Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Drawing The Mouse

Here is a small doodle of a mouse done just before my good pen exploded.  The ink all over the fly was only there because I didn't want it leaking on the carpet.

I also want to thank all those that took advantage of yesterdays Cyber Monday deal.  I spent a good portion of last night packaging up your purchases for shipment. For those that missed it, you can still get any of the prints available on my Buy A Fish Print page at the standard LOW cost.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wool Sock Midge & Cyber Monday Special

Here is a rendition of a new fly made from my wives yarn she bought to make some warm fishing socks.  I call it simply my WOOL SOCK MIDGE.  It has a nice weave of four strands that are colored with a deep greens, olives, greys, and a hint of blue that are easily separated into midge size strands.  I saw a bit of it while tying up some flies and decided why the heck not.  I had meant to fish it on my last outing but forgot it in my tying box.  Next time I'll be sure to test it out on those rainbows.

Here is the fly I tied while just fooling around.  I know its not a great pic but for a cellphone it ain't bad and you get the idea right.


 If you buy TWO mated prints of your choice via the BUY A TROUT PRINT page at the top of this page, you will also get a 4x6 mated print of a fly free of charge.  I know it isn't much but hey, these prints are dirt cheap to begin with.

This offer is only good for purchases made today - Monday the 29th

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soft Hackle & One Trout Plus A Great Find.

A fly inpired from  HOMEWATERS FLY FISHING Check his flies out.  He has a great eye for shots and make sure you tell him who sent you.

 So here is the fishing report I haven't been able to post for 3 days now.  After a night of accompanying my wife on a madness Friday shopapolusa (some things one just has to do as a husband) I dropped her off at home to get some much needed sleep and I packed up my car and headed north for a morning of much anticipated trout angling.  I knew the front might have already ruined the chance for a killer day but I felt I deserved the chance to hook some wild trout. 
    With my trusty 2 w and box of midges I made my way to a stretch of river I have wanted to fish for some time but was always hesitant due to the multitude of NO TRESPASSING  signs along its banks.  Having heard numerous reports of locals brandishing firearms and even taking pop shots at fisherman in the water they claim to own, I searched for an access point and finally found one near a public road.  Unfortunately it only afforded about fifty yards of un-fishable shallow water and not surprisingly it produced nothing in the half an hour I struggled to fish it.  It was then that I got back into the car and was about to pack it in and fish some water I always fish when I passed a stretch of heavenly looking water that ran through a picture perfect pasture. 
I have envied this stream for a number of years but have always written it off as NOT TO FISH under penalty of a mess of holes being put into the tail end of my waders about the size of 22 bullets rounds.  However on this drizzly morning as I drove passed I witnessed the owner cutting brush near the entrance.  I then drove on for about half a mile then promptly slammed on the brakes, did a uturn, and made my way back to go and ask how he felt about fly fishermen on his stretch of water.  What I got was one of the nicest receptions one could have possibly hoped for.  He graciously gave me permission to fish all the water on his stretch of river and feeder streams.  His son then  drove over and gave me a few good hints as to where the fish were holding.  As you can see by the shiner below, the day didn't start off with a bang and it seemed like the passing front had driven most of the trout into hiding.
 After about two hours of chucking flies and not catching a single trout I began to work my way back to the car.  It was then that I saw a mess of trout holding in some swift water along a cut bank and near a submerged tree root.  I tossed them a nice rendition of a soft hackle and got a tell tail flash of a take from deep.  My 2w easily hauled this little guy in and I decided it was enough for the day.  I released the little guy, gave my deep felt thanks for the privilege to fish such beautiful water and headed home. 
In the end the owner gave me his number and told me I was welcome back anytime.  It was a joy to find a friend of the angler and if he or one of the three generations of family members that work his land visits my site, I want to thank them again.  I will be returning to this pleasant stretch of river on a more weather friendly day and hopefully be able to hook into some good sized rainbows, of which I know are in there because I caught a glimpse of a few deep in a whole, right where he had said they were.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Another Scribbled Fly

Once again I have had no time to break out the paints so this is another post via my phone. Which also means no fishing report from yesterdays trip because I am unable to post more than one photo at a time.  I am hoping to have a decent post for tomorow so stay tuned.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Late Day Midge

Just a late day post just to get it in before I wrap up one of the busiest, longest, most filled 48 hours I have had in a Very long time. I have not the time nor the energy to go into detail but I will tell you I did spend a bit of time today exploring some new trout waters.  Hopefully I should have some time off work tomorrow to fill u in.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Upside Down Reverse Hackled Tenkara Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope you all enjoy this holiday with friends and family.  My your turkey be moist and your gravy free from lumps.  As for me and my family we are spending the morning watching the thanksgiving day parade then deep flying the bird.

As for the fly, this little guy reminded me of Tenkara fly but as it came from a British book and I doubt it was designed for the Tenkara Bum.  It does however look like it will entice those trout to bite.  I especially like the up facing hook but am not sure I am confident that it will land on the water like pictured.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A True American Hero - Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta - and a Fly

Sometimes a fly takes a backseat to more important info.  I have been meaning to post this for a while now and just recently got the chance with the actual presentation taking place last week.  This past summer I met a very close family member of Staff Sergent Giunta at a reunion and heard his amazing story.  I had heard that he was probably going to be a winner of the Medal Of Honor and being a student of history and all things military, I was very impressed.  No living servicemember has received such an award since Vietnam so THIS IS A BIG DEAL!!  I read his story and I get chills.

Visit this site per US Army - A Great Site.
the White house press release
Photos are from a friend of mine

Official NarrativeOn Oct. 25, 2007, Spc. Giunta’s platoon was conducting a movement to contact to interdict enemy forces on the Gatigal Spur, in order to provide over watch for 2nd and 3rd platoon’s exfil back to Combat Outpost Vimot, and the Korengal Outpost. While conducting their exfil from the platoon’s blocking position, Spc. Giunta’s platoon was ambushed by 10 to 15 enemy personnel who utilized an “L” shaped, near ambush that was within 10 meters of the platoon’s main body. The enemy fired 10 Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and three PKMs (machine guns) from the apex of the ambush and additional AK-47s from throughout the ambush line.

The enemy initiated the contact with an RPG and a burst of PKM (fire), which immediately hit and wounded two members of the lead team, Sgt. Brennan and Spc. Eckrode. Another RPG in the initial volley hit extremely close to Spc. Giunta’s position. While Staff Sgt. Gallardo moved back to his Bravo Team to get situation reports, Spc. Giunta provided covering fire by leading his team in suppressing enemy positions, assigning sectors of fire and commanding his M-203 gunner to engage close targets. While advancing toward Spc. Giunta’s team, Staff Sgt. Gallardo was struck in the helmet by an AK-47 round, which caused him to fall to the ground. Despite being under heavy fire by PKM, RPG, and small arms, Spc. Giunta immediately left his covered position in order to render aid to his squad leader. As he moved to provide assistance, Spc. Giunta was struck by two bullets; one of which impacted his chest area but was stopped by his Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (E-SAPI) plate, and one round which impacted the Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon-D (SMAW-D) rocket he was carrying across his back. Without hesitation, Spc. Giunta recovered from the impacts and ensured his squad leader was not injured. He then began bounding his team forward in an attempt to maneuver on the enemy.

Spc. Giunta and his fire team were quickly pinned down by effective enemy machine gun and small arms fire from multiple positions at close range. Spc. Giunta, along with Pfc. Clary and Staff Sgt. Gallardo, quickly prepared fragmentation grenades and continued the assault by throwing two volleys of them at enemy positions that were approximately 15 meters to their west. They then assaulted forward through those positions, secured Spc. Eckrode, and began treating his wounds. Realizing that Sgt. Brennan was missing, Pfc. Clary and Spc. Giunta continued to push forward along the enemy’s ex-filtration route, despite taking small arms fire from enemy personnel who were attempting to cover their withdrawal. Moving in the lead and rapidly closing with the enemy, despite receiving effective fire, Spc. Giunta overtook two enemy combatants attempting to drag off Sgt. Brennan, who had been incapacitated by his wounds. Spc. Giunta engaged one enemy combatant at close range and killed him, which cause the other enemy combatant to drop Sgt. Brennan and flee. Spc. Giunta then began immediate first aid on Sgt. Brennan, and also helped his squad leader to adjust security, further consolidate casualties, and prepare for Medical Evacuation operations.

Spc. Giunta’s selfless actions and personal courage were the decisive factors in changing the tide of the battle, ensuring that Sgt. Brennan was not captured by the enemy, and preventing the lead fire team from being destroyed by the enemy’s near ambush. Despite bullets impacting on and around himself, Spc. Giunta fearlessly advanced on the enemy and provided aid to his fallen comrades. His actions saved the lives of multiple paratroopers and changed the course of the battle in his platoon’s favor.

For exceptionally valorous actions during Operation Enduring Freedom VIII while assigned as a rifle team leader in Battle Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry. Spc. Giunta’s unwavering courage, aggressiveness, selfless service, and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were decisive in his platoon achieving fire superiority, defeating an enemy near ambush, and preventing the capture of a fellow paratrooper by the enemy. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, the Rock Battalion, the Bayonet Brigade Combat Team, Combined Joint Task Force-82, and the United States Army.

From the whitehouse.
This afternoon in the East Room of the White House, the President presented the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, U.S. Army -- the first living servicemember from the Iraq or Afghanistan wars to receive it. "Now, I’m going to go off-script here for a second and just say I really like this guy," said the President to laughter and applause. "I think anybody -- we all just get a sense of people and who they are, and when you meet Sal and you meet his family, you are just absolutely convinced that this is what America is all about."

As an American I am proud of this guy as should every patriot.  I know this story got just a short play time on TV but I believe that it deserves a bit more.  It is inspirational, inspiring, and the epitome of what an American Hero should be.  We need more men like this and more coverage of these hero's of ours.  I wish I could impress on everyone how important this award is but all I can do is impress it on my own followers and hope you share it with all you know.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Here is another winged fly painted in the same style as most of my daily works.  Of course it is for sale - just email me for purchasing information.  I got the inspiration for this guy from British fly fishing book called "To Rise A Trout".  Since it is a recent purchase I have yet to delve deep into its advise but I did manage to find a few flies at the back of the book that looked interesting. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black - Midbody - Para Fly

Nothing new going on today.  I did get the chance to watch a bit of football over the weekend including a great game with Northwestern and Illinois in Chicago.  I was also glad to see my Irish put on a good show on Saturday against army in the new NY stadium.  
Hopefully come thanksgiving, I'll have more substance to my posts as I plan on using what little time I have free from work to paint, fish, and eat enough tryptophan laced fried turkey to put me in a coma.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Bead Belly & A New Three Trout Print Available

 This little guy turned out great.  If you haven't tied with a starling feather, try this little guy with a long sparse Starling hackle and pearl bead and wing. 

Also I have added a new print to my BUY A PRINT page.  Check it out.

Brookie, Bow, Brown Print

If you got a few moments, check these guys out. Yet another smaller store I like instead of those Big Box chain stores.

Check out our Specials and Closeout items. Up to 70% OFF gear from top brands! Shop now at FrontRangeAnglers.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hot Spot PT & The Boy & I Fishing

 Here is a new one for you.  The Hot Spot Pheasant Tail.  I figure that it just might attract a bit of attention from a passing trout.  If you add a few legs it should liven it up a bit.

So the other day I packed up the van and took my little girls to school and then me and the boy headed out of town for a few hours of fishing.  This time I tried something new, I took my Tenkara rod in the hope that it would be easier for the little guy to hold.  Unfortunately it had rained for the last two days and the water was up so the place where I was hoping to put us close to trout was submerged.  I did managed to find a few promising secondary spots but was foiled again by the high water and complete lack of fish, so me and the boy spent most of the morning walking up and down the stream, throwing rocks in the water, checking out bugs, and simply enjoying the outdoors.

 In the end it was a fun, if not fish filled morning.  We caught nothing but a few burs in out pant legs but as all my time spent with my kids, it was a wonderfully unsuccessful fishing adventure. 
As for my daughter, She was not so happy to be left behind.  I cant blame her.  Next time little girl...next time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Brookie, Bow, Brown Painting

 Here is a recent work I have been obsessed with since I was contacted by a follower of my blog.  He asked for these iconic fish all in one painting and I was glad to try my hand at this challenge.  I have never before painted all three of these fish on one work and briefly struggled with how I was going to set these fish in the painting.  Should I go with a stale profile view of these guys or put them in action.  should I add a background or stick with what I know and simple keep the fish the main focus of the painting.  In the end I opted for this setup and am pleased with the result. 

 The client wanted the brookie in particular to show some of the bold colors it is truly known for so to set it off I went for the deep colored back to contrast with the bright reds and oranges ones sees on those native fish.

 Believe it or not, I find that to capture the colors of the Rainbow is much harder than the other two.  I often make the back to green or the belly to blue.  It is very difficult to find just the right mixture to make the painting work.  For this one it was increasingly difficult to keep the Rainbow from being drowned out by the bold colors of the other two fish.
 For the Brown I went with what I consider the iconic golden orange color of a brilliantly colored trout.  when I added the spots and halos on the flanks of the Brown it really made the fish fit in with the look of the piece as a whole.
The final work was a larger than standard size for me at 14" x 17" and done on the highest quality illustration board.  I wish to thank my client for the opportunity to paint such a fun piece.  I enjoyed the whole process and look foreword to my next work.

In  an attempt to fill my painting calendar I ask you now, If you would desire a custom work of your own Please feel free to email me with your request.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bead Body Fly & Working On Fish

Here is a Bead Body fly for you late in the day.  I have fished one of these type flies without any results worth talking about but they are nice to tie and beautiful to look at in your fly box.  To be fair to the bead body fly, the day I fished it I doubt if any fly would have enticed those stubborn fish to bite.

I have also been working on a commissioned piece over the last week or so and thought I'd throw a teaser out there to let you know what you will be seeing on the weekend.  Just a hit,  the painting has three of the best known fish sought in fly fishing.  As you can see below, here is an initial sketch of one of the fish in the work with just a base layer of paint added to work from. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Dito Post

 Here is a little inked tarpon fly like yesterday and a bit of info into why I am showing so much skin lately.

  A few weeks ago I had a fly fishing fanatic email me about working on a specialized piece consistence with my style of watercolor.  What he wanted was to take a piece of my art and have it blown up into a sort of decal for the sides of his truck.  The way it was described was a long 17-19" strip of trout skin going the length of his truck.  It was such an intriguing idea that i went to work on it right away.  I even toyed with idea for my jeep trout chaser.  I can't wait to see how it turns out and am looking forward to seeing the final photos.  You can be sure I will post the photos as soon as I get them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Red Tarpon Fly & More Trout

I have done a few versions of this salt water fly and just cant get enough of it.  I love the look of salt water feathered flies.  The long needle like nose look, big eyes and a feathered tail that moves in the water like a baitfish, squid, shrimp, or whatever.  Some day I hope to live the relaxed life on the beach chasing bonefish and tarpon on the flats of some tropical island.  If only for a few weeks a year, this would be the life.

Of course the other weeks would be spent hunting trout in high mountain streams.  Here is another skin for you. Tomorrow I will reveal what all the trout skin paintings are for.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sketched A Fly & Fall Colors

 Got a lot on my plate lately so no real substance to this post, just a quickly sketched fly and a bit of fall color for today's post.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Soft Hackle & New Print

 Here is a little soft hackled fly, dubbing body, and hurled neck fly for you today.  As always it is done on acid free paper with high quality pigments and is for sale.  Email me for information.

I have also added a new print to my Buy A Print page. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Inked Fly & Island Camping

 The other day was my daughters birthday and when my wife and I asked her what she wanted to do for her special day she responded with a request to go camping.  Imagine my pride as my now five year old little girl asked to go camping.  It was enough to bring a tear to the eye. So on the day before her birthday we picked her up from preschool - van already loaded - and headed down to our favorite camping site, on our favorite island, on the beach.
 Hunting Island SP is a little know site in SC that my wife and I discovered many years ago and have since made a yearly trip down to enjoy its solitude and natural beauty.
 Literally the only thing on the island is a campsite, a lighthouse, very few campers, and all the palms pines and sand you can ever want.  Walking the desolate beach on an early morning is truly a wonderful experience. 
 Even with a cool 74 deg high and cold Atlantic waters lapping the shores, the kids still had to get their toes wet while looking for shells and sand dollars.  The only down side of the trip was the limit - 2 days - and a freak raccoon invasion of our food.
 When we arrived the ranger told us to make sure we close our windows at night because the raccoon's will get into everything to find food.  Honestly my initial thought was DUH.  who in their right mind would leave the windows of their car open at night in a campsite.....  Well I guess the answer is me.  I distinctly remember closing them and whether there was a malfunction, some sort of sabotage, or my own mistake both windows were left open so when I woke I was greeted with a trunk full of muddy paw prints, empty food wrappers, and a the general evidence of a party I wasn't invited to. 
I had brought a surf rod with the hopes of doing a little fishing but instead I spent most of the morning cleaning up and doing inventory of all the food we had left.  Luckily the little critters were unable to gain access to the igloo cooler which held the breakfast so at least some of the morning was salvaged.  This picture was taken during the cleaning proccess.
On the plus side, all the little bandits did was eat out food, leave some muddy tracks all over the car, and waist my morning.  No permanent damage was done and no... no raccoon felt natures call while raiding the car.  So in the span of less than a week I have been reminded of two key lessons regarding critters:
1. Check your chimney before lighting a fire.
2. Close your windows while car camping, then go back and check them again, and then one more time before hitting the hay.

Over all it was a good trip and the raccoon party failed to dampen my kids excitement or fun at yet another camping adventure.  I am just glad the beach of SC has no bears - That would be a mess I am not sure I could clean up.