Posts Tagged ‘Fishing



“Be patient and calm – for no one can catch fish in anger.” – Herbert Hoover

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Fly Fishing & Tying: Busy Body

One of the enjoyable subsets of fly fishing is fly tying. Learning to tie and fish your own creations…and that attract fish. There are, it seems, a gazillion fly patterns out there. Really there are a few hundred patterns and many derivations of a single pattern. It is part of the exploratory/creative process of fly tying to change up patterns and to adapt patterns to new materials and successful experimentations.

wet fly-bead head-biot wing-dubbing-photography-macro-SwittersB

Here a simple wet fly pattern (wound partridge wing and dubbed body) is jazzed up with the addition of a gold bead head, white goose biots wings, orangish goose biots tail, copper ribbing over the addition of synthetic flash into the dubbing mix. All these materials flex, compress, pulse, twitch, flash as the fly drifts and tumbles through the riffles of a stream. It attracts, hopefully, by suggesting life.

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This macro image of the abdomen/thorax of the fly gives a glimpse of the fibers protruding from the dubbed (wrapped) material on the hook. Each protruding fiber will move, collect bubbles, all suggesting a living insect below the surface of the water….hopefully. A Busy Body as it were.


Fly Fishing & Dames


Waylon Lewis Image

Waylon Lewis Image

Of course, perhaps he took the dames fishing too! I think so.

As an aside, if you are going to introduce someone to fly fishing, or any outdoor pursuit, introduce them with the basic appropriate gear: clothing, shoes, etc. Keep them comfortable, safe and able to enjoy the beginnings of the endeavor. Oh, and be patient. Nothing can ruin a special moment like your impatience or outbursts. I don’t imagine Clark allowed the little miss to become too uncomfortable for long.

GableSylvia x

Clark with his 4th wife, Sylvia Ashley


Shorelines: Rustic Canvas

There is something that draws my attention in nature and that is signs of disruption, chaos, change, growth amidst decline. Similar to the rustic decay in an urban setting, but the outdoor scenario is set in the most comfortable appealing setting for me. I am, dare I say, at one with these settings. At peace, centered and observant. For some it is a jumbled shoreline with snags, rattlesnakes gnarly trees and some water. For me it is a dozens (or more) little habitats/homes/hideouts; unique rock formations, twisted trees and an inhospitable texture that challenges my presence. All manner of critters inspect my presence. Most I don’t even see. I like that. Of course, if I happen to be wetting a line while taking all this in…well then that is the whole enchilada.

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photography: staging and distractions

clouds-road-sunshine-nature-photography-SwittersBI have this quirk: I try to avoid power lines, light poles, and such when staging a shot. There are times I will crop a shot to escape the lines, poles and signs of mankind. I don’t often do people, street life, urban chaos etc. I have considered doing more urban stuff but short of abandoned buildings, decay and such, I just don’t relate that often to what I see around me. Nature beckons, gardens beckon, mountains, trees, rivers and lakes. Throw a person into that mix and I struggle to feel it….unless it is someone I know.


Here my son, Tony, was fishing for Chinook this weekend. He hooked into a 10′ sturgeon. He is the focus here.

Sometimes the intrusion of people and things fly in the face of the overall scene.



A Dime’s Worth….Or A Bit of Difference

flies-dime size-scale-photography-SwittersBA Dime’s Bit of Difference Terminology from Long Ago

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I used the dime as a reference point for size. A small U.S. coin, that gives scale to the size of the trout fly patterns in the collage at the top.


Fly Tying: Zug Bug

photography-Zug Bug-Macro-fly tying-fly fishing-SwittersB-Peacock~

xxxBeauty Bow SB


Odd Ramblings: Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America

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This, for me, is part of the fun with blogging. Discoveries beyond the sought after. This morning, I was going to post the above image of a beautiful Rainbow Trout my son Tony caught in Oregon. I noted the spotted, olive back and thought to myself I need to find a quote, poem, something about the beautiful topside of a spotted trout. A long shot I figured.

I started perusing the net for ideas and for some reason I repeatedly came upon links to one Richard Brautigan. Not being particularly well read, I wasn’t sure who this writer was but hey he had written something called Trout Fishing in America. I found a link to many of Brautigan’s writings and was beset with a curious assortment of quotes from what had to be the 60′s. A total throw back for my mind to the Tom Wolfe, Tom Robbins…the wildly poetic, fanciful, different way of saying things, imagining things. It certainly challenged my early morning mindset.

Then I came upon an interesting bio piece on Richard Brautigan on the writing process for Trout Fishing in America that involved fly fishing, camping, travel, writing on an old typewriter and found it most fascinating. Check out the links and explore a bit. The bio is particularly interesting regarding the writing process. More Tragic Brautigan

It is interesting how one thing leads to another and a discovery is made that at a minimum gives momentary delight or perhaps opens the door to something more exploratory in the future.

Aren’t those spots on the Trout’s olive back beautiful. Maybe that’s all I had to say.


The Catch & Release Obsession

photography-trout-release-chronomid-SwittersBQuite a few of you non-fly fishers, who primarily drop by SwittersB for my photographic efforts, write and ask why I kill such beautiful fish. A very few have picked up on my past notations about ‘the fish was released unharmed’ and wonder why I don’t harvest fish.

If one peruses fly fishing writing, you quickly surmise a fixation with the fish must be released unharmed. It is almost a given that we rarely kill a fish and we must pay particular attention to the preservation of wild trout so as to maintain the genetic stock of what may have been the original, wild residents of a stream.

Somewhere along the way, I have unquestionably bought into all this and never question it. It just seems the right thing to do. I have kept hatchery trout in numbers on camping trips only to waste them in a cooler sans ice. After that happened and I put that bag of trout in a garbage can and set the metal lid down with a clang, I have rarely killed a fish beyond hatchery salmon or wild salmon in Alaska. The real benefit is I really don’t appreciate the taste of most fish. An occasional piece of halibut, fish and chips or fish tacos are about it. A few pieces of smoked salmon, some red snapper, that’s it. So I have no desire to harvest beautiful trout to eat them. I have no need to kill something to satisfy a primal need to conquer. 

I am not judging those that harvest hatchery fish or plentiful wild fish. Decimating populations in fragile watersheds or lakes is unacceptable to me. The connection to the habitat and the vulnerability of the fish is missing for the fisher solely concerned for the kill.

So that is my answer for those that have written about my killing or not killing trout. Just at a very guttural level I think the fish I pursue are beautiful, whether barely covering the palm of the hand or taking two hands to hoist them. They give me a different kind of food that benefits my mind, my well being.


Poetic License: How Do I love Thee…………..

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“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right…”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Nothing too profound here. Perhaps it is so blatantly self-evident to me that I cannot transfer the emotions  to you…my passion for the synergy of certain fish in certain environments? The combination of visuals and the physicality of it all. The perfect moments…the moment…when it all combines and one is momentarily reaffirming the love, the passion, the lust even for a darn fish…a beautiful fish.

On an even lighter note……..

“Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant, I wonder? I am half way through my fish burger when I realize “Oh my God, I could be eating a slow learner!”  Lynda Montgomery

“All cats love fish, but many fear to wet their paws”  Chinese Proverb

“To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch fish” Chinese Proverb

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

July 2014
« Jun    
Count your blessings, instead of your troubles. You attract more blessings by acknowledging the ones you already have, no matter how small they may seem.

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