Dec 30, 2010

Things to Resolve In 2011

My new years resolution is going to be pretty simple this year. Mistakes that I know I made last year, mistakes that costed me fish. (no like)
These will also be promises to myself.
1- Use more 7x
2- Spot more fish
3- Spot more insects
4- Pinch more barbs
5- grease the leader more often
6- keep my fly line cleaner
7- 30 days on the Gunny with Big Blue
8- Get Craig on a big ass brown trout for a 20 minute heart pounding battle on 3x on the Gunny with a streamer. During the second half of the day when the fishing is slow. After the second wind is in full swing. Hooked on river right, by THE rock, and landed on river left. End a day with a cool pic and a high five. Dude, bro, man.

Dec 24, 2010

Santa Fly

This fly has produced fish everywhere I have ever fished it.. (nowhere)

Merry Christmas Blogger's!
Hook: Size 8 200r

Feet: Black round rubber

Ankles: White 8/0 thread

Legs: Red flex floss

Belt: Black round rubber

Belt Buckle: Gold holographic tinsel

Waste: White Ice dub

Jacket: Red flex floss

Beard: White antron

Mustache: White ostrich

Hat: Twisted white stuff colored red all but the ball on the end.

Good weather!
If you didn't read it already, then click on the word "FISH" to head for Poudre Canyon Chronicles for a neat Holiday Poem.

Here is another one, "FISH" from Flytying New and old..

Dec 18, 2010

Macro Doodle

Here is a tiny little sketch of a fly. I was on hold with one of those long dreadful "I hope you speak my language" calls.

In the doodle below there are exactly 20 light strokes of a regular bald point pen. I set a dime next to it as well as the pen and took a close up.

You should be able to click on the photo a time or two and look closer.

Dec 16, 2010

This Brown

Tied me up in some fallen branches... Not once, but twice! I managed to get it undone both times and land it.

Video available in 720p

My release shots are going to be a bit different from now on. As soon as I figure out how to operate a new camera.

Dec 11, 2010

Blood Knot Or Surgeons.....Huh?

I'm pulling the poll on the right side bar tomorrow morning. If you haven't voted yet please do so before then. If you have already voted, Thanks for contributing to the line of crap I'm about to feed you. Vote again if you want but its not going to count, this is the results post.

In one year there were 46 votes. A little disappointing really.

Blood knot: 30% of the voters clicked on Blood Knot. That's 14 people.

Surgeons knot: 65% voted for the surgeons knot and that's, 30 people

Huh?: 2 people clicked the huh? that's a whole 4%
"huh" is no place to stay.

Alright so lets discuss this a bit.
There might be some different names for the knot that you tie but really there the same style of in line knots. I tie the blood knot when working on my own rig. No matter where it is on the leader. I have a few general rules that I follow when using the knot, we'll get to those in a moment.
I have done strength tests on both the knots against each other in exactly the same conditions.
The first Test that I did was a simple one- Two 24 inch pieces of Rio nylon 5x, Tied in line, Two of each knot. I made a small loop on each end and treated that double overhand knot with loon UV knot sense. All four tied in room temperature and lubed with spit while dressing them down. I took two of the four and put them in the freezer overnight. Then I hung a fish weighing scale from the hook for hanging a bicycle mounted on the ceiling of my garage. I hung the frozen tippet with the surgeons knot on the scale and added an s hook to the loop on the other end. All of the hooks and are dipped in some kind of rubber from the factory, I like that there will be some cushion on these points during the test so that the line is less likely to break there.
Since they rate the line for 5lbs that's where I started. I hung 5lbs of weight from the s hook and watched it stretch... The frozen surgeons broke in less than a minute of just hanging there. It may have been closer to thirty seconds. This is when I realized the variable I was creating with time. I added a timer to the equation. The break was right on top of knot, where the line heads into the it. I repeated the process with the unfrozen surgeons knotted section. It held the weight but as I was adding to it, a very light bump of the weight made it drop to the ground. The break below the knot.

I then repeated the same process with the Blood knotted sections, They both held up to the 5 lbs and passed the one minute mark. Starting with the frozen on I added two, 2 ounce weights and the line broke 2 inched below the blood knot. The unfrozen section held three of the 2 ounce weights plus the 5 lb and broke right between the knot and the top loop.

That's about as accurate as I felt the test needed to be and honestly as accurate as I could get it. I'm no scientist, just a curious fisherman.

Now the other elements of the knots need looked at closer.
The surgeons knot is much easier to tie and may take less time to learn. How ever there are some drawbacks to this knot. It is larger in profile, which creates a little more drag. When tying it, all four tag ends (some small exceptions) must be free of flies so you can drop/push/pull or tongue them through the loop. Then while dressing the knot down, you have to keep an eye on the way that it tries to twist or it will weaken.

The Blood Knot is Harder for some to tie and takes a bit more time to learn. How ever, just like anything, with some practice it becomes habit and takes no more time than any other adjustment. Now I'm not trying to be partial towards the blood knot, I'm simply comparing them. When I look for drawbacks to the blood knot, there are few and are already listed above.
So looking closer at the benefits: Smaller profile, (less drag), Better strength, in warm and cold conditions. Now the real benefit to the blood knot and where it really compares well with the surgeons for me is, Let's say your carrying one rod, fishing a streamer... Now you want to nymph a run.
You clip off the streamer and tie a piece of tippet to that fat stuff the streamer was on, using what ever knot suits you.
You throw on a bead head nymph and add a trailing fly. All normal so far.
You nymph the run to pieces. You know there is a big ol brown living under the bushes. You clip off your nymphs at the "fat stuff" and tie your favorite streamer back on. Right before that you had to find a place for a piece of tippet with a split shot, a bead head, another piece of tippet and the trailing fly... Or would you take it all apart? You fish the streamer for a while and move to a spot where you see a group of spooky rainbows. Your first cast with the streamer scares the snot out of half the fish and the other half are looking a little edgy. Nymph time! You bite off the streamer and pull out your rig...

To that 65 % Good luck with all that.

Blood knot your working with the tag ends. You don't have to drop your flies through a loop three or four times.
Above is a link to how to tie these two knots and a few others.

Thanks again to the Contributor's of the poll or should we call it a pole?
I'm still tossing around the ideas for group of polls to hit the side bar. Watch for it when the knot one gone.

Dec 8, 2010

The Shadow Cast...

I'm not one for embedding videos to my blog but I had to show you this Advanced fly casting video. A symbol to me that advanced means what ever you want it to. When It comes to fly fishing every time you make a change, it's an advance.
If you haven't seen it already then enjoy. Take what you need and leave the rest.

Advanced Trick Casting: The Shadow Cast from Jazz and Fly Fishing´s Jazzcam on Vimeo.

Dec 6, 2010

Working UpStream

The following is an in depth look that will explain in great detail, how I learned to work a river from the bottom, upstream. Not necessarily For the reason of standing behind a fish.

Most of us work a stream, from downstream working up. We do this for our own reasons, what ever they may be.

As I began fly fishing I Had to stick to water that I knew. Growing up outside, on the river, programed like a homing pigeon, being loud and breaking rules. It all came naturally to me and it just felt right.

After getting in to some trouble with the law as a teen, the river Was a safe place to exert energy with little trouble, as long as I had a fishing license. Experiences in school left a chip on my shoulder when it came to authority. All of that made me weary when it came to crowds and fish cops.
I was afraid of fly shops. Overwhelmed really is the way to put it. All the names of all the flies selling for 2$ a piece. that big shiny rack of spendy rods. The conversations in the background, so distracting that I forgot why I walked in. Heck, I had a news paper route at the time and could hardly buy a leader and a bug. My rods came from my Grandfather who gave them to my dad. I guarded my gear with my life, for I wouldn't be able to replace it. I still have that little fear of shops in a way and still protect my gear, but consider the gear replaceable now. Protect it just because I don't want to get screwed while I'm on the water.

Being that the Shops had guide services that worked near the dam and Because of the numbers of fish, the dam is where they would send a customer, Made for an environment that I did not feel comfortable with. I struggled to find piece in a place like this. I went in to some kind of shell and hid out, way down river, miles and miles from any dam or easy access. Where the water is warm and murky, There are less fish. I would still get zoned out, just like I do now on the fish. I'd fish all day for one fish and have a smile that lasted a week. I would fish for 15 hours for one fish and come back the next day for revenge. Then again, I would have days that bettered 20 fish and/or land a 5 pounder, back then inches didn't matter. If it went past your elbow a ways then it was a 5er.

At this point in my life, I didn't know what a tail water was but knew for some reason there was a bunch of people who liked to fish in the canyon further up river. The water was colder and cleaner. I thought there might be more insects up there but I had it in my mind that I could do just as well down below. Plus I wouldn't see a person for days, sometimes weeks.

Hatches were so sporadic that It was nearly impossible to stay with it. I would carry two rods most of the time and fished streamers on one and drys on the other, I didn't know what a nymph was to speak of at the time other than a prince. My system was simple, Throw streamers at the bank until I saw fish jumpin. I would fish double elk hair caddis and stimulaters at that time, and that's it.

I was seeing these little yellow things a lot and the yellow stimmy wouldn't do it for me every time during the month of August. Turned out to be a yellow sally. The yellow sally is an example of the problems to come, one after the other... After a long two days on the river I had seen to damn many Yellow sallys and headed for the shop to find a match. It shouldn't be hard to match the thing, there were about 30 of them in my pockets. The Shop was sold out of any thing close to what I needed and Sally's were the talk of the valley for about a week. I finally got a chance to make the hour drive to a Cabelas store where I had a list to fill and yellow sally's were on the top. I found a dozen in the right size for 6 bucks and grabbed one. I had a float trip planned for the next day, before I even got home. Were gonna try these baby's out.

I didn't see a yellow sally for the rest of the year.

Bugs that I couldn't match were going away one by one. When I did match one it was too big but worked and burned another image in to my mind. The confidence began to build.
The streamer was always there to fill any holes. The streamer would also make a tough day pass by as I could get zoned out on various retrieves.

I started seeing mayflies that were more toward brown/copperish and around a size 18. The best I could do at that stage was a brown elk hair caddis. I would molest, pinch and pull the elk hair on the fly until it stood straight up. I got some takes on it and for the first time I knew that I was fooling a trout, plain and simple. I Fooled it and made it think it was one of those brown/copperish mayflies. It wasn't just a fish looking up and hitting things. It was one that was keyed into a specific situation, I stepped in the middle and interacted with the fish's feeding and fed it a fake insect.

Realizing that I couldn't keep making elk hair caddis into duns, I stopped by the fly shop that night and humbled myself in to asking what the hell I was seeing. They sold me a few big mayfly dries and sent me away. Thinking I had the match, I was headed for the river early the next day.

I didn't see Mayflies for month. Welcome to fly fishing.

I began to dig on the stream bed to find out what lived in a river. I found some stone flies and some other stuff but was under the impression that stones moved at night and the fish keyed in to the nymphs then or in the morning, I also found some dark green critters with a bright green belly and sticky legs and tail, this turned out to be a rock worm others may know it as a caddis worm. I caught a couple of them and went home and asked google what they were. Well I'll be darn there caddis. I learned how they crawl and when they hatch and all that stuff and was quickly fishing the entire life cycle of one insect. Imitating them headed for the surface with a soft hackle and an olive scud as the nymph. The streamer took a back seat while I played with, caddis stones and prince nymphs. I fished them with an indicator and only fished deep runs. Almost always setting my indicator 8 feet from my lead fly, I would target water that suited my rig. I began to learn that you could catch more than one fish in one run if the ones in front couldn't see what was going on. Now I could go out to a rock in the river and fish it for 3 hours and catch fish as they moved in to position.

I began to follow fishing reports and ask a lot of questions. One day the report read: Fishing is hot below the dam, Fish nymphs deep mid day and watch for caddis in the morning and bwo's in the afternoon. I spent the next two days trying to figure out what a Bwo was and which colors I needed to be carrying. I got 4 of them from the local shop in a size 16 and went out there to fish them with confidence...

I didn't see a Blue Winged Olive for a month!

The fishing reports kept my interest in learning basic flies and told me where I might catch fish with the flies that I have. My system then changed from fishing one or two waters with steamers and dries to fishing where the reports said the flies that I had accumulated would possibly produce. Again pretty simple. If SanJuans and Princes were hott on little blue then that's where I was and that's what I threw.

One little tail water became my favorite little spot, but I still wasn't used to the crowds. So I would enter the park and walk way down to the bottom of the boundary and work my way up while the majority would neatly line up near the dam. I was realizing that there were fewer fish down a mile from the dam than there was right up against it. That's why every one was up there.
I had to question How many fish I needed to have a good day. Well, I was only used to a few a day that I had to work hard for. So being near the dam I was already in more populated water.

I began to feel very comfortable fishing down lower in the park where there were fewer people and plenty of fish for me.

Over the course of a year I would cross paths with quite a few fishermen and Found most of them lack more social skills than I and would prove to be ass holes when It came to fish talk stream side. Is this sport egotistical like hunting is perceived? Is it where I live? I wanted to talk to every one I saw for a while, until I realized that more often than not, they didn't want to talk back. I grew silent.

I had the opportunity to meet some pretty nice guys that fish that water a lot. Now and then they would spill the name of a fly. I would work way to hard to get that fly in my box. A size 20 pheasant tail came up way too often. I stopped by the fly shop one night looking for size 20 pt's... I found some but they looked too small, so I got some 18's and fished them hard as I could the whole next day. I Took a hit on numbers I know now, but the pt hooked a couple of fish for me. I began to think of size matching, just as much if not more than what the bug looked like. For the simple reason that you can't buy flies that look just right, but you can get the size.

I began to tie.

I love the challenge of the tail water and Like spotting fish in cleaner water but when I want to fish the lower river... It can get a bit out of control because I have put my time in there, I can almost will them on to the line.

I now believe that it's not the hatch or the fly that dictates weather or not your going to hook up, It's where your mind has been and where it is, it's what you have learned about fish, not bugs.

This whole process falls true weather you working a 15 foot run or 35 miles of river.
What goes on way down river. Some my never know if they're working upstream. I guess its where you start.

Dec 3, 2010

If You Cant beat Em... Join Em

Here are some eggs I have been working on for that situation where I'm feeling defeated and need to get the skunk gone. Winter tail water seems to be the place for that, for a quite a few years in a row I have found myself stuck in situations that called for and egg.

I know there are a million different ways that anglers feel about eggs and to tell you the truth, I don't yet know just where I stand on the issue. I'll I can say is the egg worked before when nothing else did.

Now from a tiers point of view, they don't have enough pheasant tail fibers mixed in and beads sound like a bit of a cheat. The little bead eggs in the photo actually do take quite a bit of bench time.

First I wind some white thread where the bead is going to go and tie it off, then I stand a little bump of superglue on top of the thread, as its setting, I place the hole of the bead on the superglue bump, let it set then pretty much weld the bead to the hook with two more coats.

Feel me in... how do you feel about eggs?

Cheating as a tier? Is there really such a thing as an egg pattern? Other than the way they fall out of a fish.

Cheating as an angler?

A brilliant idea for those tough situations?

Low light photo.

Dec 2, 2010

Midgemans's Bug Does It Again

It's not the first time and I know it won't be the last.
, link>Green Thing Midge made my day in a big way.

I awoke to a sliver of a moon and crystal clear skys. One inhale through my nose and I realize I'm going fishing!

First one there on a not too crowded Thursday, I walk.

First I look around to see if I can spot that bird that has been gettin fat on trout. A giant bald eagle that flies low and just loves to scream when he's right over your head; to scare the pants off ya. I didn't see him but I did spot some nice comfortable trout feeding below the bridge crossing.
This bridge is perfect for spotting trout that you cant see from the ground, then going after the ones that suit your ability. From the bridge I spot about 8 trout 7 of which are very active and 2 larger fish feeding above a pair of boulders. Right away I want to try that link>Leisenring Lift, Induced take< deal on the two in front of the rocks.
Loaded with a #20 Go2 prince
as the lead fly and some Rs2 jobber trailing behind, I struggle for a minute trying to get the weight right and not spook em. I finally get them to lift up and hit the fish in the nose, almost...
They weren't having those bugs but I couldn't give up on them just yet. This fly deserves its fair, worthy, chance on the tailwater along with it's little boy duke. I target a few of the smaller fish and succeed. Peering in the mouths of two of them there appears to be some kind of shiny green flakes in there. The fish are munching on the trailing fly, but running from the prince. This becomes fact and I sit down for a change. Leading off with a 20 pt and trailing a Green Thing Midge.

Armed and dangerous I head back up after those two in front of the rock.

Looking down river, I think I should pick on the one on the left first and pull him over all kidnapper style away from the other one and maybe have a shot at both. My first lift thing didn't work out and I spooked the fish. When my fly came rocket speed up and across his face, he moved around a little bit and they may have even switched places perhaps, something weird happened right then that's all I know. I make another slide down of my bugs, let the waters tension gently take the line and push the bugs up... Right in the chin.

The commotion scared the crap out of the other one, but it's all good!

Later in the day I had to cross the bridge again, I stopped to take a look... Guess who was home?..
Mr. ChinSlap... There he was just eating away. There was also a gentleman sitting there messing with his rig. He says to me... "that's a nice fish layin there aint it?" I reply, "yep there's a couple of them laying there." He says "He's a smart one, I just cant get him off the bottom." I turn my grinning face and hit the trail.
From that point on they came from far and wide to chow on that little bug, I was amazed! I only had four of them tied and never fished them with confidence before. Two of them are in the bill of my hat with shattered beads.
One went to "where the hell is my fly", and the one I had tied on at the end of the day, I gave to a guy named Larry, the rig still tandem'd up with the Pheasant tail. I wonder how Larry did with a pt and a green thing?

After all that jazz I look at my watch and I have 15 minutes to make a 30 minute drive. Yikes! Plus I have all of 10 minutes to walk to the truck. yep I'm late. I relax and walk fast, reflecting on every little drift, sink, mend, look, take and battle.

I managed to take some photos of some mule dear while walking back.

Green Thing Midge rocked my world!