water as in.  

Rising Lippa 4 Life Special Blend with Leash
The Rising Lippa4Life tool  makes handling these fish a breeze.  Especially when fishing from a kayak.  In addition to being toothy there a bit on the slippery side and a writhing, snapping pike or pickeral thrashing around between your legs on the bottom of the kayak is an adrenaline filled experience to say the least.

Mono or flourocarbon tippets don't stand a chance!