Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Orvis Learn to Fish 101 and 201

Check this out!  Orvis is holding FREE learn to fly fish classes!  Check the schedule by clicking on your state and finding the fly shop or Orvis store that is closest to you for the dates and times.  The Orvis 101 class is totally free and includes lessons on how to cast and get rigged up for a day on the water.  When you finish the class you get special offers on Orvis gear, a free one-year TU membership, and a free one-year electronic membership to FFF

If you have the basics under your belt or you have completed the Fly Fishing 101 course, check out the Fly Fishing 201 course.  This will be an outing on a local stream led by the fly shop or Orvis store.  The website notes a small fee may be required for this course, please ask at your local shop.

Space is limited, RSVP today to save your spot.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fishing Caddis Dries in March

Skipped out on work this afternoon to hit up the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of White Clay Creek.  I made a good choice.  The thermometer in my truck was reading 79 degrees as I motored out of Wilmington and headed into Pennsylvania.  A few cars were in the parking lot and some fishermen were enjoying a stoogie and a beer at their car.  I geared up and headed upstream with the plan to fish my way back to my truck.  I didn't observe any significant hatch activity, so I decided to do some Euro Nymphing.  I rigged up with a woven anchor fly at the point and a black micro nymph for the dropper.  It was a good choice as I hooked up with a rainbow in the first hole on my first cast.  No picture as this fish slipped my grip before I could photograph him.  I need to start carrying my net for photo ops.  If any net companies who make the ghost type nets want to supply me with a net, you will get great exposure in future pictures. 

I observed a few random caddis fluttering upstream as I worked my way down, so I switched up to a more specific dropper.  I picked up another brown on a caddis emerger further downstream.  Again, no picture.  See my comment above about the net.  I missed a few hits as I was rusty since I hadn't fished since January, oh well. 

In the next run down I observed some rising trout, so I switched up leaders and went with dries to try to get my first dry fly fish of the year.  I endured multiple refusals and switched flies a few times before I hit the magic combination.  A CDC and Elk Hair caddis wasn't right, but a parachute caddis did the trick.  I was able to land this nice trout.

I worked a few more runs and switched back to nymphs since there weren't any more rising fish.  I managed another fish or two and decided to head home as we were having the neighbors over for dinner.  This was definitely better than sitting at my work desk dreaming about being outside.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Better than Shopping at the Outlets

Spent Saturday on the beach with a new friend while our significant others hit the outlets.  Started our day at Bill's Sport Shop to pick up some fresh bunker and bloodworms, then took the Frontier out for its first spin on the sand.  The truck handled like a dream and will be making many more voyages.  The weather sucked.  There was an east wind off the ocean and fog was limiting visibility to less than a quarter mile.  However, it was definitely better than shopping.  We soaked bait for about 4 hours and caught the skunk.  It was early in the season, and most of the stripers are still far enough off the beach to be out of casting range, unless you can cast over a mile. 

On the way out, we encountered a traffic jam at an intersection.  After taking a wave while setting the rod in the holder, I was cold and just wanted to get back to the hotel to get a hot shower.  I said to my buddy, these people better not be taking pictures of just deer.  Finally some of the cars moved on and as we came around the corner we were greeted by this sight:

 We both exclaimed at the same time, "It's an albino!"  While it certainly looks all white, there is some brown on the head.  It was a very cool way to wrap up the trip. That night we had an excellent sushi dinner.  If ever in Rehoboth Beach, you can't go wrong with The Cultured Pearl.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fly Box Essentials I - Frenchies

As you can see from the title, this will hopefully be an ongoing series.  I am going to show you how to tie flies that I always make sure are in my fly box.  The first pattern is a Frenchie, which is a spin off of the tried and true pheasant tail nymph.  These are much simpler and easier to tie, since they only really involve four materials not counting the hook: bead head, thread, pheasant tail, and wire rib.

Hook: your favorite hook, I use nymph hooks, scud hooks, whatever
Bead: brass bead or tungsten bead, your choice
Thread: match pheasant tail color
Body: pheasant tail in your choice of color (I carry natural, olive, black, pink)
Rib: ultra wire in your choice of color (I will use something that compliments for a natural look or go crazy with a contrasting color)

Step 1:
Crimp the barb on the hook and slide your bead on

Step 2:
Start your thread and tie your wire rib in

Step 3:
Tie in a tail using the tips of the pheasant tail fibers

Step 4:
Wrap your pheasant tail up the shank to create the body and tie off

Step 5:
Wrap your wire rib up the shank in the opposite direction of the pheasant tail.  This will help to create a little more durable body.  Tie off the wire.

Step 6:
Whip finish or half hitch and you are finished

Tail: Use wood duck for a tail (or coq de leon)
Hot spot: Add a collar of thread behind the bead head or dub a hot spot behind the bead head
Experiment with different color pheasant tail, wire rib, hot spot, beads, etc.  You are only limited by your imagination.  Every fly has its day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fly Fishing Film Tour Wrap-Up

Saturday I attended a screening of the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) hosted by the Sporting Gentleman.    The evening started off with a pre-show reception hosted at the fly shop which I met my buddy (check out his blog here) at.  Pinnochio's Beer Garden supplied very delicious and free beer, pizza and subs.  The Sporting Gentleman isn't the fly shop I visit regularly and I had never even set foot in the shop before this (not that you care but, A Marblehead Flyfisher is my shop of choice) but the SG is an impressive shop, and I will definitely be visiting in the future for my fishing/tying needs.  After the pre-show reception, we headed over to D'Ignazio's Towne House for the film screening.  The event was held in an upstairs dining room and was well attended.  Overall, I was pleased with the whole experience.  The films ranged from fishing for steelhead in Alaska, to chasing tarpon off the coast of Florida, to some punk rockers fly fishing to unwind, to the crowd's favorite a doctor with Parkinson's Disease fishing the brown drake hatch with his enthusiastic guide.  My personal favorite, and the one I can see myself buying the DVD for was Geofish: A Mayan Prophecy.  This video mostly featured the struggle to reach out of the way fishing spots between the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize, mixed with fishing to fish that most likely had never been fished for before.

"Geofish: A Mayan Prophecy" trailer - by MOTIV Fishing | Fly Fishing Movie from The Fly Fishing Film Tour on Vimeo.

Hopefully at next year's event, the people who insisted on talking during the entire presentation will be able to stay mostly quiet.  Commenting on the movie is ok, just don't talk through the entire movie.  Thanks.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Parachute Adams

I had to tie up 2 dozen size 14 Parachute Adams that I owed to somebody for a trade.  Here there are.

Maybe some day when I start making tying videos I will do a "How-To" for the Parachute Adams.  Getting the parachute tied in is a process that I'm not sure I could accurately show with just pictures.

Fly Fishing Film Tour - Sporting Gentleman

Just a reminder that the Sporting Gentleman will be hosting a viewing of the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) at 7:30 Saturday night at D'Ignazio's Towne House restaurant in Media.  I've got my ticket and hopefully will see some of you there.  Also, the Sporting Gentleman is hosting a pre-show reception starting at 5:00.  I'm hoping to get up there to check that out as well
Fly Fishing Film Tour 2012 | thef3t.com from The Fly Fishing Film Tour on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pittsburg, New Hampshire

 Sometime late 2006/early 2007 my wife gave in to my begging and decided that for vacation that year, I could pick the destination and it could be a fishing based location.  That was all the motivation I needed and I headed to the Somerset Fly Fishing Show to gather information and decide on a place to go.  I came home from the show with a boatload of pamphlets on potential vacation spots, ranging from the outlandish (Jackson Hole, Yellowstone) to more regional choices.  After doing more searching on the internet (my wife isn't a real camper and prefers a shower and permanent roof over her head) we settled on renting a cabin for a week from Lopstick Lodge in Pittsburg, New Hampshire.

The cabin was really nice, it had a front porch with a gas grill and chairs to sit out and look at First Connecticut Lake.  Inside were two rooms, the front room was a combination living room, dining room and kitchen.  It had a dining table and two chairs, a sofa, television and the kitchen had a fridge, sink, and stove with an oven.  The bedroom was the other room and had a bathroom located off of that.  There was a housekeeping service that came in daily if so desired and made sure the cabin was clean and that we had fresh linens and such.

We left Delaware early in the morning and got to our cabin sometime around dinner time (it's about a 10 hour drive from Wilmington to Pittsburg).  We checked into our cabin and got our stuff set up.  Then we ventured into town to see what it was about and get any groceries we decided to buy up there instead of bringing them with us.  The town was quaint, and while just about as far north as you can go in New Hampshire without leaving the US, had whatever you would need to survive the week up there.
Our first full day, we had made arrangements with Lopstick (they offer a fly shop and guide service) to have a guide take us out and give us the lay of the land.  We were hooked up with Bill, who was a fantastic guide.  He gave us a lowdown on the rigging method, which I really did well with and used to catch many trout and still will use when the conditions dictate.  We were using indicators with two nymphs underneath, the trailing nymph tied to the bend of the first nymph with some split shot between the flies to get them down quickly.  Getting the flies down quickly was important since we were fishing lots of quick, pocket water.  We weren't making long drifts, but the drifts we were making needed to count.  I'd love to get back out there and fish the Upper Connecticut River using the Euro Methods I am now learning.  We had a really successful morning of fishing, and caught a bunch of fish.  I even hooked into a monster of a brook trout.
My wife did really well fishing during this week, and by the end of our vacation she was doing everything for herself: casting, drifting, setting the hook, battling fish, and releasing them back to be caught another day.  I was so proud of her.

At night after a dinner out or grilling back at the cabin, we would head out onto Route 3 to look for moose.  It wouldn't take long before we would find some each night.

During the few days that we didn't fish in the morning, we hit a few hiking trails.  We hiked to Garfield Falls, which were breathtaking and a relatively easy hike.

Another hike we did was to Magalloway Fire Tower.  I did this hike two times.  My wife and I tried it with the dog, but my wife couldn't make it, since the one trail is very steep and seems to go straight up the side of the mountain.  We didn't realize it at the time but found out when we got home, my wife was pregnant with our daughter during this vacation and that had a major impact on how tired she got during strenuous activity.  We found out there was another trail that led to the fire tower and was more of a winding, switchback type trail.  We decided to try that another day so my wife could take in the view from on top of the mountain.  Coming back down the trail, we heard a large animal crashing through the forest to our left.  I was nervous because in looking for the trail head for this hike, I had noticed a large amount of moose tracks and trails; I didn't want to come face to face with a mother moose and her calf.  I immediately froze in my tracks and told my wife to do the same.  I also scooped up my dog so he wouldn't make a ruckus and I could keep him calm.  Imagine our surprise when no more than 20 feet from us, a large black bear broke through the growth!  He saw us and took off back where he had come from.  After our heart rates settled down, we finished the hike and were back at the truck.

One really nice dinner we had, since it was my wife's birthday, was at The Rainbow Grille.  I wasn't really sure where to go, but asked at the desk of the lodge and they not only made a recommendation but went ahead and made reservations for us.  I can't say enough good things about the staff at Lopstick Lodge.  They went above and beyond to do whatever we needed from them while we were up there.
I would definitely recommend this a great place to vacation, either as a family, a group of hard core fishing people, or just a couple looking to get away from it all for a little bit.
I'm looking forward to heading back up there and disconnecting from everything at some point in the future.