Wednesday, October 29, 2014
It was christened on the Little Naches River. Finding its way across the Olympic Peninsula to countless coastal feeder streams where to use that rod was the driving force on most of those trips. It caught my first Wild Steelhead on a dry fly, a 34" beauty of a fish. It landed my first 20"plus sea-run Cutthroat. For 5 years it beat its way through mountain streams and old-growth timber. And when it finally made its way back home to the East Coast with me it was showing its age. The 2nd eye on the base section was gone, and the cork had loosened from a poor glue-up on my part.
When it made it's first trip to the home-waters where my dad first took me trout fishing, it still looked fine at-a-glance. But things were not good. My Old Ross Colorado was dinged and beat up, so I replaced it with a Teton Tioga #2, and tried the new Cortland Sylk line. The rod was still limping long, but with every trip the loosening cork grew worse.
Shortly afterwards while fishing the Tulpehocken Creek in Central Pennsylvania the cork began to split due to the years of pulling double duty as a hook keeper . It was looking bad, and I was beginning to see a number of glass rods gaining popularity. But could I part with the little rod? Without being able to make up my mind, and not having the ability to confidently repair it myself, it was sadly relegated to the corner of my den, where it collected dust.
The final Trip (or so I thought)
Despite the failing cork, it still performed well
Several years later, while talking with a longtime friend on a fly tying forum, the topic of the rod came up. He made the charitable offer to rebuild/repair it if I was willing to buy the materials and ship it. Taking him up on the offer, I got everything in order, with the hopes that he would at least be able to save the squeaking and cracked cork. However, in short order he was sending me reports, with a surprise to be found out upon receipt of the "new" rod.
18 Years after it's Christening
Not only was it reworked, repaired and re-wrapped.....but he aptly named the little rod after my first book. Which in reality was perfect, since it was along through most of the pages.
Fast forward a few more years. The little rod is now better than when new, and still bringing fish to hand. At nearly 25 years old it is by far the most endearing piece of gear I own and one of the sweetest casting rods I've ever held.
I often think back when fishing it, and try to think of all the waters, fish and people it has brought into my fly fishing life up to this point. With hopes, one of my children will one day catch a trout on a dry fly with this little glass rod in hand...and hopefully realize the history being carried forward.
What makes a simple piece of glass so special
Friday, October 24, 2014
The Kettle Drake
The Kettle Drake was originally tied to fish over the Brown Drake hatch of kettle Creek Pennsylvania. It has since proven itself on most of the North-Central waters and several southern spring creeks of Pennsylvania where the Brown Drake hatch is prevalent.
Kettle Drake Recipe
Hook: #12 Orvis Bead-head
Thread: Brown 6/0 Uni-thread
Tail: 3 Moose Body Hair fibers
Abdomen: Mahogany Turkey Biot (coated with Bug Bond)
Thorax: Olive-Brown Orvis Spectrablend
Wing: Medium Dun CDC
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
A Few Catskills
Tonight was a night for a visit back to the Catskills. Three of my favorite patterns were the object of my attention. Tying Catskill patterns for me is like indulging in a cross between fine art and a course in history. I'm torn between the nostalgia of the patterns, and the compulsive need to get them "right". They all seem to be patterns that draw you in to tie them, cry to be fished and beg to simply be propped up and looked at.
Queen Of The Waters
See you on the water !
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
The Chuck Caddis is a long-standing pattern, and remains a very effective one coast-to-coast. I first learned this pattern more than 25 years ago, and still tie and fish it faithfully.
Chuck Caddis Recipe
Hook: #12-8 Standard Dry
Thread: 6/0 Rusty-Brown Uni-thread
Abdomen: #25 Cinnamon Caddis Hareline
Under-wing: Wood Duck CDC
Thorax: #25 Cinnamon Caddis Hareline
Friday, October 10, 2014
The Appleseed is a personal pattern of mine and one that has served my box exceedingly well over the course of the past 8 years or so. During the Apple Caddis hatch this pattern turns those splashy rising fish into fish-in-hand.
Hook: #14 Scud
Thread: 6/0 Olive Uni-thread
Abdomen: Tan Micro-tubing over Olive Uni-thread
Thorax: Olive Ice-dub
Wing-case: Mottled Wild Turkey Tail
Hackle: Light Furnace Hen Neck
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Friday, October 3, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
The Golden Retriever Recipe
Hook: Standard 3x long Streamer #10
Thread: 3/0 or Flat-waxed Nylon Red
Bead: Gold Tungsten
Underbody: Half-shank of medium lead wire
Abdomen: Tying thread
Tail: Tan Marabou
Rib: Peach Estaz