Contest swag is on its way!

All good things to those who wait (and my apologies for the delay). The 500 followers contest winners are getting their flies shipped today. Coming to a mailbox soon near you:

Drew gets this section of early season bugs. Clockwise from 7 o’clock: SHBHPT, Hare and Copper variant, Frenchie variant, Squirrel and Ginger, Dark Hendrickson winged wet, Hendrickson spider. 

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Pete wins the classic North Country spiders, tied on light wire hooks with Pearsall’s Gossamer silks. Left cork: Winter Brown, Black Magic. Right cork, clockwise from 3 o’clock: Orange Partridge, Snipe and Purple, Grey Partridge, Poult Bloa.

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Greg gets this selection wet flies for the Farmington and Housasontic. Clockwise from noon: Pale Watery wingless (Magic Fly), Drowned Ant, Squirrel and Ginger, BWO spider, SHBHPT, Partridge and Light Cahill.

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Tight lines, gentlemen. And thanks to everyone for reading and following currentseams. Another 60 or so followers and we’ll do it again!

 

Farmington River Report 5/1/17: No bugs? No rises? No problem.

I guided Mina yesterday — a cool, dreary day for most of it. We headed to the permanent TMA and for the first hour we had the place all to ourselves. Mina wanted to delve into the black arts of wet fly fishing. Water was a little higher than I like for wets (440cfs — they’ve since (of course) dropped the flow — and it was cold! 45 degrees made for some chilly legs and feet. Bug activity was also low — some micro midges and a couple caddis, and no H-bombs, at least not while we were there. We covered lots of water before we found some customers. A couple bumps, a couple dropped fish, and a couple to net, but that was more action than I saw elsewhere. Ya done good, Mina, under some tough conditions.

Mina is a thoughtful angler who came armed with loads of questions and a strong desire to learn. Here she is, acing a pop quiz. I have to give props to my last two clients. Both Mina and Vicky were confident waders who weren’t afraid to venture into some more challenging water to get their flies in front of fish. Sometimes the angler that covers more water is the angler who catches more fish.

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We used a bead head soft hackle of Mina’s creation on point to help get the flies down in the higher flows. This guy (who’s beginning to sport a kype) took that fly on the dead drift. Note the cool cirrus cloud effect on the surface.

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Farmington River Report 4/28/17: To the Vicky belongs the spoils

I guided Vicky today and she did a bang-up job banging up some trout under the trusty yarn indicator. Vicky vastly undersold her fishing capabilities to me. She did a great job casting, mending, managing her drifts, keeping a positive vibe, and wading into some challenging water (750cfs, 50 degrees below the permanent TMA). Vicky told me she’d only caught five fish on the fly before today; we managed to hook nearly twice that many and land a bunch, all fat, healthy rainbows. We fished a size 14 Rainbow Warrior on top dropper and a size 14 Frenchy variant on point and took fish on both flies.  Our action picked up once the sun warmed the water (weather lottery winners, us) and a few Hendricksons started popping, but persistence and covering water paid off the most.

The skunk is off. We didn’t see a lot of fish caught, but we sure did see a ton of anglers for a weekday. Thanks to everyone who said hi.

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This got to be a familiar sight. Way to go, Vicky!

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Tip of the week: watercraft and wisdom, or: You’re smarter than the fish

Heed the sage advice of Harford Henry Edmonds and Norman Nellis Lee:

“The proficient wet fly angler is not disadvantaged at finding no rising trout at the surface, he will instead use his watercraft and wisdom to fish all the spots where he knows a trout will be.”

I tied up this Drowned Ant yesterday, thinking about the shady banks, grassy edges, and pocket water I will drift it through this summer.

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Tie Food

‘Tis the season to be busy at the vise. I’ve also been sequestered in my lonely writer’s garret, churning out new material for your favorite publications, and buffing up some old presentations — not to mention outlining some new ones for 2017.

So, no fishing for me for two weeks now. (I know. That’s just plain wrong.)

A couple reminders:

I will be tying at the CFFA Fly Fishing Expo & Banquet, Saturday, February 4, Maneely’s, South Windsor, CT. Come see why the Expo is the best little fly fishing show going. I’ll be there from the morning thru early afternoon. If you’re there, be sure to say hello. For more information, click here.

There’s still space in my “Farmington River Favorites” Tying Class, Sunday, February 5, 9am-1pm at UpCountry Sportfishing.  There will be a little bit of everything: wets, dries, nymphs, and streamers, from traditional classics to new designs. These are all high-confidence, proven patterns, and I’ll also discuss how and when I like to fish them. If you’ve taken my wets and fuzzy nymphs class before, most of these patterns will be new. Sign up through UpCountry Sportfishing.

We’re getting close to the magic number of 500 followers. Of course, we’ll have a giveaway to celebrate.

Last week’s worth. Some of these are for customers, some for future guide trips, and some for me. 

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“Farmington River Favorites” fly tying class at UpCountry Sunday, Feb 5

I’ll be leading a fly tying class at UpCountry Sportfishing in New Hartford on Sunday, February 5. Here’s the class description from the UpCountry site:

Join outdoor writer and Farmington River guide Steve Culton as he explores some of his favorite patterns for the Farmington River. There will be a little bit of everything: wets, dries, nymphs, and streamers, from traditional classics to new designs. These are all high-confidence, proven patterns, and Steve will also discuss how and when he likes to fish them. Participants will need a vise, thread and tools. All other materials will be provided, including a pattern recipe list. The class starts at 9am and will run about four hours, giving you plenty of time to get home for the big game. Space is limited to six people. Tuition is $75, paid in advance and non-refundable.

Please do not contact me to register. You must sign up through the shop, and you can find them here.

From a class a few years ago, very serious-like. But we like to have fun, too.

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