Archive for February 16th, 2013


Photography: Cloud Cap

Cloud Cap SwittersB


Fly Fishing: Impressionistic Patterns

Today, I was perusing a book by Darrell Mulch called Reading Water, An Illustrated Guide to Hydrodynamics and the Fly (2001). The book has a lot to contemplate while presenting materials about the holding patterns of fish in various hydraulic scenarios. 

reading-water-illustrated-guide-hydrodynamics-fly-darrell-mulch-paperback-cover-artOn the very last page, a section entitled The Beginning, there’s a passage that I thought interesting: “However, in a store, flies are usually tied to either attract fish or fishermen. That is, they are made to look like a specific insect or they are made to appeal to the fishermen’s understanding of beauty. Ugly flies, though, are constructed to interact and relate to the characeristics of moving water to produce an animate behavior. The image they present to the fish is dynamic; it is seen as a cinema (a sequence of events), instead of a snapshot (a moment frozen in time).” 

The ‘Ugly Fly’ patterns in the book are scraggily, wavy patterns that move upon and under the water’s ‘roof’ as Mulch calls them. I like the Cinema (fluid movements) vs. the Snapshot (static) idea. I have long suggested the impressionistic pattern is preferable to the perfect replica pattern on many occasions. Rather than being my excuse for sloppy tying, perhaps Mulch has given me even another reason to tie my unkempt patterns.



Lyme Disease: It Can Be Misdiagnosed!

This morning, I was watching one of those dream trip, Saturday morning fly fishing shows about the Naknek R.. The show was the Seasons on the Fly. Curious, I went to their site and noted a header for Lyme Disease. Not the normal header tucked in amongst the usual fly fishing topics. Definitely worth a look see. The wasted years of dealing with debilitating illnesses (and misdiagnosis) is one of life’s most frustrating journeys. 

bullseye rash sb


Fly Fishing: A Beginner’s To Do List

Blushing Bow SBThis is not one of those pieces about use this fly here or there and boy howdy hold on cuz Mr. ‘Bow will set your adrenaline flow to new levels. It is a rather a few suggestions, around the edges of that how to portion of fly fishing. Just some things gathered from years and years of  ‘#%&#! how did I forget that?’ or ‘how did that happen?’

Perhaps this is only borne out of my feeble memory and some faint blurps of ADD, but I need lists. Not obsessively, but just enough to organize a past time that I do not get to do so often that grabbing this and that is second nature. There was a time when all my gear was always in my rig and basically ready to grab and go. I fished at least three times a week. Not so much anymore, hence a list, to compare to, would be a good idea if you are a fly fisher that cannot always  get onto the water or is just beginning.

Divide the list(s) into the usual rod, reel, extra spools, fly boxes, and all the other little do-dads that accumulate. But, also add or remember to note: first aid kits, extra clothing after you accidentally submerge yourself in ice cold waters, the small over night survival kit because you didn’t properly study the area you ventured into…are lost…and oh, you didn’t bother to tell anyone where you were headed to (well right there are some items to remember on your check off list). 

There are various layers of complexity to fly fishing and it is deceptive that way. Grabbing the rod and a single fly box to wander down to the stream’s edge for a couple hours of probing  is simple enough. But, bigger, longer outings, like camping trips, vacations or those life time expeditions on dream trips requires more planning and lists (modified and tweaked over time). They are a great tool. A weekend trip definitely suggests a check off list. I won’t embarrass myself here mentioning what I have arrived without on special outings.

I frequently bring this up, probably again given my own short comings, about fitness once you are past that well honed fitness level is of importance this time of year. If you have not maintained strength and flexibility and Winter has taken its toll on your health then at least be cognizant along the water’s edge of that and hike, climb, descend, wade carefully at first. Feel the fatigue, the heavier breathing and the slight stumbles. In the early season move a little slower and more carefully. Take breaks.

A few other things that assist in small ways: go with others to fish and observe and learn. Solitude is great for sure, but outings with others to include a guide if you can financially swing that is extremely helpful in learning all the various skills  one wants to improve upon. Yes, there are many opinions about how to do this and that like in any how to endeavor, but in time you will put your routine together and make it you own…bad habits and all.

Study stream flows, stocking schedules, maps, visit fly shops if one is nearby, go to fly fishing and tying expos and, of course, just cruise the net gathering all the wonderful wisdom.

So right now, contemplate the creation of the list, the master checklist. Compare against that list several times through out the season. Then get out there as the season openers commence. Best wishes!

Blushing Bow SB2

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February 2013

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