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.)

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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!

"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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Many thanks to Hammonasset TU and a question about color

A big round of applause for the Hammonasset chapter of TU for hosting me last night. A small but intimate and involved group made it a fun evening and a smooth presentation. As usual, I forgot many of the names, but I recognized the faces, and I appreciate everyone who came out to talk trout fishing for striped bass. Can’t forget to say thanks for the pizza, and also thanks to the gentleman who gifted me the articulated flies — those will see action next summer for smallies!

The presentation machine keeps rolling with three gigs next week at Thames Valley TU, Capitol District (Albany, NY), and Farmington Valley TU. I’ll post a reminder Monday. Hope to see you there!

I was asked about color in striper flies last night. Without writing an essay: I like a little yellow in any fly that imitates fatty, oily bait like menhaden or herring or anchovies. I like certain colors for certain conditions: some white at the change of light, black in stained water, grey and fluorescent yellow on an easterly blow. I love blending colors using buckail and saddles, and sometimes I choose flies by feeling — as in, that’s the fly that feels right tonight. Sometimes color is irrelevant — it’s profile and presentation. I choose and blend colors that please me. Confidence catches fish!

Crazy CU

 

Soft-Hackled Flatwing in On The Water’s Guide Flies

My Soft-Hackled Flatwing recently appeared in the “Guide Flies” section of On The Water magazine. I’m sorry that I don’t have a publish date, but it’s out there and of course right here. The Soft Hackled Flatwing draws from fly tying giants Abrames and Bondorew and Gartside. Play around with colors, have fun, and catch fish!

The Soft-Hackled Flatwing from On The Water‘s Guide Flies. There’s a link to a pdf just below.

SoftHackledFlatwingGuideFlies

SoftHackledFlatwingGuideFlies

Fun at the “Striper Moon” film premier

All we needed last night was a red carpet to welcome all the fly fishing dignitaries at the Avon Cinema. Nah, it wasn’t anything like that: low key, relaxed, everyone welcome — just like Tuesday Nights with Ken. I enjoyed seeing some old and new friends, and reconnecting with people from fishing days past.

It’s the world premier of Striper Moon — A Legacy.

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The film? Nice job, Lorri Shankar. It’s not all about fishing — it’s about Ken the artist, the sculptor, the writer, the fly and rod designer, the angler, the man. Roughly an hour long, just the right length where it leaves you wanting a little more. The story is told through Ken’s self-narrative, and via interviews with an eclectic mix of characters from family members to old fishing buddies.

I do not know of any future distribution or DVD plans. If you have inquiries, please reach out to Lorri Shankar, director. You can find her on Facebook.

We talk just about every week, but I hadn’t seen Ken in a few years. He has a look and a style that simply commands your attention. Thanks, old friend, for teaching me about sparse flies and flatwings and floating lines and greased line swings and sticky sharp hooks and setting the hook and fighting fish and…

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“Striper Moon — A Legacy” film in Providence August 20

“Striper Moon — A Legacy — J. Kenney Abrames” will premier 8:00pm August 20 at the Avon Cinema in Providence, RI. The film is the project of Lorri Shankar. Here’s a link to Ken’s Stripermoon Blog Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

KenFilm

 

The Saltwater Edge and The Bear’s Den: buy stuff from these guys

Although the title of this post may suggest otherwise, I’m please to say that currenseams.com remains an ad-free web zone. One of my goals with this site is to be a dispenser of good information — and with that, I’d like to direct your attention to two new links on the right-hand sidebar.

First up is The Saltwater Edge in Newport, RI. Its owner, Peter Jenkins, is a good friend. While SE’s focus is more on non-fly gear, the shop is nonetheless a valuable resource in terms of local knowledge and passion for the salt. It’s also the only place you can find my favorite striper and steelhead rod, the Ken Abrames Salmo Saxatilis.

The next place I’d like to tell you about is The Bear’s Den in Taunton, MA. I’ve been a customer for years, in particular fly lines. Huge selection. And some of the best customer service I’ve experienced anywhere. Scott and his team will really take care of you.

You should also know that these links are unpaid and unsolicited. I’m just a big fan and wanted to share.

This bass was caught on a rod I bought from the Saltwater Edge and a line I bought from The Bear’s Den. Coincidence (he said with a wink)?

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