The Rats Nest

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Few Sculpins Headed To Idaho And A Forthcoming Surprise

Staged For Completion
With Final Product
Been doing a few small orders here and there over the last week or two.  The one pictured here is one I was a little more fond of than the others as I was tasked with being a little more creative in color schemes, and was not going to have to tie dozens of flies to fill it.  A nice gentleman from Idaho contacted me and was looking for some of my Meat Helmet Sculpins, only with a little spin on the design.  Olive was a must, but a tan version was what he was looking for, so  I accepted the challenge and concocted a pretty nice product if I do say so myself.  Now for the fish to decide I guess, hopefully some photos will be coming my way down the road.  The Fly Tying Class is this Saturday and it is full, so I plan on 

having not only a blog post heavy with photos, but some more fun stuff to add.  Thanks for all of you that signed up, if there is enouth interest out there I will offer the same course up again soon.  As I stated in an earlier blog post, I will be announcing an Articulated Streamers Class for over the winter.  In the class will be various methods in which to construct articulated streamers.   I will apologize for not getting up any videos this month, but as you all have known it's been a busy November.  I promise to make up for that soon.
Some Custom In Tan, I like The Looks Of These

Lastly, as a result of the web program that I am using no longer being available in a few months, I was forced to come up with a game plan for my fly store.  I am happy to say that I have found a solid resolution to this that has been waiting around for me to get off my lazy behind.  The beauty of this opportunity is it will be an easy way for you my customers to purchase my flies, but it will also put my creations out there to a bigger audience.  I will fill you all in when this gets going, as it is pretty exciting to say the least...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Got A Favorite Fishing Shirt?

The Favorite T, That Was Spared

 Sounds like a pretty stupid topic, but when your significant other decides she wants to dispose of a piece of your clothing you consider a mainstay, the thought came to mind.  I don't know about the rest of you guys out there, but me personally, I will wear a shirt till it literally falls apart.  Unlike my wife who basically tosses an article of clothing in the garbage once it fades; I think its just breaking in.  Case in point, I just had to finally part ways with an old blue sweatshirt that I had been wearing for the better part of 15 years after it nearly disintegrated when I put it on.  I almost shed a tear when I had to throw that bad boy in the garbage, it was like losing an old friend.  I like stuff worn, my baseball caps are of the same vein, they fade, have tears in the brim from flies being hooked in them and they stink like nobody's business.  But why wash it?  Weathered gear makes you look like you know what you're doing. 

Come on, admit it, you know you've passed a few phrases of judgement on the river when you've run into that guy decked out from head to toe in shiny new gear that looks like it came right out off the Orvis showroom.   "Look at this guy, must be a newbie".  Then you see the guy with the aqua seal spots all over his stained and faded waders, with his boot soles flapping like a flag in the breeze and you instantly think, "that guys a fisherman".  At the end of the day it really doesn't matter, as the old adage never judge a book by it's cover is very fitting in this particular case, but there is definitely something to be said about tattered and broken in apparel.
My Seasoned Fly Away Fishing Shirt, Missing Buttons And Full Of Sleeve Tears

So I guess this post is a tribute to the weathered and favorite shirt.   Right now my favorite T-shirt is my Simms Camo Trout shirt, I think I'm on my 3rd one.  Something about the logo and the way it fits, I already have a hole in the armpit which is why I think my wife was thinking of donating it to the household rag pile for cleaning, fat chance dear.  So if you have a favorite shirt, or are on the same page with me on this, give a shout, I'd love to hear what your favorite shirt is these days.....
The Tattered Sleeve Of My New Favorite Sweatshirt

Friday, November 25, 2011

Went For Broke Today

First Fish of The Day
Loads of These Guys Today
Decided to go for numbers today and broke out the nymph rig.  I have been hearing a lot of bellyaching on local forums about how slow the fishing has been and how catching one to none is the norm.  I had to find out for myself, so I put the switch rod down for a change and resorted back to the old standby as I would call it.  Fishing seems fine to me guys, in fact, after my first fish to the right there taped out at 19 inches, it was bent rods all morning.  The fishing was very good, you just had to target the right water.

All fish were taken in 2-4 feet of moderately paced water, and were very feisty to say the least.  After a bunch of fish I put the nymphs away and resorted to swinging once again, bringing a few more to hand before I beat feet for the day.    I was kind of kicking myself today though, as I left my dry fly set up at home.  The surface activity today was red hot and I wish I came prepared, I would gander a very good day on caddis would have been the story, I'll take the hand I was dealt.  The river wasn't overly crowded to say the least, although most anglers congregated at the same locales.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Back On The Vise Again.......

A Handful Of Orange Busted Stones For Some Friends 

Topside View
Wow, six weeks later and I finally tied some flies.  I got into a groove and spun up some high water nymphs for this weekend, figuring the rivers gonna be up after the 3 plus inches of rain we received over the last 24 hours.  After about 5 dozen nymphs I decided to get cracking on a long overdue pile of promised specimens for my buddies Dan and Tom Harrison of Harrison Anglers on the Deerfield. They had some resounding success on the golden and brown ones, but like most, the boys had a favorite color combo and made a request.  Being a busy bee all summer I slipped up a bit and never got around to them.  Better late than never I guess, a man's word is all he's got.  After sending off a couple of preview pics, they got the nod and will be hand delivered next Friday.  As you can see, I am still playing with the new D5100, I think a macro lens fund is in the making, and will help me snap some photos of my flies and bugs.  It sure is nice to be back on the horse again, soon I'll be churning out dozens and dozens of flies daily.  Got the blood moving back in the old hands just in time for next weekends class.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Project Update

Semi Finished Project

Getting There
Well here we are, almost six weeks later.  With more finish work to be done, we are livable once again.  The counter tops arrived yesterday with only one minor hang up, the opening in the background is slated for a sill of granite as well, but was measured wrong and will now be coming next week, otherwise things are good.  It is absolutely amazing and surreal to say the least, I don't know what I would have done without my father the ace carpenter and my uncle the ace electrician.  This project has really spruced up our house and put smiles on all of our faces.  With the bulk of this project behind me I can once again focus on the site, tying videos and fishing of course, well, after family of course.  These two photos are also the first with the new camera, boy what a treat that thing is to work with.

The tying class next week is full, all 8 seats are taken.  As I said before, I will be ironing out a date with Grady for an articulated streamers class for the winter.  I apologize to everyone who was looking for me at the Symposium, but winter storm Alfred put me behind on the kitchen and I had no choice but to take care of business.  You all know that I am not a big fan of doing the shows, it's just not my cup of tea, but I was bummed to miss this past weekend.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Business Changes

As you all may have already figured out, I am no longer guiding.  It was a personal decision that was based around what is best for my family.  2012 would have marked my 10th year as a guide, and although I made some great relationships along the way, produced a great presence in the "fly fishing scene", it was becoming overwhelming keeping up with it all.  If this was my primary career it would have been a piece of cake, but unfortunately that just isn't the case.  I may get back into guiding again someday, I just don't know when for sure. 

I will however keep up this blog, or refine it a bit, the main website is going to disappear shortly, in fact it may be replaced with something new.  For all of you who have been so positive with my fly tying videos and fly design, no need to worry, that portion is going to remain, and I intend keep designing and tying fresh new patterns with old and new materials.  I am not quite sure yet if I will keep the fly store up, I literally just got back to the vise last night after a 6 week hiatus. 

On the flip side of things, I will be conducting some interesting fly tying classes on a yearly basis, one of which is coming up on December 3rd.  A second one involving various means to articulate streamers will be forthcoming in the winter months, and as soon as Grady and I decide on a date, I will post it on the blog. 

Thanks for everything folks, I couldn't have done it all without your support, and may you all have a Happy Thanksgiving next week.  I will keep you all posted on my efforts, stay tuned.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Breathe Of Fresh Air, Finally

Kitchen Coming Together, Courtesy Of Rich Sr.
Just A Taste Of The Devastation From Alfred, That's An Almost 3 Foot Across Oak Tree
 Where to start, boy it's been an eventful three or more weeks.  The kitchen is finally coming together despite winter storm Alfred kicking me square in the coin purse and delaying the project a full 10 days.  A week long power outage will do that unfortunately, but hey what ya gonna do I suppose.  The hardwood floors are in, lower level cabinets are set with uppers to follow this weekend, and the granite was templated yesterday.  If all goes as planned we should be fully functional by Thanksgiving.  We are hoping to be back in the house on Monday,  keeping my fingers crossed to say the least. 
Just a Taste Of The Fish That Were Caught Today

Our New Toy, Now To Figure Out How To Use It
Seeing as how it's been full bore renovation mode, long days, late nights, and work on top of it, I was long overdue for some river time.  I managed to sneak out today for a few hours and swing my day away with some of my BS Swingers  , managing a nice couple handfuls of browns, all thin and post spawn.  Nothing huge, but some really eager eaters as I would call them.  Even though I wasn't fighting for open water, I did manage to see some rather irritating things on the water.   Aside from some jerk who felt compelled to follow me around for an hour or two, I watched two chuckle heads walking all over some fairly newly dug Redd's in a more than obvious patch of gravel.  Let's just say I am so happy that I am not going to be guiding for a while as the antics on my home waters have me sick to my stomach, I just hope that the newly passed TMA expansion helps spread the fisherman out more next year and continue to expand the level of the fishery, time will tell I guess.

On another note, my very successful wife won yet another contest with work and got the family this nice little camera over here.  The new Nikon D5100 is a great DSLR with full 1080p HD video capabilities.  Now we just have to learn how to use it and I think you can bet that my future videos and photographs will be even more top notch.    Looks like I have the key ingredient to pump out those tying DVDs many of you have been inquiring about.  I'll keep you posted, but in the meantime if anyone out there can steer me in the right direction to a good photography class in my area, I'm all ears.  

Monday, November 7, 2011


Effective January 1, 2012, the Farmington River TMA expansion goes into effect.  For all of you who helped the FRAA, DEP and all other fellow flyfisher's make this idea become  reality, thanks for your hard work and support.  This is a giant step in the right direction for a great trout fishery. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thanks Everyone

If you have been wondering where I've been the last week or more after the kitchen detail, lets just say life has been upside down for the better part of  a month.  We just got our power back on yesterday, and I had to work through what was easily the worst storm I have ever seen.  To say it's a disaster area is putting it mildly.  A few near death experiences the night of the storm, left a very real impression on me as to what is most important in life.  Other than being uprooted from our house from the remodeling project, the storm compounded matters worse but needless to say with close family we are all doing well.  I will not be updating the website for some time, but wanted to say thanks to all of you who reached out to us during this unfortunate time.  I hope that all of you whom I know and were touched by the storm are recovering well.  Thanks....

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