Many thanks to this swell group of dedicated anglers. I think we all had a fun time. It was good to reconnect with some familiar faces, and of course, to meet some new ones. I have to admit I was a little nervous about how a fly fishing-based talk would go over with a largely spinning crowd, but you all made my job a pleasant and easy one. Plus, I got to treat myself to a delicious fried scallop dinner at Lenny & Joe’s.
Most fishing clubs go on summer hiatus. Not the Long Island Fly Rodders. In fact, they’ve booked yours truly to kick off their fall meeting season with “The Little Things.” I’ve heard rumors of a pre-meeting barbecue, so how can I resist? Tuesday, August 1, 6:30pm, at the Levittown VFW Hall, 55 Hickory Lane, Levittown, NY. For more information, visit liflyrodders.org.
Speaking of presentations, I’m currently working on “The Little Things 3.0” and an as yet untitled one on how I fish for striped bass.
If you want to catch big stripers like her, pay attention to the little things. (Using a floating line and learning the greased line swing doesn’t hurt, either.)
When they serve pizza at events at my kids’ school, it’s always cheese. Plain, boring, dull cheese. Dairy rubber on flatbread. Now, the fine folks at the Hammonasset Chapter of TU know how to do pizza. The pies last night were so meat-ladenly delicious, I thought my mouth had died and gone to bacon/pepperoni/sausage/meatball heaven. And of course, a fed presenter is a happy presenter. So, thank you for the hospitality, and thanks for the engaging post-presentation (“The Little Things”) Q&A/discussion. (Bonus: great to see so many familiar faces!)
Afterwards, I went on a little striper expedition to some (for me) uncharted waters. Didn’t like the moon (waxing gibbous), didn’t like the wind (cold front coming, northwest at 10 mph), didn’t like the walk (quite a hike through the woods), but loved the water. A classic funnel with outgoing tide recklessly hurtling to the sea. There were silversides and peanuts, and sadly, precious few predators. Three of us fished two hours to catch a single striper and a lonely shad. But we brought some beer, and I think that helped.
I don’t usually share prototypes, but this sparse soft hackle is a work in progress. It’s based on a peanut bunker bucktail pattern. I think I will add a sparse, flared bucktail throat. It accounted for last night’s shad. Really like the colors and energy of this fly.
Last night I fished a spot in Connecticut that, upon further reflection, is having me believe that I’m Einstein insane. It should hold fish. Others have told me they’ve caught fish there. Nonetheless, every time I’ve fished it over the last three years, I’ve blanked. As in not a touch. On the plus side, I had a lovely walk through a salt marsh. And I bombed out some perfect laser shots with my switch rod. But would it be too much to ask for some players? No cigar, as we’re still healing after last week’s oral surgery.
Two appearances this week: Tuesday, October 11, 7pm: Mianus Chapter TU, “The Little Things 2.0” Waveny House, New Canaan, CT. For more information and directions, visit mianustu.org.
Thursday, October 13: Hammonasset Chapter TU, “The Little Things 1.0” (pretty sure we settled on this — I’ll update if incorrect). Quinnipiac Watershed Association Building, 540 Oregon Road, Meriden, CT. For more information and directions, visit hctu.org.
Finally, the weather. Today’s rain was great for my yard — or any stream in eastern, central, or southern Connecticut. Unfortunately, it almost completely missed the northwestern end of the state — so we’re still talking rock gardens on the Farmington and Hous. Bleah.
Time to fire up the steelhead end of the tying bench.
Many thanks to the Coastal Flyrodders of Wyckoff, New Jersey for their hospitality last night. The pre-game Mexican dinner was terrific, as were the libations. I presented The Little Things, and I’m pretty sure we all had a swell time. Not only do the Coastal Flyrodders understand that a fed presenter is a happy presenter — they have also set the questions bar at a new height. I don’t remember ever getting so many good questions, or having such engaging post-presentation discussions. Well done, all!
A beer for breakfast after a night of striper fishing doesn’t suck. But it doesn’t beat a beer with dinner.
Later this week: The Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA. I will be appearing at the Destination Theater on Friday, January 22 and Saturday, January 23 and presenting “Wet Flies 101.” This is one of my more popular presentations, and as the title suggests, it serves as a wet fly primer. Presentation times are as follows: Friday, January 22, 2:00pm, Destination Theater Room A. Saturday, January 23, 10:00am, Destination Theater Room A. The show takes place at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough. For more information, visit http://flyfishingshow.com/marlborough-ma/
Date change: my tying demo at The Compleat Angler in Darien has been moved from March 5 to February 27. It will focus on flatwings, bucktails, and soft hackles for striped bass.
In case you didn’t know, I have the cover story in the current issue of American Angler, now available at your favorite fly shop or news stand. The piece is called “The Little Things,” and it’s about seemingly small adjustments you can make in your fishing that can have a large impact on the outcome. I have a followup — Son of “The Little Things” if you will — and several other pieces coming up in American Angler.
Read all about it.
Not a picture of me. But a good photo nonetheless. I love guides who can multitask and make it look easy.