The last minute prep at currentseams headquarters is finished, and the show doors are about to open. So much to see and do (and buy), but I hope you’ll find the time to come see me speak or tie or teach. Here’s my complete schedule:
And yes, I’m all fired up and rarin’ to go! I’m hoping you’ve blocked out some time to attend the weekend of January 27-28-29 — and of course, that you’re planning on seeing me speak — or better still, taking one of my classes. As always, talks and demos and seminars are included in the price of your admission ticket. You have to pre-register for classes, and you can do that here. If you’re from parts north, the Marlborough, MA show is now just a week away. Please come say hello.
Gather round, currentseamsers, as we kick off our traditional best-of-year-in-review! These are what I consider to be my most notable moments of 2022. Some of them are about fishing trips; others, my writing; maybe it’s an appearance I made or some kind of recognition. Whatever the reason, it’s a chance for me to take stock of the year and celebrate the good times. And we could all use some extra good times, yes? I’ve linked the original reports if you want to read more. So let’s make our first cast…
#10: The Summer Blizzard in August. This was a monumentally disappointing year for smallmouth bass. The numbers and size just weren’t there, and the drop has been so precipitous, I remain alarmed. But there were a few bright moments, and I can tell you this: the white fly population is in tremendous shape. White flies are a remarkable hatch, as it really doesn’t get going until you can no longer see your fly. But fishing under the hatch at dusk can mean the bass-o-matic, and once night falls, seeing your fly becomes irrelevant. Be advised: white flies will find every opening on your face, so keep your mouth closed. White flies taste really, really bad. Read more.
#9: The World Premier of the Film “Summer on the Farmington.” After many months of shooting and editing — these things take time (and we had a Covid spike that forced a postponement) — what a midwinter treat to gather at Brewery Legitimus in New Hartford to view director Matthew Vinick’s homage to the West Branch. I was delighted with my bits, and as a whole I thought Matthew did an excellent job covering the subject in an informative and entertaining way. Read more.
#8. Currentseams Makes “40 Best Fly Tying Blogs and Websites” List. Sometimes I wonder if all the work is worth it. Are people actually reading — and, most of all, enjoying — what I’m doing here? Certainly it’s a labor of love (I don’t get paid for any of this), and while I do occasionally get positive feedback from you, it’s nice to be recognized by an outside source. I’ll try to get even more quality fly tying stuff out for you in 2023. Read more.
Last night I did my second international Zoom presentation with the Ottawa Fly Fishers. They are a small but very enthusiastic group, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them. The subject was “Wet Flies 101.” I don’t need to tell you about my passion for tying and fishing wet flies, so spreading the word is kind of like getting extra frosting with your cake. Thank you again, Ottawa Fly Fishers, for being such swell hosts!
A shout out to the Squan-a-Tissit Chapter of TU (northern MA) for virtually hosting me last night. We Zoomed and boomed and I presented The West Branch Farmington River: Southern New England’s Blue-Ribbon Trout Stream. A reminder to all the long and longer-distance fly fishing clubs out there: Zoom is great way to get acquainted. If you”re in charge of booking speakers, here’s a link to my current presentation menu.
The question of the day is certainly a fun one. I don’t think I’ve ever had this one before last night. You may find it tongue-in-cheek, but I took it seriously, and there’s a little bonus wisdom in the answer. Q: What’s your favorite fishing cigar and do you find that certain brands help you catch more fish? A: Without getting into specific brands, I like fuller bodied cigars that have a lot of taste complexity. I’m an espresso/dark chocolate/spicy/earthy flavor profile kind of guy. Now, this next bit is true. If I’m having a tough go when I’m fishing wets or streamers (or striper fishing), sometimes I’ll tuck the rod under my arm, leave the fly dangling in the water, and get out a cigar. Several times a year, I hook up when I’m lighting the cigar, doing nothing else. That’s clue #1. Clue #2 is that sometimes when you’re dealing with a riser that won’t bite, rest the fish. Take out a cigar, cut and light it — or, if you don’t partake, take couple minutes to organize your box — and then make a cast and see what happens.
A late but hearty and heartfelt thank you to the Basil Woods TU chapter from central New Hampshire for hosting me via Zoom last Thursday! I presented my original “The Little Things” to a very enthusiastic group. More and more fly fishing clubs and TU chapters are taking advantage of technologies like Zoom to hire guest speakers like me. If you’re outside reasonable driving distance, you can do the same. For more information on programs, visit my Presentation Menu page here.
Here’s a brief Q&A segment from post-show. Q: Do you arrive at the river rigged for streamers or do you start with emergers? A: It depends. Sometimes I make up my mind well in advance that I’m going to fish a specific method, consequences be damned. For example, there are days in the winter when I’ve decided that I’m going to fish streamers solely because I’m willing to risk catching one large trout — I hope — rather than a bunch of smaller ones. Or maybe I just don’t feel like nymphing. There are times in the spring and summer when I’ll plan to swing wets, and then, as the hatch moves out of the emerger stage, switch to dries. Other times I’ll get on a nymphing kick, and that’s how I’m going to fish — simply because that’s what I feel like doing. So, fish the method that pleases you most. And know that if you want to catch more fish, you’ll need to be fluid in your choice of methods as conditions and time of day/year dictate.
A reminder that I’m speaking tonight, Tuesday, September 6, at the Long Island Flyrodders in Levitttown, NY. Despite what the website says, I go on at 7:30pm, with the group’s social festivities/casting lessons beginning at 6:30. Meetings are held at the Levittown VFW, 55 Hickory Lane. The group tells me that all are welcome. My subject is “Wet Flies 101” which is a gateway to wet flies, soft hackles, and how to fish them. You too, can become a skilled practitioner of this deadly art. Hope to see you there, and as always, please come say hello.
It’s a busy month for me, between fishing and writing and speaking about fly fishing. Here are the details:
Monday, April 11: “The Little Things” with the Miami Valley Fly Fishers. This is a members-only Zoom. I mention it in case you’re the person in charge of finding a a speaker for your fly fishing club. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we can meet up even if we are geographically undesirable. Here’s a link to my current presentation menu. I’m really looking forward to making some new fishing friends in Ohio.
Tuesday, April 12: “The Little Things 2.0” with SEMASS TU, at the Mitchell Memorial Club in Middleboro, MA. This meeting is open to the public, so if you’re in the area, stop in and enjoy the show.
Thursday, April 21, “Tactical Advantage: Angler vs Trout” with FVTU, at the Back Nine Tavern in New Britain, CT. Another meeting that is open to the public, and a presentation that most people have not seen.
Friday-Sunday, April 22-23-24, The Fly Fishing Show, Marlborough, MA. On Friday 4/22 at 2:30pm, I’ll be the Featured Fly Tier. Come watch me tie up Spiders, Winged & Wingless Wets. (I had a blast doing this in Edison!) Don’t go away, because at 4:30pm I’m presenting my new seminar, Modern Wet Fly Strategies. I think this is my best program to date, and I’m counting on you to be there. Both are included with the price of your admission ticket. On Saturday 4/23 I have a class, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. This is a chance to get some basic tying instruction, along with tips on rigging and presentation, geared toward making you a dangerous wet fly machine. This is paid class; you have to pre-register to attend. I’m hoping to see plenty of currentseams readers at the show — please come say hello!
I’ve been doing a little housekeeping on currentseams. The biggest visual change is the menu bar. If you’re on a laptop, you’ll see an expanded menu, shown below, that directly links to pages with essential information. If you’re on a phone, you’ll still have a drop-down menu, albeit a newly expanded one. My hope is that this makes everyone’s life easier.
Yesterday afternoon I dumped all the entries into a bucket and had my independent panel of one randomly select three winners: Steve M, Zach G, and Glenn D. Congratulations! The winners have already been notified by email. Now, to the vise…
I’d like to thank everyone who entered, and everyone who reads and follows currentseams. I see we’re only 65 people away from 1,000…so get a friend to subscribe and we’ll be doing this again soon!