Mar 11

Peterson Spawning Shrimp – TCO Fly Shop

I started thinking about Peterson Spawning Shrimp, a pattern MG mentioned he had tied up in preparation for Andros.  I decided to turn again to my old friend and fly tying teacher, Mr. Yew-toob, to see what he had to say on the subject.

A nice tutorial from the TCO Fly Shop surfaced.  TCO Fly Shop is out of PA.


I gave it a shot… it would help if I had more rabbit that wasn’t orange… so, I’m improvising a bit.


OK… maybe not there yet.

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Feb 11

Reason #3 Saltwater Fishing is Superior – Iced Guides

Michael Gracie has some ideas about why Carp are better than Trout.  That prompted me to get back to listing all the ways the Salt is better than fresh water fishing.

Yet another reason saltwater fly fishing is way more super fantastically awesome than freshwater fly fishing. – Iced Guides.

It is mid-February now and things are cold.  Here, in the SF South Bay that means temps getting down to the 40’s!  Brrr.  Elsewhere temps are dropping to the point where stuff starts to freeze and if water is freezing and fish live in water… well… comedy and complications must ensue.

The coldest weather I ever went fly fishing in was 16 degrees on the Scott River in Severe Northern California.  Steelhead were the intended target and despite my falling into the river about 30 seconds into the trip, I managed to A. Not freeze to death, and B. Catch some.  The cool thing about the trip was that the Scott is a small river and the fish are mostly in the half-pounder range and you can high-stick/short-line nymph for them.  I caught 2 and had a decent time, my dad was there too, which is always a good day on the water, even if that water aspires to ice-cubes.

Still… I’m going to have to say that the whole scenario does present a pretty clear-cut case in favor of saltwater flyfishing.

Reason #3… Iced up guides

That there is cold...

There is no ice in bonefishing, except maybe in the cooler to keep your beer cold and that is how things should be.

PS – If you haven’t figured this out, and I’m surprised I need to write this… this is really tongue-in-cheek.

Jan 11

Rise Fishing Co’s Contest – Oppose Pebble Mine (no brainer)

Winner will win a Rise fly rod of their choice and get to choose ANY fly fishing guide that they want to fish with for a day. We will pick up the charter fee for a full day fishing.( not exceeding 650.00).

via Rise Fishing Co.: Stop Pebble Mine Petition.


OK, you shouldn’t need the lure of a new rod from Rise Fishing (a new rod company launching, well, any second now, read Michael Gracie’s interview with Amanda Switzer) to oppose Pebble Mine, which is just a piss poor idea conceived of by people with broken souls.  However… you can now both oppose Pebble Mine AND get put in the drawing for one of these rods AND a guided fishing trip with any guide you want.

Basically, you can get the goods while doing good and that is kind of a “have your cake and eat it too” scenario.

Do it.  If you don’t, well, you just fractionally increase my odds of winning.

Nov 10

The Math of Sucking

I too, read Alex C‘s bit on why you suck at fly fishing, and then I read Pete’s counter and MG‘s announcement… and it got me to thinking… how do I feel about sucking? (A Perfect Fish got in on the discussion too)

I like Pete’s “Don’t be an asshole” rule.  I think I can pretty much live by that one.  I’ve had a few things said about me over the years and I’ll generally admit to being a bit naive, but certainly well intentioned.  I’m maybe a bit too quick to get defensive and a little slow to let an insult go, but I’m working on both of those things.  Don’t say I’m not, damnit!  Well… more work to do, I guess.

There are a lot of really good anglers out there and there are a lot of really sucky anglers out there and I’d bet the a-hole split is fairly even between the two groups.  However, there is something particularly egregious about the guy who is an a-hole about being a good angler.  I kind of hate those guys.  There seems to be something about this sport/hobby/pastime that generates the “I’ve been there, done that, and probably better than you did/will/can.”

These guys are first against the wall when the revolution comes. Just say’n.

We all start somewhere and usually, almost always, suck at the beginning.  Some kids get lucky and fish from birth.  I took up fly fishing when I was 20 or 21 despite living in trout country and gear fishing from an early age.  Others come to it later…. sometimes not until middle age or retirement.  When you start and how much time you put into it determines a lot.  For most folks, sucking isn’t a way of life, it is merely the scenic route to becoming a better angler.

I’m not good at math, but I think you could nearly come up with an equation to determine flyfishing suckiness… I’ll call it the Fly Fishing Suckiness Index (FFSI).

TW (Time on the Water – 1-10) x HLP (Amount and quality of help you have received – 1-8) x A (Athleticism – 1-2) x AG (Age you picked up fly fishing – 1 older, 2 young man, 3 birth) x FND (How fishy your group of friends is – 3-very, 1-not at all) x AW (Awareness – 1-2) x FS (Quality of your local fly shop – 1-2) x FT (Fly Tier 1 = no, 1.5 = yes) x JOB (Job, is it your job? 1 = no, 3 = yes) = FFSI

Nowhere in the equation is there mention of how expensive your gear is or how many miles you’ve traveled after fish.  Those things don’t make the angler, really.  One key factor is the help your receive along the way.  Guides, friends, parents… there is a world of advice and knowledge and if you ask, you will generally receive… if you do, remember to give it back to some other sucky angler at some point down the road.

There are exceptions… there are people born to fish, just like there are people born to paint or sculpt.  The engineers I know seem fairly unable/unwilling/uninterested to do anything else.  I heard one computer/electrical engineer explaining how a quantum computer would work (which blew my mind) and it was not lost on me that this same person has sever phobias involving toothpicks, needles, contractors, ticks and many, many other things that makes it nearly impossible to operate in the world.  He was born with numbers in his head and some people are born with fish floating in theirs.

There are probably also people who cannot overcome their own ineptness, but who love it anyway.  If it doesn’t bother them, I ask that it not bother you either and we should all get along famously.

PS – I’m still, pretty much, a sucky saltwater angler… but I’m working on it.

Sep 10


For the next few days the fly fishing world  will be focused on Denver and the industry show going on there.  You can follow the action from bloggers, tweeters and industry types if you know where to look.

There is a Social Media Lounge at the event, and the hashtag #IFTD should get you some of the goods.

Deneki is going to be there.

The Fiberglass Manifesto and Michael Gracie are going to be there.

One of the blogs to really check will be the Complete Thought blog, as he”s actually working the show, manning the Social Media Lounge.

Keep your eyes open for what’s new.

Jun 10

Tag Ends – 6/13/10

How did it get to be mid-June?  Man… time is just flying by here.  Here are some bits from around the web.

In other news…

The US got a point of England in the World Cup.  Awesome.  I love the World Cup… watching now.

May 10

Thoughts on FIBFest

Thanks go to Deneki Outdoors for putting on FIBFest 2010. There was a lovely flow of bonefishy goodness riding the tide from Andros South.

Michael Gracie took pity on me for my inability to escape the gravitational pull of domestic bliss (really a move, house sale and all that goes with it) and sent me an Andros South hat.

My life in a picture... fantasy and reality all there together.

Between all the great writing emanating from Andros South, Michael’s hat charity and my flies keeping Fishing Jones company, FIBFest was a blast, even from the stands.

Thanks Deneki!

May 10

FIBFest Closes

It has been fun to watch what’s come out of FIBFest 2010 down at Andros South.  The week has come to an end, sadly, and now it is all  but memories.  Looks like some pretty good ones were made.

Here’s a stellar wrap up by Michael Gracie akin to an Oscar acceptance speech.

Fishing Jones had a rather literary take on things.

This whole thing was put together by Andrew from Deneki Outdoors.  The idea, of course, was to stir up interest in bonefishing and in Andros South.  I think that has been accomplished.

The hunting grounds of Andros South.

May 10

FIBFest continues

There is some good stuff trickling out of FIBFest and the place to see it is Michael Gracie’s blog.

Another FIBFest participant is Deeter from the Fly Talk blog over at Field and Stream.  In that latest installment he makes the claim that bonefish are the perfect species for a fly rod.  Now, that may be overstating somewhat, although the number of folks in the comments section that think carp are actually the finest fly rod species tells me that his readers and I probably don’t share too many rivers together.

Bonefish are a fantastic fly rodding species to be sure.  Perfect?  I’d think the trout is still the species most suited for fly rods… from a 2 wt. on a mountain stream to a 20 pound steelhead, the trout covers a lot of bases… dries, nymphs, streamers… rivers, lakes, creeks, lagoons.

No, I’d say the bonefish is more of a niche species.  It is for folks that like the hunt, the visual search  for the fish.  It has way more to do with the stalking than the rod, in my totally BS opinion.

I’d still trade 100 trout for a single bonefish and a dozen days on my mountain rivers for a day on the flats.  Just say’n.

This is not the perfect species for the fly rod.