Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shout Outs Anyone?

First let me say that lately I have not been blogging a lot for a number of reasons.  Actually I could do a long post on why I have been slacking. I am hoping by writing this post tonight I will regain my momentum for the week.  This post is all about giving three guys a shout out! 

First is Owl Jones and his new and improved site  This guy makes me regret not getting into blogging when I first moved to GA, because I feel like if I had known about him, our paths would have crossed once or twice.  Anyway I know about him now and his site always makes me laugh, but still provides some fishing insight which is why I read these things in the first place.  Go check him out........ OH and the man can rap!!!!

The second is Ben over at Arizona Wanderings.  This was the first blog I started reading regularly, and the first I added to my reading list.  Ben is a great writer and has posted some of the most well written posts I have read on the net.  He has a deep love for fishing, but also posts on others thing like hunting, cooking, fly tying and his rambling reviews are great if you are looking to buy a piece of gear that he might own.  The reason I was drawn to this site was because AZ is a state I have always wanted to visit, but never wanted to live because I thought there were no trout there.  I was wrong - there are and Ben has mastered catching them.

The last but definitely not least is one I just started reading.  The title drew me into this one - it is called Small Stream Reflections. I am some what of a small stream junkie.  People cannot understand why fish 5 inches and less give me so much joy, but really the fact that they are wild or native is just amazing to me.  Alan gets it, and last summer when the small streams were all too hot and in the danger zone he stopped fishing them.  He respected that fact that the fish were under enough stress and went after the lunkers in the nearby dam fed river.  Lastly Alan does amazing work at the vise, he is someone who keeps the Rangeley Style streamer alive.  This is something I would like to get into, and he seems to have lots of knowledge on the subject and is very skilled at making and using them.

Alan I tied a couple of these Ausable Bombers' because you speak so highly of them I hope they produce.  Does it look okay?

I read only 7 or 8 fishing blogs on a regular basis and will showcase the rest another time, but for now go check these guys out. Lastly I wanted to send out a little teaser about a post that will be coming up on Sunday.  There will be big news coming Sunday, and the ramifications of this announcement will forever change Outfitted for Life.  So.........   Stay tuned. 


p.s. I owe my readers one post on the light Cahil.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Looks Good Bro!

First let me say sorry for not getting to my Cahill post faster, but I have an update from the great lakes instead!  My brother Jason has sent me pictures of some of his winter successes.  Actually he needs his own section on my blog, because he always does well in his adventures.  He got a really big buck this year, and has been keeping me up to date on all his ice fishing trips as well.  Here are a couple shots of him and his fish.  Maybe if I can get some regular stories and pictures from him I will give a more regular update on all his outdoor adventures too. 

A couple of nice looking yellow perch, he says they are about 14 inches.  The only real comment I get about this picture is that they were about 14 inches and that he and a buddy got them somewhere in northern Michigan.
Here is a small pike.  

Well the wheels are turning about this little Jason section, but for now this is just an up date from my brother in the midwest.  Thanks for the pictures bro, keep up the good work.


Saturday, February 19, 2011


Two of the size 20s on the right is the Light Cahill and the left is a parachute BWO.

At some point yesterday I sat down and started cranking out dry flies.  I had been tying them before but only in spurts.  Yesterday though I got on a roll, and was unstoppable.  I sat down and knocked out a good thirty plus dry flies.  I was tying mainly BWO's and Light Cahills, and the master plan is for me show how to tie a Light Cahill in a future post.  I was really thrilled with my progress on this fly box yesterday so I needed to share.

It might not look like much but this box was as barren as a desert when I stared yesterday.  

As I said I will be highlighting the Light Cahill pattern in an upcoming post.  I hope everyone in the northeast enjoyed the wonderful weather yesterday.  It was unseasonably warm yesterday and along with tying lots of flies I took a rod out and had a little casting practice in the back yard.  Yesterday was a good day, and there are more to come as long as the weather continues to show signs of spring.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nymphing and Zug Bugs

The first of the flies I am going to show is another nymph pattern.  Sometime in my three and a half years in Atlanta I figured out how to catch trout on the nymphs.  So I am sorry for the high nymph content lately but I found it to be a highly effective way of fishing even when the fish were not hungry.  When I fish I always start with a nymph, but will abandon it for a dry fly faster then a vegetarian who found out the veggie burger is really beef.  I have spent days on the river where the dry flies never came, but I nailed the trout on nymphs.

Nymphing can be as in depth and precise a dry fly fishing with respects to matching bugs in the water to patterns in the box.  It can also be dumb down which is the method I try to use.  I like to have a couple patterns to cover a wide range of bugs I might find.  By using peacock herl for the bodies you can cover lots of colors.  The herl will give your fly many different colors from greens, reds and yellows and even a silver shine.   Many of these bugs have very pronounced tails and so this is the second thing to keep in mind when setting up a simple but effective nymph box.  The funny thing about nymph tails is that they do not change as drastically as the rest of the fly does in its short lifetime.  So in the world of nymphs there are no tails, two tails, and three tails.  If you cover those bases and pair tails with the right colors you can have a great nymph box with less then half a dozen different patterns.

One of my favorite chameleon patterns is the Zug Bug.  This pattern often passes as caddis larvae and  cased caddis, but I have also fooled fish that were feeding mayfly larvae with the Zug Bug as well.  I tie my Zug Bugs with three tails so that is why it can pass as a mayfly from time to time.  So this fly is a work horse on the water and very easy to tie.

I am told Zug Bugs can be used to catch carp as well as trout. 
These photos show step by step how to tie a Zug Bug.  A step that is not pictured is the weight.  After putting a base layer of thread down I like to put some lead wire down and wrap the gaps a little. You can see some of the lead in the second picture also, in that picture you can see I tied in three peacock herl ends for the tail.  Then you need some more herl for the body, and a little silver tinsel for ribbing.  Wrap everything toward the head but before you finish you will need to tie in a mallard flank, and some red saddle hackle.  Pinch them both back and finish wrapping a head in.  Trim the tail and the wing case, and I like to add a touch of head cement to my non bead head nymphs.  I do like to tie a couple bead head versions of my nymphs just to add more shine, weight and variety to my nymph box. 

With all this nymph talk I think it is time to start showing some dry flies.  I have finished tying all the normal dry flies I like to carry.  Now all that is left is to tie a couple strange dry flies, and then move on to some streamer patterns.  My winter tying is coming to an end and with a couple warm days in the forecast maybe this winter is finally coming to an end. 


Monday, February 14, 2011

Got you nothing for Valentines day

This is a little preview for things to come starting with some flies.  I am always surprised to get complements on my fly tying from other folks who fly fish and tie.  In the last couple weeks I have gotten a couple comments from other bloggers complementing how nice my flies look, and some from my friends who do not blog.  So with the cold of this winter I have been doing a lot of tying, and not enough blogging.  My fly boxes are filling rapidly at this point, and I think it is time to start blogging more.  So until the spring thaw comes I will be doing posts on fly tying.

The other exciting preview comes in the form of some new gear coming my way.  William Joseph WST waders to be exact, this whole thing is being facilitated by the wonderful OBN.  I am very excited with prospect of new gear just ask Sarah, because I just stopped jumping around the house five minutes ago.  After it really set in that I was getting the waders Sarah asked what I will do if things are still frozen here?  Well that is easy I will be driving to PA and fishing there a couple times.  Sarah had an exciting day as well because her blog (The Strength of Faith) which has become a fairly popular food blog was accepted into the Foodbuzz featured publisher program.  

With all the excitement of the day and us both having a lot of luck I was thinking I should maybe play the lottery.  I did not play it, but I still have time to get to a gas station.  When we finally sat down for dinner and as I looked across table at her I said "hey Sarah I didn't get you anything for Valentines day, sorry".  She looked at me and said "I didn't get you anything either", then we both laughed a little, and went on eating.  All the great news we got today just had us so excited and happy that laughing was all we could do.  Well as I said at the start of this post check back a couple times this week because I will be posting some fly tying posts.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm Snow Crazy

For the past couple weeks I have been tying flies inside as it snows and blows outside.  I spent all last week in my outdoor room tying flies.  Currently I am tying dry flies and am proud to say the nymph box is about finished.  I have no picture of the finished product as of yet, but some shots of it filling.  Sometime in the past week it hit me that I am going through major fishing withdraw.  It started with me reading some old blog posts from some of my favorite fly fishing bloggers.  Old posts from May, June, July and August about trout, bass, and carp fishing.  Then I started watching online videos of people trout fishing in New Zealand, the mid west, and even Ireland.

With my progress at the vice, and all this fly fishing media I have been taking in lately I am starting to crack.  I have even been dreaming of fly fishing for trout and carp in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and who knows where else.  These dreams were crushed again this morning when I woke up to find another two inches of snow outside.  So this morning I moved my fly tying stuff to the basement and watched some movies while tying flies.  After my second movie I was starting to feel like I needed to get out and do something and that is when it hit me.  

The coffee table in the basement has lots of room for fly tying

Now understand I am in the process of getting a job.  Actually I am just waiting on them to call me and tell me when to come in for training.  So this afternoon while waiting for them to call I decided to be creative and play in the snow.  Then it really started to brew, a plan was hatched.  I was going to get my fishing in one way or another.  I grabbed a shovel and some other snow gear and headed outside.  The nice thing about making your own fish is it can be huge!  
Large fish
After making this fish all I wanted to do is catch it, and catch it I was going to do.  I figured this would make a great target for some casting practice, so I ran inside and grabbed my rod.  Remember how I said I was going through withdraws well maybe I should have said I was starting to crack.  All this snow and ice and being stuck inside for days without fresh air or sunlight is simply starting to get to me.  I really need to go fishing and this afternoon I did and caught the same fish a couple times.  Honestly I do not care if anyone thinks I am crazy, because this was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed myself in every part from the brainstorming, to  painting, to putting my waders on and throwing a piece of yarn at a snow fish.  Actually I am hoping to start a trend, so if anyone needs me to come out to their house and make a couple snow fish just let me know.  

Something to break up the drag on another snowy day.
Note the blue water around me and the fish
Started out as a kinda stunt, but after a couple casts I took the casting seriously
Sarah took the pictures and zoomed on on this one but it was a good 35 yard cast.

This fly fishing stuff is a sickness and the honest truth is I really do not want to be cured anytime soon.  In all seriousness I love winter time but this is getting a little crazy.  If we are going to get hit by more snow I am now officially requesting that it hits us all at once and then starts to get warm slowly.  There are fish in these frozen waters and I am starting to go crazy not being able to get to them.  So if you like to fish you might understand where I am coming from and if you do not fish I hope you got a kick out of me acting like a child this afternoon.  


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow storms and fly boxes

Here is an update on the snow and more importantly the fly tying that comes from being stuck in the house for days on end.  Yesterday from about nine in the morning till one in the afternoon I sat in my room tying flies.  I had the TV show M*A*S*H on my latpot and my nose to the grindstone.  I breezed through some prince nymphs and then moved on to some hares ear nymphs.  Those two patterns are standards in my nymph box.  All that is left to do with those patterns is a couple bead head versions for a little variety and added weight.

an empty rough looking box

I was sick of working those two patterns and started looking at some of the flies that I had in the box from the season.  The few flies I had left were either looking very rough, or ones I have not mastered at the vice.  When the snow stopped I worked on clearing the driveway.  The whole time I was shoveling I was thinking about the flies I tied last year and how they could have been better.  Lately I have been thinking that I could be better at the vice or at least push myself to try new things.  Last night I took a razor blade and cut the material off from some of the rough looking flies in order to save the hooks.  Then started looking at some of the stoneflies and figured I could dumb it down enough to tie myself and make effective.  I slept on that notion last night. 

this is a half finished stone fly

 When I got up this morning I tied my first, and it looked okay.  Then I tied a couple more and I am pleased with what I have.  Only time will tell if it looks close enough to fool a trout but at this point I know I can tie stone flies.  As I sat at my desk eating a toasted peanut butter and marsh mellow fluff sandwich I noticed the wintry mix stopped.  I am feeling good about this pattern, and feeling good about my nymph box.  With a couple hours more at the vice I will be done tying nymphs for spring.  So fellow fly fishers I have a question, what nymphs do you like to stock your boxes with?  I like to keep my nymphs simple, because I would rather catch fish on dry flies.  With two boxes full of dry flies of different shapes and sizes, I want my nymphs to be simple and versatile.  So for those of you who fly fish, some input on other good nymph patterns is welcome.  If you are from Connecticut and there are some area specific patterns you can let me in on I would appreciate that info as well.  

this box is almost done