The Rats Nest

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Late September Brown Trout

The recent rains we received forced me to play hookie from work and spend yesterday morning chasing wild browns on a favorite stream of mine somewhere in New England.  Where I ended up received more rain than we did here in Connecticut, and it provided some decent streamer fishing.
This Guy Is A Bit Of A Glutton

I managed a few handfuls of fish like this, purely wild untouched browns that obviously have eye's bigger than their stomachs, hence the mouthful.
Nice And Colored Up

After tangling with a few of these beautiful specimens, a couple good drive by's by some larger brethren, I got this football of a brown.  I apologize for the quality of the photos, but I am not a master at the timed self portrait.  Guess I'll have to work on that.
Untouched Fatty

Headbanger Sculpin Strikes Again!

Just so happens, I wasn't the only guy out there having a day of it.  Peter Simoni sent me an email filled with elation about a fine fish that he caught the same day on the Farmington.  Peter has really gotten hooked on the European Style of nymphing and is a big fan of the Super Simple Nymph as an anchor.  Here is a picture of the 20 inch brown Peter tangled with, great job Peter and thanks for the report!
Photo Credit:  Peter Simoni

In less than a week the first of the two streamer classes will be here, and I am really looking forward to sharing one of my favorite ways to fish with all in attendance.  Good times.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Revelations, And Getting Back Into A Groove

Where to begin, oh I don't know.  Maybe explain why the posts are getting less frequent?  Nah, that's pretty obvious.  I guess I'll start with some recent fishing adventures from the last couple days.   With my latest acquisition to the rod arsenal, I was very torn as to where I wanted to fish, and what I wanted to target.   Small stream maybe....  No, not feeling it.  Maybe a river from back home?  Ya, that sounds good.

So I skipped out of the house at o dark thirty, full thermos of coffee, dew on the truck and a cool 37 degrees at daybreak.  Glad I packed the fleece hat for my bald noggin, otherwise I would have been fairly miserable.  Luckily, as the sun rose for the day, so did the temperature to a very comfortable 65 degrees.  Greeted with swarms of tricos, yet no fish interested, I opted for my #1 option.   Streamers.  There is just something about watching a brown Trout turn itself inside out to eat a well placed streamer, and that old adage we streamer fishermen know so well, "the tug is the drug", echoes in my head, but you all know that's nothing new from me.

Luckily, the fish cooperated and I had quite the morning.  For streamer fishing, this day was to be a numbers day, with several fish in the 12-14 inch range landed.

I tangled with several wild browns and holdovers alike, even losing battle with a real hog of a brown.  I managed to stick one nice fish that was around the 17 inch mark, and just spectacular to look at.  Even though this guy was rather thin, he made up for it in colors.

Even though I have a thirst for larger fish, I couldn't help but admire this gem of a  brown trout.  What he lacked in size, he made up for in heart, not to mention his spectacular patterning.  I guess a 4 inch streamer was no match for this guy, I hope he makes it as I think this little bugger has some serious potential.

After tangling with several nice trout, I decided to explore a bit and see if I could drum up a real quality fish to round out my trip.  Thankfully, I made the right decision by not packing it up and heading for greener pastures, and I was rewarded with this really nice specimen.

The take from this fish was nothing short of vicious.  I had been working this deep run with several casts, and on this particular cast I let my tan & yellow HA-Snare sink a little deeper.  On the second strip this big buttery slab came unglued and hit the snare like a freight train.

After snapping a few pictures, reviving my friend and sending her on her way, I decided it best to head back towards home.  With some time on my hands, I broke out the new Sage Circa, and put her through the paces on my local waters.

Two words come to mind when fishing the Circa.  "Slow Down".  The Circa although a graphite rod is very much reminiscent of fiberglass.  Slower action, flex into the handle, but unbelievably accurate.  Being a bit more flexible than many of the faster action rods which have become the standard, this rod is ultra forgiving for light tippets, and I found this out in short order with the first few fish that I played. I won't go into great detail, but in short, I really like this rod.

The river is still running in my head from my last outing, and the relaxed casting stroke that became rhythmic with each presentation is penetrating my soul.  I'm not sure how or if that time spent waist deep in a gently glide effects you all, but for me it cleanses my soul, brings me back to earth and reminds me to slow down.

I'll leave you all with a few customary fly pictures.  I see that it is only fitting that they be of streamers from one of the many orders I have stacked up on my desk.

My eyes are hardly open now, and I will leave you with these images.  I can honestly say that I am as much of a kid today as I was when I was just a boy.   I barely slept the other night, filled with anticipation of my upcoming excursion.  I guess you could say it never gets old......

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Water Time...

It was nice to get back out onto some water today.  A few hours on my local river was a nice reprieve from what I have been grinding out lately.  Although I didn't manage any monsters today, I did round out a nice couple of hours with a few handfuls of fish, all with the exception of one on dry flies.
The River If It Had More Water In It

The only thing that detracted from my outing, was the poor shape that several of the fish I landed were in.  When I say poor, I am referring to the missing jaws, lips and other various open sores that I observed on the mouths of my catch.  It is very apparent to me that several people who are practicing catch and release in that particular stretch of water, are not using the required barbless hooks.
Several Of These Guys Today

On the bug front, there were several caddis emerging this morning as well as the sporadic Isonychia.  The fly that managed to do the trick for me today was a rusty color Shucked Up Emerger in a size 14.  When presented well, the fish obliged rather nicely.

I just put the final touches on another rather tedious selection of streamers.  This nice batch, Bugger Beast included is on it's way to Canada in the morning.
A Nice Selection Of Tasty Morsels

On a final note, after several requests have come in for some semi realistic baitfish imitations from both friends and customers alike, I have been busy tinkering around with some new materials that have come across my desk in the last few weeks, in hopes of creating something worthy.  I'll give you all a little sneak peak into what I have gotten into thus far, with a little more creativity I may be on to something.  Rich's baitfish series?  Only time will tell.....
Hot Off The Vise

Close Up Wet

See you in the next post....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fly Showcase, The Cellar Dweller Streamer

Some of the fly pictures in my store needed a face lift, this one especially.  I figured it was long overdue, and for a pattern that really is a bit different than most.  You all hear me harp on the place that Jig style streamers have in my arsenal, well this is one of my earlier creations that has sort of fallen by the wayside as the result of some newer more creative efforts.
Brown Cellar Dweller

Don't let that deter you from tying these guys, they are very effective and a quick tie by all means.   I have updated the pictures in the storefront so I hope you get the gist of what this tasty morsel is all about.
Olive Cellar Dweller

For more on how to order the Cellar Dweller, check it here:  Cellar Dweller

Monday, September 10, 2012

Latest Video With It's Addition To The Store Front

I know it has been a few months since I posted a new video to the library, and even though this one is a little tardy for the Yellow Sallies, it will come in handy in late January, Early February for the winter stoneflies.  Here is the video:  Quill Body Stonefly
Quill Bodied Stonefly

This pattern is a pretty fast tie and a very effective one for any smaller to micro sized stonefly.  Heck, in a pinch you could cut the legs off and use it for a caddis fly if need be, or just alter the colors to do the same. Enjoy the video, and check the pattern out in the store, more color combos will be added in the future.   You can check the selection out in the store here: Quill Body Stonefly
Add caption

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Fly Showcased In The Store

Slowly but surely I am continually adding new stuff to the store.  At some point, maybe next year perhaps, I will have a whole new subsection in there for you tiers.  But for now, here is the latest addition, the Farmington's one and only Winter Caddis Pupa.
The Hi Vis (firefly) Winter Caddis Pupa

I did the video on this a few years ago, so it was only fitting to add the pattern to the store.  As you can see from the photo, this is the "hi vis" version, as popularized by Emil, one of the Church pool's regulars.   Emil coined the bright versions as "Fireflies", often confusing many of the customers heading to the local shops for these bugs.
Top View

 In the store you'll be able to choose from the standard all black or brown/black versions, or the high vis versions for those who have a tougher time seeing these little guys on the water.  The fish only see the dark colored under body while you the angler can see the bright backed fly.  Win, win in my book.
Underside View.

To round the post out, what would it be without some recent fly pictures.  Here is a nice couple of photos of what I have spun up lately for some of you out there.  Enjoy the photos and see you all soon, hopefully on the water as you can all tell from my last quick post I am in dire need of some river time.
Mixed Order Of Streamers

Custom Order Of Pike Sized Hog Snares. BIG AND BAD ASS!

Anybody Jonesing For These Like Me???

Monday, September 3, 2012

Some Fly Pictures And New Tying Materials

Hey what the heck, I'll start things off with a picture of another fly order.  I try to put up pictures of the orders that I really enjoyed tying, or were a nice mix of patterns.  This particular one is on it's way to a nice guy out in California, hope it sticks a few piggies.
Micro Nymphs, And Some Jointed Streamers

As you all can see, my free time has been pretty much spent affixed to my vise (not complaining), so a few things like videos and promised gear taken a backseat. (more on that soon, I promise).  Before I forget, I want to give a warm thank you to all of you who signed up for the two streamer classes next month.  I was amazed when both classes filled within a matter of hours, and I even added a couple seats to both.  I am currently working with Grady at Upcountry on working out a third date, so as soon as we get that together, I will let you all know.

If any of you in the audience have been around me, you probably know all too well how passionate I am about our lovely sport of fly fishing, and even more so of fly tying.  When new materials and tying tools come out, I get a little giddy as the gears in my little melon get turning.  Every other year about this time, Hareline Dubbin sends out their bi-annual master catalog.  Hareline, is in my opinion, one of the finest distributors of materials for the retailer, and commercial tyer alike.  They are always looking for cutting edge materials, and only distribute first rate products.  Aside from that, as a regular customer, I can honestly say that they are some of if not the most pleasant people to work with, so much so that I think others need to follow their business plan.  .

Well, it just so happens that this fall is one of those years when the new catalog arrives in the mail, and as always, a nice little care package of sample goodies to inspect, play with, and hopefully figure out that missing ingredient or replacement for something that isn't readily available.  Let's just say that Hareline has a whole slew of new product that will be filtering out to your local fly shop, and of course to guys like myself who have the itch to get creative.  Like anything, there are some that are a little more appealing than others, everyone has different ideas and tastes.  What may be really cool to me may not be to the next guy.

So, enough of the banter, and on to the goods.  Here are a few of the things that I think are really cool and caught my eye.  The first thing that I think is a great little product is the new Loon Mixing Cup.  I can honestly say this little guy is an ingenious little gadget.
A Must Have For Any Bench

The cup is made of a silicone like substance and is pliable.  The cup is meant for use with any of the new light curing resins.  Just squeeze some into the cup, use what you need and then hit the residual resin in the cup with the proper torch.  Once it cures, bend the cup and out pops the left over cured resin, no clean up needed.  Great little product, I've used mine a bunch of times already and I can't imagine life without it. (well, you know what I mean)

The rest of the stuff I am going to detail are all tying materials, and not in any particular order of importance either, I like them all.

Senyo Intruder Wire

The first is pictured above, and as you can see I have already ordered up a complement of each color.  This is going to be an integral piece for all of you out there wondering where to source the wire for building the connections on articulated streamers.  The product is brought to us by Greg Senyo, and is marketed as Senyo's Intruder Wire.  At first glance, one might think it is primarily engineered for trailing hook style streamers for anadromous species.  In actuality, although it can be used for that purpose, it is actually the best choice for articulating streamers.  This stuff comes in a bunch of colors, unlike it's predecessor, beadalon, and ais available in two sizes for various sized streamers.   I have already been using this stuff and it gets my two thumbs up, great product.

The next pile of stuff is a compilation of a product that has become an industry standard for adding flash to any size fly.  Ice dub has been around for quite some time now, with dozens of colors available.  Hareline has added a few new products with the material that have already gotten my gears turning.
Ice Dub Does It Again

The first of which is the two different Shimmer Fringes pictured on the right.  In a nutshell, they took the long fibers and fused them on one end, allowing the tyer to just cut a section and tie it in, great easy concept.  This should open up some avenues for some really easy and effective streamers, who knows, maybe I'll have a video for you on that.  The other products are the Shimmer Sheer and adhesive backed Shimmer Sheer on the left.  Essentially Ice dub fused into a sheet meant for wing cases, wings, cheeks or any other place you want to add some flash.
A Few Of The New Flymen Products

The next batch of interesting products comes from the folks at Flymen Fishing company, makers of the Fish Skull.  Out of all the new products that they introduced, the two that got me jazzed the most were their new molded Living Eyes, which come in a half dozen sizes all the way from 5mm up to 10 mm, in four lifelike colors.  These are some of the nicest molded eyes I have ever seen, with real holographic imaging in their construction, and should finish off any baitfish/streamer pattern very nicely.  The second of note, are the new Senyo Articulated Shanks, which are built a little heavier with an upturned eye, in a bunch of colors and two new sizes, 25mm and 40mm for you steelhead and salmon chasers.  I have a bunch of these on their way, so expect to see some more swinger style streamers in the store as a result.

Grizzly Flutter Legs

The new Grizzly Flutter Legs by Hareline are a cool new addition to the rubber leg category.  They are silicone, flat instead of round, and are in a pile of color combinations.  They move even more than round rubber, at least the folks at Hareline claim, and they look really good too.  Expect to see some of these incorporated into some of my patterns in the near future.
Micro Lateral Scale

The last product that really caught my eye was the new micro sized Lateral Scale by Heddon.  The original product is stellar, but for most of the freshwater streamers that I tie, it is a bit too large and doesn't quite move enough for my liking.  This new size should fit the bill nicely, and hopefully it will be a hot seller, so much so that they offer the other color combos in this size in the not so distant future.
CCG Molded Eyes.

That pretty much rounds out the new stuff that really appeals to me, some of the other things of note that you may see me playing around with in the near future are the new Frosted Tipped rabbit strips, plastic dumbbell eyes by Clear Cure Goo,  Veevus threads, Hot tipped crazy legs and the Arctic Fox Zonkers for those big toothy critter patterns.  Keep your eyes on the blog, it should be a fun and creative few months ahead.....

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