Archive for February, 2013

28
Feb
13

Fishing: Early Season Anxiety & Hoarding

The temps are creeping upward. The mornings are a bit warmer if not drier here. All the tying, organizing fly boxes, staring at the gear, double checking the layers of clothing etc, etc leads to that burgeoning need to pack the gear in the rig, load up the ‘toon and head somewhere…anywhere to wet a line.

Rig w Toon SBTruth be told, I haven’t tied a lot this Winter. I tied a lot last year and seem well stocked on the basics. I have a few patterns that I will be tying this month (a chunk of a baitfish pattern for some large mouth bass & some mini-leech patterns…just  because). Like years past, I may well have that on the water revelation…”I didn’t tie any (pick the pattern here).” I have a faint recollection of wanting to tie up sculpin patterns for the rivers. That didn’t get done this past Winter. Such is life lately. 

Lake Box SBxAs some of you may know, my life…my family’s life, has been consumed with the cleanup of two massive hoarding homes and hospice care for two the past several years. The cleanup of a hoarding home makes one consider one’s own habits of acquiring and retaining this and that.

Such is the case with gear…especially fly boxes. My mind seems to flit from hyper readiness and over planning and always settles upon the ‘I might need it someday’. The exact mantra of a OCD Hoarder is it not? Hmmm? Well, I am not likely to remove, for long, many of the dozen or more fly boxes I pack into my pontoon’s cargo bags. For some reason, I can confine myself to a couple boxes on a river (odd as rivers, for me, seem to be a bigger puzzle than a lake). 

Blushing Bow 2 SBAs in life, things evolve and change. I struggle for simplicity but I am realizing this endeavor (fly fishing and tying) personifies my good tendencies and my not so good tendencies. It is often a joke in the family on how many fly rods I have…I mean I have outfitted the entire extended family in the event they might fish someday!

The reflection I see in the mirror is someone that must do a little self-assessment on just when is enough, enough. I will get to that someday (procrastination is another trait of the hoarder).

27
Feb
13

Tattoo Design: Peacock, Feather and Flowers

A little over a year ago, I highlighted the Peacock Tattoo by Jere Ware (Atlas Tattoo-Portland) on my wife Mary Jo’s arm. This year, my wife decided the Peacock tat needed some added habitat. She conspired with Paul Zenk (Infinity Tattoo-Portland) to design a beautiful collection of Peonies, Cherry blossoms and leaves around the Peacock. The results were beautiful. Paul Zenk respecting the work of  Jere Ware created a magical floral arrangement around the regal Peacock.

Tattoos-Peacock-Flowers-Paul Zenk-SwittersB

Paul Zenk, Portland Ink Artist and owner of Infinity Tattoo, creates a beautiful piece of work for my wife, Mary Jo

Tattoo-Photography-Peacock-Peony-SwittersB

The red Peony pops above the Peacock feathers

tattoos-peacock-flowers-Paul Zenk-SwittersB

Another Peony, more pink, sits next to the Peacock’s head. Cherry blossoms continued down the forearm and up the back of the arm

tattoo-photography-peacock-flowers-Jere Ware-Paul Zenk-SwittersB

In the end, the Peacock tattoo is surrounded by a perfect habitat of Peonies, Cherry Blossoms and variegated leaves

Tattoos are definitely not for everyone. A mental adjustment occurs for those that acquire one. You look at it and go, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe that is on me’. Mary Jo put in about 18 hours of serious mind control while Jere Ware and Paul Zenk created. The results have been very satisfying to all involved. 

25
Feb
13

Fly Tying: Streamer Patterns Aggregated

I was contemplating tying up some enticing streamer patterns for some large mouth bass that eluded my last year but will succumb this year to my creations. I thought of Simon Graham, a guru of streamer patterns for Pike. I recalled (see my mind is just flitting all about) that Simon may have moved from Finland back to his original home of South Africa (or was he vacationing?).

At any rate, Simon could perhaps offer up instructions on how to tie those baitfish patterns that might be applicable to these rather large LMB’s I have been thinking about all Winter.

simon-graham-bead-bouncer-fly

Simon Graham Bouncer Fly

Well, in searching out his name to see if he had moved, I could not get a sense from his site. But, I came upon another site that not only had Simon’s how to’s but numerous other how to’s for Pike streamers. Check out RodTrips’ Aggregated grouping of how to tie Pike Fly Streamers Tutorials….Simon’s blogs are in my blog roll, right side column too.

25
Feb
13

Photographic Study In Repurposing & Humor

Matt & Box

matt box 2

25
Feb
13

The Essence of it all: The Trout & The Water

Came upon this lovely video that is the essence of fly fishing (at least for me). No strategy, no presentation, no rod or reel. Just like stopping, watching, relaxing and seeing~feeling peace of mind and heart. Front Side Fly Fishing has other videos as well. It is easy to be a bit jaded or saturated with all the very stimulating fish porn vid’s out there. This one, in its simplicity, is nice to just relax and watch.

Beautiful Trout SwittersBxIt is euphoric, for me, to bring a beautiful fish to hand…to admire it, to celebrate its beauty and power. But also, it is equally satisfying, at times, to admire their beauty at their own pace, their way…without attaching strategic considerations.

24
Feb
13

Seagulls: Scavengers Far & Wide

No doubt you have seen seagulls along the sea shores and wharfs. Also, one might notice them quite far inland as a storm approaches off the coast. But, this year, I noticed a ‘flock’ of seagulls that have taken to a church roof top some 80 miles inland from the Oregon Coast. Sometimes the gulls can be quite a nuisance but they also perform valuable cleanup functions.

Seagulls1SBSometimes in the morning or late afternoon, I have seen several dozen gulls sitting atop the roof’s pitch. Evenly spaced and motionless, I thought that would be an interesting picture. Of course, I rarely had my camera. This past week, I’ve had the camera, but the gulls were never assembled as before. So, yesterday I figured I would snap what was there.

Why did they choose this roof top I wondered? Well, as I approached the area I saw the gulls swarming a parking lot of a 7-11 Store. Dozens of gulls , flying low, descended upon the lot as a store employee doled out handful after handful of crackers to the gulls. Apparently a consistent source of food? Maybe this would explain why the gulls occupied a singular roof top 80 miles from sea since last Summer?

Seagulls2SB

Most of the gulls were missing at this time. I figured I would take the pic anyway and explain the story regardless.

 Worldwide seagulls are not necessarily always near the sea. Even the State Bird of Utah is the Seagull…how did they know to venture from the West Coast to Salt Lake for all that fine dining in 1848?

Update: So, a few days later I was driving by and there was the ‘flock’ of gulls on the same roof ridge. I grabbed a shot of the several dozen seagulls.

seagalls roofline sbI have mostly thought of seagulls as a nuisance at the beach…I once had a gull grab my pliers off a dock railing, fly away and drop them into the drink. But, with just a little research it is evident seagulls are not held in high esteem. High  uric acid fecal matter corrodes surfaces and does considerable damage to roofs.

23
Feb
13

Repurposed Matt & Box: Wet Generosity

Perhaps you recall, in late January, I highlighted the repurposing of furniture in my fine city (Portlandia). A few weeks back, I captured a perfect example with a mattress leaning up against a street sign near my work. It stayed out in the pouring rain for several days until one morning I saw it slumped down in a pile and later that day gone. Where did it go? Taken for actual use or deemed visual abuse and gathered up dumped? I snapped a pic, but seem to have lost it. 

Imagine my surprise, when a couple days ago I came upon a generous offering not two blocks from my work. Seriously, people in this neighborhood really like to repurpose all manner of property.

Box SBLike magic, these repurposed gems just appear at first light. I don’t think I have ever seen any repurposer (my word…you can use it) actually repurposing (yes, you can use it) in broad daylight. It must be a night time thing. So, after a torrential downpour, typical of early Spring in Portland, the matt & box was still there the next day. So, one wonders how does one take such a generosity and sleep upon it?

“The moist and damp effect triggers the development of mold and mildew. These dreaded end products give off foul odors and often intensify respiratory problems. Neglecting the wetness of your mattresses can pose as a looming threat to your every day sleep. Your bed will soon transform into a breeding ground for thousands of hazardous bacteria.”

No this is not a job for a hair dryer or fan set on high speed. There is no 90 degree days looming anytime soon in this neck of damp woods. Hmmm, I wonder if there could be a better way to deposit such items so they actual could benefit a person need?

Perhaps the generous repurposer, no doubt full of typical great intentions, ala Portlandia, could figure out how to donate such items or transport them at least to a tent city (there are several in Portland) or at least deposit them under some shelter like a freeway overpass (there is a large collection of folks down underneath the I-84/I-5 interchange (note all the tarps, shopping carts and pallets that could at least temporarily use these items until rousted out. Then the city would be disposed to recycle your offering to the appropriate landfill. I mean if you are going to dump them (oops, repurpose them) anyway, make them count!

Homeless camp

Repurposers: Please note the Red X …work your way down underneath into that vicinity beneath the overpasses and donate reasonable items to the several dozen folks that have camped out down in there. Of course, be careful. They may or may not appreciate your good intentions.

23
Feb
13

Travel Envy & Photography: Lady Budd (Clanmother)

I have followed the pursuits of Rebecca Budd (Clanmother) in her discoveries of all things beautiful in art. However, I seem to have gazed right past her own artistic magic at Lady Budd….inspiring, mind tweaking photography that makes one go…’what am I doing sitting on my butt…get up and get going!’ Beautiful images as Rebecca travels and sees the shot and captures some great memories. Rebecca has several notable blogs that are referenced via Chasing Art and Lady Budd. Enjoy her quest for visual beauty in The Gallery. I particularly enjoyed the photo of the Scottish Highlands.

rebecca budd

Rebecca Budd…Clanmother

23
Feb
13

Damsel’s: Sleek and Seductive

While on Stillwaters fly fishing, we often see the delicate cousins of the more aggressive Dragon flies…the Damsel fly flitting about in the reeds and shoreline structures. Newly emerged they are often pretty blues, browns and greens. The subsurface life of these attractive insects is equally appealing for the fly fisher too.

The above photo of the Damsel ‘nymphs’ provides perfect detail for the fly tier looking for exactness or simplicity. Sleek, segmented, bulbous eyed, long legged and tailed one can see the proper proportions and just where the undulating damsel would have appendages,etc. 

damselssbMy suggestions re Damsel nymphs (Instars) is to fish them slowly amongst the shoreline structures and picture intermittent propulsions like a fish would move…wiggling, undulating. The materials you use to tie (or someone else used) will help facilitate the suggestion of life. Here is a BC piece re Damsel nymphs.

Tie up some sleek, life like Damsels and fish them with confidence. Tie them in the  length range of 3/4″ to 1″ and keep them slender. Floating or Intermediate lines work best. Present them parallel to the shoreline or even swimming toward the shoreline or reeds as opposed to out into the deeper part of the lake. Study up on how the Damsel moves/propels itself. Also, imagine the journey to emerge out of the water and how you would present your pattern amidst the climbing nymphs.

damsel caught

This beautiful trout was caught close to a shoreline of cat tails this past Summer. An olive colored, size 10 damsel nymph fished on the drop near the reeds did the trick.

22
Feb
13

Caddis Fly Glitz: Hubert Duprat

I have posted similar content in the past re surrounding Caddis larva with fashionable objects, which they use to construct their protective cases. Here, Hubert Duprat combined ‘gold spangles, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, pearls, opals, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and coral’ in his home aquarium with Caddis larva and the resultant cased caddis are at least interesting to the eye.

Hubert Duprat, through his artistic constructs with Caddis larva, is probably more familiar than most with how the larva combine objects to make protective cases which allow them to transform form larva to pupa. Check the links.

hubert duprat




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