Friday, December 8, 2017

Cane and Silk Glass Review

A little bit of Ice glass from Cane and Silk

Rocky Stream Series

7' 3/4wt 3-piece 

Ice glass with Chestnut wraps with Lemon tipping



So today the doorbell rings and the mail slot makes it's ceremonial metallic slam as letters hit the floor. "Mail AND a package!"

Outside I find a grey PVC tube addressed from Mike Kattner at Cane and Silk, and a chance to review another rod.  It's Christmas come early!



A Standard Build 7' 3-piece model from his "Rocky Stream Series" in "Ice Glass". At first glance it is classis Cane and Silk. Mikes builds a flawless rod. The anodized hardware and walnut spacer are clean and perfectly set. The cork is a very nice grade and tapers well-formed to the winding check. 




The chrome snake guides are spot-on straight, as is the orange agate stripping guide and the alignment dots are correct. The wraps are flawless and the lemon yellow tipping is a perfect touch.





The spigot ferrules are very nicely done, seat firm and have a nice 1/2" of spacing between sections. The rod came in a 3-section flannel rod bag and a shipping tube, but no rod tube. 



Choosing a Cortland DT4F Peach line on an Orvis new generation Battenkill II reel, the rod balanced exactly as you want it. Lawn casting was a great surprise. This little rod is no glass noodle. It is responsive, loads almost instantly with the DT 4 line, and threw 30ft loops as naturally as stirring a spoon in a cup of coffee. 

Having already owned two C&S glass Dark Honey rods one each in both Standard and Eminence build, I am admittedly a fan of Mikes work. But I for one have been very  hesitant when it comes to the clear/white/ice glass rods fad. Maybe it stems form my dislike for the early Wonderrods? Nevertheless, I was a bit skeptical. However, the quality of build, smooth into-the-grip loading has won me over. The tip tracks straight, with no bounce on the end of your casting stroke that I truly dislike on many overly-soft glass rods. I think the ICE will grow on me.

Next stop....Water.

Cane and Silk
Mike Kattner

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

All I want for Christmas, is my Winter Fly Box

As the Holiday Season approaches, visions of cold fingers, ice-filled guides and large trout dance in my head.

Its the time of year when big head-shakes and reel screaming runs turn my attention to dredging those deep pools as the snow flies.




That being said...in the winter I tend to trim my box down to a much smaller pallet. 

Over the years I have identified the select few patterns I will turn to when confidence begins to get sapped by the elements. So when fingers are cold and toes are no longer existent as far as my sensory system is informing my brain....I lean towards the flies I know "will" work. Why muddy the waters with anything other than my boots?

I have a system. Not a system unique or mine, but a system none-the-less that works for me. I prefer to use an "anchor fly" more so than split-shot whenever possible. So I tie several patterns that pull double duty as both split-shot and productive fly. 



(Left-to-right)  

Coyote Ugly, Little Crappie Fly & Big Skittle 


All three patterns are tied on heavier hooks than their original, with full shank underwire and tungsten beads for added weight. They get you on the bottom quick, but not to be undone, they catch fish on their own as well.




Winter is also egg time. I lean towards 3 particular color combinations. All of which are tied with McFlyfoam.



(Left-to-Right)

Illiamna Pink, Steelhead Orange & Apricot / Steelhead Orange



The Apricot / Steelhead Orange being my 1st choice


As my primary fly, I have an even 6 patterns that I tie and stock for winter trips. All of which have been with me for a considerable amount of time on the water. I know that one of these 6 will bring fish to hand on any given day.



(Left-to-Right)

Green Skittle, REC, C2C, RP Starling, Tactical Caddis & Ice Zebra Midge

For me, the winter is big fish time. Most likely due to my focus on fishing slow and deep, while targeting the places that big fish haunt. A style of fishing that lends itself to a much tighter focus with my fly box as well.  

Hope it adds to your box as well.

NOTE:
All patterns listed above are found in full tying video within my "Pattern Archive".








Friday, November 17, 2017

Tying the Ice Zebra Midge

Ice Zebra Midge


The Zebra Midge is a time proven pattern on countless waters. I tie and fish both the original and this "Ice" version, which is a favorite winter pattern. 






Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Perfect Fall Day on Fishing Creek

Aimee's 1st Trout on a Fly


With the weather and water improving, and a chance to fish with my daughter on more productive water than our last outing, we chose to meet up with a good friend on Fishing Creek. The goal was to get Aimee on her first trout with the fly rod. Well....... 



The day started off clear and cold. Numb fingers and that first cold wade across was an eye-opener.



But despite the chill and numb fingers the fish didn't seem to mind. Egg patterns and caddis emergers were the early flies of choice.




And before long this fat bow decide to take an egg. 

The ice was broken!


This Rainbow was a fun ride with the Cane & Silk glass

And Aimee hooked into one of the prettiest male bows I've seen in quite a while.





The last and best fish of the day though, belonged to the rookie, with this hog of a bow.








I think she is as hooked as the trout were.

But even better than catching the fish, was the opportunity to share them.




An absolutely perfect day.






Friday, October 27, 2017

Tying the Mink Coated Retriever

The Mink Coated Retriever


When a pattern such as the Golden retriever performs for years as successfully as it has, it's only natural that patterns it spawns will tend to perform just as well. The MC Retriever is one such  pattern.


MC Retriever Recipe

Hook:  #6 - #10 Standard 3xl Streamer
Thread:  Red Flat Waxed Nylon
Under-body:  .020 Lead Substitute Wire
Abdomen:  Small Peach Estaz
Rib:  xSmall Copper Wire
Wing:  Chestnut Mink Zonker Strip



The Mink Coated Retriever Tying Video





Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Best Laid Plans....

Colorado Visited


With Business looming I came armed with gear in hand and hopes of getting a chance to find water and linking up with a friend. However, the best laid plan can and do go awry. My chance was a few hours on a cold morning in Clear Creek Canyon, then back to work before the sun ever hit my hat.




A beautiful stretch of water which I feel would have come to life had the sun been given the chance to work its magic.




I was able to lip 2 fish, and even feel a few head shakes, but no fish to hand.  And in the end was left haunted by a need for more.


Howard,  My apologizes for not being able to make it happen.  Hopes for the future.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

AVAILABLE NOW!! "Summer Bugs"


Available now!!

Click the link above to order


               "Summer Bugs is a celebration of where the Author's fly fishing and tying roots are anchored. From this collection of warmwater journal entries, to the fly patterns that fill his personal box. All 17 patterns within these pages (complete with a QR link to all 17 full tying videos) are proven performers from farm ponds to smallmouth water. Whether you walk the banks, kick through lily pads with a float tube or scull a Jon boat through shallows, this fly box will cover you through all of your warmwater fishing."





Tying the Little Olive Caddis Nymph

Little Olive Caddis Nymph



The Little Olive has been with me for a number of years now and is a favorite for fall and winter on local waters. Easy to tie and very effective, it is a great all purpose prospecting pattern. I fish this pattern both alone and as the bottom fly off of a dropper.


Little Olive Caddis Nymph

Hook:  #16 Caddis Emerger
Bead:  Gold Tungsten
Thread:  8/0 Olive-dun Uni-thread
Abdomen:  Olive Micro-tubing
Hackle:  Natural CDC Puff
Thorax:  Peacock Ice Dub


Sunday, October 8, 2017

First Proof is here!

FIRST PROOF


It has been a long road with more than a few twists and changes, but the first proofs are finally here.  Layout is very close.  Proof reads and final edit is still to come.




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Construction Complete!

The New Den


After much frustration, the Den is finished and the bench is back together.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall Topwater

Fall Topwater


A few hours on a Friday evening, calm winds and mild sun.....equals prime topwater.




Black was the soup d'u jour and the crappie were all over a black Mini-Squirrel Popper



The Mini-Squirrel


Only a handful of gills on the night, but the bass turned on as the sun went down. 




All-n-all a nice way to end the week. 


Good luck to all on the water as the leaves begin to change.



Friday, September 8, 2017

Father Daughter Time

Father Daughter Time


And christening the new Cane And Silk 7 1/2' 4wt



With a rare morning which left both of us available and a stream to drive past on the way home, we jumped at the opportunity to hit some water and get my oldest daughters feet wet for trout on the fly rod.

Unfortunately for us the previous 2 days of rain had the Tulpehocken high and dirty. Hunting for a normally shallow gravel bottomed section, we found the only place along the flooded banks that would allow access with casting room. Either way, casting and line management was our goal and we were able to get that in. But unfortunately for her the first fly rod trout didn't make the books. 

It was however the christening water of a new Cane and Silk 7 1/2' glass rod as well.  Eventually I was able to dredge up one muddy-water trout on the morning. The little rainbow took a #10 Coyote Ugly nymph. 


The Coyote Ugly 




The Cane and Silk was perfect.  Just quick enough to toss a light indicator/nymph rig, and a dream to cast with a Cortland 444 Peach DT4F line. The build?......flawless. What can I say?  Mike Kattner is a joy to work with and builds a wonderful glass fly rod.  


The takeaway from the day was a wonderful time fishing side-by-side with my daughter, punctuated but not defined by the single muddy-water trout that was brought to hand.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Summer Colors

Morning Lilies and Glass


This morning a took a few hours at a local pond with hopes of capturing the last colors of Summer. On queue, the temps have begun dropping and our yard barometer Fig tree gave us a tip of the hat by providing us with the last of the fruit. Autumn is closing fast.



Fresh Figs from the last of the remaining on the tree.  
Seems to be about 2 weeks earlier than normal?


Soon those brightly colored poppers on top will switch to streamers and nymphs.


While the bass were on a hiatus this morning, the water was filled with eager average-sized gills as if they knew as well, the coming change. An enjoyable morning, while in the back of my mind I tried to paint the picture to carry me through once the top-water seasons wraps itself up.