Monday, March 27, 2006

Testament of a Fisherman - Robert Traver

Even a mild winter like this one seems long, as we slide into spring and trout season still a month away. I needed a little something to bridge that month before I'm back out on a stream chasing trout, so I did a search on ebay for Robert Traver, and discovered an inexpensive copy of Trout Madness. I've read it before, more than once, yet found myself without a copy. This is the tonic to carry the weary fly fisherman into spring and the season ahead.

Readers out there who do not fly fish may recognize the name Robert Traver, as he wrote, besides his delightful books about chasing trout, a novel called Anatomy of a Murder, which later became an Otto Preminger film, starring Jimmy Stewart (if you have never seen this film, go rent it today). He also did a picture book, Anatomy of a Fisherman, which included his poem about fly fishing, "come to daddy....come to daddy...come to daddy-o".

So now, I have my copy of Trout Madness, and already tonight I've inhaled three or four chapters. Later, in May, I'm going to drive to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and visit some of Mr. Traver's haunts on and around the Escanaba River.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Archive of 'Just Old Flies' Articles

I've been going through my fly boxes, reorganizing, tying a few new flies - all those pre-nuptual arrangements one goes through before a new season opens.

Nova Scotia Fly-fishing, Tying and Tall Tales

This is a delightful site, well worth exploring.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Pike at the Forks?

There is a plan afoot to "provide passage" for pike and other migratory warmwater and coolwater species past obstacles up to the escarpment, while still "restricting the distribution of invasive or nuisance species such as sea lamprey, carp and round goby". The quotes in this post are from a Credit River Fisheries Management Plan draft committee resolution.

"Lake Ontario to the Escarpment should be considered native range of the northern pike and other native warmwater and coolwater species including white sucker, smallmouth bass and other smaller species of minnows and shiners".

I would much prefer the plan to focus on enhancing the streambred trout population in the area from Inglewood to the escarpment. Particularly given that the green drake mayfly is under severe threat of being wiped out on this water, this isn't the time to mess about with pike, or suckers or bass for that matter.

Update: It looks like the ministry is going to dump half a million or so Atlantics into the Credit. East Texas Red suggests they put them in just before they dump in the pike, in the same spots.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fly Fishing in the Years 1800 - 1850

A little fly fishing history....

Sunday, March 19, 2006

modified Meisselbach Expert

This old Meisselbach Expert has been modified along the way - I bid a small amount for it on ebay, and in the absence of any other bids, bought it.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

mister anchovy: More Findings about the recent catastrophic decline in abundance of the green drake mayfly on the Credit River

I had posted this on my other blog, mister anchovy...but now that I have created The Southern Ontario Fly Fisher, I'm referencing it here as well.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Meisselbach Reels

World's Greatest Trout Fly

Outdoor Canada arrives at my door periodically, courtesy of Trout Unlimited. This issue there is an article where they claim The Despair might be the world's greatest trout fly. For me, The Despair is the most Romantic trout fly, because it evokes a world I imagine, before my time, when you had to tie your fly onto tippet behind a tree, lest a trout leap from the water to ingest it.

I think the greatest trout fly is The Usual. There are many ways to tie it, so it is adaptable to many situations. It can be dunked and allowed to float up like an emerger. It can be a mayfly; it can be a caddis. It is straightforward to tie. It is easy to see. I tie it with tails; I tie it with shucks. It is scruffy and buggy. And, in my experience, it is hands-down more killing that The Despair.

My brother always refers to the white marabou streamer - the same one illustrated in Bergman's Trout - as the world's greatest trout fly....and it is a very good fly. However, if you think I'm going to put a streamer in the category of the world's greatest fly, you've got another thing coming.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tiger Beetles

I have resisted foam flies for the most part. My beetle of choice is the crow beetle tied with deer hair died black. That said, I bought some of this tiger beetle foam on impulse and so I've tied up a bunch and I'll try them out this season. The orange stripe should add a bit of visibility. You can see in the picture though that the orange strip is beginning to separate from the black - and this fly has not even been fished. We'll see how durable this pattern turns out to be.

Each winter I tie a handful of soft-hackle patterns. I fish them in the film, and just under the film.


For smaller patterns that sit in the film, I sometimes go to CDC instead of hare foot. These flies are so quick to tie, and very effective.

The Usual - Stonefly ???

I was tying Usuals, but thinking about stoneflies, and this is the result.

The Usual

I tie a number of versions of Fran Betters pattern known as The Usual. Really, the only link between them is the wing made from the hair found snowshoe hare feet. I tie them upwing and downwing with all kinds of different body treatments. It is another very visible fly, even in fast water, and it sits beautifully in the surface film. I think I have caught more trout on some form of Usual than on any other single pattern.

Parachute Ant

I thought it was about time I keep some sort of fly fishing journal, and this is it. The plan is to write a little and post pictures about each day on a river, in Southern Ontario, and further afield. As well, I'll post some pictures of flies and a little commentary along the way.

If you have something to say, please comment. I'm thinking about inviting other fly fishermen to contribute to this blog along the way if there is any interest.

I tied a few parachute ants recently. This is a 'go to' searching pattern for me on the upper Credit. I like it because I can see it and the trout like it.