Tuesday, February 26, 2013
First I found the obvious place to place the head and sketched out a trout. I didn't want the whole piece of wood to be covered with paint so I stopped at the tail end of the gill plate.
After I painted it up and added the spots and highlights, I then coated the whole project with a clear coat of gloss. The picture may not show the true beauty of this piece but in the end I believed that I achieved what I set out to do. I honestly have no idea what I am going to do with it (as with most of my paintings that are in the studio) but it made a nice shelf piece and I think that's where it will end up; right above my tying desk until it finds a new home.
And finally as a reminder, if you have not entered to win one of the three prizes listed in my previous post then I suggest you head over and fill out a comment and share the post for your chance to win. Many of you have already done so and I thank you.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
|French Broad Rainbow On The Abel Reel|
Packing my new Abel Reel and Fall River Bamboo rod I went in search of new water. The Chattooga was preempted by a desire to do something different. My target - The delayed harvest section of the East Fork French Broad River in western North Carolina.
I had never fished The East Fork but it is somewhat legendary among the TU chapters and Fly shops around the South East. I figured with my Abel Reel and Bamboo stick as my weapons I would finally go and see what all the fuss was about.
When I arrived at the East Fork, I suited up and braced myself for the cold water. As expected, the cool mountain nights had chilled the water and with a few shadows along the river bank still showing traces of snow, I began to fish.
new Bamboo rod. Luckily not long after the sun cleared the trees, the ice gave way to a great morning and plenty of fish to be caught.
After trying my luck with nymphing and having only the moderate success of hooking into four fish (not landing any of them) and hooking myself, I paused a moment to look over the water. It was then that I noticed fish rising to take small midges. Quickly I cut the nymphs loose and tied on a small hackled fly I call the Orange Brookie Killer. To be honest I am sure it has another name since I got the recipe from an old man I met at the last Fly Fishing Show up in Ashville but He never named it and and I never asked.
The Brookie Killer
-Dry Fly Hook
-Hot Orange 6/0 Thread
-Light Dun Hackle
All the brookies I caught with a dry fly on this trip (with the exception of one caught on a black midge) were caught using this simple Orange fly. As if to prove my point, a Brown I tried catching late in the day refused this very fly time and time again until I changed it to a black version of the same fly. The brook trout pictured above however tore the hackle right off the fly.
Abel Reel worked on the Bamboo well I can honestly say that this Abel was the finest reel I have ever fished with. If you looked up smooth in the dictionary I believe that it would have a picture of this reel next to it. It looked awesome on the Fall River Bamboo rod and it had the perfect weight to balance the fishing action. The 5W line I put on with the modest 25y of backing was the perfect fit. The color, the clicking, the drag, even the reel seat made this the absolute perfect fit for this rod.
Abel web site I was amazed at their take on ordering your own reel. Their new Reel Designing tool allows you to pick your reel, choose the style, and then gives you so many options for customization that it makes your head spin. They even have an option to have beautiful artwork from the likes of Derek DeYoung (although it is pronounced the same - there is no relation to your truly) as a finish on your reel. If that isn't enough, you can choose the color of the working parts of the reel such as the handle and drag knob. Finally to top it all off - this is an American made product. How could I not try and send some business their way.
The price for the customization can get a bit pricey but the quality of this product is something you cant beat. It is something you could save up for and have no regrets purchasing. I feel proud that I will be able to hand this down to my kids and hopefully they could do the same for theirs. This Abel Reel will be in my family for a long long time.
And now for the FREE STUFF. I have been blessed with the growing success of my art and this blog. I have been presented with ever expanding opportunities to grow my artistic talents as well as my fishing knowledge through the use of this blog and my HexFishing.com site. Over the years many of you have purchased or received something of mine and many more have encouraged me more than you will know so I have decided to do something special. Today I will give away an few gifts to those that have kept me going.
But as my dad always says, nothing is free. This contest is however very easy to enter. Just follow the instructions at the bottom of the post.
|West Slope Cutthroat|
How to enter:
All you need to do is leave a comment on this post no later than midnight EST on March 15th indicating that you would like enter.
For additional points towards winning these prizes indicate that you have shared or re-posted this contest on your own blog.
For extreme extra points indicate you have shared this contest on a social networking site(s) (such as Facebook or Google+). I am not on Facebook (please hold your smirks) but I am told you can re-post something there.
On March 15 (or 16th) I will post the winner of these prizes which will be chosen by taking all the entries and doing it old school - drawing names from a hat. I will then get in contact with you for your shipping address. That is people, it just that simple. Good Luck and share the wealth!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
|Super 5N Abel Reel|
Abels Reel Selection Page last week I settled on a beauty of a reel.
It came this morning as I was finishing up a painting of a West-slope Cutthroat. Taking the box from the FedEx delivery man, I tore into it like a kid on Christmas morning. First chance I get I am going to take this beauty along with my Fall River Bamboo rod and give it one heck of a test on the waters of my native Chattooga River.
For those of you that are in the market for a new fly reel or just like seeing this beauty in action, keep your eye out for my next post using this Abel Reel. Just to wet your appetite a bit more I will also be adding a 'special' giveaway to accompany the next post. Before you ask - No its not my new Abel Reel. That baby is all mine but as a thank you to all of you that have supported me and my fly fishing art I will be giving away an original painting for one of you to hang on your wall. Details will soon be coming your way soon. I might even add a few other prizes in there as well so keep a look out.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Last year some of you might remember that I was asked to help illustrate a a book on carp fishing for a fellow angler over in Spain. I have been supporting my fly fishing habit through art sales for quite a while but illustrating this little piece of work was a first to showcase my artwork as an illustrator. Carlos over at barbosconmosca.com is a great angler with countless articles in Spanish publications on angling and is considered a real professional across the pond in the art of 'rough' fishing.
Honestly I cant read a word of this Spanish book but if you are fluent in Spanish and want to know more about the art hooking into European carp or Barbels then you are going to want to pick up this book.
Another author that has recently decided to use my artwork for their book was Darren MacEachern over at Streamers 365. Darren has compiled a years worth of streamers tied by some of the worlds top fly tyers. I was lucky enough to be asked to help with the cover art on volume #2.
This book just recently came on the market and you can purchase it - as well as Volume #1 by clicking over to to Streamers365.com and following the links. Volume # 3 I am told will be arriving soon so keep checking in for your copy. This comprehensive collection of streamers will not only be a valued addition to your fishing library but would make a great coffee table book. In addition to having great cover art - wink, wink - it is also stocked full of beautifully tied streamers and amazing photos.
Continuing the international exporting of my artwork, I also recently did some work for Dennis and his emerging business in China. China Fly Outfitters asked me to paint a pair of Lenok Trout for their logo and I was extremely happy to do it. Not only was I thrilled to see how international my work was going but I was able to branch and paint a fish i otherwise never knew existed.
Do yourself a favor and click over to see what they got going on over there. Dennis and his team are not only great guys to work with but he is a class act and could be your connection to fishing trout us Americans would otherwise never see.
I have discovered that as an illustrator there is a real need for quality illustrations specifically designed by outdoor enthusiasts for outdoor sports companies. Along these lines, this past December I was also contacted by a great guy down in Florida to help him design a number of logos and illustrations for a bait, tackle, and apparel company he was launching this year. Although this company is not fully up and running - expect more posts on them in the coming months - you NEED to check them out. Angler 360 plans not only to service the Tampa area with the best bait and tackle around but also is looking forward to distributing their products and apparel world wide. I look forward to long partnership with them for years to come and once their apparel line becomes available I will be able to tell you when and where to get it. If you love fishing the salt then this is a place you are going to have to keep an eye on.
In addition to the big fly fishing and angling companies, along with the occasional book illustration, I have also bee working on graphics for fellow bloggers. Most recently I designed the logo for Northern California Trout. Mark is not only an avid angler and blogger but has also recently authored a book of stories on his experiences in life and on the water. Please click over to check out his site and pick up a copy of his book. Tell him I sent you.
Nate from the Swamp Yankee asked me to illustrate the life cycle of the mayfly for a tattoo. Before you ask, no sane man will allow me near his arm with a tattoo gun but I did do the pen and ink illustrations for him. The end result looked sweet and I am happy that Nate was pleased enough with my work to make it permanent.
Currently I am working on a few projects including work for other bloggers - which I will show you once they are completed - a few original paintings, and lastly - illustrating a children's book. The illustration at the top of this post is just one of many illustrations I have already completed for this project and once it is completed I can fill you in on the details. For now however I am just wetting your appetite and letting you know all I have going on.
Friday, February 15, 2013
This Friday finds me trying to get back home from a trip and dreaming of fishing the Florida coast. Not that I've done much of that mind you but I recently did some work for a Florida fly shop and it got my mind on the salt. My experience in the salt is pretty much limited to a dozen plus seatrout, about fifty ladyfish, and one redfish but drawing up this Pompano and doing the research got me dreaming of this fish and returning to the salt.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Besides the standard collection of bug wings, midges, and mashed exoskeletons, I had noticed that there where an abundance of beetle parts and the occasional whole beetle. I even found a few ladybugs which is as we all know is just a colorful beetle.
For my beetles I use a very simple tying pattern that is not only extremely easy to tie but also uses only three ingredients beyond the hook.
To tie this beetle I secure the deer hair to the hook using the black thread and then tie in the peacock hurl and wrap it forward. After tying off the hurl slightly back from the eye of the hook I bring the black Deer Hair over the hurl to form the back of the beetle. I then tie it off and trim the rest of the hair at an angle equal to the bend of the eye. I then used a little white nail polish to add a spot to the back of the beetle just so I can easily pick this black bug up on a flowing river.
If trout are coming up to feed this beetle will be a good fly to tie on. I have found that on warm afternoons this fly is the most effective. It truly is a VERY simple fly and has out-fished the more attractive flies on more than a few occasions. For those that enjoy an afternoon of Bream fishing, the Black Beetle is a fly that cant be beat. If you are wondering why I just don't use the new foam styles of beetles and the simple truth is that I just don't like it as much as natural materials. Call it personal taste but that's how I roll.
Friday, February 8, 2013
This little nymph is just a simple doodle as I attempt to 'roll with it'. Without work I suppose I'd appreciate my time off a whole lot less. Of course without work we would all get to do a whole lot more fishing....