The Rats Nest

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Non Fishing Related

Sorry to say it for those of you who might be looking for some flies in the next couple of weeks, but as you can see I am bit busy.  Renovating my kitchen, gutting everything, removing a wall to open things up a bit, etc etc etc. 

My poor tying desk is covered in rock lathe dust, soon to be dry wall dust, and then it's clean up time.  So, I will be back in action in a few weeks, till then its back to work.....

If I'm not too tired some nights (highly unlikely, but you never know with me), I might get on the desk again and spin something new up, if so I'll be sure to put things up on the blog.  Trust me, I'd rather be fishing as this is hands down my favorite time of year on the river.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another Mixed Bag Order Hits The Mail

Mixed Bunch O Micro Nymphs to Mega Streamers
Hog Snare n Company

 Just a mixed bag of streamers and some nymphs to hit the mail.  Two pair of Hog Snares, bloodied bait fish, Meat Helmet Sculpins, BS Swingers, Iron Maidens, October Caddis Pupa, and some tiny olive Tungsten Spinners.   Looking forward to the stories these babies will produce.....
More Snares, October Caddis

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Some Fish, Some New Flies In The Store

MM! Tasty BS Swinger....
Brookies Like Em Too.
 I managed to get out on the water again today for a short 3 hour jaunt, targeting a new piece of water different from the other day.  It is really amazing to see how much the river has changed since Hurricane Irene.  Some runs are completely new, others are the same, some are much better than before, others just do not have that ole "fishy" feeling anymore.  It is really funny how mother nature works, keeps things interesting to say the least.

One thing I will say, it was a bit refreshing to have more normal conditions, although, I'm not going to lie, I kinda have a sick twisted thing for high water.

Remember Me?  Hog Snare Brown
Once again, I stuck to my vices, using the two hander as usual (another post or two and I may have to change the blog title).  With lower conditions, the tactics changed a bit, but I still had a rather valiant showing with all of my fish falling victim to a gold variant BS Swinger.  Nothing like a good pull on an Indian Summer afternoon, hands down one of the most satisfying ways to catch fish,  Scratch that, several pulls.  I hit the Farmington grand slam today, Brookies, Browns and Rainbows, although I didn't take any pictures of the browns today as I played with little brothers to the big guy from the other day, I managed a handful of yearling browns around 11-13 inches.  These guys were all colored up and looking like they were born in the river, gotta love buttery slabs of brown trout in the fall.

Color Combos For The "Snare"
Although the browns were beautiful in their own right, the brookies I tangled with were awesome.  One of which was  a spectacular specimen that words can't describe, a pure palette of autumnal colors.  Kinda reminded me of those days as a kid when I hit the ole brook up the road from my house, and the wonderful brook trout I had the pleasure of playing a mere 5 minute walk from my parents back porch, those were the days. 

BS Swinger Options
 The weather was nothing short of perfect today, I wish I could have made an entire day of it, but I spent the morning at Lowe's gathering parts for my kitchen project (as much fun as chewing tinfoil).  After settling in for a nice homemade feast of my household favorite, Chicken Parmesan, and  putting the little one's to bed, I managed to get some of my newer creations up on the Fly Store page of the main site.  It's been a while, but a few of these needed to be added.  I realize the "Snare" as I've been calling it, is a hot one with a bit of a hefty price tag, but you gotta remember folks, this is a double jointed fly with a bunch of stuff going on, and by no means a quick tie.  I look at it like this, if it catches you a fish of the season, it's worth every penny.

Meat Helmet Sculpin Available Now Too

I am certain you can tell already by the following pictures that a few other nymphs aside from the streamers were added to the mix too.  I now have the ability to obtain the materials to spin up the Meat Helmet Sculpins in quantity, so I found it fitting to offer them to all of you  as well. 

Slate Drake Nymph

October Caddis Pupa
In the coming months the goal is to get a pile more of my tested concoctions up and available to all of you out there who may not tie and are interested in some for your own personal fly boxes.  If all goes as planned, I may even have some with me at the Symposium, if time permits of course.

One other thing, if you have purchased flies from me in the past, present or future, I plan on adding to my old testimonials page, heck maybe even updating it altogether.  That being said, if you have any grip n grins using my flies, or a great story to tell in regards to a particular pattern that brought you success, send it on over, I'll gladly post it, and would love to hear what you have to say. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Might Have Another Really Good One Here....

The Hog Snare, 6 Inches Of Dual Articulated Fun
 Now that I have some free time on my hands before I tear my kitchen to pieces and begin a most certainly painstaking project, I have had the time to draw up, tie and test several ideas that have been bouncing around in my head.  One of the ideas I've had was a double jointed streamer using  one of the new articulated shanks in the middle.  The fruits of my labor turned out what you see to the left, what I have deemed the Hog Snare.  This feisty piece of eye crossing streamer is a mouthful, and requires a 7 weight single handed rod to get out there.

Rising Up From The Depths
Size 1 Gamakatsu B10s up front, Flymen 35mm shank in the middle, and a size 2 Gamakatsu Sp11 in the rear.  Marabou, holographic flash, schlappen, ice dub, arctic fox, rubber legs, lead eyes and laser dub all wrapped up into a mighty fine streamer that swims like it was alive.

Even The Smaller Guys Like A Big Meal This Time Of Year
You're looking at roughly 6 inches of  pure fish agitating movement.  This fly, even with a pair of lead eyes up front, and a nice layer of .030 lead free wire on the middle shank, will suspend and flutter when paused on a retrieve.  When you animate this fly either by jerk strips or fast strips followed by pauses, it has such a tantalizing swimming action it just begs to be hurt.  And as you can see from the photos on the remainder of the post, it didn't disappoint on it's maiden voyage.  It seemed to draw up the attention of various sized fish today, and some hit it with such authority, almost like a Pike, that  I guess you could say some of the browns I tangled with today had some really bad intentions, bad for the fly that is, but good for me.

High Water, What's A Matter,  Scared? It's Only 3,000+CFS
 I Started the day off with nothing short of lousy conditions, but if you know me well, I have never been afraid of high water, and having a few hours to spare I rigged up the 11 foot 7 weight switch rod and had at it.  Brought my light and medium Rio MOW Tips and Rio Skagit Flight Head and had a pretty darn good outing.  Sticking to my convictions as I said that I would, my two handed game is really getting sound.  Granted, 2,000 plus cfs makes fishing with a single handed rod difficult, and these conditions aren't for everyone, but, if you know where to look you can strike gold even under  less than desirable  conditions. 

Just Shy Of 22 Inches. 
Sure, wouldn't you know it, the MDC raised the water another 1,000 cfs while I was out, but it didn't make the fish stop eating.  In fact they gorged for a while
Melon Shot....

When testing a new fly, even with my handy new swim tank, there is always a level of nervousness as to how well the fly will perform to the expectations you've set.  When you're dealing with a multi-hook streamer a lot can go wrong, and often numerous prototypes are made until everything comes together, or you scrap the whole thing and go back to the drawing board.  Some look at that of a waste of precious materials, I look at it as the building blocks of ingenuity.     I guess that is the beauty of designing flies, sometimes you strike out, other times you knock it out of the park.  This time, I surprisingly knocked it out of the park on the first pitch. 

Sometimes you just know when you look at something you've tied and you're gut tells you, ya, I think so.   I just had this feeling with this pattern and today it most definitely didn't disappoint.   After several fish in the 15-19 inch range were hooked, landed and released, I managed to put this guy in the bag above and to the right.  It felt good to get a decent fish again on my home waters, waters I routinely did this on a very frequent basis when I was younger, had less responsibility and more free time.  I guess you could say I had a bit of Deja-vu today.   Alright, enough of the soft s@*t and back to business.
A savage take, a barrel sized flush and this bad boy was gator rolling and pulling hard.  The tape stretched to about a quarter inch shy of 22 inches, a nice fat buttery slab reminiscent of fall, with a mouthful of Hog Snare in it's face.  Look for this fly in the fly store soon, it should continue to be a real big fish catcher, hence the name.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

First Week Of October, Flies And Recent Gadgets

5 Dozen Rock Candy
 Back on the vise hard, prepping flies at night after work, then tying the remainder when the kids go to bed on the days off.  I have some pretty cool new patterns to unveil in the months to come, good simple flies with some newer and older materials that just plain catch fish. 

Since the storefront went back up, I've been pretty busy spinning up  orders.  The storefront will change soon, a sort of retooling of sorts, with some added products things, should be pretty cool once complete.
Ice Pick Order With Trailing Stinger's For Steelhead

The first of a pair of fly tying courses is now listed, should be a really good time so I hope to see you there.  Fall is officially here and the weather has not disappointed, the last few nights have been what I personally love about this time of year, nice cool air.  The advent of cooler air, typically equates to the browns putting on the feedbag, and the streamer bite heats up exponentially.  The only X-factor right now is the high water and excessive rain, well sort of :).  The other day prior to the deluge was fantastic fishing, so it should be a good fall if all cooperates.

New In-House Testing Grounds

The other new tidbit on the forefront is my new gadget seen to the left.  The Tubefly Swim Tank from Tony at Tubefly Tech.  I had been eyeballing one these gadgets for over a year now, and recently I pulled the trigger.  Now I can see just how some of my patterns behave in water with current without having to drive to the river to experiment.  Cuts production time of new stuff to nothing in time, if it swims to expectations, done deal.  Granted this is only one half of the equation, but it is a huge asset in my book.  Look out..........

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