Archive for March, 2011


Fly Fishing Lakes & The Wind (What if?)


Wind & More Wind

Lakes and the wind. A given element almost everyday at some point. You must plan for this. The picture above: Spring time. Cold. Winds kicked up. At this point, I had come into shore to take a break. In short order the wind kicked up big time. We considered heading back, but the fishing promised epic memories. We anchored. The wind blew harder and we moved even with heavy pyramid anchors.

We decided we had to try to row the long haul back to the rig…at least a half hour of steady, hard pulling. We pulled hard and gained nothing. We lost water, so to speak. Eventually, both of us, in excellent shape, could not beat the wind. We made for the far shore to wait out the wind.

The wind did not stop. There was not an access road near our shoreline and our rig was a good mile and a half away if we walked the shoreline. We were wearing booties, the type you wear with fins. We were seriously lucky by the shoreline configuration (rocks and shallows) and walked along into the cold wind, each pulling our pontoon boat with a twenty foot section of poly rope we had each always carried but never envisioned using in this way. Had we had a treacherous shoreline and deep drop off from the shoreline, we would have been stuck until the wind dissipated.

We were prepared clothing wise and booties wise (they had good soles). We made our way back after a very long (time wise) walk. Point being: plan for the wind blowing you to hell and not back. Ask yourself what is on the far side of that lake. What if you end up over there? Is there an access road over there? If you had to wait a long while for the wind to die down, do you have adequate clothing/shelter? It was an extreme exception to normal conditions. I had never not been able to row against big winds and waves. Met my match and now have a better sense to plan: what if?


Fly Fishing & Tying (Or, Is It Tying and Fishing?)

It is both. Depending upon your weather, seasonal closures/openings and freedom to fish. An example of late for me: I have recently spent more time researching patterns I had fleeting chances at last year and was not prepared with the right patterns and/or correct presentation (Yellow Sally Stonefly, Sculpin/Streamer Patterns).

You fish and see you need to figure out an insect for the next time (what was that large, yellow, fluttering fly popping out of mid-stream? (Mayfly, but it looked like a Stonefly?). Or, you are still cut off for the season (weather, closures, work, obligations). You plan for the time span you will have to fish and study the hatches you will experience on the bodies of river you will most likely visit (example: August-October for Crooked R., Deschutes R., Metolius R.,  McKenzie R., Tunkwa L., Leighton L.  etc.).

This is part of the ongoing fun of tying and fishing (or, fishing and tying).


Fly Tying: Large Sedge Pattern

I will be the first to admit I don’t have all the species of the Caddis memorized nor can I readily identify them. I study up on the waters I am intending to fish and attempt to match color and size of the pupa and adults. Previously, I have tied up some large pupa for the Caddis Sedge patterns. I tied them with the buggy eyes so that they could also, possibly, suggest the long bodied dragon fly nymph for a stillwater presentation, but added the swept under wings/legs or the emerging caddis. I did not add any antennae.

The hook is a size 8, straight eye hook, the thread was 6/0 black. The eyes are black, plastic dumbbell shaped and tied in on top of the shank due to their lack of weight. The ribbing is gold/silver tinsel with the gold side out. The body (abdomen) is brown rug yarn wrapped and then ribbed with the tinsel. The underwing/legs is tied in beneath the abdomen and is a section of turkey feather with dark deer hair swept back. The thorax is a blend of brown and dark olive dubbing wrapped forward and around the plastic eyes.

Arctopsyche grandis Caddis Pupa (McKenzie R. Caddis)


Stillwater Box SwittersB


Fly Tying: Proportions of the Fly

This is a refresher for the beginning/intermediate tier. The visuals are a good refresher of how big each part of the fly should be. You will see intentional variations beyond the standards, much like watching the casting stroke of a distance fly caster. It is strikingly beyond the standards often taught to a beginner. That is fine. Learn the standards as you will exercise them most of the time.



Another Version of Proportions @ Stillwater Slim




Adventure Photography: Tyler Stableford

Came across the name Tyler Stableford from a woman’s blog (Sue Melus at Deerfly Diaries). Her husband, Glenn, was on the cover of Cabela’s. She was quite proud of her hubby and took time to mention Stableford, who took the pic. A look at Stableford’s body of work shows amazing shots, often on the move. An art in itself. Beyond fly fishing, but still interesting.



Oregon (NW) Earthquake Zone (Cascadia Subduction Zone)

Apparently, Oregonians are long over due for a major earthquake…the last big one, according to studies, was in January 26, 1700 (I know…don’t ask me). The Cascadia Subduction Zone is the banging culprit.

“The troublesome area, about 50 miles off the coast of Oregon and Washington, is known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600-mile expanse stretching from Northern California to British Columbia.”

State reports underscore his point, documenting sweeping seismic vulnerabilities. For example:

-More than half of Oregon K-12 schools are at high risk of collapse in a strong quake.

-An estimated 1,000 bridges along Oregon highways may fail in a powerful quake.

-Nearly a dozen coastal communities are within tsunami inundation zones. Some neighborhoods have no easy escape routes to high ground.   Statesman Journal


Fly Tying: Synthetic Quill Body

With a grand case of Spring Time Tying ADD, I flit about the tying station like female Duns bobbing above the water. I cannot make up my mind. March Browns, Pale Morning Duns, various Caddis Pupa, Chironomids on minute (for me) hooks….on and on. So much to tie and I have not made a concrete plan.

Identify your anticipated hatches for the upcoming seasons. Chart it out. Keep track of your progress. Of late, I tie for stress release more than filling boxes or completing a to do list. Of course, I tie for the blog’s purpose of sharing assorted facets of fly fishing and tying for the beginner.

But, I have seen a few things lately that inspired me. John Collins (an excellent tier I made the acquaintance of on FB ) recently steered me toward Kevin Compton at Performance Flies of Cleveland, Ohio. I was intrigued by a segmented body material…a synthetic quill body of sorts. I promptly ordered some in several sizes. Above is the largest material. It comes in much smaller sizes for those eye crossing sub 20 hooks.

The above wet fly is on a Mustad Size 14 hook. The thread is 14/0 Sheer. I used a small portion of the pearl synthetic quill body for the abdomen and two turns of dyed green peacock herl for the thorax followed by two turns of a Starling feather.

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March 2011
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