Archive for the 'hobby' Category


Stonefly time…

May is an optimum time for Stoneflies in Central Oregon rivers and elsewhere as the rivers warm. This is a simple pattern…like an enlarged nymph pattern.

Stonefly Pattern-Backstrap-SwittersB

A size 8-10, 3xlong hook, goose biot tail, copper wire ribbing, black fur/synthetic dubbed abdomen/thorax. The ‘backstop’ from tail, up over the abdomen and thorax is turkey feather. The legs in front is a few wraps of black hackle fiber. A simple, yet productive tie. This pattern can be weighted with wraps of ‘lead’ wire or left unweighted and weight attached to the tippet. Blacks, brown, dark yellow/rust colors for the stonefly contingent that emerges/crawls out starting now into Summer.


Fly Pattern: Parachute Emerger

Parachute-Emerger-Mayfly-Fly Pattern-SwittersB


Stillwater Dragon Fly…


rainbow trout-SwittersB-photography-fly fishing-SwittersB-2

Oregon Rainbow Trout, Caught/Released by SwittersB

The abdomen of the dragon fly pattern is densely wound marabou (staggered colors) in a dubbing loop. The shaggy body is then trimmed with scissors or a razor blade (I prefer scissors). A wound hackle for legs and pheasant tail fibers for the wing case over the top of the plastic dumbbell eyes. The head here is dubbing but can be wound marabou fibers or ostrich herl fibers. I do not weight this pattern but prefer to take it subsurface with an Intermediate sink line fishing the shoreline of lakes out to the drop.


Folly & Delight

“Gardening is ultimately a folly whose goal is to provide delight.” Deborah Needleman



Fly Tying Classes: Christmas gift?

green + BH pupa-fly tying-SwittersB-macro photography

This is my yearly suggestion to give the man or woman, young and old, in your life, a series of beginner’s fly tying classes during the Winter/Spring. Most fly tying shops, community colleges, or private instructors offer classes geared toward those fumbling fingers. Once the basics are learned, on line tutoring is abundant and/or additional intermediate/advanced classes maybe available.

bare hook

The essential, bare canvas of fly tying

Fly tying will totally enhance their fly fishing experience. Catching fish on their own creations takes the pursuit to a whole new level. Their understanding of their surroundings and the fish’s environment will necessarily expand as they study habitat, entomology (bugs) and what fish consume. The artistic, creative side is ever present as they tie basic, traditional patterns but think of new directions in size, colors, design. Patterns range from the simple (the ones I have displayed here) to the more complex and more artistic.

It is a great gift idea. Check with your local shop, if you have one, re if they offer classes or who might teach classes in the area. Last resort: gift certificate for vise and fly tying tools with a few starter materials and the more cumbersome on line tutorials are a way to go too.

wet fly-blue wire-fly tying-macro photography-SwittersB


Gardening: Why do you love it so…..?

“Flowers are nice to look at. They have neither emotions or conflicts.” Sigmund Freud

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” Gertrude Jekyll

And, it provides stretching, bending, lifting, reaching, nurturing & if you let it, peace of mind.

St. Francis-yard art-gardening-photography-SwittersB


Cracked Pots: Artists Recycling or Reusing

As I sit watching the freezing rain accumulate outside on the just budding tree branches, I am reminded that not everyone is drawn toward nature. There are those that are not attuned to nature’s cycles beyond weather’s intrusions into their routines. Most of you (I know this by your words, images and pursuits) are definitely attuned to nature for the vitality and life it gives you. Outdoor pursuits on every level keep us physically and mentally in harmony. 

Photography-Yard Art-Gardening-Portland-SwittersBOne of my enjoyable outdoor pursuits is gardening. No it is not an extreme sport for sure, although it often feels like it long about April in the back of my legs and lower back after a day of working in the yard. Again, part of the process of renewal and health. Recently, my wife and I attended a yard/garden show in Portland. It was replete with all the fancier amenities of a well turned out yard (stone work, brick work, outdoor kitchens, spacious timber canopies etc.

But, there was also an ‘artist’ section under the heading of Cracked Pots. In one area of the complex, there were the booths displaying yard art, jewelry, large metal scupltures created from trash or recovered trash. One artist after another had imaginative creations gleaned from scrap heaps, dumpsters, garbage etc. that was all destined for landfills, vacant lots or roadside ditches in the Portland area. The artists were enthusiastic and their works were very appealing, nicely priced and quite worthy of a place in someone’s yard or garden.



Photography: Sometimes It Is Just Black & White……

or shades of gray. Looking at the previous post re cactus flowers, it is evident I like that pop of color because…….

So much of my photographic efforts are impulsive and frankly not well reasoned. I can’t say I just do it. I do give some thought to positioning, angles, lighting, texture and color. But, even that is still less thought out. I think color is uplifting to my psyche? Maybe it just pleases, soothes and that’s it.

So, black and white or gray scales of imagery is appealing because…….

Hmm? Again not sure. Obviously, I am quite primitive or immature or limited by my conceptual awareness while pushing that button. Black & White images seem other worldly. They seem to be  in an adjoining time dimension or dream like. Somewhere our mind would visit but not stay. 

I really do need to develop some technical awareness here. Today’s cameras and apps make for lazy knowledge. For us lazy minded students of the art form….ones that just feel, imagine, impulsively snap away based on some intuitive twitch…..thank goodness! I’m having a hard time learning anything anymore.

Old Vines Barn SwittersB

old ladder bar  swittersb

Old Handle Fence SB


However there are those times that just beg for color!!! They are times we want to linger, want to savor and want the colors.

Trout and SwittersB Red Scarf_1024



The Garden: Almost…so close

Although the cold nights have not hit the metro area yet, the rains/winds have been typical of early November. The garden is finishing with the growth battered downward at an angle, the leaves from the Alders and Maples everywhere. The roses had reached skyward one last time in October and were slow to bud out. The last efforts at blooms seem lost until late Spring. Time to “cut them back a bit.” The cold temps are closer.

Rose Buds too late SB“Cut them back a bit” was a term my Dad used around the yard. It was a term my Mom didn’t care for because it usually meant a careless, overdone pruning. My wife knows of this familial term and enjoys using it against me when I supposedly over trim back the growth. Everyone’s a critic!


Orange Delight…Wouldn’t You?

Nasturtium & Honey Bee SB

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