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Seems Like Yesterday

Recently my two lifelong friends  Joe Adamonis and Al “The Guide” Tobojka and I have gotten together once a week to tie flies at Al’s “Fish cave.” Tying flies is only one aspect of these get-togethers. It’s the camaraderie, recollections and stories that make these times special. I guess you could call these outings “Tie and Lie.” We began fishing and tying together in our early teens and continue to do so today in our mid-70s.  Just think, that’s nearly two hundred years of experience between us. Few good fishing buddies can say that. While we continue do  our share of striper fly tying and fishing  our focus has shifted somewhat. We now spend more time at our roots, freshwater fishing. Our recent tying sessions reflect this shift. We’ve been tying everything from soft hackle wets to foam hoppers. Joe likes to tie “Softies’ using Pearsall Silk for many and an occasional Midge as shown below. (Click on pic to enlarge)

Partridge-and-Copper

Partridge and Copper

zebra-midge

Zebra Midge

Partridge and Green

 

 

 

 

 

Partridge and Purple

Partridge and Purple

Iron Blue Dun

Iron Blue Dun

Joe’s Soft Hackles(Softies)

 

Of course saltwater patterns continued to be tied.  Al ” The Guide” likes his Saltwater patterns and gets away from freshwater flies frequently as his “Clouser Tree ” shows.  

20170207_150231

Al’s Clouser Tree

I’ve been tying  classic patterns for Maine Brookies and Landlocks. Many that I’ve never tied before but thought were interesting enough in both design and history to try. Several are pictured below. They are (L -R)  the Tomah Joe, Grizzly King and  Magalloway.

 

p1020925

Ray’s Classic Maine Wet Flies

Many of patterns we’ve been tying are new to us and whether they’ll actually be fished remains to be seen. We all have our favored reliable  patterns which often makes trying  new unproven patterns a hard choice. Regardless of the patterns we tie I can only hope that in a few more years I’ll be able to say we have over two hundred years experience. One thing’s for sure, that although it seems like yesterday, over the years we’ve tied countless flies and most have caught fish.

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

*** February Playmate of the Month is here!

***February Moon(Lakota)   Cannapopa wi — Moon when the trees crack due to the cold

 

Today -Tuesday..February 21, 2017–> If you live in R.I. or nearby Connecticut the following the following may interest you. I just learned that the State of Rhode Island is planning to build new 13,000 sq ft office building  at Browning Mill Pond in the Arcadia Management Area. If you are at all familiar with the pond and surrounding area you must ask yourself why.  Browning Mill Pond is a quiet, scenic and peaceful sanctuary.  It is a family place where both young and old can enjoy hiking, boating ,fishing and picnicking in harmony with nature, Few places like this remain in our small state. It would be a shame to alter this most precious resource for the sake of building a new DEM office especially so when so many other areas could be used.  I began visiting Browning Mill Pd in my early teens and have continued to do so over the past 60 years. In recent years I’ve taken my grandchildren there to fish, picnic and hike. We all want to leave our children  and grandchildren a better place to work and play in. Destroying the beauty  of Browning Mill Pond’s natural setting with a large office building goes against this most sacred tenant.

If you or anyone you know have been fortunate enough to enjoy Browning Mill Pond over the years there’s something you can do preserve this area for future generations. There’s a Petition to Gov. Gina Raimondo you can sign to Save Browning Mill Pond  by opposing this construction. Your signature is urgently needed and appreciated. Thanks

 

Monday..February 20, 2017 (Presidents Day)-> Today is forecast as the coldest day of the week with low 40s for a high. The remainder of week the temps will be in the upper 50s providing a welcome relief to the cold and snowy weather as of late.  I hope to get out mid-week and enjoy the pleasant weather by exploring several brooks and streams  in nearby eastern Connecticut, This  scouting trip is an attempt to discover new places to fish, find their access points and assess their potential.

Recently while searching the web for  New England fly shops  I came upon a very interesting one , Theriault Flies in Stacyville. Maine.  Theriault Flies is owned and operated by retired Maine game warden Alvin Theriault.  On the family farm  he and his wife and daughter raise ggenetic dry fly hackle, jungle cock, pearl guinea fowl, heritage turkey, Hungarians, cashmere goats, kid goats, Icelandic sheep, rabbits, and llama for fly tying.  Few fly shops can say that. These materials and much more is contained in their 70 page catalog. They have a very large material inventory and I’d say the different types of hair and fur available is perhaps the largest I’ve seen anywhere. They are also home to well-known and favored Maine fly patterns: The Maple Syrup and Big Trout Only patterns. Last weekend I ordered a catalog  and carefully searched through it. Despite already having more materials than I’ll ever use I  found about $50 worth of materials I just had to have.  This year when I’m up in Maine  I plan to take a trip to Theriault Flies.  It’s about 2 hours from my camp and to make the trip worthwhile I won’t leave the shop empty-handed.  For right now though I’ll anxiously await my orders arrival  this week.

 

Friday..February 3, 2017->The verdict is in. The Groundhog has spoken!

 

—>what's the weather gonna be??

“A  clear shadow I do see so six more weeks of winter it shall be”

Tomorrow my two lifelong friends Joe Adamonis and Al”The Guide” Tobojka  and I are planning to head up to the Connecticut Fly Fisherman’s Assoc. Annual Fly Fishing Expo in So.Windsor CT. This may help to scratch the Cabin Fever itch a little.

 

Thursday..February 2, 2017—>Happy Groundhog Day

Wednesday..February 1, 2017—> The holiday season has come and gone and we’re well into 2017. February is here and many moons have passed since my last post and it’s time to start-up again.

February marks the mid-way point of the winter season It also marks the time when throngs of people gather for a super spectacle that occurs but once a year. This event gets the attention of men, women and children of all ages. They will travel from near and far to cheer for their favorite. From those fortunate enough to attend in person to those who will watch on TV at home, it is not to be missed. That’s right after a year of waiting, Ground Hog Day will soon be here.There’s also another super event happening next Sunday.  It’s been a relatively mild winter thus far in R.I. Yesterday I was shocked to see about a dozen Boat-Tailed Grackles on the ground scavenging beneath my bird feeders.  This doesn’t typically occur until mid/late  February  and makes me wonder can spring’s arrival be far behind or will winter remain entrenched??

 

what's the weather gonna be??

” Is it going to be an Early Spring ?”

Fortunately tomorrow is Groundhog Day and we’ll get a reliable forecast on the remaining winter weather from two of nature’s best prognosticators; Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil and Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee. Lore has it that if they see their shadow when they emerge from their borrow they’ll scurry back in as there’s six more weeks of winter to come but if they don’t see their shadow they may remain out for a while as an early spring is forecast. These two woodchucks have been forecasting the weather for years with at least 50% accuracy. Gen. Beauregard Lee claims to have an amazing 94 % accuracy record. They’re at least as/more accurate as TV and radio meteorologists. I’ve always trusted Ole’ Beauregard Lee’s forecast over that of Punxsutawney Phil for one simple reason; No self-respecting northern Groundhog would be ever be caught out of his borrow in early February as they’re still hibernating.

Given a choice to attend in person either Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA or the NFL Super Bowl, I’d have to ask why did they even offer the Super Bowl? Myself, I’d rather see an over-fed Woodchuck without an ego  than a bunch of over-paid men with over-inflated ones.

Regardless of the Ground Hog Day forecast or the Super Bowl’s outcome, the recent above average weather has infected me with early symptoms of ‘cabin fever.” Thoughts of spring fishing and tying flies are becoming more frequent. These pleasant side effects have freed my spirit even though my body is still in seasonal imprisonment. However, we’ll be fishing before we know so it’s time for me to tie some flies and ready my equipment. Perhaps I’ll even write a bit.

Checkout this link for some useful woodchuck info and fly patterns that are worth tying. The link came to me via a comment made on one of my February posts.

Speaking of fly patterns,  I recently received the 2016 activity stats for this site. Once again my April 2014 post on Ted Trueblood’s Otter Nymph/ Shrimp had the most views of all posts on this site ever since it was posted . The Ray’s Fly post and photos views are a very distant second. In fact it’s not even close. There’s good reasons for it. Trout fishermen far out number than saltwater fly rodders and Trueblood’s Otter Nymph is well-known everywhere for its fish catching ability. The pattern is definitely worth trying  by both novice and veteran fly rodders.

24 May, 2016 07:10

Nice way to start the day at RaysFly Camp

*** Make every day earth day–pick up one piece of trash daily.

****May  Full Moon Name(s)–> Flower Moon for the flowering of a multitude of flowers, plants and trees. Also called he Corn Planting Moon for obvious reasons.

 

Today–Wednesday…May 18, 2016-> I spent the first week in May up working at the Raysfly Camp in Maine and soon I” No big landlocks and only several 10″ brook trout.that trip But soon I’ll be  heading back up North  for another week or so. maybe some nice salmon will test me. While at home I’ve been spending my time trout fishing here and there. Fishing has been good with plenty of trout and few fishermen especially if you venture beyond where the foot prints stop.  From reliable sources down on the salt there’s  many schoolies and some shad in  Narrow River in Narragansertt . RI as well as Great Salt Pond.  Clam worms are plentiful in Ninegret Pond  in Charlestown ,RI  but few stripers after them .  So go and catch’em up!  Later today I’ll pass on the saltwater stuff and try for some native trout for a few hours.

**** Make every day earth day–pick up one piece of trash daily.

****April Moon Names-Pink Moon for the blooming of wild phlox and Fish Moon for the runs of Shad into many coastal rivers

Peach Blossoms March 26, “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

“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

Today–Sunday…April 24, 2016-> On Friday(Earth Day) I did go fishing for native Brook Trout . It was a warm , pleasant day and I managed well over a dozen wild, native trout. They ranged 5-8″. No big 9-10″ ones this trip. I was pleased  to see the condition and number of the trout I caught. It seems the recent mild winter helped them survive and flourish. They were all taken on my RKS nymph which seemed only fitting for Earth Day. Yesterday after taking part in a local Earth Day cleanup   I tried a local stream for native trout. Once again I was surprised with the number and quality of the trout. Hopefully there’s no drought conditions here this summer to ensure their future survival.20160423_145939

Today- Thursday….April 21, 2016->I just returned home after spending a week opening up and working on my Maine RaysFly Camp. Upon my arrival home I received a reliable report from Al “The Guide” that schoolies were in along the Matunuck/Pt.Judith area. While he’s been spending his time trout fishing Al took break for some stripers. I also learned that the Wood River here in R.I. would be inundated with fresh hatchery trout today. That’s good news if all you care about is catching fish but bad news for the native trout population who will  have to compete with this over population of over-sized sized fish.  Tomorrow is Earth Day, a day set aside to demonstrate awareness and support for environmental protection. I plan to spend Earth Day as I have for the past several years, fishing for native Brook Trout in an un-stocked stream using only my Earth Day flies. The squirrel nymph is a good one!

 

Several inches of snow fell yesterday afternoon & made the csmp sort of pictureque.

Raysfly Splake

The Hare’s Ear (Nymph)

Hare’s Ear Nymph

The Hare’s Ear is arguably the best known of all trout flies. Practically every trout angler has  heard of it even if they’ve never tied or fished one. This revered pattern is typically tied as a dry, wet or nymph. The wet fly is the one most commonly tied with the nymph version next in line. The Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear nymph is very popular. While I do fish it occasionally my favorite is a very simple Hare’s Ear nymph that I’ve been tying and fishing for many years.

I love tying and fishing furry, easily tied patterns and this one is no exception. It’s so simple I often try to think of ways to improve it and make it even more effective. However as the saying goes, ‘”if it works don’t fix it” surely holds true for this Hare’s Ear. I learned of this pattern around the same time I began tying my Gray Nymph and Ted Trueblood’s Otter Shrimp. The pattern came to me from Jim Quick’s book entitled “Fishing the Nymph.” The pattern’s simplicity is what caught my eye. Its fish catching ability won my confidence. This book contains a wealth of nymph fishing info and also led me to the Hare’s Ear Partridge and Ted Trueblood’s Beaver Nymph, two great nymphs in their own right. There are seventy-five or so patterns in this book and most have fur bodies. If you like tying with dubbing  fur you might enjoy tying the patterns in this book.

Jim Quick's Hare's Ear Nymph

Jim Quick’s
 Hare’s Ear Nymph

When tying this pattern it’s easy to think that if a little is good than more must be better. In this case as in many fly patterns less is more both in appearance and productivity. While this pattern produces in rivers and streams when tumbled near the bottom, I find it’s best in slow-moving water especially when fish are feeding near the surface. It also works well in ponds. A slow steady retrieve is all that’s required. Here’s the recipe for Jim Quick’s Hare’s Ear Nymph.

Originator Jim Quick

Hook: Fine wire Dry fly hooks (I use Size 10-14 wet and dry fly hooks often 1!xl)

Thread: tan/brown

Tail: Stubby Hare guard hairs.

Body: Hare’s ear or hare’s mask including guard hairs for a somewhat rough appearance

Legs: Gray grouse beard

Variations: Body- Ribbed w/ Gold tinsel or yellow floss:   Legs- sparse grizzly hackle collar

** I usually rib this fly with fine gold wire to make it more durable.

 

 

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

*** February Playmate of the Month is here!

***February Moon(Lakota)   Cannapopa wi — Moon when the trees crack due to the cold

Today-Friday…February 26, 2016—>.It’s clear and 32°F at the backyard bird bath this morning. The forecast is for a sunny and seasonble weekend. This weekend The New England Saltwater Fishing Show takes place at the R.I.Convention Cente in Providence.I plan on being at the Rhoddy Fly Rodders table(. booth 1105.) If you attend stop by and say hi. While this show has much on spin and conventional fishing there’s also plenty of stuff for the saltwater fly rodder.

Saturday…February 20, 2016—>.It’s cloudy and 42° F at the backyard bird bath this morning. The forecast is for a warm weekend and a cooler upcoming week. It’s a good time to do house and yard works and get them done before spring fishing begins. When it’s time to fish household chores will be done. That said I’m going to the Bears Den Fly Fishing Show today to see if there’s anything new that I must have to catch fish this year.

I recently received the 2015 activity stats for this site. Once again my post on Ted Trueblood’s Otter Nymph/ Shrimp had the most views of all posts on this site ever since it was posted in April 2014. The Ray’s Fly post and photos views are a very distant second. In fact it’s not even close. There’s good reasons for it. Trout fishermen far out number than saltwater fly rodders and Trueblood’s Otter Nymph is well known everywhere for it’s fish catching ability.The pattern is definitley on most trout fishermen’s short list and is fished by both novice an veteran fly rodders.

Aound the time I began tying and fishing the Otter Nymph I learned of another pattern that’s been a consistant producer for me. It’s a very simple Hare’s Ear Nymph that ‘s seldom seen perhaps because it’s not fancy enough. While it’s  doubtful the post on this pattern will generate as many views as the Otter Shrimp/Nymph, it’s a surely a pattern worth fishing. So tie several up and see if you agree.

 

Monday…February 15, 2016—>.It’s a sunny and cloudy and balmy -1° F at the snow filled back yard bird bath this morning. Tthis is the second straight morning with below zero temps. Ever since Groumd hog day and Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast of an early spring we’ve had two storms drop over a foot of snow and now below zero night temps and days failing to get out of the single digits. I’m beginning to think that Phil may have called it wrong this time. Although Phils forecast seems off a bit here’s a site that puts Woodchuck to good use. Checkout this link for some useful woodchuck info and fly patterns that are worth tying. The link came to me via a comment made on this post.

Sunday…February 7, 2016—>It’s sunny and  27° F  at the backyard bird bath this morning. A snow storm Friday left 9″ and more is forecast for tomorrow and intermittently during the week. I’m starting to question the early spring forecasted by my woodchuck friends.  tomorrow migt be a good time to continue to try to clean up my fly tying desk so I can actually begin tying some flies. Right now my desk has mounds of materials covering more material that cover more materials. No wonder I can’t find anything. if I don’t clean it up I’ll continue doing as I always have by digging into, working around and pushing  materials around so I can tie my killers. Once the area is straightened up a bit I  plan to start by tying  up a very simple and effective nymph.  It’s a  version of the Hare’s Ear but one many may not have known about. Check back  during the week as I should  have it posted by then.

Wednesday..February 3, 2016—> It’s cloudy and  an unusually warm 39 ° F  at the backyard bird bath this morning. Warmer than normal for the first week in February but perhaps it’s in line with yesterdays events.  Great news, a unanimous verdict is in. Yesterday on Groundhog Day, neither Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil nor Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee saw their shadow.

what's the weather gonna be??

” I see an Early Spring is in the cards”

They both agreed that an early spring is in the cards. Their forecast told me I should expedite  my preparations for the up coming season. I hope they’re spot on but I’ll predict that spring will arrive on March 21 ready or not!

 

 

Monday..February 1, 2016—> The holiday season has come and gone and we’re well into 2016. February is here and many moons have passed since my last post and it’s time to start-up again.

February marks the mid-way point of the winter season It also marks the time when throngs of people gather for a super spectacle that occurs but once a year. This event gets the attention of men, women and children of all ages. They will travel from near and far to cheer for their favorite. From those fortunate enough to attend in person to those who will watch on TV at home, it is not to be missed. That’s right after a year of waiting, Ground Hog Day will soon be here.There’s also another super event happening next Sunday. The winter weather has been mild here in R.I. I recently noticed the tips some Daffodils and Jonquills  peeking from the soil in one of my flower gardens. This doesn’t typically occur until early/mid March and makes me wonder can spring’s arrival be far behind or will winter remain entrenched??

Fortunately tomorrow is Groundhog Day and we’ll get a reliable forecast on the remaining winter weather from two of nature’s best prognosticators; Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil and Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee. Lore has it that if they see their shadow when they emerge from their borrow they’ll scurry back in as there’s six more weeks of winter to come but if they don’t see their shadow they may remain out for a while as an early spring is forecast. These two woodchucks have been forecasting the weather for years with at least 50% accuracy. Gen. Beauregard Lee claims to have an amazing 94 % accuracy record. They’re at least as/more accurate as todays TV and radio meteorologists. I’ve always trusted Ole’ Beauregard Lee’s forecast over that of Punxsutawney Phil for one simple reason; No self-respecting northern Groundhog would be ever be caught out of his borrow in early February as they’re still hibernating.

If I were given a choice to attend in person either Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA or the NFL Super Bowl, I’d have to ask why did they even offer the Super Bowl? Myself, I’d rather see an over-fed Woodchuck with an un-inflated ego then a bunch of over-paid men with over-inflated ones.

Regardless of the Ground Hog Day forecast or the Super Bowl’s outcome, the recent above average weather has infected me with early symptoms of ‘cabin fever.” Thoughts of spring fishing and tying flies are becoming more frequent. These pleasant side effects have freed my spirit even though my body is still in seasonal imprisonment. However, we’ll be fishing before we know so it’s time for me to tie some flies and ready my equipment. Perhaps I’ll even write a bit

***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 2015 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.!

Today..Saturday–.September 12, 2015–>>

September is upon us and Labor Day weekend has come and gone. For many Labor Day marks the end of the summer season for me however it signals the the best fishing is arriving. The time frame from September 15 to October 15th is the best fishing of the year in my opinion. Pleasant days , great weather and plenty of fish make this the most awesome time to fish. During this time the shore fly rodder has a chance to hook bonita, albacore striped bass and bluefish and perhaps Squeteague. Don’t overlook freshwater fishing at this time. Brook and brown trout will be in their spawning modes and warm water types will be fattening up for the colder months. Al’the Guide’ reports that striper action picked up this week . On Thursday he landed thirty nice schoolies in the 22″ -26″ range. No monsters just nice fly rod bass.

Despite the lure of the saltwater fishing  Al and I are heading north up to my Maine RaysFly camp for some fishing and perhaps even work on the camp. We hope to spend a day fishing the Moosehead area. and  plan to fish The East Outlet of the Kennebec River and the Moose River for the very first time. Hopefully the Brookies and Landlocks will reward are effort  We’ll probally spend much time fishing for my favorite , Smallmouth Bass. Hope to post several pictures here while we’re up there.