Fishing is in—at least in places where the night temperatures are not dropping to -40! Theo Bakelaar sent a great photo of a big rainbow that he took in a large Holland lake. The fish were exhibiting pre-spawn jumping activity, and it took an orange fly with a bead head—check out the fish’s mouth. Those of us in the more frigid parts of the world are awaiting our spring steelhead season—tying orange, pink, scarlet red, chartreuse eggs and other bright imitations for the coming season.
The Fly Fishing Show held at Somerset, New Jersey, is the largest fly fishing only show in the world. My old friend, Jake Jordan, made this report form the first day of the show.
I have friends that help me to search for and find the latest in fly tying and fly fishing. Henry Kanemoto sent me a URL to the Dubspeed. It’s a great tool that I saw at the 2013 EWF in March in Munich. I had forgotten about it (where are those show notes??). It is great tool, especially for those who have not had much experience with dubbing/spinning loops. The Dubspeed is a great tool that will fit any vise.
Saturday was humming, and I hummed right along with the Show. My day started with a fly tying class from 8:30 to 11. The guys in the class all had a great time as we tore over the list of 42 hackling techniques. We never made it to the end, but we certainly had a great time trying. Everyone’s favorite was the Hedgehog, tied with the brush-style parachute hackling technique. From there I headed over to the casting pond and gave a discussion/demo on casting. The crowd was thick and very cooperative, participating with smiles. Then came the author’s booth, where I signed books and talked fishing for the scheduled hour. Other books were signed at random during the day, as people intercepted me whenever they could. Following the author’s booth, I give a PowerPoint presentation on Fishing Big Fish Flies (where I also signed more books), finally ending the day with an overly full house at the tying demonstration on hackling tactics.
Sunday started at 7:45 with a Bible study that I offer for the exhibitors, many of whom are far from home and have no access to local churches. Then it was back to the author’s booth at 9:30 followed by a casting demonstration at the pond at 10:45. The Sunday crowd was good and the participants, like those on Saturday, were all in good spirits and more than willing to point at me when I asked them to. I do this to illustrate that people point with the index finger, and when using the Three Point Grip, where they point with the index finger the line goes. Then it was off to a PowerPoint program on Reading Waters at 12:30, and a final tying demo at 2:15. The seats were filled until 3, when the football crowd rushed off to watch the Broncos whip the Patriots. A great Show. Thanks to everyone who came and participated in all the many events that were offered.
My next Show is at Lynwood in Washington State. See you there.
The Show opened at 10 am today with a very positive crowd that immediately headed off in all directions, filling the aisles with people curious about fly tying, casting demos, tying demos, and products galore. I entered the milieu at 3pm at the Author’s Booth, and moved to a presentation room for a PowerPoint program on “Nymphing From Top to Bottom.” The crowd was clearly on point and stayed for an addition 20 minute, post-talk discussion and book-signing session.
Tomorrow starts at 8:30 am with a fly tying class (42 Hackling Techniques), and heads on into a casting demo at 11:30, to the Author’s booth at 1pm, a PowerPoint Presentation on “Fishing Big Fish Flies” at 2, and then a fly tying demo at 4. It will be a full day, indeed. If you’re in the area, come and say “Hi.”
Just prior to the International Fly Tying Symposium last November (23-24, 2013), Theo Bakelaar had an opportunity to fish with his Tenkara equipment on a private stream in Pennsylvania. The water holds some exceptional fish, and Theo was able to connect with a very fat, 9-pound rainbow, using a beetle imitation fished on his 4-meter (13 feet) Tenkara rod. The line was a couple of feet longer than the rod, and Theo was able to present the fly accurately and obviously effectively. And the fight was on.
With a fixed line length, one must run briskly to follow a running fish, but the very flexible, long rod softens the fish’s head shakes and sudden moves, and after 8 minutes, Theo has his prize on the bank for photos and then back into the water it went. This is the largest trout I have yet heard of being taken on Tenkara.
My old friend, Darwin Atkin, died on January 7, 2014, and a young age of 76. Upon graduation from college, he worked for the University of California Riverside as a research associate for the Botany and Plant Sciences Department. Darwin was a life-time member of the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF), and received both the Buz Buszek Fly Tying Award and the Charlie Brooks Memorial Award from them. The FFF also honored him as the Man of the Year in 1996. In addition, he received the FFF’s highest award, The Order of the Lapis Lazuli in 1998. There were other awards given to him over the years, but I never saw him so happy as when he showed me a photo of his newly build fly tying “shop” out back—he was like a little kid with a new bike, or better yet a pony! His tying skills were always exceptional, and I know that everyone will miss his demonstrations and gentle, warm personality at the FFF conclaves. For more go here.
I first saw this brush-parachute hackle winding style in “Entomologie fur Dliegenfischer” by Walter Reisinger, Ernst Bauerfeind, and Erhard Loidl (2010). It’s a very easily executed tactic, similar to the umbrella hackle technique developed by Tatsuhiro Saido. The brush-parachute technique is useful in many more ways than the umbrella style, however.
T.H.E. Fly (Tilted Hackle Emerger) is a great way to both practice and utilize this hackling tactic.
Yesterday, January 9, 2014 was the third and final day of the, fifth annual “Jake Jordan Invitational, Sailfish Fly Challenge.” This year we have five two angler teams, entered in this three day event, which was held here at The Casa Vieja Lodge, in Guatemala on January 7, 8, and 9, 2014.
The five teams in this event raised a total of 149 sailfish and 4 marlin, They got bites from 78 sailfish and 4 marlin, and caught and released 35 sailfish and 2 marlin in this three day event. Remember that all of these fish are caught according to IGFA rules, using 20 pound or lighter class tippet.
By the way the scoring in this tournament is based on 100 points for a sailfish which have the leader wound inside of the rod tip, along with an extra 50 points for removing the fly and hooks without breaking the 20 pound class tippet before releasing the sailfish. Also any marlin caught in this tournament counts for 500 points. During this event, the great anglers and crews here have removed the fly and hooks from 31 of the 35 sailfish caught for a close to 90 percent ratio, an amazing feat.
January 7, 2014 was the first day of the, fifth annual “Jake Jordan Invitational, Sailfish Fly Challenge” fly fishing Tournament. This year we have five two angler teams, entered in this three day event, which is held at The Casa Vieja Lodge, in Guatemala. Fishing for this first day of the tournament was slow for Guatemala standards, it took a while before the boats found the fish. The Sailfish were not real aggressive so our catch ratio was not as good as in previous years. On Day one we raised a total of 71 Sailfish and 3 Striped Marlin. The anglers got bites from 34 Sailfish and 3 Striped Marlin, and the five teams caught and released 12 sailfish and 2 Striped Marlin on this first day. Remember that all of these fish were caught according to IGFA Rules while using 20 pound or lighter class tippet.