Friday, December 31, 2010

Post Number 365... Mission Complete

 Its the End Of The Year and there is nothing more fitting that I can think of posting than a spawning Salmon.  At the end of their life they make a journey to the waters of their birth and then in their most brilliant show they end their life by contributing to the circle of life.  But their death is not the end of the story and like the spawning salmon laying their eggs for a new generation of salmon to begin their journey, this blogger sees the end of this mission not at the end of the journey but the start of another.  As I have mentioned before, next year I hope to build on my fishing and painting talents and knowledge with a whole new series of posts focusing the art of the fly.
I also believe that as the year closes it is fitting to look back at some of my favorite paintings of the past year.  I will start with the fish and as not to cloud the paintings with talk of how they where made and what materials where used, I will just let them speak for themselves.  ENJOY

Most of these are available as prints on my BUY A PRINT page at the top of this blog.

 I also what to give tribute to the favorite flies of 2010.  Tenkara played a big part in my growth as a fly fisherman as did the Summer On The Flies partnership with Bigerrfish.  The flies below are some of my favorites from the last 12 months.  They in no way sum up all the original works you can still view but they are a snapshot of some of my favorites.

   I will leave you now with the last fly of 2010 which also was the first post one year ago.  The first known fly described in history was the red hacked fly and this is my interpretation of what was described.  Thanks again for a great year and I look forward to 2011 and all the new experiences that it might hold.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wet Fly Sketch & Thoughts

Caution :  This Might Get A Bit Wordy

Just a sketch of a wet fly today with a bit of words on what I have taken out of this year long project.  When I started this project I had no idea that it would blow up into what it has become.  My original purpose was just a challenge to myself to see if I could really stick with a project for an entire year.  My hobbies vary wildly from fishing to art, wood working, literature, hiking and backpacking, aviation, home improvement, and about twenty other things that seem to occasionally occupy my time.  I started this mainly to focus two of my major hobbies.  I had hoped only to force myself to learn more about fly fishing and art and hopefully become better at both.  I gave little thought about who would follow my ramblings on fishing and art.  With alot of family spread across the nation I also thought this would be a good way to show them the art projects I had been working on since they had been my primary source of feedback.  What I did not expect was the following from other bloggers around the world or, even more surprising, that they would like to own some of my art.
I think my first realization that people might be interested in owning my art came from the response from my first really good work on this blog.  It still is one of my favorites of the past year and holds a place of honor in my dinning room to this day.

Before this year I had no idea what Tenkara was, in fact if you were to ask me even ten months ago I would probably have told you that it sounded like some new Japanese steak house.  Before this year I had not even heard of Marry Orvis and her history of flies or the early English histories of the art of angling.  I had no idea the variety of flies out there that are successful and the just as many that aren't.  I had no clue that there was so many fly fishing fanatics out there on the web, I didn't know anything of Bigerrfish, Troutrageous, The Midgeman, Jersey Angler, Cofisher & Colorado, Mike, MKG, Leigh, blake, Shoreman Owl, TarHeal, BB&B, Hopper J, WK&TL, BRK TRT, Kev, and the countless others that have not only left encouragement but inspired me to paint and fish and do it better than the last time.  If it wasn't for my wife as well I don't believe I could have kept the streak alive.  She saved me more than once by reminding me to do a post. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for a successful year helping me to complete my project.

So as they year is closing I find myself looking forward to another year on the fly.  I have now discovered an outlet for my art and need to fish.  I have found a place to come to for inspiration and encouragement and maybe, just possibly, a place where I can sell enough of my art to pay for my obsessive need for angling gear. Tha.nks agin

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Zonker and A New Header

And as promised about 360 days ago, here is a Zonker fly in a some what different version than you might be use to.  I love the rabbit strip for bass fishing.  I have never really explored fishing rabbit strips for trout because my trout just are not to big and the small flies seem to work well. 

So now with two days left of my year on the fly I begin to look forward to the next year.  as you can see I have changed the header of this blog to reflect the new year.  Another Year On The Fly will not be a fly a day but rather a focus on quality instead of quantity.  I have decided that I will continue the blog because as they say, when you find a good thing, stick with it.  I have found in this blog not only an outlet for my hobbies but an invaluable source of information for fishing. 
In the coming year I have a few things in the works for the direction of this blog.  Continuing the theme of art and fly fishing, I plan on producing more original works on the subject of fly fishing as well as adding more posts on my fishing trips.  You might get to see a few more things like hats, shirts, as well as a project I have been working on for the last few months.  (what Is the project?  You will just have to wait till the new year.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Spider & The Midge

No its not some crazy title to some freekish children's book. The spider and the Midge are just two flies for one of the last post of 2010.  Simple little bugs with simple black ink and yellowish red paint, I did two of them because just doing the spider was a bit to easy.
As the year comes to a close I begin to reflect on the things I have taken away from this project and in the next few days you might get a few more words on the subject. For today you just get two flies.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Caddis Larvae Bug

I am mobile posting today due mainly to the fact that I completely forgot to paint a fly today. I know what you are thinking, 'really Joel, you've been doing this for nearly a year now, how can you forget?'  Well it happens and thanks to my wife, I have continued the streak.
This Caddis Fly is just a quick colorfull 'still wet' fly.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


You might not have much luck fishing this terrestrial right now but come the spring it might be something to try out when other flies fail to produce.  Word has it that trout will go after these just like any other beetle but be for warned that if trout eat to many of them they will get sick.  I suspect that if you are targeting a fish that has had this experience then you might want to choose a different fly.  As for fishing this little beetle for bass or sunfish... Go For It.  those warm water fish eat just about anything. 
I hope all of you had a great Christmas Day and got some good fishing gear.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Fly Dream

 Some of you might be expecting some grand  holiday painting on a day like today but due to time, work, and family commitments that just ain't going to happen.  What I have done is paint this Salmon fly in the colors of the season.  I believe that this little fly might still be able to catch a fish or two as well. 
  I hope all of you have had a good morning of opening gifts, finding batteries, drowning in wrapping paper, and dreaming of a quiet stream while the madness of Christmas ensues around you.  If you haven't had the opportunity to dream that dream yet let me help you out now and consider it my gift to you.  But before I do I just want to thank all of you for a support and kind words over the last year.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.

  Now enjoy the thoughts of a (or an actual) cozy fire
 Start dreaming of a wild stream and all the wild fish you are going to catch with the new gear that you got for the holidays
 And finally grab yourself a beverage of your choosing (fly not included) and enjoy how blessed we all have been over the past year.
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Salmon Fly On The Eve Of......

Merry Christmas to all......almost.  You will hear that about fifty times today and tomorrow.  In fact you will hear it again from me tomorrow.
Enjoy time with your family tonight and tomorrow morning and may Santa bring you loads of new fly fishing gear for the new year. If you somehow find that Santa has left a custom work - or print under your tree from this blog, enjoy. If however you find that the Grinch has stolen your print have no fear, there is still prints available on my BUY A FISH PRINT page on the top of this blog.

(is it wrong to try to sell prints the day before Christmas?)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

B.W.O. + The COOLEST Truck You Will Ever See!!

The Blue Wing Olive fly and the BWO fly.  If I had to give you the recipe I would but I doubt any of the followers of this blog - or fly fisherman in general - need any info on this little classic fly.  I could also give you the entomology and history of the bug along with its life cycle but there art much better places to get that information than this lowly little blog, and I'm not talking Wickapedia people.  Pick up any fly fishing or fly tying book out there and you will find more information on this little bug than you would care to know.  Nope all you get is this simple illustration of the fly and ..well..... the fly, together.

What else you get for today is a pic of the coolest truck you will ever see and I had a hand in creating it.  Some of you might remember a while back my postings of trout skin and studies of trout skin.  Well today you get to see just why I was so obsessed with trout skin.
 Now if that isn't the sweetest truck decoration then I don't know what is.  Seriously, when my Jim contacted me and told me what he wanted me to help him with I thought it was a cool idea that should look good but NEVER did I imagine that the end product would look so good.  It looks so good that I am contemplating getting my own jeep skinned (once I get it back into operation - complete coolant system replacement).  Below is the image he used for both sides of his truck.  Awesome is the only way I can describe it.
Thanks Jim for the opportunity to work with you on this project, you are now the envy of nearly every trout angler out there.