“Fly Fishing CT’s Small Streams” at the CFFA Expo, this Saturday Feb 4 at 12:45pm

The best little fly fishing show in New England is back! The CFFA Fly Fishing Expo returns this Saturday, February 4 from 9am-3pm. Same town (South Windsor), new venue (Nomads, 100 Bidwell Avenue). I’ll be tying flies on Tyers Row for a few hours, and then I’m doing a seminar, Fly Fishing Connecticut’s Small Streams, at 12:45pm. The seminar is included in your admission price of $3. Please come say hello, and let’s support this very cool little show.

Connecticut’s small streams are a wonderful resource. I’m going to talk about fishing them, and perhaps more importantly, preserving and protecting them.
Another weekend, another show. I just got back from Edison, which was fantastic, and I’ll tell you all about it in a future post.

Edison Fly Fishing Show this Weekend

Not for nothin’, but this is the biggest fly fishing show in the world, and I couldn’t be more stoked to be a part of it. There’s still time to register for my tying classes, Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass on Friday, January 27 at 2pm, and Tying and Fishing Wet Flies on Saturday, January 28 at 2pm. You must pre-register for these classes and you can do that here.

I’ve also got a full slate of presentations and tying demos on Friday and Saturday. Come see me as Featured Fly Tier at 12:30pm on Saturday! The topic is Spiders, Winged, and Wingless Wets.

I made a one-page, one side PDF of my 2023 Edison schedule for handy reference. Hope to see you at the show, and if you come, please say hello.

Marlborough Show Happy Recap

Whew! Three days of intensive fly fishing meet-and-greet, instruction, tying, speaking (plus a little buying) and I’m wiped out. But it’s a good kind of spent, like after a monster Block Island All-Nighter. I’ll try to tell the story of my busy weekend through these photos. Don’t forget, the Edison Show is this weekend! It goes without saying that I’m stoked for that, too.

Friday morning I ate my power fishing breakfast, then loaded up the truck and headed for the show. This was my first gig of the weekend, and it was very well-attended. No time to loll about, as I was the featured fly tier on the main show floor at 1pm. And then a seminar at 4:30, Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass. I was appreciative of the good number of people who hung around so late on a Friday to hear the talk, and I think we all had a lot of fun.
This is friend Ed Engle being Featured Fly Tier. Ed is a wonderful tier and his books are swell, too — you can find several of them on my shelves, and I reference them often. Ed was demoing small nymphs. Mine was Presentation Flies For Striped Bass. It was my third time being FFT, and it was the largest crowd I’ve tied for yet. I’d like to give a shout out to all my audiences for being so engaging and asking plenty of excellent questions. I also attended talks by Ed, John Shaner, Jason Randall, and Landon Mayer. If you’re not going to demos and seminars and other talks, you’re really missing out on some wonderful opportunities to learn from some of the industry’s best.
You should be spending a good amount of time walking the floor and chatting with fly tiers like Lisa Weiner. It’s a great opportunity to learn a new technique, get exposed to fly patterns you might not know about, and just meet some genuinely nice, talented people (like Lisa).
No rest for the weary. Here’s a Magic Fly’s (Pale Watery Wingless Variant) -eye view of my Saturday class, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. Later in the day, I did a Destination Theater talk, Modern Wet Fly Strategies, that drew a near-standing room crowd. If you were there, thanks for coming! I did a second class, Presentation Flies for Striped Bass, on Sunday morning, and finished up with the debut of a new smallmouth presentation, Hot Bronze.
And of course, the Fly Fishing Show means vendors. Here’s friend Joe Cordeiro’s Flat-Wing booth. I scored a nice grey saddle from Joe, and a few more high quality bucktails from Brad Buzzi. Everyone I spoke to seemed to agree that this show had a really good energy. After two challenging years, welcome back, Marlborough!

Marlborough Fly Fishing Show this weekend!

The last minute prep at currentseams headquarters is finished, and the show doors are about to open. So much to see and do (and buy), but I hope you’ll find the time to come see me speak or tie or teach. Here’s my complete schedule:

“Tying and Fishing Wet Flies” Promo for the Fly Fishing Show

There’s still time to sign up for the class in Marlborough and Edison.

Here are all things wet fly that I’m doing at both shows: Marlborough Saturday, January 21: Classes With The Experts, 8:30am-11:00amTying and Fishing Wet Flies. You must pre-register for this class2:00pm, Destination Theater Room AModern Wet Fly Strategies.

Edison, Saturday, January 28, 9:45am, Seminar, Strike Room, Modern Wet Fly Strategies12:30pm, Main Show Floor, Featured Fly Tier,Spiders, Winged, and Wingless Wets. 2:00pm-4:30pmClasses With The Experts, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. You must pre-register for this class

“Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass” Promo Video

Just a short promo for the upcoming Fly Fishing Shows in Marlborough and Edison. You can attend my seminar, watch a tying demo, or take a class with me. Here’s the schedule.

Marlborough Friday, Jan 20: 1:00pm, main show floor, Featured Fly Tier, Presentation Flies for Striped Bass4:30pm, Seminar, Release RoomBeyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass.

Marlborough Sunday, January 22: Classes With The Experts, 8:30am-11:00amPresentation Flies for Striped Bass. You must pre-register for this class

Edison Friday, Jan 27: 2:00pm-4:30pmClasses With The Experts, Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass. You must pre-register for this class. 

Many thanks to the Candlewood Valley and Hammonasset Chapters of TU!

A shout out to these two local groups for feeding me and hosting me this week. It doesn’t matter if it’s pizza and beer or a sit down dinner, your hospitality is very much appreciated. I’m already looking forward to next time.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled breakfast…

The Edison Fly Fishing Show is just two weeks away!

And yes, I’m all fired up and rarin’ to go! I’m hoping you’ve blocked out some time to attend the weekend of January 27-28-29 — and of course, that you’re planning on seeing me speak — or better still, taking one of my classes. As always, talks and demos and seminars are included in the price of your admission ticket. You have to pre-register for classes, and you can do that here. If you’re from parts north, the Marlborough, MA show is now just a week away. Please come say hello.

Small Stream Report: First foot instead of last blast

As a creature of habit, I lovingly cling to my routines. So I was as surprised as anyone when I decided to not go small stream fishing on New Year’s Eve. Logic trumped tradition; by delaying a few days, the water would be a little warmer and hopefully any residual ice would be long gone. On the drive up, we did see some sheltered woodland streams where mini-glaciers abounded. But when we (myself and surfcaster extraordinaire Toby Lapinski) arrived at the stream we were relieved to see that frozen water was almost non-existent.

The water was barely into the high side of medium, which is just about right for winter fishing, and the brook was running clear and cold. Overcast skies didn’t hurt, nor did temperatures in the low 40s. Toby started out bottom bouncing and jigging, while I went the dry/dropper route. The action far exceeded our expectations. As you can imagine, going deep won the day, but I had enough action on both the dry and dropper that I kept them on for hours. (If reading this is getting you fired up for small streams, I have a presentation tonight in Danbury, The Eastern Brook Trout; later this month, you can see me present Finding Small Stream Nirvana at the Marlborough Fly Fishing Show, and a week later in Edison.)

The first fish of any year is noteworthy, even more so when it’s a stunning display of nature’s paint box. Taken on a size 14 Improved Sofa Pillow.
When I was a kid, I ruefully wondered why tropical fish had all the cool colors. Cut to 55 years later when I now know better. Since fish like this aren’t ever getting replaced by the stocking truck, it bears repeating: barbless hooks only; keep photos to a minimum (I landed dozens and took shots of only three); make sure your hands are wet; keep fish in the water in your net until ready to shoot; never expose fish to air for more than a few seconds; and never lay a fish down on rocks/gravel/leaves/grass. Thank you. (Photo by Toby Lapinski)
Small stream fly fishing for native trout may be fly fishing in its purest form. (Photo by Toby Lapinski)
Halo, I love you (again). Besides pulchritude, this fish is noteworthy because its thinness indicates a spawned out fish — and therefore a redd may be nearby. It’s a good idea to limit walking within the stream bed from mid fall to mid spring; the last thing anyone wants to do is tread on a redd and make all those future brookies dead. (Yes, I know it.) (Photo by Toby Lapinski)

This week:”Eastern Brook Trout” at Candlewood TU and “Wet Flies 2.0″at Hammonasset TU. Everyone welcome!

I have two speaking engagements this week with local TU Chapters and you are cordially invited to attend (Thanks, groups!) The first is Wednesday, January 11 at 7pm at the Candlewood Valley Chapter of TU. I’ll be presenting The Eastern Brook Trout — Connecticut’s Wild Native. The talk covers the species from habits to habitat, and of course we’ll discuss tactics and strategies for fly fishing for these precious jewels. The meeting is at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, CT. You can get more details here.

We could all use a little bit of some wild brook brook trout. What a stunner, this one!

On Thursday, January 12, 7pm, I’m at the Hammonasset Chapter of TU. The talk is Wet Flies 2.0, and it takes a deeper dive into this ancient and traditional subsurface art. Matching hatches, using wet flies as searching patterns, tackle, presentations…we’ll talk about stuff like this and much more.The meeting takes place at the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association building in Meriden, CT. You can get more details here. If you’re not a member of the group, I think they want you to get a free ticket online, which you can do here.

Come see “Wet Flies 2.0” and you’ll be one of the few anglers in the U.S. who knows the secret of Smut No. 1….