Thursday, December 20, 2012

Congratulations! to Fly and Fin on winning the 'Fly Fishing' award.

While I've not posted, while the blog is in limbo, I had to brake the silence.

I found it funny to receive this award since I've not posted in 6 months. I tried to find out something about and if this meant any thing.  I gather it is a start-up and most people who get these are surprised.  It looks like users recommend sites that are fact based.

Here is there "about us" statement: " is a continuously improving project focused on creating a trustworthy 'facts only' based website. Founded by a community who enjoy to learn and who are dedicated to improving their own intelligence, whilst helping the quality of online factual content progress".


Because is a project designed to improve the quality of online factual content, we want to promote and encourage this on other websites too! was awarded for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Accurate and precise informational content.
  • Interesting and inviting layout and/or writing style.
  • Reliable source for trustworthy content.
  • Unique and entertaining information.

If any one has more info let me know, for now I'm posting as entertainment.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tangle with the Blog

Dear Readers of Fly and Fin,

I found out on May 30, 2012 that the name Fly & Fin is trademarked to a fellow in Oregon. Oh brother (insert expletive). I’m seeing what can be done, so we’ll have to wait and see. It’s possible I’ll have to start a new blog under a new name.

Lesson learned: Make sure I get my stuff legally registered the next time around.

Stay tuned.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekend Camping and Fishing

The weekend before Memorial Day a group of friends and I went out to catch the Sulphur hatch/spinner fall.  Since this required a late night on the stream we decided to camp out.  This was a car camping expedition, so there was no need to keep weight down.  This translates into steaks on the grill with all the fixings, not to mention plenty wine, desert and fishing stories.

Here's a little sample of the weekend.

My accommodation.

First brown of the evening.

Red bellies can't resist Sulphur's.

Sun is dipping and spinners on the water.

Jacklin's spinner was the fly of choice.

Last fish of the evening.

Stories by the fire.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sulphur...are post is late.

The Sulphur this year are two weeks earlier than last year.  Mind you last year was wet and cooler than this year, but with the low water this year everything is early.  It make it a little harder trying to time the hatches, but that's life.

As The Jersey Angler said to me in his last tweet "that's old news dude. Where have you been."  It's obvious I've not been on the stream at the beginning of the Sulphur hatch, but I do make up for lost time.

In 2010 the Sulphur hatch started around May 22, and in 2011 because of the wet spring it was May 28 and by The Jersey Angler accounts this years hatch started around May 11, 2012.  That's a big spread, but I'm afraid with funky weather patterns this is going to be the norm.

Sulphur Spinner returning to lay eggs.
Here is a short hypnotic video of this years spinners returning back in the evening to lay eggs.

 The last thing to add is make sure you have some Rusty spinners.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bubble Pupa

The big caddis hatch everyone can't wait for is the Mothers Day Caddis or Brachycentrus.  The Brachycentrus is a cased caddis that lives in just about every stream.  This is a prolific hatch and trout engorge themselves on this abundant insects. This hatch in the east starts in May around Mothers Day and can go well in to June, making it an important hatch to fishers.

There are many outstanding patterns to imitate the pupa (it's most vulnerable stage).  The best well know is LaFontaine’s Sparkle Pupa.  Again I'd like to point you in the direction of Matt Grobert's video Tying the LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger  produced by Tim Flagler aka Tightline Productions for instruction on tying this classic pattern.  Another notable pattern is Barr’s Graphic Caddis.

My take on the Mothers Day Caddis is simple, like most of my patterns, mainly because I want to spend more time fishing than tying (the real reason is I'm lazy).  With most of the patterns I develop the golden rule is Keep it simple, Stupid.  For those who don't know the K.I.S.S. rule it's attributed to Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works think spy planes Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird. 

This patterns is developed from observation. I always have a small seine net and will do a kick sample of the stream I fishing to see what bugs and numbers.  If you look at my Popular Posts you'll see that "Emerging Caddis Pupa" is one of my most popular post and those are the images and video I used as reference.

I must give inspirational credit to Davie McPhail videos where I pick-upped using Flashabou for the rib and tinting it with a permanent marker to create a darker but flashy rib.

Bubble Pupa
Hook: Light Wire Caddis Hook.
Size: 14 - 16
Thread: Brown 6/0 or 8/0
Tag: Flashabou
Rib: Flashabou tinted with olive permanent marker.
Abdomen:  Hareline Dubbin HD13 (Insect Green)
Gas Bubble: 1/8" Micro Foam (used to protect electronic)
Legs: Hungarian Partridge
Thorax: Brown Squirrel Dubbing

Start thread and tie in Flashabou.

Wrap tag tie off and dub abdomen.

Tint the inside of the Flashabou and rib abdomen.

Tie in micro foam 1/8" wide.

Tie in Hungarian Partridge by tip.

Wind Partridge tie off and fold over wing case.

Dub Thorax and whip finish.
Your finished Bubble Pupa.

This pattern is a impressionistic pupa designed to be fished in the film. The micro packing foam helps it float and allows light to pass through to mimic the gas bubble of the pupa.  Hence the name Bubble Pupa. This pattern can be tied in various colors to match the caddis coming off on your stream.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crane Fly time, and the one that got away.

Now that Hendrickson and Grannom hatches are behind us now it's the slow time before the next super hatch "Sulfurs."

There are plenty of bugs on the water tan, olive and black caddis, but the Crane flies are starting to hatch.  For me that's when I go back to nymphing and fish a Walt's worm, Sawyer's Killer Bug or my K.I.S.S. Crane fly larva.  One thing I've noticed is that there are no subtle takes, more like a Bullet train.

The Bullet train story I have is of one that got away.  I hooked a monster brown I'd estimate 24" plus, no wait I think it was 30" plus.  Either way it was a good brown with shoulders that hit hard and I was running me up and down the pool.  I'd lost him when during the fight a 16" Rainbow took my top dropper went one way and the Brown went the other.  The train derailed and I was left with smaller fish was at the end of my line.  The expletives flew, and I was cursing what was a respectable Rainbow, because it blew my chance at the fish of the day.  Why was I not fishing 20 lb. Fluorocarbon?

I should have packed up and headed for home but the fishing was too good, so I stayed and landed many more fish, but non as large as that 38" Brown.

Here are some of fish who recently fell victim to the K.I.S.S. Crane fly larva and one Rainbow who ran interference.

Crane Fly Larva in the jaw.

Rainbow who ran interference.

Nice wild Brown.

The beast I landed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Top Water Caddis Action

Here in the east we're experiencing a very mild and dry spring. I'm concerned with low water and rising temperatures, that our waters will heat up and stress the trout.  This is normally not a problem for this time of year because the we usually get a fair amount if rain keeping our waters at good levels.  Only time will tell how the rest of the spring will play out, but for now the fishing is hot.

Since the spring opener bugs are popping and the trout are on them.  Mainly caddis, Grannoms to be exact are all over and the trout are looking up.  Several of my last outings I've be dry fly fishing, not once did I set-up a nymph rig.  The two main patterns I've been fishing are my CDC UV Caddis (with and with out an egg sack) and Craig Mathew's of Blue Ribbon Flies, Iris Caddis (Check out Matt Grobert video Tying the Iris Caddis produced by Tim Flagler aka Tightline Productions).

I usually present the fly with a down stream reach cast and dead drift it over holding water and feeding lies, at the end of the drift I'll dance the caddis across the surface mimicking a caddis breaking through the film or a egg-layer depositing her eggs.  Most of the time I'm fishing to rising fish, but I do just as well prospecting and inducing a rise.

The result is some of the best dry fly fishing I've had in years, in fact it's been HOT!

Here are some photos (trout porn) from my outings, enjoy.

One well chewed fly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Opening Day 2012

Over the years a tradition has developed around opening day of Trout Season. My boys and many friends have a dinner on the banks of a river and many of us camp out to fish the next morning at the 8:00AM start of the season.

This year we had 30 for dinner with just less than half camping out. The large turn out is in direct proportion to the weather, which this year was fabulous.

I'm the grill master with help from The Jersey Angler, and every one brings some thing to table, whether it's appetizers, sides deserts and adult beverages of one sort or another.

While the season only closes for 3 weeks, this is the first outing for many after a long cold winter. This year we didn't winter, more of an extended Autumn.

For me it's a day where I guide my boys and spend time teaching them the art of angling.

Fish on!

Happy Camper

Nice Brookie

Stream entomology

More bugs

Nice Brown.

Could be the big one.

20" Rainbow

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sparse Grey Matter Fly Tying Festival 2012

On February 26, 2012 Shannon's Fly & Tackle and Dette's Trout Flies sponsored the 2nd Annual Sparse Grey Matter Fly Fest. This event is an informal get together of fly tiers and fishers.  It's open to the public at no charge.  Some of the best fly tiers in the region were there. And, go figure; they let me tie.

Here's a short video of the event.  Check out Shannon's Fly & Tackle and Dette's Trout Flies in the January 2013 for news on next year's event.  Who knows, they just might let me tie again.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sawyers Pheasant Tail Nymph

I think everyone knows the Pheasant Tail Nymph, but I'm not sure how many know Sawyers Pheasant tail nymph.  The pattern is dead simple.  And. like most patterns I tie, it follows the K.I.S.S. rule.

For those who don't know the pattern, it's a killer.  It was designed by Frank Sawyers to "Baetis" nymph, or  "olives."  I've found it's also a good imitation of the "Ephemerella" nymphs, which include the Hendricksons and Sulphurs nymphs.  For the "Baetis," tie the nymph in sizes 18 - 20, and for the "Ephemerella," tie in 14 - 16.  If you have long Pheasant tail, than a size 12 is possible.

Back in January 2010, I posted step-by-step tying instructions Sawyers Pheasant Tail Nymph - Tied with Parawire.

Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions filmed me tying the Sawyers Pheasant tail nymph at the Annual Sparse Grey Matter Fly Tying Festival on February 26th, 2012.

Sawyer Pheasant Tail Nymph from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

I recommend you check out Tim's other videos at Vimeo. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Winter Fishing So Far...

This winter is great, if you don't like snow. We've started this winter with a charged river system, which translates into higher than normal river levels. Since this fall and early winter the amount of rain and snow is off, resulting now in lower than normal steam levels. Historically, my home river, the South Branch of Raritan, should be at 110 to 140 cubic feet per second. Now the river is at 83 cubic feet per second. Here in the east we don't rely on the snow pack, but in the west it's still important. It's important for many of the same reasons anywhere else in the world. The main reason is the slow and steady release of cold-water help charges ground water without massive runoff.

Why, you might ask, is this important. Well in one word - hatches. These levels, coupled with the warm spring-like weather we've been having in the east, are likely to affect the spring hatches. It may only mean a day or two, but when you're trying to time your day on the water, it means a lot. Since the spring hatches are some time off it many not matter much if we get our normal spring rain.

For right now I've been enjoying the spring-like weather in the middle of the winter. February is usually our coldest month and everyone has a bad case of cabin fever. Not this February, here are some shots from this winter's outings.

Let's see if March marches in like a Lion, so far it's more like a YouTube kitten.
Here are some of the fish I've taken this winter.

Rainbow taken on the my Anchor Caddis
Fat Brown...
Ice Pheasant Tail Jig...
Happy Angler!
Winter Brown...
Ice Pheasant Tail Jig strikes again...
Nice Brown...
Long and lean...