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Everything posted by djtrout

  1. Received mine today. I enjoy the presentation; this one was hard to envision based on the text. Very elegant and wistful! Thanks all!
  2. cool. no worries, I enjoy looking forward to them.
  3. BB, your flies were pretty awesome. Hope things go well ....
  4. Flies in the mail. These are simple, but were local killers this past Feb/Mar in WV trout waters (Elk river).
  5. Received mine today. Definitely a class collection; fun to fish!
  6. Mine in the mail since Monday. I apologize, I finished them up Thursday and got distracted by a tile laying project at home and forgot that I had not mailed them! urgh ... anyway, you should get them any moment. Also streamers, good for trout but also work well with smallmouth bass.
  7. Mine will be in the mail by Thurs am. Looking at them I'm thinking "Her Majesty's Fox" might more aptly be called "Court Jester."
  8. I often change styles in order to accommodate what I have on hand. There are many ways to vary wings and stay more or less within the pale of a pattern, as has been suggested above. I like goose and turkey biots for bodies rather than traditional dubbing in my dry flies. You can get them in colors called for in a variety of patterns, or color them yourself. I also favor CDC (right now) for wing material, and use it as well for hackle. I mix my own dubbing using angora wool skeins or synthetic yarns from knitting stores. It does fine when treated with a water proofing solution such as water shed (I use that). When I use my angora mixes, I try to dub sparsely and definitely apply the water shed because even though it is light (thin fibers have hollow core) and wispy which makes it ideal for dubbing, it is still a rabbit fur which isn't so hot for drys; that said - my flies have floated just fine. Advantage of mixing own dubbing is that I can create as fine or "stickly - buggy" a material as I want for a smooth body or prickly body, and by create any color by mixing the basic prime colors. I can easily mix dubbing for sulphurs, cahills, hoppers to achieve any color I need by mixing yellow, white, orange, red (any combination of two or more of those). I use a cheap coffee grinder to mix them up. dice up the yarn strands 1/4" or less and toss them in, grind 'em up. For a buggy look, dice them longer and use stiffer material, like nylon vs angora yarn. Toss in some hare's mask or fox squirrel fur with it. I'm just a crafty person so I look for ways to tailor and adapt fly patterns to be more fun for me. Yes, they are all on-water tested and fish approved ...
  9. not in Virginia, West Virginia, or Maryland. Virginia requires I also carry a picture official ID in addition to license at all times. I assume MD and WV are probably the same there but I actually don't know, I just always carry my dr license with fishing license.
  10. Rod preference is so personal. Great recommendations above. I say go cheap, you can get great starter rods/reels (Bass Pro, Cabellas) for under $100. I wouldn't worry about it - they will feel fine and give you great service. In your situation I think it might be important to have at least two rods ... the issue with 7/8 wt rods for bass is not the size of the fish at all, a 3 weight line will easily handle a big bass (with appropriate leader, but the fly line and rod would do the job and I'm not recommending this ...), rather it is the bulk and size of the fly. I have shad imitations 4-5" long that simply have to be cast by my 8 weight. Even the 7 wt is a little awkward with them. I fish poppers and flys/streamers for gills and smallmouth all the time with both my 7 and 8. I also bust bluegills with my 5. My 5 is my main trout rod, though I like my 4 weight for brooktrout. A great 2 rod start would be the 6 weight (the first post was spot on I think) - that will do it for any of your species using smaller flies for bass than maybe you will ultimately, and an 8 for the bigger stuff. That said, I'd stay with the 6 and develop for a while before deciding what your rod array should look like. I too soon started collecting rods and would have done it differently if I gave myself time. To wit: after a couple decades lay off I came back to the sport in VA. My first rod (replacement, my rods were lost in a move a ways back) was an 8 because I wanted to target smallmouth and largemouth bass, and wanted the flexibility to have a decent striper rod (had friends who loved to striper fish and there was a possibility of steelhead trips). I love that rod still. Then I found great trout fishing in VA and got excited about getting a trout rod. Jumped too soon, got a 5 wt, followed a few months later by a 4 wt. Then I won an Orvis 7 wt in a raffle. What that left me with is too many rods. There's not enough difference to matter; I love the 8 for big river fishing, bass/pike. I do like the 5 for big trout fishing on VA's larger streams. I would prefer a 7 or 7-1/2 foot 3 wt for my mountain brook trout rod over the 4 wt I have now. I like fishing the 5 for the bigger rainbows and browns, many people prefer to stick with 4 wt. Some right where I live swear by their 7 wt for big brown trout. It's all a matter of personal preference built on experience and learning. My 7 wt (granted, it was a raffle win) is just superfluous. So, if I'd let life and times guide me, I'd have spent much less money and I'd have a short 3 wt, a softer than what I have 5 wt, and my 8 wt, and I'd be in rod nirvana. I don't have the budget to redo anything, and I'm not dissatisfied with what I have, but I always recommend to newcomers that they slow down and learn to use and love one rod and a set of techniques and target fish first. Thas' just me.
  11. Also I'd recommend trying some streamers in sizes 6-10; it will help you get your tying hands. Working with the head problem is also easier with streamers; same principles just a matter of scale. Tie an adams or royal coachman in a size 8. It'll do well for bluegills, be fun for practice. For me the challenge in small drys was wings. It was a matter of the right amount of bulk for wing material, and height. My wings were either absurdly tall or fell below the hackle winding. Just took practice. I found that many of my issues could be traced to selecting the right amount of bulk for each part of the fly. I'll echo Mikechell above: I started using way too much material and that was the #1 cause of crowding the eye, thread slipping down on the headwrap, my bodies being "blimpy." you'll be surprised how little you will need for each part, even bushy flies like wulffs don't require nearly what you might think at first. Practice, but focus on being intentionally really really sparse and see how it goes. Build up from too little rather than paring down from too much. To economize if you really don't like a fly, razor blade off the material and do another on the same hook. Because even the "worst" tied flys will often catch fish surprisingly well, I have kept most of my "firsts." I still give them away to others from time to time, and of course I fish them. Commendable to reach out on this forum; there are some great folks here. I'd like to actually meet one every now and again on a stream ('course, who says I haven't already .....).
  12. Preparing for my trip, just talked with the Corps of Engineers. Lake MooMaw is at approx. normal level (good news!); trout are at 20-25 feet. This will probably hold for the next couple weeks. My weapon of choice this time out will be kayak - trolling via downrigger mostly, with some fly casting in shallows early and late for 'gills. Targeting mostly bass/pickerel, and I'll troll through the 25 foot zone with my bass Rapalas looking for trout (very successful bait on MooMaw for big trout). I would think the chironomid dropper tactic is worthy of a try. I'm downrigging because of the size of the lake and the fact that there's a lot of movement vertically and horizontally among all the species there - that's what I do to prospect. If I tie into a couple nice trout in the same place, guarantee I'll dust off the flyrod and try dropping a nymph.
  13. Lake MooMaw is a favorite camping and getaway destination for wife and I. We will be going there in 2 weeks for 5 days of kayaking and camping, and I will fish. It is a unique fishery. The deep deep water support robust populations of both warm water and cold water fisheries. They do indeed have huge trout in there. Bad news is: it is a unique fishery. Successful trout fishermen will drop minnows/alewives on jigs and perhaps spoons and such jigs from boats to anywhere from 25 to 40 feet (15-20 in winter and early spring, we are past that now). Usually they'll hang at 25 or 30 feet. Fishing from shore is all but useless, for trout, certainly at this time of year. They may still be up a little (meaning 20-25 feet) because the weather has been cool. I have seen some good success, but from boats fishing spinning gear and fish finders, going deep with live bait. By Jul fishermen will be going to 40 feet. When we go to MooMaw, it's about bass and pickerel fishing for me. I've had fair success at bass and for some reason can't discourage the pickerel despite my best efforts (I now use a steel leader for my bass fishing because I've broken off so many toothy creatures). I use spinning, baitcasting, and fly gear. Bluegills can be fun on fly, and I imagine crappie as well, though I never target them. Bass will come in shallow or hang in 10 feet or so of water. I don't want to be discouraging, but when I first started going to MooMaw 22 years ago, I had stars in my eyes over the stories and pics of the huge trout. Eventually, I discovered that fishing for them requires a very unique, deep technique (someone above mentioned "Great Lakes" - spot on!) that in my book calls for putting the fly rod away. I've no doubt folks have caught trout on the fly there, it's just that I wouldn't commend it as the norm. Trout will rise to surface occasionally, but not close to shore usually, for both surface insects but mostly chasing alewives. That's mostly winter and early sprint. This time of year, you might catch a glimpse early in the morning. Evening temperatures are getting too high to encourage them, I would think. Go in with eyes open, don't expect much unless you can get some intel on where they are and the depth of the day, which will be deep now. The local marina is very helpful if they've heard anything, more than willing to get you pointed in the right direction, but it's a big lake. btw, it's just that I love flycasting, and this scenario calls for sinking straight down and jigging nymphs and streamers. For me that's spinning time. Plenty of flyrodders deep-nymph to 30 feet with great success in the big lakes of the world; that's just not my bag. Now, within 1-1/2 hour drive north and the same west are some fantastic trout waters in the N Branch of the Potomac, Savage in MD, and the Elk in WV. Oh I forgot to mention, silly me, the Jackson river which is the river feeding Lake MooMaw is a great trout fishery. Do some advance research, downstream sections from the dam have public access and great fishing but some private landowners can get pretty nasty if you stumble onto their lands so be sure you know where you are. VA Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries can help you with public access maps. Above the lake, most of the trout stream is posted private land, next to impossible to access unless you are a guest at the local resort/fishing club (which if you are so inclined could be a great time, I've not tried it). it's a beautiful, remote area. I love it. Maybe our paths will cross ...
  14. I gave thought to this by reading the thread on not being as good as I used to be. I remember my father, an avid trout stream fisherman, who had one favorite rod, and that for as long as I knew him. He was that way anyway, simplicity and loyal to his gear to a fault. I realize that most of us are to one degree or another gearheads; I own two 8 wts, one 7 wt, one 5 wt, one 4 wt rod. yes, they do serve different purposes as I'm in a bass/trout/brookie/pike .... river/creek/lake environment. Sure, I can still be tempted by the latest landing net technology .... now comes Tenkara .... and etc. I find I pass on all that, though, these days. I've made friends with my rods. When I consider how I might lighten up and spark up my look with a nice new reel, I always end up with "it's good enough, what I have, don't need anything else." I don't change flylines every month anymore experimenting. That's a remarkable statement from this guy who as a young man wanted to buy it all. Is there, then, for you out there, a point you reached (or do you think there will be) where you are satisfied (can't adequately define what "satisfied" means though...); that you don't need the latest in rods and reels, you replace waders only when yours wear out, you wear one shirt until it becomes totally socially unacceptable, and then you tuck it in your pack to put on streamside. For old gearheads like me, do any of you reach that point (it is more like nirvana than death, now ...)? I have, kind of nice, just thought I'd reach out and get some perspectives ... Maybe you have one rod you built that has captured your heart and will never be replaced?
  15. I used an Outcast 8 foot pontoon boat for years on rivers and lakes, superb little fix. I mounted it with trolling motor which was a dream, and I dragged it through inches of water (dragged, not floated, but it would float very shallow). Using paddles without trolling gear (heavy, the motor and battery) it was an exceptional light weight floater and oared easily. Nice platform for fly casting. Streamside take down was easy, but not as fast as my fellow kayakers hoisting their boats on the truck at the end of a run, they had to wait on me. I now use a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 kayak that I'm in love with. Much easier to manage logistically (I don't like logistics fuss), beautiful on lakes or streams. Had to adjust to fly casting, and I'm there, no prob, but the pontoon beats it for ease of casting from. I left the pontoon frame out in the yard inadvertently one day, unfortunately on bulk trash pick-up day and the trash folks, trying to be helpful by going a bit up on the lawn from where pickups were supposed to be, carted it away. At that point I decided to switch to kayak. Main reason: logistics simplification and versatility. I kayak with my wife and kids now, and frankly the pontoon just doesn't "go with" a family kayaking outing. Kayak gives me the fitness work I need when I go out; that was a serious consideration; exercise! Jon boat is a good fix too, for me it would be about simpler logistics.
  16. I never used to need time on stream to get my "sea legs" back after a fishing lay off. I tie up a new invention of a fly, and I don't care if it makes any sense, and I will fish it for days until I catch one fish on it. 'don't really care if I don't either. I can walk half a day on a stream before I start to think there may be a reason I'm carrying this rod ... I can walk all day on a stream without a rod and call myself a fisherman for it (scouting, you know ...) I love to spend all day driving around in new territory scouting new water that I may not get back to to fish ... Dreaming about fishing is good. It's even enough, sometimes. I fish 3 flies on the water. I tie flies for wall decorations. Saves on $$ for pictures. I loathe staffs. First thing I did after 2 minutes in the water on a WV stream a month ago is look for a nice sturdy stick (wading staff in car, too lazy to walk back) that became my fast companion for 4 hours. I've started fishing lakes. For my kindred die hard river rats, you know what I'm talkin' about. my profile pic is 15 years old ... (fyi)
  17. I clean my Renzetti Traveler every 8 years +/- a year. It works for me better IMHO naked, that is - grease/graphite and everything I've tried before - cleaned out. Just plain, clean it up with solvent and give it a go over with 000 steel wool and she's good as new. A little squeak now and then ...
  18. PS - I'm trying new CDC patterns this year; this bunch is a little inconsistent but I wanted them out the door ... :-( It's an interesting deviation to a March Brown, I think I'm more comfortable calling it March Madness ... in May ...
  19. Hey Bream/Vic, I use a Renzetti Traveler, and although I do love it, I echo Vic's comments about the neck getting in the way. Honestly it didn't start to bother me until I'd used it about 8 years. I'll stick with it for a while though. I had a couple of Dyna Kings, but prefer the Traveler. I still tie bass flies up to 3/0 hook on the Traveler and it works fine. I've been eyeing the HMH Spartan myself. Now, flies: travel this past 2 months has been arduous. I've had fun taking my tying kit along but didn't get the time I thought I might have. Nonetheless, I finally got 'er done and flies are in the mail!
  20. I traveled last week for business, leave for philly tomorrow, been a little stacked up, but almost finished with flies. I'm taking my setup and envelopes with me to Philly, should be finished and in the mail by Wed latest! I look forward to tying in my hotel room, beats watching TV ...
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