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***September Playmate of the Month is here**** When this one says no, don’t push the issue.

*** Real time fishing report/video–fishing’s good right now ***

***  Looking for a September 2014 fishing forecast? Check out my Fishing in September 2013 post. Things really don’t change much from year to year . The events I tell about  will occur and  may happen  a little sooner or later than stated, but rest assured they will take place.!

I recently found  two video clips that I took a few years ago.  I figured how to get them online for people to see. One is of a September Blitz  that should get your juices flowing.and the other is a fly tying video I made of Tying a Simple Bay Anchovy pattern(Raychovy?) that works. Might be useful as Bay Anchovies are a primary forage for Bass, Blues and Albies in September. Let me know what you think as I’m considering doing a  Ray’s Fly & Yellow Rebel Videos if people find  the Raychovy one useful. Tying the Ray’s Fly would be two parts mainly because of video time restrictions. First one on hook, color  and material selection, showing what’s available and what I look for. The second  would be on actually tying the Ray’s Fly with bits of useful info and observations included.

Today- Wednesday.. September 17, 2014–> It’s clear and 49°F at the backyard bird bath this morning . I did manage to go down to the shore mid-afternoon yesterday. When I sarrived “Al the Guide” was wrapping it up for the day.

"Albie Al "

“Albie Al “

He had landed several Albies and dropped several more. Beside a photo of one of the Albies he also snapped a pic of what the Albies were eating.

Bay Anchovies-Albie Food

Bay Anchovies-Albie Food

Al will be at them again today. While Al’s chasing Albies,  I’ll be heading to Maine for the closing on a small cabin set in 4 acres of woods. With that in mind here’s a report of what I saw and learned today. Albies and Bluefish are at the East & West walls of Pt. Judith. They’re feeding on large schools of Bay Anchovies  ranging from 2 1/4″ to 3 3/4″ in size.. There’s Finger Mullet along the Narragansett Town Beach from the wall down to the second pavillion. There’s plenty of action along the coast and it should heat up even more in the next week. The bait should move on the next moon.

Tuesday.. September 15, 2014–> It’s cloudy and 46°F at the backyard bird bath this morning . Showers are forecast for today and fair weather for the remainder of the week. Yesterdays near flat surf is forecast to increase throughout today and heighten to 4-5 ft. for Wednesday then slowly subsiding. ..” “Al the Guide”reports constant and brief Albie sorties at the West wall in Jerusalem RI. less frequent sightings at the east wall at Pt Judith., Stripers have been showing along the Charlestown Breach way area. I’m thinking of trying for stripers around noon time today but not at Charlestown but rather the Narragansett Rocks……….. we’ll see!

Friday.. September 12, 2014–> It’s calm, clear and 56°F at the backyard bird bath this morning . Fair weather is forecast for today and much of the upcoming weekend..” Al the Guide” is giving the rivers in western Massachusetts and the Farmington R. in CT a break He tells of False Albacore raiding the East and West walls at Pt. Judith in Narragansett, RI, for much of this week. While Al’s been chasing Albies I’ve been preparing for my son’s wedding tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get out next week for a change. .

Saturday.. September 6, 2014–> It’s overcast, very humid,  and 76°F at the freshly filled backyard bird bath this morning . T-storms are forecast for later today as a cold front approaches. Fair weather is forecast for tomorrow and for the first half of next. week.  I just returned from central Maine after spending several  days looking at several camps for sale. While I was gone ” Al the Guide” continued to explore rivers in western Massachusetts and the Farmington R. in CT. He tells of good fishing while learning new areas.  September is my favorite time of year for fishing. It brings pleasant weather as both baitfish and Bass, Bluefish along with Albies assemble in preparation  for their upcoming migration. Historical data shows that water temps begin to decline around Sept 15th and will continue drop until mid-March. is it just coincidence that long-standing  month-long Martha’s Vineyard  Striped Bass and Bluefish tourney begins on Sept 15th? Prime time is only a week away (15 Sept to 15 Oct)  and is what I consider a month of the best saltwater fishing of the year here in R.I.

Yesterday–Friday..September 6, 2014—-I recently found a two video clips that I took a few years ago.  I figured how to get them online for people to see .One is of a September Blitz  that should get your juices flowing.and the other is a fly tying video I made of Tying a simple Bay Anchovy pattern(Raychovy?) that works. Might be useful as Bay Anchovies are a primary forage for Bass, Blues and Albies in September.

Let me know what you think as I’m considering doing a  Ray’s Fly & Yellow Rebel Videos if people find  the Raychovy one useful.

Tying the Ray’s Fly would be two parts mainly because of video time restrictions. First one on hook, color  and material selection, showing what’s available and what I look for. The second  would be on actually tying the Ray’s Fly with bits of useful info and observations included.


***Bird bath report,  Fishing report,  Playmate etc -TOMORROW***



***August Playmate of the Month is here! ***

*** Real time fishing report/video–fishing’s good right now ***

***  Looking for an August fishing forecast? Check out my Fishing in August 2013 post. Things really don’t change much from year to year . The events I tell about  will occur but may be a little sooner or later than stated.

Today-Saturday.. August 30, 2014–> It’s clear mostly cloudy and 51°F at the freshly filled backyard bird bath this morning .. Fair weather is forecast for thefirst half of the Labor Day holiday weekend with inreased cloudiness and a few showers later on. I just returned from central Maine after spending two days looking at several camps for sale. While I was gone ” Al the Guide” continued to explore rivers in western Massachusetts. He tells of good fishing while learning new areas. The surf’s been up for much of the past week making fly rodding the rocks nearly impossible and extremely dangerous

Saturday.. August 23, 2014–> It’s mostly cloudy and 63°F at the freshly filled backyard bird bath this morning .  Fair weather is forecast for this weekend and well into next week. I just returned from Maine after chasing Brookies, landlocks  and smallies for 10 days .

Llean Magallaway Landlock

Lean Magalloway Landlock

While I was gone the slow striper fishing sent ” Al the Guide” to explore rivers in western Massachusetts for the first time. His efforts were rewarded with some nice fish and special memories. He told me of the places he found and catching brook, brown and rainbow trout as well as several tigers.

The guides tiger

Tiger in Al’s Tank

the guides brownie

Al’s Beautiful Brownie

Yesterday Al and I we teamed up and fished well over a mile of rocky Narragansett ocean front without even a hit. Conditions were good yet even several go-to spots along the way that usually produce fish 99% of the time came up empty. We both agreed that going trout fishing next week was looking good.

Saturday.. August 9, 2014–> It’s sunny and 68°F at the freshly filled backyard bird bath this morning . Fair weather is forecast. Fair weather is forecast for the weekend and into next week. “Al the Guide” reports only spotty fishing however he did spy many large schools of bait along the Narragansett, RI shoreline. On Wednesday morning I was thinking of going striper fishing at one of my favored areas-Beavertail Pt. in Jamestown RI.  Knowing that a hurricane well off the coast was going to produce some heightened surf I checked the wave heights at two offshore buoys. Both reported swells at around seven ft. which told me that very rough and trecherous conditions would exit. Probably too rough for fly rodding so I decided to stay close to home and fish for native trout in a nearby stream. Seems I chose wisely because the evening news told of a fisherman losing his life after being swept off the rocks at Beavertail by the heavy surf around mid-morning . One can never be too cautious along the rocks. Knowledge and respect of the rocks and the surf’s power will help to keep you safe.

Today I’m gathering camping and fishing gear in preparation for a solo return trip up north to the Umbagog/Rangely  ME area for a few days of smallie and trout fishing.

Tuesday.. August 5, 2014–> It was sunny and 68°F at the freshly filled backyard bird bath this morning . Fair weather is forecast for much of the week. This is typical l August weather here in R.I., hot and sunny. Weather that makes daytime striper fishing along the rocky ocean front tough. Not only does the fishing slow down on the bright, sunny days but it is also exhausting. “Al the Guide” reports he’s taken a fish here and there but nothing big or consistent.  Al summed it up by saying “not sure if it’s even worth the effort.” I had great fishing last week when I took two of my granddaughters fishing. They really hammered the bluegills. We caught fish, cooked hot dogs and picked wild blueberries all under Lola’s watchful eye,– doesn’t get any better!.

Maddie’s Protégé is coming along nicely

Make every day Earth day, Pick up one piece of trash daily!

***July Playmate of the Month is here***

 **** Here’s a real-time, LIVE fishing report. There’s been steady fishing here but all the good spots are always taken by the old timers who frown upon newcomers trying to getting to close.,

Today- Friday.. July 25, 2014–It’s partly cloudy and 60°F at the freshly filled backyard bird bath this morn.. A  sunny day with seasonal temps is in the forecast  and the weekend has mixed weather in-store.  I’ve been back for a week now after a rain filled week up north. All the rivers near where I camp were under flash flood advisory and many of the bigger lakes were filled to the brim,  Despite all that I managed smallies, trout and several very large pickerel  The pickerel smashed my chartreuse  foam popper/spider , trout  my Cardellow and the smallies whacked my Root Beer fly.  If you go to Maine to fish for smallmouths be sure to bring along several Root Beer flies.  I haven’t fished since my return and I’m not missing much as “‘Al the Guide” reports slow fishing along the ocean during the day. So much so that he’s been chasing trout in the Swift and Miller Rivers up in  Central MA this week..

I enjoy tying and fishing older fly patterns. Check out Puckerbrush .com for some old and often forgotten patterns along with a philosophy I totally agree with.  All that glitters is not gold,  but more often the old and tarnished patterns are.  I’ll be sure to tie up several Stayner Ducktails  for my next trip up north. Of course I’ll ensure I still have a few Grizzly Kings in my fly book.

Friday.. July 11, 2014==Today was warm and pleasant. . A good day make final preparations for a return trip to the Umbagog Lake/Magalloway R. area with my wife and Lola. Lola likes the pop-up camper we’ll be towing. She goes in with no problems but then doesn’t want to come out. I guess it’s the den like feeling. maybe she thinks inside is where she’ll be as the rain is forecast for much of next week up there.

Al “the Guide” reports the fishing remains good around the Narraganseet/Pt. Judithi AREA. The morning and evening tides this weekend should be good.


Wednesday.. July 9, 2014–> It’s clear and 68°F at the freshly filled backyard bird bath this morning . A hot and sunny day is forecast, with warm and dry conditions forecast into early next week. Speaking of hot, ” Al the Guide” reports that fishing along the Narragansett, R.I. shore has finally heated up. There’s been lots of white water and fish if you can contend with the very windy conditions. Many of the stripers are near “keeper” size and there’s a few big bluefish scattered about just to check your tackle. With early morning high tides upcoming it’s a good bet to fish Narragansett/Scarborough at first light and evening. The fishing doesn’t last for long after sunrise on bright days. On the other hand evening fishing only gets better as nightfall settles in. Small 2′-2.5″ Sand eels are the main forage at these beaches in early July. A small, sparse Rays Fly will usually work. Mix a little light brown between the yellow and olive bucktail for a better match. Don’t rule out a larger streamer like the Bondorew Bucktail or Al’s “Guide Fly.” Better yet fish’em in tandem but make sure to double-check your knots.

Ever since Maddie’s passing over two weeks ago I haven’t felt like fishing or doing much of anything, God how I miss my girl. My late June Lake Umbagog area fishing trip with my friend Dave Aguiar could have been better. We had three days of solid fishing and while the fishing was great the catching wasn’t. Seems the Smallmouth spawn was late this year and we hit the post spawn period head on. Coupled with a record 3″ overnight rainfall on the first night sure didn’t help fishing in the Androscoggin and Magalloway Rivers. We did eventually find where the smallies were hanging. Most seemed to have moved out of the colder main current and were found in the shallower coves and dead water spots where the water temp was nearly 10 degrees warmer. We saw several moose and many Bald Eagles along with my first ever black bear in the wild. Oddly enough I saw it near an area that we discovered while scouting about. The spot showed much potential and I intend to wade fish there on my next time up. I’ll make sure to keep an eye on my back cast.


***” Inside every good dog is a great dog”***

Today-Tuesday.. June 24, 2014–> It was clear and 55°F at the backyard bird bath this morning at sunrise. I made a pot of coffee and grabbed a cup to take out to the backyard and sip it while visiting  Maddie’s final resting place to chat with her. Tomorrow I head up north to the Umbagog Lake area for a smallmouth fishing trip with my friend Dave Aguiar. (click on pics to enlarge)

Umbagog & Maddie's in the truck

Umbagog & Maddie’s in the truck

With less than a day to go I don’t have a thing ready except some food items as the past two days have been perhaps the most tear filled and painful of my life. Some friends and family members have said the trip would do me good. It would start the healing process and not seeing the many momentos around the house for several days would be a beginning. Perhaps so for some but Maddie and I did everything together. Where I went ,she went. The very first time I went to the Umbagog Area(NH&ME) was with Maddie. Just her and I camping /fishing for three rain filled days. You can learn much about yourself and your relationship with your dog when you’re confined to a tent or the truck cab for hours on end.

Camping on the banks of the Magalloway with maddie

Camping on the banks of the Magalloway with Maddie


She was with my wife and  I each year we camped/fished and paddled up there, so there’s many inescapable fond memories that will come forth while I’m there.

Most will bring a smile to my face as we surely had many, many good times.

Yesterdays ago-Sunday..June 22, 2014–> It’s clear  and 55°F at the backyard bird bath this morning .  Despite the forecast for a bright and sunny day,  a dark cloud  with tearful showers will hang  over my wife and  I  today and for days  to come just as it has since Wednesday.  Yesterday after 14 ½ wonderful years, Maddie “The Wonder Dog” was put to rest.  Numerous re-occurring medical conditions and a rapid decline in her overall quality of life caused my wife and I to make this dreaded decision. This past Wednesday I called Maddie’s vet to see about putting her to sleep. Yesterday  was the earliest we could have this painful moment take place so for  the next two days we beat ourselves up by second guessing  and continuously trying to re-assure ourselves that our decision  was the right thing to do. Our emotions and deep love for our family member always seemed to rise above what we knew was best. This made the past several days some of the  longest, saddest and most painful days of our lives.  The days ahead won’t be any easier because of her deep involvement in our everyday lives. Everywhere we look we see Maddie. However now her pain is gone and at the end there was no suffering  as she now peacefully rests by the big pond in the sky surrounded by balls, bones, sticks, treats and of course CHEESE. In the days ahead my wife and I  will attempt  to not feel sorry for ourselves about her passing  and  losing her forever , but rather to look back at all the good times and great memories we made together. Believe me there are many of them. I was fortunate to have her as my fishing partner and our daily companion for so many years. I can only wish for others to be so fortunate.

In Loving Memory

Maddie "The Wonder Dog" 12/21/99 to 06/21/2014

Maddie “The Wonder Dog”
12/21/99 to 06/21/2014


“We’re for dogs and for everything they do for our quality of life here on earth”– Pedigree Dog Food


“Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. We did not weave the web of life, we are merely strands in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.” Chief Seattle

***Make every day Earth Day–Pick up one piece of trash daily ***

***June 2014 Playmate of the Month is here.*****

Today-Wednesday..June 18, 2014–> It’s partly cloudy and 65°F at the backyard bird bath this morning . After a dry, sunny ,warm weather yesterday today is forecast to be hot and humid with temps near 90°F.  I did fish a lengthy stretch of the rocky Narragansett, RI shoreline for stripers with “Al the Guide”  on Father’s Day The late morning was sunny and a light surf was running. Seemed as if neither bass nor bait last were around as we managed only one schoolie and it fell for Al’s “Guide Fly.” Fishing was much different last year at this time. On Monday I spent a few hours fishing for native Brook Trout while keeping an eye out for my lost camera. The brookies were all over my #12 Chartreuse Cooper Bug fished on top. I’m unsure if the Chartreuse color made a difference but I did spot a number of inch worms. Next Wednesday I’ll be heading up north for a few days with my friend Dave Aguiar of Westpor,t MA to fish the Umbagog Lake area on the ME/NH border for smallmouth bass. I’m somewhat familiar with the area as my wife and I usually go camping up there each year for a week or two.

Friday. June 13, 2014–> It’s rainy and 60°F at the overflowing backyard bird bath this morning . Todays forecast is for showers with warm and sunny conditions as we get into the weekend. Many trips to my local stream during the week failed to turn up my camera and tools. Maybe if I didn’t take along a fly rod while searching  I may might just find it. I’ve taken many native brookies lately using a Yellow Cooper Bug. (more on the Cooper Bug later)I’ve been fishing only on top even with nothing showing. The brookies seem really keyed in on the surface right now. While I’ve been chasing a lost camera and native trout “Al the Guide” reports taking over fifty stripers including a handful of keepers during the week from the shoreline of Greenwich Bay. He’s been fishing from shore or just off shore from his kayak and his “Guide Fly” has been the number. In years gone by the full moon in June typically turned up the largest stripers of the season. I’m planning on fishing the rocky ocean shoreline for the first time this year on Sunday(Father’s Day). For many years I’d  fish the rocks for the first time on Father’s Day with my regular fishing partner “Maddie the Wonder Dog. ”  Because Maddies’ 14 year old body can no longer handle walking far never mind the rocks,  she’ll  be with me in spirit.

Friday. June 6,2014–> It’s partly cloudy and 55°F at the overflowing backyard bird bath this morning . After yesterdays much-needed rain the forecast is for sunny and warm weather for today and thru the weekend. This should get vegetable gardens and fishing going. Reports from my two life long friends “Al the Guide’ and Joe Adamonis a.ka. “The Catcher” tell of hit or miss tidal location striper fishing. While there’s not an abundance, those caught are near keeper size and fat. While my friends chase “keeper” (28″+) stripers I’ve been trying my hand at handsome 7-10″ native Brook Trout before we lose the good water to summer weather. This week I tried a local stream for several hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. The fishing was good but on Wednesday unbeknownst to me until I returned to my truck I  had managed to drop my camera case from my belt. I didn’t realize it until I returned to my truck. There were a pair of forceps and nippers pinned to the outside of the case and inside was my water and shock proof camera. Unfortunately the camera isn’t loss or dumb proof. So today I plan to retrace my steps to the last place I used the nippers in hopes of finding it. My gut tells me that it probably came off when I jumped several boulders while crossing the stream twice. This is probably why I didn’t hear or feel it drop…oh well.

Sunday..June 01, 2014–>> It’s a sunny and pleasant  55°F at the backyard bird bath this morning. Sunny  with seasonable temps are forecast for today and tomorrow with some rain/showers coming during mid-week. Great weather to get out and enjoy the outdoors.  With sunny days and warm temps some sporadic worm hatches should occur  at tidal locations , couple this with the arrival of more more silversides  some good striper fishing should take place.

Earth Day Flies

When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them. –Chief Seattle

Earth Day Flies

       Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22nd. A day on which worldwide events are held to demonstrate awareness and support for environmental protection. This year I set out to retrace my steps of Earth Day 2013. Pick up several bags of trash at nearby outdoor recreational areas then head to a small, unstocked stream to fish for native Brook Trout. I planned to fish only two flies, my Lola streamer and Squirrel nymph. These two new(to me) patterns had special meaning as they were dressed using mainly materials the Earth had provided, especially my squirrel nymph. It seemed only fitting  that I should fish them for wild, native trout, stocked by Mother Nature not dumped  from a hatchery truck .

Lola Streamer & Squirrel nymph

Lola Streamer & Squirrel nymph

The Lola streamer was named after my dog Lola who provided me with a small tuft of her white hair for the streamer’s wing.Wisps of red hackle were used for the tail and throat. White yarn from my wife’s knitting supply ribbed with a strand of silver tinsel from my Christmas tree formed the streamer’s body. You might wonder, a Christmas tree in April? Early each December we get a fresh-cut Christmas tree. The decorated tree remains in my family room through New Years and into mid-January. Finally the lights, ornaments and tinsel are removed (some tinsel always remains) and the tree still in its stand is set in the backyard near my bird feeders where it provides cover for the birds. I also scatter bird seed beneath the tree for the smaller ground feeders especially before a snow storm. Around the end of April the tree is taken to my towns compost site–Christmas trees have always served me well.

Lola’s Streamer
Thread: Black
Hook: Size 6-10 Streamer hook 3- 4XL
Tail: Red hackle wisps
Wing: Bunch of Lola’s white fur or Arctic fox fur.
Body: Strand of white yarn from wife’s knitting yarn stash or an old sweater.
Ribbing; Strand of Silver Christmas Tree tinsel
Hackle: Red hackle wisps

 I expected my Lola streamer fly to work and wasn’t surprised that it did. What did surprise me was how Lola’s fur wing appeared while I fished the pattern. Lola, (Wonder Dog in Training) is a mix breed; part Great Pyrenees, Siberian Huskie and Border Collie.

Lola-"Wonder Dog in Training"

Lola-“Wonder Dog in Training

The white fur Lola gave me from under her neck is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Arctic Fox fur. Looking at the fly after wetting it the hairs appeared very compressed and I thought more fur was needed. However looking at it while fishing the white wing seemed to explode and really puff up. The wing looked a little too full and seemed to over-power the fly. Despite this minor short coming it had great action and caught several native Brookies.

Earth Day 2014  Native

Earth Day 2014 Native

RKS(Road Kill Squirrel) Nymph
Thread: black
Hook: Std or 1XL Wet Fly Size 10/12
Tail: Gray Squirrel outer body fur(white-tipped black and brown hairs)
Body: Dubbed Gray Squirrel dark blue-gray under and outer fur mixed
Hackle: Collar of Gray Squirrel Outer Body fur
Ribbing: Fine silver wire(optional)

        My RKS nymph is tied solely of squirrel fur. Several weeks ago while walking my dogs close to home we came upon a recent road kill gray squirrel. The blood looked fresh and the body showed no visible damage so before cars ran it over to beyond recognition I brought it home to take the tail for fly tying. While carefully looking over squirrel’s body fur a new fly pattern came to mind. One using the white-tipped black and brown outer hairs for the tail and collar/hackle and the dark blue-gray under fur for the body. I quickly took the tail, skinned the body to use for my new pattern and buried the remains. I tied several squirrel nymphs, one dubbed with only the soft dark blue-gray under fur and the other dubbed with mixed outer and under fur.

Road Kill Squirrel Nymphs

Road Kill Squirrel Nymphs

My choice was the mixed fur one(on the right) because of it’s more ragged and buggier look. The finished fly tied solely of road kill squirrel fur looked great and reminded me of my gray nymph in appearance. I knew the RKS nymph would work well and it did.

These two fly patterns show how successful patterns  can be tied using materials that  are at hand. Whether it be road kill, dog/cat fur ,bird feathers  etc  Mother Earth provides a good supply of tying materials free of charge. It’s not only fun to be creative and tie with these materials but also  extremely rewarding, especially when they work.  Tie’em up!–Ray

(c) Ray Bondorew 2014

*** Help make every day Earth Day–Pick up one piece of trash daily! ***

Today-Friday..May 16,2014–> It was cloudy and 62 F at the backyard bird bath this morning . Forecast is for a breezy, overcast day with some mist and showers. Today’s plan was to go with “Al the Guide” and fish along R.I.’s south shore where he’s doing well along the Matunuck ocean front. However with surf running 5-6 ft, a stiff S 20-25 kt breeze and showers approaching we postponed our effort. Tidal pond fishing would’ve been a better choice as “The Guide ” reports many worms in several ponds but there’s not many fish after them so far.


Tuesday..May 13,2014–> It was partly cloudy and 52 F at the backyard bird bath this morning . Forecast is for a mostly cloudy and breezy day with temps in the upper 50s. Yesterday was sunny and warm so “Al the Guide” and i tried some mid-day tidal river striper fishing . We managed a dozen bright schoolies ranging from 13-20 ” on a Ray’s Fly, dare I say Clouser.

Bright & Fat May Schoolie

Bright & Fat May Schoolie


Oddly their conditioning varied according to size. The smaller and larger stripers were fat while the mid range ones were very lean.Year class or wintering-over location may have influenced this. Nonetheless  d larger they all put up a good battle  on our 5 weight rods





Thursday..May 8,2014–> It was partly cloudy and 53 F at the backyard bird bath this morning . Forecast is for temps in the upper 60s with a mix of sun and clouds for today followed by showers/rain toward the weekend. “Al the Guide” reports schoolies and anglers on the Matunuck west wall. Yesterday I fished a small un-stocked stream with a gentleman I met there on Earth Day 2013. Although the day was sunny with temps in the mid-60s, insect life was sparse and surface action non-existent. However, we did manage several natives each on my RKS nymph.

RKS Nymph Native

RKS Nymph Native

His company and the weather were enjoyable while native brookies and marsh marigolds provided the icing on a very pleasant day.

Marsh Marigolds

Marsh Marigolds


Tuesday..May 1, 2014–>> It’s 55 °F and rain at the overflowing backyard bird bath this morning. One inch of rain fell yesterday and there’s more to come today. The rivers and streams that were swollen for much of April will continue to run full to the bank during early May. “April showers bring May flowers” is true in a typical year but  with birds, trees and flowers several weeks behind schedule who knows what may’s timetable will be.  The peach blossoms pictured below  were taken March 26, 2012–This year the buds have just begun to show pink.

Peach Blossoms  March 26, 2012

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” Chief Sitting Bull – Lakota Sioux




The Trueblood Otter Shrimp

        I’ve always favored furry, simple and easily tied fly patterns. Flies tied using animal fur, bird hackles and perhaps ribbed with some real wire or tinsel have always produced for me. The Trueblood Otter Shrimp is one of those simple yet productive patterns.

      Lefty Kreh once wrote an article for Field and Stream magazine where he had asked the top twelve fly rodders in the country at the time to list their favorite six dry, wet, nymph and streamer patterns. Joe brooks, A.J.Mcclane,Charles Fox, Ed Shenk, Dan Bailey, Doug Swisher and Carl Richards were among those Lefty petitioned. While there was variation in most of their choices the Truelood Otter Shrimp was the one nymph pattern that most agreed upon.

The Trueblood Otter Shrimp was created by Ted Trueblood, one time fishing editor and outdoor writer for Field & Stream magazine. His Otter Shrimp is a classic nymph pattern designed to be fished as a scud. Although primarily a successful shrimp/scud pattern, trout everywhere readily accept it even where neither scud nor shrimp are present because they perceive this fly as food. That’s the ultimate criteria for the success of any fly, what the fish think it is!

I learned of Trueblood Otter shrimp when Ted Trueblood introduced it in a  Field and Stream article he wrote in the early 1970s. He wrote that the fly had taken trout all over the U.S and Europe and summed it up saying ‘it usually caught fish.” Back then I was often blinded by fancy flies with intriguing names and wondered if something so basic could be productive. Despite my desire for something fancy, difficult to tie and surely more productive I tied several up. I quickly learned that the Otter Shrimp was a consistent producer and for over forty years have always toted several in my fly box.

Ted Trueblood’s Otter Shrimp/Nymph

Trueblood Otter Shrimp

Trueblood Otter Shrimp

Hook: Std Wet fly
Tail: Brown Partridge
Body: Otter Fur  80%& Cream seal fur  20%
Hackle/Legs: Brown Partridge
Head: Green
** I often tie this pattern using solely Beaver fur.



Around the same time period I had tied a similar pattern I saw in Fishing the Nymph by Jim Quick. The fly named the Beaver Nymph was also originated by Ted Trueblood.

Ted Trueblood’s Beaver Nymph

 Hook: Std Wet fly

truebloods beaver Nymph

Beaver Nymph-Ted Trueblood

Tail: Wood Duck wisps
Body: Beaver or Otter Fur tied full
Rib: Gold Wire(optional)
Hackle/Legs: Gray Partridge or Wood Duck wisps
Head: Brown







These patterns are similar in construction and differ in the materials used for body, tail and legs. They all catch fish and I find them interchangable in most conditions.

ted Trueblood's Otter & Beaver Nymphs

Ted Trueblood’s Otter & Beaver Nymphs

So tie a few up, fish them with confidence and remember, ” leave them on for a while, you’ll catch fish.”


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