The Rats Nest

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Morning Coffee Pontificating, (speaking out loud actually)

My Morning Ritual Cup Of Joe, In The Same Mug Every Day

Anyone else out there tired of this weather like me?  I am not one to get seasonal depression, but this winter has already been a stark contrast from last year when we had maybe 3 days of deep freeze and my local waters were fishing good, really good in fact.  It has been a good six weeks since I wet a line, as the desire just hasn't quite been there with these temperatures.  I've done my share of cold weather fly fishing, and the older I get, the less appealing it seems to become.  I haven't even purchased my fishing licenses for this year yet, which is beyond delinquent for me.  Maybe I'm just being overly frugal or something, lord only knows

One thing that has happened, is my wife and I finally, I repeat finally got our basement (part my tying office) 100% back in order after last years kitchen project.  It is nice to tie in an orderly area once again.  I guess this all was the byproduct of scrambling to get things in check for an assessor to check our house.  It all paid off as it sounds like we are going to be able to refinance our house and get out from under that miserable mortgage rate we had when the market was high, (I won't get into that mess).

As a result of bulk tying for the past weeks show in Marlborough, I am a little backed up on orders at the moment, like 17 orders backed up to be exact.  I am tying every extra minute that I have, and am currently chipping away at one of the more lengthy ones at the moment.  If all goes as planned, I should be able to knock that number in half by weeks end, or maybe more if it all works out as I hope.  The beauty of the cleaning project was we now have a play area for the girls in the same room as my tying operation, so the kids and I can hang together sometimes while I tie a couple here and there.  Of course, only if they wanna go down there to play, but inevitably they wanna spin magic on one of the vises too.

I will say this though, I have a couple new colors to release in the store on a couple of streamers, as well as another articulated streamer for the store.  If I get to where I need to be, the next post will have some pictures and details on both, along with some fly pictures from this weeks work.  I've got a bunch of presentations and tying engagements over the next 8 weeks, hope to see some of you there.  Here's a quick list of whats coming, and a few others that are still in the works to be announced later:

Bears Den February 16, 2013
Ramsay Outdoors, Streamer Presentation & Tying February 23, 2013
Fly Fishing Show Lancaster PA, March 2-3 2013
Albany New York TU March 20, 2013 Farmington River Presentation
PSU Flyfishing Club Streamer Presentation March 28, 2013
Central Mass TU Farmington Presentation April 4, 2013
Croton Watershed TU Streamer Presentation April 18, 2013.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Video Review, The Stacked Deer Hair Diver By Pat Cohen

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending a majority of my time at the Marlborough Fly Fishing Show with Deer Hair Master, Pat Cohen of  Sharing a table with Pat, I was able to see up close his off the charts talent when it comes to tying with deer hair, and most notably, the art of stacking. 

Pat and I met a few years ago at the International Fly Tying Symposium, and this past fall we found that we both have several similar likes in the realm of fly fishing and tying.  Pat, in my opinion rewrote the script on stacking deer hair flies.  His passion for the subject is immediately evident when you watch him demonstrate the techniques that he employs, as his enthusiasm for chasing anything that will eat his creations. 

Deer hair is always a medium that seems to bewilder many, if not intimidate others when trying to tie with it.  I can attest to this as it took me a great deal of practice before I became good enough to continually pump out consistent patterns with the stuff myself.  I for one, have always enjoyed fishing and tying flies which employ this great material, but like anything, if I walk away from tying with it, I need a refresher to get back on track tying with it successfully. 

While at the show tying next to Pat, I picked up a copy of his new DVD, The Stacked Deer Hair Diver.  After watching this video in it's entirety, I can honestly say that every fly tier NEEDS a copy of this in their library.  Plain and simple, it's that good. 

Everything you need to know about tying a stacked deer hair diver is in this video; from the tools, materials, tips, tricks etc, everything is covered top to bottom.  Heck, Pat even designed his own Hair  Packer to pack the tightest bugs on the planet.  The video gives you all the tools you will need to attack any facet of stacking hair, and it is done clearly with multiple screen angles, and concisely, in a very easy to understand format.  Pat is an excellent teacher, and his ability to lead you through the entire process is second to none. 

I won't divulge too much as I don't want to ruin the video, but I can honestly say if stacking deer hair gives you the fits, this video will answer all of your questions.  Do yourself a favor, if you're at the Somerset Fly Fishing Show this weekend, swing by Pat's table and pick up this video, or order online at his fly store, you won't be disappointed.  My deer hair bugs have gotten better already and I can thank Pat's video for making it easier.

Post Flyfishing Show Craziness

Last weekends Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough went very well.  I was fortunate enough to share a table with Pat Cohen at, and it is pretty safe to say we had a nice crowd most of the weekend.  Unfortunately, I barely had a voice and found out upon my return that I have an upper respiratory infection.  A little antibiotics later and I'm back on the road to recovery. 

I am going to keep this post pretty brief, as I have a follow up post for you all that will be a bit more in depth, a review of sorts, you'll see in a day or two.  I am back on the vise pretty hard as I have a good pile up of orders on the desk to hammer out.  Here is a picture of some custom work that I am doing, and from the amount of buzz it created overnight, may be something you see me offer up full time.  Some of my favorite flies of all time are Rangeley style streamers.  When I got the invitation to fully customize a set using substituted marabou wings, I couldn't resist.  Here's the byproduct.
Custom Work, My Favorite

Lastly, the year long contest is in full swing, the number of likes got a huge boost last night courtesy of the folks over at Rock River Rods, thanks guys!  Give their Facebook Page A like too!  As a result, I pitched a couple more flies in her last night.  At the rate we are going this box will be a real treat to whomever wins her.

The First Dozen
Brook Trout Articulated Ice Pick's Added To The Box Last Night, 14 Flies And Counting

Thursday, January 17, 2013

On The Road Again......

Tomorrow morning I will be on my way a bit north to Marlborough Massachusetts for the Fly Fishing Show.  I will share a table with friend and fellow tyer, Pat Cohen, the deer hair wizard. 
I'll Be Tying These And In A New Color Too.

I've been fighting off a good cold and my house has been ravaged by the flu, so I am going to make the most of this occasion, I'll even have a pile of streamers with me for the table so stop on by.  I'm keeping my tying limited to a handful of streamers all weekend as you can go crazy bringing everything but or including the kitchen sink.
Groupies Too, For Those Of You That Are A Little Frightened By The Headbanger

Hope to see a few of you there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hot Topic, Farmington River Pipeline

I am first going to say this, I am not quite sure what the environmental impacts what I am about to discuss will have, but then again, if you research this issue online, I don't think anyone really knows as there isn't a lot of information about the subject at all. 

The gist of the story is, the MDC is supposedly working some proposal with Uconn Storrs to run a pipeline from the Barkhamsted and Nepaug Reservoirs across the state to the Mansfield Branch of Uconn.  Water is a hot commodity and the needs have increased to run the campus, and adequate resources are not close by from what I gather. 

What I have read thus far, is the term "Millions of Gallons" of water would be removed from the watershed to support this venture.  What I have also is the Barkhamsted Reservoir has a surplus of millions of gallons of water too, and seeing as how it is a supplemental watershed like Nepaug, as the river gets a bulk of its cold water from the Colebrook and Hogsback reservoirs, I don't quite know what the impacts are.  I guess I would like some explanation before I take a side on this matter, but from what I have read, it doesn't sound so good. 

At any rate, if you are greatly opposed to this proposal, look no further, the FRAA has generated a form letter that you can cut and paste and mail to the attached party.  If you feel strongly about this read on. 

To: Jason M. Coite

University of Connecticut – Office of Environmental Policy

31 LeDoyt Road,
Storrs, Connecticut 06269

    Mr. Coite, I am writing this letter to voice my concerns about the Metropolitan District Commission’s proposal to supply water to the Storrs area from the Barkhamsted and Nepaug Reservoirs via the Farmington River.  The Farmington River has become a world class fishery and recreational destination that brings a large number of visitors to the area, and money to local businesses.   This is only possible with a consistent and adequate supply of water.  The current proposal would remove millions of gallons of water from the river on a daily basis, the loss of which is sure to be harmful to its aquatic environment.  Recent dry seasons have resulted in extremely low water levels and dangerously high water temperatures, both of which would only become more pronounced with removal of such a large amount of water.  Future water levels are very difficult to predict and there are no guarantees that current averages will be sustained.  Please consider other less drastic, more local alternatives to supply water to UConn.

Thank you for your time in this very sensitive matter.


Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 Year Long Contest/Schwag-athon

Those of you who know me well might think I'm generous, crazy, out of my mind or maybe all of the above.  I try to keep things fresh each year, last year the fly deals were great, they pushed business in the beginning of the year and boosted my customer base tremendously.  I have been desperately scratching my head at a way to spread the word, build the social media page while also giving all of you out there something to shoot for. 
Wanna Win Me Full Of Flies?  Read on.

Well, I think I found just the thing to do that.  Starting now, and running till December 31,2013 I will be running a year long contest to win A Brand New Bugger Beast Loaded with flies tied by yours truly.  Yeah, that's right, you read it correctly an entire suitcase of flies. 

Well, whats the catch Rich?  Simple, all that I ask in return is you like the Facebook Fan Page.  Pretty simple right?  Here is the great thing about this contest too, all of you who are already liking the page are eligible to win the prize. 

Here's how this is going to work, as the number of likes grows, I will add flies to the box and show pictures in the blog as the box continues to grow.  I will start the box off with a dozen articulated streamers to get things kick started, and then add to it as the numbers grow.  If we surpass some target numbers that I have in mind, and that box is loaded to capacity, I may add another prize to the mix.  So, in essence the more people who like the page, the prize(s) get sweeter. 

I plan on putting up a side bar on the blog that will link to the year long sweepstakes, share it, spread the word, this one's on you folks.   You have the ability to make this one really cool, and add to the number of prizes if we can get things going.  Share it, tell your friends get it out there, you could win a suitcase of streamers or maybe something more........

Monday, January 7, 2013

Surrounded By Minutia

For some reason, it's been all about the smaller stuff as of late.  I can't tell you how many size 16-22 flies I have tied in the last couple of days.  What I can tell you however, is the Micro Hydro Larva is now available in the store. 
Click The Photo To Check Em Out In The Store.

Like it's big brother, it is sealed in with Hydro Clear Cure Goo making for an awesome finish and a very durable fly.  I am offering this little gem in the colors seen.  For more on the fly check it in the store.  For now, here are a few pictures from the last few days of minutia....
12 Dozen size 20,18,16 Olive/brown DDT plus a couple samples

CDC loop wing Emergers

Mixed Mini Nymphs

4 Dozen Size 18 Dohiku Grub Hooks Beaded And Ready For Some Materials

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Busy Season Already

With each new year, things change and typically for the better.  I want to take the time in this post to update all of my loyal fans, customers and friends alike.  Last year being my first true  full year in the commercial fly tying realm, things went great, in fact much better than I had anticipated.  Turnaround times started out on an average of 3-7 days from date of order.  That is all but a memory my friends.  As I state on my store front, the orders are filled case by case in the order they are received. 
Here's To  A Great New Year
As things have grown and the number of orders has increased, completion times increase.  That being said, if you are hoping to place an order last minute in hopes of getting them that week, this probably won't happen.  Think ahead, please take what I have to say to heart, order early, get your order in line.  4-6 weeks should do it, but if things look crazier, I will let you all know.  Now I don't want to cause any mass hysteria (that sounds funny), but if you want a selection of hendrickson emerger's for example, don't drop an order in the middle of the hatch hoping to get them that day for the spinner fall. 

The Pile Grows
2013 has already started out running steam ahead, and I have a full plate from now till the beginning of April.  Between shows, presentations and larger orders piling up, don't be shocked if the posts become a little infrequent.  What I will try and do is stick to 2-4 new videos a month to keep you all tying away.  If you wanna keep up to date, follow the Facebook page, I will be putting up photos, quick tidbits and the like there often.  There will be some new additions to the fly store too, including some materials that some of you have had difficulty finding.  I hope to expand that section of the store as the year moves along.   I have already learned that TMC has done away with the 108 spbl hook, so I will have to do some improvisation to continue to pump out the Shucked Up Emerger
Streamers Galore

I hope to make 2013 another exciting year for both new patterns and fishing adventures so tag along and enjoy the ride.  For now here are a few pictures of some recent orders out the door.

Steelhead Swingers

More Streamers Of The Large Sorts

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