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 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? 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.  :)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Tying The Wild Turkey Emerger

Wild Turkey Emerger

When the Tan Caddis are bringing fish slashing on top, I almost always tie this on first. Drift unweighted in the film or just below. 

WT Emerger

Hook:  #10-14 Caddis Emerger
Thread:  6/0 Olive-dun 
Rib:  Small Gold Wire
Abdomen:  WT Tail
Wing-case:  WT Tail
Legs:  WT Tail
Thorax:  Wood Duck CDC

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Gills Pickles

Gills Pickles

With a few hours Sunday morning and the weather calling for local thunderstorms, the goal was to get in little time on the water.  Upon arrival it was a little eerie with no wind at all and clouds closing in. 

The small pond was like glass, with no signs of feeding or cruising fish.

Starting out with a Dun Foam Butt Caddis the fish came to life, with a steady rise of gills along with a few small bass.

When the rain came at a drizzle I kept didn't seem to mind. Then lightning lit things up and I headed for the pavilion 

Since a fight with lightning is never a good thing, I sat things out, using the time to re-rig a badly 
beaten setup.  

After the rain stopped the fish decided they had seen enough of the FBC, switching to the X-Gurgler was the hot fly.  That is until the lightning returned and I finally packed it in.  

The rest of the day was not lost to the rain however. It gave time to knock out another of my favorite things....Garlic Dills.  5 quarts canned plus another 1/2 gallon brining in the refrigerator.  Now the painful 3 week wait.  They should be enough to carry the summer. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tying The Cow Dung Variant

The Cow Dung Variant

The Cow Dung Variant was originally tied out of necessity due to a lack of materials at the time. This version proved effective and has remained in my box ever since. An excellent trout pattern in its own right, it is once of the best panfish wets I have fished. Both alone or as a trailing fly to a  bassbug, 

CDV Recipe

Hook:  #16 Standard Wet
Thread:  Olive-Dun
Tag:  Gold Holographic Mylar
Abdomen: Tying Thread
Hackle:  Furnace
Wing:  Lemon-Barred Wood Duck

Friday, May 11, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Streamwalkers Journey

Streamwalker's Journey

Fishing The Triple Divide

By:  Walt Franklin

As a fan of Walt's blog Rivertop Rambles  I was intrigued when I saw the announcement for this book. While I have enjoyed his style of Piscatorial ramblings I also have an intimate knowledge of many of the waters he haunts as well. This can be a two-edged sword however when an authors thoughts reach print, as like it or not we all see much of the same water through our own shade of glasses. Water in which you have been touched by often seems slightly off when described by another.  So it was, with hesitancy I cracked open the covers of this book. 

My worries proved unfounded however after the first few passages. Walt brings you to the places he loves and completes the setting for you as you read along. His love for the Triple Divide region is obvious and though at times his passion for it may surpass the casual reader, it is never enough to cause one to take pause or put the book down. Quickly he brings you back to that which brought you to these pages. The desire to share his journey along waters he is blessed to frequent, enjoy time on the water with fly rod in hand through his words and get to know the author just little bit better. 

Well written and greatly enjoyed!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Whole Kit-and-Caboodle

What started off as one small bass on a Foam-Butt Caddis....

....Soon turned into one Chain Pickerel short of the whole Kit-and-Caboodle.

The bass were on, but wanting nothing to do with anything large. Even an FBC was was proving to be too big.  But after a bit of trial and error, a simple foam spider tied on a #10 Mustad 94832 did the trick. 

Before you knew it, the usual suspects began showing up

Gills and Pumpkinseeds

Even the Crappie joined in

But the bass were aggressively feeding from end-to-end. With some of the bigger fish in a mere 6" of water. 

All thanks to  the little X-Gurgler

Which took such a beating that when the folded head tore loose I trimmed it down to a standard head and it kept  going. 

The X-Gurgler