Saturday, February 26, 2011

Golden Pheasant Head

I'm a pheasant skin mania influenced by Jack Gartside. Just recently, in order to fill a fly tying order for my friend, I bought a golden pheasant head. I am very attached to it immediately. It broadens my soft-hackle idea.

Actually the very reason I had bought this material is to tie Royal Coachman Wet. This neck feathers are truly natural beauty.

Then I couldn't pass by the crest feathers. They have nice flash and are stiff enough and curved perfectly to make nice tails for soft-hackles. And I was glad to see when I found out that I'm not the only one who sees that way. Royal Coachman Wet above can be adapted into a steelhead version by these lovely fibers.

With the same idea, I also developed my own "Coyote" into a steelhead version.

I'm really excited what I will come up more with this lovely materials. And they will be added to my sales blog every now and then.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Qucik Fishing to 'Stone

Today, I woke up very slow in the morning. As I drunk my coffee and went into reading, I heard NO WIND at all!! I thought this Monday at DePuy would have been the last one for this month, as another cold spell is on the way, but I decided to get out in the afternoon. I went to Carters Bridge access which is only 3 miles away from my house. I heard some good streamer actions recently, dead-drifting or stripping very slowly. My plan was fish down-stream with streamers and fish up-stream with nymphs. Carters Bridge (up or down) is one of the longest section where one can walk and fish. There are troughs and drop-offs all along the bank.

There was no action on my way down. Just about where I decided to stop going down, right that moment the Norther started!! Very cold one!! I get used to Livingston's SW wind (strong and dry) but this Norther was simply ice-cold beyond any description. Suddenly my wader was flaked with ice and ice started accumulating on rod guides. I hooked two whitefish on my way up with nymphs. Didn't come to my net and camera though.......

Then I encountered a "Lost & Found" sort. It was an 9-wt Orvis rod (only lower piece out of 2-piece rod, might have been bottom two pieces of 4-piece but I didn't examine well) and Lamson GURU (same as mine!!) in the water!!?? It seemed to have had been abandoned for a while as several nymphs were hosting underneath. See the cute stonefly nymph.

I couldn't imagine how this could have been thrown away if that was an accident. (On purpose, one can do whatever one wants to do.) This Lamson GURU is a really nice hard-working reel so I thought about taking home but it seemed "gunked" very badly. Line didn't move at all. First come, first serve if you are interested!?
Wind was getting colder and colder so I had to quit. Yet I don't complain as it was lucky enough to go out fishing one more time before the cold days.
I reviewed my boxes and I decided to stock up more flies. Then in March, I will get a Montana "resident" fishing license and should be able to fish more!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

At DePuy's

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I had an intimate and romantic day at DePuy's, maybe. First, the last weekend was terrible and scary with gusts up to 50mph all two days long. Sunday morning, I found the cap of chimney that had belonged to the wood stove chimney on the ground. Evidently blown away during the night and no wonder I couldn't control the fire (wood was just fired up like paper).
Today, weather forecast said wind would be about 20mph. At least it was warm up to 50F and wind was not continuous. And further forecast is saying that from Tuesday it will be the mix of snow and cold, so I had to get out today!! It may have not been the best day to visit one of spring creeks here in Livingston. But I figured considering gas and driving time to Madison or Gallatin (Yellowstone is very iffy with ice), paying some fee is actually the same cost as fishing Bozeman area. Also, I can come back to my house for quick grab at lunch rather than packing/buying something.
These cute girls were my companion in the morning.

In spite of gusts, it had not been cold or wet so I was hoping creek temp would be friendly enough for trout to be active some. And I knew I'd better search waters a bit slower than I usually do. Whatsoever I did, my first brown trout for 2011 was this nice 17-incher!!

I think I was happy first thing in the morning!

Thanks, buddy, and bye-bye, as I was releasing him.

Just a bit later, another fatty came. Could be a spawner?

Real beauty.
And I finally met my true girlfriend and I was about to kiss her (maybe I did). This is the first time I hooked whitefish at Livingston spring creeks (I hooked a sucker in April 2009!!). I was fishing just a bit above from the end of the creek where it spills into Yellowstone River. So this one must have entered the creek following rainbow and their eggs to suck!!

Lunch was great at my house, which is less than a 10-minute driving. Actually from the late morning, wind started to pick up and became more continuous than in the morning. I covered more than a mile one way, spooked only a few trout, and went back to truck at almost 6pm.
I don't discuss the comparison among three spring creeks here for now but anyway it was an enjoyable day. As of now typing this, gusts are on constantly at 40mph and if weather people are right, it will be cold and wet again so it was really a good decision!! I intend to go back in March, hoping for some spring hatches of midges and baetis.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Tribute to THE Soft-Hackle Master

I have just heard that the another great soft-hackle master, Sylvester Nemes, passed away in Bozeman. I use another because Jack Gartside passed away in 2009 and I posted my tribute. I haven't met either Mr. Jack or Mr. Syl, but they are admired and respected among soft-hackle enthusiasts. These two of his books mean both bible and dictionary for soft-hackle enthusiasts. Especially "Two Centuries......" is a must read for any fly-fishermen as the history of flies and fly-fishing, I believe.

Like Mr. Jack, Mr. Syl loved to fish Madison in the Park with his soft-hackles. In his book "The Soft-Hackled....." he describes Barn Pool #1 and #2 in 1970s, which pretty much remains the same now. Yes, both pools are good and crowded and most of anglers tend to overlook and pass the section above called "Cable Car Run". I love to swing soft-hackles in the fall through this section.

Then he mentions "most of fishermen on Barnhole Number 1 never fish enough of it". That's right, most of anglers just repeat the famous pool only as they are informed but the broad riffle below the pool is usually ignored, while it's a drooling run & riffle for soft-hackle addict like me. Last November, it was a warm sunny day and people stuck around at Pool #1 even after 5pm. Even Cable Car was occupied. But I recalled Mr. Syl's words and indeed nobody cared the riffle below. Believing his words I swung my soft-hackles. At the last light, the last trout for 2010 was hooked on my "Coyote".

Now here are my ties of Mr. Syl's patterns. Put it simply they are classic. And soft-hackle patterns have got something soft in our hearts. The most well-known is Syl's Midge.

This one has no picture in his book. I tied based just on the material list. It's the baetis soft-hackle named "Starling & Olive". I like his detailed instruction about wrapping the hackle; "hackle: Starling, three or four wraps. Include at least one or two wraps of the dull, base side of the hackle." Base side fibers are webby which add a nice little taste on the finished fly.

Also, baetis soft-hackle named "Starling & Pheasant".

This is one of the traditional patterns reviewed in "Two Centuries...." called Tups Indispensible. I like the combination of Gossamer silk and an touch of pink blended in a traditional soft-hackle silhouette.

And this simple one is my favorite and go-to arsenal. "Peacock Herl & Yellow Larva Style". It might look just a nymph pattern fished with an indicator and split-shots but indeed a soft-hackle.

It's been working for me when I see midges in the air but no obvious rises instead trout are feeding on something without breaking the surface, not to mention at riffly section. One of such spots are lower end of Armstrong Spring Creek. As Cable Car Run in Madison, most of anglers tend to overlook this run toward the border of Depuy's. See my tiny soft-hackle is hooked right at the corner of the mouth, the "happy-to-see" spot when swinging soft-hackles.

Mr. Syl's legacy should be continued not only by soft-hackle enthusiasts but also every fly-fishermen.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fly Shop Open!!!!

I finally decided to make a sales blog. Some friends of mine encouraged me to show my flies in public. I have also heard good reviews when I gave away my flies to my friends.
I just needed a time to think and figure things out. It took me about a month and cost me none thanks to this Blogger!!
My shop's name is "FISHY & CATCHY FLIES" at
as I'm left-handed!! I have just posted several flies and many more to come.
It will be an old school shop. I take your order and check and I tie flies for you!! Just give me a jingle if you like my flies. Also this shop will be mostly during off-season. For now, I am available to tie till April when I start breeding cows or guiding clients.
Well, my Regal Vise is ready to rock'n roll!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Late Season's Greeting & Great Humor

I just received a late season's greeting from my teacher (& a great friend also). It was (using "was" as I ate it already) a chocolate shaped like bass. Chocolate itself was pretty good too.

Then in the back of the box, there is (using "is" as I saved it and put on the wall) my kind of humor and joke. Though it's already February, everybody together!!

And one more!!

I don't use bait or pole but,

Right, thank you for finishing my sentence, Mr. Bass.
So far, my new year has been exactly "fishy" by which I mean"looks both promising and discouraging but who knows?" = exactly like fly-fishing!!
Wish everyone out there has started a happy "fishy" new year!!