Archive for March, 2010

31
Mar
10

Bacon on the Barrel (150 Rounds ‘ill do it)

After just a few short bursts you should be able to smell the wonderful aroma of bacon.

“I gave this about 250 rounds, but I think around 150 might actually be enough.” Ready on the left? Ready on the right?………………. I think that lil’ gal might need more bacon too. Fire!

31
Mar
10

Fly Tying: Giant Isopod (Bathynomus Giganteus) Pattern (Super Scud)

Up from the depths of the Pacific and the Atlantic, this two + foot long creature looks like a super sized nymph. Called Bathynomus Giganteus, the creature was recently discovered on top after it attached itself to a submarine craft at 8500 feet! in the Gulf of Mexico near an oil rig and took the ride to the surface. Looks like a giant scud. Called horrifying, scary, monster….I will just call it a fascinating creature amongst all the marvels of the deep.

Bathynomus Giganteus

The little dude is carnivorous, feasting away on whales, sharks, squids on the ocean’s floor. Looks more like a sea creature than ol’ Montauk Monty.

Bathynomus Giganteus

Bathynomus Giganteus

Crank up the crab pot! Apparently they are somehow harvested enough to be consumed in Taiwan.

31
Mar
10

Fly Fishing: Screeeech and Beseech!

“Maybe I am a purist but during the Mayfly period when fish are rising there is no need to use a nymph. I feel that the etiquette of the sport is being lost. Or is it that manners are being lost everywhere. Chalk Stream Arrogance

The problem with fly-fishing, he says, is the arrogance of the old guard. Newcomers to fly-fishing, he contends, “try to learn, and they run into some arrogant, snotty guy on the water who thinks they’re idiots because they can’t roll cast or because they’re just starting out…. Sancoucy’s Web site, www.hushfishing.com, addresses the issue: “This is a rebuke to you arrogant, stuck-up anglers,” it says. “Get over yourself [and] stop pushing people away from the same thing you claim to love for the sake of your own pride.”   Fly-fishing is easy and inexpensive, but the fly-fishing establishment complicates the learning process, Sansoucy says.  HushFishing

“Next question: what would fly-fishing mean to you if there wasn’t a massive load of bullshit attached to it? The answer is probably that it would be a lot less colorful, and everyone would be playing croquet instead.” Michael Gracie

“We look at fishing different than a lot of people. It isn’t about being on the river, or having a nice day, the beauty of the fish. None of that. We are about catching the most and biggest fish possible on any given day. Anyone who tells you that it isn’t about catching fish can’t catch them.” Moldy Chum

In no particular order, the above displays (read the entire posts) what is so annoying about reading and writing about the sport and why it is sooo important to just escape and do it. Oh, MG does turn a nice set of phrases.

On another issue:

>>Forum Frenzy: to share; to savage; to circle; to nip; to tear; to pile on; to spew; to stomp

A slightly different phenomenon: the fly fishing forum; it is the best way to capture the essence of us v. them; my dick is bigger than your dick; and I don’t have a dick; you can’t play with us. Don’t bother. Beyond a couple B.C. forums, which provide legitimate, courteous information, the rest are a cancer. If you want to recommend a good one that disputes that, feel free. (my view is narrow, parochial, NW US) My, look how easy it is…I am screeching and beseeching too.

30
Mar
10

Fly Tying: Caddis Pattern (In the Film)

In keeping with the Caddis pattern I tied yesterday, this is another one with a similar pattern. In this instance I incorporated different abdomen material (Fly Tying Specialties Micro Straggle) rather than the Ice Dub. For the collar, I used a dubbing brush comprised of dyed deer hair rather than the cut up deer hair I used previously. The hackle is dyed medium brown hen hackle. Thread was 8/0 black. The hook is a Skalka Barbless Czech nymph hook.

Micro Straggle & Skalka Hooks

Skalka Size 12 Barbless Hook, 8/0 Black Thread

Micro Straggle for Abdomen

Deer Hair Dubbing Brush (Fly Tying Specialties)

Close Up of Caddis pattern

This is a pattern is not weighted. I am experimenting with it, not as a pupa or diving caddis, but rather for in the film, particularly for stillwaters. These initial ties on a size 12 hook may be a bit too big (excepting Traveling Sedge) but I am interested to experiment with this emerger type pattern. I am wondering if the deer hair collar will maintain some buoyancy.The deer hair dubbing brush had better quality deer hair (less blunt tips) Also, the deer hair is spaced out along the dubbing brush, rather than bunched together, as I did when inserting the deer hair in the dubbing loop.

29
Mar
10

Fly Tying: Caddis With Deer Hair Collar

This Caddis pattern has a dubbed Ice Dub body and a collar of dark deer hair formed by inserting deer hair in a dubbing loop, then gently spinning the hair and then winding a buggy looking collar. The attached tutorial (I couldn’t figure out how to photograph it myself with out movement/blur) at Fly Tying Romania demonstrates the loop with inserted hair. I did not insert nearly as much hair, but the picture aids in the understanding of how to form a body (or in the above case, a collar). I have mentioned this use of deer/elk hair before.I first saw the use of deer hair for legs/wing material with Jeff Morgan. Jeff did not use a loop. He spun/twisted his hair onto the tying thread…a technique he admitted was taxing at best. I recommend the loop method. This buggy-leggy look could be equally used on all nymphs, not just Caddis. You would use less and have shorter legs, of course.

29
Mar
10

Fly Tying: Wet Fly’s Random Hackle & Other Renegade Fibers

From an aesthetic point of view, the renegade fibers (thread, feather, fur, dubbings) can look pretty chaotic to the camera lens, fish eye and human eye in larger sizes. I often rationalize the random twitches of material as suggestive of life and in no way a detractor to a fly’s effectiveness. A frequent troublemaker in the finished look of a fly is the errant hackle fibers that protrude forward when they should either be standing straight up (dry fly) or swept back (wet fly). I will demonstrate a simple wet fly that shows a tie in method (cutting the butt end of the hackle to form small comb teeth effect to better secure tie end thread wraps) and when the hackle fibers run amok, how to sweep the fibers back to the desired 45 degree angle.

I probably could have advanced the body further up the shank toward the eye another turn.

In the above picture from FlyAnglersOnline, you see the hackle fibers stroked back between the pinched tips of the thumb, forefinger and middle finger. When you see that you have captured all the errant fibers (hackle and dubbing fibers) (this may take several times) wrap thread wraps to bind down the swept back fibers. Don’t over bind them too much; they should be raised at a 45 degree angle.

This is a straight forward wet fly: black 8/0 thread, size 14 hook, small micro chenille like material, two wraps of hen hackle. The fibers are swept back and secured with thread wraps, which continue to form the completed thread head.

29
Mar
10

Fly Tying: Craft Stores & Yarn Stores

This morning, I was checking out Roughfisher.com and I saw Jean Paul’s ‘cache’ of goodies from a craft store. It reminded me of a plastic bag of materials I bought at a Eugene, Oregon yarn shop and have yet to use. Much of what is found in a craft or yarn shop are not found in a fly shop. So, if you feel you are betraying your favorite shop(s), don’t worry. A caution: you can find so many unique treasures that you will start grabbing multiple colors of everything. That can add up. Do the math as you grab.

29
Mar
10

Fly Fishing: Women Banding Together To Dip Their Collective Toe?

“Women have been under the thumb for many centuries. We have been controlled and ordered around by men for more than long enough. Modern women are forging their way ahead, paving the way for others like them. They are coming into their own and striving for equality in a still largely patriarchal world. One such corner of life in which women are making their mark is in fly fishing….Female fly fishers are a very real part of this sport, whether men like it or not….The internet is also filled with information and advice for female fly fishers. This makes picking out the right type of women’s fly fishing gear easier and hassle free because you don’t have to consult men in order to get yourself savvy…In order to get anywhere, women need to embrace each other and stand together.”   Women & Fly Fishing

I believe the above was written  about 2000. One woman’s opinion? Still a dominant opinion of women fly fishers? Do men really resist women joining the sport? I suppose somewhere there are men who are threatened. I don’t know of any. Probably more prominent is the opposite force…men so enjoy the appeal of a woman waving the stick that they provide unwanted attention and sexual energy toward the woman. The woman wants to be left alone to enjoy the sport. She does not view it as a means of meeting men. It is not a red flag endeavor to entice men. Or is it? Whoa! you say. I do recall two very attractive women that took a class from me for the express purpose of meeting men. They further had it dissected with men that fly fish will have a higher income level. The two women were also taking golf lessons. Exception to the norm? Yes, of course.

For myself, women in the sport are a great addition. Yes, an appealing one. Yet, I know instinctively to respect their individual need to enjoy the same qualities of the sport that I seek. I have the initial appreciation for a calendar showing nubile, half naked babes holding a fly rod…but, they aren’t real. They are mostly fantasy. Real women, not the half naked in hip waders girl, looking lost with a rod in hand, but real women we see all about us. I respect their desires to enjoy all aspects of the sport. I hope the strident tone above is less significant in the female angler’s world view today. I hope men can let women be long enough to let them appreciate the sport on their own.

27
Mar
10

Fly Fishing: Survival & A Whistle

Do you wander up or down a river to be alone while fishing? Of course you do. What do you have with you for survival? What is with you and what is left back in the rig? Build your kit and decide what can be easily carried with you. One item I am never without are two whistles. One is a Storm Whistle. The other  one is a Hi-Gear Rescue Whistle. I have whistles in my pontoon boat, float tubes, truck, packs, day packs….I have whistles. More than once the whistle has come into play for myself and my sons while fishing or bushwhacking. A basic tool, but do you one with you?

27
Mar
10

Fly Fishing: Fish Porn Debate (Who Do You Think You Are?)

“The bigger issue of course is that the ability to afford cameras, lenses, flashes and camera housings, has far outpaced their owner’s ability to use them creatively, and sometimes even competently. Forget that they are uneducated. Forget that they haven’t “paid any dues.” Forget all that.”  TexasFlycaster: Flyfishing Culture on the Skids

As a reflection upon how I vacillate between traditions and what…non-traditional, this fish porn business cuts both ways for me. Tattoo’d bums seemingly transported into the fly fishing world overnight, talk trash, have huge followings and aggravate the traditionalists. Way back, I took exception to the stick up their collective asses traditionalists and their arrogance. Yet, the bum mentality + new media grates because of the “paid any dues” issue. Envy on my part? Sure. But, also going in a new direction with out purposely hiking your leg would seem more tasteful. Civility is challenged. These abrupt swings create resentment.

For myself, I am what Texas Flycaster refers to as someone with more gear than brains…but, whatever. I enjoy the freedom to create and experiment. I am no commercial threat. I could be a culture threat. I do grow weary of fish held high to block a face like some frigging bandit. I know tatted up guys that look like they work at Miami Inked standing behind a fly shop counter. Yet one of the most gifted Steelhead fly fishers I know has the identical look…that keeps me in check. I hesitate, to judge. Bottom line, he does not hike his leg on traditions. He tries to bridge the gap, to teach. So, is that part of the problem? Lack of respect for the past; too much beatdown of the tweed crowd? I, of course, cannot be a hypocrite. I have highlighted tats, possess tats and occasionally insert skin into my postings. I do it without regard to a bigger cultural picture. My posting decisions  assume adults can decide to come and go elsewhere. I like their input.

Is the fly fishing culture that fractured? Is it fractured on enviro issues like habitat, water quality, fish runs? For all the varied images within the culture, the core principles of stewardship bind us. For that the uneducated and educated can be thankful.




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