Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Panfish Flies

Panfish flies are a ton of fun to make and fish.  They are extremely cheap, fast and easy to tie.  Added bonus, they catch fish!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Just like Tom Sawyer

Very interesting and well written article -

Just like Tom Sawyer: Tenkara fly-fishing is catching on






Monday, June 29, 2015

Best Time to Fish

Someone in one of the fly fishing forums was looking for suggestions regarding why they weren’t catching as many fish as they expected.  They were fishing a few U.P. Michigan Ponds/lakes for brook trout.  He had put in long days starting the day at 9:00 or 10:00 a.m., and fishing to 5:00 -5:30.  OF course, the days were not a total loss - beautiful scenery and several loons to keep him company.

My initial response, although I had never fished the ponds/ lakes mentioned, I will say, I've been fishing for a long time, in alot of different places for alot of different fish. One of the biggest mistakes I generically see folks make - fishing at the worst time of the day. Most folks are coming out just as the fishing slows down, and go home just as the fishing starts to pick up.

I have found you are best off to fish early in the morning, and late in the evening. Having been doing this for a long time, I can say it is often dramatic what a difference if makes. The difference is sometimes lessened on a cloudy day, but on a sunny day, you are much better off taking a mid day nap and resting up for an evening of fishing. Someone may be able to come up with an exception, but day in and day out, fishing the low light times of day is the way to go.

So wrote Rudyard Kipling - “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun”

My advice was pretty much solely based on my own personal experience.  But as I thought about it, there are a number of factual reasons to support my claim. 

 In a given lake or pond, trout may indeed be at the top of the aquatic food chain.  That's probably true as long as they don't have to worry about what's in the air.  In ecosystems where loons, herons, kingfishers, fish eating raptors, etc are present, fish drop down a notch or two in the predator/prey pyramid.  Since the birds are all sight feeders, if they are present, fish learn to stay scarce when they are highly visible from above.

I'm not at all familiar with the biology of U.P. lakes and ponds.  Down in my neck of the Michigan woods, zooplankton forms the basis of the food chain in alot of lakes.  Many species of zooplankton exhibit a behavior known as diurnal vertical migration.

In the evenings, the zooplankton swim toward the surface; at dawn, they sink back down thru the water column.  The stuff that eats the zooplankton tends to focus their feeding behaviors during these migration periods.  Zooplankton is particularly vulnerable during these migrations. Their swimming motion is often species specific and readily recognizable.  That motion may certainly be a feeding trigger for the species that prey on the zooplankton.   That in turn causes the larger fish to become more active in terms of feeding on the smaller fish.

OF course the same thing applies to the aquatic bugs, fish tend to become active when the bugs are active.  Alot of hatches occur during the early mornings and late evenings.  Aquatic insects tend to avoid the bright sun and mid day heat.  Perhaps partially to avoid detection, as well as avoid dehydration.

During the middle of the day from a prey fish perspective, there is less activity going on, i.e. less chance of an easy meal, coupled with the fact they are more likely to get eaten themselves by something in the air, fish soon learn to retreat to the safety of the depths.  Same way I use to tell my kid, not much good happens after midnight, not much good happens to our fish friends at noon.

It really all comes down to risk vs. reward.  Fish that make unwise choices about their safety tend to get eaten, which in turn removes those behaviors from the gene pool.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ceramic Nymphs

I received a package of ceramic nymphs from the good folks at French Nymphs today
I wasn't familiar with ceramic nymphs until I saw them on the French Nymph site -

These are some great looking flies, they are relatively heavy for their size and should cut through the water column very well.

Make sure you take a look at these if you like to fish subsurface.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The most important fly tying tool

Trick Question –  What’s the most important fly tying tool ?

Trick Answer -  Your fingers.

DISCLAIMER -  It takes a man who is comfortable in his own skin to talk about hand care

One thing I’ve found, it really pays to keep your fingers/nails  in good shape when it comes to tying flies.  Nothing gets in the way more than ragged finger nails and patches of rough skin.   For a long time, I just put up with it. 

It wasn’t until I started hanging around with my guitar playing buddies that I learned how to take care of my finger tips and nails.  Guitar players are meticulous in the way they take care of their finger tips and nails.  The need them smooth and well kept in order to make sure they don’t get in the way of fretting and plucking strings.

I found out what they use to smooth things out – glass nail files.  A good glass nail file is worth its weight in gold when it comes to maintaining health smooth nail and removing rough patches of dead skin and such from finger tips.

It makes tying go so much smoother, wish I would have figured this out about 40 years ago.  If you are tired of snagging materials and such, give one a try.  (as with most things, don’t buy a cheap one, it pays to get a good quality file, they are guaranteed to last a life time, unless you drop and break it.)  They work so much better than nail clippers, sandpaper, emery boards, ...  

I ordered a batch directly from the Czech Republic (for some reason, they make the best files) for the folks in my fly fishing club.  The guys and gals just love the way they smooth out the rough spots on their nails and finger tips.  I actually have a few left, if you’d be interested in one, drop me a PM.

There, somehow I strangely feel better having come out of the closet and having talked about hand care.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Where to fish -

A great source regarding where to find wild trout across the U.S. -


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Loop to Loop connection

I like to use a loop to loop connection wherever appropriate.  It's fast and easy, secure, and easily reversible.

There is a right and wrong way to make the connection.  You want the knot to look like this -

not like this