Fly Casting Beauty

This is an example of the beauty and artistry that comes from a well cast fly line. Nicely done.


Drawing Fish 52

Jeff Kennedy's Atlantic Salmon
Jason Borger's Steelhead

Every Week for all of 2011, Jason Borger and Jeff Kennedy have been painting a fish portrait in thirty minutes or under and then posting them on their respective blogs. It's worth checking out these two very talented artists each week to see what they are up to. As they wrestle with time and technique their interpretations can become quite interesting. Sometimes you can even buy their weekly works and at great prices too.

Something's Fishy About My New GPS

Garmin Salmon from Darrin Hofmeyr on Vimeo.


February Fishing on the Swift River

Swift River Rainbow
Photo Zach Johnson

Took a mid winter trip yesterday to Massachusetts' only true tailwater stream, The Swift River. The weather cooperated, so no rod guides were iced up. The toes complained a bit, being immersed in frigid Quabbin outflow the entire day, but overall we were pretty comfortable in our winter gear. The party included Kevin C. a new friend from Trout Unlimited and Zach Johnson of Taking Out Line Guide Service also from TU. We had a good day using the tiny stuff. You know the kind of midges and nymphs so small that a dozen can fit on a dime. But they proved once again, they work in this unique flow. Zach has a nice trip summary at his blog. Please go over and take a look.

The goal this year is to fish at least once a month the entire year. A largemouth bass trip in Florida covered the month of January. Two months down! I hope to see you on the water!

Heads or Tails

Heads or Tails {Trailer} from Mad Phil Media on Vimeo.

I hope this teaser turns into a full blown production. I'm already "hooked"!

Mosquito Lagoon

Polling at Sunset

I took a detour at the end of a January business trip to Mosquito Lagoon near Titusville Florida. The lagoon is located in the shadow of NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Florida's east coast. There I met up with Captain Scott MacCalla of Back Country Charters. We had a wonderful day and I caught my first fish of 2009. There was a record breaking cold spell going on during this week so the fish were not too interested in feeding until very late in the day. We ejected the bananas (bad fishing mojo to have them) that were in our lunch bags and once that was done the smell of skunk was gone. We soon found tailing redfish as the sun was setting. I've posted some of the pictures from the trip in the Photo Album.

Fly Fishing Film Tour Dates Announced

Fly Fishing Film Tour Poster

First Light Anglers purchased the rights to the Fly Fishing Film Tour this year and are very excited about this event! They bounced around a bunch of different venues but decided to return again to Chunky's in Haverhill, MA as it offers food and beverages pretty easily!

First Light Anglers Hosts Fly Fishing Film Tour
Sunday, March 15th 6:30pm
Tickets: $15.00
Chunky's Cinema Pub
Haverhill, MA

Buy Tickets Here

View the trailers for the 2009 Film

Chunky's Directions


Clouser Minnows on the Auction Block

Clouser Auction

Please check it out. They'd make a great gift for your favorite angler.

Secret Desire

Secret Desire

I just completed a set of flies for another fly swap. The theme for this swap was Steelhead Flies. This fly design has been swirling around my head for some time now. I'm glad I was finally able to interpret my thoughts into a pretty decent attempt. Please tell me what you think. Here is the recipe.

Secret Desire
Hook: TMC 7999 Salmon/Steelhead, Sz. 4
Thread: Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon, 210 Denier, Black
Tag: Mylar Tinsel, Silver
Tail: Whiting Bird Fur,Purple, Filoplume from the base of the feather
Body: Orvis Flexi Floss, Fuchsia
Rib: French Tinsel, Medium Oval, Silver
Underwing: Krystal Flash, UV Gray
Wing: Marabou Blood Quill, Hot Pink
Hackle: Whiting Bird Fur, Purple, Schlappen like larger feathers

Here is the family photo.

Secret Desire Family Shot

Air Fish

The Guys over at First Light Anglers posted this on the forum and I have to share it with you. While watching you can almost forget that there is no water around.

Air Art
from flip on Vimeo.


Pink And Blue

I wrangled the boys over at the FFOTW Forum to do something nice for one of the hosts of the site. Jason Brown is expecting in December. I thought we'd have a baby shower for him. We didn't want him to stray too far from the Fly Fishing Fraternity (the other FFF) so it's a baby shower fly fisherman style. Jason sadly said he had already put his fishing equipment away in anticipation of two o'clock feedings and diapers. So we're all tying up some pink and blue flies he can look at while he practices sleep deprivation. Hopefully he'll be back on the water soon.

Here's what I came up with Pink and Blue Bunny Flies as well as Pink and Blue Ants. I call it "Eight is Enough"

Fly Fishing Baby Shower

Clouser Minnow Swap

Team Clouser
I just finished photographing, sorting and shipping a dozen Clouser Minnows tied by fly tyers from across the country. I was the host this fly swap. Participating in this capacity was a lot of fun. The swap even helped me learn some new tricks in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Here is how it works. Someone declares they want to host a swap on a Forum. The forum I hang out at is Fly Fishing On The Web ( The host gets to pick what type of fly to tie or a theme. I picked Clouser Minnows. Enrollment is open to members until there are a sufficient number of tyers and then the swap is closed. The host sets the due date and instructs the members where to send the flies. Forum members produce their creations, plus one extra fly. The flies are sent to the host along with a return mailer and postage. When all flies are received the host sorts the flies so that everyone gets one fly from each participating tyer. Many hosts photograph the flies to share with all the members of the forum. I did the team photo above and also made a composite of the individual fly photos I took. All the above steps have been completed and I also made a trip to the post office today to ship all the members their flies.

What happens to the extra fly? We auction the extra set off on ebay and donate the money to a fly fishing centric charity. We have selected Project Healing Waters. An organization that helps injured veterans that are returning home. Healing Waters assists in their rehabilitation by teaching them to fly fish. We have several more auctions planned in the near future for this great organization.

I have now participated in a few fly swaps. All quite different but always a lot of fun. A big benefit for me has been an opportunity to be disciplined about producing a set of flies in a timely manner. Tying season is starting out and the swaps have given me a chance to get back into the groove for my winter sessions at the tying bench.

Fly Fishing Film Tour Coming to Boston

AEG Media Bones Logo

I just found out today that the Fly Fishing Film Tour will again be coming to Boston. A huge thanks to the guys at First Light Anglers for sponsoring the event this year. It will definitely be a fun time. Details are still up in the air.

This is the third year of the film tour and I know it promises to be another exciting night of the best Fly Fishing porn produced. Entries are still being evaluated by the guys at AEG Media, but I'm sure the year over year improvement will continue to set the bar high and amaze and excite members of the Fly Fishing tribe. The footage is sort of fly fishing video meets Warren Miller. It infuses excitement for the upcoming season while we huddle around the fireplace with our tying vices. I'll let you know more details as they become available.

Striper Moon by J. Kenney Abrames

Striper Moon: Fly Fishing Techniques and Flies for Striped Bass in Estuary, River, Bay & Surf by J. Kenney Abrames.

From a unique man comes a very unique volume that is continually referenced by striper fly fishers throughout New England and beyond. This brief and enlightening tome takes salt water fly fishers out of the routine of predictable big cast and strip, strip, strip mentality and encourages fly fishers to do something we often forget to do, think. Think, where am I, think, where would the stripers need to be, think, is the exact fly needed or is how it is fished more important, think, what is the best time of day and also best moon phase to hunt stripers

Abrams brings revelations to the surf fisher that stripers hunt very close to shore and will swim in the hump of an incoming wave in order to harvest tumbled and disoriented prey. Other instruction includes using drift and mend techniques similar to fishing for trout with streamers. The author also likens striper prey to the trout fishers insect hatch. He asks, when are the peak times for herring, crab, krill and sand eel.

The topic of fly tying, for which Kenny is well known, is somewhat down played considering how colorful and beautifully crafted his flat wing imitations are. His salt water fly patterns are some of my all-time favorites to tie. What the author teaches us about flies is that a perfect fly fished with a poor presentation will not catch as many fish, if any at all, as a perfectly presented fly that is only an impression, but not an exact copy. If the fly is within the size range of the bait the fish are targeting and fished well it will catch more fish. He openly admits that no two flies he ties are alike. What he suggests is that colors in the ocean are constantly changing and giving different impressions at different times and so do his flies.

Equipment is also covered, giving ideas on what makes a good set up for a coastal striper fly fisher. All his explanations are presented with the caveat that the equipment does not catch the fish, the fisherman catches the fish, reminding us, presentation, presentation presentation.

In addition to giving the fly fishing community this well executed document, Kenny continues to instruct locally to intrepid fly fishers who gather at selected locations along the coast. He also hosts a helpful website that shares the same name as the book Striper Moon. The site extends the value of his instruction to the internet community and includes a forum where he is happy to answer anglers questions and encourage dialog among members.

I highly recommend this book and I know I will return to it often for reference and inspiration.

Halloween Treat

Have a happy Halloween!

Candy Corn Fly
Comments (2)


Just as I was about post this, I noticed this in my feed reader. Although his is much neater. What are the odds that we both thought of this today?

Connect the dots
You can download your own set of dots here. I first mentioned Jeff and Drawing Flies 365 in January. He is still going strong passing the three hundred mark today.

I need one of these

Good thing I have a titanium hip.
You can get your own here.

Maine Fishing Trip 2008

The Flying Moose
Last month I took a wonderful trip to the Moosehead Lake region of Maine. I went with five other anglers who were excellent company and lots of fun to be with. We stayed at Maynard's Camps in Rockwood Maine. We were well taken care of and enjoyed three wonderful meals a day. The fishing was fun and rewarding. We had to work hard, but we all caught fish. The area is beautiful and the weather cooperated. There were many different locations to fish and quite a variety of water.

During the week we also took a float trip one of the days. The guides were booked through the Maine Guide Fly Shop in Greenville. It was a fun day as well as a challenge later in the afternoon with high winds and fussy fish. It was the first day of a true caddis hatch and we were able to fish dry flies during all parts of the day. Streamers and nymphs also produced fish. Our target species for the area were landlocked salmon and brooke trout. In addition to those species, we also caught lake trout, smallmouth bass, perch and chub.

I've added an entry in the photo album using my pictures as well as Rick's and Willis'' pictures that they sent me. There is also a movie of the same set of photos if you'd rather see all the pictures set to music and not have to click to see each picture. Rick also has documented this trip and previous trips on his website. Take a look over there too. Enjoy!

Big News!

After months of deliberation and soul searching Mary and I have made a life changing decision. We're combining our love for cooking, the excitement of fly fishing and our love of nature and the outdoors. We finished negotiations today and have successfully signed paperwork to buy the Roscoe Diner in beautiful Roscoe, New York.

Sign of the times

We've decided to get away from the rat race and head to the country. Since we both love to cook we decided that a career change in the restaurant business could be done in almost any location. People have to eat so we knew a new career involving food could take us anywhere we wanted to go. Initially we will continue to do our day jobs by telecommuting. Thank goodness for the internet. As the business progresses and we get on our feet in Roscoe we will transition to the diner permanently. Fortunately both our companies have other offices close by.

Situated at the southwestern end of the Catskill Park, Roscoe is the epicenter of the famous and historic fly fishing mecca the Delaware River basin. The Fly Fishing does not get any better than this on the east coast. Also close to the home to the famous Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum and the Wulff School of Fly Fishing. I attended the school a couple of years ago and just fell in love with the area. Since that time I've made several secret trips to Roscoe and was in negotiations with the owners of the diner. Now that the plans have solidified I can also announce that we will be putting a second floor onto the diner where we will have a full sportsmans lodge and fly shop. Note how the design will lend itself readily to the second floor addition.

Things are going up!
This will truly be an exciting time for us. Stay tuned as more details unfold. Remember to save room for our famous Roscoe Cherry Pie!

No Bunny Wednesday

No Bunny Wednesday
Moody Special, A big honkin' Sand Eel and Dave Skok's PC Clouser.

Last night Captain Nat Moody of First Light Anglers used no bunny fur to instruct our class. After quelling the unsettled surprise of the class we got down to business. First up was the Moody Special which is Nat's deadly imitation of a Mummy Chub. (I know I've butchered the name. Leave a comment and help me out folks.) This is an early spring bait fish pattern that Nat says has been extremely successful. Next the classic Clouser with a twist, using some of Dave Skok's material for the belly and then some Kinky Fiber. Finally an all Slinky Fiber Sand Eel pattern. We got to tie two of each of these flies during the class and I managed to squeeze in three more for a good night of nine flies. My sideline flies were two more Mini Gurglers and a Deceiver with a deer hair head in the same colors as the Moody Special. I also discovered I need a sippy cup for the second week in a row.

Fly Tying Update

I need to bring you up to date on what I've been tying for the last three weeks. I'll roll all three sessions into one post. Let's start with January 16, and instructor John Kelsey. John is a meticulous tier and his flies are some of the most striking and beautiful in my fly box. He likes sparse flies in the style of Ken Abrames. During a discussion on the First Light Anglers Discussion Board the topic of small krill type flies for striped bass was brought up. Many times they are feeding on very small crustasions and will not take a respectable fishy looking fly. John has discovered that they become selective when feeding on this smaller food. My take is that if they are taking small food they get fixed on quantity of a single source to fill their belly. Thus the selectivity. To combat this John has created some flies that give the impression of that food. Here is part of that prolific evening. I tied a total of nine flies that night.

John Kelsey - Tiny Striper Flies
Soft Hackle, Krill, 10 Strand Streamer, Saltwater Bivisible, Orange Worm, Little Garthside Gurgler.

Next on January 23 we were double teamed by Dan Harrison of Harrison Anglers in Western Massachusetts and Walt (Otter) Mueller Jr. of Blue River Designs in Breckenridge, Colorado. Dan showed us all the merits of foam by tying the Fat Albert. I was able to to complete two. I was surprised at how easy and fun these flies were to tie. Dan assures us that this is one of the most complex foam flies. If we can tie this one, we can tie most of the other foam dries. He was a great instructor and he's also a fine writer. He was just published in the most recent issue of Fly Fisherman.

Following Dan was Walt Mueller, Jr. who is the inventor of "Soft Milking Eggs" from the Montana Fly Company. This product looks amazingly like real salmon eggs. They even sell fertilized and un-fertilized imitations. The antron fibers represent the light cloud of milt on the eggs and also help to hold the egg on the hook. This is a simple and effective pattern during spawning season. Otter says they will trigger a strike during any season. He also showed us a simple one material midge pattern.

Fat Albert, Midge and Eggs
Fat Alberts, Midge and Eggs over easy.

This past week George Sprague showed us some very cool techniques for Crease Flies. These flies are gaining wide acceptance in the salt water fly fishing community in spite of their resemblance to a traditional fishing lure. George has taken the art of this foam creation to new heights. I was very impressed with these flies, even with the quality of my amateur efforts. These flies were also fun to tie. I can't wait to try some on the water.

Crease Flies
Crease Flies.

There's your update. Tight Lines!

Tying Trout Flies with Patrick Brown

This week trout flies were on the menu. Three classics for every fly box.
The caddis is sweet! How do I know? I tasted it.

Pheasant Tail, Wooley Bugger, Caddis Pupae
Fly Tying with Patrick Brown - Pheasant Tail, Wooley Bugger, Caddis Pupae
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