Micro Pick Streamer

Monday, February 23, 2015

Silence, Exhaustion and Optimism.

Dreaming of days like these....
 Quiet, like a light snow on a winters day, something we've grown accustom to with a greater degree of frequency this year.  Quiet, this blog has been for several weeks again as a result of some obligations.  Quiet, keeping some pent up frustrations over this winters grip preventing me from heading out on the water at all.  Quiet, diligently going through 200 plus pages of edits with a fine toothed comb to hopefully see a labor of love come to an end in the form of a book.
A welcome mix of bugs....
Exhausted, from late nights, early mornings, countless pots of coffee, learning macro photography, pounding snowstorms, arctic temperatures, and lack of fishing as a result of all of the above.

Micro Stones in numbers...
Optimistic,  that soon the thermometer will rise, the snow will melt and the rivers will swell.  Optimistic, that the spring will come soon, everything will re-acclimate, and my off days will coincide with some great fishing opportunities.  Optimistic, that this year I will have replenished my own fly stocks instead of everyone else first.  Optimistic, at least one of my new ideas proves to be another viable option on the water.  Optimistic, that my two girls now 5 & 7, catch their first fish on a fly this year even if it's not a trout.

Woven Mayflies for warmer days.
There, I got a few things off my chest that have been bugging me this winter.  Although that really didn't solve much, I do feel better.  I am fairly certain a few of those gripes have hit home for many of you, so I figured why not commiserate a little together.  Now that we've got that behind us, pour another cup of jo and motor on, it's the last week of February and things will get brighter soon.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Post Superbowl Tidbits.

Well, the big game has come and gone and kinda like Deja Vu here I sit on another cold Monday in winter watching the snow fly outside.  As luck would have it, the Patriots came up on the right side of the finish line and Tom Brady and team brought the Lombardi Trophy back to New England.  My nerves are still shot after watching that game last night; instant classic in all estimations.  Can't argue what that guy has done in his career, and this last one solidifies it all in my book; maybe he will finally get the accolades he desperately deserves.  Now back to reality; blizzard like conditions are here again for the second time in a week; any thought of fishing this winter is a total pipe dream.  The local tail-water is pretty locked up in all the popular spots, never mind the fact that the temperatures have been nothing short of Arctic.  Heck, I read somewhere that Siberia had record highs this year, maybe climate change has pushed it's icebox weather our way?  Maybe I'm getting soft as I get older, but fishing in the winter is less and less desirable.

I made the weekly grocery store pilgrimage  yesterday morning.  My thoughts were to get there early unlike last weeks pre-blizzard headache in hopes of dealing with less people; get in and get out like a burglar in the night.  Fat chance, the grocery store never lets me down with comic relief and head shaking antics no matter what time I go and the full parking lot at 8:00 AM made me slump in the drivers seat. This weeks theme was the post cross-fit workout dressed soccer mom who just can't seem to put the smart phone down while she shops.  Hey, you know the one right?  On the phone the entirety of her shopping experience, rudely talking out loud with whomever is on the other end so everyone can hear just how important she is. Or once off the phone, decides to text or diddle with that mini computer every other waking second, stopping mid aisle so that nobody else can get done what they went to the supermarket for in the first place.  Total genius, I salute you maam, leave your drama dictation device in the car.  I felt like I was in an episode of Real Housewives of Orange County; everyone around me had the same look of disgust watching this unfold in the store, sucks when you are on the same time hack as these types cuz you just can't escape until you are at the checkout line. Every aisle I perused I was met with this fruitcake.   So, in honor of my favorite knucklehead at the supermarket, I took all photos with my Iphone, although you don't know it, you've inspired me.

Enough of my belly aching, let me get back on track here as I sip my coffee.  I finished up the last of three tying classes this Saturday at Upcountry Services.  I will say that the class was another great day with a good group.  We finished the day with a half dozen single hook streamers that all turned out very well.  I want to thank everyone this winter who signed up for all of the classes, you were all great students and it was my pleasure working with each and every one of you.

Next on the agenda is getting all of my own fly stocks up to speed for the season.  I have many holes to fill before the season kicks in, not to mention the streamer orders I have begun to accumulate.   I have been chipping away a little each day, and hopefully by the time all this white stuff melts, I will have everything in check.  This has also given me the opportunity to brainstorm some new class ideas for the upcoming year, as well as play around with some new materials that I have not had the opportunity to tinker with. 

Torrey and I have already began to discuss some worthwhile topics and I think both fishing technique and tying alike, I will have some great new ideas for later this year.  On another note, expect to see an announcement on the site very soon in regards to my streamer fishing class.  Many of you have expressed interest in this class, and we are ironing out a date as I write this.  I will fill you all in and update the classes page as soon as I get word on the date.

Well, I'm going to get back to dreaming about warmer weather and rising fish, it's all I can do besides tying some flies as the snow continues to accumulate outside.   See you all next month at the Bears Den, probably the best fly-fishing show in the northeast in my opinion.  Oh, and I may even have a new tying video very soon, check back often. 

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.......

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