Reminder: ASMFC Striped Bass Amendment 7 PID comments due Friday, April 9

If you care about building a sustainable striped bass fishery, please take a few minutes to send your comments. Here’s the link to last week’s post that gives you everything you need to know about the ASGA’s position/plan, and how to submit a comment. Thank you.

I’m currently reading — and loving — “Caddisflies” by Gary LaFontaine

First of all, I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to read this book. OK, so it’s out of print and even used copies are pricey. (This would seem like a good time to thank the currentseams follower — he knows who he is — who so generously gifted me a used copy in excellent condition. Tightest of lines to you, good sir!) But still. Next, I can’t believe I’ve never tied nor fished his sparkle pupae or sparkle emerger patterns. Methinks I have been missing out some bravura action. Like the book, I’ve known about these patterns for years, I’ve just never…egad.

So much of what I’ve read thus far resonates, particularly the bite triggers theory as it applies to fly tying caddis patterns. (Saltwater fly tyers should read those passages, and transpose them to what they’re tying. But most won’t. They like their big googly eyes and realistic flies too much.) I’m particularly interested in the upcoming how-to fishing sections. In the meantime, I have some materials to order…

Eliminating some Zoom and Currentseams email alert confusion

I’m hoping to clear up any confusion there might be about email alerts from this website and my Tuesday Night Zoom email list. They are two different things. If you sign up for email alerts from this website — and I hope you have, since it’s the best way to stay current with currentseams — you received an email alert about this post. Those emails are generated by WordPress, and they have nothing to do with my Tuesday Night Zoom list. (On a separate note, I understand that in some rare cases people can’t get that system to work for them, and for that I’m sorry, especially since there’s nothing I can do about it; it’s a WordPress issue.)

The Tuesday Night Zoom email list is something I create and send out from my email account. If you’re NOT signed up for that list, all you need to do is send a request to swculton@yahoo.com and I’ll put you on. If you’re not getting those Zoom emails, please check your spam folder.

Hope this was helpful. Now, how about a random fishing pic from the archives?

Cam with a bonnie trout from a Scottish loch. This was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a driving rainstorm (check out the surface of the water).

Words flowing through the writing pipeline

Busy-busy-busy is the word around currentseams headquarters these days. I’m pleased to announce that I have a couple projects in the works for Field & Stream. Both are striped bass related. The first is how to make a best fishing days striper calendar; the second on lessons that striper fly anglers can glean from surfcasters. I’ll let you know when they come out and how you can read them. But since I have not yet taken fingers to keyboard, off I go to my lonely writer’s garret…

I’ll be tethered to my laptop for the next several hours.

Last Night’s Fly Fishing “Good Reads Part 2” Books List

Many thanks to the dedicated virtual crowd who joined me last night for my Tuesday Night Zoom, “Good Reads Part 2.” In case you missed it, I talked about nine more books that have had a major influence on my fly fishing approach/philosophy/success. Noteworthy inclusions are two books about striped bass that aren’t fly fishing books at all. Nonetheless, they both contain a wealth of information for keen students of all things stripers. I’ve marked those two with an asterisk. Here’s the list: The Art of Tying the Wet Fly & Fishing the Flymph by James Leisenring and Vernon S. Hidy; Fly Patterns of Alaska by the Alaska Flyfishers; Tying Small Flies by Ed Engle; The Hunt for Giant Trout by Landon Mayer; Steelhead Guide by John Nagy; Greased Line Fishing for Salmon [and Steelhead] by Jock Scott; Stripers and Streamers by Ray Bondorew; Night Tides* by Michael G. Cinquemani; Surfcasting Around The Block* by Dennis Zambrotta.

Striper fly anglers can learn a lot from striper plug anglers — and vice versa.

A resource for hard-to-find fly fishing books

Currentseams subscriber Paul Gross left a comment in yesterday’s post thread about Callahan and Company booksellers as a good place to find old fly fishing books. I don’t have any experience with the company, but I didn’t want Paul’s comment to go unnoticed. So here it is: “If you are looking for hard-to-find fishing books, Callahan & Co booksellers in Peterborough, NH has an unbelievable collection. 603 924-3726. I don’t believe they have a website, unfortunately. If you visit in person, it’s completely overwhelming. Make sure you have a limit on your credit card!”

Happy hunting!

Thank you Tuesday Night Currentseams Zoomers and welcome new subscribers

Another fun Tuesday Night Currentseams Zoom last night! In case you missed it, we talked about winter fly fishing, from gearing up to dressing to when, where, and how. There will be more of these public Zooms throughout the winter. Thanks to the 50+ attendees for hanging out with me for an hour.

I’ve also seen a spike in Currentseams subscribers since the holidays and I’d like to say welcome. I appreciate your readership, and going forward I’ll try to provide you with far better fly fishing content than today’s material. But this is a writing day, and so I must take fingers to keyboard lest my editor jump ugly upon my personage. And with that, off I go.

Warning: Fly Fishing Writer At Work.

Random thoughts on a snowy day (and a good short read on winter nymph patterns)

I got a late start today, and there’s so much to do: plow the driveway, catch a workout, pre-Christmas prep, a virtual wine tasting tonight (been looking forward to that for weeks!). I started the day proper by building a fire, an old Culton snow day tradition. I’ve also got lots of writing to do, but won’t get to it today: for Dennis Zambrotta’s followup to Surfcasting Around The Block, for my year-end wrap-ups for currentseams…plus Santa brought me an early gift of a new video camera. Gotta figure that out and hopefully make some even spiffier tying videos.

But for now, here’s a piece I did last year on the best nymphs for winter fly fishing. (Understand that “best” means my favorite, high-confidence patterns.) Also, remember that I don’t Euro nymph, so add weight and jig hooks to these patterns as you see fit. Enjoy the snow day.

We don’t need no stinking fake logs and propane fire!

Who’s interested in winter fly-tying Zoom classes?

I’ve received several emails in the last week asking about doing pay-per-view fly tying Zoom lessons — so now I’m throwing the concept out to the subscription base. Is this something you’re interested in, too? I don’t have any details ironed out, but I imagine it would work something like this: I pick a topic/fly, like North Country spiders or sparse striper bucktails or getting started with flatwings or high-confidence nymphs — you get the idea. I’d set up a class date/time — probably an hour-long session — and send the link to everyone who sends me a small fee via PayPal — $10? $20? We’ll have to see how many players we have to make it work. If this is something you’re interested in, please respond in the comments section, and it wouldn’t hurt to list the types of stuff you’re interested in tying. I should also say that if you want me all to yourself, I do private tying lessons for $65/hour. So now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s up to you…

Support your local fly shop (even when it’s not local)

One of my favorite parts of steelheading is taking some time to rummage around the shops in Pulaski to try to find stuff that I don’t see around here. This fall’s trip yielded a bounty of choice swag. Shops like All-Seasons Sports and Whitakers — where I bought these goodies — rely on your business to stay in business. So I encourage you to shop locally, both near your home river, and then also when you’re far away.

My swag, clockwise from left: Rusty Brown deer hair strip (I never buy deer hair sight unseen, and this was by far the best pack in the lot); Drennan 6lb. fluorocarbon (the only fluoro I use — it sees action for steelehead, and for trout/smallmouth streamer leaders); P-Line Floroclear 10lb (I use this for my nymph rig and steelhead butt sections); Fluorescent Orange and Fluorescent Chartreuse mallard flank, which I rarely see, for streamers). Coming soon to a river near you!