Saturday, February 28, 2015

Winter's Death

This winter has been a butt kicker. The fishing opportunities for a fly rodder this month have been non existent. But tomorrow is the start of March, and I am sure this month plans to do away with winter. Within a week there ought to be less snow and more open water, and if we are lucky enough the snow will have disappeared from the ground the 20th. Good luck this season ladies and gentleman!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Slim and Trim

A bass fly, a salt water fly, and a brooky/landlocked salmon fly.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Almost Over

It is forecast to warm up next week. Temperatures in the high thirties and maybe a bit of rain ought to get rid of some snow and blow out the streams. When that does happen I will be hitting the TMA's hoping for some good fishing. In the meantime here is a bit of my streamer making process:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pike Food

As I have mentioned before one of my goals this spring is to get into some nice big pike on the fly. In order to entice, or rather, piss off, a big water wolf a fly with some flash, and color is good. Even better if it can push some water. With the water typically being murky on the spring a big commotion helps. This ought to do the trick.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Hooks Arrived

In came the rest of my order today, and I am getting to work. It should not be too long before I am ready for stripers, musky, bass, and bluefish. Maybe I'll even get a chance to fish for albies.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Big Red

When I got home today I heard a commotion and looked to where the sounds were coming from. A couple of crows were harassing a big old red tailed hawk. He just shrugged them off in annoyance and sure enough they became bored and moved on. I ran in to get my camera and luckily enough he was still in the same spot.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Another Chunky Streamer

This one's called the Snot Goblin. It was designed by Clark 'Cheech' Pierce. I's sure that the bright yellow I used here will bring out some big chain pickerel and bass around kayak and t-shirt season. Looking even farther ahead, I hope to be spending some time tossing this and other big streamers on the Farmington come fall.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Parachutes for Small Streams

I've always loved tying and fishing parachutes. They are a challenge to tie as well as a very effective style. The impression the put on the water's surface is strikingly like a struggling mayfly, And I'm sure the fish interpret them to be everything from stoneflies to hoppers. Whatever the case it is often that I find my parachutes in the mouths of colorful wild fish.
Sparkle Body

High vis. Pheasant Tail



Mr. Rapidan

Friday, February 20, 2015

More Meat

Here is another articulated streamer I tied this month. This one is likely to get me a couple good browns, and hopefully even some mogan smallmouth bass. 

Don't worry folks, It's fixen to warm up here soon. Some rain and a few more snowfalls before the daytime temperatures start getting into the 40's. Then we can all go out, wet a line, and maybe even catch some fish. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stink Bug

Tonight I felt like tying a fly. Without actual thread I decided the best way to go about this was using wire, after all Sawyer's original PT was tied with wire rather than silk.

I decided to create a wet fly. In collecting the necessary materials this little guy made his way onto my red floss:

Some PT fibers for the tails, off white floss, red floss, and heavily barred  mallard flank completed a very attractive looking wet fly. I think it will do a good job of seducing some nice trout. I've named it The Stink Bug.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Breath of Fresh Air

I couldn't stand it anymore. I got out for a little hike along a icy little native brook trout stream. Though I expected I would not be needing them, I had the 3 weight St. Croix in it's case and a box of flies. Of course it was as I was expecting it, the stream was iced up in most places. Regardless it was very nice to be out in the fresh sparkling snow. Although the clouds had been long gone snow was still falling out of a hazy looking sky. In fact the snow continued several hours after the actual storm was gone. Very unusual.

The Wait is Excruciating!

While we get more snow and a blast of bone cold arctic air I sit in wait. It shouldn't be long now. If we are luck the ice will clear out before march, I have yet to catch a fish this month. I feel that warmth is coming though. There are more songbirds about than usually are present this time of year, and as I type the sun has broken out and is filtering through my window. Yes, it won't be long now. In two or three weeks I may be sitting stream side holding my fly rod and trying to keep my hands thawed out after releasing a gorgeous little wild jewel. One can only hope.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tying Meat

I just ordered a bunch more materials for streamer tying, they'll probably show up around the end of this week or the beginning of next week. In the mean time I'm out of thread. I'll probably go bat crap crazy.

One of the last batch of flies is a three hooked (last one has the bend cut off) streamer. The materials included brown marabou, rainbow flash, and a dubbing material I blended up using a bunch of different materials. Some rubber legs and mallard flanks finish off what I hope is a killer fly. I'm calling a 24 inch brown on this one this year. I dub thee, "The Monga Leech"!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Salt Water

I started fishing in fresh water, and similarly started fly fishing in freshwater. However, it did not take long for salt water to call my name. The CT shoreline is a fisherman's paradise, with ample opportunity for phenomenal fly fishing. Unfortunately I don't get to spend that much time on the Sound, but the time that I have spent has been enlightening and productive.

Most of my success has been in river mouthes, catching snapper blues and the occasional striped bass. I have also taken to the water on kayak, and that has lead to encounters with a strange fish that is typically shunned by other anglers: the sea robin. This year one of my goals is to catch one of these on a fly. Also, during the spring herring run, stripers come up into the freshwater and this time I will be waiting for them with big blue and white flies.

But for now I'll just have to remember the trips from the past two years.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

When Stuff Gets Weird

I've always loved weird stuff. Being a fisherman often allows for a some weird experiences. From strange objects hooked to oddball people met, I've enjoyed some bizarre things that not everybody will experience in their life time. Here are some of the oddest.

The Wig and the Shorts

There is one pond that my friend and I fish fairly regularly for bass and pickerel. On one such trip Dalton snagged some strange stuff. The first object felt heavy to him, and when he got it in I began laughing. He had thought it was a lethargic fish. Nope. It was a pair of Daisy Dukes style shorts. The next cast got a bit weirder. He caught a blonde wig. No joke.

The Disembodied Voice

This one is a little more strange, and honestly I have a hard time explaining it myself. At the same pond in the above story I went out on my own to fly fish for carp. Somewhat annoyingly there were some very loud teenage girls "fishing" on the dam. I stopped briefly and just listened in disgust. Then I heard not five feat away a very calm girls voice say "I don't like them either". I about crapped my pants. I just stood there looking around for a while. When I calmed down I just continued on my way to my chosen spot. I don't know, maybe I was just hallucinating.

The Monga Snapping Turtle

There are some huge snapping turtles out there. One I have seen was absolutely startling. It surfaced while Dalton and I were kayak fishing  in Lake Pocotapaug. I swear it was like a submarine, water falling off its back actually making a rushing sound. I'm talking 300 lbs. This wasn't our first encounter with this turtle. Before Dalton actually hit it with the kayak.I apparently retaliated with an audible chomp. I heard it clearly but didn't know what it was until Dalton told me.

The Six Toed Track

I don't know what it is about Dalton that attracts abnormality, but I found this on a remote river bank on a smallmouth fishing trip with him. Our theory is Sasquatch inbreeding. The other tracks you can see are mine. Unfortunately I also stepped on the track before I saw it, altering the shape a bit.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Walleye Fly Rod Plan

When I started fishing one of my favorite places to fish, and I don't mind sharing this because this water really deserves more attention, was Lake Pocotapaug of East Hampton CT. It's a fair sized altered lake that was originally two deep kettle lakes, now those are just the deepest parts of the lake. They are deep enough that they provide a cold and clean refuge for some wild brook trout. The lake used to be stocked with these, and it is fairly surprising but they evidently reproduced. In 2012 my fishing partner Dalton caught a 14 inch pristine specimen of a brooky on a wacky style worm of all things. It also holds some spectacular largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, and a ridiculous quantity of perch. I won't even start about the giant carp.

But, as the title suggests, there are other fish in the lake: most notably, it is a walleye management lake. I have been intrigued for a few years by the possibility of walleye on the fly. Although I have caught some walleye out of Pocotapaug before, I have not done so with a fly. This year I plan to change that. with sinking tips and flashy streamers I should be well armed to catch some of these roided up perch from the kayak. I know the water well from my years of targeting smallmouth. I'm confident I'll get some walleye this year. So put it on the books. If come October I haven't landed at least one, I'll eat my hat.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tying the Pine Special

I tied the Pine Special some time within the past two years, didn't name it, and left it sitting in the bottom of a drawer. This November I found it as I packed up to move. I stuck in my box. The next time I fished a small stream it was the first and only fly I tied on. It took some awesome pre-spawn natives. It has earned a permanent place in my box and does deserve an actual name.

The materials used are any color 600 thread, a size 8-12 streamer hook, grizzly saddles, mallard flank wood duck, orange marabou, and red and yellow saddles.

Tie in the thread at the eye of the hook. You will not be going much farther back the hook shank.

Tie two grizzly saddles twice the length of the hook, one on each side and tilted slightly upwards.

For the cheek use the mallard flank wood duck, half the length of the hook shank.
 Between the hackles tie in orange marabou tips (least webby and tightly grouped) noticeably longer than the cheeks.

The red hackle fibers should be the same length as the marabou. Two wraps is all that is needed. Pull the fibers back and put a couple wraps of thread to angle them away from the eye.

Do the same with one turn of yellow, whip finish and cement.

I like to fish these flies by casting them upstream and retrieving them back to me at a fast pace, particularly n the fall when fish are aggressive against potential egg eaters. This fly can represent small brookies, salmon par, and red shiner with reasonable accuracy and is therefore also useful on bigger streams for brown and rainbow trout that feed heavily on these species.