Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A School of Pine

A freshly minted school of Ralph's Little Pine

Opening Day in Pennsylvania hit the box hard....but only in one compartment....the RLP bin was empty after only one day on the water. The task at hand was to remedy that, so with yesterday's arrival of more Micro-Pine Squirrel Strips via US Mail, the vise got warm. 

Next up, taking each one for a swim.

See you on the water!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Penns Grannom

Penns Grannom

The Penns Grannom is a favorite of mine on most of Pennsylvania's waters, and in this color variation it is tied specifically for Huntington Creek in Central PA. This pattern was featured in my book "One Small Trout" and has been a very productive pattern for me over the course of many years.

Penns Grannom Recipe

Hook: #16 Standard Dry
Thread: 8/0 Brown Uni-Thread
Abdomen: Mottled Turkey Tail
Under-Wing: Tan CDC
Wing: Ginger Elk
Thorax: Olive Brown Orvis Spectrablend
Hackle: Silver Badger

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Bit More Glass....Conclusion

A Bit More Glass....Conclusion

After a full morning on the water and several fish caught with this little rig, I can say that I am thoroughly impressed. The rod handles the DT5 line with ease while retaining it's classic glass feel. The Cortland Retro II reel balanced perfectly as well. 

While it's not going to "throw" a heavy rig with indicator, it will "manage" it quite well if need be. Such was the case this past weekend. It handled both a #14 Beadhead and a weighted streamer with split-shot as well as any soft action 5wt will.

This rod is soft & feels like glass, but has some backbone as well, landing an 18" brown with ease while in decent current. Yet not so much that the 12" fish it brought to hand still felt like they should on glass. 

The action was felt through the entire cork. The reel seat, which is under scrutiny by many, held the reel as perfectly solid as any other rod in my stable. Built and dressed in a class well above it's price range, this rod is by far the best rod for under $100 I've ever bought. 

The Christening of the CGR

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fishing Creek, PA

Opening Day 2015 Fishing Creek. Pennsylvania

Good weather and perfect water greeted us on our first PA trout opener together. A day where my son would choose the Tenkara rod over his standard fly gear, and we would both enjoy a day on the water. With flow a little high but crystal clear, it was a matter of choosing the productive pockets. 

On a day of choices, the fly reel took a back seat to one fisherman's time on the water.

Jake was the first of the day to hook up! The day would provide him with several fish and a proud Dad.

1st fish of the season, a 16" Pennsylvania Rainbow

There is no way to describe a perfect day on the water, without the smiles shared.

Even Dad was able to hook up with a few fish. 

It was a banner day and a perfect start to the 2015 season. Here's hoping that everybody gets on the water and best of luck this season!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Tenkara Project - Part 2

The Tenkara Project - Part 2

This past winter at the request of my 11yr old Son, we decided on a new Tenkara rod. As spring broke I began researching the gear, along with all the different rigging options. I worked with level line, a furled line, a hand tied tapered level line / leader configuration and lastly a floating fly line option. After lawn casting tests and one test on a local pond, I decided on the fly line option.

With an old WF3 Cortland Sylk line laying around of no use due to a cracking head portion, I began with a 12' foot rear section of running line. On the rod tip end I tied a simple fishermens knot, and attached a 3" loop of backing via girth-hitch to the loop, which again girth-hitched to the rod tip. On the forward end I whipped a small loop with flat-waxed tying thread, touched it with superglue, then coated it all with Bug-Bond. For the terminal end, I went with a 6' section of 5X Flourocarbon tippet loop-to-loop.

It didn't take him long to work out the kinks on the water, which was amazing since it was his first time handling the rod on water. The line layed out casts from every angle with exceptional accuracy. We began with an REC beadhead under an indicator, and he quickly hooked up with a hefty Brown of 18" that after a long fight, Dad lost before a picture was possible while landing. I was amazed how the rig handled a #14 beadhead and 1/2" thing-a-ma-bobber.


Changing tactics, he decided he preferred to fish without the indicator. So I tied on a #10 Little Pine Streamer and added 2 BB sized splitshot 12" up. This proved to be the pattern of the day.

The Little Pine Streamer

Jake working a nice rainbow

The rod held its own, as did my son as he worked several fish quite well and brought them to hand. I did my best not to lose any more. 

A fat 16" rainbow that gave him a run for his money with the currents as they were.

The end result, the rod worked extremely well with the described rigging. It even drifted dry flies very well. It showed it was able to flip weight cleanly. However, it is not without limitations. He did hook a very nice 20+ brown that he had hooked for about 5 minutes. However, being on the point of a gravel bar, and not being able to follow downstream....when the fish decided to head down, it ended very quickly.  Without the ability to maneuver and follow, large fish are effectively a hope and pray reality.

Taking some time to fish the reg as well myself for a short time, this is definitely an option in my mind. I would not feel short-handed with this rig, as it would not limit fly choice. It handled large fish very well also, with water/current being the most limiting factor. Jake is hooked, which was my hope. He decided he much preferred the Tenkara over a standard fly rig for moving water.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blue-winged Olive Nymph

Blue-Winged Olive Nymph

This pattern has been pulling duty for me across most of my waters for several years now. I prefer it fished without weight, along with another heavy nymph or a split-shot.

BWO Nymph

Hook:  #14-18 Standard 2XL Nymph
Thread: Olive Dun Uni-thread
Tail:  Barred Lemon Wood Duck
Rib:  Fine Gold Wire
Abdomen:  Ginger Hareline 
Thorax:  Ginger Hareline
Legs: Barred Lemon Wood Duck
Wing-Case: Dun Turkey Flat (Coated with Bug Bond)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Egg Sucking Mite

Egg Sucking Mite

The Egg Sucking Mite is tied as a Hellgrammite pattern. Being opportunistic feeders they will consume roe, which prompted this pattern. The hot-spot of orange makes this pattern extremely effective as it tumbles. This ESM fishes well as both a tandem or solo fly, either dredged deep or bounced through riffles.

Egg Sucking Mite Recipe

Hook:  #8-4 Curved Nymph
Thread:  6/0 Black Uni-thread
Tail:  Black-dyed Pheasant Tail
Abdomen: Black-dyed Pheasant Tail
Rib:  Large Black Ultra-wire
Wing-Case: Black Thin-skin
Thorax:  Black Wooly-Bugger Chenille
Legs:  Dun/Black Centipede Legs
Bead:  Orange Tungsten

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tying the Skittle

The Skittle

The Skittle is a very steady performing all-purpose nymph for both warm and cold water. It does excellent on trout both as a stand-alone nymph or fishes as the trail fly in a tandem rig. In warm water it's a great trailer behind poppers. I tied this pattern originally using chartreuse wire. However, it does very well with orange and yellow wire also. Tie your favorite flavor.

Skittle Recipe

Hook:  #12-16 Scud/Emerger
Thread:  Olive Uni-Thread
Bead: Gold
Body: Chartruese Ultra-wire / Peacock Herl /Dry Fly Hackle