Camp Flies

Nancy and I have been camping, spending some great time together in the wonderful forest lands of the U.S. In addition to the usual “camp chores,” there’s time for some needed reading, writing, lounging, fishing or course, and generally resetting one’s self. I also took some time to dress flies for a soon-upcoming trip to Alaska. I brought my “Jvise” because it has a wide span on the table clamp. Little did I know that the National Forest Service had conspired to make their tables a full 4 inches thick! Extraordinary.

So I clamped the vise to a short 2 x 4 (the vise has a full 3 inch gap on the clamp), laid the 2 x 4 on the table, and weighted it with a couple of big rocks. It looked a bit wild and crazy, and perhaps it was, but it worked great, and I was able to dress several dozen necessary imitations—some single hooks, some articulated on two hooks. They look great, and I’ll bet the rainbows of the Last Frontier will love the big articulated Black and Tan (sculpin imitation), Cop Car (black and white), black articulated Down and Dirty Leeches, Black and Green Down and Dirty Leeches—both articulated and single hook–and single hook Black and Blue Down and Dirty Leeches.

Who says camping has to be just about “getting away”?


Tying outside has some advantages. The disadvantage is the wind, of course.


Yes, the do look a bit ratty and fuzzy, but in the water they are grace personified–liquid fluidity. What trout can resist.






Atlantics in the Great lakes

            The Great Lakes do contain fishable populations of Atlantic Salmon. They are not widespread, like the Pacific salmon, but they are in the Lakes and can be caught. Last week, my friend, Dr. Garry Sack, travelled to the massive St. Mary’s River that connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron and caught his first Atlantic Salmon on a fly. What a great thrill to hook and land Salmo salar on a river of this magnitude. Both Garry and the fish are smiling at this feat.

Another fishable population exists in Lake Ontario and runs up the Salmon River in New York. This river was named for the Atlantic Salmon, by the way, and not for the Pacific Salmon for which it has become so well known.


Garry hoisting his first-ever Atlantic Salmon from the St. Mary’s River.

Marlin on the Fly

Capt’n Jake Jordan offers a great trip for marlin sand/or sailfish on the fly. Here’s a report from one day of his recent three day trip.

Wednesday Morning, 3:30 AM we woke up, washed up, ate great hot a breakfast of sausage, eggs, toast, and good Costa Rican coffee around 4:30. The crew then pulled the sea anchor and began deploying our teasers at about 5:10 AM. I caught my first Blue Marlin of the trip less than 20 minutes later, about 175 pounds, (showing Paul the technique of hooking and fighting these big which I use while fly fishing for billfish). By 7:00 AM, Paul had hooked a 250 pound Blue marlin which came unhooked after a 5 minute battle. Next Paul hooked and landed a 150 pound Blue Marlin on fly, his first ever Blue Marlin and his first Marlin on fly. By 8:00 AM we had raised 5, got 3 bites and Caught 2 Blue Marlin on fly, so far so good.

As the day went on , I caught a second Blue Marlin, (about 250 pounds), then Paul pulled the hook on another Blue Marlin. By the time that we quit fishing and put out the sea anchor, Paul had caught his first blue Marlin (ever) on fly, from 4 bites, and he caught a sailfish on fly, My score was three Blue Marlin on fly from three bites, along with one sailfish, all on fly. Three Blue Marlin on fly was my personal best ever day of fly fishing for Blue Marlin. The total Boat fly fishing score after day one of my Blue Marlin fly School was: 21 Blue Marlin and 3 sailfish raised, 7 Blue Marlin and three sailfish bites, while we caught and released 4 Blue Marlin and two Sailfish on fly in one day, a new daily boat record aboard “Dragin Fly”. James, Alberto, and Marcos, are a great crew, the boat is perfect, smiles all around, fresh tuna Sashimi appetizers, Pasta and meat sauce for dinner, sleeping at 7:30 PM.


Paul being fought by a big one.

Summer is upon us with a vengeance

Summer in Wisconsin came in with a bang. A real bang. One day we had cold and snow, and the next it was in the 80s. We still have snow on our ski hill nearly 3 months after it closed. Of course it went fast when the 80s came, but it was very deep and very cold at the base. So, I have been a bit too busy trying to do all the spring cleanups, fixups, etcs., that normally go on over a month or two, but that couldn’t be done in the hang-on winter.

I did have the opportunity to travel to Oregon and speak over a weekend at the Oregon Christian Fly Fishing Roundup. This was my second opportunity in the past 3 years. I was there at the invitation of my friend, Marc Williamson.

The song leader for Friday evening was unable to attend, and so Marc and I got to provide the evening’s entertainment. Notice I said entertainment, because we had no opportunity to rehearse. Still it was fun (it had to be fun).

The fishing was very mediocre over the weekend. Usually is it quite good, but not this year. Still, everyone at Camp had a great time learning the many skills of fly fishing and spending time listening to my Bible teaching.


Marc getting the crowd ready for the evening’s “entertainment.”


What will I play, what will I play??


Theo’s Sand Eels

Striper fishing is picking up along the Jersey coast, and our friend, Theo Bakelaar, has been tying his Eel Skin Sand Eels for a shop in Ocean City. These flies really are tied with freshwater eel skin, and they are extremely effective, as our past fishing experiences have shown. Eel skin is very tough and “swims” very well when wetted, and perhaps even gives off a bit of fishy odor. In any case, they look great and they fish great.


A pile of Eel Skin Sand Eels, ready to catch fish.

Theo’s Foam Caddis

My good friend, Theo Bakelaar, from Holland, has been tying a great selection of foam flies: beetles, ants, caddises, and on. He sent the tying steps for a really great foam caddis. It is profile fly, and a really good one. Have a look.


Tie in a small dot of foam to represent the egg sack.


Hackle the rear half of the hook densely.


Clip the hackle off the top of the hook.


Tie in the foam wing.


Densely hackle to front portion o f the hook.


Foam caddis from underneath.


Foam caddis as seen from above.

Urban Fly Casting

My good friend, Juergen Friesenhahn, is s very active student of casting.  He is constantly thinking about and practicing a huge range of casting tactics. Last year, at the 2013 EWF Show in Germany, he translated for me. When I was talking about one phase of casting, he seemed to take a long time to tell the audience what I had said. Turns out, he not only told them what I said, but then linked it to the rest of the information that I was going to tell them. That’s a fly casting maniac, to be certain. He recently sent me a link to his site showing photos of “urban fly casting.” you will enjoy these photos.


Under tha autobahn where the big ones live!

Tarpon in the Dark

Capt’n Jake Jordan is catching tarpon every night—yup, he specializes in night fishing for the big silvers ‘poons. Check out his link to the right. He still has a few openings for the adventurous angler who wants to mix it up with these big fish in the dark.


Imagine being hooked up to this in total darkness.


They do the same things after dark as they do in the day, and close up, too.


Big and beautiful by night as well as by day.

Tying Theo’s House Fly

Theo Bakelaar, our Holland Connection, has graciously agreed to share his tying steps for the House Fly. This tying strategy would make a great cicada, wasps, bees, and other dipterans.


Use a straight eye scud or Czech nymph hook and tie in a body of peacock hero.


Cut a piece of foam and make two holes near the center. Run the eye of the hook through the hole closest to the body portion of the foam. The front piece of foam will be folded back, and the hook eye will pass through the second hole. Then tightly tie off the body just behind the eye.


Make a few wraps of herl just benign the eye to cover the thread.


Add J;son wings or other winging material.


Fold the front piece of foam back over the top of the fly, running the eye through the second hole in the foam. Clip the second piece of foam to length as shown.


Add the rubber legs. To mark the legs, pinch the end, stretch out, mark with fine tip permanent marker. When leg is released it will snap back and the dots will be small.


Three houseflies, each with different winging material.

Theo’s House Fly

My friend, Theo Bakelaar, from Holland, sent me photos of some house flies that he is tying for the coming season. Scary good! He notes that the trout and other fish sip them off the surface with absolute confidence. This design would make a great cicada imitation in larger sizes. He will send tying instructions later, and I’ll post them when I get them.


Wow, scary good. This design concept could work for a variety of insects.



The trout’s eye view is very real,