Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New fly's and spring's first warm water action

I'm feeling the stress right now.  I'm doing ok mitigating it, but this time of year is tough.  Our son has his annual MRI, and while he's doing great as best as I can see, that one dang test is what a lot rides on.  Are we looking at surgery, treatment, uncertainty or worse... Or are we continuing to happily move forward - the test knows.

Normally he does these "sedated".  hard to make a little kid lay still for almost 2hrs to do a head to hip MRI with and without contrast.  But, that has it's own risks - anesthesia is not always the safest thing... So, we tried Boston Children's evolving "non sedated" MRI program.  They do awesome.  They send you a bunch of material pre test to help educate your kiddo on what they have to do.  Then on scan day, they practice a little, and have these cool goggles the kids can wear which lets them watch a fun movie in the scanner.  AWESOME!  He pulled it off.  Amazing.  But... Normally, we go on a Wednesday morning, and do the scan in the AM, he recovers in post anesthesia for a while (those were all sedated) and then we go have lunch, walk around the Prouty Garden at the hospital if possible and then go over the hospital bridge to Dana Farber for his appointment with his Neuro oncology doc and neurologist at the Jimmy Fund Clinic - that's when we learn if he's ok or not.  We've actually convinced his team that if they walk in the room, they are not to say hello, just say the results :)!  Ha!

This time, we do the scan, and then wait.  We will either learn the results on March 8th or some time sooner if his neurooncology doc calls.  I've called and have let her know she can call, but, this is not a new rodeo.  They have a LOT going on, and some really acute and horrible stuff... So... I suspect it's going to be March 8.  Hard to wait on that... And I think it's starting to grate on me... because Ive needed more fishing time than I really should use recently :)

Any way, one random thing, then on to some fishing fun... The last few years I've loved this ginger turmeric lemonade a local country store makes.  It's not really classic lemonade - it's got edge, and goes down clean... The first time I tried it I was unsure... but it grew on me and now I LOVE it.  So, I found a recipe and think I'm closing in on accurate prep... It looks nasty (see below), but 4 cups of water, 1 tsp OR 3-4" of grated fresh, ginger and turmeric, the juice of 1 lemon and honey to taste.  Boil the water, add in the turmeric, ginger and honey - boil 5'~, then add the lemonade when you shut the heat off.  It's sooo good!

Bubling away for 5' before I add in the lemon juice...
Took a chance and hit the little stream across the street at lunch yesterday for 20'.  Winter has changed a few pools / runs a bit, but, the water looked good.  I missed one little one, and then caught this little one... no larger fish took, hopefully a few are left after the drought of last year...

 If you like warmwater fishing, check out the Bobcat Hollow blog:  The guy does an amazing job creating simple effective flies.  He's a really skilled tier for all species, but his warm water stuff just really clicks with me.  Recently he showed some really cool flies he called Slow Rolla's.  I happened to have some synthetic Cohens Creatures curly tails I wanted to use, and his fly was just that, so I copied them the other night and figured I'd wait for warm days and go try them at my town's park pond which is just full of crappie, perch and largemouth bass...

These are super simple.  Just the tail, some nonlead wrapped up the shank, laser dub in a dubbing loop for a body - which you pick out, and a fish skull (thought a UV or Epoxy head with eyes glued in would work too.

You can see above how they look wet, when stripped, even modestly, the tail wriggles out the back.  Super fishy little flies...

After only a few minutes of casting, I had my first warm water tug of the year - a really nice sized crappie had nailed the Slow Rolla.

Maybe 10' later an a smaller one came to hand.  I had a few follows from other fish that I didnt manage to have take, but, it was a fun and stress busting walk at lunch...

Crappie are underrated... They fight solidly, love fly's and, man... look at those fins - gorgeous!

Keep well and thanks for reading.


  1. So sorry to hear about your stress. You're a strong father to be able to write about it. My prayers and best wishes for you and your family. Hang in there!

    1. Thanks man! You just do it... Scan times stink. But overall, the kiddo is doing amazing - people are generally astonished to learn about what he's been through! We are really, really lucky!

  2. My best to your son, Will, and to your family. Amazing strength can be found at times when we are the most overwhelmed! Keep us posted.........

    Nice flies and certainly some good looking Crappie. Since Crappie really like Curly Tail Jigs, I can imagine how well this fly will work.

    1. Hi Mel - thanks for the kind words! I appreciate the positive energy.

      The little flies are good. When I try again, I'm going to invert them, and add a keel weight, or keep them as is but use a heavier wire hook. Stripped at certain speeds the tail unfolded and the fly stayed pretty straight. But at slow speeds it did almost a 180 - the tail rotated the fly. The fish didnt care, but, I think keeling the fly better is needed given the torque the tail creates. They caught and looked great, just another step to make it swim straighter.

      Keep well

  3. Will I have all of you in my thoughts.
    Nice fish photos. New camera?

    1. Thanks Alan - much appreciated.

      Thanks on the photos as well. Amazingly, no. That's the same cell cam I've been using. I think the difference, is the set up. I'm not keeping fish out for a long time, but warm water fish just seem way more durable, so I'm more willing to take a second to get things focused prior to snapping the pic. With wild trout, I feel like I'm operating on a short time window, so I just snap the pic quick, and some times, perhaps I dont get as good a shot... Still strongly considering some sort of "real" cam to improve photo's though...
      Be well