Farmy Photo Shoot and a Mini Small Stream Outing

Out to the Farmington today to take some scenics for my upcoming feature in Eastern Fly Fishing. As you might have imagined, the warm weather brought out anglers in force; it seemed like every major pool or run had a rod probing its depths. Didn’t see any fish hooked. Wished I was fishing. But I had decided to visit a small stream after my photography work was done.

Not surprisingly, much of it was unfishable. Part of this brook flows through a hollow, and the sun had yet to work its melting magic.

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I did find some relatively open water. Not a touch for me today; again, no surprise, probably due to snow melt which tends to drop that water temp. Here’s a helpful small stream hint: sometimes I purposefully cast my line or leader over a rock to hang up the fly in the current. The waking fly is particularly attractive to kamikaze wild trout. I try to make sure the fly is holding over a likely lie. In this case, I was fishing a dry/dropper — this is a great tactic for a submerged soft hackle. You can see the leader going over the left third of the rock; the fly is at 10 o’clock.

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Standing Room Only for “Wet Flies 101”

I want to give a big shout out to everyone who packed the room yesterday for my “Wet Flies 101” presentation at the CFFA Expo. How wonderful to see every seat filled, and SRO in the back. Excellent Q&A session afterwards, great job everyone! I saw plenty of old friends, and made some new ones. (Thanks to Henry, who’s all of 10 years old, for trading soft-hackles with me. Gonna get a big one on that fly.) I’m grateful to the CFFA for inviting me, and for that delicious lunch. If your fly fishing club is looking to book a speaker, my late winter thru spring is fairly open, as is the fall. You know where to find me.

A little break from Tyers’ Row. Gone wet fly fishin’ talkin’.

CFFA Sign

CFFA Show tomorrow, 2/2/19: Tying and “Wet Flies 101”

A reminder for you to attend “the best little fly fishing show around,” the CFFA Expo, Saturday, February 2 at Maneely’s in South Windsor. I will be presenting my Wet Flies 101 program at 9:30. I will also be on tier’s row, but I have a coaching commitment in the afternoon, so I’ll only be there until 12:30pm. See you there, and be sure to come say hello.

Everyone always wants to see me tie the Squirrel and Ginger. All you have to do is ask. 🙂

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Best of North Country Spiders: Greensleeves

As you can see, currentseams is on a North Country Spiders kick. The goal here is to show you some of my favorite classic Yorkshire soft hackles, including the recipe, brief tying directions, and match the hatch notes.  I have to confess that I haven’t fished Greensleeves as much as I would like. I tend to tie it smaller, say 14-18. It makes a fine BWO emerger, as well as caddis (and even microcaddis is you wanted to cross the size 20 and smaller Rubicon). It certainly works nicely as the top dropper on your nymph setup.

Greensleeves North Country Spider

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Hook: Wet or dry fly, 14-20
Body: Green silk (this is Pearsall’s Gossamer Highland Green)
Hackle: Hen pheasant neck or inside of a woodcock wing (this is woodcock)

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Tying notes: This is a fairly straightforward tie. While not as fragile as starling, woodcock isn’t as robust as partridge, so don’t pull too hard as you’re winding. You can find a general North Country spider video tutorial here.

My Favorite North Country Spiders: the Winter Brown

Best is relative, but if I were compiling a list of the best North Country spiders, the Winter Brown would be near the top. While legacy fishers of this fly may have intended it to represent a stone fly, the Winter Brown is for my purposes a caddis imitation (and the trout have agreed on occasions too numerous to mention). Much to like here, including a not-so-common hackle feather and the delectable secret sauce that is peacock herl.

The Winter Brown

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Hook: Wet or dry fly, 12-16
Silk: Orange
Head: Peacock herl
Hackle: Woodcock under covert

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Tying notes: The head is tied in first (I tied this fly “wrong” for years). Two or three close wraps are all you need. Next, attach the hackle, then wind it rearward, secure, and clip. Stroke the hackle fibers toward the head (this makes it easier for you to construct the body), then wind the body with two layers of silk. Tie off just behind the hackle, and stroke the fibers back to their natural position. You can find a general North Country spider video tutorial here.

Farmington River Quasi-Report 1/29/19: Shooting in the cold

This seemed like it would be the best day in the foreseeable future to a) shoot some photos for my upcoming Farmington River feature in Eastern Fly Fishing, and b) sneak in a few casts before Arctic winter sets in. So. It was cold. Ice-in-the-eyelets cold, from 11:30am-2:30pm. Water was a low (the new normal!) 680cfs in the permanent TMA. Streamers was the method in the first two hero pools. Not a touch. Went to the nymphing well and did likewise. In the meantime, took many dozens of still life shots and river scenes. Ran into Farmy guide Steve Hogan (who I’ve never met — nice to meet you, Steve!) and got a rack of shots of him nymphing. Mission completed, I drove home.

It’s now 10:35pm and I’m pleased to inform my readers that I am finally warm.

No two winter fishing days are alike. 

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Thank you, Edison. See you next year.

Another great experience at the Fly Fishing Show. Thanks to everyone who took the time to come see my Seminar, Wet Flies 2.0. By my count it was one of the largest audiences of the day. If you were there, I truly appreciate it. Before my gig I had the chance to walk the show floor.

One of my best sources for flatwing saddles is Bill Keough’s booth. He’s got some higher quality saddles in packages, but if you know what you’re looking for and you have the time, a rummage through his bargain bins can uncover treasure. I managed to escape with three grizzly saddles — coming to a flatwing soon.

billk

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The luck of this guy! Someone gifted Joe Cordeiro two original RLS saddles. Wow. Thanks for the water and the snack, fellow flatwinger.

joec~

Anyone who can rock sandals on a cold January day is my hero. If you haven’t read George’s new nymphing book, you should.

georged

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BobPop was nice to me, showed interest, and offered encouragement when I was a nobody. He’s on the A-list of cool dudes. Here’s a prototype he told me is over 50 years old. I’m glad I’m not the only tying nerd who saves works-in-progress.

bobpop

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“I swear, it was this big!” I don’t know too many people who love fishing more than me, but Hank Hewitt might be one of them. He certainly loves talking more than me. Great to see the Block Island Fishworks crew (Hank, Eliott, and Chris). If you’re looking for deep domain knowledge of Block, you want a charter with these guys.

hankh

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Next up:  the CFFA Expo, Saturday, February 2 at Maneely’s in South Windsor. I will be presenting Wet Flies 101, starting at 9:30am. I will also be on tier’s row, but I have a coaching commitment in the afternoon, so I’ll only be there until 12:30pm.