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Fly Tying


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About EricF

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    Trout, Bass, Stripers
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  1. Hi Folks, Been a long long time since I've posted here, been wrapped up in other ventures lately. But I've put together a few things you may be interested in. Both are free, and I"m not making money off of this, so I don't think this counts as an advertisement. Anyway, I have a background in entomology, and have fished for years, so I put the two together and made a podcast about entomology as it relates to fly fishing. It's called Angler's Entomology Podcast and can be found at these sites: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/anglers-entomology-podcast/id1161346204?mt=2 http://anglersentomology.libsyn.com/podcast https://www.blubrry.com/anglers_entomologys/ http://subscribeonandroid.com/anglersentomology.libsyn.com/rss Secondly, for my wife and my entertainment I made a "quizup" called Angler's Entomology. Quiz-up is an app that gives you trivia quizzes on different subjects. This one has pics of bugs, flies, and asks for ID, scientific names, and some silly trivia. I think it is a good tool in terms of learning life stages and insect identification by sight. It has about 200 questions online, and I'll add more probably this spring once I take more bug pics. You can download it on the app store or find it here: https://www.quizup.com/ Anyways, hope I'm not breaking any site rules, if you enjoy the podcast and/or the quizup pass it along. I hope you enjoy them. Cheers, eric
  2. OK, we're not talking hypotheticals - there have been 29 cases of adults having elevated blood lead levels in Maine over the last 10 years that were related to reloading, casting lead or shooting. In this case "elevated" is considered 25 ug lead/dL blood - which is the occupational guideline and is generally considered not adequate. There has been interest in lowering that to 10 and as I already mentioned there are several toxicological endpoints in adults that have recently been determined to act with no threshold - check the National Toxicology Program reports if you are interested, they came out this summer. There is an adult blood lead surveillance program called ABLES - they regularly report statistics on sources of exposure for adults in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2008 there were 26 individuals poisoned through hobby casting and in 2009 there were 20. Again poisoned being defined as 25 ug/dL in blood. I think there is a significant difference between a kid getting into a hook. Which hurts. Compared to ingesting a lead containing sinker or other product, which leads to irreversible brain damage (and this is the kind of exposure where we see much more significant blood lead levels and impacts). The data on lead poisoning in children is of excellent quality, so don't tell me that it doesn't exist. Take a look at ATSDR's toxicological profile for lead if you want a dated summary. There are several case studies from the medical literature of chlidren ingesting lead containing fishing gear W. Scott St. Clair and John Benjamin Lead Intoxication from Ingestion of Fishing Sinkers: A Case Study and Review of the Literature CLIN PEDIATR 2008 47: 66 is one example. Lead is an element - whether it is used for fly fishing or reloading has no bearing on it's toxicology. If it is ingested then it can have quite serious effects. I'm not arguing we should ban lead in fly fishing - I'm saying people should be aware of the risks and act appropriately. Toddlers like to put stuff in their mouths and lead containing items poison them. Period. Sure, more kids are going to die in car accidents than by incidentally ingesting lead. But that is not an excuse for ignoring data that shows there is lead in brass and that there are cases where children eat lead containing products and are seriously poisoned. Can I point to a case where a child ingested a bead intended for fly tying and had lead poisoning? No, and I'm not going to look. Do you need that kind of evidence to be careful around your kids? I think not. Sure there are still people who believe the earth is flat. And they can believe that. Just don't feed brass beads to your kids...you'll poison them. And just for the record, I reload, I shoot, and I live in an old house full of lead paint and I raised my daughter here. It can be done safely.
  3. For what it is worth, I actually run the childhood lead poisoning prevention program for the state of Maine. Yes, many formulations of brass contain lead. And yes, lead is pretty nasty stuff - it's been studied for years and it appears to have no threshold - meaning any amount of exposure can potentially cause toxicity - particularly in children with their developing brain, altho the research on adults is suggesting that for certain effects there is no threshold as well. The critical word, tho, is exposure. So, from my perspective as a toxicologist, lead in a brass bead that stays in a brass bead is fine (and I should say I'm a human toxicologist, so while there are some wildlife concerns about lost flies, I suppose, I'm focusing on humans). So, Jaydub is right, don't eat it. Typical problems with brass and lead exposure (at least that I"m familiar with) are from new brass plumbing fixtures and acid or very soft water - where the lead will leach from the brass and end up in the water. In Maine, at least, that is a fairly rare occurence, altho I believe the USEPA recently lowered the amount of lead allowable in brass plumbing fixtures). For children, by far the majority of exposure comes from dust from lead paint and from soil. The soil and dust gets on the floor, children (1 and 2 year olds) play on the floor and then they put their hands and toys in their mouth. This also impacts them when their brain is at its most sensitive in terms of development. From our perspective, as sportsmen and women, the riskiest activities that we see are things like casting one's own lead weights or reloading. There, again, by far, you are more likely to poison your own child rather than yourself. It takes remarkably little lead dust to contaminate clothes to child to mouth. We sometimes see adults poisoned from hobbies. I should say, however, children like shiny things and they explore with their mouths. We sometimes see toddlers eat lead splitshot - so that is a risk as well. So I wouldn't worry about brass beads from an adult human health perspective, altho I would not let your toddler play with them. I'm much more worried about your lead paint in your house (if you're in the US, many European countries sensibly banned lead paint early in the last century, we didn't ban until 1978). If you are interested in more gory details, you can check out our website: www.maine.gov/healthyhomes eric
  4. While not exactly a hatch chart, there is a map here showing when and where they are coming. http://www.magicicada.org/magicicada_ii.php I don't think we'll be getting them up here in Maine.. -e
  5. The wooden cabinets visible in the first picture are very cool. What are they from?
  6. It's an old town pathfinder. I don't think they make them anymore - I got mine used. I really like it a lot.
  7. Not being trim and fit myself, and older than I used to be, don't take the moving around thing lightly. I just sold my old 80 pound canoe and got a 60 pounder and those 20 pounds make one hell of a difference. If you plan to keep it at the lake fine, but my guess is you'll want to explore other waters soon enough. They do make trailers. You can pop them on top of pickups - either with a rack in the back holding the back end up or even with the front end popped up and tied down. Hoisting a canoe up there is hard - for an 80 pound canoe .. well, I finally gave up being old and creaky. Other options you might want to think about are a float tube or some of those pontoon type boats. I have a float tube, a canoe and a small motor boat and I love them all for their various applications. A float tube is cheap (100 or so) and as long as you aren't going far, a great option. At least those are my two cents... -e
  8. I've never tried them, but several companies make "strap on" hook keepers: http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building/Hook-Keepers/Fuji-EZ-Keeper-II No idea how well they work..
  9. Once you have a better sense of what you want, it may be worth looking at www.sierratradingpost.com - they have good deals (an expensive reel is still an expensive reel) and they if you look at price alone you may get a reel that doesn't meet your needs. Their inventory changes over time - so it is worth multiple checks over the year.
  10. EricF

    Boston Area

    Hey Mike, Sorry I didn't see this until now...and sorry you're a fish out of water. Let me vote again for the Swift River. Even if you don't catch anything it is an amazing place. Worth it just to stand there and get skunked - I know, I've done that many times. Ditto on the Kittery Trading Post. Much better than Beans, and if you shoot, they have a wonderful used gun section. Finally, I'd also recommend the Boston Aquarium - it is heated, and while they may have a problem with you fishing, you'll see a lot of fish. Also, try calling the state fish and wildlife dept - up here in Maine the regional biologists are really good at suggesting locations. Good luck.
  11. In Eric Leiser's book Stoneflies and the Angler, he talks about how when stoneflies (and other insects) molt they are often light colored. They then color up later. He talks about how fish often key in on that light color and he ties white or cream stonefly nymphs to match it and how successful that is. I do as well - altho it is unclear to me how much the success is do to the fact that the fish keys into it or that I can see it in the water so well. Anyway, my current favorite is a gold ribbed possum's ear (a joke, possums don't have hair on their ears). But the hair on their face is a beautiful translucent cream. Mebbe that is what you got ... E
  12. A few years ago, my bud and I went up to his camp in the williwags of Maine. The gods were smiling on me, but definitely not on him. We drove for hours and got there to learn he left his keys to the camp at home. We broke in (something he seemed strangely experienced with) and went fishing the next day. He caught a snag ... and I watched him - faster than I could comment (there was sort of a dumb silence on my part) he did everything that we all know not to do and broke his rod. Then, on the way back, we ran out of gas in the lake. There were other things that went wrong for him that trip ... I just don't remember them. I've never seen anything like it --- it really was like he was cursed...
  13. My experience when I was raising chickens is that once dead and cold they (in my case, mites, I believe) will leave and look for something warm (e.g., you). So, I killed them and just set them outside for a bit before I skinned them.
  14. Here's an idea someone should run with...I've had this idea for awhile, but I'll never do it, so somone else should. How about a pattern book organized by critter with beautiful pictures of the animals, the pelts, and then some example flies that are typically tied with them. It would be interesting to have info on the animal - where it is found, some of it's history in fly tying, characteristics of the dubbing, etc. It would be very interesting to build on the info in Darrell Martin's Advanced Fly Tying (I think that is what it is called) book, which has scanning electron micrograph photos of the hairs, showing what makes the hairs (or feathers) good for some applications vs. others. Heck, you could even insert some synthetics ... have some pics of a Z-lon in their natural habitat... e
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