The Rats Nest

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Getting It On With The Juggernaut Jr. And Half Assed Hog Snare

Here's to big browns, big streamers and all that jazz.  The Juggernaut Jr. has earned it's keep in the rotation.  Just a couple of pictures from the high water holiday weekend.
Nothing Better In My Book

Nothing Like A Shovel-headed Brown

Check her out in the store if you get a chance, more colors to follow.
Click The Picture To Check It In The Store
And the other guy who ate the snare...
Browns On The Brain

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Articulated Baitfish Video

Here is the video I promised you all a few days ago on the Facebook page.  It's another articulated fly.  Look for it's appearance in the store shortly.  For now click the picture to watch the tying sequence.
Shad/Alewife Color Combo

Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day Weekend, oh and the Fly Store is live again, with a few new additions.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Weekly Water Time

Pretty darn good week if I do say so myself.  Just so happens I got to share a few moments with my oldest daughter Tessa stream side.  Her level of excitement was almost uncontainable to say the least. Although we only had a little time to spare, we made the most of it and she had a little taste of what trout fishing is all about, might even have another addict on my hands here.

It was really cool watching her excitement as I played a fish, flipped some rocks and spent a little time with her at the waters edge while her kid sister was in school.  Tessa is already a pro at catch and release, and handling her first brown trout has surely ingrained something in her that I think we will see a lot more of.  Next, to get her sister out there doing the same, looks like that is already in the works.  Can you say a family fishing trip?
Due to a busy schedule, some heavy rains back home north of the border, and a few other things, I was confined to my home waters yesterday.  Unfortunately I was unable to make an entire day of it, but, being the early bird that I am, I put in a solid outing as the result of getting up with the rising sun.  Luckily for me, I had the time to spend on the water.   A nasty thunderstorm greeted me at zero-dark-thirty and I was blessed with cloud cover all morning; perfect light conditions for slinging meat.  I began my day throwing a variety of patterns in shades of black to brown in various levels of the water column.  Black was the ticket initially and produced a few nice fish, including this poor guy missing his lower jaw.

I'd have to say, this guys condition really struck a nerve with me.  In the Trout Management Area of the Farmington, it is a requirement to pinch your barbs.  The first thing I do when I set foot in this particular river is mash mine down with my pliers.  This particular fish's condition is a direct result of not doing just that.  Couple that with the 12 inch piece of heavy mono filament protruding from the fishes rear end and it is a surprise that this fish is still alive and well.

After cutting some of the mono filament, I continued my search of some meat eaters.  I had to cycle through some colors after a while as the darker shades were getting nothing but followers.  Once I found the right  color it was game on for about 4 hours.  This guy above is one of the nicer one's that just couldn't resist the tan headbanger.  Picked this guy up in a most unlikely stretch of very skinny water.  Like I tell people all the time, never pass up even the most unsuspecting of lies.

Today was a numbers day by all accounts.  There were a couple of decent fish thrown in but it seemed like everyone wanted some streamer action.  A nice mix of recent 2 year olds and holdover fish came to net, but the action shut right off almost as quickly as it turned on.

Prior to lunch I switched over to bugs and brought another nice compliment of trout to hand.  The caddis were a little late hatching today, and the fish I managed to fool all fell for larval imitations today rather than pupal.  Fishing rivers never ceases to amaze me with the constant change, this is the primary reason why trout fishing just never gets old for me.

I will be working all weekend long, so I probably wont see any of you out on the water.  I hope you all have a great Memorial Day Weekend with friends and family.  If you do get a chance to wet a line, good luck out there.   I'll be working on the book this weekend in between work and putting together a couple of tying videos to make up for the lack of them the last few months. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bait N Switch

Between work, starting the book project, completing the last couple of orders left on the table from last month, answering emails, and balancing the most important part; family, I managed to brush everything aside and get some head clearing water time.  As usual I started early with big guns and then switched it up for a change. 
Speckled Caddis

The streamer bite was slow but I managed a couple of nice fish on the big bugs before I realized it was time to change it up.

A Caddis Upside Down
The caddis have been nothing short of prolific this spring in my neck of the woods, and I haven't had the opportunity to take part in the fray.  Seeing various colors and sizes about, I figured it would be fitting to see if I could tempt a few browns with some pupa patterns.  One problem though, due to filling everyone's fly boxes but my own these last couple years, I neglected to check my own personal stocks and managed to be stream side with about 6 tan colored pupa, but an array of all the other colors.  Wouldn't you know it, the hot color just so happened to be the tan one today too, go figure. 
The Fly That Saved The Day

Luckily I managed to escape the day with a couple tan pupa to spare, but before I lost a few of the trusty 6, I managed some nice fish too.  I hadn't fished my Classified Caddis Pupa in a couple of seasons, and boy was I happy I broke her out today.  You ever fish a really hot fly only to forget about it for a while?  This pupa was my bread and butter when I was guiding and she never did disappoint.  Evidently she hasn't lost anything as she drummed up some quality fish today.  It felt kinda dirty drifting nymphs for a change.  I will be the first to admit that I have been fully consumed with throwing large streamers and swinging for the fence pretty much all the time.  It was nice to rest the shoulder from slinging big junk, replacing the 8 weight with a 4 weight. 

I guess you could say it was like swinging a Louisville slugger for 4 innings then changing over to a wiffle ball bat for the last 5 frames.  At any rate, look below and you'll catch my drift, you'll also figure out by the number of shots which brown I had a lot of love for. 

In the meantime, the store will be back up in running soon, and with a few additions too. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

So What's This Big Announcement??

If you've been following my pictures on Facebook, you probably think my big announcement is the release of one of my latest flies, a jointed crayfish that has yet to find a name.  This guy coming in at just over 3 inches is not only articulated, but she boasts a pair of 4mm rattles embedded in the carapace section, and a pair of mini sculpin helmets in the tail .

To say that I am pleased with this fly is an understatement.  I strive to produce one solid pattern a year and this one is a home-run.  The cool thing about my crayfish project is it's a three part venture.  What's that mean you ask?  I have two more crayfish patterns to unveil in the months to come.  I'll let the suspense kill you on that one folks but for now here is a few pictures of the articulated crayfish to wet your whistle.  A video and appearance in the store to follow, but once I get things back in order over here, so don't hold your breathe on seeing that really soon.
Front View

Side View.

So, what is the big announcement?  The fly is cool but this isn't what I was talking about.  You all saw me talk about trying to put a DVD together at one time, which sort of got put by the wayside as a result of many things, mostly lost enthusiasm.  Well, in all honesty I have had a goal of sorts since I delved into the commercial side of Fly fishing and it  just so happens that the goal will be coming to fruition.  I just recently signed a contract with Stackpole books to write a book detailing several of my fly patterns.  I am very excited, humbled and pleased to say that I will be working with Jay Nichols on this project, and although it will be a very detailed and time consuming task, it is one that I am very much looking forward to.

As I get acclimated to the task at hand, the fly store will reappear for you all.  Until then I'll be working on a labor of love......

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