Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simplify Your Life!

A Few summers back, I began searching for just the right chest pack to accommodate a large fly box, a tippet spool and a pair of pliers. I wanted something with a compact design that didn’t interfere with fishing. I have a 30-year history with fishing vests and can hardly walk a mountain stream without one, but this search was for something to be used in surf fly fishing, not high country streams. It seemed that a vest would be too bulky and warm at the beach and would get wet easily. I wanted something that could survive salt water and could hold a reasonable amount of gear. The JW Outfitters Bonefish Pack can easily do all of the above. In mine, I can carry a “leatherman” type pair of fairly good sized pliers in the unique upside down triangular pouch provided on the front of the bonefish pack. The pouch is designed specifically to hold a pair of needle-nosed pliers point down. On the front flap is a zippered mesh pouch in which I can carry a tippet spool and some leaders and there are several plastic rust proof D-rings around the edges from which other necessary items can be hung, like car keys! The center pouch will accommodate a large fly box. For versatility, the JW Outfitters Bone Fish Pack simply can’t be beat. A slim design that can be worn over the shoulder is enhanced with the addition of a belt loop that allows it to be worn as a waist pack. This rugged, high-quality pack replaces cumbersome fishing vests stocked with unnecessary items and is a must for every minimalist angler.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You just never know....

Random Acts of Fishing is available through the Home & Garden section of Empire Tool Store. Funny where things end up. Check it out!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Seams of Time

There is a magical place in the stream, somewhere between what's moving and what's not, a seam, where time stands still and one's breath is held closely. Every fiber is focused on a simple concoction of thread and feathers carefully assembled to resemble a living thing in contact with the surface tension of the water. The potentiality of a take is real, timeless, and axiety ridden. When it comes, it is usually violent but sometimes it can be passive, almost imperceptible. And each time, it is the best.

Read more in Random Acts of Fishing....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mending the Line

Many times while fishing in streams we encounter varying currents that can play havoc with the line. A good cross stream technique is essential to maintaining a good drag-free drift. The reach cast allows you to place your fly upstream across fast water to area of slower moving water. Sometimes, however, the lines gets caught in the faster water and drags the fly along in an unnatural drift. Mending the line will help to maintain a good drift. Use the rod tip to lift the line and toss it upstream of the fly. This will ensure that the drifting line in the faster water does not overtake the fly sitting in the slower water. Your fly will remain in the correct position and maintain proper drift.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Double Haul

I learned to double haul to get maximum distance when fishing in the surf but the technique works equally as well on mountain streams when you need that little something extra.

As the rod goes into the backcast, pull down with the line hand. This will accentuate the rod tip power. As you pause on the backcast, bring the line hand up. When starting the forward cast, pull down sharply on the line as the rod comes forward.

With a little practice, it gets to be a timing thing and you'll be surprised how far you can launch that line. As you can see by the photo, my friend Tim is an expert at getting a graceful loop.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Place is High Among the Pines

Like Driftwood
I float across a great expanse
where I come to rest
I should be

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Venture 7 Fly Reel

When I set out a few summers back to find the perfect fly reel for plying the salt at my local Southern California beaches, I never dreamed that I'd stumble upon this gem. Though not specifically designed for salt water use, the G. Loomis Venture 7 has what it takes to make short work of the feistiest of briny critters. Much has been said of bar stock aluminum fly reels and their relative strength without compromising weight, but the Venture 7 incorporates all of the craftsmanship, quality, and reliability in a light weight cast and machined aluminum construction. Without a doubt, this reel has features found only in the higher priced reels, such as a fully adjustable composite center line drag system that's as smooth as silk with a backbone necessary to put the brakes on long runs. The drag clicks through a multitude of settings incrementally. At first, I thought the nearly flush mounted drag knob would be difficult to adjust for a person with large hands but I quickly discovered that I could easily adjust the drag through a wide range of settings, even with wet hands. The spools are specifically designed to make changing a snap and they easily convert to a right or left hand retrieve. This reel is truly a thing of beauty with its unique champagne-colored finish. Many a fellow angler has stopped to comment on the appearance of my reel's rich anodized hue. This reliable and moderately priced high performance reel will surely put a smile on any angler's face, as it did mine!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Father's Day

This year, I had one of the best Father's Day that I have had in recent memory. I was able to go to visit my fishing buddy in Mammoth and spend the weekend with my two boys flyfishing. We finished in Mammoth Creek and hooked up with five or six nice browns during the morning. Later that afternoon, we finished at the upper Owens River past Benton Crossing Bridge but did not catch any fish. The wind began to pick up and it was getting late so we packed it in for another day. The following morning we returned to the Owens River only to find it blown out with wind but we still managed to catch two nice browns. Later , we finished Rock Creek and landed a lots of nice fish. in the afternoon , we hiked into the high country to some high mountain lakes and had a field day with Brook Trout. Caddis flies and bllue-winged olives were the hot ticket all day long. It was an awesome weekend with the boys and one that I'll never forget!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Go Terrestrial!

It's almost time to break out the big uglies! Take time now to get your fly box in order for late summer terrestrials. Be creative. Here's a gaudy looking morsel that I made last year using some foam from my kids' craft box and some rubber bands. It took seconds to tie and was irresistible to the big ones lurking along the banks. Remember to toss'em with a big plop, add a little motion, and hang on for dear life!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Riffles, Runs, and Pools

Riffles, runs and pools are terms used to describe the dynamics of fishable water. A riffle is a short section of fast moving shallow water with a generally rocky bottom. Riffles can form feeding lanes for trout as the stream brings the food to the trout. There is also good aeration of the water in a riffle. I have found some surprisingly large trout in the shallowest of water. Runs are formed when riffles deepen and the water current slows. Trout can be found in runs where the water slows after a riffle. Pools are found in the deepest portion of the stream where the water velocity has slowed considerably. Big browns love to hold in these deep slow-moving lies and can especially be found near the undercut banks. A seam is the edge of two different water currents and makes a good hold for trout. Pay attention to the moving water next time you’re out fishing the river; the trout do!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Canoe

It is said that God gave the idea for the shape of the canoe to the Native Americans. No other vessel has such graceful and alluring lines. No other vessel evokes such a time-worn image of wilderness exploration. No other vessel can track so well across a large open lake yet, gracefully wind its way down a river and still be easily portaged to the next put in. Its agility does not negate its load carrying ability. My canoe will hold 750lbs., a tremendous amount of weight, and float in about 8 inches of water! Fly fishing from a canoe provides one with an elevated seat that enables better casting without the need for a longer rod to lift line off of the water. Sitting higher off the water also makes for increased visibility and seeing more fish usually means catching more fish! Read more here.....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Approach

A successful presentation depends on your ability to plan and execute a cautious approach, keeping in mind the fish's cone of vision and feeding zone. Remember, the trout uses a variety of senses to detect predators and as fly fishermen, we are the predator.The trout can not only see you and hear you, but also can feel your presence through vibrations that communicate to his lateral line and warn him of impending danger of which the other senses may fail to warn. Plan your approach, taking the above into account before you attack. Walk softly and by all means, carry that big stick!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Orvis Fly Fishing Reel

I recently purchased a new fly reel and to say that I am pleasantly surprised is an understatement! The new Orvis Mid-Arbor reel is one nice piece of machinery! I shouldn't be surprised actually, because Orvis makes quality products but for approximately $120 I thought I'd be getting some cheaply made reel with an expensive name on it. Not so; it's machined from the same bar stock aluminum as their Battenkill Bar Stock reel and has a nice solid feel to it without being heavy. The mid arbor design strikes a nice balance between the traditional sized reel and the wide arbor models that seemed to be all the rage just a few years ago. I found it to be slimmer than the wide arbor and only a slightly larger than the regular reel I had. Another enticing draw is the line capacity. I usually fish small streams and rivers so I'm not going get zipped into my backing by a monster, although I once had a submarine in near Bishop, CA nearly take my canoe for a ride! (You can read about it in Random Acts of Fishing). It is nice, however, to have a little extra "insurance" when you least expect it!

The drag system according to Orvis is a glass composite centerline drag that has an adjustment from free spinning to stopping a locomotive dead in its tracks! The drag knob is easy to handle too. Speaking of knobs, the crank handle is made from a flattened composite material that is wide with small bumps for gripping similar to those found on the bigger reels. Again, great for when you have to put the brakes on that 8 inch Golden trout! The reel is easily switched from right to left hand retrieve like most and has a spool that is simple to remove. According to Orvis, the reel is made from a corrosion-proof material with a scratch resistant finish so it can also be used by those of you who are salty dogs.

Being a traditionalist, I went with the black finish rather that the titanium but I'll tell you, it was a difficult decision as both are equally attractive. My test drive came on the Owens River a few weeks ago and I have to say, the reel performed flawlessly. The drag seemed infinitely adjustable and the reel was smooth as silk. I did get a chance to hear this baby sing when a nice Brown darted out from an under-cut bank and munched my juicy nymph. Overall, I think this reel is a great buy that competes with the Loomis and several others in the same price range but the quality here is first rate.
Note: This NOT a paid review.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Random Acts of Fishing Now Available in England!

Random Acts of Fishing is now available through one of England's largest on-line booksellers, Langton Information Services.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fly Fishing Season Opens!

It's finally here! Time to fish! This past weekend we made the trek to the Lower Owens River, just outside of Bishop, California. While the weather in Mammoth Lakes and Crowley Lake was cold, cold, cold, the sun kissed the Owens Valley in Bishop and handed us a beautiful temperate day for fly fishing.

We arrived at our destination late Friday night under a canopy of stars that was so dense one could hardly pick out the black sky amid the mass of bright lights. It was good to see my fishing buddy, Tim after the long winter. He's a local and we've been fly fishing together for more than twenty years. The two of us have had many a fly fishing adventure together over the years and some of them are documented in my book, Random Acts of Fishing. Now my two sons join me on the trips and I believe the four of us will have quite a few adventures in store for us in the future. We spent the remainder of the night catching up on old times and looking forward to new ones.

Our jumping off point was at five bridges, just east of town. We followed the river as it wound its way through the tall dry grass. We found a nice bend in the river that formed U-turn with a grassy ledge high above the end of the turn. I waded out across the stream entering from fifty yards downstream. My youngest son and Tim decided to initiate the attack from atop the plateau. We tried nymphing for a while but as the sun rose and warmed our bones, a very minor hatch started so we threw some drys at the risers. While standing in the river with leaky waders and my boots filling with cold water, my concentration on a particular riser was broken when I heard Tim yell that my son had nailed one. I looked up to see him lift a nice brown from the icy depths. He was so excited! He went on to catch another beauty several hours later and just missed a third later that evening, while the rest of us came away empty handed!

We took our lunch stream side on the grassy ledge. We were full of stories about the ones that got away and the tale of catching the two browns was recited by my son repeatedly during our meal with the appropriate embellishments, of course! A more pleasant first day of the season could not be had by any means.

Friday, February 27, 2009

On Target!

Random Acts of Fishing is now available on!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Action Optics!

The search for a decent pair of quality polorized sunglasses for fly fishing seems at times to be a never ending quest for most fly fishermen. Sure, your can pick up the typical disposable fare from the colorful twirling rack at the gas station or fork out next month's mortgage for the latest in status glasses. Occasionally, the dilgent fly fisherman comes across a model of sunglasses that fits all of the crucial parameters, including the two most important: quality and price. That's what I found in Smith's Action Optics sunglasses.

In addition to the lightweight and stylish wrap around frame, these sunglasses feature shatter resistent polorized polycarbonate lenses. The lenses are billed as "optically correct" and that's what makes Action Optics so good. Apparently, they are curved to match the natural shape of the human lens. I'm not sure if that's true, but I can attest to the amazing clarity and lack of distortion in these sunglasses.

The polorizing technique used is equally amazing. The polorizing lines on the lenses are adjusted to match the curvature, yielding a truly astonishing polorization. With most polorized sunglasses, one can see the fish in the stream as the sunlight reflection on the surface of the water is removed. With these lenses however, one can actually see "through" the water to the fish, almost as if the water was nonexistent. The large square lens at 62mm is designed for medium to large faces and I really like the coverage. Nothing is more annoying when fly fishing than having reflected sunlight blind you from the side or from below the lenses because the frames are too small for your face. In addition to the polorization, the copper lens provides another factor important to fly fisherman: true color representation.

Action Optics sunglasses are a well made example of superb polorized vision for which Action Optics is so well known. The impact resistent nature of the glasses and the scratch resistent coating make for some pretty tough fly fishing glasses at a very reasonable price.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's Here!

Random Acts of Fishing is finally done! I thought the day would never arrive. The book is available for purchase through my e-store here and through I hope you enjoy the fly fishing tales!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Still Waiting.....

I received the proof of my fly fishing book back and wouldn't you believe it, there was a spelling error as big as life right on the back cover. My heart sank. One single word misspelled. The more I stared at the back cover in an attempt to make the word magically change, the more glaring of an error it became, just to spite me. This means having to correct the error and request another proof, which is another way of saying DELAY! Sometimes it seems like I'll never get this fly fishing book off the ground. On a lighter note, I have been offered to display my fly fishing book for sale by a small church bookstore.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Editing the Proof

Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year! Well, now that's out of the way. The proof for Random Acts of Fishing arrived over the holidays and the editing process began. What a pain in the neck! It's difficult to read something over and over, especially when it's one's own creation. I practically have the fly fishing stories memorized, so it is very difficult for me to find the grammar and spelling errors. It's funny how you can look at a text a hundred times and not see the errors right in front of you. Fortunately, my wife offered another pair of eyes and we spent the last two weeks looking over the manuscript and discussing changes. Back to the publisher it went. I hope everything turns out fine. Now, it's time to wait...again!