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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tying Tips, Partridge Excerpt

I just finished a piece on tying tips for the Partridge Blog.  I personally think there are a bunch of good tidbits in there and thought it would benefit many by sharing the link.  Bare in mind this is only 8 of the many tips that I have learned over my time at the vise.  I may even do a second or third volume at a later date.  In the meantime, grab a coffee or something warm on this bitter day and give this one a read, you won't be disappointed.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow-mageddon 2015. Post Jersey Fly Fishing Show Tidbits.

As I sit and type this, all hell in the form of snow is raining down outside and everyone has lost their minds.  The weekend grocery shopping excursion was much more action packed too, so much so it was laughable on the drive home.  The level of discourteous behavior was off the scale as a result of the mass hysteria being created by the local meteorologists and their overzealous energy that rivaled Sister Mary Catherine Gallagher after one of her furniture smashing gymnastic moves.  It just so happens I drove down to Somerset this weekend a day early to circumvent any issues with a small nor'easter coming up the coast.  As luck would have it I escaped unscathed, and for the first time in a few years I came home early rather than committing to an entire weekend of tying.  I opted for the cameo appearance at the Regal Booth for Saturday as it was all I could swing, and did some visiting on Friday, my personal life just couldn't allow me the luxury of a full weekend away.
Some Recent Goat Roadeo's Drying Before Hitting The Mail

I was a little eager this year to get down to Jersey despite my short but rather painful 6 hour plus round trip on some of the scariest roads this side of the country has to offer.  I had several things on my agenda for the short trip; meet with my book editor, grab Sharon Wright's new book, get another Mug from Jeff Currier and personalized Bugger Beast too ($$$), share a beer with all my fellow tying buddies, and last but not least, meet with Ben Scribner and Brandon Collett over at Flycraft.

Ben and Brandon reached out a short while back inquiring if I was going to the show this year as they were well aware of my interest in their craft.  Seeing this thing in person was of top priority, and I quickly made my way directly to their booth upon arrival.  Well, after the 15 minute hike that is from my truck that was practically parked in the next county.   The show was buzzing on Friday to say the least. 

To say that this craft was everything I had envisioned is an understatement.  "Bitchin" is the first word that comes to mind when you see this rig, it's a pure strike of genius in my opinion.  Being a drift boat owner for over a decade, I have always been in search of that perfect smaller craft for me and a buddy that could get into just about anywhere.  You see, up here in the northeast we have a surplus of smaller water and/or rugged places that one just can't get a drift boat into.  I have come very close to purchasing a full sized raft several times, but in the end I knew that it just wouldn't be the solution.

The ideal craft I have been looking for needed to be portable, light enough to handle by myself and not require a trailer.  I have played around with smaller pontoons and kayaks and I have hated both for a plethora of reasons.  I can safely say that my first impressions of the Flycraft  were simple, this is the craft I have been waiting for.  Friday further confirmed my suspicions.  Lets just say it's a done deal.  Aside from that, I forged a very good friendship with Ben and Brandon and will have some other great announcements in the months that follow, but that's for another day. 

For show stuff, the folks at Regal did it again, they have now after loads of pestering by the tying community including myself, introduced the stainless steel jaw for the Regal Revolution.  I actually tinkered with one on Saturday and it is everything we've asked for.  Super smooth and holds hooks solidly, I am very certain that I will add one to the arsenal of jaws very shortly.  Another smaller new addition which is actually a god send in my opinion, is the new Regal Tool Bar.  The tool bar affixes to the stem of your vise and will hold several of your most utilized tools.   Now you can keep all of those important tools right next to your vise at all times, and in an easy format to quickly use them and put them back.  I highly recommend this little gadget, it will greatly speed up your tying and also prevent you from losing those important tools in the piles of refuse that we all generate on our tying desks.

On another note, I got definitive word that my book is slated to be on the shelves for January 1, 2016 for all of you out there who've been inquiring.  We are on the doorstep of the full on editing phase, I should have a concrete book title in the weeks to come, so stay tuned for that announcement as well.  My lack of appearances this winter will be the complete opposite next year as I will be all over promoting this book.

As you can see,  things are rolling in the right direction thus far in 2015.  That being said, I gotta get back to putting together my materials for this weekends tying class, but most importantly,  securing my fortress as the snow crazies are running around en mass in my neighborhood.  I could understand their frenzy  if something of significance was actually going to happen.  It's only snow people, get a grip.......

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Goat Rodeo Streamer

As promised, I put the tying video together for the Goat Rodeo streamer that some of you have inquired about, or heard a bit about in the last year and a half.  The file is a bit longer than usual mostly because I opted to not speed any of it up, so I apologize if my voice annoys you or the video appears to drag on. 

Check The Video HERE.
Real flashy videos with techno music and crazy effects are not in my repertoire, what you see is pretty much what you get from this self taught amateur video production outfit.  I guess you could say my basement studio budget and time isn't quite up to industry standards,  but I make do with what I've got.  What my tying videos may lack in special effects, I'd like to think they make up for in content, so bare with my inadequacy and watch and listen closely as you just might learn a thing or two, or maybe you'll learn nothing, I don't know you be the judge. 

I also know some of my streamer brethren around the country who are of the mindset that the "only streamers" to fish are those that are neutrally buoyant and weightless are going to call me a sinner for this halibut jig of a fly.  Well, forgive me boys for I have sinned, my home waters ain't Michigan and us "Yankees" (boy do I hate saying that word being a former Mass-hole and lifelong Red Sox fan) often we have to think outside of different boxes around these parts to get the job done. It's all relative in the end, so if this flies use of tungsten intimidates you, simply substitute the weight with brass and have at it. 
Like I said in the video, this particular fly was designed primarily to penetrate into the depths of plunge pools and fast riffles, and so far she's done her job.   Have fun tying this one too by the way, she's been an awfully good one to me in the last year as some of these familiar pictures will tell you pretty much all you'll need to know.  Oh, and by the way, make sure you leave your 6 weight home for this one and opt for that stouter stick, well of course unless you want a pile of graphite straws to sip your chocolate milk.......

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Keep Em Wet, What Do You Think?

Circa 2012
Recently a pretty interesting campaign was launched in regards to the negative effects of air exposure on wild fish.  The "Keep Em Wet" campaign is spearheaded by the native fish society and has already begun to gain steam.  If you enter their season long contest you could actually win something.  It should be a fun year seeing all of the creative pictures that emerge from this campaign to heighten awareness to this topic.   Cameron over at the Fiberglass Manifesto has already introduced anglers to the idea, as well as several of others across the internet and social media.

Circa 2013
Personally, I didn't really have a definitive New Years Resolution for 2015, so I figured why not adopt the practice.  Although I will admit I am a repeat offender of the grip n grin from time to time, but the whole idea of keeping them wet really got me  thinking.  I know over the years my ability to rope a fish in and get a solid photo opportunity has become efficient and streamlined to the point that it is a very unobtrusive process, but there were times when I wondered if the time I spent to get that glory shot had negative effects on the fish that I was lucky enough to catch.   

Circa 2014
I think some would most definitely speculate that yes, very much so that many a nice fish have succumbed to stress as a result of anglers over handling them just to get that photo.  I think we'd all like to think we are doing things by the numbers and ethically, but I am certain we all could probably improve.  Now mind you, I am not going to sit here and blow smoke up your backside and tell you that I won't still take a grip or grin shot of a memorable fish.  I will probably just take less of them, and save them for that extra special fish or location to capture the memory.  I will however not post them on the internet because I can already see the internet trolls and kings of the popularity contest we call social media have already started spewing some of their negativity on this topic.  

Circa 2012
As you can already see, making this transition should be a pretty easy task as I've been taking part in for years now.   To be honest, some of my favorite pictures of memorable fish don't even involve my pasty white baldness anyway.  Guess I have a good start or maybe I was subconsciously more of a forward thinker, either way it is irrelevant as long as those guys in the pictures swim another day. 

Some interesting discussions have spawned as a result of this topic, I still wonder though are we as catch and release anglers doing enough to make sure we protect our resource?

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