Arts of the Angler redux

It was a bit of a random Saturday at the AOA show, but we managed to get through it in fine shape. Let me explain. Due to hockey coaching conflict, I couldn’t get to Danbury until 1:30pm. While I had every intention of tying, by the time I arrived, Tyer’s Row was a crowded house. Rather than squeeze in for a few minutes (I was going to be presenting at 3pm and had to set up), I made the command decision to head to Conference Room 1. John Shaner was wrapping up his excellent Soft Hackles presentation, and I caught the last few minutes of that. So if you were wondering, “Where’s Steve?” now you know. I set up, and had some good conversations with the early arrivers for “Wet Flies 101.”

So: thanks to everyone who came to see me. Thanks to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum for allowing me to present, and for accommodating my crazy schedule. And thanks to everyone who hung around and asked so many terrific questions.

No more presentations until 2017. In the meantime, I really need to go fishing.

There’s that guy again…

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Steelhead Hammer variant

It’s a nymph! It’s an egg! It’s an egg-sucking nymph! Whatever it is, steelhead like the Steelhead Hammer. And that’s half the battle, isn’t it?

There are two versions of the Steelhead Hammer that I’m aware of. The first is commonly referred to as “the Orvis version.” It features a woven body and an Estaz thorax that extends east-to-west from under a case back, much like Rusher’s Steelhead Nymph. The version I’m featuring here is a much simpler tie. (I’m all for simple when there’s a good chance my fly will be sacrificed to the river bottom gods.) Canadian tyer Darren MacEachern did an online SBS on this fly several years ago, and that’s where I first learned of it. I’ve been fishing it ever since.

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Hook: Orvis 62KC size 8-10
Thread: UNI Fire Orange 6/0
Tail: Soft hen hackle fibers
Body: Two strands of black floss
Rib: Small silver holographic tinsel
Thorax: Estaz Opal Petite (color to match tail)
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 My favorite colors are purple, chartreuse, light blue, and pink. You, of course, should play around with your favorites. Anyone for peach, orange, red, white, black…?
A purple Steelhead Hammer sits for a formal portrait.

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The Steelhead Hammer Rogues’ Gallery:
Pink size 8, Salmon River, Pulaski, NY
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Farmington River report, Arts of the Angler show reminder, and a (gasp!) tying video

I visited the Farmington today to test the waterproofness (if that’s a word) of my winter waders and to get in a little fishing. Lord, it was crowded for weekday in November. I visited five location above, below, and in the TMA. For me, the catching stunk. I blanked on nymphs, and it wasn’t until I switched over to streamers that I was able to bump up a couple fish. No one else I spoke to reported having much success, so maybe it was just one of those days. The water is still low and the rock garden effect remains.

A reminder that I will be tying and presenting “Wet Flies 101” this Saturday afternoon, November 5, at the Arts of the Angler show in Danbury. You can find everything you need to know here.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, we have a tying video. It’s a steelhead attractor pattern, and I will post it tomorrow.

An 11th hour steelhead that came on the fly featured in my newest video.

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