Archive for September 1st, 2010


Fly Fishing Artwork: Bianca Pistillo of Italy

A young female Italian artist, Bianca Pistillo, created these two paintings.

Swinging Fly by Bianca Pistillo

Trout Takes Fly by Bianca Pistillo


Fly Tying: Rescued Flies From the Shed

Per the earlier post re resurrected flies from an old, plastic tub, I found some five dozen or so serviceable flies out of many hundreds of not so serviceable flies. Some of these flies have been nibbled upon by moths. Some have been in that tub for years. I estimate the tub was started some twenty years ago judging by the flies I recognize from many years ago at the bottom. I feel it was worth the  hour or so of time and poked fingers to rescue those perfectly serviceable creations. Other lesson learned: wow, I use to tie crappy flies. Quiet now! I don’t require a current critique… 🙂

SwittersB's Photo Collage of a Few of the Rescued Flies


Fly Tying & Fishing: Rescuing Old Flies

Find those old flies left forgotten in old licorice tubs, fly boxes and plastic bags. I recently wrote about this. So, today, for drill I looked out in the shed. There was an old yellowed, plastic tub…the kind red vine licorice comes in.

The Old Tub of Flies in the Shed (SwittersB)

The tub was almost full and the plastic fairly brittle to the touch. I brought it inside and decided to sort through the flies to see if any were salvageable.

Mediocrity (or worse) spewing forth (SB)

Some observations of this inspection: most of the flies were rightfully tossed. Most of the flies for trout and steelhead were tied on too large of a hook. There were few bead heads or curved shank hooks. Most of the hooks were Mustad hooks. This gives the more experienced tiers an idea how old most of these discards were. So, I sorted through about a third of the flies and came up with a couple dozen ok flies that should be reinserted into the fly boxes. The rest need to be canned. The question remains…do I burn the materials off all those hooks and sort or toss them?

Salvaged from the Depths of a Shed (SwittersB)

In the bin, I found two dead yellow jackets. Many of the wings and tails had been eaten by moths. The flies were mostly god awful. But, a few peeked through the tangles of hooks and materials to say…’save me!’


Eric McMillan Nymphing for Steelhead

Some solely swing flies (the quartered cast and the fly swung in an arc across the river) for steelhead (or salmon) because of the challenge, or the purist mind set or because they haven’t realized an alternative technique exits. Nymphing for steelhead (or salmon) can be the best option on smaller streams. Sometimes the best presentation is a horizontal or a lateral presentation of the fly rather than swung on an arc. Note in video below that friends are siting for angler from above and relaying steelhead’s actions. A true friend sets the rod aside to aid the angler.

Some fly fishers inadvertently hook into steelhead while fishing for trout. This is often with a trout rod and a smaller nymph and the steelhead wins. But, it sparks the connection and the appreciation for a slightly bigger nymph and a little more muscle in the rod.

Roll Cast, Mend, Set

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Prince Nymph in Larger Size Good for Steelhead Nymphing (SB)

Ah, yes the egg pattern...Babine Special (SB)


Fly Fishing: Fly Reel Maintenance

Reel maintenance…ugh. Those pesky maintenance reminders. Like changing furnace filters, vehicle oil changes or annual physical exams, they should not be put off…  A little preventative maintenance will pay dividends in the long run.

If you are a stillwater angler you probably have more than a floating line. The reel and the line on it should be cleaned and dried and lightly lubed. Any spare spools should be also be put on the reel housing and the line pulled off to the backing and cleaned with a damp cloth and a bit of dishwashing detergent. For me that means five lines/spools for just my 5 weight. Factor in a 3 wt. and two spools; an 8 wt. and 3 spools; a 10 wt. and 3 spools and a spey reel….well maybe an hour + of maintenance while watching or listening to some diversion.

Fly Reel Always Under Siege (SwittersB-TM)

Use a light coating of oil. Check reel manufacturer recommendations or talk to your local fly shop owner for recommendations. Some oils or lubes may be caustic to your reel, teflon discs or fly lines. A little dab will do you. So, if you are close to putting away your fly reel after a Spring and Summer of use or like many use it year round, then perform some maintenance soon. If you haven’t used that reel since last Winter for salmon, then your maintenance will be good preparation for the cold Winter waters and silt/grit that is stirred up.

The usual remark that a reel is little more than a line holder is fine, I guess, if you paid $39.95 at the local big box sporting goods store. I imagine you paid more than that….regardless of investment…take care of your gear…it is all part of the tinkering, fussing, fondling of gear…the process.

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

September 2010

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