Some wet fly notes and lessons from recent outings

If you want to catch more fish, pay attention to the little things. You’ve heard that from me before — heck, I’ve got three presentations and written several articles on the subject — but it bears repeating. Here are a few lessons I hammered home to both clients and myself (we all have to pay attention to the little things) on some recent wet fly outings.

On the swing and especially the dangle, don’t set the hook. Let the fish set itself. When you feel the strike, ask yourself, “Are you still there?” The answer will always be yes, if you allow the fish to turn away and drive the hook point home.

Look for consistent, active feeders on emergers. You’ll know the bug/feeding stage from the rise form (slashy, splashy, showy) and that there are no duns visible on top of the water. Those are the fish that will rush to eat your wet flies. Just left of center in this photo is what I’m talking about.

Screen Shot 2020-07-19 at 11.15.14 PM

Match the hatch! If you see size 16 creamy/sulphury mayflies coming off, and you don’t have anything like that on your leader, get some on. Now.

Give the fish a choice. Droppers are always the fastest way to find out what the fish want. Different sizes, colors, species, life stages. The fish will always tell you when you get it right.

The Hackled March Brown continues to be a consistent summer big fish producer. It’ll be my default point fly pattern through August.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Road Warrior: Three presentations this week!

Three days, three presentations, all of them different: the first freshly updated, the second an oldie but goodie, and the third making its debut! Here’s where you can find me this week:

Tuesday, October 15, 7:00pm, “West Branch Farmington River,” Thames Valley TU, North Franklin Fire House, 5 Tyler Drive, North Franklin, CT. This presentation has been updated with new photos, video, and content that reflects current regulations and trends. For more information, here’s the TVTU website.

Wednesday, October 16, “Wet Flies 101,” Capital District Fly Fishers, Colonie VFW Post 8692, 140 VFW Road, Colonie, NY. This is my intro to the wonderful world of wet flies. Wet flies have been fooling trout for centuries — and the fish aren’t getting any smarter. The link to the CDFF Facebook page is here.

Thursday, October 17, “The Little Things 3.0,” Farmington Valley TU, Whinstone Tavern, Stanley Golf Course, New Britain, CT. The world premier of The Little Things 3.0! Pay attention to the seemingly insignificant details, and you’ll catch more fish. You can find their website here.

Hope to see you, and if you’re a currentseams follower, please be sure to tell me.

A very good-natured reminder: C-O-L-T-O-N makes reels. C-U-L-T-O-N is me. Just sayin’. 🙂

LittleThings3.0

 

“The Little Things” and fly tying demo Wednesday May, 1 Russell Library, Middletown

I’ll be presenting one of my most popular fly fishing programs, “The Little Things,” at the Russell Library in Middletown, CT, Wednesday May 1 from 6pm-8pm. I’ll kick things off with a short fly tying demo, then we’ll go straight into the program, and finish with Q&A. This presentation is all about seemingly insignificant things that can make a huge difference in your fishing success. Everyone is welcome — hope to see you there! Here’s a link to the Russell Library website.

Want to catch more fish? Want to catch bigger fish? This is a good place to start.

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 1.08.45 PM

An enthusiastic thumbs up from — and for — Joan Wulff

Many thanks to the CFFCM for the speaking opportunity. As always, gatherings like Arts of the Angler are a wonderful way for those of us in the fly fishing community to reconnect — and make new acquaintances. I got to meet several currentseams.com members face-to-face — hello! Thanks also to everyone who came out to see me present. I appreciate you coming, and for asking so many good questions.

And now it’s bonus time. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to present to a legend. But there she was — Joan Wulff, sitting in on my “The Little Things” seminar. At the end, when I announce that it’s time for Q&A, she stands up and compliments me at length on my presentation.

That was so cool.

Steve C. That’s me.

2017AoA

 

The Fly Casters of Boston awarded the Legion of Oysters

Many thanks the The Fly Casters of Boston for their hospitality. These gentlemen do it up wonderfully right. The Union Club is a traditional, comfortable venue, and the spread — oh, my! Let’s start with the oysters. I would drive back to Boston tonight for those cold, briny, succulent morsels. Dinner was pheasant, which I’d never had before last night — also pushing the delicious border into sublime. Most of all, the people: a dedicated group of passionate fly fishers who made me feel welcome and at home the entire meeting. Did I mention the presentation was “The Little Things?” That was fun, too.

Sunset over the Common. I can tell you that wine glass eventually got filled. (And joyously emptied.)

BostonSunset

~

Next week: “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass” at the Cape Cod Fly Rodders, Thursday, October 19, Hearth and Kettle, Rt 28, Yarmouth, MA, 6:30pm. This is a members only club presentation.

November:  “The Little Things” at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum’s Arts of the Angler show, Ethan Allan Inn, Danbury, CT, Sunday, November 5 at 10:30. A great little fly fishing show. Hope to see you there!

Conn-RI Coastal Fly Fishers awarded the Order of Cheeseburger Merit with Oktoberfest Clusters

Many thanks to the Conn/RI Coastal Fly Fishers for hosting me last night, and for recognizing that a fed presenter is a happy presenter. Burger and lager and company were all most excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed our spirited Q&A session.

Next up: “The Little Things” at the October 4 meeting of the Connecticut Surfcasters Association at the Surf Club in Madison, CT.  The meeting starts at 7pm and is open to the public. For more information, visit the Surfcasters’ website.

All this talk of surf and coastal and fly fishing has me daydreaming of Block Island stripers….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A surprise guest, Steve Culton (at the Conn/RI Coastal Fly Fishers Thursday 9/28)

At the gigs just keep on coming! I’m a last minute replacement speaker for next Thursday night, September 28, at the Connecticut/Rhode Island Coastal Fly Fishers meeting. The presentation will be “The Little Things,” and it’s at the Elks Club in Groton, CT. You can get more information from their website. Hope to see you there — and man, do I need to get out out and do some fishing.

Time to tie up some September Nights! It’s a two-feather flatwing (three if you count the topping) with some sexy, soft marabou into the bargain. My favorite mullet fly. Did I mention it also works on trout? Do an internet search for the recipe.

Culton_Sept_Night2

 

New gig Wednesday, October 4: “The Little Things” at CT Surfcasters in Madison

Short notice, but I will be presenting “The Little Things” at the October 4 meeting of the Connecticut Surfcaster Association at the Surf Club in Madison, CT.  The meeting starts at 7pm and is open to the public. For more information, visit the Surfcasters’ website.

I’m continuing to work on “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass” — been hard at it today. Still waiting to hear from the Arts of the Angler in Danbury, CT and The Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA, and Edison, NJ. When I have presentations and dates and times, I will share them here.

Number One Son just passed the Florida Bar, but here he is working on his drag-free drift. 

Bill Dry

 

 

Thank you SE Mass TU!

I had a lot of fun last night. What a good crowd to present to — not only did you laugh at all my jokes, you laughed a lot at all my jokes. That’s a sure way to get me to come back.

This summer I began upgrading my presentations: more video elements, animation, and better transitions. Last night was the first go of the new and improved “Little Things,” and I was very happy with the result.

Speaking of presentations, “Trout Fishing For Striped Bass” is almost done. That will make its debut at the Cape Cod Fly Rodders, Thursday, October 19, Hearth and Kettle, Rt 28, Yarmouth, MA, 6:30pm. I understand that’s a members only meeting, so if you’re a CCFR member I’ll see you there.

As soon as I hear from the DEEP, I’ll update you on the 2017 broodstock collection.

Kicking off the 2017/18 presentation season (and other items of interest)

It’s been a weird weather summer (we’ll take it over last year!) but I hope you got your licks in as much as I did. Housy smallmouth, some striped bass on the Cape and Block, and a ton of night fishing for big browns kept my boots wet and my body clock shattered.

I’m excited about the fall trout season, not to mention stripers and of course steelhead. Hard to believe that my presentation schedule begins next week.

“The Little Things” at SE Mass Trout Unlimited, Middleborough, MA, Tuesday, September 12 at 7pm. This is the original The Little Things presentation. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit the SEMASS Trout Unlimited website.

“The Little Things” (with a touch of Farmington River info) at The Fly Casters, Boston, MA, Thursday, October 12. The Fly Casters are a private club, but if you know a member you can wrangle an invite as a guest.

“Trout Fishing for Striped Bass” at the Cape Cod Fly Rodders, Thursday, October 19, Hearth and Kettle, Rt 28, Yarmouth, MA, 6:30pm. It’s a brand new presentation! I’m still putting it together, but the more I work on it, the more excited I’m getting about sharing it. Come learn how to apply trout and salmon fly fishing tactics to striped bass fishing — and start catching the stripers that everyone can’t catch.

Arts of the Angler Show, Saturday/Sunday November 4/5, at Ethan Allen Inn, Danbury, CT. I’m hoping to present at least one of the days. Sadly, fly tying looks like it’s not going to be possible. Details to come once we figure them out. For more information, visit the cffcm website.

The Fly Fishing Show, January 2018. No specifics yet, but I am hoping to present again in Marlborough, MA, and to add Edison, NJ to the schedule.

Articles: Look for Streamer Kings in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of American Angler. I interviewed George Daniel, Chad Johnson, and Tommy Lynch for this piece, and the result is a treasure trove of information on streamer fishing for big browns. Of course, there are several other articles in the wordsmithing pipeline. I’ll let you know about them as they near publication.

Guiding: Weekends this fall are going to be non-starters, so if you want to hit the Farmington with me, pick a weekday. The river fishes well year-round.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to say hello on the water, and of course thank you for reading and following currentseams.

Coming to a fishing club near you this fall.

TroutFishingStripers