Friday, March 30, 2012

I have two things to say

#1 Thank god there will be a sequel

#2 if you're trout almondine and looking for work, you are in luck.

Happy Friday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dubbing reviews: Performance Flies SLF and Hends UV blend

I got a package in the mail from Performance Flies the other day and I was curious to try out the Hend's dubbing for some Czech nymphs. I really like their shellback material and the dubbing impressed me as well. It's got a great blue flash to it, long fibers, and it dubs really well. Instead of a czech nymph, I opted for a modified psycho prince nymph I've been working on with a shaggier appearance and a double set of white wings. The mottled shellback on the top gives it a natural look, but the bright purple is still flashy on the sides and bottom. I tossed a few of these to my buddy who fished the Salmon River in NY over the weekend and he said he pulled two steelies on one of these out of Ellis Cove on Saturday. I think I have a winner.

Next up is Performance Flies SLF dubbing. I also really like this. Long fibers, dubs easy, it's pretty thick so it's easy to taper and build up a body fast. I tried out Craven's Caddistrophic with the SLF and I like how it turned out. Now I just need to fish this pattern.I also wanna try this stuff for some underbody on some big elk hair caddis.

You can pick this stuff up over at Performance Flies for pretty cheap. Also don't overlook the great hooks, and Jan Siman dubbing as well.

Product Review: Chill Toque Hat by Sauce Headwear

First a Bugslinger package from TFM, then a Tenkara net, and now a free hat! I'm on a roll. I was chosen at random by the Outdoor Blogger Network to review this hat.

It's called a Chill Toque hat by Sauce Headwear. We've had a warm winter, but luckily I got it in time to test it out during a cold spell on one of the last days of February. I was kinda surprised when I got the hat because it had this spiral hole in the top of it. After wearing it and hiking along a stream for 15 minutes I quickly realized that the hole is awesome. It lets moisture escape, and this hat is really warm, so the hole really does let enough heat out so you don't start sweating. It really is a nice feature.

The only downside I found with this hat was the size. I ordered the largest one they had, but it was still a little snug on me. Although in defense of Sauce, I have a gigantic skull. I wear a size 7 and 7/8th fitted baseball hat, which means I usually have to order my hats online. It still fit, but I felt more like Michael Phelps in one of his little swimming bonnets than I wanted to.

(By the way, sorry Sauce. I'm sure you were hoping for a cute 20-something girl modeling your hat and you get a fat 36 year old dad with glasses)

These hats retail for $30, and if you spend any amount of time outdoors in the winter, I highly suggest picking one up (unless your head is the size of Utah, like mine).

Thanks to OBN and Sauce for the hat. I'll definitely wear it again, even if it does make me look like a swimmer.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The smartest fish in the stream

You all know what I'm talking about. There's your favorite local stream, and you know it inside and out. You know the hatches, the feeding lanes, and even certain fish that live in certain stretches. But no matter how smart you get, how beautiful your flies are, and how perfectly you cast, this one fish will not fall for your tricks. He may not be the biggest, or prettiest, but he's educated, and it haunts you every time he refuses your offering.

There has been a rainbow trout that I've started to consider the smartest fish I've ever faced. In the last 4 weeks, I've went up against him and lost every weekend. He loves to hold behind the same slate rock, and has a way of darting around the far side of it, sipping two bugs, and then running back to cover. He has this same approach to feeding every time I see him. He's not huge, probably a little over a foot long, but he is so damn smart.

I got to the stream today and he was the first fish I saw rise. I figured I would just take my time and work on him until I got him. It was a free for all with hatches and the fish were rising to everything from BWOs to midges, to caddis, to black stones, and even a few cahills or sulphurs (not sure what they were but today was the first time I've seen them this year). I started with olives. Size 18, not even a look. 20, nothing. Ok, let's try a 22. He rises, inspects, backs down. I cast again, he comes up again, stops fighting the current, and drifts downstream with the fly about an inch from his nose, examining it for a good 5 seconds before backing away.

This game continued with every fly I threw at him. As soon as my cast went over his head, he'd run out, take two naturals, and head back to his spot. It was driving me crazy. After about 200 casts, I was about to give up. I tossed out a size 20 Griffith's Gnat, and then was distracted by a young college girl jogging past in yoga pants. DAMN, missed a hit. Maybe he's not so smart. Tried the same fly again, nothing.

I walked a little upstream and sat down at a bench, just watching this fish continue to rise. An older gentlemen walked right into the spot and started to work the fish. He couldn't even get a look and went on his way. I decided to tie on the smallest fly I had and make one more cast before heading home. Out came the 8x with a size 24 Griffith's gnat. I got a look, but no follow. One more cast. Nothing. DAMN this fish is smart. I then noticed a brown feeding pretty fast and moving right into the same feeding lane. One more cast.

It landed perfectly, drag free drift, right in the zone. It was like slow motion. The bow had noticed the brown in his space and wanted to beat him to the fly. I watched him shoot at the fly like a rocket, I saw white as he opened his mouth. SET. GOT HIM.

I finally outsmarted him, and it felt better bringing this fish to hand than any fish I've caught in a long time. I think the most amazing thing about this fish was that he was rising again in the same spot a few minutes after I released him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Its been a while....

Well, I've had sick kids, and a health scare that had me out of commission for most of last week which is why this place has been dead. Good news is I have lots of content coming up in the next few days including new bugs, some new material reviews, some fishing reports, and a review of some sweet headgear supplied by OBN.

More later but for now, I'd like to say that I can't believe I'm terrestrial fishing in March! They're small fish, but still fun on hoppers.