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About Hardyhead

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  1. Yep, what Kodiak said. Crotalus that camera bag is meant for small point and shoots. Any of their roll-top fishing bags will hold your camera, flys, and all your other gear too. I put a Nikon DSLR in mine, and it's been completely underwater a few times, and comes out dry as a bone. I use it on my kayak as well. They work great, it's just about finding the right size one for your application.
  2. It occurred to me that I never posted an update post trip, so here it is!! Okay, so I flew out of Chicago, which about an hour drive for me. Left Sunday morning at 7 AM or so, and landed in Nassau at 1:30 in the afternoon, where I met up with the rest of our group. After a quick jaunt through customs, we had a hour and half layover before our charter flew us the rest of the way from Nassau to Andros. The total round trip price for the flights was $490 including the charter. We landed in Andros, and the owner of Mt. Pleasant lodge picked us up in his van (he is also a Taxi driver). The cab ride to the lodge was about $120, and there were 6 of us, so $20 a piece for a 25 minute ride, we also stopped and picked up a case or two of Kalik. Here is the Mt. Pleasant lodge: There is room for 10 at least, but we had the whole place to ourselves. The food was really good, all fresh caught fish each day from the island. We had steamed konch, spiny rock lobster, snapper, grouper, and a bunch of other fish. After the first night they saw how much we ate, and started giving us huge mounds of food, more than I could really finish, but I am a small guy, I still stuffed it down. Breakfast everyday was great other than some weird hash they tried to feed us one morning. Lunch consisted of two sandwiches, a piece of fruit, and some chips along with two bottles of water each day for fishing, which was plenty given our weather conditions. We had weather in the 70s each day from January 18th-25th. Midweek there was a coldsnap in Florida and the temperature dipped a little, but did not affect the fishing too much. Now for the fishing. The main geographical feature you fish around is called the White Bight. It's a giant tidal sand dune that floods twice a day, with a bay that stays underwater to the south of it, a peninusula that borders the east of it, and the mainland to the west. The north is open to the ocean, although not particulary deep, somewhere between 3-6 feet with a few more sand bars. This is the White Bight looking to the east at the peninusula an hour or so before high tide. Tim Landwehr who owns Tight Lines of DePere, WI is in the photo, and he was my fishing partner each day. The wind was consistent at 20-25 mph every day, with a few days gusting to 35 mph. It was tough to deal with considering the mobility of the bonefish. On the first day we walked the flats on the eastern side of the peninsula at first light. We saw one big bone roaming alone, but neither one of us caught anything on that side. We worked our way to the White Bight, and got into the bay on the southern end of it where we had schools of bones of about 20 fish a piece. I had two take the fly on this first day, but due to inexperience never really hooked up. Tim landed a nice one on the Bight later that afternoon. After wading about 6 or 8 miles of flats that day, we were pretty tired, but not tired enough to dig into the beer: The second day went much the same as the first, although I hooked up for real that day. I lost the fish though, foolishly breaking off what was probably the biggest fish any of us would catch while wade fishing that week. Tim landed fish consistently, although he was making casts of 70 feet into the headwind, something I don't have the ability to do. Typically we would see a school coming, and Tim would wait until they got in range of me, then I would make shot with Tim making one immediately after. If the school spooked or turned and got out of range, Tim often was able to get a second shot and hook a fish from the school. The third day we worked up the western shore of the White Bight bay, and found a really nice spot where Tim and I both hooked fish from the same school at the same time. We did a bit of the bonefish dance, and both managed to land some nice fish. Sharks were prevalent, but most were 3 foot lemon sharks, and were easilly spookable with a good poke of the rod. On Thursday while fishing we found something sitting on the coast where we had seen some big sharks the day before. Some of the sharks were at least six feet, and Thursday we saw one that had to be 10' plus. The reason they were there was this: That morning we fished a really nice back bay without any luck, but it shows what the mangrove tidal bays are like, so here it is: Friday and Saturday fishing was good, we caught lots of bonefish, and I had one that was in the 4-5 lb range that ran me through 5 or 6 mangroves before I was able to reign him in. We had a couple of other interesting events. On the second day Tim released a bonefish he had caught, only to have it swim about 30 yards from him and be devoured by a shark, it was a crazy mix of blood and foam in the ocean for about 30 seconds, and pretty intense to see. Saturday while fishing we spotted a barricuda within range. Tim hooked a wire leader to his crazy charlie at the bend, and tied on a blue and white deceiver that was gigantic. He made a cast of about 60 ft that landed just to the left of the fish, and started stripping away. After about 10 strips the barricuda started charging, and when the fly was about 30 feet from Tim it nailed it. The strike was intense, and within about 15 seconds the fish was 40 yards away where it leapt out of the water. Seeing a 4 foot barricuda get full air was aweseome, sadly it popped the fly. When Tim hauled his line back in his wire leader was nearly completely shredded. We saw one barricuda earlier in the week that was humongous sitting on the White Bight, but neither one of us felt like messing with it, that was a 10 weight fish if I ever saw one. There are Blue Holes on Andros, and we went to one on Saturday morning that is within walking distance of the lodge, about 3/4 of a mile. Here it is: This is a semi-freshwater hole, about 430 feet deep, and 30 yards across. They are actually connected to the ocean, and have a fair amount of undertow. We tried to catch some fish in their, but no luck. We did catch a fair number of mangrove snappers, grunts, and a few needlefish while fishing some little holes in some of the backwater creeks and lagoons. On the second night, just as it got dark, we had a school of what was likely 1000 bonefish swim by the lodge. I had never seen nervous water, but the ocean was dead calm, and there was a 80 yard wide patch of water churning away as the fish moved south. Most days we saw at least 200-300 bonefish, somedays far more. One of the guys in our group probably caught 30 or so on consecutive casts while standing in the same spot as school after school cruised by him. We just stood and laughed as he cranked them in. We say blue crabs like this one, who took a chunk out of Tim's rod cork as we poked at it: He was having his way with a female crab when we came upon him, he was not happy that we interupted his nooner. Two of the guys we fished with booked guides for the latter part of the week, and Friday they spent the day targeting big bonefish in the Cargill Creek area with Charlie Neymour (sp?). They landed 15 fish that were over 9 lbs, the biggest almost 11 lbs. Fishing was excellent the week we were there, although according to the lodge owner, it's best at that time of the year. From December through February, Mt. Pleasant's flats are loaded with fish since the water in Cargill creek is too cool. As the weather warms, the Mt. Pleasant flats get very hot, and the fish move into Cargill creek, so fishing slows a little. Here is our last dinner on Saturday night: Anyway, if any of you are interested in going there, the trip is pretty reasonable. The food and lodging is $1500 for the week. All total for me including flights, tips for the lodge staff, taxi rides, and beer I think it was $2500. I would definitely go back, there is a pretty good feeling when you catch a bonefish without a guide, and there is plenty of action each day. I would say any given day I had between 30 and 60 shots at fish, more than enough to keep anyone interested. The lodge staff was very pleasant and accomodating. Anything we needed, they made arrangements to get. Feel free to PM me if you have questions. Ryan
  3. I use the Simms Dry Creek roll top bag from my DSLR when on the water. When I take it out, I always make sure I hook the strap over my neck before I pull the camera out of the bag. I have yet to have a problem, I even brought the camera with on a week long saltwater wade fishing trip. If you are careful, you should not have any issues.
  4. Coachbob, soft hackles are definitely included. Syl Nemes sort of brought them to the forefront, but the several old Irish patterns were basically soft hackles. The whole thing is a bit confusing, and yes, age of pattern comes into effect, but in reality it is a combination of things that make it a classic. A classic survives the test of time, and is appreciated for it's artistic merit as well as it's ability to catch fish. As an example, many salmon flies such as the Silver Doctor have been converted to hairwings by the steelhead/salmon community for ease of tying. The classic is the married or mixed wing Silver Doctor. The practical fly is the hairwing, and if you were fishing, you would probably tie the hairwing on instead of the married wing version you spend 10 hours tying. The definition is loose, but in general anything that shows up in books on fishing from around the turn of the century is considered a classic. Some more modern patterns have been included as well (like the Schmookler patterns). I hope you get the idea, there was a discussion on this at one point on classicflytying.com, I will see if I can find it. If you are interested in learning more about these, simply read that forum, and you will learn tons, ask questions, we all like to help, and some of the fellas and gals really know their stuff (better than me).
  5. Fred- I will try and help, but there is no hard line here. Classics generally fall into specific patterns types. Streamers and Wet flies encompasses the Mary Orvis Marbury bass and trout patterns, the Carrie Stevens flies, and other streamers such as the Edson flies. These are examples of classics, not necessarily all of the classics out there. Many of the tiers are simply duplicating the patterns for their own collections. There is room for creativity, Lee (waterwolf) and Mike Boyer have tied a number of MOM style flies that are their own creations. Many people tie Carrie Stevens style flies but with their own colors and feather variations. The 'classic' comes from following the underlying concepts, not necessarily the patterns themselves. All the Bergman wets are included as well. For the Salmon guys, it's the forms of Kelson, Francis Francis, Taverner, and other great books on Atlantic patterns. Again, many great tiers such as Dave Carne effort to produce as near as can be copies or interpretations of the flies tied then. Tiers like Bud Guidry tend to lean more to the freestyle approach, but encompassing the classical elements of a salmon fly. Most of the patterns here will have a tag/tail/butt/body of silk/hackle/wing/cheeks/topping style layout. There are exceptions, but the creative part of it (at least for me) is hard, and designing good color schemes and good flow and balance while still within the framework is the trick. Spey flies are often found in this section as well. What you won't see much of in the Classics section is wooly buggers, nymphs, dry flies (not many at least), and generally anything with any synthetic fur (although a bead creeps on to a hook now and then). It's not to say the classic tyers don't appreciate that stuff, it's just does not fit in the framework of what's generally talked about. Again no hard rules, just some general ideas. Maybe Bud will chime in. He might have a better answer. Ryan
  6. I tie clousers for some friends who I fish with for bass. They work so good, and they are weighted enough to cast easily. I also tie some bass bugs on jig heads with black marabou for some friends who bass fish in tournaments, they used to tie them on their own, but it's just faster if I do it.
  7. All 3!! Why limit yourself? The more fishing, the more fun!
  8. You are going to need (as pointed out) a 7 weight or 8 weight rod, with a decent reel (you will actually use it to fight the fish). On my single hand steelhead rod, I run a 8 weight with the Rio Clouser fly line, 150 yards of 20lb backing, on a 4" reel. You will likely want a fast action rod. You may be fishing sink tips. Depending on the water conditions, they will vary in length and depth, but you will probably want 3 types, a slow, fast, and medium sinking speed tip. These tips are heavy, and are totally different to cast than anything else you are probably used to. The tendency for casters new to heavy sink tips like these is to drift too far back on your backcast. This comes from picking up way too much line. In order to pick up a sink tip, strip the line in about to around 20 ft instead of the normal 30 ft you are used to picking up. Work on shooting lots of line with this rig, and practice your double hall. Without it, your arms will be toast at the end of the day. Most western river steelheading is fished on the swing. You typically don't fish eggs or stonefly nymphs. You will likely fish spey type flies, tubes, or intruder/massive wooly bugger patterns, in sizes of 2, 4, 6, 1/0. If it's a summer run (sounds like it is) the water may be low, then your fly patterns will be brighter, and tied in low water style. Sparse patterns are better in the low water, you will have less current to work with, and in a low water condition you will fish your lightest sink tip. A good idea is to get Dec Hogan's book A Passion for Steelhead. This will fill you in on a lot of the stuff you need to know. The Klamath is a big big river, at least where I have been on it. Depending on the runs you fish, casts of 50-75 feet may be needed to reach the proper locations for your swing. Since this is in August, the water may be low enough to prevent some of the huge casts, but be prepared. Are you fishing guided? If so, call your guide and get more details of what he wants you to bring. There are many books on steelhead flies, and most steelheaders who fish the swing will tell you the same thing, it's probably not the fly you fish, it's how good your swing is. If it's set up right, and at the right depth, and their is a fish there you will get bit. Steelhead are hungry fish by nature, certainly wild steelhead that are incoming from the ocean. Hope this helps. Others who specifically fish out west may be able to help, I have only done it a few times out there, I normally fish Great Lakes steelhead.
  9. It's warmed up to 4 here. That's pretty awesome. Also, on a side note, I have a copy of Steven Chu's Nobel Prize printing autographed by him. That may seem odd, because it is.
  10. A good portion of our oil costs are speculation (actually about 90% of it according to some reports). The recent hike in oil costs had to do with moron investors playing the futures oil markets. The supply did not go down, and the demand did not increase from the point where we were paying $1.60 a gallon to the point we were paying $4.00 a gallon, it was simply speculation by investors. And now that has collapsed. Look at what OPEC has been doing, continually cutting supply trying to 'create' demand. But oil is still dropping, because the financial bubble that supported those stupid prices burst, and the speculators got cleaned out. It was price fixing in a legal way, just like the movie Trading Places Why do you think Bush never let oil out of the strategic oil reserves, he may be a dumb country boy, but he did figure out that increasing the 'supply' would not fix the problem. Thankfully the futures markets have crashed, and will not likely inflate any time soon.
  11. 4!! Man, I am coming to visit. It was -9 when I pulled my car out of the garage this morning at 5 am. When I got to work, about 20 miles away, it was -18. Usually the temperature does not go down on the way to work. Whether you believe in Global Warming or not, one of the most interesting things which the climatologists don't tell the public is that all their climate models predict the same thing after the global warming cycle. Ice Age. I am not convinced either way. I have seen enough climate data to indicate that earth has warmed over 20 years, but I don't believe any of the mainstream media. It could have done that 4000 years ago and no one would have noticed. The melthing of the glacial ice and the polar ice of the north pole is a bit disturbing to me. I do also believe in reducing emissions, whether the earth is warming or not, pollution still sucks. If the earth does warm enough, at least us northerners will have all the prime real estate
  12. I have a travel kit I use that contains tools only. In it is a vise with a clamp base that is as basic as it gets, non-rotary. There is a dubbing needle, two inexpensive pairs of scissors, a small container of head cement, a tube of zap-a-gap, a bobbin, and I used to carry a whip finisher, but I have taken that out now, just faster to do with my hands. The entire thing is actually light enough and small enough to fit in my coat pocket. The vise is a cheapee that came in a fly tying kit from some years back. I have tied streamside with this setup many times, the hardest part for me is not having the right hooks/materials I want, the tools I find are easy.
  13. Ok, thanks everyone for the details and advice. We are fishing unguided, guides will be optional, but the owner of the shop I am traveling with is a good friend of mine, and he has done this a few dozen times, and will guide me for the first few days for free. If we want guided days on the water, we can arrange that with the folks we are staying with. The place is called Mt Pleasant, they have 6 miles of beach front on what looks like the south eastern portion of the Andros. Meals are included, with pack lunches and bottled water. I am traveling with Tight Lines Fly Shop out of Green Bay, WI (if any of you ever want a guided smallie trip, go with them, fish in the 4-6lb range are pretty regular). They are great guys, and I know about half of the eight guys on the trip. The eight of us will fill Mt. Pleasant to capacity, 4 cottages, double occupancy. The owner told me there will be some spare rods and reels in case mine let's go... hopefully not, but you never know I have Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, some saltwater Clousers, and some saltwater Puffs in size 2 and 4 with various weights of eyes, I am planning on tying some size 6 as well, apparently there is a lagoon that presents fish in water so skinny that anything else will spook them. I am not going to bring any specific barricuda flies, the owner said I could just nab some from his box if needed. I have most of the gear picked up already, I will swing by REI next week to pick up the last little bits of stuff, we depart on the 18th, so it coming quick I have flats boots and the neoprene sock things from Simms being drop shipped to my house, I usually run the Rio Clouser on my 8 wt, and I picked up the Rio Saltwater 8 for this trip. Hopefully I catch some fish, I understand bonefish can be quite a challenge at times. I am not too worried about the wind, I have fished in some miserable windy conditions from the piers on Lake Michigan when the browns and steelhead are staging, and while it sucks, it's fishable if you are careful. I am not sure what we do if it's not sunny, since we are sight fishing I would imagine cloudy days turn in to long walks in the flats with lots spooked fish and no casts. Maybe we will get some rum for those days I will be sure to post some photos when we get back
  14. Aerodynamicist/R&D Engineer Long hours, but the pay is great and the projects tend to be very cool.
  15. This guy is the master, he fixed a Walker Bampton that I got from someone who had attempted to take it apart without realizing that the screws were peened on the end to prevent them from backing out. I would recommend him anyday. I am not familiar with the inner workings of the Perrine, I have mostly Hardy's, Young's, and Dingley's so I cannot offer any advice, but springs do wear out, in particular spring steel will eventually lose it's springyness (I know that's not a word, but you get the idea). If your springs are shot, you can have new ones made or find replacements, but I strongly recommend keeping the old ones, collectors like the original parts, even if they are worn a bit. Good luck! Ryan http://www.archuletasreelworks.com/
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