Fun near the Raritan River

In the movie 1776, George Washington sends a dispatch to Congress in which he bemoans the sorry state of the Continental Army. Washington describes the soldiers as drunk, disorderly, and cites them for engaging in such scandalous behavior as “naked bathing in the Raritan River.”

That all sounds like fun, but in January it’s really too cold to seriously consider. So I passed up the chance for some skinny dipping in favor of attending the Edison Fly Fishing Show.

My seminar was the show’s first at 9:45am. With the new venue and labyrinthine passageways to the seminar rooms, I had visions of presenting to a crowd of ten. Not to worry — nearly a hundred people showed up, and I’m told it was one of the largest crowds of the day. Thank you if you were part of the audience.

So that was cool. Afterward I walked the floor, did a little networking, shopping, saying hello to friends, and meeting and greeting. Many thanks if you were one of the people who stopped to chat.

I got out cheap with just one purple flatwing saddle. Next up: the CFFA Show on Saturday, February 3rd. I’ll be tying. Details to come.

Pretty fair company. I caught parts of Rosenbauer’s, Daniel’s, Currier’s, Randall’s, and Mayer’s presentations. Just head thataway.

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First Striper of 2018

The tide and weather and scheduling planets aligned last night, so I found myself standing in some very cold water casting a large flatwing and smoking an Alec Bradley Tempus Churchill.

It did not suck. (All of it.) Especially when about 15 minutes in I started to get a few courtesy taps. I couldn’t tell if it was small fish or a subtle cold water take. Covering water, greased line swinging, and then at the end of a drift, a tug, a re-tug, a hook set, and I was into my first striper of 2018.

It felt so good that not even changing a flat tire in a McDonald’s parking lot in the middle of the night in the rain bummed me out.

Twenty inches of striped wonderfulness. The fight was uneventful until I tried to move the fish over a sand bar into some shallows. He wanted none of that, and we had some surface-thrashing bull-in-a-china-shop runs to break the calm of the night.

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Marlborough redux

Well, that was a blast! To start, the weather gods smiled upon my commute, and not even a traffic snarlfest from pothole patching on I-84 could dampen my spirits. Friday’s “Wet Flies 101” seminar drew a sizable crowd, larger than any I’ve presented to at this show. What a great audience — if you were there, thanks for coming. Ditto for Saturday’s “Trout Fishing for Stripers.” I think we all had fun.

I spent a good chunk of both Friday and Saturday walking the show floor, attending other seminars, and shopping. My treasure hunt included a few flatwing saddles and some prized waterhen wings. Did I mention the snipe?

And let’s not forget the social aspect. I enjoyed meeting you (if you’re someone I met) and I’m always happy to answer questions and talk fly fishing.

Finally, a shout out to some of my favorite fellow fly fishing road warriors:

Ed Lombardo, whom I’ve only spent about 15 minutes with in my life, but is one of the nicest people I’ve met. (Ed has presented right after me in consecutive years, so our paths cross during setup.)

Joe Cordeiro, my flatwing brother. Beautiful flies and a swell guy.

Tim Flagler from Tightline Productions. Another kindly soul, and I wish my tying videos looked like his.

Bob Popovics. Did you know that Bob and I share a passion other than fly fishing? It’s roses. Every year we spend a few minutes comparing gardening notes. Another great guy who has always been welcoming and supportive.

John Shaner from Hardy. John has an encyclopedic knowledge of soft hackles. I really enjoyed his presentation. And he tipped me off to the waterhen. Yahtzee!

Jason Randall. We didn’t get a lot of time to hang out, which is too bad because I have around 400 questions and discussion points to share with Jason about nymphing.

The Furimskys (Chuck, Janet, and Ben). Thanks for your kindness and for inviting me to your party.

Speaking of which, if you saw my presentation, please do me a favor: send an email to the show telling him you liked it. Please use info@flyfishingshow.com, not the email I previously posted.

Show swag. Feathery goodness for the intrepid treasure hunter.

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Marlborough Show Reminder

And suddenly, it’s almost here: the 2018 Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA. On Friday, January 19, 1pm, I will be giving a seminar in the Catch Room: “Wet Flies 101.” This is a new version of WF101 with upgraded content and video. For those of you looking to explore the ancient and traditional art of subsurface fly fishing, WF101 will be an fine introduction.

On Saturday, January 20, 11am, I will be in Room A of the Destination Theater for “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass — How to catch the stripers that everyone can’t.” This is a new presentation that focuses on using traditional trout and salmon tactics to catch more striped bass, especially the difficult and larger fish that escape most anglers. Tackle, flies, tactics — we’ll break down some barriers and open many doors.

Here’s the show PDF:

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I’ll be walking the floor and attending some presentations myself. Shows like this are a tremendous resource, not only for locating hard-to-find items or the rod or reel of your dreams — but also for learning. Take advantage, and if you see me please say hello!

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Fuzzy Nymphs

They’re not quite wet flies. They’re certainly not Euro nymphs. What they are is magnificently buggy and ugly and horrible and they catch fish. This wee trove of beasties will be appearing in “Wet Flies 101.”

Horrible little monsters: bottom left, Fox Squirrel; bottom middle, Hare’s Ear; bottom right, Ginger Caddis Larva.  

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A Winged Wet Fly Video Sampler

This selection of winged wets will be part of my “Wet Flies 101” presentation. It includes barred feather, quill, and jungle cock wings; English and American patterns; match-the-hatch and attractors like the Bergman-style flies from the color plates of Trout.