Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm ---Earl Nightingale
Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm ---Earl Nightingale
I’m still finding myself astonished on a daily basis about how much the sea level has risen here and the affect it has had on the behaviour and location of the fish. A couple of days ago Tracy and I set out to fish an area that was one of our favourite places a few years back, however circumstances meant we fished somewhere completely different.
Viking Lars is on a fishing trip to Sweden. I’m sitting on the roof of the Battleship watching the sun set with a strong wind behind me and a storm approaching from the front. How is this possible? I don’t know either. But it is looking decidedly damp! Hopefully not at 9pm – because I have an after-dark Zoom flycasting lesson to give. (After dark my end, morning in the USA!) Next weekend I’ll be back in Langkawi. Not a fishing trip this time but instead an Ironman 70.3. Hopefully I’ll be faster than the Desaru 70.3 and no flat tyres. We drive the truck over on Wednesday and return on Tuesday, which is a longer trip than originally planned but the ferries were booked solid on our preferred days. So it will be a bit of a holiday for us both as well and we plan to catch up with friends we have there.
Past month has been misty for me. Long days around reindeer and building fence, just when having thought that short break is coming and I could focus to finishing fence, we have continued round-up and then wolf hunting. Snow came two days ago. It meant that all the footprints can be seen. In one area wolf has been making huge damage to reindeers and yesterday that came to it's end. It is not the only one, it will slow down situation for some period. And when we thought that it would go like that, problem jump up close to our farm. Do we want to kill all the wolves, no, they should have fear for people. Latest reindeer body was found less than 100 meter from house. So we hunt wolves to protect life of reindeer. And we butch reindeer to protect our life. Shortly explained.
Hawaian Dave and I made a a slightly later than usual start to our winter seabassing this week, and what a start it was. The weather was perfect, temperatures were dropping and there was plenty of cloud cover obscuring the moon. There was loads of bait around and the fish were feeding aggressively
We have the best neighbor. Bill came down to help Steve cut up a 24”+ diameter dead tree we had taken down. We had to ask (pay) for help from a tree service to take it down, but it was up to us to buck it. Bill came over with his bigger chain saw and tractor to help Steve buck up the largest rounds and take them to the splitting/stacking area. Thank goodness for Bill’s tractor or I’d have been making 36 trips with our little cart. At 70, and having survived a triple bypass and carotid artery cleaning, Bill is an example of the vegan life and with a generous heart made of gold. He is able to lift the 50-60# rounds without breaking a sweat. That all got me to thinking of … fly rods, of course!
Nick Winkelman has written a truly first class book on the science of coaching. I am regularly asked by new instructors how to teach and what to teach. Where to even start? And while this book will certainly help new instructors and should in my opinion become essential reading, I think perhaps it’s greatest value is in helping experienced coaches to become better at what they do. I am a strong believer that as constantly improving flycasting coaches, we should be looking outwards to coaches of other sports, in order to see what they do, how they interpret the scientific research of learning movement, so that we can bring their expertise and insight into our profession. Nick is a coach’s coach and so “The Language of Coaching” is an excellent place to start.
The famous saying "be careful what you wish for, as you just may get it" has never rang more true for me than it has over the last 2 days. My epoxy guide wrap finish business has exploded, and we are having what appears to be a record year for sales. The downside....very little fishing being done. Who am I kidding, there is NO fishing being done.
Tracy and I are now one week into our first flats fishing trip for over three years and we’re finding it tough, physically that is. We perhaps knew that fishing at the intensity that we used to would be difficult, given the long lay-off and the fact we’re both aging rapidly, but we didn’t anticipate that things would be quite as painful as they are. Quite bizarrely on the afternoon we arrived on the island, after doing some shopping for provisions, we pulled on our flats socks and boots and headed for the beach next to our apartment – I couldn’t have taken more than ten steps before I was hit by an extreme pain in my left foot. I’m pretty clumsy but I knew I hadn’t kicked anything but it felt like my toe was broken.
I still have a few fly patterns I want to get ready for my Sweden-trip next weekend. I haven’t fished fresh-still-water for some years, so the fly box isn’t exactly well stocked. I don’t need many patterns, it’s late October in Sweden. Subzero temperatures are to be expected, at least during the night, so dry fly activity will be more than scarce. I’ll come armed with a small selection of Griffith’s Gnat and I’m certain that’ll see me through the occasional rising fish.
Past week has been really busy. We have done reindeer round ups in three different fence area. Winter is knocking on door. It has been few days now around zero on daytime and frost nights, each morning car windows has been covered with ice.
I was watching the excellent Kiss the Water last night while getting my stuff ready for the start of seabass time, and I was struck by something that one of the interviewees said about fly tyers nowadays not tying flies and just glueing things to hooks. Not like they did in days gone by.
“You’re doing a good job,” he said to me. Feeling patronized I scoffed, “It doesn’t take any training or skill to pick up branches and stack them in the wagon. You asked me to do it because you don’t want to, and I don’t have to skill to use a chainsaw.” It’s probably a good thing I lack that skill because I’m more likely to cut off my own limb than the tree’s. I watched a tree faller take down a 90’ tree and land it just where he wanted it within a few inches. He’s been doing it for 30 years, working in different situations. He initially learned his skill from different people but then developed it on his own as he continued to increase his expertise as he encountered a greater variety of problems and constraints. He’s now an expert and knows how to assess the tree’s size, lean, condition, and how to position and the straps to it and the truck to apply force vectors to pull it where it wants it to go. He knows how to cut the base with a chainsaw, use splitting wedges and mauls to coax it into the proper lean for takedown. He’s never had serious injuries because he pays attention and scrutinizes what he’s doing. It’s 30 years of experience encountering different problems, different solutions, and using different chainsaws and strapping. Hmm. Sound like fly casting?
The fishing here is never known to be easy but right now I really have my work cut out. The lake is incredibly low, which is often a good thing, but not this time! I think it’s because the water temperature is cooler (I’m guessing 28 or 29C, which might sound warm to you, but best is 32-34C). My theory is that the colder water holds more dissolved oxygen and therefore the Snakehead don’t have to rise as often. It certainly sounds plausible and I believe I’m backed by physics. But don’t quote me on it. Despite the challenges, I have put in some great shots. And very unusually, the fish haven’t responded, even to these brilliant breath-taking shots. The few sets of babies I have found, have been almost impossible to follow due to sheer number of exposed stumps (I got the boat stuck on one stump for fully ten minutes; I’d be still there now if I wasn’t such an experienced boatman) and even when I have been close enough for the shot, the adults have been behaving as if already spooked. Tough tough tough.
We love films and storytelling as a people. It's just a human compulsion to listen and tell stories. ---Mychael Danna
After a somewhat stressful start to our trip, Tracy and I arrived in the Bahamas yesterday (as I write this). We boarded our plane at Manchester exactly on time for the hop down to Heathrow, however once seated we were greeted with the news that the airport was on a go-slow due to the thick fog, so a substantial delay in getting underway was to be expected. This was not good news as we only had a 2 hour window in order to make our transatlantic flight. If we missed that one we would not make it to our hotel and would miss the following day’s island hop. Fortunately fog had also been an issue in London so the flight to Nassau was also delayed, allowing us to make it comfortably and for the handlers to do the luggage transfer (arriving without the fishing gear is just as bad as not making the flight).
I think most fly fishers prefer to fish floating lines, most fly fisher probably do fish floating lines. I probably don’t. I don’t keep track, but when I think about my fishing, it generally consists of sea trout on the coast, salmon and sea trout in the rivers, pike and perch, a little mackerel and sea bass and a little trout and grayling. For quite a few years, I’ve mainly fished river sea trout/salmon and pike/perch.
It has been almost 4 weeks without fishing or casting now. It is long time when you want to get better at something. August was great when having COVID, not allowed to have human contacts so time for fishing.
I've been tying some seatrout flies for an old friend this week. Nothing earth shattering, just the standard stuff like squirrel blue and silver, yellow perils, sunk lures and a few waddingtons.
The night we returned home from our first exploratory trip, I was awakened at 3:30 a.m. by a BOOM! Pop Pop! It sounded like someone shooting from the dirt road 300 yards from the house with a semi-automatic. With the previous day’s experience of an illegal hunter shooting from the back of his truck fresh in my mind, I was royally pissed but finally slept again. At 5:45 a.m. I was awakened again by another BOOM!
As one season ends another begins, some of you may be thinking about buying a new fly rod and naturally the Sexyloops Hot Torpedo springs immediately to mind. In the confusion that has become matching lines to rods, I’m happy to report that Sexyloops fly rods are designed for using AFFTA conforming flylines. So the Hot Torpedo 6 (HT6) for example, which was designed with the New Zealand backcountry in mind, is ideal for fishing a true-to-weight 6WT flyline. One of the most versatile flylines for this rod that I have found, is the Scientific Anglers (SA) Trout 6.
Several years ago a friend mine told me about a place he had been buying fly tying materials from, that had their own versions of synthetics like EP fiber etc. Since then, The Fly Tyer's Dungeon has become my go to source for unique synthetics and now hooks, for some seriously discounted prices.
This time next week, James and I will be in the Bahamas – for the first time since 2019. We are both so looking forward to this trip and are aiming to catch a range of species, perhaps even ones that we haven’t caught before, maybe like a goliath grouper. James has been putting an outfit together for getting down deep into the blue holes – I’ll let him tell you about this next week. Obviously, we’re hoping to catch some bonefish, though the weather there is very hot at the moment, so they might not be on the flats as the water temperature might be too high. We might have to start the holiday fishing the Atlantic side of the island in the hope that the cooler water will be better for the bones. Regardless it will be great to catch up with friends we made during our previous trips to this island and see how they have fared over the last few years.
I’m beginning to get ready for a trip to Sweden, over a prolonged, last weekend of October. I’m going to an event at the beautiful Hökensås Fishery. It’s just north of the city of Jönköping neat the southern end of the bog lake, Vättern. The fishery has several, beautiful forest clad lakes. The event is hosted by the good people at Hökensås and the equally good people at Ahrex Hooks.
I'm a person who might take photos and not really watching those afterwards. For me whatsapp is also like notebook. I sent photos and some other stuff just that I have it written down somewhere in case of memory blackout. Believe me, my memory works like a Swiss clock.
Recently I decided to start tying classic salmon flies again, but before I do I'm having to track down and buy materials.
Been uber busy with house and getting settled, but things should quiet down after falling some dead trees tomorrow, and bedroom furniture arriving! Woo how! Still on subfloor, but at least we can get clothes out of boxes. Then have to move the rounds from the felled trees, split and stack. The fun never ceases. Have stuff to write, but little time this last week. Could you reprint a previous FP you’ve written? A few months back you wrote one about coaching. I wanted to read it but life got in the way. I’d love to read it now and any other thoughts you’ve had about it. -Carol
I have had three seasons for most of my adult life. Spring, Summer and Autumn and then back to Spring, when I change hemisphere. Here in the Malaysian tropics I also think of three seasons: Wet (October to mid-Jan), Dry (mid-Jan to end of April) and “Summer” (May to October). This last one provides an intense thunderstorm every three of four days. These past years, no doubt a result of climate change, has seen the timing and intensity become less predictable.
Over the years, I have written several Front Pages that detailed the series of interviews I did for RodMaker Magazine. Recently I was going through some old reference material that was sent to me by Press Powell of Powell Fly Rods that I thought may be of interest to all of you.
Well that’s it for another BFCC casting season, the final event was yesterday in Brentwood, Essex. James had already won the yearly championship prior to the day but was looking to make it a clean sweep of event wins for the year, however the competition on the day was fierce and the standard of competitive casting was fantastic with four different winners of the individual disciplines.
Not when is comes to casting, in which case the answer is simple. If you cast far past the fish, it’s too far. If you line fish, it’s too far. No, how far do you need to go, when it comes to fly tying and flies. How many flies do you really need, how many insect stages and life cycles do you need represented, how detailed do the imitations need to be.