“Little Things 3.0” March 31 at Russell Library postponed

Due to the evolving coronavirus situation, my seminar, “The Little Things 3.0,”  originally scheduled for March 31 at the Russell Library in Middletown, CT, has been postponed. The earliest possible rescheduling would be mid-April, but there is no target date. My apologies for any inconvenience.

If you’re attending my Wet Flies & Soft Hackles class this Saturday, please come healthy, and it’s BYOHS (Bring Your Own Hand Sanitizer).

You cannot get coronavirus from kissing a fish.

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A most excellent evening with the South Shore Fly Casters (and bonus Q&A)

A hale and hearty shout out to the South Shore Fly Casters, who most graciously asked me to speak at their February meeting. The topic was “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass,” which focuses on traditional flies and presentation methods you can use to catch the stripers that everyone can’t. Let’s start with the venue. Any club that holds their meetings at a craft brewery gets bonus pints — er, points — from me. The turnout was strong (almost 50) and it was very passionate, interested group. I appreciated your welcoming nature and for all the kind things you had to say about me and my writing (and the SSFC club swag). Hoping to come back soon!

A very cool space for a meeting. In case you’re wondering, it’s Barrel House Z in Weymouth. That’s my double IPA near the projector. Yummy. (Photo Dan Wells.)

SShoreFlycasters 2

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Three Q&A highlights: Q: What knot do you use to build your three-fly team? A: Triple surgeons. But you should use the knot with which you are most comfortable (a lot of people like the blood knot). I also mentioned that I never go below 20# mono for the rig, and that if bass over 15lbs are in the mix, I’ll typically fish only one fly.

Q: Do you ever tie droppers off the bend of the leading hook? A: Never for striper fishing. I don’t want anything getting in the way of a hookup, but most of all I want the dropper fly to able to swim freely on its own tag.

Q: How do you use a floating line to present an unweighted fly deep? A: I’ll either add a 3/0 shot (or two) to the leader (and I may also lengthen the leader from, say, 7 feet to 10 feet), but most often I’ll use of the following: 1) homemade T-11 sink tips (I carry a bunch from 2-8 feet long in 2-foot increments; or 2) I’ll use an integrated sink-tip line that has a floating running line. Of course, with either of these solutions, you must mend if there is current to help the fly sink. I’ll also shorten the leader to 3 feet.

Hope that helps!

When the stripers are eating small stuff…(raffle swag for tomorrow night’s presentation)

Tomorrow, February 19, I’ll be presenting “Trout Fishing For Striped Bass — How to catch the stripers that everyone can’t” to the South Shore Fly Casters. SSFC is a newly formed group, and they’ve done a terrific job of getting their club up and running in a short amount of time. The gig is from 6pm-9pm at Barrel House Z, Weymouth, MA. Come on down…or up…or across…and you might win this spiffy little collection in their raffle. As always, please come say hello!

When the stripers are keyed on small stuff, it’s hard to go wrong with a well presented team of three. Four options here, clockwise from top: Deer Hair Grass Shrimp, Micro Shrimp Gurgler, Orange Ruthless Clamworm, Eelie. Good luck!

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New Presentation Added: Wet Flies 2.0

Now available to your club or group! The long-awaited follow-up to Wet Flies 101, Wet Flies 2.0 takes a deeper dive into wet flies and wet fly fishing. Starting with the essential wet fly tackle and toolbox, Wet Flies 2.0 explores topics like matching hatches with wet flies (from caddis to mayflies to midges to stoneflies to terrestrials); searching tactics with wet flies; presentation and rigging options to match conditions and situations; fishing wet flies as nymphs or dry flies; wet flies on small streams; and much more. You can find my full presentation menu here.

By learning the mystical arts of the wet fly, you may, as Leisenring said, “soon acquire the reputation of a fish hog!”

“Lost Secrets of Legendary Anglers” 1pm, Saturday 2/1 @ CFFA Expo

“The best little fly fishing show in New England” returns! Don’t miss the CFFA Expo this Saturday, February 1, 9am-3pm at Maneeley’s, 65 Rye St. in South Windsor, CT. Due to a coaching commitment I won’t be on Tyers’ Row, but I will be presenting “Lost Secrets of Legendary Anglers” at 1pm. Last year’s presentation was SRO, so be there or be square!

Have you ever wondered which rod Lee Wulff would use in this situation? What does Ken Abrames do before every cast? Where does Joe Humphreys think the most productive spot is on any river? These questions and many more will be answered in LSOLA. Culled from literature and personal interviews, this presentation covers 15 proven tactics and strategies used by master anglers, past and present, to catch more fish. Here’s a shot of the esteemed Mr. Wulff gettin’ it done.

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Snapshots from Edison

Another year, another Fly Fishing Show — or two — but we’ve already covered Marlborough, and so we shift our focus to last weekend’s festivities in Edison, NJ. I was there Friday only. Since my Wet Flies 101 Seminar was at 4:30, I had the entire day to walk the floor and socialize. Here’s a little photo journal.

The beard is back! Captains Hank and Chris holding court at the Block Island Fishworks booth. This is the place I visit when I want to get pounded unmercifully for wearing a “Celebrity” badge — or to talk BI stripers. Thanks, guys, for lending me a chair to take a load off.

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Here’s an interesting concept: Hank’s sand eel fly umbrella rig. Four flies, but only one hook on the front fly. I think the joints are 100# mono. Hank’s intent is a protein payoff for a larger bass. He says he’s tested it, and reports success!

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Sticking with the saltwater theme, here’s friend Bob Pop showing off one of his Beast Fleyes. There always seems to be a crowd around his tying station, as Bob is generous with his time and smile. We got a chance to discuss one of our shared interests: growing roses.

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The best consistent source for flatwing saddles continues to be the Keough Hackle booth. There are hundreds of saddles to pick through in dozens of colors, so be prepared to invest the better part of an hour if you’re particular (as I am) about your saddles. Nothing for me this year, as I continue my quest for the perfect red grizzly saddle.

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Flatwing tyer extraordinaire Joe Cordeiro discusses the finer points of one of his designs with fellow currentseamser Michael Silfen. Just before this photo was taken, Joe was showing me a lovely lavender saddle he scored from Keough.

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Here’s the latest I have on the Pearsall’s Gossamer Silk replacement: the company is called Morus Silk, and they’re attempting to duplicate the Pearsall’s colors with this new line. The spool appears to be the same small size as the original silk. I picked this sample up from Mike Hogue of Badger Creek Fly Tying. I haven’t used it yet (lots of August Whites in that spool) but I’ll letcha know how she goes.

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Almost last but not least, Wet Flies 101. It’s a little daunting going up against the legendary Joe Humphreys — in the next room, no less — but I had a spirited crowd, and we had a most excellent time talking about wet flies. The post-talk Q&A was one of the best I’ve ever experienced, both from a quality questions and a duration standpoint (we closed the show down!). I’ll talk about some of those questions in a future post.

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.