Time to Start Fishing
by Mike Hogue
Fishing seasons have opened both here in New York and Pennsylvannia. While it is still pretty cold out, I have some suggestions and tips for helping you get your season started.
Lighten the Load.
One of the biggest arm, neck and back breakers is carrying too much stuff. I watch in amazement at some folks which pack a vest totally full under the Lee Wulff theory that a full vest balances you better in the stream. Well I suppose in some sort of strange way 40 boxes of flies, 18 rolls of tippet, 2 spare reels, 4 spools and 5 sink tips can help to balance the economy of a small third world country. In most instances you don't need all this stuff. It will get broken, lost or damaged from climbing around. Keep it at home or in the car.
Take a look at your vest or pack. Try sorting some flies into boxes and kinds. If you do several types of fishing sort those. For example I bass fish and trout fish. I have 2 bags set up one for each. If I want to fish either I grab that bag. You can get a giant plastic box with a snap lids and keep extra tackle boxes and such in that box in the car or truck. it does no good to carry around a box of coffin/hex flies in the spring when you need midges, nymphs and such. Likewise carrying around say pike or tarpon flies on a trout outting does one thing, hurt your back. I now use a small pack which only allows me to carry about 2 boxes of flies at a time. I can put a leader, some split shot, tippets and such in it and that's all you need beyond a few tools.
Buy Some New Tippets
Tippet material does have a shelf life. The biggest thing that hurts mono is UV light which over time will effect it's performance. Inspect tippet material and if it appears to be weakened, toss it. Small elastic pony tail hair bands are ideal to keep tippets from unwinding. I get the terry cloth style from a discount store and slip those over the wheels. Regular rubber bands can melt or break down and attach themselves to your spools and will ruin tippet. Cloth bands tend to avoid that.
Got a Hole in Your Waders?
Leaky waders suck. I hate getting wet. There are a few things to do which make patching easier. Take a flashlight and go into a dark closet, bathroom ect. Put the light on and run it up and down to find the suspect area. Light will show through the hole, pinch it and hold the hole. Turn the lights on apply patches.
Another choice is to fill the foot or leg with water, apply pressure by squezzing the top and see where the water comes out. Some times you need to turn a boot inside out. This is the best thing to do for leaky stocking feet styles or seam leaks. There are several patches you can use: Aqual seal, shoe goo, Goop cement and sun patch. Sun Patch is really cool because it can be applied while you wear the boots and will dry in about 20 minutes
Clean Your Fly Lines
I am the worst about doing this. My lines usually are never cleaned. I should do a better job. The cheapest, easiest cleaner is Ivory soap. Get a pump bottle of clear hand soap from a discount store. Put a dab ( not a bunch or glob, just a couple of small squirts ) on a cloth, then pull the line through the towel. That's it. Magic.
Most of the stuff that people use like Armour All, WD -40 and pastes wash off. The coating and the line itself are molded plastic and adding any of this stuff will usually do nothing after the first few casts since this comes off. Lines float due to tiny glass beads imbedded into the line itself so a paste will not help float a line. In some instances line dressings can actually crack lines which will cause it to sink. Years ago when the line was silk you had to dress it or it would sink. Many of the early fly lines weren't slick and had to be dressed or they wouldn't shoot. Silcone pastes often help lines shoot better, although they will pick up dirt.
I doubt if anyone does this after a line is stored over winter but I will suggest this. Lines wrapped on reels make coils, coils have memory and cause the line to spin and won't cast straight. I suggest that you pull off about 40 feet of line. Have a friend grab one end, hold the line tightly around the grip of your rod and pull back hard. This will straighten a line out and remove most of the coils. You can also tie the tippet around a tree or fence post and pull hard. I hate coiled lines.
While the line is off check your leader connection with the line and see if it is in good shape. If it isn't change it out. I usually make a Duncan loop knotfor a nail knot type connection and them make a perfection loop in the end and then make a loop in the leader. This makes it easy to change out leaders. If you do use a loop to loop connection always slide the loop over the opposing loop and then thread the tippet through the loop to create the strongest connection. I sometimes use colored mono at the top loop which gives me a built in sight and strike indicator.
Check Your Hand Tools
I usually get a new clipper every other year. I use cable zingers and I attach a line straightner, hemo and clipper all on the same zinger, then I don't fuss about a tool, it is attached and I keep it on my wader suspenders. Using a line straightner is a must if you dry fly fish. Pull the leader through the straightner a few times. The heat from pulling makes the line straighten out. Hemos are handy for removing hooks and putting shot on.
A Few Thoughts About the Guild Renezvous.
We had about 40 tyers attend from 8 states. Tyers came from New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvannia, CT, New Jersey and Vermont. Very nice day. We had lots of interesting folks like Poul Jorgensen, Dick Talluer, The Gang from the Global Fly Fisher and many other great tyers. About the only mishap was the near fire of Poul Jorgensen's light, which Nancy Hopping caught. Nancy noticed that Poul's light was having trouble and let him know. She saved the day and kept any fire from getting out of hand.
Ralph Graves made some nice stoneflies which he quickly sold off. Ralph was very pleased with all of his sales from his wooly bugger Christmas bulbs and his wet flies. Ralph was one of the featured tyers in this issue of Fish and Fly. In that interview, they profiled Ralph and he said one of the main reasons he had no phone number on his business card was so his wife wouldn't call and harass him while he was tying. I will be collecting my commission later Ralph in which I finally get one of the famous Old Glory Streamers.
Dick Talleur later showed some of us at his demo at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center ( or CFFCM) his new thin skin stonefly and his quill gordon which uses burnt peacock herl dyed with unsweeted coolaid. Yes it is true he actually uses coolaid to dye burnt herl. We also shared some stories about tyer Larry Duckwall whose reversed Grouse and Red fly is on display in the new CFFCM Famous Grouse flies. Larry's fly is basically a hair bug hook with a few feathers spun around it and some thread. It is about the ugliest fly on display in the Museum. Other than this interesting fly there are some nice flies on the wall.
Judy DV Smith reported to me that, " Everyone in town ( Roscoe) is talking about it. When
the people left us, they went to town and were talking about it. " Of course Roscoe is a blazing Metro area of I think 1200. On the weekends during fishing season it explodes with all of the cars from New Jersey and downstate.
Judy also thought the crowd attending was bigger. The Guild managed to raise some money and sell some pins, books and such. Maybe next year we can have hats and t-shirts made up and sell those. thanks for those that attended and those that came and tied. It was great fun and promises to grow and expand.
Fran Verdolivas Guide to Flies & Fishing New Yorks Salmon River. If you fish the Salmon River, you must have this book. Contains info on all the great Estaz flies and how to make them. Great info for steelheaders and salmon fishermen alike. $9.00
Fly Patterns for Stillwaters by Phillip Rowley Phil spendt hours studying trout food sources in stillwaters. In this book he explains the link between understanding various trout foods and designing patterns which imiatate them. Useful for any lake fly fisher. $29.95 PB
Mayflies Top to Bottom: Expert Tying and Innovation by Shane Stalcup Shane's book is perhaps one of the most interesting and innovative out. Shane takes a look at redesigning trout flies using mostly synthetic materials. The goal is to create new patterns which match different stages of mayflies, making something that is realistic, easy to tie and something that fishes well. The pictures, patterns, descriptions and the layout are all top notch. Highly recommended. $29.95
Patent Patterns by Jim Schollmeyer: Flies from the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Journal column are grouped together for the first time. This highly successful contest published in each issue has patterns from all over the world. $29.95 PB
Tying Flies with CDC by Leon Links Largely a collection of European tyers' flies. The book highlights the material, development stages and history. Links selects different tyers and writes about each fly. An insight into how the tyer developed the patterns is given along with a history of the fly and how some of the flies are fished. If you are interested in CDC this is one of the few books out on this topic. $24.95
Trout Country Flies by Bruce Staples Fly patterns which originated in the golden triangle of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana are some of the most famous patterns we use. This book includes info on history, origins and pictures of the original flies along with how the fly was tied. This is an excellent book. Highly recommended! $29.95
Targus Tippets and Leaders: Targus leaders and tippets are some of the best buys on the market. Targus Leaders have set a new world standard for performance, strength and value. These leaders can be used right out of the package or modified to any design you prefer using the extra strong Targus tippet material.
WOW! Check out these Prices!
Targus 2 Pack 9ft Leaders: 0x to 7x: $4.00
Targus 2 Pack 7 1/2 ft Leaders: 3x to 7x: $4.00
Targus Premium Tippet Material
Premium Mono Tippet: Great tippet material at a great price. Soft, supple and strong, you will love this tippet. 0x to 7x: $3.50
Targus Fluorcarbon Tippet Material: Fluorcarbon gives extra strength and reduces light refraction allowing you to use a heavier weight. Tippet is almost invisible and if you arent using it, you are missing alot of fish that I am catching. 0x to 7x: $8.50
WOW! Real Wicker Creel: 16 custom made basket from real split willows. Features a brass buckle, leather fittings and harness. Ideal for the den, or office. Great with old cane rods. $38.00
Gerhkes Gink: Famous bug dope used to float flies. Push a pinch on your fingers and rub it on to wings or dries to float them. $5.00
Ledhedz; Clip these lightweight LED water proof lights onto your cap or visor for an instant headlamp: Colors Blue, Red, Black $15.00
Docs Dry Dust: A dry dust you apply with an applicator brush. This will actually trap air in nymphs and works to float CDC flies higher. $5.00
The Fly Creel: Pin on tiny creel to dry out dry flies. Drop flies in and leave over night. $12.00
Mikes Green Folding Box: Similar to above box but in green. Folds with adjustable compartment and neck string. $12.50.
Dinsmores Lead Free Shot: This is a micro shot w/5 sizes of lead free shot. New egg shaped wt forward: $8.50
Sierra Clippers: Steel, X-tra sharp w/eye cleaner: $6.75
Sierra Combo Tool: X-tra sharp stainless clipper, eye cleaner, needle knot tool & hook hone. $11.00
Rivalley Mesh fly Patch: Attches to vest and has a magnetic wall to hold flies. Stainless steel mesh allow air to pass and keeps flies in. $24.00
Mikes Round Box: Round six compartment box which stacks. Ideal for beads, eyes and hooks, small midges. $3.50
Spooled Diamond Braid : A must for streamer bodies! Colors: Bronze, Pearl, Black, Gold, Copper, Silver, Price: $1.50
XXL Mylar Braid: Super XXL Braid used for making bonefish spoon flies. Pearl, Silver, Gold. $5.00
2 Tone Flexo Tubing. Very cool braided tube. Like Flexo, pearl sparkle with a strip. Colors: Anchovie ( Olive w/ Pearl), Eel (Black with Pearl) , Medium Size $5.00
Mikes Soft Glow In the Dark Bead: Oval shaped neon chartreuse. Use for hot belly stones
( one of the UKs Hottest flies ), makes cool eggs. $2.50
Mikes Flex-Top Boxes: These are perhaps one of the handiest things I have had. Each box is roughly 1 by 1 and about 1/2 thick. Tops snap shut to hold all sorts of materials. Ideal for beads, hooks and tiny flies. $2.50 for a dozen.
Mikes Flex-Top Streamer Boxes: Same as above but in larger streamer size. Sizes is 2 3/8 by 1 1/2 by 1/2 thick. Use for streamer hooks up to about 3/0 or so. $2.50 for a HALF dozen.
Danvilles Standard English Hackle Pliers: Long time favorite is back! Spring type wire useful for a 3rd hand or used by Stalcup to wind biots. Midge or Standard: $4.00 or Get Both for $7.00
Danville Spider Midge Thread. The finest thread on the market! Size 16/0. Perfect for midges. White Only / 100 yard spool: $1.50
Bill Skilton's Latest..........
Iridecent Foil Cloth. Paper thin material with a foil backing. Use for caddis larva, nymph backs and flashbacks. Colors: Copper/ Green, Green/Copper, Green, Olive. $2.50
TMI Beetle Assortment: Large thick cord foam used to make really big beetles, Black assorted sizes. $2.00
Extra Soft/ Extra Thin Foil Foam: Black Strechy Foam base bonded with a foil metallic back. Makes very neat flies. Colors: Copper, Teal, Iridecent Peaccock, Iridescent Green, Peacock Green, Metal Green. $2.50.\
Circle Strike Indicator: Small shapes used as an indicator when tied in above legs. Large Orange Rectangle or Orange Circle $1.50
Egg and Spawn Yarn: Used to make sucker spawn flies for steelhead. Colors: Cheese, Blue, Pink, Red Roe, Salmon, Orange. $1.50
Dozen Wires & Tinsels: I found some old Indian tinsels and you save. Metallic flat and embossed tinsels, wire. 12 mixed colors Price: $6.00
Bucktail Assortment Pack: Mix of broken pieces in various colors. $4.00
Hair Assortment Pack: Select Pieces of elk, moose, deer. 4 pieces in bag: $4.00
WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome Buy! Elite Andros Reel: Disc Drag, Counter balance, 3 point needle bearing drag, machined reel foot, reel bag and lifetime warranty. Size 7-8-9 ONLY. Ideal for saltwater, steelhead, BIG bass or pike. Holds 200 yards, 20 lb backing plus WF-8-F line. Nowhere can you find a saltwater/pike reel at this price! WAS $120 NOW $60.00
The Catskill streamers are very high, fast but not too dirty. Fishing is still pretty slow. Try fishing late in day around 12-2 at the warmest part of the day. Area Ithaca streams were pretty high, cold and not too clear this past week. Rainbows have been spotted in the Inlet, Salmon Creek and also Owasco Inlet. Supposedly fish are in at CXatherine's Creek. For that give ray at Pinewood Flies a call. I haven't had much luck. Try black woolies, eggs, stoneflies and for fun a really bushy hair type fly on top. Streamers like a chartreuse clouser and some bucktails are good bets too.
The new catalog is done. I will be mailing it this week. If you want. contact me and I will mail one to you if you don't get one.
As usual if you want to be deleted from this list for any reason, let me know. Hope you enjoyed this! Contact: Mike Hogue, Badger Creek Fly Tying, 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068. 607-347-4946. Email: Mike@eflytyer.com, Web Site: www.eflytyer.com
See you soon! Mike
For more Info Contact:
Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068