New Zoom Tying Event: “Favorite Nymphs” Saturday, Feb 20, 1pm

My third winter fly tying pay-per-Zoom event is Saturday, February 20 at 1pm. Like the others, this will be about 90 minutes of fly tying/tie-along instruction. The cost is $10. To “register,” you send 10 bucks to me at PayPal (ID is swculton@yahoo.com) and I’ll send you the link to the meeting. Favorite Nymphs will cover some basic, useful patterns that are proven producers. Again, the focus is on template and technique. You should have different color threads, different hooks, beads, tools, etc. You should have at least one hen hackle/hen cape — Whiting makes a good basic hen hackle — or some other kind of soft hackle, whether it’s grouse, starling, partridge, etc. The “right” color is not critical, but if you want to go all in you should have grey or brown or black. The point is, if you don’t have a specific color hackle, you can find it later. Questions? You know where to find me.

Many of you will want a complete materials list, so let’s plan on these patterns: Soft-Hackled Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Bead Head Squirrel and Ginger, Frenchy Variant, Blue Glass Bead Midge. You’ll need 2x short scud hooks (anything from sz 12-16 for the first three and a size 18 or smaller for the last); metallic beads, your choice color, to match hook size; blue glass seed beads (mine are the Mill Hill brand; you can find them online or at a fabric/craft store, sized to your hook, and if you can’t find them you can substitute a tiny metallic bead of your choice); small copper wire; extra small silver wire; pheasant tail; ginger/orange dubbing (I like Angora goat); a squirrel skin if you have one (if not you can substitute a small soft hackle); bright contrasting color Ice Dub, your choice of color; high tack wax (like Loon Swax). Again, if you don’t have some of these specific materials you can substitute/make do as we are just learning some basic patterns and techniques.

I also like the Rainbow Warrior variant, a high confidence pattern. Scud hook, silver bead, PT, opal tinsel, rainbow sow scud dubbing if you have it. Maybe if we’re ambitious we’ll get to this one, too.

Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom, Feb. 9, 8pm: Small Stream Fly Fishing

Small streams and wild trout are a passion, so tomorrow night I’ll be talking about thin blue lines and the exquisite gems that live in them. If you haven’t been getting the Zoom links — I send them out Tuesday late afternoon — please check your spam box. See you Tuesday night!

“Stacking The Deck: The Little Things” in the current issue of The Fisherman magazine.

Many thanks to The Fisherman magazine New England Region Editor Toby Lapinski for giving this piece a home. This was originally intended to be part of my series of “Little Things” articles in American Angler. But with that pub’s demise, I’m happy to call The Fisherman its new home. “Stacking the Deck: The Little Things” continues the theme of seemingly insignificant things that can have a huge impact on your fishing success. Stay tuned as there will be more from me in future issues of The Fisherman.

“Stacking The Deck: The Little Things” can be found in the February 2021 issue of The Fisherman or online here.

Last Night’s Fly Fishing “Good Reads Part 2” Books List

Many thanks to the dedicated virtual crowd who joined me last night for my Tuesday Night Zoom, “Good Reads Part 2.” In case you missed it, I talked about nine more books that have had a major influence on my fly fishing approach/philosophy/success. Noteworthy inclusions are two books about striped bass that aren’t fly fishing books at all. Nonetheless, they both contain a wealth of information for keen students of all things stripers. I’ve marked those two with an asterisk. Here’s the list: The Art of Tying the Wet Fly & Fishing the Flymph by James Leisenring and Vernon S. Hidy; Fly Patterns of Alaska by the Alaska Flyfishers; Tying Small Flies by Ed Engle; The Hunt for Giant Trout by Landon Mayer; Steelhead Guide by John Nagy; Greased Line Fishing for Salmon [and Steelhead] by Jock Scott; Stripers and Streamers by Ray Bondorew; Night Tides* by Michael G. Cinquemani; Surfcasting Around The Block* by Dennis Zambrotta.

Striper fly anglers can learn a lot from striper plug anglers — and vice versa.

Tuesday Night Zoom, Feb 2, 8pm: Good Reads, Part 2

How is it Monday already? It must be, because tomorrow’s Tuesday, and that means another Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom. By popular demand, I’ll be discussing more books that had a major impact on my fly fishing. Shake off the the snowy winter blues, join in the fun, and perhaps find a hidden gem of a good read.

Still time to tie one on tomorrow (winged and wingless wets)

I’m still getting sign ups and questions (“Is tomorrow’s class still on?” Yes. “Is this a pre-pay event?” Yes. $10.) about tomorrow’s tying class, Tying Winged and Wingless Wet Flies. There’s still room if you want to join in: tomorrow, Saturday, January 30, 1pm. You can literally sign up for it any time before then (but I’d appreciate it if you’d do it sooner rather than later). Here are the details.

A hunk-hunka burning love of wet fly goodness awaits.

A resource for hard-to-find fly fishing books

Currentseams subscriber Paul Gross left a comment in yesterday’s post thread about Callahan and Company booksellers as a good place to find old fly fishing books. I don’t have any experience with the company, but I didn’t want Paul’s comment to go unnoticed. So here it is: “If you are looking for hard-to-find fishing books, Callahan & Co booksellers in Peterborough, NH has an unbelievable collection. 603 924-3726. I don’t believe they have a website, unfortunately. If you visit in person, it’s completely overwhelming. Make sure you have a limit on your credit card!”

Happy hunting!

Last night’s Zoom books list, fly tying, and other nuggets

A good virtual crowd last night for my Tuesday Night Zoom, “Good Reads.” In case you missed it, I shared a dozen books that have had a major influence on my fly fishing approach/philosophy/success. I had several requests for the list, so here it is: Trout Fishing by Joe Brooks. Trout by Ray Bergman. The Soft-Hackled Fly and Tiny Soft Hackles by Sylvester Nemes. Wet Flies by Dave Hughes. Two Centuries of Soft-Hackled Flies by Sylvester Nemes. Trout Lessons by Ed Engle. Striper Moon and A Perfect Fish by Ken Abrames. Steelhead Fly Fishing by Trey Combs. Steelhead Dreams by Matt Supinski. Nymph Fishing by George Daniel. Tactical Fly Fishing by Devin Olsen.

Some of the language in Trout is a little moldy, but Bergman still nails certain truths that have withstood the test of time.

It occurs to me that each of these books deserves its own review. I’ve already formally reviewed some of the newer ones on these pages, but I’ll be starting a series featuring the others very soon. Last night’s Zoom was so well received that I’m going to do another on Good Reads (Son of Good Reads? Good Reads II? Attack of the Good Reads?). The well of influential material is deep!

There’s still room in Saturday’s (January 30) class, Tying Wingless and Winged Wet Flies. We start at 1pm, and you can literally sign up for it any time before then. Here are the details.

And now, I’m off to write something for Dennis Zambrotta’s followup to Surfcasting Around The Block. Stripers on the brain…

Farmington River Mini-Report 1/22/21: The fastest two hours

I got a late start and had to run a few errands, so I didn’t get to the river until noon. I fished above and within the Permanent TMA. I made the decision to look for unpopular winter water, and so I had three marks all to myself. The river was up a tad from last week (400cfs) and we had a few snow showers. Observed: midges and Winter/Summer caddis, although not many of either. The method was tight line\small jig streamer. I only had one take, and I missed the fish; it was a very subtle pause, and I didn’t even get a head shake into the bargain. Wow, where did the time go? Reluctantly, I left to tend to responsibilities that were far less fun than tracking a drift through a fishy-looking run.

It’s beginning to look a lot like winter.

2nd Zoom Fly Tying Event: “Tying Wingless and Winged Wets” Saturday, January 30, 1pm

By popular demand, I’m doing a second winter fly tying pay-per-Zoom event on Saturday, January 30 at 1pm. Like the first, this will be about 90 minutes of fly tying/tie-along instruction. The cost is $10. To “register,” you send 10 bucks to me at PayPal (ID is swculton@yahoo.com) and I’ll send you the link to the meeting. Tying Wingless and Winged Wets will cover some basic, useful patterns. Again, the focus is on template and technique. You should have different color threads, different hooks, tools, etc. You should have at least one hen hackle/hen cape — Whiting makes a good basic hen hackle. The “right” color is not critical, but if you want to go all in you should have light or dark grey, light ginger, and brown. The point is, if you don’t have a specific color hackle, you can find it later. Questions? You know where to find me.

Many of you will want a complete materials list, so let’s plan on three patterns: Dark Hendrickson Winged Wet (Hook: 2x strong wet fly size 12 Thread: Grey Tail: Dark blue dun hackle fibers Body: Muskrat fur (any grey dubbing works) Hackle: Dark blue dun hen Wing: Lemon wood duck (mallard flank can be used in a pinch); Pale Water Wingless AKA The Magic Fly (Hook: 1x fine, size 16-20. Thread: Pearsall’s Gossamer silk, primrose yellow (you can use regular yellow thread) Hackle: Light ginger hen Tail: Light ginger hen hackle fibers
Body: Rabbit fur, color to match the natural; and Brown or Red Hackle (Hook: Dry or wet fly, 12-14 Silk: Crimson or claret Hackle: Red furnace (brown is fine, even grey) Rib: Narrow gold tinsel Body: Bronze peacock herl). Like last time I’ll answer questions and you can pick my brain.

Stuff like this. Yeah. I can already feel the tug…