New presentation: “The Little Things 3.0”

Hot off the presses! “The Little Things” series is one of my most popular fly fishing programs. In this third installment, we cover more of the seemingly insignificant things that can have a huge impact on your catch rate. This is all new material, geared for both veteran and rookie fly anglers, covering fresh and saltwater, and popular species from trout to stripers to steelhead to smallmouth and more. Pay attention to the little things, and you may become one of the 10% who catches 90% of the fish. To contact me for a booking, click here.

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Stuff I Use: Renzetti R-Evolution Magnum Hair Stacker

If you’re tying big bugs like the Zoo Cougar or the Countermeasure — any larger pattern with a deer hair fan collar or spun head — the Renzetti R-Evolution Magnum Hair Stacker is a godsend. It’s got an extra wide mouth for those pencil-plus sized clumps; no more struggling to get the hair into the opening. And with four flat-side grips, the base is easy to handle. This is one of those tools that makes you wonder how ever managed without it. While you’re at it, check out this great primer from Kelly Galloup on spinning and setting deer hair.

The Renzetti R-Evolution Magnum Hair Stacker. Support your local fly shop by buying one there.

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Farmington River mini report 9/13/19: Low. Slow. (But Go.)

Gadzooks! I had not fished the Farmington since mid-July. Today’s remedy was a bounce around, state-of-the-river fact finding mission. I visited five marks from Burlington up to New Hartford, and although the water was low, it was plenty cold. So rest assured: the fish are healthy if not happy. I was dedicated to the nymphing cause today, and despite my best efforts I blanked. (Although one run I visited was on lockdown, and — surprise — the anglers there were getting into fish.) The last run had some active feeders, but I ran out of time and space and couldn’t switch over to wets. Observed: tiny BWOs, small un-IDed creamy mayflies, and some size 16-18 light-colored caddis.

Flood-like conditions in the permanent TMA after Thursday’s rain (he said sarcastically).

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It was fairly crowded for a weekday in September in very low flows, and as these conditions require what I call “real estate fishing” — location, location, location — you would be wise to have a backup plan in case your favorite run is occupied. As always, please say hi if you see me — it’s always a pleasure meeting a currentseams follower, and you never know when you might be gifted with some flies.

Today’s instant winner freebie was Pat Torrey’s Tiny BWO soft hackle. Dust it up with some Frog’s Fanny, fish it like a dry, and let the trout do the rest.

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Get fired up for steelhead: “The Steel Deal — How to catch Great Lakes Steelhead in the Fall”

“The Steel Deal — How to catch Great Lakes Steelhead in the Fall” first appeared in the Oct/Nov 2018 issue of Field & Stream. It’s a great introductory primer for Great Lakes steelhead fly fishing anglers, and even veteran chrome hounds will find some valuable nuggets. Written, of course, by yours truly, with insights from legendary Great Lakes steelhead guide Matt Supinski. In case you missed it, the link to the article is up top. And here’s a bonus link to the 60-Second Redhead, one of my favorite steelhead patterns.

Subfreezing temperatures? Stinging sleet? Frozen fingers? Suck it up, baby, and go steelheading! Here’s Number Two Son Cameron and my favorite Salmon River guide Jim Kirtland enjoying a little “Salmon River sunshine.” Is it all worth it? Just look at those smiles.

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The Pitfalls of Buying Fur and Feather Online

You’d think I would have learned by now. But no. I still make stupid mistakes when it comes to buying fly tying materials online. Latest failure: ordering a Hareline Premo Deer Hair strip sight unseen.

Wrong. The hair is short, stiff, and coarse, totally unsuited for my needs. If I’d seen this item in a shop I would have quickly rejected it. Oh sure, I’ll find a use for it some day, but for now it only serves as a reminder to never buy large fur patches sight unseen unless you have a reliable description and a trusted source.

This is not to say that Hareline products are lousy: I have dozens and dozens of great Hareline items in my bins, and the replacement deer hair patch I found — which is spectacular — is from Hareline.

Two deer hair patches from Hareline. The one on the left is gorgeous — beautiful, long hair fibers. The one on the right is garbage. When it comes to buying fur, saddles, feathers, and skins online, sight unseen, caveat emptor.

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Steve Culton Fall 2019/Winter 2020 Speaking Engagements

Fall means BTS — Back To School, and Back To Speaking. I’ve got four gigs lined up so far, one more potentially lined up for 2020, and of course the show circuit — details on that front when I get them. In the meantime, come one, come all, come say hello:

Tuesday, October 15, 7:00pm, “West Branch Farmington River,” Thames Valley TU, North Franklin Fire House, 5 Tyler Drive, North Franklin, CT. Here’s the TVTU website.

Wednesday, October 16, Capital District Fly Fishers, 140 VFW Road, Albany, NY. Presentation Subject TBD. The link to their Facebook page is here.

Thursday, October 17, “The Little Things 3.0,” Farmington Valley TU, Whinstone Tavern, Stanley Golf Course, New Britain, CT. You can find their website here.

Tuesday, November 19, Nutmeg TU, 7pm, Port 5, Bridgeport, CT. Presentation subject TBD. You can find their Facebook page here.

I’m working on “The Little Things 3.0” quite possibly as you read this.

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More events/appearances: the South Shore Fly Casters in Hull, MA, are looking to bring me in sometime in the winter.

It looks like I will once again be doing the Fly Fishing Show in 2020, in Marlborough, MA and Edison, NJ. We’ve discussed the possibility of me doing a class as well as talks. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I really need to go fishing. You know?

 

Save Our Stripers: Public Hearings and eMail Comments on ASMFC Draft Addendum VI

Now is your chance to make your voice heard on the future of striped bass. No, really! Public comments have been acknowledged by ASMFC commissioners as not only being read, but also helping to influence new policies that will shape the future of our striped bass fishery. Here’s what you need to know:

You can find the public hearing schedule for individual states, and the email/snail mail address to send comments to here. It is critical that you, at the minimum, send an email comment. If you can attend a public hearing, all the better. If you email, you must use the subject line Striped Bass Draft Addendum VI.

What to say? You, of course, will have your own opinion. It should be noted that in this situation, there exists the awesome power of similar numbers. The more of us that push for a similar opinion — and outcome — the better. You know I am a champion of the American Saltwater Guides Association (ASGA). They have carefully considered the options, and their position on Draft Addendum VI can be found here.

If you haven’t done so already, sign up for ASGA email updates, and, even better, make a contribution. They’re truly doing good work.

I didn’t get anything remotely close to her size this year. Together, we can change that.

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