Thursday, December 24, 2015
Here's hoping that everyone who reads this has a very Merry Christmas. Regardless which of Santa's lists you find yourself on, (I'm pretty certain my name can be found on the list that guarantees you a stocking full of coal), may you find happiness in time spent with family and friends during this holiday season.
And lastly, may Santa arrive bearing gifts in round, metal tubes and may your wading boots stay continuously wet throughout the New Year!
Many Thanks to everyone whos tops by on occasion to check out my posts and leave a comment, I truly appreciate it.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
It's that time of year again boys and girls. That joyous season when the flotillas of bikini clad college things and the obnoxious drunken entourage that follows them are but a distant memory. Tis the season when cold, nasty days spent on a high, slightly off-colored piece of water dominate your thoughts at every opportunity.
This isn't a numbers game by any stretch of the imagination. This is all about putting in your time, paying those dues and hoping that the fishing gods smile on you once or twice during the season and you can put that two-footer in the net.
The fly boxes filled to overflowing with copper johns, prince nymphs and midges of every color don't even leave the house this time of year. This fishing is undertaken with flys that have names that sound as mean and nasty as the fish they're designed to catch. Flys with names like Hog Snare, El Chupacabra and the Sex Dungeon.
This is 8 weights and full sinking lines hucked from the front of a driftboat all day.
This time of year mornings call for a hearty breakfast and a big pot of coffee to kickstart the day.
Long gone are the relaxing midday riverside breaks where it's fully acceptable to lounge around in sandals and enjoy the beautiful weather. This is a piece of cold fried chicken and pounding a beer (or two)every time you get back on the oars while still trying to put your buddy on the right line for that next good looking run.
On most trips it just doesn't happen, you take what the river gives you and drink away the sorrows of defeat with your fellow miscreants while sitting around a warm fire at night.
Sometimes you get lucky and there's a consolation prize at the end of the day, like a good old Ozark fish fry with freshly gigged suckers and hush puppies and cold beer...and good friends.
No matter how the results pan out at the end of the day there's still nowhere I'd rather be...cold, wet and already thinking about that next trip...and that next fish.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Having just gotten back from my first steelhead trip a couple weeks ago, I've still been spending a lot of time daydreaming about the experience and wishfully planning my next opportunity. As you might guess it's a long drive from my home here in Kansas to the closest steelhead water (it's a pretty long drive just to reach trout water, it's halfway across the country in either direction to find steelhead!) so wishful thinking is all I've got at this point. With the itch still maintaining it's grasp on my psyche and no other method of scratching it I ended up resorting to sitting down at the bench and tying up a few more spey style steelhead patterns. Part of the motivation was the fact that my tying desk still looked like someone had thrown a multi-colored chicken into a box fan from the tying binge pre-trip. I figured I might as well knock a few more flies out before putting the blue-eared pheasant and guinea feathers back in the "seldom used" drawer.
I'm not going to blow smoke and tell you that these are great looking flies, but they're all based on patterns that I know can be successful under the right circumstances. I don't know this from personal experience, I only know because the patterns all came from the Oak Orchard Flyshop steelhead pattern page on the internet and are recommended by several of the gentlemen associated with the shop. I personally fished with these guys on my trip and besides being great people, they knew their shit when it comes to steelhead fishing. The purple/black spey and the blue/white spey both got bit on the trip, as for the others they'll just have to bide their time in my box until I can get back up there.
Unfortunately, maybe the only thing worse than my fly tying ability is my photography skills so the pictures aren't really much to look at but I'm gonna throw them up and make you suffer through it anyway.
If you would like any of the recipes for these flies I would recommend going to the Oak Orchard Flyshops old website and checking out their fly patterns pages...lots of good stuff to keep you busy over the long, cold winter.