The Rats Nest

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Ice Pick Streamer Update

So as you now very well know, the Ice Pick is one of my latest creations, and in my opinion one of my better flies. The original version I tied was in white, then a yellow orange fly came to life and lastly a grizzly colored version which is slowly gaining steam and competing with white as a top producer. Well, as I write this I have concocted two new colors which are now available under the current special. A tan and an olive version are now in the mix, and can be added to any selection. In the weeks to come I'm hoping on a few other color combos to add to the pile. Stay tuned...

Grizzly and white

-grizzly, white and yellow orange



Olive and tan ready for shipping.

This promo will be extended for at least another month....

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Changing Seasons

The older I get, the more I find myself sitting back and taking things in.  A balmy 31 degrees on the dash thermometer, no sunlight at 6:30 and frost on the lawn are all good reminders that the winter months are not too far around the corner.  7:30 and the boats in the water and we are already chucking streamers in hopes of our line stopping dead upon retrieve, hopefully by the mouths of a pissed off brown who just had his space invaded by one of our imitations.  As we back rowed up to our first area of interest, we were greeted by a chill in the air with plumes of fog bellowing off the water.   Getting my buddy Mike out of the woods this time of year is a monumental task as he has "Buck Fever" so to speak.  Already with a very nice 8 pointer in the books so far this season, Mike held true to his promise to do some fall fishing on our favorite eastern river system.  Right out the gates Mike hooks, launches and loses a real hog off a shallow riffle.  An orange and yellow Ice Pick streamer agitated that guy enough that he stopped the fly dead in its tracks.  I roll and miss two medium sized fish at a creek mouth and it looks like we are poised to have a good day.  Then, like the flip of a switch, the sun came up, the clouds and fog disappeared and the streamer bite shut right off.  The nymph fishing was decent, several small browns and rainbows came to hand on our next run, and it looked like we were going to have another one of those banner outings that was the basis for our love of this particular river.  After pulling a half dozen out of this soft spot, I motioned for Mike to get back in the boat and we motored on.  As the sun got higher the fishing got slower, by 11:30 we were actually scratching our heads for the first time wondering what the hell was going on. All of our fish at this point had been taken on smaller tan caddis pupa, and quite a few follows on the streamer but nothing really to talk about.

We decided it was time to take in the scenery and enjoy the fruits of Mikes labors in the tree stand.  The stove came out and Mikes homemade venison stew was on.  In 5 minutes we were sitting stream side eating stew and taking in the beautiful day.  To be honest, the stew made the day.  Not a single person on the river at this point, sun shining, a full belly and smiles from ear to ear.

After our gluttony we got back in the boat and motored on.  As the sun got higher and higher the fishing got a bit tougher, we managed to stick a few fish here and there on some nymphs but nothing on the streamer.  The water levels were dropping as we floated and some of the riffles we actually had to get out and pull the boat through them just to get by.  This was a first for both of us, never fishing this river in the fall.

As we pushed on, we continued to beat the in between water with streamers,  with really not much to show for it.  We both figured that most of the fish had cruised up river as a result of the high water from last week, and were awaiting the chance to start digging Redd's.  Mike throws on and ole favorite, my dirt dart streamer, in white nonetheless, and within minutes he sticks this bad boy.  The picture doesn't do justice to the colors of this fish, what an absolutely spectacular buttery yellow trout with white tipped fins and bright haloed red spots.  Picture perfect to be exact. 

So now it's my turn to throw again.  We stop off at another riffle, I nymph out a couple small ones before we move on towards our take out.  I am throwing and stripping, throwing and stripping.  Starting to lose my focus as I am aimlessly covering every possible lie to find an eager taker.  Wham, a 15 inch or so fish turns inside out on my streamer, but never finds the business end of the hook.  As we start to meander our way through a boulder field, Mike focused, me a little less interested.  Mike motions me to cast my flies at a spot we have pulled some nice fish out of over the years.  I throw a tight cast that jettisons my fly right at the waters edge.  Strip, strip and a dark coffee shaped torpedo attacks the fly with force.  I miss the hook set as the fish smashed my fly in mid strip.  I quickly pick the fly up and slap it about 3 feet down stream of the assault and let it dead drift like stunned prey.  The fish darts back, hits it again but doesn't feel the business end of the fly.   Mike agitated, and giving me the business about being lackadaisical continues to froth at the mouth while I start to ready another cast.  As my fly hits the water I see this even bigger dark shape come off the bank and my fly disappears.  This time, the hook takes hold and a surface eruption of pure anger ensues and I'm in battle.  Mikes jaw drops, and he quickly drops anchor and reaches for the net.  20 seconds later the horse is in the net.   Although this wasn't the biggest fish that I have taken yet alone seen on this particular river system, it was just desserts at what will probably be my last trip there for the year.  At 22 inches and thick, it topped the day off.  Thanks Mike, good call..........

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More Gadgets

So as you all have probably figured out by now, I'm a bit of a gadget geek. Well I guess all of us flyfishers and fly tiers are to some degree. This has been a pretty banner year for new materials and tying tools. The first one I blogged about earlier this year was the MP bobbin, and now I'm squawking about the Twisted Loop Scissors by Dr. Slick. I probably own somewhere around 2-3 dozen tying scissors and until recently hadn't found a pair I was overly impressed with. Dr. Slick does make fine tools, but I never really fell in love with them as I could never really get comfortable with them in my hand while tying. I have even tried the scissors by single barbed, and although the concept is brilliant the scissors in general are mediocre at best.

The twisted loops are rather unique in that they spread the finger holes apart which makes cutting during production tying a breeze when looking for speed. As you can see in the photos it's easy to cut your materials with the business end in between your pointer and middle fingers. Check them out, they get two thumbs up in my book.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Bench Is A Mess, Somethings Going On

So, as you can see the tying tornado has hit once again. With the Fall comes new tying products and a lull in the guiding which affords some time to get creative. So far this fall I'm 1 for 1 and batting a 1,000. Tied another skull headed streamer 2 days ago and yesterday it performed successfully. Another baitfish/zonker spinoff I think I'm going to call the "Ice-pick", tutorial to follow and available for purchase soon. I will have some pictures up by weeks end for all to see.

Sometimes a messy desk is a good thing, with me it usually means the gears are turning amidst the madness......

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