Tuesday, June 18, 2019


There is something calming about a small pond in the early morning, just before direct sunlight changes the reflection and thermals begin to ripple the surface. The yellow of the lilies stand out in isolation as if painted by Picasso himself on a glass canvas. Watching for a few moments in order to take it all in, you begin to see small rises among the lily pad clusters. Than a run-and-chase on a bluegill bed by marauding pickerels catches your eye. Yet no sound aside from the songbirds scattered about and the gobble of a roosted turkey in the timber behind you.  As you begin to strip and extend line with false casts, the sound of the click-pawl reel feels both foreign and yet oddly perfect in the moment. Watching as the rings from your fly dissipate your mind is telling you to move the fly when suddenly it is gone in a boil.…...morning Bass.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Friday Networking

Fishing Creek PA

Not often does a full weekday to fish, perfect water conditions & perfect weather coincide with a good friend being free for the day.  Rare though it may be....yesterday, it happened.

Jim High-sticking

It wasn't planned, but given the day we took advantage of the opportunity.  Nymphing was the order of the day & the fish cooperated. March Brown patterns proved the most productive.

The Far-and-Fine reminded me of just why it has remained my favorite rod.

My most productive pattern was the RP Starling

The best kind of network

The best fish on the day went to Jim.  

This Bow won for the best run of the day when hooked as well. A 50 yard rocket downstream.

There are times when everything just comes together.  Yesterday was one of those times. 

Great fish & even better company.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hunting the Clusters

Hunting the Clusters

Not a single gill this afternoon. 

All the bass were staged in the clusters and feeding aggressively.  Get the fly within 6" of a cluster and things would happen.  A foot away brought nothing.

The two flies on the day were the Blonde FBC.

The Blonde FBC is tied identical to the original below, with the substitution of Olive Centipede legs and Barred Ginger hackle. 

And the Gurgling Wog

Monday, June 10, 2019

Tying the Firecracker Popper

The Firecracker Popper / Diver

The Firecracker Popper has been in my box since early 1990's in this form or with similar materials.  It produces on every piece of warmwater haunt I have wet a line on. I refer to it as a "popper" due the fact that whether trimmed as a popper, slider or diver, the tying process remains the same. The original version was a popper.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Short Pond Walk

The CGR and X-Gurgler

With the evening landing me 5 minutes from a favorite pond, it only seemed right to take a walk around with the CGR and a few bugs.  

Tying on a #6 Black & White X-Gurgler, a 1/2 dozen fish were caught looking up around the lily clusters. Same fly all night. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Valley Creek Jewels 2019

The 1st Valley Creek Jewel of 2019

With 24hrs since the last thunderstorm, I thought the water in Valley Creek should be lower and hopefully clear.  It was settled down when I arrived at 7am but a tad bit off color. SO, the decision was to go with nymphs.  

The stream held to its reputation as being a fickle piece of water, causing me to repeatedly go back to my boxes.  In the end, a #16 Squirrels Nest is what brought all of my fish to hand.

Tying the Squirrels Nest Nymph

Upstream I was able to pull a matched pair on 2 consecutive casts just before the pool was attacked by a a pair of labs and a retrieval dummy.  I was hidden behind the near-side support wall, but they were fun to watch.

They both had nice color

I always enjoy visits to Valley

The wild browns are beautiful

Four fish on the morning isn't bad for water that can leave you wanting for a single fish on any given day.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Kickin' Among the Lilies

By the look on this guys face, he is not a fan of Gamakatsu Stinger hooks.  

This weekend found the Bull Gills colored up and aggressive, along with almost every other fish in the pads.

I love the myriad of colors found when Gills are spawning

Rust Breast and Blue

Black and Green

Yellow Hen

Red and Bronze

Even the Pickerel were chasing the WOG

After a half dozen of these I was tired of retying chewed tippet

It was the first trip to this particular water where the bass were looking up as well. A welcome sight to see them cutting beds in the shallows.

A CGR 7/8 Five Year Review

After 5 years one thing has remained consistent....the CGR 7/8

5 years ago I strung up 3 CGR's, the 7' 4/5wt, the 7'6" 5/6wt and the 7'6" 7/8wt.  All three have been very nice rods on the water, yet with rods time is the true test of a rods performance.

The 5wt took damage in a fall and was repaired with a new reel seat.  Yet even after repaired with an upgrade it seldom gets used, as personally it really has average qualities as a 7' 5wt.  

The 6wt is a great rod in its on right, proving its worth on both warmwater and as a great winter trout rod. But it is now at a friends house in Florida, which tells me it was replaceable in the end. 

The 7/8 however, is a warmwater companion that I have had trouble leaving behind. It has kept several much higher end rigs gathering dust. Lined with an Orvis WF7F Warmwater line, it casts like an extension of my hand and has stood up to some rough work. The spigot ferrules are as tight as when new, as with the rest of the rods build quality. It has the strength to lean on bass in vegetation, the backbone to muscle inshore bluefish on the coast and has done very well with heavy streamers for trout.  But first and foremost, it is my rod of choice for float tubing.

Day 1 with the CGR

5 years of hard labor has proven the CGR 7/8 to be not only an exceptional rod value, but an exceptional rod all around.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Float Tube and Summer Bugs

First 2019 outing in the tube

With the weather cooperating, it was time to dust off the Cumberland and prospect for gills.

A bluebird day with just a tad bit of a breeze.  It was enough of a breeze however to wear my but down quickly.  

1st fish of the year from the tube was a fat colored-up Bull

After running through my box on a particularly picky day, they settled on a blonde Foam-Butt Caddis

Tying the FBC

All Bulls on the day. No Hens and no bass.

Some big fish for this early, and all very aggressive on the rise

A nice start paid for with wind-beaten legs and hip-flexer's

Its that time of year again


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Restocking The Original

Original Version of the GRHE Tied and Fished

The first nymph I learned to tie

I learned this pattern, minus the bead and on a standard nymph hook, during a tying class in 1989.  It was the first nymph we were shown.  I still tie and fish it often along with a number of other GRHE variations.  I think after 30 years, it is here to stay. I was down to 2 of them in my box.....time to replenish.

Beadhead GRHE
HOOK:  #16-12 Scud
BEAD:  Gold
THREAD:  6/0 Black
TAIL:  4-5 Pheasant Tail Fibers
RIB:  Fine Gold Wire
ABDOMEN & THORAX: Hareline Haretron Natural Rabbit
WINGCASE:  4-5 Peacock Herl

The three variations I keep stocked in my boxes.
Rear to Front
(The Original GRHE, The C2C Nymph, The GRHE tied with Ginger Haretron and PT wingcase)

The C2C tying Video covers all tying steps required to tie all three patterns.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Let it rain!

Let it Rain

When you're 2 hrs away with only one afternoon to fish...and its raining?  

You fish.

It was my second trip hitting a new stretch of water, and once again high water.  Thankfully not off-color, but being shorter in stature the higher water limited my ability to fish most pools how I would have liked to.  But no fish has ever been caught by sitting in a living room complaining about the rain, so as my dad would say, "Fish don't mind rain Bud...cinch up your waders, pull up your hood and get in the water". 

The day would eventually prove a challenge. My line/rod proved to be not quite what I needed for a heavy nymph rig, which caused much more time untangling and re-rigging than normal.  Throw in a stumbling fall forward in knee deep water which my knuckles took the brunt of as I tried to save my rod. An event punctuated with a bit of colorful narration by yours-truly as the sleeves of my waterproof wading jacket quickly filled with trout temperature water.  Fortunately for us all, the rain had driven the ears of children from the stream. 

In the end, both due to a bit of diligence and a lot of pure stubbornness, I did manage to bring one nice brown to hand.  An event courtesy of the TC2.

My kingdom for a collision of time and nice weather!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Spring Bass on Top

Spring Bass on top

Courtesy of the X-Gurgler

Spring Bass are warming up along with the weather.  Cutting through the shallows and aggressive on top.

They are looking up.  Have to love that.

Just about time for the tube.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Spring Openers 2019

Spring Openers

The Spring openers for both warm and cold water have come and gone.

Trout season offered up a nice buttered-up brown that chose to take an Apricot and Steelhead Orange McFly foam egg.

While a few days strung together in the 70's brought the fish in the local shallow ponds to the top.

The X-Gurgler was the only thing that caught their attention

While no big bulls in the shallows just yet, they were  aggressive enough to keep the dinks away.

One lone bass at dusk decided to leave its lily pad shelter

Good luck to all on this year waters.