Saturday, February 14, 2009

All's Fair in Love, War, Politics, and Fly Tying

This line has seen it's share of embellishments. Including mine over at LunkerHunt. But my wife surprised me yesterday, one of our Maltese in hand, and looking over my shoulder while I was tying a few Clouser Minnows. "Maybe you can make one of those with Molly's hair."

"Yea I don't think so. That's a little creepy."

But after thinking about it awhile, it started to make perfect sense. Heck, the dog won't need it come summer time. It has natural oils unlike the purified, hermetically sealed fox tail at Gander Mtn. It's fine texture is almost pure white. If I venture into purist mode I can dye it any color I like. It'll be available in lengths up to 6 inches. And best of all, it's free.

Let's see, puke flies, minnows, nymph dubbing, not a bad short list. So when warmer weather is upon us and you happen to see my dogs, just ignore the bad hair cut.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Catfish. The Other White Meat.

I'll be the first to admit that my fishing skills... well, they suck. Clif will be the first to agree. Sure, I can cast a fly 50-60 feet with a good back wind. But ask me to CATCH a fish, and you'll be waiting a long time for results. Most, okay, maybe all of the fish I actually hook are by matter of luck. That is until Clif and I took the long walk at Powerton last weekend. While I was tinkering around with X-Rap shads, craw fish cranks, Rapela minnows, and a jitterbug (you read that right) Clif was shoring seven catfish within a half hour. They weren't the lunkers he hunts, but fish just the same. I had to get me some a' that action. So he set me up with "stink-bait-on-a-stick" and on my second cast I was hooked. Netted in a nice little specimen. Wow! that was easy. I didn't want to interfere with his claimed spot on the rocks so I returned the rig to his backpack and started throwin' another minnow. We eventually turned to the fly rods with no success. Just a few lost flies in the rocks.

So, this week I started pondering. It's time to broaden my horizons. I believe I'll mosey on down to the local bait shop and pick me up some stink.

I love catfish!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Once bitten...

A few years ago my wife and I were visiting her brother and family in Traverse City for a week in late July. It's really the only decent time to travel that far north and still feel comfortable in Bermuda shorts, tees, and flip-flops. So there I was sitting on the veranda with Bill after dinner smoking $8 cigars when he turns to me and asks, "Ever fly fished before?"


"Excellent. Let's go down the Boardman for couple hours."

Forty five minutes later we were pullin' on waders and boots and slathering mosquito repellent. Then he retrieves his bamboo fly rod, assembles it, turns to me and says, "You're not fishing today. You're just here to watch." Ouch! I can't say I blame him. I discovered a couple years later why. Apparently that custom made bamboo rod set him back a few hundred bucks.

We walked to the rivers edge and he showed me how to read the water. We lifted a few rocks and examined their landscape. I apparently saw nothing and leaned in for a closer look. "What are those little tube thingys?"

He explained all about the life cycle of the average mayfly, how it lives on the bottom, how it rises to emerge as a mature mayfly, and breaths air for only a day to mate and lay eggs. This evening we're using dry flies. The Hex's were still rising. We waded down stream while he showed me the best places to cast, under overhanging brush here, in a small eddy behind a rock over there. He netted a couple of browns and a rainbow and explained how delicate they are and why they should only be handled with wet hands.

As we rounded a bend into an open meadow we startled a pair of mallards and they immediately took flight into a red evening sky framed in pine trees and rolling hills behind, and me with out my camera. "Man, does it get any better than this?"