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Nine is Never Enough

     Nine is Never Enough

    Each year during the first week of March, I undergo a metamorphosis.  Transforming from an argumentative, irritable cabin fevered maniac to the likes of a happy excited child who anxiously awaits Christmas Day.  Opening Day of trout season is coming on the second Saturday in April and resembles Christmas in many ways. Both have a Santa, presents and sometimes even  snow. My Santa will be dressed in green with a D.E.M. patch on his jacket.  His sleigh will be oxygen generating tank truck overflowing with  Brook, Brown and Rainbow Trout, presents fresh from the North Pole hatchery.  To receive  these presents being really good  just won’t  do, I must be prepared!   Many  preparations are in order if I’m to have my creel stuffed with these presents.

    I begin by checking the calendar for when Easter Sunday occurs.  Hopefully it occurs before Opening Day.  This year it doesn’t,  what a bummer. Just knowing that I cannot fish from sunrise until nightfall on the second day of trout season begins to stress me out.  Now I’ll be on edge on the second day and be obligated to arrive home around noon or  hopefully just as my family pulls out of the driveway en-route to Easter dinner at my mother’s house after they’ve given me up for lost.  Next, I examine my rods for worn and frayed windings and grooved guides.  Those in need of repair are meticulously rewound with super glue and matching Mylar tape.  The reels are next, after dismantling them I lubricate their innards and polish the drags for silky smooth operation.  Then I check the first five hundred yards of backing on each spool for rot, a hatchery breeder shouldn’t  take me out beyond that.  Each extra spool, all twenty of them are closely examined.  They hold every type and color of fly line imaginable.  They include a Ninja Turtle Green sinking line that sinks thirty feet in one millisecond, a Neon Smurf Blue floating line that suspends itself one micron above the water’s surface and a bottom dredging Brown Bullhead taper. There’s also a special forty-two and one half-foot Mercury filled shooting head.  This head is more fluid than lead core, and if it should break the fish will be poisoned and die, but I can say the place needs to be reclaimed anyway.    Next I remove the tangled mass of tippet spools from my Kevlar designer vest that I  saw on the TV fly fishing  program “Say Yes to the Vest.” At first I’m  unsure of what I have as it resembles several miles of tangled Japanese monofilament drift net.  After carefully rewinding each spool I once again  take an oath that this will never happen again.  From the mess, leaders from 0x-1ft. to 12x-24ft. are returned to their individual compartments in my leader wallet.  I then remove each fly box from my vest and scrutinize their contents a closely as Scrooge counting his shillings.  Each pattern is examined as I think of where and when it will be used and question  if I have enough of them.  The sixty year old Perrine wet fly boxes, whose contents are about the same age, are normally in order. Boxes with Case Caddis, some made with bird gravel and glue  and others with bits of tree bark, leaves, and twigs cemented to the hook always seem to be in ample supply.  If only Super Glue was around sixty years ago I could have made a million of these collectors’ items.

Case Caddis

 Boxes containing classic Catskill dries, extended tail and standard dry flies, nymphs, streamers, and midges  both wet and dry are all accounted for.  One box intimidates me.  It looks empty but close examination with fifty power reading glasses reveals one dozen #28 twenty-eight black gnats on gold-plated hooks.  They’re surely enough to last the season. Hopefully I won’t have to tie one of them on, or worst tie one up.  During the inventory any shortcomings are noted and written down so as not to forget.  After all, the one fly I  forget to tie will be the only fly the trout will want on Opening Day.  A check is then made to ensure there’s  sufficient quantities of the proper materials and hooks are on hand to tie these “Killers”.  If materials must be ordered will they make it in time?  Probably not, so I overnight express them.  The added expense will be worth the peace of mind.  The list of flies to be tied is then placed in the jaws of my fly tying vise for safe keeping, at least here it will not get covered over by the piles of tying materials on my desk or be discarded.

    I notice the list is short and has only nine patterns on it, some of only one size.  How can this be?  I must have overlooked something.  For a good many  years the list has remained the same length and years of trout fishing has dictated what I really need.  The remaining flies fill boxes that stuff my vest and make me look good.  They also serve as a safety device. Should I fall in and need to be rescued, I can be easily  plucked from the water  and brought ashore with an electromagnet. My bulging vest, with the outline of each box clearly distinguishable, identifies me as a real trout fisherman.  I sometimes think I should be the one to advertise vests and waders and  in such magazines as Fly Fisherperson and Rod and Creel.

    As I begin tying the flies on the list I must remember the “Bondorew Law of Fly Tying”.  The law states, if you tie any fly, always tie three of them.  The first one will probably be lost in a tree, the second lost to a trout leaving you with just one of the right fly.  To me, having just one of the right fly will change the way you fish.  The fear of losing it will make you more cautious, tighten your casting style, and cause you to fish in places that are easy to fish and probably don’t hold any.  With this in mind, always remember to tie at least six of any pattern.  This will leave you with three extras to fish with.  If your lifelong fishing companion should want one of the right fly point him to the tree that has his in it.  Should you stick your one and only killer in a tree, remember  to never pull straight down on the leader and line to free it.  Just loop some extra fly line around the culprit branch with your rod tip and pull on the looped line.  This should break the branch and rescue your prize.  If the fly line should break, you probably needed a new one anyway.  I always carry a ten inch mini chain saw in the large pouch on the back of my  fly vest to expedite such rescue attempts.

Most of the flies on the list are not new.  They are variations of standard patterns tied with either different types of materials or slightly different colors.  The sacred patterns included on the list are as follows:

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Black Ghost marabou

Black Ghost Marabou

 Black  Ghost Marabou—(as dressed by Joe Adamonis)
Hook:  size 4-10, 3x-4xl streamer hook i.e. Eagle Claw Model L-058S, Mustad Model 38941
Tail:    Soft Yellow hackle Fibers
Body: Black floss which is more in line with traditional streamer patterns or Black Chenille, Small or medium depending upon hook size and shank length

Ribbing: Silver  Tinsel/Mylar Small or medium depending upon hook size& shank length
Wing: White Marabou
Throat(Beard): Soft Yellow hackle fibers
Origin:   First tied in 1927  by Herbert L.Welch of Mooselookmeguntic, Maine for  Rangely Lake area salmon and squaretail trout.

This fly is a personal favorite. Not only does it catch fish for me but also appeals to my eye. Flies that have a certain eye appeal have always worked well  for me over the years.   This is one of a few fly patterns that can claim universal acceptance.

                                                                                                    

The Black marabou

Black Marabou

 

Black Marabou
Hook:  size 4-10, 3x-4xl streamer hook
Tail: Soft Yellow hackle Fibers or marabou
Body: Black Chenille, Small or medium depending upon hook size and shank length or
Black floss which is more in line with traditional streamer patterns
Ribbing: Gold Tinsel/Mylar Small or medium depending upon hook size and shank length
Wing: Black Marabou
Topping: None
Throat(Beard): Soft Yellow hackle fibers or marabou
Origin: Unknown – I began tying this pattern in the late 1960s, but can’t recall what inspired me to tie it this way

 

CardinelleAs dressed by Alec Stansell (Favorite Flies.com)

The Cardinelle

The Cardinelle

Hook:  size 4-10, 3x-4xl streamer hook—Thread: Fluorescent red or Orange
Body: Fluorescent Cerise or Hot Pink wool /yarn (floss can also be used)
Underwing:  Fluorescent Orange or Red Hair
Wing: Cerise or Hot Pink Marabou tied full
Throat(Beard or Collar): Soft Yellow hackle fibers
Origin:  Late 1960s Worcester, MA designed by Bill Chiba and popularized by Paul Kukonen

 

Black Wooly Bugger—I’ve omitted the photo for this pattern because if you don’t know what one  looks like then you probably shouldn’t be reading this.

Hook:  size 6-10, 3xl streamer hook
Body: Black Chenille  or Black Sparkle Chenille
Tail:   Black Marabou
Rib/Hackle: Palmered Black Hackle

*** Black is the most popular color however brown and olive are equally effective

 

Gray Nymph

Gray Nymph

Gray Nymph

Hook:  size 8-12 Std or 1XL Wet Fly hook such as Mustad Model 3906 or 3906B
Tail:   Soft, Gray or Bronze blue dun Hackle Fibers

Rib: Optional ->Fine silver wire

Body: Dubbed Muskrat Fur
Hackle:   Soft, Gray or Bronze Blue Dun Hackle  Collar                                

Origin: Click Here to see how this pattern came about.

 

Hare’s Ear Nymph

Hare’s Ear Nymph

Hook:  Size 10-14 2XL    Rib:     Optional ->Fine Gold wire

Tail:  Stubby Hare’s Ear Guard
Rib: Optional ->Fine Gold wire
Body: Hare’s ear dubbing– guard hairs and all
Hackle:   Gray grouse hackle fiber beard

 Origin:   1960s  Jim  Quick-From his book Fishing the Nymph            

 

 

Zug Bug (As dressed by Joe Adamonis)

            Zug Bug

Hook:  Size 10-14 2XL    Rib:     Optional ->Fine Gold wire

Tail:  Peacock sword
Rib: Flat silver tinsel
Body: Peacock Herl
Wing Case: Mallard flank
Hackle:   Brown  hackle fiber beard

 

 

Nearenuf

          Nearenuf

Hook:  size 12-16 Std or 1XL Dry Fly Hook

Tail:  Two or Three stripped Grizzly hackle stems
Body: Stripped Peacock quill
Hackle:   Brown and Grizzly Dry Fly hackles mixed
Wing: Lemon Barred Wood Duck

Origin: Late 1960s H.G. Tapply  and his Tap’s Tip column  in Field & Stream magazine

 

Black Gnat Midge

Black Gnat Midge

   Black Gnat Midge

Hook:  Size  20/22 Dry Fly Hook-(Turned-up eye best)

Tail:   Black hackle fibers
Body: Black Floss–Alternate  Black poly
Wing: Gray Mallard
Hackle: Black Neck hackle

 

While tying each pattern I pause to release the trout it has just caught. I’ve never tied a fly that did not catch at least one lunker while it was in my vise. I’m confident with this selection as they have done well by me over the years, and will continue to ensure that I’ll catch more trout than the average bear in the woods. These nine patterns  are my cure all’s, but I must remember that the trout I seek can become very selective, and sometimes will only dine on such gourmet items as; Corn, Velveeta cheese , party marshmallows and cigarette butts. At such times even my Killers won’t work. If you tie these flies , fish them with confidence and leave them on for a while. A fly fished without confidence e is unlikely to catch  many fish  for one simple reason. It will not be in the water long enough before a different pattern is tied on. Always remember ‘ It’s not the fly but the driver. “

The last item I check is my waders, but this I save for Opening Day. Thirty degree water temperatures have a way of telling you things no other leak test can. . You probably won’t delay repairing them if they need it, and what wife would  say “No” to buying a new pair while visiting you in the pneumonia ward.   Finally I check  that  Lava soap and toothpaste  are in my vest. Lava soap can be used to remove the sheen from your leader and help it to sink. It will also remove the fishy odor on your hands from the all the trout you have released. Toothpaste can also be used for a leader sink, and to brighten your smile when you return home at the end of a hard day of fishing. You will need a bright smile when you tell your wife, “Let’s not go out tonight, I have  a lot of flies to tie for tomorrow”‘ Never let your wife or girlfriend see the list presented here, for she too will know, you really only need nine.

 

Copyright Ray Bondorew 2016

 

****   I first drafted this article in the early 1990s. The early version was published without pics in the Rhoddy Fly Rodders newsletter. Each year I’d re-read it and tell myself I should do some proper editing  and make it more presentable. This went on for years until just recently when I finally decided to either do something  with it or just shelf it for good.  To stop procrastinating  was a major hurdle for me and if nothing else clearing that hurdle gave me a sense of accomplishment. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

 

    

 

 

 

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)

Joe’s Soft Hackles(Softies)

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

 

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.  The tying recipes and histories of these patterns are at Puckerbrush Flies.

The Magalloway

        Magalloway

The Tomah-Joe

       Tomah-Joe

                           My  Classic Maine Wets

Grizzly King

         Grizzly King

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.—–Ray

 

*****Click here for the one pattern we do agree on.

 

 

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

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

**** March  Moon —  Crow Moon-> when the crows caw their goodbye to winter.                                                                             Also called  the  Spring Moon and Sap Moon

<°)))><  Today-Wednesday…March 22, 2017  ><(((°> Yesterday Al “The Guide”  and I headed to nearby eastern Connecticut to try  a little trout fishing.  Overcasts skies and temps in the the low 40s greeted us upon arrival. It remained that way say the least and even our most recent ties didn’t work. Today the ‘Three Amigos” are getting together for our weekly ‘Tie & Lie” session.  Maybe we’ll tie up a few that will work on our next outing.   Hope to post a few pics of today’s ties tomorrow. <°)))><

Sunday…March 19, 2017  ><(((°>  It’s been unseasonably cold for over a week now. Throw a foot of snow in for good measure  to really suppress  the urge to go fishing again.  On this past Wednesday  I got together with  Al “ The Guide” and for another  fly tying session and once again freshwater patterns were the order of the day.I tied up several partridge soft hackle wets and a few Caddis larvae.

Soft Hackle Partridge               Wets

 

Green Caddis Larvae

 The caddis I tied are worth noting as they are the most abundant and widely distributed of the caddis clan.  Such an important food is surely worthwhile imitating and fishing.  In Sid Gordon’s book How to Fish from Top to Bottom  he gives a pattern for the free living Caddis. <°)))><

Hook: Mustad 3123b size  10  4X stout

Body;  Brownish-Green fur

Beard: A few very short grouse hackle barbs

Tail:   Small fan tailed shaped hacke tip

 

Monday…March 13, 2017  ><(((°>  The weekend was cold and a blizzard  is forecast for tomorrow. Just last week I was trout fishing and this week I’ll be shoveling 12-18” of snow. Maybe my fly rod wasn’t really that heavy as compared to a metal snow shovel. Looks like it’ll be a while before I’m back on the river. However that’s okay as it’s a good time to sit and tie a few patterns for the regular season. Speaking of patterns, later today I’ll be posting a new article entitled Nine is Never Enough. I hope it’s enjoyed by all and I’d be interested to hear any comments you might have on iti.    Right now however I’m off to bring a week’s worth of firewood onto ny covered rear porch. <°)))><

Thursday…March 09, 2017  ><(((°> Yesterday, despite  morning showers  Al “The Guide” and I headed to nearby eastern Connecticut to do a little trout fishing.  The skies began to break  just before our arrival and it remained cloudy and windy until the sun  arrived  at noon.  I began fishing with a new (to me) pattern I had tied the night before. Being set in my ways I seldom try new patterns and rely on my faithful ones. However, I had confidence that this  new pattern would work.  Now that I had convinced myself all I had to do was convince the trout.  The pattern did just that as I managed  six trout and one small salmon with it.   While I enjoyed catching fish the highlight of my day was getting to use a new small chest pack and a collapsible wading staff for the first time .  I was very pleased with their functionality and  won’t be without either from now on.<°)))><

Friday…March 03, 2017  ><(((°>  On this past Wednesday the ‘Three Amigos” got together for another  fly tying session.  Freshwater patterns were once again the order of the day. We all have more fly patterns  than we’ll ever use  and seem to return to tying patterns that are surely productive.  and are fortifying our reserves of them. Not many new patterns were tied at our “Tie and Lie”

Joe tied up a bunch of Black Ghosts and Ballou Specials

Ballou Special

Ballou Special

Ballous & Ghosts

Ballous & Ghosts

Black Ghost marabou

Black Ghost Marabou

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al also tied up a few long Black Ghosts  and a bunch of Hoppers. Al loves Hoppers and the explosive surface strikes they draw.

Al "The Guides" Hoppers

Al “The Guide” Hoppers

p1020942

Al’s Black Ghosts

I tied up several LLamas and a few soft hackle wet flies. I’ve never fished the LLama pattern but it looked so good when I first saw it and I instantly had confidence in it. Now all I have to do is fish it. The soft hackle wets I’ll surely fish and do well by them. <°(((><

The Llamas

The Llamas

Soft Hackle Wet Flies

Soft Hackle Wet Flies

Wednesday…March 01, 2017. ><(((°> Late last week I went with Al & Joe to scout out several new (to us) streams in Eastern Connecticut. We made several casts in  likely looking water at  each one without so much as a bump or follow. Snow covered the ground at each spot . I attributed the lack of action to cold water temps due to snow melt runoff.  The day after I tried one local brook for native brookies with the same results. This sparked my interest as to what exactly was the stream temperatures.  This past Saturday I ventured to three local streams and a small pond to check their temps. I expected to see readings in the upper  thirties to low forties and was totally surprised to them close to 50° F . The pond was 47°F the stream with the most volume was 48.5° and things happen while fishing the smallest stream was 51.° F. The recent record warmth had warmed the earth and water more than I thought.  Knowing this surely didn’t solve my lack of fish. Despite always wanting to know why things happen while out fishing, sometimes you’re best to just accept things for what they are.

Today I’m off to another  ‘Lie and Tie” session with Joe and Al.  Maybe something we tie there will work next time out.  I’m planning on tying several “Rounder Flies”  and also several “Llamas” and hope take some pics and post them here  or append them to Seems Like Yesterday post

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Today, Tomorrow & Yesterday––February 2017

 ****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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Tuesday..February 28, 2017–>Late last week I went with Al & Joe to scout out several new (to us) streams in Eastern Connecticut. We made several casts in  likely looking water at  each one without so much as a bump or follow. Snow covered the ground at each spot . I attributed the lack of action to cold water temps due to snow melt runoff.  The day after I tried one local brook for native brookies with the same results. This sparked my interest as to what exactly was the stream temperatures.  This past Saturday I ventured to three local streams and a small pond to check their temps. I expected to see readings in the upper  thirties to low forties and was totally surprised to find them close to 50°F. The pond was 47°F, the stream with the most volume was 48.5°F and the smallest stream was 51°F. The recent record warmth had warmed the earth and water more than I thought.  Knowing this surely didn’t solve my lack of fish. Sometimes you’re best to just accept things for what they are.

Tomorrow I’m off to another  tying session with Joe and Al. Maybe something we tie then will work next time out.  I’m planning on tying a few “Rounder Flies”  and also several “Llamas.” Hope to take some pics and post them here or append them onto my Seems Like Yesterday post.

 

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