Steve Culton Winter/Spring Speaking & Class Dates…so far

Someone called today “the most Saturday Thursday” of the year, and I’d be inclined to agree if I didn’t have so much to do. So let’s check one box and get this speaking/appearance/class party post started!

Fly Fishing Show Marlborough Jan 17-18-19. I’ll be there all three days. Three Destination Theater presentations and one Seminar: Friday, January 17: Tactical Advantage: Angler vs. Trout, 12pm. Destination Theater, Room A — Friday, January 17, Seminar: Wet Flies 101, 3pm, Release Room — Saturday, January 18: Lost Secrets of Legendary Anglers, 10am. Destination Theater, Room C — Sunday, January 19: Tactical Advantage: Angler vs. Trout, 10am. Destination Theater, Room B. You can read more about those talks here. I’m also doing a class, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies, Saturday January 18, 2pm-4:30pm. Find out how to sign up here.

Maybe we’ll tie the Magic Fly, aka Pale Water Wingless variant. You’ll certainly hear me talk about it!

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Fly Fishing Show Edison, Friday January 24. Looks like I’m only going to be there one day for Wet Flies 101, in the Catch Room at 4:30pm Friday January 24.

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February 1, the CFFA Expo, Maneely’s, South Windsor, CT, 9am-3pm. The return of the best little fly fishing show in New England! A hockey commitment prevents me from being on Tyer’s Row, but I will be presenting “Lost Secrets of Legendary Anglers” at 1pm. Last year’s presentation was SRO, so be sure to save a seat early!

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Wednesday, February 19th, 6pm-9pm South Shore Fly Casters, at Barrel House Z in Weymouth, MA. The subject will be one that is near and dear to me, Trout Fishing for Striped Bass. We’ll talk about old school New England patterns and traditional trout and salmon presentations for stripers — and how you can catch the stripers that everyone else can’t. This is a new club and I’m looking forward to presenting.

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NEW DATE TBD!!!  THE FEB 21-23 DATES ARE NO LONGER VALID. NEW DATE, PROBABLY MARCH, COMING SOON! Wet Flies and Soft Hackles weekend at Legends BNB on the Farmington. I’ll be there 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. Last year’s event was a blast, and space is very limited, so reserve your spot at the tying table now. Please note, you cannot book through me — you need to contact Legends directly.

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Tuesday, March 31, 6:30pm, Russell Library, Middletown, CT, The Little Things 3.0. We had a wonderful gathering of passionate fly anglers last year, and we’re doing it again in 2020. Everyone welcome, attendance is free.

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That’s it for now. If you’re looking to fill a spot in your club’s event schedule this spring, you know where to find me. And it’s not too early to start thinking about fall. Hope to see you at an event or on the water, and as always, please come say hello.

Steve Culton is now (finally) on Instagram

My goodness, sometimes I move at a glacial pace. (Remember glaciers? We used to have them everywhere it was cold…) But never mind. You can now find me on Instagram at stevecultonflyfishing. This location will be more quick hit copy and visual reference than the detailed articles you find on currentseams. And on the flip side, more situational shots from fishing trips or events in near real time.

While I’m hoping to cultivate new audiences, I encourage all my loyal readers to follow me on Instagram. There will certainly be material there that doesn’t make it to currentseams. Thanks, and I’ll see you on the river or at an event soon.

Yeah. That’s me.

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Thank you Capital District Fly Fishers and the question of the night

Many thanks to the Capital District Fly Fishers for hosting me last night for Wet Flies 101. I treated myself to a pre-game meal at the Farmer Boy Diner — if you’re looking for a good quick bite in Albany, I’d recommend it. To kick off the festivities I tied a couple soft hackles, the Partridge and Light Cahill and the Squirrel and Ginger. Then the presentation (followed by a great Q&A session!) and off through the wind and rain and bluster back to CT.

Here’s the question of the night: do I like to use a soft hackle dropper off of a dry fly, or as the top dropper in a nymph rig? The answer is sometimes, and yes! I don’t do a lot wet-dropper-off-dry fishing — the exception would be on small streams where this setup is usually my default rig. Sometimes on the Farmington, I’ll fish a hopper dry or moist in the film as the top dropper on my team of three. And sometimes I’ll fish a wet-dry team for Housy smallmouth during the White Fly hatch. I almost always fish a soft hackle as the top dropper (tied on a 4″-6″tag) on my nymph rig — it’s a natural place in the water column for an emerger. Some days the fish choose that dropper to the exclusion of the nymph beneath it.

You never know what the small stream residents are going to want. Some days, they’re bashful, and won’t show on top. Others, they’re all in on the dry. Here’s a simple dry/wet rig. I’m unconcerned about the possibility of not hooking fish on the dry due to the leader material on the bend — the bigger fish will hook themselves handily, and the smaller ones I’d rather not touch, so they can bounce off the hook to their little heart’s content. Match your dropper leader to conditions and depth.

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See you tonight in New Britain! 7pm, the world premier of The Little Things 3.0!  Farmington Valley TU, Whinstone Tavern, Stanley Golf Course, New Britain, CT. 

Road Warrior: Three presentations this week!

Three days, three presentations, all of them different: the first freshly updated, the second an oldie but goodie, and the third making its debut! Here’s where you can find me this week:

Tuesday, October 15, 7:00pm, “West Branch Farmington River,” Thames Valley TU, North Franklin Fire House, 5 Tyler Drive, North Franklin, CT. This presentation has been updated with new photos, video, and content that reflects current regulations and trends. For more information, here’s the TVTU website.

Wednesday, October 16, “Wet Flies 101,” Capital District Fly Fishers, Colonie VFW Post 8692, 140 VFW Road, Colonie, NY. This is my intro to the wonderful world of wet flies. Wet flies have been fooling trout for centuries — and the fish aren’t getting any smarter. The link to the CDFF Facebook page is here.

Thursday, October 17, “The Little Things 3.0,” Farmington Valley TU, Whinstone Tavern, Stanley Golf Course, New Britain, CT. The world premier of The Little Things 3.0! Pay attention to the seemingly insignificant details, and you’ll catch more fish. You can find their website here.

Hope to see you, and if you’re a currentseams follower, please be sure to tell me.

A very good-natured reminder: C-O-L-T-O-N makes reels. C-U-L-T-O-N is me. Just sayin’. 🙂

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Small Stream B Comes Through; Big Stripers Continue Their No-Show

I wrote about my first springtime small stream outing last week. It was at a brook that has been on a bit of a slide in terms of numbers, and this disappointing trend continued. Small Stream B, however, continues to go great guns. I fished it for 75 minutes, first time this spring, and I pricked dozens. Fished a bushy dry on top and a size 14 Stewart’s Black Spider dropper for most of the trip, and the char went nuts for the dry despite the elevated water levels. Did a little micro streamer action, too, which is always fun. Bravo, Mother Nature!

Most of the action came topside, but this lovely gem fell victim to Stewart’s Black Spider.

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If you’re looking for a new way to have some fun on a small stream, try a micro Zoo Cougar. I usually tie these on size 2-6 streamer hooks, but I believe this is a 14. Chuck it or drift it (the deer hair head keeps it on the surface) down the pool, then make some drunken, frantic strips back. The fly will wake and dive and drive the brookies absolutely out of their minds. Color is probably insignificant.

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Now to the stripers. You’ve heard me say that every year is different, and with 2018 and 2019 goes the proof. Whereas last year was off-the-charts good for big bass, this year is not-so-much. I spent some time late last night greased line swinging a proven run that was dead as Julius Caesar. (Sigh.) Well, persistence will hopefully pay off.

Striper report: So that’s why no one was here

An empty parking lot is can mean several things, among them: it’s a ridiculous time of day (it wasn’t). No one is hip to the spot (everyone is). There are no fish there (ding-ding-ding). So I celebrated my 18th wedding anniversary with an EP Carillo corona gorda and tried to enjoy some blissful solitude. Even a constant, soaking rain couldn’t wreck my casting practice. And so it goes.

Why I like RLS Easterly colors (grey dun, silver, peacock, fluorescent yellow) during an easterly blow. Even in dingy water, this soft-hackled flatwing really pops.

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