Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tying Desk

Many people ask me what my fly tying desk looks like. Well, here it is. There are also three bookcases loaded with materials.

Monday, March 30, 2009

FFF Conclave

The Federation of Fly Fishers 44th Annual Conclave will be in Loveland, Colorado July 28th through August 1st. Details will be out soon at http://www.fedflyfishers.org/.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Fly

This is a random fly from my box. It's made of all good stuff: manufactured barbless hook, tungsten bead, Coq de Leon (tail), my special natural blend of dubbing containing rabbit, squirrel and CdC and a bit of Head Strong cement for a juicy wing bud.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Upstream Dry Fly Techniques

Yours truly with Pascal from France. Pascal is a three-time World Champion fly fisher. When I met him in Spain a few years ago, he shared some upstream dry fly angling techniques that proved valuable. It helps to have a full arsenal of techniques for whatever situations you face on the water.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ready To Fish

OK, after the big trip I am hankering to fish some more. Got my license. Ice is almost gone. Watching the weather. Ready, set, go.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spooky Lure

Super Magnum Zara Spook. Don't think old George is too happy to have that evil hook next to his head. My friend, Chris, and I are wondering if we could reproduce the Zara Spook in the form of a teaser for the big stripers, blues and sharks (or the Loch Ness Monster) in the ocean. Don't think I would want to spin that much deer hair. My plan was to just cut off the hooks and slam that bad boy down on the water. Making it walk the dog and then toss a big ugly fly into the mayhem and bamo.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cigarette Case Fly Storage

Don Sicard of Casco Bay (Maine) Fly Fishers showed me this innovative fly storage scheme. He ties marabou streamers with a tandem hook set up. He clips off the bend of the first hook, leaving the shank with the fly tyed on. The second hook is dressed with tinsel or braid. This arrangement prevents short strikes.

He stores his flies in a debonair-looking cigarette
case. Don cuts plastic straws to fit the case and places each fly in its own straw for tidy storage. Nice idea. No messy marabou moments in the fly box.

Monday, March 23, 2009

LL Bean Spring Fishing Show

Spent part of yesterday up in Freeport, Maine at the LL Bean Spring Fishing Show. The folks at Bean were wonderful hosts. Such luminaries as Joan Wulff, Bob Popovics, Stu Apte, Dave Klausmeyer, Mike Martinek and others were on hand to share their knowledge and skills. I had a fun day staffing the Federation of Fly Fishers table with George Holmes. We had a number of interested people stop by to get the lowdown on the FFF. There were also several very talented and eager young fly tyers. As far as I am concerned, the future of fly tying and angling look brighter when we can share our knowledge with the next generation.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mayfly Club

Cool patch. Cool folks.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Learning To Tye Flies

Do you ever think, "I wish I could tye my own flies," or have you been overwhelmed with all the books, tools and materials? Too many fly patterns to know where to begin or what to tye first?Don't know where to begin?

Glenn and Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten make it a little easier to get started in fly tying and fishing too for that matter. A must for beginners is their book, Ten Flies Simple Ties.
The Van Benschotens are an energetic and fun husband and wife team who bring fly tying and angling to everyone who is interested. Amidst a dizzying array of information they bring simplicity back to the sport.

The ten flies are tyed using a small, manageable number of materials. Most flies are tyed with foam and yarn, while others employ basic materials like dubbing, bucktail and hackle. The flies provide a nice range of flies from the Simple Dubbed Ant, Simple Bucktail Streamer and the Simple Wooly Worm to foam caddis, beetles, ladybugs and spiders. The book is illustrated with quality color photos and clearly written step-by-step instruction. The flies are easy to tye and fun to fish. No need to run out and fish for Atlantic Salmon when there are some nice trout, panfish and bass near you.

So, if you are not in the mood to buy $200 worth of mysterious tying tools and materials, $90 dry fly necks and $50-$75 books, check out what Adrea Lyn and Glenn have to tell you about learning to tye flies. Start simple and expand from there.

Check out their website at http://www.reelsimpleflyfishing.com/ where you can also order their book.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Top Producing Fly In Patagonia

Several people have emailed me and asked what was the best fly to use in Patagonia. Hands down, it was the size 6 or 4 Fat Albert, imitating this gnarly beetle.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vince Out On The Water

Trout of upstate New York beware: Vince Wilcox has been spotted on the water prospecting for spring fishing hot spots. Check out his website at http://www.wileysflies.com/. He has some very cool flies and tying materials.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cutbow in Steamboat Springs

While I was in South America, my friend, K-Dog, was in Colorado and got into some fish there.

Monday, March 16, 2009

...And Spring Creeks

Some of the spring creeks were literally inches wide with monster trout hanging out under deep undercut banks. In depth, the water ranged from 18 inches to 25 feet. One false step and you didn't know where you were headed. All the fish were wary, especially because of the minimal wind on the day we visited. We could see the trout and they could see us. Drats! Our guide told us these creeks fish best when the wind is just howling.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We Fished Rivers And Lakes

In Patagonia, we fished rivers and lakes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mike & Friend

This is Mike with our guide, Jeff, and a typical Chilean brown on the upper reaches of Rio Simpson. This may be one of the windiest places on Earth. Here we cast all day in gale force wind. The Spanish word for wind is viento. We were expuesto al viento as they say in Patagonia.

Friday, March 13, 2009


This is what Chilean trout like to see on the end of your line.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


This is a typical meal for a trout in Patagonia. Beetles and other terrestrials blow out of the trees. The fish wait for the splat and move in for a crunch.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fish, Fish, Fish

Our first full day fishing in Chile was spent on the Rio Generalisimo Guerrmo II. I am not really sure who General Guerrmo is, but his river is chocked full of trout. Bows and browns too numerous to mentioned greeted us at the net in large numbers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cinco Rios

It's hard to get back into the swing of things at home after spending a week at Cinco Rios in Coyhaique, Chile. Here's a short recap of day one of the trip. My fellow traveler, Mike, and I were greeted at the airport in Balmaceda by our host Sebastian and several of the guides from the lodge. After many hours of flying, it was great to have finally arrived. My luggage, on the other hand, was apparently still flying and was not finished traveling. After a bumpy ride in a very ancient Land Rover we got to the lodge and headed for the Rio Simpson. Mike and I both grabbed a couple of rainbows. All of mine came on a club sandwich. Our guide, Hector, was an apprentice, but in the end it was Hector that put me onto my biggest fish of the trip, a 24 inch bow. Since I did not have my luggage I fished in very large waders and size 14 boots borrowed from Sebastian. I did have all my other fishing gear...never let it out of my sight while in route. Pictured are the lodge and the view of Rio Simpson from out balcony.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Return From Patagonia

I'm back. Still getting settled, but I wanted to show you one of the numerous beauties I encountered during my angling explorations of Chile.