Posts Tagged ‘Creative Stuff


BloodKnot Magazine, Blogger 2 Out and…….

BloodKnot Magazine, Blogger 2 Addition 

May I promote SwittersB a bit? Inside this addition, amidst all the visually, creatively stimulating materials is a humble little piece called Lost Opportunity by SwittersB. As you receive your visual fix, maybe drop by my little way station for a nostalgia fix? Thanks!


Fly Tying: A South African Fly Tying Journey, Volume 2

I was recently rewarded with an opportunity to review Ed Herbst’s (and friend’s) DVD, A South African Fly Tying Journey, Volume 1. I found that DVD very rewarding and suitable for the seasoned beginner to intermediate fly tier. (posted here 12/28/2011)

As a followup, Ed asked me to also review Volume 2, which primarily focuses on Terrestrials, a staple of South African Fly Fishing. In fact, Ed mentions in the DVD that Terrestrials are far more important to the fly fisher, in South African waters,  than Mayfly or Caddis hatches. At times, this is probably true on many waters beyond South Africa when Hoppers, Beetles, Ants and the like are prolific. 

So, I watched the enjoyable Volume 2 and came away with the following impressions: like Volume 1, it is well presented and pleasant to watch. Ed Herbst and friends (Philip Meyer, Mario Geldenhuys and Fred Steynberg) are excellent in providing understandable instructions for tying patterns, which I believe are well suited for the Beginner to Intermediate fly tier (Mario’s Inch Worm and Fred’s Ant are good beginner patterns).

The beginning tier can certainly purchase the DVD and work toward the patterns, but right out of the case, the patterns components of foam, rubber legs and hackle might be a bit of a challenge. My favorite fly pattern was the one Mayfly pattern in the mix, the RAB by Philip Meyer.

RAB Dry Fly by Philip Meyer

Thanks to Ed Herbst for the opportunity to learn more about Terrestrials and enjoy the beautiful scenery of South Africa’s Cape region.

 The fly tying DVD can be purchased online through the Stream-X fly shop in Cape Town –  and its proprietor, Craig Thom –


Jeffrey Foltice at Photo Nature Blog

There are some excellent outdoor photographers that drop by here now and then. I have their sites down the right side of my blog listings. I like the work of Jeffrey Foltice too. Check out PhotoNatureBlog.


OO America: The Great American Roadtrip


Check this out…grabs you right away. Entertaining to say the least.

“The background project is a documentary film featuring interviews of people I met on the road,

as well as a series of large photos, trying to portray the diversity and beauties of the country and

its culture.”


Lightroom….But none’s shining in my noggin

When I had a Dell, I got by nicely using Photoscape, Picasa and Microsoft Picture Manager. I sprung for a Mac and I have not been very happy with the offerings (IPhoto, Gimp). So, I bought Adobe Lightroom 3 and so far I have a sense of when I was back in high school in that Algebra class. I didn’t receive good marks. 

I was experimenting with apertures and f-stops. I settled on this and am passing it off as some artistic effort and you will be none the wiser. How embarrassing.

First of all it is probably partly garbage in/garbage out. I have somehow forgotten how to set my lighting up and white back grounds turn out blue or grey (I know, simple for most, but not me. I even have the Dummies book for my Canon XTi). My beautiful Canon EF 100mm macro is begging me to figure things out. So, forgive my shots. If you think you didn’t clean your glasses or are having a dizzy spell….you’re not! It’s me.

Things are a bit busy and chaotic right now so in time I will get set up, study up and not burden you with my experiments. I’m going with the glass is half full concept with my pictures.

A little Callibaetis nymph. The fly is not straight on so the simple effort to have it in focus, front to rear eluded me.


Travel, Wisdom & Seeking Something

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”  

 “The person susceptible to “wanderlust” is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.”  

“In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them—often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. Like teenagers, we appear to have gone from knowing nothing about the world to knowing too much all but overnight. The urgency of slowing down—to find the time and space to think—is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context.”     Pico Iyer


Nomadic Adventures….Maybe You Can Go For Me?

"Pure Joy"




Winter Blues: Fly Tying & More

Now, as I see the leaves quickly turning and the first Winter storms rolling in off the Pacific, I start planning for Winter activities to forestall that gloom from the never ending grey days.

Autumn Meadow Hawk Dragonfly...The Last to Visit as the season turns. LPZ

I am particularly concerned this year because I am rehabbing from a surgery that will limit my fishing time for months to come. That will take away one option to beat the Winter Blues: swinging and nymphing flies for Steelhead. But, there is nothing to say I cannot get out and take a walk along the river to watch others and to study the rivers at their low water points and blown out points. A little brisk air will do me good.

Photography without a fish in sight is still an excellent past time and trains your eye to look up and around and not just at your feet cautiously judging the pathway.

Now you could watch old movies, learn parts of a different language, learn to brew beer, raise crickets, take a photography course, do jigsaw puzzles…the list goes on and on, especially if you are house bound. I would suggest clearing off a corner of that table that is occupied by the 1,500 piece jigsaw puzzle and setting up your new fly tying tools. Take that course at a local fly shop, community college, or if too far from a shop or school, watch on line e-books like Tim Rolston’s, and explore the net for excellent how to videos and Step By Step (S-B-S) tutorials. 

There is an eventual downside to this fly tying thing. If you don’t Winter fly fish due to weather, ice, snow, rehabbing, life’s struggles then you will become antsy to use your new creations. Tying mayflies in December begs when will those mayflies eventually emerge? Yes, months from now, in many instances. Nonetheless, tie away. Study the images, techniques, pattern pictures and match the image so to speak. 

Also, use the Winter to study the why’s of patterns. Why are you tying it? What does it represent? How is it to be presented and why? This will push you toward understanding the habitat of fish foods and in the watersheds and lakes you most often fish. Not all rivers and lakes are equal. Each watershed or lake has its unique habitat and insects etc. On the water time helps answer some of that (or raise many more questions) but you can also find helpful information on line, especially for major watersheds, about hatches and timelines. 

That research will help you plan your tying around trips. Fly tying is so much a part of trip planning and part of the anticipation. Will your creations work? Are they good enough to fool wild fish or even planters? Not life and death, just fun. Blow Ye Wind, O Blow

Now, if you are really bored and want to learn Arabic or Quilting or Whittling Wood you can visit this site on beating the Winter Blues….I don’t see Learning Fly Tying on their list…lame. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have your priorities properly arranged, so take that course: beginner’s, refresher for a beginner (you took it way back but didn’t continue), an intermediate level class is sometimes offered by shops (make sure the patterns are practical for your probable that I mean if you don’t live near the salt and are unlikely to fish for Bones or Trevally, then forgo a class that includes salt water patterns in Idaho or Utah let’s say).

Additional ideas: cooking classes, post holiday exercise classes (I know, you’re a slug), driving your kids to all manner of athletic endeavors on early Saturday mornings, cleaning out the gutters and did you turn off the outside water yet?….I think maybe the cooking classes and brewing beer classes have better merit in the long run to lift your spirits.


“SwittersB change your look”

I do get the suggestions that I change up my blog’s face page header etc to provide a fresh look. Either they get bored or they assume my viewship are bored with the look.

Well here is the deal. That picture of the backlit Adams and tippet is near and dear to me. I never grow old of looking at it. Sorry if you might. My son, Tony, took that picture. It is an Adams perched atop his thumb, the hook point ever so gently embedded. The sun was setting. He snapped it as the fish were rising around him. He is often creative, even while the fish are busy. He is comfortable he will get his fair share and sees the bigger picture. He has that creative eye. So, the picture stays to remind me of him and to show my favorite time of the day to fish.

SwittersB and Tony in the day.


Fly Fishing: Howler Bros. (cool garb and other things)

Dorado BBQ (Howler Brothers)

“Why do you think a culture similar to surf and skate culture is emerging in fly fishing? Both sports and the guys a gals who participate in them are into the adventure of getting away from the day to day grind and finding adventure.  Both sports parallel fly fishing because fly fishing is a soulful trip where ever you choose to do it.  Currently, there is a noticeable shift away from the status trip in fly fishing with the elite crowd and movement towards the more adventure/soul crowd.” Conway Bowman Interview (c/o The Texas Fly Fisher & Howler Bros.)

I find this an interesting quote. I won’t go too far into it. With my limited exposure to some elites, I would offer that some of the ‘elite’ of today, that can afford the luxury of a ‘status trip’, started off as ski bums, deck hands and fly shop grunts. They parlayed their personalities, tackle rep jobs, photographic skills, freedom to roam and made it happen. From there they became a portion of the elite. Some very honorable roots amongst some of the elite. Hopefully the new bums and nonchalant/hip crowd will stay humble and as relaxed as they are now. Us life bound types like to think they will.  The words ‘status’ ‘elite’ can easily go with adventure. 

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August 2020

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