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Everything posted by kschu

  1. Thanks for the referances guys. I really appreciate it. I still need to read the manual on my son's camera so I can learn how this Macro Mode works. (My own digital camera has not worked so well since I slipped and fell into the Wind River in Wyoming last summer, with the camera in my shirt pocket ) The lighting was something I was having trouble with, and you guys hit that on the head. If anyone else has stuff to add to this, I am one of those people who craves knowledge. I will read everything I can on a question like this. You would think that as a guy who manages computers for one of the largest high energy physics laboratories in our country, I would be able to figure out macro mode on a digital camera without having to read a manual. Maybe if they put a keyboard and a 20" monitor on it, I would be able to figure it out quicker. I'd do all this with my Canon A-1, but I hate waiting until I finish a whole roll of film. And then I need to scan the photo anyway. ARGH. More later, Ken S.
  2. Greetings, I will admit that I'm fairly new to these forums. I have not really searched through all of the postings already available. I have taken pictures of a couple of my flies and I'm not very satisfied with the results so far. I've seen lots of good pictures posted here and I was wondering if someone can point me to an article, a previous discussion thread or some other resource where I can learn more about taking good pictures of the flies I have tied. I might also like to take some step by step photos as I tie. I hate when I go to tie a fly and then find I can't remember how I did it last time. I do like to offer help and advice in discussions where I feel qualified. Teaching has always been something of a passion for me. I'm am still learning fly tying. Having just learned some new patterns, it would help me remember how to tie them and may be helpful to others who are still at this beginner level. Many of the patterns I've found on the Internet seem to assume that given a list of ingredients, one can simply tie the fly. That may be true for some tiers and I may even get there some day, but at this point, I like to read (and post) more detailed instructions with a pattern. Thanks in advance for any and all advice. More later, Ken S.
  3. I'm still relatively new to fly tying. I just picked up my first hair stacker last week. During the Fly Tying class which I took last month, we tied an Elk Hair Caddis. The instructor offered us Bleached Elk Hair from his own supply of materials. It was not a difficult tie and I was very pleased with how it turned out. When I picked up my stacker, I went to the shop's wall of materials and was looking for Bleached Elk Hair, since that is what we used in class. It is not much good to own a hair stacker and not have any hair to stack. The store manager offered me a really good deal on a larger quantity of Deer Hair, in two lengths (short belly hair and longer hair from I believe the back). He said I should be able to substitute the Deer Hair without any problems or ill effects. I have never found George's advice to lead me astray. OSD, I am interested in the referance you quoted. You said it was from a book on "Production Fly Tying". I take it that implies tying more than a few of any given fly, most likely so that they can be sold. Was this quote a general referance implying that AKB suggests using deer hair in place of elk hair in general? Or was it a suggestion that one use this substitution specifically when tying this Caddis pattern? More later, Ken S.
  4. I have to ask about using a waist pack. Does that work for you when wading? I'm using a vest which is older than my teenagers. I'm probably going to be replacing it later this year or next spring. I have felt pains which I attribute to the vest if I'm out wading for many hours. The thing I do like about the vest is that I can really organize stuff. I know just what is in which pocket. When I've tried to use a fanny pack for short outings instead of the vest, I find it to be a pain to dig out tippet material when most everything is in one large pocket of the pack. I'll keep watching this thread. It is a very good question. And a question I'll need to consider carefully before I go shopping for that replacement. More later, Ken S.
  5. Last year I bought a St Croix Imperial Outfit. It included a 8 foot 4 piece 4wt Imperial rod, reel, WF Floating line, leader and a case. When it arrived at the house, I took the case out of the shipping box and I was ready to leave for the local pond. It was truely ready to fish (less flies of course). The 4wt is great for Bluegill and Sunfish. If I lived closer to good Trout fishing, I'm sure it would be great for that. I've also done a good bit of Smallmouth fishing with it. It is a very well matched outfit. The list was $250 and I got the outfit for 20% off. I do more Smallmouth fishing than Sunfish now. This year I'm going to get the same outfit in an 9 foot 4 piece 8wt. It lists for $260. It will allow me to throw bigger streamers and poppers. Stuff with more hair. Stuff that will get me bigger Smallmouth, good Lord willing. I expect I should be able to use this heavier rod for some serious fishing when my family visits Hayward WI this summer. Maybe I can use the 8 wt for a Northern or (dare I dream) a musky. The outfit like this is a really nice package. I believe it is a very good value for the price. I won't bad mouth any other product. But I will praise this one. Mine has been a most enjoyable experiance. More later, Ken S.
  6. Greetings, We have been having a great discussion about breathable waders within my local club, the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance. Lots of guys have shared lots of stories and experiances. The thing I need to share with you folks is a referance to a great article from Fly Fish America. It was a really good technical review of Breathable waders, including lab test results. http://www.flyfishamerica.com/ArticlesRepo...aff/Waders.html One of the main questions one has to ask is what does company XYZ mean when they say breathable waders. One companies idea of breathable can be quite different from another. Questions of durability and comfortable fit are also very important. One you might not think of is vulnerability to 'deet', the stuff that is in all the good bug spray that we use. See the article for more explaination of that one. I had actually heard the bug spray issue brought up by a few locals before I ever read about it in any article. (That's the great thing about a club, lots of experiance to learn from.) Consider also accessories such as a wading belt and gravel guards. Actually, both of these are more of necessities than accessories. I don't get lots of chances to make significant purchases, so when I went shopping for breathable waders, I shopped around very carefully. George is the store manager at my local fly shop. He has proven himself to be a treasure chest of not only knowledge but also of common sense. He had another article that he had a printed copy of in the store. It said many of the same things, but it was focused more on the lower end products in breathable waders. And we did talk quite a bit about materials, especially Gore-Tex. I don't see it as marketing hype. Based on my own experiance, I would buy waders made of Gore-Tex over any other material available on the market today. After several discussions and plenty of research, I went with the SIMMs light-weight breathable waders. I believe they were somewhere close to $200 early last spring. They came with suspenders and a wading belt. Yes, I have bought into the idea of spending good money now, rather than replacing less expensive products more often. I've had one really great season with them. They are still in excellant condition. I could not be happier. As I re-read what I've written here, I see some strong words. I won't change them. Yes, this is one man's opinion. YMMV (Your milage may vary). More later, Ken S.
  7. I wear contact lenes. They are somewhat special (toric) to deal with my astigmatism. In order to get the RX just right, the doctor had to settle for making my distant vision work well while I need reading glasses for reading smaller print. I have my computer at home and work set with a slightly larger font than most so I don't need the reading glasses at the computer. Since I work with computers all day, this is important to me. When the doctor told me to pick up reading glasses at Walgreens, he specifically told me not to get anything stronger than 1.25. He said the 1.5 lenes would look better to me if I tried them in the store, but the 1.25 would be better for MY eyes. I do quite a bit of reading. I find the 1.25 work well for reading. When I got into fly tying, the 1.25 just does not cut it. I picked up a pair of 2.25 lenes (at the fly shop no less) which work wonderfully for tying. They are designed so that I can simply look over the top if I want to look at the instructor's vise when taking a class. I look through the lens while watching my own vise. They are light weight, simple and they do the job for me. YMMV When I started my most recent class, my instructor took me aside after class and asked why I had the little waste materials bag attached to the vise. I explained that when I tie at home, I often do so at the kitchen table. That little trash catcher is a peace-keeping device. My wife might hide my vise if I regularly used it to mess up the dining area. The instructor asked me to try our next class without the bag. He explained that from his seat, he saw that the extra stuff on my vise was getting in the way and making it more awkward for me to tie. I did try this and he was right. I still use the bag at home, to keep the peace. But when I'm working on my bench in the basement or at the fly shop, I leave the bag off to the side and out of the way. What does this have to do with your question. I'd simply suggest that you think carefully before attaching anything additional to your vise. It may seem like a good idea up front, but it may actually get in your way later. While a vise mouted light or magnifier won't get in the way of a bobbin like the bag does, you still want to think ahead. Just a thought worth considering. More later, Ken S.
  8. I bought a pair of the SIMMS ultra-light breathable waders last spring. They are just wonderfull. They are holding up very well. They are doing better than the Pategonia wading boots that I bought through Sierra Trading Post. I got in a river last fall with everything in good condition. When I came back out, only one of the boots had a felt sole. The other simply fell off, I guess. I ordered a set of replacement soles through my fly shop. I dropped the boots at a favorite shoe repair place and they are putting the new soles on. I pick the boots up tomorrow. One comment, the SIMMs do not come with any sort of Gravel Guards. Several other local fisherman told me I really should pick up a set and use them every time I wade the local rivers. I am going to let my kids get me a pair for Father's day. More later, Ken S.
  9. There is a local bait and tackle shop that carries these. I looked at them and was impressed. When I did the math, it did seem that they are a good value. Especially if you are one who has multiple lines that you use on a given reel. I asked the opinion of the store manager at my local fly shop. His concern was that the cassette is turned by a pin on the spindle. If that pin were to break, one would not be able to retrieve the line. Neither he nor I has any experiance with one of these, so I can't say if that pin would be a concern. I'm still considering one of these reels for the next time I need to buy a reel. I think they look very good, they seem to be a good value for your dollar. I have not heard of anyone (before this thread) that had used one. Threads like this are one of the reasons that internet sites like this are so valuable. More later, Ken S.
  10. Thanks Will, I was now able to post an event. It offered me the choice of a public event or a personal event. I just entered a personal one as I was primarily checking out the functionality. BTW, the image for the "add an event" button still comes up as broken. Thanks, Ken S.
  11. Since I'm new to this board, I was browsing through the help files. I read the file on the calendar. When I went to try this out, I clicked on Calendar (in the top right bar). It brought up an empty calendar for the month of April. The place near the top left for adding a new event appeared as a broken graphic. I tried to click on it and was told I'm not allowed to post events. Is something broke? According to the help file I read through, I should be able to enter events for my own browsing. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Ken S.
  12. kschu

    Extra stuff?

    Regarding that "extra spool of tippet". How do you know it is an "extra". I was fishing just yesterday and needed to add some more 2x tippet to my leader. I pulled out my spool and started pulling off line. I got about 6 inches off and all of a sudden there was no more. I was glad to have the "extra spool" in my other vest pocket. The problem with spools of tippet is that one does not know when you are nearing the end of the spool. Having tried to justify the extra spools I carry, I must admit that my vest is overloaded. I noticed yesterday that I had three small towels with me. I do only have one line cutter, one pair of forceps and one leader wallet. But I had three spools of tippet and two spares. I have two tape measures (when one is obviously enough). I carry a pair of gloves which I did use earlier in the week but I do not use them often. I used to carry a digital camera. That was until I slipped and fell into a river in Wyoming last summer. The camera is now junk. My next digital camera will be waterproof. I do keep a spare set of keys pinned into one of the pockets. This was a suggestion from a friend and I have had occasion where I was very glad I carry them. More later, Ken S.
  13. Greetings, I am an avid Smallmouth fisherman. I joined the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance (aka. ISA) in 2003. I've made lots of new friends there. Fishing with some of these folks has greatly improved my knowledge of and skills at fishing. I rarely caught fish on soft plastics, until I started hanging out with guys who make it look so easy. I'm now quite confident with Charlie Brewer "Slider" jigs and Berkley Powerbait grubs and other soft plastics. I made my first venture into river fishing (wading) in 2002. I took a class taught by a local Fox River expert I'm quickly becoming a fan of "moving water". I took my first class in fly fishing back in 1976, before I even graduated from high school. I rarely pulled out the fly rod until 2001. I now fish with the fly rod more often than any other gear. I took my first fly tying class in Feb 2003, right after I joined the ISA. During 2003, I tied mostly Woolly Buggers and Clousers. This year I took a beginners level fly tying class through my local fly shop. I'm now tying about a dozen different flies and learning new ones all the time. I work at Fermi National Accelerator Lab in Batavia, IL. It is a wonderful place to work since there are several ponds right on the property. My favorite pond (Casey's Pond) seems to have more Smallmouth than any other type of fish. Just last night, I fished Casey's with my friend Jamie and the Crappie were hitting very nicely. And I got a 16" smallmouth, on my 4wt fly rod, using a size 14 damselfly nymph. That was a whole lot of fun. I love having a job where I can spend my lunch hour fishing. On really good days, I get an hour in before work and an hour in my lunch hour. About once a week, I go fishing after work with some friends from the ISA on a local lake, pond, river or stream. The ISA also holds regular river clean-up projects. One of my first such outings was a log jam removal project on the Kishwaukee River. I know that Northern Illinois is not a trout fishermans dream like Wyoming or Montana. It does not offer saltwater opportunities like Florida or other gulf coast states. But it is just a few hours drive to the spring creeks of SW Wisconson. We have Lake Michigan right next door (although I have not tried the "big lake" yet). And some of our local rivers offer what I expect is some of the best Smallmouth fishing to be found anywhere. I'm glad to have joined this forum. I look forward to getting to know everyone. Thanks in advance for all I hope to learn. I hope my own contributions are found to be helpful to others. More later, Ken S. http://home.fnal.gov/~kschu/hobbies/fishing.html
  14. I love fishing for bluegill on my 4wt fly rod. I typically use nymphs, tied on 12 and 14 hooks. I find Hares Ear and Prince flies work very well. Most anything with a bead head will get their attention. The pond that I sometimes stop by while commuting to work is extreamly clear (spring fed). Anything with some sort of flash, sparkle or color seems to draw the bluegill from quite a distance. A fellow fly fisherman at work ties a nice small Woolly Worm with a bright red yarn tail on a size 14 hook. I don't know what it is about red, but it seems to be like a red cape used by a matadore trying to get the attention of a Bull. More later, Ken S.
  15. I just visited my local fly shop today to buy some materials so I could tie up some Leadwing Coachman nymphs. I found a pattern and instructions in a book I just bought. The store manager told me that this fly is something of a classic and said I would enjoy tying them and fishing them. The book described this (and other nymphs tied with peacock herl) as good searching patterns. This fly is on page 86-7 of Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques by Jim Schollmeyer, published by Frank Amato Publications. BTW, I find this to be an excellant book. I tied up a couple already, but I used different kinds of feathers than what they recommended, since I did not have the correct ones. I picked up brown hackle feathers and turkey feathers today. I've promised to tie these for a Coachman swap on another website that I hang out on. I will be typing up the pattern and instructions in the next couple days. I can send you a link to those instructions once I get them posted. Sketch mentioned tying something in with the herl to add some durability to the fly. The instructions that I have suggested simply making a thread loop (like you would for a dubbing loop) and then twisting this thread in with the herl. This forms the peacock herl into a sort of fuzzy chenille for wrapping the body of the fly. This thread loop also adds some strength to the herl, which does have a tendancy to break easily. Wrapping the body with a light gold ribbing would be another way to add some durability to the body, but I like the look of the twisted herl myself. More later, Ken S.
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