Thanks SEMASS TU, a frustrating few hours in RI, and Arts of Angler

My apologies for the lack of recent posts. October is turning out to be a busy, crazy month.

First, I’d like to thank the SEMASS chapter of TU for hosting me on Tuesday night. “Wet Flies 101” was the topic. That pizza hit the spot, and we had some really good Qs in the Q&A portion of the meeting.

I made a detour through Rhode Island on the way home. The objective was my October bass on the fly from the shore, but the three locations I fished were all blanks. Hopefully not a sign of things to come, as this was the first time this year I failed on my quest.

The Arts of the Angler is not a weekend-long show in Danbury this year. Instead, they’re doing it the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum in Livingston Manor, N.Y. on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. From the CFFC&M: “Get together with friends, including fellow tyers and vendors, at our home on the Willowemoc, talk about fishing, and help us chart the future of Arts of the Angler! The cost of general admission will be $5, and food will be available for separate purchase.” Unfortunately my schedule doesn’t allow me to be there, but I’ll be looking forward to next year.

Two more presentations this month: “Wet Flies 101,” Wednesday, October 17, Long Island Chapter TU, 7:30pm, Hicksville, NY. Everybody welcome. You can get more information here.

“The Little Things,” Thursday, October 25, Taconic Chapter TU, 6:00pm, Cork ‘n’ Hearth, Laurel Street, Lee, MA. Everybody welcome. You can get more information here.

I really gotta get out for some wild brook trout.

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A Full Slate of Fall Presentations

Fall is booking up fast! I have four presentations in the next four weeks all over the northeast:

“Trout Fishing For Striped Bass,” Wednesday, September 26, Narragansett TU 225, West Greenwich, RI, 7pm. Everybody welcome. You can get more information here.

“Wet Flies 101,”,  Tuesday, October 9, SEMASS TU 241, Middleborough, MA, 7:30pm. Everybody welcome. You can get more information here.

“Wet Flies 101,” Wednesday, October 17, Long Island Chapter TU, 7:30pm, Hicksville, NY. Everybody welcome. You can get more information here.

“The Little Things,” Thursday, October 25, Taconic Chapter TU, 6:00pm, Cork ‘n’ Hearth, Laurel Street, Lee, MA. Everybody welcome. You can get more information here.

Hope to see you there, and if you’re a currentseams reader or follower, please come say hello.

Hightail it to one of these meetings!

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Pre-Labor Day Odds & Ends

I can tell everyone’s busy elsewhere, and that’s good. Enjoy the last blast of summer! Normally, I’d be pounding up slab smallies on the Hous, but I’m playing an everlasting gobstopper-type game with the flows, which still aren’t below 500cfs. So, we wait. In the meantime:

One of my flies, the Soft-Hackled Flatwing, will be featured in an upcoming issue of On The Water magazine.

I’m speaking at the Long Island Flyrodders next Tuesday, September 4. The subject is “Trout Fishing For Stripers,” but I’m pretty sure it’s a members only gig. So if you’re a member and you’re reading this, see you then!

The Soft-Hackled Flatwing is an oldie but goodie. Play around with colors and let the stripers tell you what they like!

SofthackledFlatwings

 

Smallmouth candy

I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to share a concept/work-in-progress. What do we know? The Hous is high and it’s loaded with rusty crayfish which smallies eat. I’ve done precious little bottom bouncing with crayfish patterns, and I want to explore that. So: dumbbell eyes, inverted hook, lots of marabou = lots of motion, rusty/orange/red/brown/green colors, a little flash. We’ll see what the focus group thinks.

No name yet, not even the final materials and colors, but if I were a smallmouth, I’d chow down.

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The Countermeasure: a smallmouth bass and trout bug

The Countermeasure is a riff on a bunch of proven patterns. It’s basically a Deep Threat in crayfish colors with a deer hair collar and head tied Zoo Cougar style. Bite triggers abound: a seductive Zonker-like tail; hints of flash; flowing soft hackles; dangly legs; bulky head. It’s a surface and film fly that you can land with a loud splat!, then swing, wake, strip, and/or dangle. (I’ve had smallies try to pick it out of the air.) There’s really no wrong way to fish it.  It shines on a floating line, but it also ventures into neutrally buoyant territory if you use it with a full sink line.

I’ve been field testing the Countermeasure for three years now, and rarely disappoints. There are times when the smallmouth can’t keep away from it, and will bull rush it the moment it hits the water. And did I mention it’s a killer pattern for those big malevolent Farmington river browns?

The Countermeasure smallmouth bass and trout bug

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Hook: Daiichi 2220 size 4
Thread: UTC Rusty Brown 140
Tail: 8 strands green Krystal flash on both sides of the shank; next, a crawfish orange rabbit strip, fur side down, leather section 2″ long
Body: Rusty brown Ice Dub palmered with fiery brown schlappen
Legs: Golden yellow/pearl flake Barred Crazy Legs, 3 on each side
Collar: Rusty brown deer hair, top of shank only, extending to hook point
Head: Rusty brown deer hair, moderately packed, trimmed flat
Fly length is 4″

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A closer look at the head, viewed from above. It’s not a super-tight pack; two pencil-sized clumps of hair spun on the shank usually do it. I start shaping it with a razor blade by trimming the bottom flat, then the top at gentle upwards angle. Scissors do the rest. 

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It took me a long time to come up with a name that I liked. Then, few weeks ago, I was watching The Hunt For Red October for the millionth time, and I saw the Dallas release these brilliantly devised gadgets that churned and boiled and made the torpedo think they were the intended target. Then I thought about how the smallies would rather kill than critique this bug. And there it was. So, Red October fans, repeat after me: “Release Countermeasures, on my mark!”

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The Countermeasure Rogues’ Gallery:

Housy smallmouth, August 2016

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Housy smallmouth, August 2016

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Farmington River brown, August 2017

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Housy smallmouth, July 2018

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