Friday, December 12, 2014

Players


Colors of GL steel...

With the thought of several fishless days on my mind, I eagerly anticipated a day when everything would come together. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait too long because of an extended weekend. Adam had a few days off from guiding and we were able to reconvene for our first steelhead action together in almost a year. The last time we swung the river together, it produced one of our best days of fishing. This particular trip did not disappoint and we were able to find quite a few willing participants...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Stinger Missile Fly


Steel on the stinger missile...

During a winter storm in 2009, I concocted a fly for one of my first sessions ever swinging for steelhead. At the time, I was learning on a switch rod with a 510 Airflo Skagit Compact and I was tying and throwing some seriously heavy stuff. Needless to say, it was not pretty. On a late November outing, Adam and I did really well for ourselves. My fly was able to pick up my first ever fish on a legit two hander setup. The brown pictured below crushed it in a very fast section of water and I was hooked. The fly became my "go to" pattern for the next few years as I learned the ways of the skagit. I started calling it the "stinger missile," and it has still accounted for more steelhead from the Salmon River than almost all my other flies.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Money in the Bank


A Mid-November Winter Wonderland

A planned retreat brought my girlfriend and I to the shores of Lake Ontario. We met up with some friends to stay at a lakehouse and fish the Salmon River for a few days. Faced with the first lake effect snows and plunging polar temperatures we had our work cut out for us, but our trials and tribulations were money in the bank for future steelhead trips…

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lifeline


First of the season...

Super high expectations always tend to be quickly disappointing. Such was the case with the beginning of my steelhead season. The steelhead gods were not too kind to me and they made me wait and truly work for my first fish this Fall...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Getting into the Swing of Things...


Amped would be an understatement. Winter and my last swings for lake run salmonids seemed like a distant memory but the thought of hooking into a chrome steelhead fueled a few weeks worth of anticipation and the straight five hour drive north. The icing on the cake was easily the autumnal peak that surrounded us around every inch of river...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rhea Steelhead Muddler


For steel...

Over the years, the flies in my steelhead arsenal have gotten progressively smaller and I fish them in the middle to upper column. For the Salmon River, I've settled on flies in the 2-3 inch range as my preferred size because thats where I've had the most success. With that in mind, I am always tinkering at the vice with new patterns. This is one I am confident will produce this fall and winter. A little twist on a classic I'll call the Rhea Steelhead Muddler...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stopgap


I've been jonesing to go to the Great Lakes tributaries to swing for some lake run fish for the past few weeks. Thankfully, I was able to resist going up for some salmon and my bank account officially thanked me for it. However, there was an empty hole inside of me that needed to be filled with something, anything to stave off the yearning for my first steelhead of the year...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Two Saturdays in September


River carpin...

Summer has a way of flying by, even for the teachers that don't have to work. My two months went by so fast, that I neglected a favorite river of mine and the many carp that call it home. Technically, my summer was over by the time I got to fish this body of water but I was able to eek out two Saturday outings with my girlfriend and her Australian cattle dog mix, Zoey. Fly fishing for carp from a SUP with your girlfriend and her lovely dog is not the best scenario, but I made it work nonetheless...

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Maryland Unicorn


Fly fishing offers an excellent case study in intermittent reinforcement. Your next cast might connect you with The One and at some level you always expect it to. But that only ever happens once if you're lucky. It's for the same reason that we cast and expect that causes some poor people to check their phones, email, Facebook or whatever hundreds of times a day. Sometimes there is a ping, but most of the time there isn't. Occasionally something awesome pops up, and that's more than enough to keep us coming back.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Fly Rod's Greatest Hits


In memoriam...

The favorite fly rod I have ever owned recently met an untimely end. In a bit of nostalgia, I went back into the archive to relive my Loop AEG 696-4's greatest hits...