Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Super Glue

I'm hoping to spin up a few bugs tonight, and I've been making a little list so I can reload a few items I like to use when I go to the Fly Fishing Show Friday.

But something that hit me, was a trick I learned pretty recently.  Maybe 5 years ago.  When doing flies with smallish heads or beads and hidden whip finishes behind the bead (seated into the dubbing or other material so the finish is not real visible), put super glue on your thread over roughly, the 1-2 inches from the fly towards the bobbin.  Now do your whip finish.  The glue saturated thread seats nicely, and by the time you snip the thread, it's completely set up and not coming undone.

This can be done with other glues as well - they just don't dry as fast.  For example, normal thread cement works - and then you never worry about filling the hooks eye with cement.  Thin UV cure products have worked for me doing this as well - things like CCG Hydro.

Maybe the coolest trick using this approach, I saw the guys on the fly fish food blog discuss a while back.  Tying a parachute, they saturated the thread with super glue as I noted above, but then just over wrapped the hackle on the post a few times, gave it a couple seconds to set up, and snipped.  Served double duty by creating a great durable hackle on the fly but also made what for me at least, is the hardest part of doing a para fly - finishing it neatly.

Any way, that little glue trick was on my mind and I wanted to lay it down for others.

have a super day -

Monday, January 11, 2016

New stream and a favorite fly

A friend of mine works for MassWildlife, and in talking about streams that have been sampled for cold water fish, he noted one surprisingly close to me, that, embarrassingly, I'd passed many times but never thought to fish or explore.

This is the time of year to check it out.  It's a short stream running into a reservoir, and a good chunk of it's short run is through a pretty nasty overgrown meadow/swamp.  After my quick recon mission Saturday, I can see that there are three times of year to fish this stream: mid-late fall, winter and early spring.  

It's sort of fishable in summer, but cross referencing mental images of the area in full bloom with the foliage types I found... ooph, not going to be enjoyable come summer.

That said, it's a great looking little stream.  Mostly 2-6 feet wide.  gravel bottom.  A bit of weed in places, lots of woody debris making deep scoured out holes and cover AND lots of great undercut banks.
First view of the stream.  A nice run.

Here is where the stream shifts from woods into that swampy overgrown area.

Hemlocks - always seem to be around wild char streams!  The side I was on had a bit of an undercut and good depth - maybe a foot.
Many of the deadfall - and some standing dead spruce in the area were just choked with amazing lichen.  Super pretty - my pic does not do it justice.

After my walk on the stream - and skunk number two of the year :) - I hung with the kiddo's and we all made a home brew Pizza for dinner.  Always good to see 4 year olds build anything, but especially something they get to eat.  Ha!  Once they went down, I pondered flies that I had to restock.  With school starting up again, my vice time is likely to get short here for a while...

Then a fly hit me squarely - the Telico nymph.  If you have never used this little Appalachian creation, you should.  I've tied simpler versions using peacock colored wire vs peacock for the rib, and using nymph skin for the back vs peacock, but either I dont have as much confidence or pleasure in fishing them... or they dont work as well as the original.  Regardless, this fly is awesome.

Decades (ouch) ago, a friend introduced me to this fly when we were fishing a local pond that was home to some wild (it's a centuries old stone dam on a stream which has wild trout) and stocked trout. He was fishing the fly and catching, and gave me one and I started to catch fish as well.

Since I've always carried them, and fished them.  They have caught trout, small mouths, all kinds of sunfish and chubs for me.  Plus, the fairly dense body, sinks pretty well even in unweighted versions.  I've tied it in bead head for larger sizes and that's worked too.  In the end, it's just a great little fly worth adding to your arsenal.

This is a little one, #16 standard nymph hook (Tiemco).  I most often fish 12-16, but carry a few long ones - #10's or 12's but on 2-3X long curved nymph hooks (think heavy stimulator hook - but any longer hook would work).  I have not fished a "big" one on a small stream, but on a few larger local rivers the big ones work great.

Have a super week!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What's bad about skunks?

Let me say that I don't have an issue with the skunk.  It happens more than I'd like to admit.  I'm fortunate to have good water near by, so it's not constant... but I definitely get visits from our white striped little friend often.

And what's wrong with that?  Nothing!  I'm a huge believer in process focus.  Life, or performance in any of the the venues you enjoy, certainly feels better when you focus on the process vs the outcome.  An easy example is research on happiness showing people who spend "extra" money on experiences like trips or meals etc are happier than those who spend money on fancy items - like that new Scott Radian that looks so good at the local fly shop ;).

Fishing is absolutely about the process for me.  Fly tying as well.  It's that chance to just be there.  To hear the water and the environment around it.  To feel myself experiencing the situation and required actions - the process.

Because of that, fishing trips like my lunch time sojourn today, which was a skunk show, are just as rewarding as the day's like one to a major stream about 45' from my home last spring where I had to have landed over 50 browns and bow's over 13".  It was crazy!

So, while I didn't even have a tap, today's trip felt great.  Fun to see the stream in a pretty darn frozen state, and to see how a new pearl over pink floss and white marabou streamer I've been playing with looked in the water.

Here's the scene...
Dead center is the stream.  The snow was frozen solid, I really wish I'd had worn my ice creepers!  Amazing to think that 6 months from now, you cant see 20 yds right here the leaves are so thick!

My favorite spot on this stream.  A great corner pool... the leafy debris from fall still has not washed away despite a few decent rain events... and now, most of the pool has a skim layer of ice.  That log in the water dead center... Awesome spot - when the ice allows access :)

Not sure what Ill name it.  But, this fly is super simple and feels good.  White marabou, pink floss tag with a pearl body that has silver rib.  Moves great in the water and I suspect it will work well... But today, it just shared it's shimmy and shake with me.
Hope your 2016 has started out great!