Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FFF Southern Council Conclave

Heading down to Mountain Home, Arkansas for the FFF Southern Council Conclave. Love going down to Mountain Home and tying some flies. Great people and great times. It's a good chance to check out what other tyers are up to, learn a few things and catch a few trout in the White River.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Recycled Waders Rock

Check out the cool stuff these folks make with recycled breathable waders. After all the use, waders eventually need to move onto bigger and better things. Go green and check 'em out at http://www.recycledwaders.com/.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Assabett River

I was fishing there yesterday. Took in a bunch of chubs. No trout around.

Friday, September 25, 2009

R.I.P. - Charles Barton

Charles, of Mountain Home, Arkansas, died September 23, 2009 of cancer. Another sad farewell to a friend in the fly tying world.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fly fishing: Water Removal Plan Gets The Cold Shoulder

Fly fishing: Water removal plan gets the cold shoulder, says The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY) today. The plan was to remove 1 million gallons of water per day from the West Branch of the Delaware River in Wayne Country, PA. The water was to be used by Chesapeake Appalachian for fracking, which is hydraulic fracturing of rock for the development of natural gas wells. The plan has met with opposition and is scaled back with a vote on it now deferred.

Spanish Slab Of Fish

Hola Cholo. Eso est una trucha grande.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Landing The Little One

From the photo vault. Some heavy fly action out on the lash.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Visit To Whiting Farms

Driving up to Whiting Farms is pretty much like driving up to most farms in Colorado: a lot of barns with silo-type feeding devices attached, open space and a smattering of farm equipment. There really is nothing to suggest much on the outside except bits of hen and rooster hackle blowing in the wind. On the inside, however, it is a whole different ball of wax. The first barn we visited was where the little chicks spend the first few weeks of their lives. Chicks are hatched at another facility that is part of the farm system and then transported to the first rearing barn. Open the door and you are hit with a hot, humid, ammonia-smelling thunder cloud of high-pitched peeping. And I mean high decibel peeping. In this barn, the chicks are organized by sex and type and also fed a lot of food and water to help them grow. They spend about two weeks there.

Chicks then move into their own individual rearing cages. They receive some inoculations to prevent common poultry viruses and infections. Large long barns are stacked with rows of duplex cages. There is a lot of clucking and crowing going on in there. Imagine a chorus of 500 roosters shouting at the tops of their lungs. These guys are noisy. Each chicken has its own pen to live in, undisturbed by the others. Well, except for the noise part. Depending on the breed, hens and roosters have about 7-12 months to mature and then they are euthanized. There was no culling going on the day I visited, but I assure you that it is done humanely and respectfully.
The pelts are then cleaned, de-greased and sorted. This process is a Whiting Farms proprietary secret, so I cannot divulge anything about it. Next the necks and saddles are trimmed to shape. The pelts that will be dyed head to the dye-master. The natural color pelts are sorted and stored in bins in the warehouse.

The dying process is a multi-step event. Skins are further washed and de-greased and dyed in small batches. There are innumerable potions of liquid and powder lining shelves and skins are treated to slightly different procedures depending on the color. For example, a given color may set better when cooked in a warm dye-bath, and may require a particular mordanting (setting) agent. It seems that each color has its own particular procedures and it all involves some knowledge of chemistry and a touch of alchemy.

After the skins are dried they are graded by an expert cadre of trained “graders,” then placed in their particular bins and shelved. When an order comes in from a shop, the particular necks and saddles are picked, packaged and labeled and move to the shipping department. The order is then out the door and into the truck. Next stop your local retailer.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Closer Look

From the vault again. Can you say dirty chawed-down nails?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A View From The Tying Desk

Check out this tying desk. Is that head cement or hair tonic in the big bottle?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Luna Moth

I snapped these photos of a Luna Moth last year. Usually you find these moths in the summer, during their "green phase." This is a Luna in the earlier spring "purple phase."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Euro Car Decals

Get some cool Chum swag for your wheels. Available on their website, www.moldychum.com.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Woven Flies

Been doing some woven flies.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fish Pimp Brings Out 2010 Product Line

Fish Pimp has unveiled what it calls “highly evolved” fly-fishing accessories, including several products that deliver significant improvements to angling gear. The 2010 Product Line includes several new twists on classic gear. Formally known as Angling Evolutions, the company is rolling out with a new name, new packaging and a slate of new products such as it Shake-N-Float™ fly-drying system and Renew Line Tool™ clip-on line cleaner. The company has also completely re-designed it namesake Fish Pimp® strike indicator to be more aerodynamic and offer a new dead drift configuration option. “Our goal is simply to help people catch more fish,” says Quentin Hoffpauir, Fish Pimp Sales Coordinator. “That means taking a hard look at all of the traditional approaches, then figuring out ways to re-design and re-engineer to make them better.”

That’s what Fish Pimp’s new product line accomplishes, most notably with their three flagship products:

Shake-N-Float™: A revolutionary fly-drying system that keeps drying agent and floatant in a single container, but in separate chambers. With just a couple quick turns anglers can dry flies and apply floatant quickly with no mess and a longer lasting effect. Shake-N-Float is available in either a re-fillable premium version or a single-chamber, single-use disposable option.

Renew Line Tool™: A clip-on line cleaning tool that let’s anglers protect and condition while they reel. It simply clips to the rod, securing the fly line between two cleaning pads that apply Fish Pimp’s fly line cleaner and conditioner as the fly line is reeled in. Comfortably fits any size rod with no risk of leaving as much as a scuff.

Fish Pimp® Strike Indicator: One of the industry’s most popular strike indicators, the Fish Pimp has been completely re-engineered with a dimpled surface to reduce drag in both the forward and back casts, tighter, more secure hold, and a new dead drift option to give anglers three quick-change configuration choices. It is available in three sizes (mini, original and jumbo) and four colors— red, white, yellow and, now, black. The new, patent-pending Fish Pimp design is also 30% lighter than other foam indicators and can be used repeatedly without kinking your leader.

Fish Pimp’s line has a host of other accessories, including floatants such as Perma Fly™ premium dry fly spray and Fly Sauce™ premium dry fly floatant; fly tying cements Head Strong™ and water-based Hard Headed™ as well as Head Strong™ thinner; and refills for their Renew Line Tool and Shake-N-Float products. “No product is ever going to make fishing easy. We just want to make it more fun,” Hoffpauir says.

More information about the full line of Fish Pimp products can be found at
http://www.fishpimpco.com/ (website is under construction right now) or by calling 866.461.2449.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Japanese Ayu Fishing

So what is this? It's an interesting Japanese fishing technique that dates back centuries. Ayu is a trout native to Japan. The fish feeds on underwater plant material in his own territory. Say 100 square feet. The Ayu does not like invaders and will angrily fight to protect its turf. One of the fighting techniques involves bashing into the belly of an invader to drive it away.

Ayu fishing means "a fish brings another fish." In practical terms this is what you do. You start with one Ayu, threading mono through its mouth and gills. The fish is alive and only slightly hurt. At the end of the mono is a hook hanging out under the fish. The angler draws the Ayu (let's call this one #1) into the territory of another Ayu (fish #2). Fish #2 gets angry because of the invader and belly butts fish #1. During the scuffle #2 gets hooked by the hook hanging off of #1. #2 fish gets hooked in the dorsal fin (usually). You have used #1 to catch #2. Now #2 becomes the fish which will catch #3 and so on.

It sounds kind of cool. It is a favorite summer-time pleasure of the Japanese. They eat the small fish.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Good Pattern For Fall In New England

This is one of my favorite bait fish imitations for fall trout fishing.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fran Betters, Dean Of The Ausable, Dies

Sunday, September 6, 2009 marked a sad day in the fly fishing world, with the death of Fran Betters. Betters, known for flies such as the Ausable Wulff, Usual, Haystack and a host of other patterns for his home waters in the Adirondacks, was the proprietor of the Adirondack Sport Shop for many years. Due to failing health in recent years, Fran had been trying to sell his shop.

As do many anglers who travel through Wilmington, NY during an Adirondack trout adventure, I have many fond memories of dropping in to to say hello to Fran. He was always at his tying desk and ready to give advice on how and where to fish. Although known for his famous patterns, Fran also tied mighty nice parachutes, terrestrials, caddis and muddlers. The Piggy-Back Nymph was the forerunner of the parasol-style fly and his Haystack set the stage for what we now call the comparadun style.

Fran was a writer of many fine books about fly fishing in the Adirondacks as well as Fran Betters' Fly Fishing, Fly Tying and Pattern Guide (1986). He will be missed by many, especially his wife, Jan.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

United Fly Tyers

United Fly Tyers will hold the first meeting of the fall this coming Thursday, September 10 at the Holiday Inn Select in Woburn, MA. Bring your tying kit and join in for a Tyers' Night.

Holiday Inn Select
15 Middlesex Canal Park Rd.
Woburn, MA 01801
tel: 781-935-8760, www.holidayinnselect.com/Woburn

Take Exit 35 off 128, Continue on Circle to Main St/Rt 38S towards Woburn Center. Approximately 0.1 turn right on Middlesex Canal Park, Holiday Inn Select is the first business on the right, less than 1/4 mile off the highway, easy on easy off.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Creepy Angler

What is the story here? Jeez-o-Pete, these guys are so weird. This one looks like he is taking time out from a WW2 battlefield in Austria to wet a line.