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Mackerelola Flies

 

Might give the Cape Cod Canal a try again soon I so tied up a few Mackerel flies to try.

The lower tail hair and the bottom underwing on these flies were tied using long, fine, white hair from my dog Lola’ s tail. She’s part Husky, Border Collie and Great Pyrenees.

Lola

Her Hieness–Lola

Lola’s tail fur is fine and shiny and runs up to 9″ long. Hence the name Mackerelola.  Lola’ s fur/hair reminds me of cross between Yak and Polar Bear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often use Lola’s shorter hairs to tie this handy pattern which will be nice to have with you in the next few months.

 

Catch’em Up

Ray

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My Favorite SW Fly

Here’s a few pics of my favorite SW Fly-The Bondorew Bucktal. Despite being the fly I fish most of the time it didn’t produce yesterday at the Cape Cod Canal.Then again I didn’t see anyone else catch any Stripers. While this  is a great striper pattern , Atlantic Bonito are equally fond of it.

While i fish the Bondorew Bucktail most of the time there are occasions when it just won’t work. Sometimes they want small stuff and nothing else. It often happens in the next few months(Sept/Oct) when this handy little pattern is nice to have on hand.

Ray

The Bondorew Bucktail

 

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

 

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

Today is the fourth anniversary of Maddie “The Wonder Dogs’ ” passing

Today –June 21,2018–>Today and for many future tomorrows to come my wife and i will grieve of her passing. However it’s the many Yesterdays  that continually come to mid to over take our saddened hearts,  wiping  away our tears and putting  a smile on our faces.  Yesterdays that tell of the great  fun, joy and companionship she provided us each and every day for  all those  years. We were truly blessed to have such a fine companion to share our lives with.

I guess the saying “Gone from our side but forever in our heart  sums it up.

 

oday-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

Amen-Ray

 

 

7 June, 2018 09:42

” A single trout caught in solitude is of greater reward than a full creel  taken in the midst of other anglers”Ray Bondorew

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

****May 2018 Playmate of the Month is here.*****

Today–Tuesday…May 22, 2018  –-><(((°> May is quickly moving along and soon it will be Memorial Day.   Early May was spent fishing for Natiive brookies  and school Stripers  I spent last week in Maine opening my small camp for the season.and  managed  a few hours of fishing during the trip. i did well on the Piscataguis R. in Sangerville ME catching many brookies and foot long landlocks.  They seemed to really  want my Olive Golden Retriever fly that I’ve been fishing lately. This fly has proven itself here at home  as well as Maine and  I recommend you tie/try one.  While I was in Maine  Al “The Guide”   was chasing Stripers in nearby tidal waters and doing well. While the majority of his catch were schoolies  he  managed several respectable stripers. Here’s one of them.–<°(((><.

       Al ‘The Guides’ tidal Striper.

Tuesday…May 1, 2018  –><(((°> The first day of May was a smash hit/strike with me as I returned to try schoolie Striper fishing again.  I managed to land eleven schoolies with my new MAXCATCH 7.5′  3 wgt. They ranged from 14-16″, a little bigger than yesterday.

         May Day Schoolie

My little  fly rod was up to the test showing plenty of backbone and casting like a rocket. I’ll give the stripers a rest  tomorrow and go fish a small stream for Native Brookies with a good friend. Hopefully the natives will oblige us just as the stripers did me today.–<°(((><

“They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from  her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.”-Chief Sitting Bull – Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux

Trout fishing in April 2018

” A single trout caught in solitude is of greater reward than a full creel  taken in the midst of other anglers”Ray Bondorew

 

Today–Monday…April 30, 2018  –><(((°> It’ s cloudy and chilly with an occasional rain drop. Al”The Guide” called and told of some stripers in the nearby tidal waters.  It was 46 deg when I left the house to try for a few schoolies.This would be a change from trout fishing.

        A Change of Pace

Early bass are usually on the small side  and the ones Al and I caught fit that mold. Although small they were fun on a six weight outfit They were enough fum to get me thinking about celebrating May Day by trying for them tomorrow.

 

Wednesday…April 25, 2018  –><(((°> The Rhode Island t& Connecticut trout fishing seasons opened on Saturday April 13th. After a week of fishing for stocked trout in  often crowded areas I once again returned to what I like best: fishing for native brookies:  The stocked trout I’d been catching averaged 12-13″ with several in the 16-17″ range.  A few trout of this size are fun to catch on light fly tackle but quickly becomes boring to me. Size and quantity may matter to some however to me they just don’t have it. This past Monday was sunny with average temps for this time of year, a good day to try for natives in a nearby brook. In a couple of hours I managed to take three on an Olive Golden Retriever and one on a Hornberg dry. They certainly weren’t big but they’ll have time, hopefully years to grow. Just knowing they were there was reward enough for me.  The quiet solitude often found  with this type  of fishing is the icing on the cake .–<°)))><

 

 #12 Hornberg

><(((°>– Yesterday I went to another brook , one that’s bigger than the one I fished Monday.  This one is a pleasure to fish and has bigger natives.  It was  another sunny and seasonable day, slightly warmer than Monday. My plan was to fish upstream  a ways using  my Olive Golden Retriever and fish a #12 Hornberg Dry on the return downstream.In several hours I managed seven  natives fishing  upstream  and five going  back down. I missed or dropped many more in the process. Taking natives on the surface with the Hornberg highlighted the day. These brookies were also the largest of the day,several nearing 9 1/2 -10″ . –<°)))><

       Nice Native Brook Trout

 

><(((°>–The Hornberg I tied/fished  was modified slightly. The Original Hornberg was tied with yellow calf tail hairs for the underwing and grizzly hackle for the collar/hackle and jungle eyes for the cheeks. In recent years the most commonly seen version is one tied  with yellow hackle tips or fibers for an underwing  and the hackle  consisting of brown & grizzly hackle mix.  I’ve  tied  some with yellow poly yarn fibers for the underwing  to improve the flies floating quality and   also used yellow bunny fur fibers,  yellow bucktail  or any other yellow material that’s  lying on my fly desk. .  Soon I’m going to try a thin strip of 2 mm yellow foam for the underwing to improve floatability.  The streams I fish for Native Brook Trout seldom have little back casting space making roll casting mandatory.  A high floating,  water-resistant pattern is a must. I’ve also omitted the jungle cock eyes on most Hornbergs I tie–<°)))><

Ray

 

This day in 2012 photo

This year the buds on my apple and peach trees haven’t even begun  to swell and yesterday it snowed.

On the plus side  the grass is starting to green-up a bit. I’d say we’re about two weeks behind weather wise.

 

 

**** Sunday, April 22,2018–Earth Day***

“They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from  her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.”-Chief Sitting Bull – Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux

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

***April 2018 Playmate of the Month is here.*****

 

Today–Sunday April  8, 2018—It remains 7-10 degrees below normal for this time of year. and it seems like spring never arrived or winter refuses to leave. Forecast is for a few fifty deg. days later in the week.. Even tying up a handful of my must have Smallmouth bass for some people couldn’t warm my spirit.

Favorite Smallmouth Flies

Top to Bottom 1. YELLOW Foam Popper, – 2. Root Beer Fly   3.  Black Bunny Leech,  4. Bead Olive Wooly Bugger or Crystal Bugger   5. Chartreuse/White Clouser

These patterns are the ones I use 99.9% of the time. Despite carrying many other patterns these are the ones I count on.

 

mockingbird apple

 

Sunday April 1, 2018—Happy Easter

 

 Black Bunny Leech

 

 

 

 

 

The Rabbit Strip Wet Fly

<°)))><  While tying several Splinter Mouse patterns I thought the rabbit fur trimmings would make nice dubbing for a nymph or wet fly. body. The gray- brown fur had eye appeal and I envisioned tying a soft hackle style wet fly with  dubbed bunny fur body and a partridge hackle.

              Ingredients& Ideas

I began thinking about that bunny pattern figuring forget the partridge hackle why not use a very thin strip cut from the original  bunny strip. I could wind it on like a wet fly hackle and tie in some of the some of the fur for the tail. A fly tied with only one piece of material. Once finished the fly would be aptly dubbed “The Rabbit Strip.”  

       The Rabbit Strip  Soft Hackle? Wet Fly

Thread: Tan

Hook:  Size 8 1x long wet fly (Mustad 3906B or equiv)

Tail:  Rabbit Fur fibers

Body:  Natural Brown-Gray Rabbit fur chopped and mixed    

Hackle: Thin Natural Brown-Gray rabbit strip wound on wet fly style

Rib:   Fine Gold wire(optional)

 

Things learned from tying this pattern are that it’s probably easier to cut some fur and spiral the hairs around the head for a collar then using a rabbit strip. Next, using a rabbit strip for the collar makes for a bulky looking head so only the thinnest strips will provide the desired look. Splitting a rabbit strip in half lengthwise can be is a tedious operation. Finally, this pattern is for standard size 10 or larger hook . The bunny strip hair is just too long for anything smaller and beside being more difficult to use and  the fly just doesn’t look good. I plan to tie a few on streamer fly hooks and see how it looks and also tie some in various colors of bunny strips.  I’ll update this post with photos when I do so check back soon.  The finished fly looks good to me and I know it will surely catch fish. What ya think?? <°)))><

Ray

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

*****Congratulations to  musher Jessie Holmes of Nenana , Alaska for his 7th place finish yesterday at the 2018 Iditarod Dog Sled Race  and also being awarded Rookie Musher of the Year.*****

Today–Sunday…March 18, 2018 –><(((°>  My Rabbit Strip wet fly earlier gave me ideas for other patterns. How about a Crawfish pattern using rabbit strip fur?(Crawbbit) I had some rabbit strips in orange and rusty brown so here is how I used them.  

                               Crawbbits?

 

They may need a little refinement but i’m certain they’ll work. The rabbit collar flowing over the darker body should   give the fly some transparency which s always a good thing when trying to suggest/represent  water creatures.

I had thought this past week  was a good time to tie up some Foam Wing Caddis, Hornbergs and Fran Betters’ “The Usual ” Dry  fly pattern. However my fly tying area has recently become infested with mice.

 

They’re all over my tying desk.  I know from past experience the best way to rid my basement of these rodents is to gather them up then take and toss them into a pond or river. Fish, especially big ones have a fondness for mice regardless of color and are willing to gulp them down. —<°)))><

Today-Wednesday…March 14, 2018 –><(((°>  While tying several Splinter Mouse patterns earlier this week I thought the rabbit fur trimmings would make  nice dubbing for a nymph or wet fly. body. The gray- brown fur had eye appeal and I envisioned tying a soft hackle style wet fly with  dubbed bunny fur body and a partridge hackle.

                 Ingredients& Ideas

I began thinking about that bunny pattern figuring forget the partridge hackle why not use a very thin strip cut from the original  bunny strip. I could wind it on like a wet fly hackle and tie in some of the some of the fur for the tail. A fly tied with only one piece of material. Once finished the fly would be aptly dubbed “The Rabbit Strip.”  

                  The Rabbit Strip Wet Fly

Thread: Tan

Hook:  Size 8 1x long wet fly (Mustad 3906B or equiv)

Tail:  Bunny Fur fibers

Body:  Natural Brown-Gray Bunny fur chopped and mixed    

Hackle: Thin Natural Brown-Gray Bunny strip wound on wet fly style

Rib:   Fine Gold wire(optional)

 

Things learned from tying this pattern are that it’s probably easier to cut some fur and spiral the hairs around the head for a collar then using a rabbit strip. Next, using a rabbit strip for the collar makes for a bulky looking head so only the thinnest strips will provide the desired look. Splitting a rabbit strip in half lengthwise can be is a tedious operation. Finally, this pattern is for standard size 10 or larger hook . The bunny strip hair is just too long for anything smaller and beside being more difficult to use and  the fly just doesn’t look good. I plan to tie a few on streamer fly hooks and see how it looks.  I’ll update this post with photos when I do.  I believe the finished fly looks good and I know it will surely catch fish. What ya think??<°)))><

 

Tuesday March 13, 2018-><(((°> Yesterday mornings  TV morning weatherman  told of a Nor’easter bringing 12-18”of  snow and blizzard like conditions for  today. This meant certain  preparations needed to made to be ready for the storm .I stacked the back porch full with firewood then went to pick up much needed  grocery items like potato chips, soda and coffee. Then I cleaned out the chimney for my wood stove. One last item needed completion to ensure i was ready–go fishing for an hour or so.  If the forecast panned out and a foot or more of snow was dumped on us I probably wouldn’t get out for at least a week.

Storms Final Preparation

So I headed to my local brook to try for a few native Brookies. I only managed one in a little more than a hour. Pushing  7+” he was a nice one for this brook. As I slipped him back in to the 43 deg water I knew my final preparation had been completed.

 

Sunday March 11, 2018->Today<(((°>   As mentioned yesterday I did make it to the New England Saltwater Fishing show in Providence, RI . Al “the Guide” and I wandered aimlessly about for over two hours. Fly fishing gear was at a very minimal however if you were looking for that perfect Cod, Tautog or Fluke rod you would have thought you had died and went to heaven. Despite all this I managed to pick up a handful of fly tying  stuff I just had to have.. Upon returning  home I managed to tie a few flies one of which was a Master Splinter Mouse. I used this pattern to catch the biggest smallie of my life last July.  That Bronzeback was nearly six pounds  so I’ll make sure  to tie a few more.  I think this upcoming week is a good time to tie up more Splinter Mice, Foam Wing Caddis, Hornbergs and Fran Betters’ “The Usual ” Dry  fly  pattern.  That will get me away from nymphs and such. I plan on posting photos of these creations as I go along next week. So come back frequently to check.for photos and updates

Today-Saturday March 9, 2018-><(((°> I’m becoming “tied out” because yesterday I didn’t feel much like tying and only concocted a hand full.  Several  Olive Golden Retrievers  and Stayner Ducktails were tied

               Olive Golden Retrievers

Recently my post on the Stayner Ducktail has had many views so I decided to whip up several. Also last year at the East Outlet of the Kennebec River it caught a few brookies for me when fishing was slow. Unfortunately I then gave it up  to the bottom only to find it was my last one.

                 The Stayner Ducktail

The Stayner Ducktail is one of those patterns to try when fishing is slow and you’re undecided on what to try next.  ” I wonder if this will work ?” is a question that this pattern has pleasantly answered for me on the many occasions.

Later today I’m off to the New England Saltwater Fishing show in Providence, RI . There’s little on fly fishing at this event but it keeps you abreast of what’s going on in the salty world.

 Today-March 9, 2018-><(((°> I thought we had turned a page  last week  when I managed to get out several times with  50-60 deg air temps.  Seems I was wrong as  it’s been low 40s for hi temps this week with a small snow storm thrown in. While I didn’t fish, time was spent  tying flies.  Fly tying has been a life long hobby that I’ve always enjoyed and recently I’ve been doing more of it.  Not that I need any flies but  I think  you can never have too many-right?  Nymphs, streamers and soft hackle wets were what I mainly tied.

                                                              Favorite Nymphs

Of course there’s more Golden Retrievers, Maple Syrups, caddis larvae and even a few dries tied for good measure.

                                                                            Potpourri

I ‘ll be tying even more patterns as next  weeks forecast is for more of the same.

March 1, 2018-><(((°> These cuties are two of three caught in a little over an hour late afternoon today . Had several other hits and dropped a few more. Don’t know why they turned on today. Weather? 60 deg , overcast, and falling barometer? Then again, I fished  a slightly different fly then earlier outings.

20180301 152757

20180301 152208

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fly pattern was a Size 12, Golden Retriever( Modified). I first tied & fished the Golden Retriever in mid-March of last year. It worked well the first time out. Despite it’s success early on  I seldom fished it throughout the year but when I did it usually worked catching brookies, landlocks and smallies on it.  This pattern very popular in the southern US. especially Virginia where  it originated. Here’ recipe for the original version.

The Golden Retriever –Originator Jim Finn

  • Hook: Size 10 or 12  3x long streamer hook
  • Bead: 5/32 Gold Bead
  • Tail: Tan   Marabou
  • Body: Peach Estaz regular
  • .Wire: 025 lead wire
  •  Thread: Red flat waxed nylon

Original Golden Retriever

The  front half of the hook  from the center to the bead is  wrapped with lead wire .  Once the tail s tied in the entire body  is then covered with tying thread to provide a solid base color. The Estaz is then wound forward  with enough spacing betweens wraps to allow the base color to show through.

Here’s the modified version I used . It was tied on a #12 2XL hook (Mustad 9671) using  an Olive Marabou tail , Olive Floss under body and Olive thread . I really like the way it looks when wet–Buggy!

DRY–Olive Golden Retriever –

 

WET- Olive Golden Retriever

 

I plan to tie several more Olive ones  and a few in  Brown . Perhaps one using peacock sword tail and herl underbody .Don’t want to get too carried away!

In like a Lion
Ray

 

Today-  February 27, 2018-><(((°> This handsome little guy was jealous that a red headed Falltish was posted on my Raysfly blog last week  so he hopped on my fly with hopes of having his picture being posted also.   Today’s water temp at my little brook 42.5 deg.

Today-  February 27, 2018-><(((°> Today’s Catch–No Brookie’s but he’s a native.