Monday, February 28

The Fuzzy Nymph.

Flymph, bitches.
This is a very simple to tie fly that teaches a wonderfully easy concept that can open up whole words of tying, the dubbing loop.

The flymph itself fits into my idea of fly fishing, generic and easy. Impressionistic, it exudes the feeling of life with the supple soft hackle collar and  buggy body. Generally thought to emulate a hatching insect stuck in the film, or a diving caddis, its generic enough to pretty much just represent foot to trouts.

The fly pattern itself was codified and popularized by two Pennsylvania anglers, James Leisenring and Pete Hidy. Jim himself lived in Allentown and practiced his craft on the banks of the Little Lehigh, the best known of our Lehigh Valley limestone creeks.

Its also not so much a fly tied strictly to recipe as much as a pattern, to be tied to whatever you seek. Materials and methods can be as stringent or vague as you feel.

And the Oscar goes to...

...something that wasn't Gasland.

Not surprised, whatever it is that won, it was abotu the financial meltdown, and people are more actively worried, plus, you can blame that on Republican leadership with ease, this is Hollywood we're talkin' about.

Marcellus Shale isn't nearly as scary, I guess, unless you live with it. Its why you might want to watch Gasland at some point, coz like, it has bearing on you. Directly on many of us who might read this stupid blog.  There's a good chance you might be, too. If not now, soon enough. That article claims "Saudi Arabia of natural gas." I'll remember that when we start seeing sheiks in Rollses rollin' down PA191.

So, for what its worth, Gasland available via streaming on Netflix and Amazon.

And then, there's wading in the Little Lehigh Heritage Angling section, which is allowed now, BTW.

But why...?

Sunday, February 27

Like Whitney Houston sez...

...I believe children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way.

Not children. Well, maybe man-children. Hey, whatever.
Yesterday marked the first of what might be an annual event, a day to take new flyfishermen (and women, if they'd shown up) out for a little introductory lesson.

It started as an idea on's forums and sort of grew from there. One of the more prolific, and  nicer, posters ran with it and really brought together alot of resources to make something good happen in the parking lot of the old Little Lehigh Fly Shop.

Wednesday, February 23

Government working for you: Flow gages.

Good 'ole 01452500.
Didja know when you're not beating your official Tea Party rabble rousin' drum that the Government occasionally does something useful?

Oh, don't be silly, they don't intend this to be of service to you, its just a helpful bonus, and that's the crux of the problem.

The US Geological Survey maintains a series of stream flow gages, established in 1888, continually collecting and collating data. If you've never looked at one, its a remarkably helpful resource for all anglers. Its also very helpful to the sorts of eggheads who calculate sciencey stuff and plan about disasters, and all the sorts of things that massive, and epic, flooding from rain can cause. This, of course, is its intentional goal, not to help you determine if you're going to be fishing dainty little flies in low flows or slinging meat to fish in high waters.

The downside is that many of these are in danger of shutdown due to budget cuts. All those bombs cost cash, and we just can't print more (well, we could, but it generally goes to buy more bombs and staff cars), so as we all many of us look to tighten our belts, there will be cuts.

Like, the nearly 40 in danger of being shut down in the coming year.

Trout Unlimited, not just old men and hippies.

Alaska: Cold, and expensive to get to.
Actually, nary a hippy to be found. I'm sure they're there, but they don't attend meetings, I guess.

You should, though. I mean, its like $35 for a year, and they use it to do something useful, unlike you, to try and help that stream you fish when you're too lazy to drive to Spring Creek. You know, that one you don't think is very good (although, I'm quite fond of my local waterways, thank you very much) and that doesn't get the press the big waters might do so.

Auction prizes, for $1, why
wouldn't you? 
So, go ahead. Throw 'em $35. Then, find a local chapter and attend their meeting. Or, skip the $35, and just attend a meeting to see what's up, they're generally nice enough people, and chances are, you share the same interests.

Last night some guy told me about Alaska, and the "budget" lodge (the budget lodge, FWIW, still cost him on the order of $4k for a week, in case you were wondering). Now, I admit, I have zero interest in Alaskan lodges (or Montana lodges, last month's discussion), but its nice seeing what one could get up to if they had money, eh?

If you're in the Lehigh Valley, the combined valley chapters, Monocacy #491, Forks of the Delaware #482, and  Hagendaas #535 hold their combined "spring event" on March 26th. The Monocacy guys sure would like to have you come help clean up the stream, too. I'd post details, but it appears they've borked their calendar.

And now, for something completely different on the same subject, but mildly different...
I'm going to just reprint a TU email, because I can, and why waste the time re-writing it?

Monday, February 21

Free fly tying lessons.

This could be you!
For our local Lehigh Valley fly fishing residents, the local LL Bean store in the Promenade Mall (Center Valley) offers a free 26 week tying course.

Its good stuff, you're responsible for tools but all materials (save thread) will be provided. You'll be taken from a simple San Juan worm on day 1 to a very ornate woven stonefly nymph on the last day, as well as making some friends and maybe some fishing partners. I also can promise you that you will end up with a box of very fishable flies, and the ability to understand what you're doing, versus some abortive messes you'll come up with looking at the stupid book that came with your kit (what, me?).

Unacceptable weather, also fly selection for dummies.

  • Your made in china label is showing.

Isn't it amazing, just a week ago I was singing the praises of spring, only to be given snow this week? Not that I was able to enjoy any of it, what with having to work late each night last week, and not being able to call off like the rest of the free world and feign illness (with doctors notes if you're in WI or wherever that is). Oh, sure, there was a weekend, but one day was spent with gale force winds, and the next was spent looking at a blown out stream.

Not that I didn't go out and try, but it wasn't to be. I did let some little kids cast my fly rod, because that seemed like the right thing to do. Whens the last time you let some random stranger try your fishing gear? I challenge you to hand it over to someone who walks by and randomly expresses interest. Do your hobby a favour, people. 

Or don't,  what the hell do I care?

Anyways, this is the part of the post where I do something useful. Its the goal, generally.  Actually, the goal is to somehow figure out a way to line my pockets, and I imagine some sort of linkage to some sort of retailer is a way to do it, but thats more effort than I can put forth, so whatever...and thus, until then, I can claim nothing but altruistic designs.

I remember a few years ago, I walked into a big box store, pulled out a stack of gift cards and got stupid. I had no idea what any of this stuff was, but I knew I needed it. I picked out some tackle, then stared in mute horror at the wall of flies.

I had no clue what they were, none. Not any. I had to go in blind based on what they looked like, it wasn't pretty for a guy who hadn't seriously fished in 15+ years.

So, that said, "beginner flies," or "what flies do I use in fly fishing?" I wish someone had done this for me, or, y'know, I put forth some basic research into "starter flies." 

Friday, February 18

Not a minute too soon...

Not pictured: Thermometer that reads like 67 degrees.
I know there's 30ish days til it officially starts, but you could've fooled me today. The sun was warm, I did not require a dead rabbit strapped to my head for comfort, and most importantly... the blue wing olives were back!

The downside is the fish weren't cooperating.

Oh well, was the first day this year I didn't need three coats and wonder about just how to tell what the openign stages of frost bite might look like with regards to my fingers.

There's something to be said for a late start time for work, and moving your tying station to the stream side.

Tuesday, February 15


This is what serious business looks like.
Eh, wot? A blargh? Why?

Well, why the hell not. I've got alot to say, and judging from the state of America, we've all got plenty of spare time and nothing productive to do. They go hand in hand, dig?

See, it starts when I was going to do this official mouthpiece thing for the Monocacy Chapter of Trout Unlimited, but it wasn't working out. I had many ideas I wanted to use, and others had their own, and there was some minor issues of contention. So, rather than cause needless arguments as minor things exploded into bigger-than-need-be, it was easier and smarter to leave them full control, and allow my stupidity creativity an unfettered outpouring to the Interwebs without having to worry about offendning anyone. The only thing I should be trusted to represent is myself, and I don't even do that very well.

So, all those lofty ideas I had? All to be discarded, right? Lost to the ages, stifled and unavailable to an adoring public.

Until now.