I've been busy all weekend with work and unable to enjoy the holiday so I've got nothing interesting to add just to wish all a good Monday. Hopefully come Tue or Wed I'll be able to post a few fish - real ones - and a good trout report. Cheers.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Got the spring FlyRod & Reel magazine the other day from a news stand and was impressed by the new take on streamer patterns. Feathers and rabbit strips with a lot of weight. Looks good and easy to tie. I realy took notice of the rabbit-strip jiggy and the kickin' chick'n. Big browns watch out.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Here are three Midges I did in pencil and pen/ink. As the holiday weekend approaches I want to send out a big thanks for all those who have put there lives on the line for this country. Without you we would not enjoy the freedoms we now enjoy. Job well done!
Also if you get a chance, check out troutrageous.blogspot.com and his June contest. Of course if you don't I have a better chance to win. Good luck.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
On the fishing front, I am looking forward to a trip up to WV for a morning fishing with my buddy from Killbillies Outdoors. He has promised to show me some good water and the weather looks great. Hopefully I'll be able to hook up with some nice fish and get some killer pics for this blog and future paintings. Also looking forward to trying out some flies Bigerrfish sent me. Look for the post in a week or so.
Also my favorite forum is back up after nearly a three week absence due to a bit of an infection. It got cold I guess but its fixed now...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
First, here is a red humpy. It's been a while since I've posted a dry fly and I particularly like the looks and fishing of this fly. I used a toned down palette for this work instead of going brighter with the red and I like how it turned out. It gives it a more aged, rustic look.
I finally added a paypal buy now button to the blog. For now I only got it up for prints of the Brookie & the Dolphin but will soon be adding an additional button for all 6x4 prints of any fly on this blog. Also my art website will be getting buttons for buying original paintings as well as prints. I hope that this makes the whole process easy and user friendly for those that have inquired into the process and prices for purchasing any of these pieces.
Thanks for the support.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Here is a muskie streamer with a bit of camera manipulation for the Canadian aviation map background.
I have purposely kept politics out of this blog, and will continue to do so because fly fishing and politics don't ever need to mix just like work and fly fishing need to be kept apart, however..... A while ago our president caught heat over a comment he made over our social dependence on technology. Now while the prez & I have not seen eye to eye on a number of issues, I tend to agree with him on this one. Kids are growing up today without an understanding of the natural word around them and are escaping into their ipods and playstation instead of being outdoors and interacting with people.
To cut to the chase,as a Blogger I'm as guilty as the next guy when it comes to using technology ( this post is from my smart phone ) but used properly it is a valuable tool to learn. An example is last year I had less than a dozen days with a fly rod in hand. This year I've exceeded that and then some plus learned and grew as a fly fisherman and painter. I think a mix of old and new is healthy, to much technology and one looses sight of where we have been, to much focus on the past and you can't see the the road ahead. Use technology as a tool and never forget that that is all it is.
Bottom Line... Don't let our kids escape from reality, use the internet to find a killer blue line and take them fishing.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Here is a rabbit strip Zonker with a mylar tube body. Add a bit of fur for a collar and you got a killer streamer. The color variations with this fly are vast but black and white seem to be the most widely used.
I know there are quite a few of you out there that live by the midge and would classify it as your favorite fly (bigerrfish, and midgeman come to mind) but for me it is the streamer. Midges probably catch more fish on average but fish, of any species, seem to hit streamers hard! There just is no mistaking a hit when you are stripping in a bucktail or Zonker and a hawg of a fish takes you fly. I love it!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Did a bit of work on a fish I've wanted to paint for quite a while. Some time ago my father in-law and I did a bit of offshore fishing and he was lucky enough to hook into the best fish of the trip. It was a dolphin and it has to be one of the best looking fish I have ever seen. Blues, yellows, and greens, this fish was a piece of art and it was a memorable trip. We caught several other fish on that trip but this is the one that I remember.
This piece measures 18"x10" unframed. The fly is an Offshore Deceiver. I will be selling this piece for $80 unframed and $130 framed. 10x8 prints with a simple 14x11 mat cost $11+s.h. Until I can get my website setup with a paypall function, If you desire to purchase the painting or a print just Email me and we will work out the details.
For those of you that have asked about the Brookie painting and prints, the 10x8prints will run $11 + Shipping and the Original will run $110 for the painting and $160 if you want it framed.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Here is a quick crayfish but the real story is a bit of bass fishing at a hidden pond a friend of mine took me to this morning. These are a few of the fish that hit my fly, notice the nice bass. What realy got the blood pumping was a hoss of a bass that was about twice that size and tuged on my 4lb line then lept in the air in a few heart stopping explotions. It was by far the bigest bass I had every caught on a fly or on a spin rod. I got it to the heavily weeded shore where I got a great look at it just before he hooked into a bunch of weeds and swam off. No picture so YES this is just another 'fish story'. Also, I out fished my spin casting buddy 7 to 2 and he is seriously thinking about picking up fly fishing. This is the second time he and I have gone fishing and the second time I have out fished him. Long live the FLY--------->>>>>
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Here is another Tarpon Fly for the salties out there. There is a different beauty to the salt water flies out there. Bright and colorful, they are meant to compete with all of the other colorful fish in the ocean. It makes for some interesting painting (and Tying) opportunities.
Caught a bit of a sailfish, sword, and marlin fishing on the sports channel the other day. This dude hooked into a swordfish with 4 pound test and strait up stood this fish on its tail for about 50 yards. Exploding out of the water, this fish thrashed, hook in mouth, right at this guy and the boat from he was fishing. Head wagging and throwing spray the whole way, the fish actually rammed his sword into the wood transom of this boat, leaving about an inch of bill in the boat. You can say what you want about the power if editing and such but if watching something like that doesn't make you want to hook into one of those at some point in your life.... Well all I got to say is you need to get some new blood in your veins because the stuff you got now in there now has lost its will to live.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Picking up my favorite author the other day (E. Hemingway) I began to drift through a few of his early magazine and newspaper articles, many of which were later developed into his best novels. The Old Man & The Sea, The Sun Also Rises, Farewell To Arms; you get the idea. So as I read these time capsules of life I was instantly tela-ported into the Spanish mountains fighting bulls and fascism, hunting u-boats and marlin out of Cuba, and best of all battling heavy shouldered trout in Canada and Wyoming. What is it about words that are so well written that they can pull you into an adventure so as to either make you feel you are there or wish you were. My hats off to those with that ability. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but sometime the words are more stimulating to the mind.
"Then he comes out again, and the spray roars, and again, then the line feels slack and out he bursts heading across and in, then jumps twice more seeming to hang high and stiff in the air before falling to throw a column of water and you can see the hook in the corner of his jaw." -On the Blue Water - Hemingway - Esquire April, 1936.
For any out there that have never picked up Hemingway, London, Zane Grey, Twain, or any other countless monumental writers, do yourself a favor. Like prospecting for native trout or tracking a noble buck through heavy brush, your time and efforts will not go unrewarded. (FYI - adding a drink of your choice into your reading will not hurt the experience...)
Friday, May 14, 2010
Here is three flies on an approach plate. For those that do not know what an approach plate is, it is a navigational aid pilots use to get to an airport runway. I thought it was an interesting concept to put flies circling for landing so there you go.
I'm hoping in the next few days having s few paintings up but for the past three days I've been working my tail off.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Also I've added a little pic of a fly tying box I made a few years ago for my brother inlaw. While I was visiting I saw this in his den and cracked it open only to find the basics of a fly tying kit. He is an avid bass and pan fisherman but fly fishing has never really been a big thing for him. He has tried it-as well as tying- but it never seemed to appeal to him. I'm not entirely sure why that is because it seems the more I do it the more and more I want to do every type of fishing with a fly rod. I know that many fly fishing enthusiast can relate to this desire. So as I looked through his sparse fly box in search of materials for a quick few bass streamers I was reminded of my own sparse beginnings half a decade ago. Today I search through my own fly box (which realy is about 5 times his size and is more of a chest than a box) for just the right hair and fur, thread or flash and constantly desire more choices, more material, more stuff until my own box is overflowing. Well in his box with only the bare necessities I made due and tied some flies.
These Buck tails and marabou streamers caught over half a dozen bass and countless pan fish, proving once again that sometimes you need to make due with what you got.
I only wish our government would learn this lesson instead of either passing the buck or raising taxes.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The other day I had the morning free and the urge to paint a large scale watercolor came over me. My subject, a great looking Brookie. I have done a few larger trout paintings before but this was one of the biggest at roughly 18-20in wide and 14-15in tall. I am probably going to be offering this as 8x10 & 5x7 prints soon at a modest price if you are interested. The original is also for sale but I am unsure of the price yet. I get a little attached to my newer paintings and it takes a while for me to 'let go'. But as they say "anything is for sale for the right price".
I have also been getting quite a few emails lately about paintings and how to buy them. I hope to have a easy to use system up for this process soon. Until then if you are interested in anything you have seen just email me. If you have a trophy pic you want painted I will also do that.
That's enough of the marketing. I hope you enjoy this work as much as I do. After this week I begin a long stretch of working my but off.
Monday, May 10, 2010
On a little trip up to the Chicago land area I was lucky enough to slip away for a little bit and do a bit of fly fishing in a SMALL pond near my brother-inlaws house. I had brought with me my 2 weight 6 1/2' because its compactability and because I knew nothing up there would be that big. I only brought along a few flies and very limited gear but it was enough for my purpose. Day one I caught a good pan fish on every cast with a small foam beetle but could not entice a large bass to hit anything I threw at it, (including my rabbit strip). I guess there is very little that will get a nesting bass to move off a bed if it doesn't feel like it.
Day two I caught a TON of small but feisty large mouth and crappie on a blacknose dace variant I made that had a little green marabou for an overwing. On day thee the cold high pressure system moved in and only a few panfish were enticed to leave the bottom of the pond.
Over all it was a good little trip for visiting family and a few hours of relaxing fishing. I even got to give my father-inlaw a bit of fly fishing instruction which would have been better if he had hooked a fish but he only arrived after the high moved in and the fish quit biting.
The pictures I posted are only a taste of the action. Some were bigger, and many were smaller but for the most part the action was nonstop.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Okay, so I've been on a bit of a rabbit streamer kick lately, but seriously, this fly works every time I use it. I had about an hour + the other day so I went and scouted out a few new ponds around the Greenville area. A few had the No Trespassing under penalty of ..bla bla bla.. but then I found a nice open pond full of bream and bass.
In an hour I caught numerous small bass, one after another, and all on the rabbit strips I tied a few days ago. By the way - Bass Love A little Red in Their Diet...I love this fly! The only disapointment was a nice 3-4lb bass that hit the fly twice but wouldnt stay on. Next time its mine.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
The other day I got to bottle - and taste test - my new wine. Last August we started the whole wine making process with a few bushels of peaches and then again in October with the apples. This was my first attempt at the whole wine making thing and I was quite nervous on how it all would turn out. The waiting and watching. The watching and waiting. Racking the wine to get rid of sediment, then racking it again, and in the case of the peach, racking it again. Basically its a long process and yet another hobby that teaches patience. Ive also learned that like my painting and fly fishing-fly tying it is more an art than just a following directions.
Anyway, you are probably wondering what the end product was like. Luckily I can tell you we do NOT have vinegar and yes it is drinkable. It may not win (No... It definitely will not win!) and wine making contest but for a first time attempt it is not half bad. Neither batch was overpowering or pungent but neither was as smooth as I would have liked. From what Ive read, being a young wine, this is not to uncommon.
For the apple it was good, could handle a few months or more in the bottle, but it was nice and slightly dry but not with an overpowering finish. In a few months or even years it will be great.
The peach was slightly more alcoholic and need more time. It had a slight bite to it and was still a little cloudy. We are hoping that with time it will clear and age nicely.
We also did quite a few of the bottles with a 50/50 mix and this seemed to be the best of the bunch. It had a little more body and complexity with a more pleasing finish. Again, it needed a Little time in the bottle.
The labels I did myself the other day. Simple paintings for a simple wine. Again, these are in watercolor. Now with the carboys empty we are going to try our hand at a little strawberry and watermelon wine next...... I am optimistic that we will take what we have learned and improve on our art.... or maybe we will get a nice batch of vinegar....
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Also spent a little time with the fly tying this morning. Looking to improve on my bass, wabbit strip worm I've added a little color to the beard. Bass always love a little red in their diet and the blue..... well I just thought it looked cool. going out in a few hours to test them out.
Also tied a few midges for a future trout trip. I was inspired by the SWEET flies Bigerrfish sent me a while ago and decided to add to the lot. Mine are by far rougher than the bgrrfsh quality but I'm sure they'll fish. (Josh, the hopper is just too pretty to fish,,,, Even my wife was impressed.) I also got a new midge box coming to me via Ebay and need flies to fill it.
Monday, May 3, 2010
I had forgot,or maybe never really appreciated how entertaining and relaxing it can be. Growing up I was never really that big of a baseball fan. I enjoyed the contact sports a little more. I played through high school, along with basketball, and enjoyed myself but felt that soccer was more my sport. Well, the other day I went with a buddy of mine to our local Greenville farm team and watched with a new admiration for the game. With a few brews, a hand full of peanuts, and a foot long I watched our team get pummeled. 10 to 0 at the bottom of the third. The eventually made a game out of it with more than a few high fly balls deep but still couldn't close the gap. I even got a fielded ball for my kids. (my youngest saw it on the counter the next morning and promptly threw it across the room. man he has an arm.... and knows how to push Mommy's buttons) Anyway, my new resolution is go to more games and at @ $5 bucks a head it is well worth it....