Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hitting the Stride

The Holidaze are around the corner. If not for my kids these days would be pointless. If I could turn the other way I would.  The fishing for me this fall has been lack luster to say the least and I hope to resolve this soon.  The fly tying had at one point been very overwhelming and the point of burnout was very close.  I relaxed a bit and just took on the "I'll fill what orders I can" attitude until I could get my batteries recharged. It didn't take long.  Something clicked and I felt refreshed.  Flies came out of the vise faster and new attempts came out as I had hoped.  For a second time now I experienced a Tiers High.  That feeling of pure reward and confidence that is so often sought in life.  The energy peaked with the trio of Winters Hope.  Everything came out as I had hoped.  I made some slight judgement calls on numbers of wraps, lenghts, but that's what I like to do.  Then came a sample of Scottish Highland Cattle from http://www.tiethefly.com/ and I experimented with dyeing this close polar bear substitute.  Choclate brown was the color of choice and then came the prawn star.  The outcome again was exceptional in my mind and I enjoyed positive feed back on both.  Hopefully this extra push will get me through the Holidaze.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Annual Friends

For the last four years now, a buddy who I tie flies for comes up from Florida for some steelhead fishing with a friend and fellow guide Loren Williams (http://www.flyguysoutfitting.com/).  I am usually lucky enough to tag along for a day or two.  It's always an adventure and the ball busting is always entertaining no matter the weather.  Loren is top notch in knowing where to locate steelhead, hooking them is up to you.  Often easier said than done.  Some of my best days steelheading have been with Gary and Loren.  This year was entertaining, but the bite wasn't happening.  The flow on the Salmon River was at 1500 cfs and should have been drawing fresh fish in.  It just wasn't happening the way it should.  I did hook into one slob of a steelie that tossed the hook after a brief battle and that summed up the days efforts.  The next two days were all Garys, as I had work to attend to.  The fishing didn't get any easier, but a few fish found Gary's hook point. Did I mention that Gary tie full dress Atlantic Salmon flies that are nothing less than stunning?  I hope these annual friends continue through the years to come.  Thanks for the good times.

       Where is that pizza delivery guy?
 Nice run
          Gary's brown
Gary's bow

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A little Christmas Cheer....Let It Snow!

A few years back I had a buddy from work help me build some snow globes for my girls.  I had tyed specific flies for each.  Unfortunately over time, the one snow globe just didn't hold up.  As my girls are getting older they appreciate snow globes even more.  My oldest daughter wanted to know if I would fix hers.  It's taken me a while to get to it, but it should make for a little extra Christmas suprise. I love stuff that glows-in-the-dark, and of course what kid doesn't like glow-in-the dark stuff too?!!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Decade of Hits

We're not talking about the Allman Brothers album.  We are talking about life. When I turned thirty my wife got me a guided trip on the Salmon River.  It was a learning experience on waters that I fished when I could, usually unsuccessfully.  These were the days of slinkies and chuck & duck.  Really not my bag of tricks, but it was the norm back then.  To say thanks to my wife I made a sign  to hold in case I caught a monster steelhead.  The monster fish never happened, though a decent fish was lost.  I learned some new waters and enjoyed the gift.  I saved the sign and hung it in our garage as a reminder of happy memories.

Well a decade has gone by and my wife (and now two wonderful kids) asked what I wanted to do for my birthday.  Ideas of great fishing trips to the Gaspe, Ireland, New Zealand, and the like came to mind.  Reality came to me and I said, I really need spey casting help.  What better place than the waters I now prefer to think of as home, the Salmon River.  Ten years of fishing, ditching the slinkies, and the indicators I've come to the realization that two handed fishing is what I deem the most enjoyable.  The flies are typically elegant and flowing, the casts are graceful, the drifts are captivating, and the grabs are jolts of lightning.  I spent the day with Walt Geryk of Northeast Fly Fishing Guide Service (http://www.neffguide.com/). Walt and I had spent a good amount of time going over some basic casts and fishing all at the same time.  Walt of course had to score a fish while going over some techniques....nice way to start the morning.  It wasn't long and I too had a grab and a decent steelie was off to the races.  I lost the fish while trying to turn it around.  No worries the take was great.  The pressure on the upper end of the river this day was heavy and the flow was low, so conditions were not ideal.  I did manage one small fish and had another jolting grab. The day for me was perfect and the knowledge I gained was worth the price of admission.  I still find the Salmon River a challenge every time I set foot in her flows. I hope this challenge, as frustrating as it can be will carry me another ten years because the rewards in life aren't measured by the size of your fish, but more the size of love in your life. The same sign, though altered slightly, and a little weathered, the same guy but looking a little like the sign, altered and a little weathered.