Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pyramid Lake

I listen to the Reno Fly Shop's podcast. That's when I heard about Pyramid Lake and the monster trout that live there.

This morning, on my Feedly, I saw the video up top. Pictures say a thousand words, and this video says loads.

Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lance Egan's GTI Caddis

A fly I'm tying is the Egan GTI Caddis (video up top). I like the color contrasts, and I've found that Caddis is pretty abundant on nearly all waters that I fish.

I'm tying them in size 18 and will use them as a dropper. I won't be adding weight to them, as I like my droppers to move around freely in the drift. The only other modification is that I didn't buy orange scudback material. I'm just using clear ThinSkin and coloring it with an orange Sharpie.

So, hopefully, they'll work this spring.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The TRCP: Two Thumbs Up

If you're looking to defend public lands, consider donating to the TRCP. That's the acronym for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

I decided to give what is, for me, a significant donation. I want to do my part. I asked my Congressman what is the best way to influence a rep. in another state, given that I'm in New England.

The answer: Find a friend or colleague in that state and convince him/her to lobby that local Rep. or Senator. In other words, it is really hard to influence a legislator if you're not in his/her district or state.

It's a reminder that we live in a Republic, not a pure democracy. We elect representatives, who duke it out. So, the next best thing, IMO, is to fund a grass-roots organization. Such an organization has the scale and insider knowledge to apply pressure to the right people.

I first heard about the TRCP from some folks who are competition anglers and/or work for state agencies. They think very highly of the group.

I then looked up its charity ratings and was impressed that it received the highest grades possible. I read the web site, the annual reports, and the IRS filing forms.

Through a contact, I reached out to Jonathan Stumpf. Then, I spoke with Krystyn Brady, the organization's Director of Communications. Have been emailing back and forth with the group's CEO, Whit Fosburgh, and we shortly will be having a call. I love what I heard: passion for preserving our lands for hunting and fishing, and a keen awareness of how to influence legislators.

So, if you'd like to contribute to a worthy cause, click here to learn more about the group.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Customized Trailer for Fishing Trips

Well, this is a random post. I often peruse the Reddit fly fishing group and have learned a lot from it. The moderators are pretty serious competition anglers, and they're very approachable.

Recently, someone posted a new project that they're undertaking: customizing a trailer for sleep-away fishing trips. He provided a link to a prior example, and it's pretty cool. Somebody stripped down the trailer, insulated it, and installed a customized sleeping-and-storage area on the inside.

Here's the link.

On another note, am not fishing much right now, as I await the snowstorms to abate. I did manage to get out twice before the first storm hit. It was great to be outside.

Not biggies, but these had stunning colors. #euronymphing #flyfishing #orvis #syndicateflyfishing #floatthatsighter

A photo posted by BlogFlyFishMA (@blogflyfishma) on

Best 'bow of the day. #euronymphing #flyfishing #orvis #syndicateflyfishing

A photo posted by BlogFlyFishMA (@blogflyfishma) on

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Floating the Sighter

I've been playing with a technique that competition anglers use: "Floating the sighter." It has been a game changer.

It doesn't work in all situations. It is not a silver bullet. But, it has been a deadly technique. It recently helped generate nine takes on a cold day when things are normally pretty slow.

First up, as I've written before, I tightline nymph 90% of the time. It does not use split shot or surface indicators. The anchor fly itself is weighted, and you keep the line tight to keep in contact with the nymph(s). So, when there's a subtle take, as happens during winter, you'll see the line pause.

A surface indicator creates a slight hinge that delays your ability to sense soft takes. One video study showed how fly fishing guides missed about half of all takes when floating a bobber. With a floating mono sighter, you maintain contact with the nymphs in one straight line, and you supposedly can detect 80% to 90% of all takes.

You use an "in line" indicator, made of colored pieces of mono. I've been using Devin Olsen's set-up, which calls for three pieces of colored mono. "Tags" and blood knots are incorporated. They help you see the line in low-light conditions and help with flotation.

Floating the sighter is pretty straight-forward. You grease up the colored indicator, so that it floats on the surface. Devin recommends a paste indicator, which clings better. I use Mucilin.

I use this approach when I target fish in shallow water and can approach them from below. I'll use lighter nymphs, either ones with small tungsten, brass or glass beads. There's no splash from a bobber or the nymphs, and it's very stealthy.

You also make less of a disturbance when you pull to cast. A standard fly line, split shot, and a bobber will most definitely create a ripple when pulled out of the water--and, that will definitely alert trout, particularly if you're on skinny and slow water.

Floating a mono sighter creates a more stealthy visual, too. I've read of one study that document pressured fish sliding out of the way when they see a bobber coming at them.

You do need to mind your casting angles, though. You can cast from below and across and adjust for that angle with a downstream mend to keep the leader in one straight line to avoid drag.

This approach does not work for super-long distances, or when a seam is directly across or below from you. A surface-indicator set-up is best for those situations. So, when I need to, I just add a NZ-type indicator to my leader.

Give it a shot? It is one technique to have in the tool kit. When used properly, you'll land more fish than anyone else.

I've become more convinced that the best approach is to fish flies no one else does, approach the fish at an angle that few can do, cover water most anglers skip, and maintain stealth for as long as possible.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Arkansas' White River Browns

Author, angler and fly tying machine Rich Strolis has a great post up. It's about Arkansas' White River and the famed brown trout there.

Here is the link. It's a great read.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

HR 621 Is Withdrawn

Rep. Chaffetz, the author of HR 621, which would seek to sell/transfer 3.3 million acres of federal land, posted this a few hours ago:

Nevertheless, there's a great deal of other legislation (or, reversal of Executive Orders) in the works. One is a repeal of the Stream Protection Rule.

So, I'm keeping my appointment with Congressman Joe Kennedy. If there is other anti-wildlife legislation you think I should bring up with him, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Andrea's Healing Fund

Nick Meloy is a competition angler in PA and is a generous soul, offering great advice as a moderator of the Reddit fly fishing group.

He recently posted the following on Instagram:

I gave a donation, and I hope you consider it. His partner, Andrea, just went through significant surgery after doctors suddenly diagnosed her with stage IIIC ovarian cancer, which is very serious. Details here.

I don't know about you, but I know so many friends and family members who have had cancer. Feeling support was a major driver of their recovery. So, please take a look at the link above on Andrea.

All the best to you both, Andrea and Nick. I am thinking of you both....

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Congressman Joe Kennedy III

It worked!

As I wrote before, and building on Troy's post, two House bills have been introduced that likely will result in the sale of public lands. I just read that 3.3 million acres are at stake.

So, I called my Congressman's local office, as a D.C. insider suggested. As luck would have it, the person who answered the phone is a fly fisherman.

I alerted him to the new House bills that have been introduced. I think I'm the first constituent to report about them. He was very empathetic, listened carefully, and didn't rush me. Then, I got this cool and unexpected email back:

Thank you for the call. I’ve put our discussion into our system, outlining the issues surrounding HR 621 and 622. Now that they are in our system, the Congressman will be notified. I encourage you to keep calling so that this issue gets moved further to the top.

He also emailed me the name and phone number for the Congressman's scheduler and suggested that I ask for a meeting. So, yeah, I'm going to ask to meet Congressman Joe Kennedy III. Wish me luck!

Hope you all can make the time to call your Congressman's local office?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Dear Trout Unlimited

Dear Trout Unlimited,

I am a grateful member of your organization and deeply appreciate the work you're doing to keep public lands intact. But, I would like to suggest that you rally your base in a different way. Context below.

Who Are We?
I'm one of four writers for a blog at We are a non-revenue site run by volunteers. In a short period of time, we currently are on a run rate to have 250,000+ page views a year, all through word-of-mouth and organic search.

One of us already has written a great post about the current public land transfer initiative. Link here.

I'm greatly alarmed that, since then, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah has introduced two House bills (here and here) to get the ball rolling.


I appreciate TU's link that lets us easily email our elected representative. But, I read some advice online from a D.C. insider that emails are useless.

I'll copy the data at the bottom of the post, but, the short answer is that this individual recommends calling a Congress-person's local office. Don't email, don't Tweet, and don't call the D.C. office. Call the local one.

My Two Cents
So, my suggestions are as follows:
  • Can TU modify its web site to show the local office numbers for Congress?
  • How about a "calling campaign," whereby you pick a day or a week and encourage your members to call and overwhelm a local office's capacity?
  • How about we all call Rep. Chaffetz's local office on a particular day? The number there in Provo, UT, is (801) 851-2500.

I hope that we can rally the resources to keep public lands as a public good.

Thank you for listening....

Here is the information from the D.C. insider:
I see a lot of you saying that you've written to your Congressmen about this and I wanted to let you know that emails and letters to Congress are rather useless in changing their minds on policy issues.

If you really want to make a difference you need to make an actual phone call. It's best to call the local state offices, not the ones in D.C. Letters and email are generally just glanced at for certain keywords to let the person know what issue you're writing about, then you're usually sent a form letter reply (for emails this is actually done with computer algorithms). With most Congressmen, Senators especially, they just get too many letters and emails to really take in the substance of the concerns.

Phone calls actually tie up a person for the entire duration of the call, which if you take the time to explain yourself can be quite a while. And if the Congressman walks through the phone room while all the interns are on calls and the phone is still ringing, they'll know something big is up.

The offices in D.C. mostly just have interns and very low level staffers answering the phones, because that's the office that most people call. If you call one of the local offices, you're more likely to get someone other than an intern, and they'll be better positioned to push your message. If enough people keep calling a local office, there's a good chance you can tie up the staff on the phones for much of the day, and you can be sure the Congressman will hear about that.