Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Trude

Nothing to say today. Its just one of those picture post days you just have to live with.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bass Bug Sunfish

Here is Bassin sunfish posted for all those that try the big warm water jumpers on a fly rod. I know a few of my new followers really hit those bass hard. One has even won some events and cash for their bassin skills.

I have real admiration for those that tie these big hair bugs and do it well. I have tried my hand at tying up a few hair bugs and I got to tell you they are tough to do well. Mine end up vaguely looking like a fur ball even after a close shave. The hair is uneven and all in the wrong direction and its a mess. Its no wonder the stores charge so much for these. The material and time needed to do these well really adds up.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Big Day For This Blog

A big day for A Year On The Fly blog with a special honor. A great forerunner in the business of fly fishing and Tenkara has chosen a work from this blog to be on its banner.
You might remember a few days ago my mentioning Tenkara USA as well as posting a few flies on the subject, well the other day, Daniel of Tenkara USA and I came to an agreement on the use of a daily painting of mine to be featured as a banner on their homepage.

This piece is the one Daniel picked to be the banner for a little while and I would be lying if I said that I wasn't thrilled to see it up there. You might have also noticed that I have also added a button on the right side of my blog for the Tenkara website. Click it and let him know I sent you.

On another subject, The fly I posted today is yet another reverse hackle with a Japanese Character in the Kanji style. This style of character I'm told is the most widely recognised form of character in Japan so in an effort to continue the quiz - nobody got the last one by the way - I will keep this character in line with the theme of the last. Can anyone tell me what these two symbols say in English?
With the help of a few crossovers from the Tenkara USA site I am sure somebody will figure this out sooner or later...

Saturday, August 28, 2010


"The two best times to fish is when it's rainin' and when it ain't."
Patrick F. McManus.

Some of the best times I've had on the river have been standing mid current in a blinding down poor. Not a soul on the river and the cold rain pelting the hood of my rain jacket lets one fully connect to the water he (or she) is fishing. The relaxing white noise seemed to focus my other sense's. The one time that is in the forefront of my memory was when I was so in tune to the fish that, although I couldn't sight fish them, I just knew where they were holding. Every other cast yielded a nice bow or brookie. Even as the rain pebbled the active waters I felt I could see the fish rising to take the fresh midges driven out by the rain. Now as I look back I'm not sure if it was my just imagination or what I had experienced was reality. Regardless it was an experience I will remember for a lifetime.
As summer turns into fall, the waters here in the south begin to cool, and the fish begin to escape from those deep holes in which they have been hiding, I look forward to another rainy day and the hope for such an epic day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Simple Sedge

When I set out an open challenge to duplicate a simple looking fly with unusual colors I didn't expect to much, but my fellow bloggers have risen to the occasion.
And here is yet another response from my red and blue bucktail post a few days ago. This one comes from Brk Trt at Small Stream
I like the body mod of yarn. It adds something extra I think trout will enjoy.

Hook, Mustad 3665A #10

Body, Gray UNI yarn

Wing, Red, Blue bucktail

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bow Sketching + Quotes

Just another free time sketching post. Added a bit of color to spruce it up but nothing to special.

Also here is a bit of my thoughts I decided I'd share so bare with me. I am a fan of good one liners and good quotes. In one line a person can impart so much without waisting excess words, and sometimes the one liner is just so plane funny that they can carry you through the day. For instance I once worked with this old man when I was a kid that was a master of the one liner. We would be bailing hay for three,four hours strait in 100deg plus heat and the old guy wouldn't say a word then out of the blue he would stop, look you dead in the eye and impart the years of learning on an impressionable young mind on a subject that had absolutely nothing to do with the task at hand. It wasn't any profound insite or meaning of life knowledge and to be honest I really can't repeat most of what he said but it was just so funny you never forgot it, and with a bunch of work left to do for the day, it was a one liner that would get you though many more hours of hard labor.

So with that in mind, here is a few great quotes a ran across the other day:

"It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming."
John Steinbeck
"There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot."
Steven Wright
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught."

And coming from the Bigerrfish fly tying bench is a fly that is spot on to a bucktail red and blue streamer I posted a few days ago. One word for the coloring of the buck tail... Sharpie. It looks great!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lake Side Streamer

Here is a lake streamer with nothing else to say. Sometimes you just get a fly painting and that's it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Red Blue Challenge

How do you make this fly? I painted it but short of dying my own buck tails, where do you find red and blue deer hair. I believe brown, white, and black are the common colors but I recently got hold of a yellow buck tail Which Is GREAT for the streamers I love to fish. I think I can only tie this with feathers. If you can tie this with buck tail, send me a pic of your work and how you tied it and I'll post it here with a plug for your blog/site.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Red Tenkara Fly

Here is yet another Tenkara fly but with a bit of a quiz. Can you figure out what the Japanese character says? If you read Japanese it should be an easy one but if you don't, it might take a bit of work. Good luck!

Also,since I post one fly a day, which means my posts are quickly outdated,I thought I'd plug Tenkara USA one more time with a Learn More About Tenkara Link... Take a look If you have not already done so. If you do drop in to the site just let them know I sent you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tenkara Fishing

Here is a little black and white Ink sketch I did of a reverse hackle Tenkara fly. If you are interested in learning more about this type of fishing just click HERE for the Tenkara USA site. I believe this the first US site of its kind and it is a great tool to learn what this type of fishing is. They also have some good videos of Tenkara fishing you might enjoy.

The character on the work is a Japanese word meaning Fish, or A Fish.
This type of fishing is new to me but I like the idea behind the 'less is more' type of thinking that it follows. Lately I have attacked the water with a minimum amount of gear, carefully weeding out what I need, and what I don't. Sometimes the mass of gear one gathers before hitting the water just gets in the way. As a backpacker and avid hiker I like what Tenkara is. Its been around for a long time so there has got to be something to it.

Does anybody use this type of fishing a lot and just how effective are these unique flies for you?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Quick Sketch

Just a quick sketch that can get me through another day. Not every day can be a masterpiece. I do have a day job.

Also here is my finished prototype for my wooden fly rod case. It isn't perfect but with the information I got from building this case I plan on making another one for one of my larger glass rods. Using what works and scrapping what didn't - or what I just plain don't like - My next will have a few improved features. I still like the overall look and It is a BIG improvement over my last case.

I know what some of you are thinking out there. My wife is thinking the same thing. Why a new case or why not just save yourself the work and trouble and buy a store bought case? My answer is simple. I have a hard time paying the prices some of these guys charge for a product I don't Really need or something I could build myself and do better. I have always enjoyed making my own stuff for less. Just check out my home made backpacking stove I posted a few weeks ago. Its a skill of ingenuity I think that a lot of Americans have lost. Its the idea Thoreau talked about and an idea that's often undervalued. In this buy buy buy world it is just easier to go to Wallmart or Ebay and buy it. I am often guilty of this but when I can I make it myself. I like the challenge.
I also added a little compass in the top of this case that I got from a pack of beef jerky of all things. Its cheep but it works and is now protected and sunk into the cap of my rod case. I wouldn't count on it to sail the Atlantic but it serves its purpose.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Variation of Rick Takahashi's Go2 prince

Here is A Variation of Rick Takahashi's Go2 prince and another joint post with the Bigerrfish. I'm loving the translucent bead the reflects the shine of the tail and back wing. I am looking forward to getting this fly from Josh since he has assured me that there is few other flies that hook fish like this Go2 Prince. He original got it from the MidgeMan who I am told got it from renowned tier Rick Takahashi. So giving credit where credit it due, Below is a set of links to all those that contributed to this fly/post:



And Rick Takahashi This is a video of him tying since I was unable to find his site. If any out there knows of his site, or if he owns one, let me know. I have just discovered him for myself-I'm sure some of you are thinking I have been living under a ROCK like a midge, but it is for reasons like this that I started this blog. Never stop learning. Enjoy...

The Go 2 Prince Nymph from Juan Ramirez on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bone Fish & Green Shirt

Here is a work inspired from the Angling On The Fly blog. They do a great travel blog on a regular basis of destination that would be for normal people a once in a lifetime epic. Great pics, great stories, an excellent read!!! This work is a 10"x14" watercolor on high quality acid free paper. As Always, this work is also for sale. Contact me via email for the details.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Here is a random fly to post in the 11th hour.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Making A Midge

Here is me diagramming a new midge idea. Thought this was a cool concept so I sketched it out in a pad for a larger work later on. Plus I only had a pencil with me so this works good for now. Expect to see a larger work later on.

Thought I'dpost a pic of the back of my jeeps window. A few years ago I had one sicker and it has gradually evolved into a plethora of stickers reflecting my interests. I had never intended on being one of those guys that covers his back window till he can't see out of it but over the years my jeep has gathered quite a few. I don't think I'll ever reach the advertising level one sees in Nascar but it looks like I'm getting close.

By the way, The other side of the window has about four more hiking, fishing,hunting stickers and the spare tire is an advertisement for the one and only Jimmy Buffett. Fins Up!

Does anybody else out there have this sticker compulsion on their trout chasing vehicle????

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Salty Baitfish & Clouds

I dodn't know what it is about saltwater flies but I really like their looks. Big eyes, bold colors(I know this has no color but sometimes the just imagine the contrasts in bright blues and reds), and the completely foreign styles make for great looking flies.

Here is a few shots of thunderstorms that blew up the other day over the Midwest. Not much to do with fly fishing but thought they were cool pics and thought I'd share them. It was great lighting with the sun setting off behind me and these giants billowing up, feeding on the heat and moisture from the Midwest. The cumulonimbus clouds always make for great photography.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Winged Dry

Here is a bit more work I have done with the wood rod case. Sanded and stained. I have added a dark decorative band of deep mahogany near the rod case opening. After a few days at work I hope to be able to have some time to finish this project and work on perfecting the design.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No Name Salmon

I have been wanting to improve my rod caring cases (mine is currently made out of PVC pipe) so I started working on coming up with a classy, old school case that looks good. Oh, and I didn't want the standard case or pay big bucks for it. My solution was come up with a wood hexagon case. Here is a few pics of a prototype I have started working on for my four piece, 22", 2weight.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Holding A Brown

Here is a progressive record of my latest work. I name it Holding A Brown for obvious reasons. It measures roughly 12"x9" and is done with my usually palette of colors. I did use quite a bit more oranges and yellows in this piece because I really wanted it to stand out. If you wanted a trophy pic of yours painted, this is how it would look as an original piece of art. This work is for sale, just email me for the details. It is also available as a 8x10 print for $11.00 + $3.50 s&h.

As always, I first start out with a precise sketch.

Then add a base color to work from.

Then add the details, details, details.

And more details.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fishing Jones Gap

I took a little trip yesterday up to the first spot I learned to fly fish. Jones Gap State park is a great little park I am sure most of the residents in SC don't know about. It is a hidden gem, tucked back in a dead end cut between two foothills. It has Brooks, Browns, and Rainbows in it fresh clear stream and is crisscrossed with great hiking trails and waterfalls. I absolutely love this little park and it had been a long time since I revisited it.
So the other day I packed up a my flies and 2w and hit these small waters hopping to hook into a few trout. It has been quite warm lately so I had figured that the fish would be hiding in the few deep holes down in the park, or more likely found their way to the colder waters further up. What I didn't expect was just how far I would have to hike and scramble to find the trout.
At first the only fish I was catching were these little guys. I'm not 100% sure what they are called but I did know that when ever I see them on the end of my line in large numbers, the trout are usually somewhere else. I continued to work my way up stream, pool by pool and cascade by cascade until I found what I was looking for. Tying on a new fly I made the day before (a variation of the Mickyfinn streamer), I tossed it to the head of the pool and worked it back to me, quickly enticing a rainbow to strike. Finally locating some trout after three hours of crawling over boulders and wading the streams.
I worked that hole until it was dry. In a place I remember only native brookies hiding, I found a few rainbows. These guys were a bit over a mile up from the parks main grounds and quite a bit higher than I have ever fished. What a great feeling to hook these native guys. I am sure that later in the year this spot will be full of native brookies. Please excuse the poor quality of these pics, my phone was not focusing correctly for some reason. Next time I think I'll bring a real camera.

Here is a few more pics of the parks main grounds.The first is the park admin office, a great looking facility,and the second is the renovated trout hatchery pond that was originally constructed many, many, many years ago. I Believe it was originally used in the twenties, don't quote me, and it uses runoff water taken directly from a feeder stream, gravity fed.

This guy landed on my hand while I was retrieving my fly and he just sat there like he wanted to have his picture taken. It was a great day and the amount of butterflies around the stream was amazing.