Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Tying The Skittle Special

The Skittle Special Wet Fly


The Skittle Special is a variation of the Skittle and the Carrie Special.  It's a very productive pattern fished as a classic wet, or deep with split-shot. It does very well for me with split-shot and an egg trailing on a 12" dropper. 



Skittle Special Recipe

Hook: #10  3X Long 1X Heavy
Thread:  Black Flat-waxed
Abdomen:  Tying Thread / Peacock Herl / Orange-dyed Grizzly Saddle
Hackle:  Hen Pheasant Shoulder




Monday, September 24, 2018

The View Downstream

The View Downstream


It had been several weeks since I had been on the waters back home, and to say I was anxious would have been an understatement. with a flash flood only a month removed, the fact that changes could have occurred should have been 1st on my mind.   As I drove down the access road and turned to cross the spring, I noticed it appeared that nobody had been through there in a while. But nothing really registered.  Rigging, I did look out and notice that the stream appeared wider, and the hole below was far less defined than normal. still nothing.  For some odd reason, I grabbed my wading staff. Odd for me on this stretch?  It wasn't until I was 20 feet from the bank in waist high waders, my feet barely holding ground, and my wading staff humming and vibrating like a suspension bridge cable in a hurricane.  That...is when it hit me. Things had changed. I was not going to be able to turn around. So it was either get across or get wet, as each newly created channel challenged me as I crossed.  

Miraculously, I found myself dry, but exhausted and stumbling my way through the gravel on the far side.  Pushing reality out of my head, that on the return trip my weaker side would be downstream. It was a thought that I really was not prepared to deal with just yet.  Until then, I would fish.  





The morning did not let me down.  The water gave up 3 fat browns, all near clones of the 1st in the net.  All of which took a #14 Apricot McFlyfoam egg with a Steelhead Orange yoke.  




The trip back across was an exhausting 15 minutes.  With one very close slide of about 5 foot downstream.  Upon reaching the far bank I stood looking out over the water.  At first glance it looked so unchanged and harmless.  That, and the fact that I was focused on only getting a line in the drift reminded me of just how quick a situation can get ugly when we fail to pay attention after weather events.  


Monday, August 27, 2018

Small Bass, No Gills

Small Bass, No Gills


All bass and not a single gill on the night.




The dinks were on fire last night.  Small bass were the rule....beating the gills to everything.   Not a gill hooked or landed. An odd night for certain. 




Last light gave up  bit more size.


The fish were hitting with a lot more aggression than normally for this water.  It seemed as if that aggression had the rest of the pond sitting the evening out. 





Tuesday, August 21, 2018

All Things August

August Brown



The month of August, with only 3 weeks of the month gone by so far.  


 

Grand-Daughter Macy Jo arrived as blessing to the family. 




Our 2018 Family Beach Vacation is in the books with 50 years of tradition intact.




My youngest is about to open in "Newsies!", making us all proud.




"Pop-Pop" attained the status of 55 years old. Making me eligible for all the "Over 55" communities that are up-and-down the NJ coast.  



The Fig Tree is in peak fruit right now




And the icing on the cake....four fat little "post flood" browns came to hand.  Ensuring me that all is well on my favorite water. 

Nature has a way of showing us that water is unstoppable, and then in a mere instant, heals itself as if nothing ever happened. 

My best to the folks back home recovering. 

Its been busy!....But we are still here.  :)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

A Warmwater Sunset

The colors of Sunset


The colors of sunset,  as seen from the seat of my float tube.




The therapy of quiet time on the water is without measure





I feel better already!



Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Tying Little Gill Replacements

Little Gill Streamer


It's always a good sign when mid-way through a season, you are already re-filling patterns. 




A solid pattern from my book "Summer Bugs", this year a thin section of peach added has made a difference for the better. 




Sunday, July 1, 2018

Lilies, Gills & 100 Degrees

Lilies, Gills & 100 Degrees


When a June 30th forecast calls for 100 degrees there is only one real option for the fly fisherman....do chores....or be on a favorite warmwater haunt at dawn and fish until the heat gets the best of you.  I chose the latter.  Reality is however, that on days like this, I get excited the night before in anticipation of kicking through lily pads on water I know I will have most certainly have sole possession of.   

I was right. 



I decided to begin where I left off on my last visit, with the CGR 7/8 and Martin MG-7, rigged with an Orvis WF7F Warmwater line, hand twisted 12lb Trilene Big-Game leader & 8lb Orvis AR Tippet.  

Starting out with a #2 Gurgling Frog.  




The view of an empty lake launch as you fin away is Christmas-in-July, even if it was one day early.




The first few fish came to the larger Frog, but it was soon apparent the #4 Wog in its black attire was going to be the fly.  

This fish has the entire #2 Frog in its mouth...tail and all.




On this morning, where I would expect some bucket mouths to be hungrily lurking, I found none.  What I did find however, was several dozen gills with an attitude that they owned the place.  Several of which, on hook-set I would have sworn were bass. 




Gills in their post-spawn bronze are some of the prettiest fish that swim in my opinion




In the end I found enough fish to wear out my shoulder on a sunny morning with no wind, no fisherman and huge mats of untouched lilies in morning bloom.

As I was crawling out of my tube back at the launch just before 0900, two trucks carrying three kayaks and a 12' Jon boat arrived and a family was dragging a cooler to the end of the far pier.

The sun was on the water & it was already 93 degrees....time for breakfast.

Besides, none of these folks want to watch the old guy in the big "floatie" and fly rod laugh to himself and talk to bluegills.



Good fishing and happy 4th!




Monday, June 25, 2018

Cane & Silk Bow

Cane & Silk Bow


Had a chance to get on some trout water late Sunday with the 7' 3/4wt Cane & Silk.  After a humidity thunderstorm had finished it's work I hit Fishing Creek in Orangeville, PA for a couple hours. 



After losing 2 fish early on I was finally able to bring this 18" bow to the net.  Only fish of the day, in the final 15 minutes, on an apricot/Steelhead Orange McFoamFly egg.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Gurgling Frogs and Bass on Glass

Gurgling Frogs and Bass on Glass


Saturday brought an afternoon with no wind, and a chance to get out on the water with the float tube again.  SO, I crammed the Cumberland into the back of the car and headed for Glenloch. Aside from one other boat I had the water to myself, which is oddly the norm.  I began as usual with a Foam Butt Caddis, which did Yeoman's work on the gills and 1/2 pounders. But when I tied on the Gurgling Frog, the day changed. 





Foam Butt Caddis gills





The Martin MG-7....You can't beat them....Virtually indestructible.










The Gurgling Frog


First cast brought color




This guy engulfed a Frog



Then the big boys began looking up






They were tight on the bank, and would not let the first twitch after rings go by




The CGR 7/8 & Frog combo got as much workout as my legs did finning through lily pads. 


Sunday, June 10, 2018

CGR, Rain & Wogs


CGR, Rain & Wogs

(This Gill inhaled an entire #2 Wog)


It was a weekend of dodging rain, with only a short time offered for some walk-around-the-pond fishing to be had. 




Nevertheless, once I finally figured out what the soup du jour was to be, things improved.  The Gills were not active in size, but the bass were looking up towards dusk.




They ignored everything I threw at them, except for the Wog. 






 



Friday, June 8, 2018

A Tenkara Hit and Run

A Bit of Tenkara


And a short stop in the Valley




It was a hit-and-run.  No real time to fish, but just driving through the park wouldn't hurt anything.....Right? No sense driving around it just to avoid temptation. ...Right? Drive around Valley Forge without so much as seeing the creek?  Who does that?

Besides.....no time to rig up and don waders anyhow.  

Following the creek as I cut through I see it. A pool. A really nice  pool. Pulling over I sit and watch for a bit. The bank is open, with a foot or two of walking room. No need for waders!  When it hits me.....the Tenkara rod is in the wader bag!  Thunderstorms on the horizon....Need to beat the traffic....but the pool could be fished in 15 minutes. 




What happened next I will not say. But in 20 minutes 4 fish came to hand drifting a Valley Caddis. Three in the 7" range and one nice fish about 12".  All wild jewels. 

The Shurkill Expressway home would be much more tolerable now. 


Thought I would add a few notes of how I rig the Tenkara
(To show that I am an equal opportunity offender. )


The way I fish Tenkara, its more dapping rig than anything.  My rod is 12 foot. I use a 12' section of running line from a Cortland Sylk WF3F line and tie a perfection loop on either end. I add my Lilian loop of 30lb backing on one end, and 4' - 6' of 4lb Fluorocarbon to the other.  Both with simple overhand loops and a handshake connection. This setup allows me to fish classic Tenkara, light indicator/splitshot/nymph or standard dry flies.   I fish it no different than if I were to use a 12' Euro nymphing rod with only 12' of line past the eye.

In this manner I equally offend both the Fly Fishing and Tenkara purists.  :)