Final Tuesday Night Zoom of the Spring! “Summer Fishing,” June 2, 8pm

Please join me tomorrow night for the final Tuesday Night June of the spring. I’ve got all kinds of good stuff to talk about, so don’t miss it!

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Tuesday Night Zoom: “Flatwings: Tying and Fishing Basics,” May 26 at 8pm, plus an ASGA Webinar on Advocating for Striped Bass

You asked for it — heck, some of you demanded it — and here it is. (After all, what could be more appropriate for a Tuesday night?) We’ll talk a little bit about a lot of things re Ken Abrames’ brilliant creation: the modern saltwater flatwing. This will be fun. See you Tuesday!

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I also wanted to clue you in on a nifty little webinar that’s going down tomorrow AM: How to be an effective advocate for striped bass. It’s being put on by the ASGA. Here’s their copy: We know you care about fisheries policy but are probably frustrated with the process. We have designed this webinar to give you the tools needed to be an effective advocate. Spending time arguing on social media won’t get the job done. Let us show you how! We have special guests, case studies, and tons of useful information on how to make the best use of your time advocating for the resource. Join us at 11:00AM on Tuesday, May 26 for this free webinar. Also, be on the lookout for more webinars coming up in the next two weeks. You need to pre-register for the webinar, and you can do that here.

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Finally, we remember and honor those brave Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. A solemn and sincere thank you.

 

Candlewood Valley TU awarded the Legion of Zoom and the question of the day (best tides for stripers)

Many thanks to the Candlewood Valley Chapter of TU for hosting me at their virtual meeting last night. My talk was “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass” and we all had a swell time. Since there was no ceremonial pizza and beer — the internet has its limits — I fed myself and washed it down at home. But the group still gets the official Currentseams Legion of Zoom just for being cool.

The Question of the Day: “Do you have a favorite tide for striper fishing?” A: Yes. It’s the best tide for the spot I’m fishing. For example, some of the river marks I fish during the herring run fish better with more water, so a higher or top of the outgoing is best. Others, I can’t get to the sand bar until a couple of hours before low — so bottom of the outgoing tide. Generally speaking, I like moving water. If I had to choose a phase, I’d go with outgoing — and if I had to choose a more specific window, I’d pick dead low tide, which has produced some of the biggest bass I’ve taken on the fly from the shore.

Some meat on those bones: a broad-shouldered, big-backed bass, taken on the dropping tide near dead low.

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“Little Things 3.0” March 31 at Russell Library postponed

Due to the evolving coronavirus situation, my seminar, “The Little Things 3.0,”  originally scheduled for March 31 at the Russell Library in Middletown, CT, has been postponed. The earliest possible rescheduling would be mid-April, but there is no target date. My apologies for any inconvenience.

If you’re attending my Wet Flies & Soft Hackles class this Saturday, please come healthy, and it’s BYOHS (Bring Your Own Hand Sanitizer).

You cannot get coronavirus from kissing a fish.

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“Wet Flies & Soft Hackles” class March 14: Special Offer!

Sal, the owner of Legends on the Farmington, has authorized me to make the following special offer to currentseams readers: you can now attend my Wet Flies & Soft Hackles class for one day only, Saturday, March 14, dinner included, for just $99!

If you want to catch more fish, you should be tying and fishing wet flies like the Squirrel and Ginger.

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What: “Wet Flies and Soft Hackles” is a tying and how-to fishing class. We’ll do plenty of tying (bring your vise, tools, and threads and I’ll supply the rest of the soft-hackled magic) and we’ll have a little classroom presentation/discussion here and there.

When: Saturday, March 14. Starts around 9am. Goes all day, then we enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by Sal.

Where: Legends on the Farmington, a gorgeous lodge on the banks of the river.

How: You cannot sign up/resgister through me or my website. Please contact Sal at legendsbnb@hotmail.com or visit their site at legendsbnb.com.

This class will sell out, so make haste. See you there!

A most excellent evening with the South Shore Fly Casters (and bonus Q&A)

A hale and hearty shout out to the South Shore Fly Casters, who most graciously asked me to speak at their February meeting. The topic was “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass,” which focuses on traditional flies and presentation methods you can use to catch the stripers that everyone can’t. Let’s start with the venue. Any club that holds their meetings at a craft brewery gets bonus pints — er, points — from me. The turnout was strong (almost 50) and it was very passionate, interested group. I appreciated your welcoming nature and for all the kind things you had to say about me and my writing (and the SSFC club swag). Hoping to come back soon!

A very cool space for a meeting. In case you’re wondering, it’s Barrel House Z in Weymouth. That’s my double IPA near the projector. Yummy. (Photo Dan Wells.)

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Three Q&A highlights: Q: What knot do you use to build your three-fly team? A: Triple surgeons. But you should use the knot with which you are most comfortable (a lot of people like the blood knot). I also mentioned that I never go below 20# mono for the rig, and that if bass over 15lbs are in the mix, I’ll typically fish only one fly.

Q: Do you ever tie droppers off the bend of the leading hook? A: Never for striper fishing. I don’t want anything getting in the way of a hookup, but most of all I want the dropper fly to able to swim freely on its own tag.

Q: How do you use a floating line to present an unweighted fly deep? A: I’ll either add a 3/0 shot (or two) to the leader (and I may also lengthen the leader from, say, 7 feet to 10 feet), but most often I’ll use of the following: 1) homemade T-11 sink tips (I carry a bunch from 2-8 feet long in 2-foot increments; or 2) I’ll use an integrated sink-tip line that has a floating running line. Of course, with either of these solutions, you must mend if there is current to help the fly sink. I’ll also shorten the leader to 3 feet.

Hope that helps!

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.