Thursday, May 26, 2011


I've had this pattern idea in my head for over a year.  Why aren't there more newt patterns?  I fish a small lake in the Catskills every now and then and it's loaded with newts doing their thing (insert porno music here)in the spring.  Then it dawned on me; the fish have got to be eating these left and right.  I made myself breakfree and tie a few before my trip.  I had it all planned out in my head how I wanted it to go.  I never bring a cam-corder fishing, but I wanted to document this thing.  I banged three smallies on the two handed rod and a the one in the video on the 5wt single hand.  There is more to this pattern and it's going to evolve.....just the start.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bassin' In Trout Town

A bunch of the Boyz headed down to Roscoe, NY (Trout Town USA).  As usual the trout part was hit and miss (a lot of miss).  It seems everytime we head down the weather takes a dump.  The water was typically high, but Friday dumped hail and lightning turning the streams to mud.....Martin and I each hit a trout in the early part of the day before the rain.  The bass fishing as usual saved the day!  Saturday nights hatch never developed on the Willowemoc.  A good trip overall, but the trout thing is getting frustrating to say the least. I did a brief tying demo at the Beaverkill Angler and fellow soft hackle freaks Mark Ramero, Misako, and Ray Tucker showed up to watch.  Thanks for the support!  I've been working on a new warmwater fly that I developed and test drove while down in the Catskills.  I'm hoping to unleash it very stay tuned

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tup's Indispensable

I'm headed to the Catskills this weekend and thought I would leave leave with a post about a fly that I enjoy tying a lot.  It holds a lot of history and has many versions, much like the Catskills.  I've got fishing on the brain, so I'll let the story tell itself.  I'm sure I'll have some stories to share next week!

Hook: Daiichi 1270 size 12
Thread: Pearasll's primrose
Tail: Artic Fox
Body: Tup's fur
Thorax: Pinkish dubbing
Wing: Light Creamy Dun from a hen cape
This is one of my favorite soft hackles. If not for the shear sexiness of the design or the great story/history behind it, this fly appeals to me and encompasses a lot of what fly tying is to me. I tyed this fly at my OOFS Jan 2011 demo. Using it as my lead in fly since Mark Libertone had tyed the fly the previous week. Mark is an extrordinary soft hackle artist and I thought the fly would carry well between our demos and hopefully play into Ray Tucker's demo to follow the next week. Not my best demo for it seemed like I couldn't find a rythm until late and it just wasn't flowing as smooth as I had hoped. I stepped away from tradition with the hook and tail, kept tradition with the Pearsalls and the fur from the scrotum of a Tup (male goat). The finished fly sat in a dish with other assorted flies next to my tying desk for 3 months. In the middle of being swamped with fly orders I pulled the Tup's out and realized why it is I do what I do and why I hold this as a passion and a way of life. I set it under the light and things just looked right.....time to reflect.

Tup’s Indispensable
During the late summer and early autumn, large numbers of small upwing flies are frequently encountered on many of our rivers. They are often grouped together under the name of "pale wateries", characterised by their small size and pale body colouration. September trout and October grayling feed extensively upon theses little flies and the angler is well advised to carry an imitation. There are many candidates for the position but there is one that stands head and shoulders above all others. Not because it is more effective, but it is just more fun. Enter the Tup’s Indispensable.
Before synthetic dyes were widely available, fly dressers relied upon finding natural fibres to replicate the colours of the insects that they imitated.
In 1900, a fly dresser called Mr. R. S. Austin sold flies as a side-line to his tobacconist business in Tiverton, Devon. He devised a dry fly that proved very effective at imitating the pale watery. The body of his pattern was made from a fine fur and was a remarkably accurate imitation of the body colour of the natural flies. No-one could work out what fur Austin had used. Furthermore, allegedly in the interests of retaining the monopoly for selling this fly, he kept its source a secret. It seems that he confided in only two people; one was his daughter and the other was a famous fly fisher by the name of G.E.M. Skues, both were sworn to secrecy. Skues published an article which sang the praises of Austin’s fly, naming it "Tup’s Indispensable". He did not, however, reveal the secret of its construction. As a consequence of this publicity from a well-known angler, it became such a popular fly that Austin is said to have become "utterly sick" of tying it. In 1914 Mr. Austin passed away but his daughter continued the business. When she retired in 1934, she decided that the secret ingredient of her father’s famous fly should be made public.
Remember, Skues had named this fly the tup’s indispensable. Now, all you good Yorkshire folk out there will be well aware that a tup is the proper name for a male sheep. Those amongst you with a bit of Yorkshire "nous" will also work out what is the "indispensable" bit or even bits of a tup! It transpired that dear Mr. Austin had discovered that the fur that he required could be found on the scrotum of a tup.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this all starts raising a few questions in my mind. I’m not so sure that the secrecy surrounding Tup’s Indispensable was entirely about retaining a business monopoly. For a start, if I had an intimate knowledge of the colour of the wool on a tup’s nether regions, I would definitely keep very quiet about it. Incidentally, I am interested in finding any information about how our friend actually collected the wool from such an inaccessible place. I have visions of nocturnal exploits, on hands and knees, with a candle, shaving brush and a cut throat razor. I suspect, however, that this would be fraught with danger, because tups are not the most co-operative of creatures at the best of times. I can imagine them becoming a bit tetchy if one tried to shave their indispensables. The other alternative is plucking and I simply do not want to go there.
In fact, it seems that Austin may have stolen the thunder of a man called Alexander Mackintosh; in 1806 he published a recipe for an artificial mayfly.
It included the advice "…take a little fine wool from the ram’s testicles, which is a beautiful dusty yellow." I guess that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
By the way, Mr. Mackintosh was the landlord of the Red Lion Inn at Driffield, East Yorkshire. He died in 1829, perhaps trampled by an irate tup.
Before you ask, "yes" the body of Steve’s fly is made of the real stuff, painstakingly harvested with the aid of a hard hat, a head torch and a pair of eyebrow tweezers.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting Artsy

I've been taking late morning walks at work to clear my head and just take in the sights.  Occasionally I get to sneak along the shore of Seneca Lake and look for lures and driftwood, etc.  Just an excuse to be by the water if you will.  Well I've stumbled across some fine drift wood for the flower beds at home.  On one of my more recent walks I found this little ditty and thought it would make a nice fly display for when I'm tying at shows.  A little advice from a buddy and a can of spray on high gloss and the 1st one is done.  I'm not completely happy with it, but it works for now and gives me reason to search for more suitable pieces.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Pops" HATCHES article by VERN-O

This is an article that I wrote for Hatches recently. Many of us have similar stories and experiences. This is something that I needed to share and I hope many of you take the time to read it. Remember to appreicate what you have everyday. Share your feeling with those close to you. It take only a few seconds to say I love you and I appreciate you. Make a difference!
April 1st for many in the Northeast signals the opening of trout season. For the rest of the country it means April Fool’s Day. I have been fishing for as

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spey Nation IV Salmon River, NY June 25, 2011

I'm attending this and encourage all of you to try and do the same.  Not sure if I'm tying or just hanging out yet.  This ievent is a ton of fun and the opportunities to connect with people, the sport, and the passion

Spey Nation IV
June 25, 2011
Pineville, NY
_8:30 AM to 4 PM_
_Spey Nation offers the unique opportunity for enthusiasts and manufacturers
of 2 handed rods to gather in a streamside setting. The Location is the
Pineville Boat Launch on the Salmon River in Pineville, NY. And yes, the
rumors are true; we are sending one of you to British Columbia again in
April of 2012 courtesy of The Spey Lodge!_
Spey Nation features a full BBQ sponsored by the Oak Orchard Flyshop,
raffles, "On the water" demonstrations, and interaction with some of the
biggest names in 2 handed casting from the East and West Coasts. Mixing
styles, knowledge, and backgrounds, Great Lakes anglers finally have the
opportunity to learn Traditional Spey, Scandinavian, and Skagit techniques
from the experts, try specialized equipment on the water and talk with other
fishermen in an atmosphere dedicated exclusively to 2-handed casting while
enjoying a burger and a brew.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Working away

I've been trying to get into the feel of this blog thing and have over the last several days been trying to focus on creating an online catalog of some of my favorite/popular patterns.  I've had a few inquiries about the Hybrid Crayfish pattern (which is not my pattern, but a borrowed one....the beauty of fly tying is sharing what you have).  I've added both the Crayfish and Hopper pattern to the Blog's catalog......take a look!!!
If there is a specific pattern of mine/or that I tie that you want to see in the catalog please let me know....and thanks for looking.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Deerfield Spey & Fly Day June 4th, 2011

Deerfield Spey & Fly Day June 4th, 2011 on the banks of the Deerfield River, MA. to benefit Reel recovery.  I'll be tying flies at this event.
Deerfield Spey Day 2011 Info.

HOP(per) or CRAW(L)

Hop or Crawl your way to my  new blogspot.....some recent flies.  I enjoy tying both of these patterns a lot even though they can take some time to tie at least by commerical standards.