No midge, no rising trout, just pureed peas and diapers. Liz and I spent the warmest day of January and my first real opportunity to fish in nice weather again watching my niece Chloe. We had a good time but a 7 month old is a challenge and Liz and I, well we don’t have much practice so we decided that we needed to spend the time just focusing on the little one. That left me pouting basically, swinging from frustrated looking out the window to smiling when I hear the Clover spout “ma-ma-ma-maaaaa!” I took the dog out for a while which was excellent, this was the first time I let her run off the leash. She took a few diggers but walked them off and limped on her bad leg only a few times. All in all, no trout but an excellent day.
Tags: Baby Sitting, Day Dreaming, Trout
Fly Tying can be an expensive craft, I’m fairly sure we all know this. Seeing the world around me makes me want to be more economic, get more for my buck, or bang, something like that. The goal of this series is to compile useful information regarding fly tying/fishing. And with that…
Weather Stripping/Door Seal:
This is the door seal that Liz suggested I find a use for in and around my tying bench. I was skeptical at first but after finding a need to temporarily hold flies for a moment while tying, I put a strip of this on my bench and I found that its excellent. It holds up well and if it needs to be replaced Goo Gone will take care of any residue left, a roll was less than $4 at Fleet Farm. This is something useful, cheap, and found locally. Also, If your into pinching all your barbs the foam lasts much longer.
Tags: Drying Foam, Fly Tying, The Economic Fly Tier
29 Jan 2009 /
It seems that for the time being I have lost my Caddisfly book by Gary LaFontaine and will have to suspend my Entomology research with regards to the Caddisflies in my area until I can either find it or find a replacement. With that in mind I felt it important to still continue to learn more about that which I am ignorant and the world of Midge’s as I found is a large one indeed. After doing a bit of searching I found a good general Midge resource at Westfly.com
The Westfly page has information on all varieties of Midges and how to best represent them and present them to trout. One thing I found interesting is that Midge larva hang suspended in the water and that your fly should try to mimic that behavior so perhaps a very lightly weighted fly on just the head might help. The Westfly page also has several articles on how to tie various midge patterns and how to best present those patterns under different conditions. This should be used only as a general resource though, I know I will be going to find out what my water holds first hand, hopefully soon.
If the general resource doesn’t cut it for you, it didn’t for me I went further and happened to find a gem which happens to have been researched and produced in Minnesota. It turns out there is a Chironomidae Research Group associated with the University of Minnesota. Clicking a few links I found myself looking at A Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest! I’m going to have to get my hands on a copy of this baby. For now though they have conveniently put sections of it on the web in PDF format. The Chapter on Midges is only 24 pages long and provides a guide to specific identification and information for several varieties of Diptera.
Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest
Click on the individual chapter you wish to look at and in a short moment a large amount of great information is at your fingertips. Chapter 13 deals with Diptera the two winged general genre that Midges fall into.
Tags: Entomology, Midge Fly, Research
These are basic patterns that will teach some fundamental tying techniques and will help fill your S.E. MN Spring Creek box with effective flies.
I should note that this is my first attempt at recording my fly tying, I have had to learn a few things about cameras, video editing, uploading, fly tying, and myself all to manage just these few patterns and these are the simple ones. Hopefully these do the patterns and myself justice. Enjoy.
Tags: Blood Midge, Caddis Larva, Fly Tying, Fly Tying Lesson, Instruction, Video, Zebra Midge
I read an article a while back about different knots with regards to strength and purpose. This type of open looped knot was recommended for a few reasons. When nymphing this knot would allow for a more fluid drift and perhaps promote twitching? Also the application for dry fly fishing is that with smaller flies it would allow the fly to turn and swirl more freely while on the surface of the water. I have no experience with this knot. Here in a minute I will be practicing on a good 4ft. section of 6-7x tippet. Hopefully this knot will serve me well. I probably wouldn’t use it on a streamer or bigger hopper pattern but for smaller nymphs and dries I want to give this a whirl.
Tags: Duncan Knot, Fishing Knots, Fly Fishing, Open Loop Knot
The state of Minnesota’s DNR has worked with landowners in our area, the S.E. to create more fishing opportunities by creating access easements. These are shown on the DNR maps found at the states website. Easements are great for people like myself who want to fish in different waters, but as I am finding out there just arn’t enough for me. The Trespass Law on second page of the Fishing Regulation Manual from 2008 states:
The trespass law applies to all outdoor recreation, including but not limited to: hunting, boating, fishing, trapping, hiking, and camping. When taking part in any outdoor recreation, you may not enter legally posted land or agricultural land without permission. Landowners, lessees, or authorized managers need only post their land once a year. The signs must be placed at intervals of 1,000 feet (500 feet in wooded areas) or signs may be placed at primary corners and at access points to the property. Signs must state “No Trespassing,” or similar words, in 2-inch-high letters and have the signature or name and telephone number of the landowner, lessee, or manager. There can be civil or criminal penalties for violation of the trespass laws with maximum fines up to $3,000 and license revocation. All conservationofficers and peace officers enforce trespass laws.
This has led me to re-examine the designated water closest to me using the excellent resource Google Earth. This mapping tool can drastically change your view of your waters creating views that you just can’t get on any other map. Along with that the program can allow you to better estimate and judge your distance, by allowing you to map paths along the stream, and better judge your relation to Regulation lines for example, where a Winter Reg. line begins or ends if it’s not posted.
Using this I intend to take a different approach to access on the streams. I have picked what I believe the best opportunities for large sections of “private” waters and mapped them all so that I can approach an individual landowner and ask permission, and beyond that ask for mapping information so I can best judge my location, such as having the landowner mark approximate borders. I haven’t asked too many people for permission but I’m hoping that with the right attitude and approach that I can get consent for most the places I want to travel.
With that then leads me to the next phase, once you have landowner permission does this work once? Twice? Forever? Well, I guess I would want to ask regularly and so along with asking permission I will be asking for parking information, a phone number contact, (so I can call ahead of time if need be) and names so I may leave appropriate notes. The goal being that I would like to get to know the landowners so I can feel comfortable fishing and perhaps create a relationship that will allow me to bring others. I’m hoping this isn’t too lofty a goal but before I will know I have to try first.
Tags: Access Easement, Fishing Regulations, Landowner Relations, Minnesota, Private land, Trespass, Trout Stream, Trout Stream Access
- Hook: Dai-Riki 135 Scud Hook #16-#20
- Thread: Any Color 8/0 or 70 Denier
- Tail: 2 Strands of Krystal Flash at a 90 Degree Splay
- Body: SM Gold Holo Tinsel
- Rib: SM Gold Wire
- Wing Case: Large Silver Tinsel
- Thorax: Peacock Herl
For the life of me I cannot remember where I saw this pattern but it was engrained in my brain after reading about it. I should begin by saying that this is a variant on that patter stuck in my brain, in that some of the materials I used are a slightly different color.
Crimp barb, place bead on hook and start thread. I did add just a few turns of weight behind the bead prior to starting the thread. Tie thread back to hook bend and tie in two tail sections as long as the hook shank. I chose to use a red krystal flash in the picture above. Tie in the gold wire and then the holo tinsel, wrap thread forward to just behind the bead. Note: Tie in the wire and tinsel with as few thread wraps as possible to decrease the bulk at that point in the fly, you want it to look skiny and streamlined all the way to the thorax without a large bump at the tail end of the fly. Wrap the tinsel forward being careful not to break the tinsel and to cover the entire body leaving no thread showing. Wrap the rib to the same point and tie off. Tie in the thicker peice of tinsel and then the peacock herl. Wrap a few wraps of peacock herl to form the thorax and then tie of at the bead. Pull the thicker tinsel forward over the herl to form the wingcase and tie off. Whip finish and your done. If anyone knows where the real instructions for this pattern are let me know, for now this is what I’ve got.
Tags: Fly Tying, Holo Tinsel, Sparkle Larvae, Trout Flies
Today I found that tying and fishing are so much a part of my life they just seem to seep in throughout the day. This is when you become acutely aware that the hunt has taken over. So today while at work I found myself cleaning out the old equipment and came across the pile of old dimmers from the dimming system that I helped replace at the High School.
I passed by and thought of the wire and the suggestion from others that if your hard up for tying wire to cut into an old extension cord for the copper inside. I looked at the fat wires and decided to cut one out. GOLD, RED GOLD, wait COPPER!! Excellent 10″ sections of very thin red copper wire. I grabbed my wire cutters and went to work removing quite a few sections that would otherwise have gone to a recycling center when the whole lot goes out the door. They won’t miss some scrap copper.
After work the dog had a Vet appt. this dog is a very large part of my life and hopefully after this leg heals she will be able to hit the woods and water with me again. She had to sit her pheasant hunt out this year but I’m hopeful she will be ok for next season to hunt up more tails. She had surgery in September after a bad frisbee jump, she won’t be playing disc anymore, we will stick with a ball. Her bone is just now, six months later, beginning to calcify.
After the vet appointment we happened to be driving fairly close to trout and I just couldn’t help stopping to look at a new stretch of water and if the warmer temperature had encouraged midge activity. I took few pictures but saw trout, however I didn’t see any signs of midge, it might have been alittle late in the day.
So as I round out my day I’ve decided to try out that wire and combining it with the need for midge options, the Brassie has come to mind.
- Hook: #18-#20 Nymph Hook
- Thread: Black 70 Denier
- Body: Red Wire
- Thorax: Peacock Ice Dub
Tags: Brassie, Copper Wire, Daily Life, Fly Tying, Materials, Trout Stream
On the 17th we hit the spot, midge were emerging and the trout we found were in consistent feeding patterns. We decided to go back and pull another fish or two from the depths. My main reason/goal was to use what I witnessed the day before to test my abilities. We picked up James and hit the stream, I have to admit I had alot of fun fishing with two other like minded anglers. At one point the three of us were all casting to fish within a fourty foot section of stream and all catching fish.
I fished my PT nymph with a Black Midge Larvae trailer again and due to the midge activity it worked out rather well. I left the split shot off again noticing that the fish were striking close to or on the surface. I made two casts and pulled a nice rainbow from the stream, I managed to do this before James could even get to the stream. Heath snapped a good photo and we let the fish calm for a few minutes. I returned with the same approach only this time I was deliberatly casting to one fish, the big one in the pool. I managed to make several decent attempts presenting my fly and with a bit of patience watching both the fish, and my line at the point where it entered the water I set the hook on a larger trout. The colors were excellent and I was very excited, this was a bigger fish for sure. Unfortunatly I learned the hard way to relax and give the fish some space, after pushing the fish perhaps too hard he broke my midge off and gave me the fin. Oh well, learn from your mistakes.
The goal for Heath was to get a shot of a fish caught on a dry fly. James promptly stepped up to the challenge, he fished a size #20 Hi-Vis Trico pattern and after a bit was getting strikes. He caught a smaller one and Heath caught one so we let the fish relax again, pleased we hadn’t put the fish down. I kept seeing a rising fish hit the same spot over and over again every minute or so, I put James on it. A few moments later we heard a big splash and sure enough James had a fish on that #20 Trico and it would turn out to be the same fish that took my midge which was awesome because we got to see it out of the water, what a beautiful fish. With that we sent it swimming and decided to find a new stream to explore.
This first stream was a test to examine the fish and their behavior and modify my presentation to maximize my time on the water and it worked, this is trout hunting. I did pull one more small one from the stream before we left to new water. We hit bigger water and chucked streamers, I’m not the best at this and didn’t catch any fish but I got to see new water which I will return to another day. All in all I had a blast fishing with good company. I got to ask quite a few questions and received great advice and opinions, sometimes it great to fish with others.
Tags: Fly Fishing, Midge Larvae, Nymph Fishing, Trico, Trout Hunting, Winter Trout Season