Sunday, February 15, 2015

3rd Annual FlyFishingNewEngland.net Fly Swap

-- 3rd Annual FFNE Fly Swap --
The tradition continues. After finding Ryan's board three years ago, signing up for the 1st FFNE Fly Swap and meeting a bunch of great local fly anglers, I look forward to this winter event every year.

The highlight of the swap this year came from our host, Matt, who recently has ventured in to the world of tying classic salmon flies. Matt consistently produces killer, big meaty, pike and bass flies, but wanted to explore the deep and beautiful realm of the salmon fly. As one of the most creative tiers I know, Matt knocked out 11 unique patterns for each swap participant and himself based on stories shared on the FlyFishingNewEngland.net board.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bonefish Dick's Betsy Fly

-- Tying "The Betsy" --
As the snowy New England winter wears on, we find ourselves enjoying some quiet time at the vise to prepare for the warmer months that are fast approaching. As much as I love fly fishing in the winter, the closest tailwater is about an hour and a half away that typically requires 7x tippet and a 32 midge just to fool a 12 inch stocked trout. I'd rather tie flies and wait for ice out and the schoolies to return to the tidal estuaries.

2014 was my best year chasing New England Striped Bass from the shore and it will be hard to only fish the freshwater going forward. My saltwater mentor, Mark, has shown me some great locations, techniques and flies that have led to this success. One fly, the Yellow Betsy, accounts for 1/2 of the stripers I've landed and has become the "go to" fly when nothing else is working.
One of several stripers fooled by the Betsy in 2014

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Marlboro Fly Fishing Show

-- Marlboro, MA - 16 and 17 Jan 2014 -- 
If you live in New England and are a fly angler, you've attended The Fly Fishing Show in Marlboro, MA at least once. Also, as a New Englander, you attend the show in Marlboro (not Marlborough -- the proper spelling). This year, I attended Friday and Saturday.

This was my 6th year at the show and, frankly speaking, it hasn't changed much -- most of the exhibitors are the same, most of the speakers are the same, most of the tiers are the same, but (and a big but), I got more out of this year's show than I have in years past.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Family Fall Fly Fishing Firsts

-- NY & MA Landlocked Salmon --
We all love fall fishing. Here in New England, not only do we have excellent fresh and salt water options, we also get a spectacular display of color as the leaves change. As my favorite time of year, fall is too short, but that's what makes it all the more precious.

With my son, Matt, being about 300 miles away attending school in the Adirondacks, our fall fishing outings together are usually limited to just one around the Columbus Day weekend. We had a great trip last year on the West Branch of the Ausable in the ADK with Matt putting me on my largest brown trout to date (Matt just posted a video "Golden Brown" which captures the beauty of this big brown).

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Local Confidence Builder

-- Good Day on the Water --
Oh forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned! It's been 4 months since my last post and I have no excuses. Summer has flown by, again with no vacation, but a couple of fun outings chasing local bass & gills.

Yesterday was definitely one of the highlights of the summer.

With the trout streams at record low flows and recent salt skunkings, I needed a confidence builder outing and decided to hit a local pond yesterday. I've had both good and bad days on this pond, but that didn't matter -- its 10 minutes from the house and has some decent variety of fish (pickerel, bass, perch, cats, and gills).

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why Knot Fishing

-- Why Knot Fishing Team --
I had the privilege of connecting with a new group of New England anglers through social media earlier this year. One of the founders of the group, Joe G. (@j_googe on Instagram), started a conversation with me about the group and I offered to help spread the good word.

Joe sent me this info to share about their mission.

"Why Knot Fishing is a community fishing company based on the North Shore of Massachusetts, but with team of anglers located around the state.  We will be focusing on providing fishing reports, fishing reviews and fun fishing stories.  We will also be running events over the summer including a surf fishing event on Plum Island on June 14th and a kayak fishing even later in the summer.

Friday, May 23, 2014

5 Months

-- Bookends of a Skunk --
That's how long I waited to feel another fish on the end of the fly line. In the eight years of active fly fishing, I've never had a skunk that long. Would like to blame it on the brutal New England winter or lack of time on the water, but for whatever the reason, I'm calling the 5 month skunk over.

The Winter Solstice post last December was the last time I had a fish on the line. I've been out plenty of times -- chasing trout, bass, gills, carp and stripers -- but no luck for 5 long months.


Light Hendrickson
Last week, the car was in the shop, so I worked from home. I picked the car up at 5 PM and was on the local stream by 6:30 hoping to catch the evening hatch. Mayflies and midges where coming off, so I tied on a Light Hendrickson.

I started at the same spot where I last felt a tug in December. It was hard to see the fly casting upstream into the sun, but kept at it. Working upstream, the fly was placed in a seam just below a small riffle. The water swirled and the hook was set. Putting decent pressure with the 3 weight on a small rainbow, she swam back and forth in the current. As I worked her out of the current and reached for the net, pop, she was gone.

This is exactly how the rainbow was released on the Winter Solstice, about 2 feet from the net (she threw the hook). This time, the knot to the fly came undone (I will never use a plain clinch knot again - stopped using the improved clinch knot on the advice of a friend over the winter months).

Matt, who also was experiencing a long stretch of skunk, had a bit more luck than I last week. Landing a brookie and rainbow on the same stretch of stream the Friday before. Matt put together this nice Troutdoors Media video of his skunk breakers.


TGIF from Troutdoors Media on Vimeo.

The bookends of a skunk. For me, same species and size fish, on the same stream, released the same way but 5 months apart.

Time to start catching.