Archive for February 19th, 2012


Fly Tying: McPhail Tears Deer Hair Rather Than Cut

This is a technique (tearing deer hair rather than cutting butt sections) I had not seen before. Probably takes a bit of practice & tight thread wraps, but it does seem to have a nice finish for the Coastal Deer Hair Wing. Davie McPhail is well known in accomplished fly tying circles.  He has some very nice S-B-S tutorials. Haystack Emerger

Renowned Davie McPhail c/o HillendDabbler Blog


Cooking Beans


Beans are a simple, magical and sometimes musical food source. I made a pot of navy beans, threw in some lentils and a touch of meat. Nothing special in components, but hearty and satisfying. Much can be added to the mix, but sometimes just have them in their own natural juices with maybe just a touch of black pepper and salt.

Go easy on the quantities the first time. One cup of beans is plenty for a meal or two. After the beans have cooked you will learn how thick your juice is. Do you need to reduce the juice down a bit or add a touch of water? After they set over night in the fridge, they will thicken into a bit of paste. Slowly reheat them either in the pot or microwave. Always good for a day or two. Throw in some cornbread, buttered bread, crackers or bacon on the side.


Fly Fishing: Waiting but Planning

Spring time looms. Time to assess the gear, the fly boxes, the agenda for the coming season. The put off trip may happen this year. That spot you wanted to try but passed on last Fall beckons. That favorite place you first go each season. Are you ready?

I have been sorting through fly boxes galore. Actually a bit crazy how many I have. Some have had the same 20-40 flies in them for years and I bet I have set that box aside for as many years. No matter. But, I do assess those certain patterns that I am very low on and plan to tie accordingly. Hence, my recent decision to tie a bunch of unweighted Woolly Buggers because last year all I seemed to have were bead heads or heavier and I was sinking into the water column too quickly with the Intermediate line on lakes.

Penny the Cat is always studying her options. She is always planning and calculating.

So, a tying plan, on paper is emerging. Make one, tape it up and keep it simple. Are you tying enough for a season, envisioning the losses, the give aways, the wear and tear of certain successful patterns? Now is a good time to tie more than a handful of good patterns. Now is when you can knock out a couple dozen (a probable couple years worth) of the primary patterns.

The gear. Seems fairly elementary to check the bags, the reels, the rods. Oh,  the slow leak you were going to remember to fix last Fall. Well, the time allows for it now. The gear may have been put away dirty, wet, scattered because of life’s realities and interruptions. This might be a good time to start over assessing all your gear and use this season as a new beginning to unwind from the pressures of life. Better to start off with something organized and together like your gear, if not your life.

Probably a good time to make a gear checklist at least once to make sure all the necessities you assume are shoved in that bag, vest or pack are actually there and serviceable. The small stuff: nippers, pliers, the right size tippet spools, floatant, split shot, strike indicators, working batteries in the headlamp are all there and ready. No nippers is like a fine cigar without a lighter.

There is little doubt that Penny the Cat is well prepared!

 Now last June, on a windy day, Penny was high in a tree and less skilled in planning. (Penny the Cat came into the household).

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

February 2012

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