When the stripers are eating small stuff…(raffle swag for tomorrow night’s presentation)

Tomorrow, February 19, I’ll be presenting “Trout Fishing For Striped Bass — How to catch the stripers that everyone can’t” to the South Shore Fly Casters. SSFC is a newly formed group, and they’ve done a terrific job of getting their club up and running in a short amount of time. The gig is from 6pm-9pm at Barrel House Z, Weymouth, MA. Come on down…or up…or across…and you might win this spiffy little collection in their raffle. As always, please come say hello!

When the stripers are keyed on small stuff, it’s hard to go wrong with a well presented team of three. Four options here, clockwise from top: Deer Hair Grass Shrimp, Micro Shrimp Gurgler, Orange Ruthless Clamworm, Eelie. Good luck!

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Thank you CFFA and show attendees!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I pulled into Maneeley’s parking lot at 11:30am. A full house, with overflow parking! Saturday’s CFFA Expo was very well-attended — I think I heard close to 300 people –well done, everyone!

Great to see old friend Andy Manchester holding court at his booth near the main entrance. In case you don’t know, Andy is the man to see for used/reconditioned/rebuilt/custom cane and glass fly rods. I have several examples of his work, and I love every one of those sticks.

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Old reel swag at Andy’s table. There’s something about a decades-old reel, burnished by time and wear, that romances a cane rod and conjures up grainy images of Lee Wulff and Curt Gowdy.

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This look like something a rooting striper might take? I sure thought so. Many thanks to Captain Mark Dysinger of Flyosophy Charters who gifted me this fly. What a buggy crabby shrimpy morsel. I got a couple flats in mind for this one…

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Last but not least, thank you to everyone who came to see my 1pm presentation, Lost Secrets of Legendary Anglers. A strong turnout (including several currentseamsers — thanks for the support!) and another excellent post-talk Q&A.

"Lost Secrets of Legendary Anglers" 1pm, Saturday 2/1 @ CFFA Expo

“The best little fly fishing show in New England” returns! Don’t miss the CFFA Expo this Saturday, February 1, 9am-3pm at Maneeley’s, 65 Rye St. in South Windsor, CT. Due to a coaching commitment I won’t be on Tyers’ Row, but I will be presenting “Lost Secrets of Legendary Anglers” at 1pm. Last year’s presentation was SRO, so be there or be square!

Have you ever wondered which rod Lee Wulff would use in this situation? What does Ken Abrames do before every cast? Where does Joe Humphreys think the most productive spot is on any river? These questions and many more will be answered in LSOLA. Culled from literature and personal interviews, this presentation covers 15 proven tactics and strategies used by master anglers, past and present, to catch more fish. Here’s a shot of the esteemed Mr. Wulff gettin’ it done.

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Snapshots from Edison

Another year, another Fly Fishing Show — or two — but we’ve already covered Marlborough, and so we shift our focus to last weekend’s festivities in Edison, NJ. I was there Friday only. Since my Wet Flies 101 Seminar was at 4:30, I had the entire day to walk the floor and socialize. Here’s a little photo journal.

The beard is back! Captains Hank and Chris holding court at the Block Island Fishworks booth. This is the place I visit when I want to get pounded unmercifully for wearing a “Celebrity” badge — or to talk BI stripers. Thanks, guys, for lending me a chair to take a load off.

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Here’s an interesting concept: Hank’s sand eel fly umbrella rig. Four flies, but only one hook on the front fly. I think the joints are 100# mono. Hank’s intent is a protein payoff for a larger bass. He says he’s tested it, and reports success!

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Sticking with the saltwater theme, here’s friend Bob Pop showing off one of his Beast Fleyes. There always seems to be a crowd around his tying station, as Bob is generous with his time and smile. We got a chance to discuss one of our shared interests: growing roses.

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The best consistent source for flatwing saddles continues to be the Keough Hackle booth. There are hundreds of saddles to pick through in dozens of colors, so be prepared to invest the better part of an hour if you’re particular (as I am) about your saddles. Nothing for me this year, as I continue my quest for the perfect red grizzly saddle.

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Flatwing tyer extraordinaire Joe Cordeiro discusses the finer points of one of his designs with fellow currentseamser Michael Silfen. Just before this photo was taken, Joe was showing me a lovely lavender saddle he scored from Keough.

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Here’s the latest I have on the Pearsall’s Gossamer Silk replacement: the company is called Morus Silk, and they’re attempting to duplicate the Pearsall’s colors with this new line. The spool appears to be the same small size as the original silk. I picked this sample up from Mike Hogue of Badger Creek Fly Tying. I haven’t used it yet (lots of August Whites in that spool) but I’ll letcha know how she goes.

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Almost last but not least, Wet Flies 101. It’s a little daunting going up against the legendary Joe Humphreys — in the next room, no less — but I had a spirited crowd, and we had a most excellent time talking about wet flies. The post-talk Q&A was one of the best I’ve ever experienced, both from a quality questions and a duration standpoint (we closed the show down!). I’ll talk about some of those questions in a future post.

The Edison Plan for Friday Jan 24

Tomorrow, Friday, January 24 is my only day at the Edison Fly Fishing Show. Here’s my plan:

Arrive noonish or a little before. Walk the floor, make the rounds, say hello. You can always text me if you’re looking for me — you can find my number here. I’m going to try to catch parts of a few presentations before my Seminar, which is 4:30pm in the Catch Room, Wet Flies 101. Of course, I’ll see you there. Right?

Thank you to everyone for your continued support.

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Marlborough 2020 Redux

Three busy days at Marlborough and I’m a tired but very happy angler. I think I had more fun at this show than any other. Five gigs, lots of hobnobbing, and a little buying. Here’s what went down.

I try to go to as many presentations as possible, and unfortunately I didn’t get to half of the ones I planned on. Here’s George Daniel doing his Streamers 2.0 presentation. If you’ve never seen him speak, you’re in for a treat.

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Fly Tyer’s Row is a always a wise use of time. Not only do I get to catch up with old friends (and make new ones) I also find inspiration and ideas. Top to bottom: salmon fly tier extraordinaire Lisa Weiner (thanks for the casting help!); saltwater whiz Captain Ray Stachelek of Cast A Fly Charters; maker of wonderful fly tying videos Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. 

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Between socializing and gigs, I managed a little shopping time. The Keough booth had their usual massive selection of potential flatwing saddles (plan on spending the better part of an hour scouring the bins). If you’re a wet fly and soft hackle freak like me, the Badger Creek booth is a must. Saturday’s score included a full jackdaw skin, some woodcock wings, and that prized winging material, lemon wood duck. Owner/operator Mike Hogue told me that another company bought the rights to Pearsalls and their dying process, and is now offering tying silks. As you can see, we’re all a little excited about it.

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You are now at maximum expert casting density. Bill and Sheila Hassan are both gifted casters and really nice people. Always a pleasure paying them a visit. I didn’t get a chance to take photos at the Bear’s Den or Saltwater Edge booths, but likewise on the visit energy.

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Hanging with the boys at the author’s booth. From left: Ed Engle, your humble scribe, George Daniel, and Jason Randall. Check out my Instagram feed (stevecultonflyfishing) for a silly outtake!

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Hey, I know that guy. Last but not least: thank you to everyone who took the time to see me speak, took my class, stopped to say hello, or just wanted to chat about fly fishing. I couldn’t do any of this without you. Thanks also to Chuck, Janet and Ben Furimsky for letting me be a part of their show. See you in Edison, NJ Friday, January 24, 4:30pm in the Catch Room for my Wet Flies 101 seminar.

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“Wet Flies and Soft Hackles” at Legends new dates: March 13-15

It was my bad, folks, as the original date conflicted with the state hockey tournament. New dates for the Wet Flies and Soft Hackles weekend at Legends BNB on the Farmington are March 13-15. I’ll be there on Saturday March 14 to lead a day-long tying class and wet fly seminar. You get to stay at an amazing lodge on the banks of the Farmington and, weather permitting, get out and do a little fishing. Please note, you cannot book through me — you need to contact Legends directly. Last year’s event was a blast — hope to see you there!

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