Archive for October, 2010


Nothin’ Much to Do? Flight Fest


Vaux’s Swifts @ Chapman Grade School, Portland, Oregon

Interesting, to me, for two reasons: I went to this grade school for two years (1953-54) and I have thousands of Vaux’s Swifts that inhabit a holly tree orchard behind my house most of the winter. It is intriguing to watch their comings and goings each evening and morning. They go off somewhere for the day to forage and return at dusk, swarming by the thousands over head. Careful as the earth, cars, houses, you?  are bombarded with droppings. Quite the attraction to watch the birds return to the Chapman chimney. I read the birds are suppose to migrate to Central America…they didn’t last year. Stayed and pooped on everything all Winter long, then departed in Spring ’til August!

At another venue with equal fascination for flight..Austin, Tejas…the evening bat festival at the Congress Street Bridge.

Congress Street Bridge Bat Fest


ODFW Fish Management: Restore Salmon/Steelhead Upper Willy



Fly Tying: AP Nymph

Steve Schalla @ (Fly Fishing the Sierra) offered an interesting piece on the impressionistic All Purpose (AP) Nymph (by Andre Puyans). The basic design is seen slender (swimmer) and heavier (crawler), yet basically the same.  This is indeed a perfect all purpose pattern that can be tied in the range of colors and sizes to cover mayfly nymphs. The ubiquitous bead head is an option. Perfect beginner’s fly pattern that is very functional.

All Purpose Nymph (Westfly)

“He based the nymph design upon three main criteria: size, shape and color. The size and shape of the pattern was inspired by Frank Sawyer’s PT Nymph that Andre also made contributions to variations. The design of the nymph was based upon the knowledge that only certain nymphs were available to the the trout, the mobile types that swim and crawl within the trout’s environment.”


New Madrid Fault Line & Earthquakes

“Although we typically think of earthquakes as specific to certain regions such as California, we, in the Midwest, have one of the most active earthquake faults in the country – the New Madras fault. The following map shows earthquakes that have been recorded from that fault since 1974.”   (1812 New Madrid Earthquake)     (Reelfoot Lake Origin)

New Madrid Fault Activity

Mississippi River ran backwards from the estimated 8.0 New Madrid Quake?

“A series of three to five major earthquakes (magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes) occurred in the NMSZ in the two month period between Dec. 16, 1811 and February 7, 1812. Several thousand additional “smaller” earthquakes occurred during the three month period from Dec. 16, 1811 to March 16, 1812. These included 15 quakes of magnitude 6.5 to 8 (the size range of the 1989 San Francisco, 1994 Los Angeles and 1995 Kobe, Japan earthquakes) and 189 quakes of magnitude 5 to 6.5. Two thousand of these quakes were felt by people, indicated by crude seismograph instruments and recorded in personal journals at Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio, which are respectively 250 and 350 miles away. The New Madrid area was at the very frontier of European settlement at this time so there were very few non-native Americans living in the immediate area to report the earthquakes.

Due to the harder, colder, drier and less fractured nature of the rocks in the earth’s crust in the central United States, earthquakes in this region shake and damage an area approximately 20 times larger than earthquakes in California and most other active seismic areas. Even though large earthquakes occur much less frequently in the NMSZ than in California, the long term average quake threat, in terms of square miles affected per century, is about the same because of the approximately 20 times larger area affected in the central United States.”   Missouri Dept Nat Resource


Fly Tying: Fergus MOAL Tutorial from OFFB

Great tutorial on construction of the Fergus MOAL Steelhead Pattern. I have highlighted this pattern before. My son recently tied up some of these (with Waddington Shank).(OFFB)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Fergus MOAL at OFFB


Fly Tying: Hook Sizing

I started out researching the why’s behind odd numbered hooks (9, 11, 13) and the seemingly more prevalent sizes (6, 8, 10). Came across a convoluted history of various hook manufacturers that lead to an effort of standardization….kind of.

The Fly Tying Forum offered up, in a discussion, a reference book (The Essential Fly Tier by Edson Leonard, Pages 1-24) that offers good basic information re hooks. Interesting add’l here @ Singlebarb

Fly Fishing Forum (h/t: shuck raider)



Fly Fishing: Barbless Hooks Unnecessary?

V. Paul Reynolds in the Sun Journal (Maine) argues that barbless hooks are unnecessary and in fact possibly harmful to fish. Hmmm? I am astounded anyone would advocate for barbs on hooks, even treble hooks if the intent is to release the fish.

If a fisher does not know how to release a fish, whether the hook is barbed or barbless, that is a whole other educational matter to be addressed. However, the mere process of using forceps, pliers, fingers to back a barb out of fish can only be viewed as potentially more problematic for the fish…compared to a barbed hook. Over penetration? Perhaps an issue if a 8″ trout takes a size 2 streamer. But, this does not compute, biologists aside, that barbs are acceptable if releasing your catch. There just is more shaking, pulling, twisting, grabbing, stressing to remove a stubborn barb that has done its job. Barb the hooks for easier release of the fish, your ear and your clothing. Now lest I appear inconsistent, I do not smash my barbs in advance of tying, and I rarely use totally barbless hooks. I round down the barb on the water…and I do like a slight bump from the rounded down barb on salmon, steelhead hooks.

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October 2010

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