The Fisherman

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Everything posted by The Fisherman

  1. My flatwing brother-in-arms Joe Cordeiro is doing a flatwing tying class at the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough Friday Jan 17. That would be time well-spent. FWIW, I'm doing a wet fly tying class on Saturday the 18th. Just sayin'. :-) Steve Culton
  2. It depends on the pattern and the quality of the saddles (which can vary greatly). Something like an Orange Ruthless clam worm is far easier to tie with strung hackle; a large Crazy Menhaden, not so much. If you're looking for cheaper, more readily available alternatives, visit the bins and the Keough booth at the fly fishing shows. (You'll still need to pick through dozens of them to find the one.) I also have gotten great use out of Whiting Bugger packs, particularly for flatwing sand eels and smaller bait fish. If you do a search on this site, you can see some of the Keough prizes I've scored over the years. Hope that helps, Steve Culton
  3. The Surfcasters are out of Madison/Clinton and fly fishing is not their focus. Good call, though. :-) Steve Culton
  4. There used to be a group called something like Conn/RI Coastal Flyrodders but I don't know if they're still active. I believe they met in Mystic. Steve Culton
  5. I use them all the time (especially during summer spinner falls at dusk). I tie my own. Check out friend Tim Flagler’s Tightlinevideo on the Light Cahill for reference. Steve Culton
  6. Many thanks for the shout out -- and good on you for starting down this road. As the great Sylvester Nemes said, "If you have never tied flies before, I urge you to start immediately. The practice is exhilarating." Speaking of tying, hope to see some fellow SOLers at the Marlborough and Edison shows. This year I'm also doing a wet fly tying class at Marlborough. Steve Culton
  7. I made two trips to the Salmon River last month. My timing was awful for the first. In what is now being recognized as a sub-par year in terms of returning fish, we (I went with Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge in Newport, RI) also had to deal with a bitter cold front that crushed the bite with cruel finality. I felt luck to escape with my fingertips intact and two steelhead to hand. Two weeks later I returned with #2 son Cam. The weather was a bit warmer, but the bite still stunk. I had one day without a touch and the another with just one fish. (I'll happily take the 1-for-1.) Here are some photos from both trips. If Jenks looks cold, it's probably because he is. What a miserable day. Not a touch, ice in the guides all day long, and the temps never got above freezing. ~ Day two. Starting time temp: 17 degrees. It never got above 19 that day (how balmy!) and despite the sun we had snow showers all morning. Note: that's not cigar smoke coming out of my mouth. A little bent rod action surely takes your mind off the cold. ~ On a day that cold, gotta keep the fish in the water as much as possible. A quick lift, a shot, then back he goes. I fouled one more, then lost one to a broken leader. But if I can land one steelhead, it's a good day. Copper bead head/pearl Crystal Meth. ~ Day one with Cam was a total blank for me. Not a touch despite carpet-bombing the middle river for eight hours. Cam managed a nice brown, and Row Jimmy rolled a fish, but that was it. Early on day two, fortune smiled upon me in the form of this gleaming beauty. Then Cam uttered the fishing quote of the year: "Well, Dad, at least now you won't be grouchy for the rest of the day." ~ I'd like to tell you that my fish was the start of something big, but 'twas not to be. We endured hours of the same non-existent action. So when Cam scored this handsome steelhead around noon, we decided that on this day (50 degrees and partly sunny to boot!) we'd beaten the house. Steve Culton
  8. Congratulations, Dan, that's a terrific job. Not an easy accomplishment. You should be proud. I'm really looking forward to the February presentation! Steve Culton
  9. That would be swell! Thanks to everyone, too, for the shout-outs. As always, I'll try to get some more flatwing info/patterns/etc on my site in 2020. I can tell you that Ken is delighted by your interest in his patterns and books. Steve Culton
  10. Most of the flatwings I fish are under 6" long, so they fit easily in an oblong/rectangular streamer fly box. For the larger members of the family, I rarely change flies during an outing. But, I'll take a few extras just to have, and simply fit them into the same box (I think it's 7" long), preening the length of the feathers to conform to the inner edges of the box. So a 10" fly extends down 7", then the remaining 3" makes a 90 degree turn to the left or right. They come out of the box at the end of the outing. I would never put any of my flatwings in a wallet-style holder as it would mash down the fly. Steve Culton
  11. Can't argue with that! Steve Culton
  12. You might like the Fox Hollow Lodge, Mike. Cabins and a few small rooms. A short hike through the woods gives you access to prime water like Hemlocks, Honey Hole, and Refrigerator. Steve
  13. Thanks, Moose. I use Loon Outdoors Stanley’s Ice Off Paste, but in my experience any salve applied to the guides — from cooking spray to chapstick to Stanley’s or whatever — is a temporary fix, often measured in minutes. You either need to reapply, pick ice from the guides, submerge your rod tip, or all of the above. Hope that helps. Good luck! Steve Culton
  14. Amidst the recent doom and gloom surrounding the fall 2019 ASMFC session, a ray of hope: Congressman Huffman, Chairman of Water, Oceans and Wildlife, is hosting a national listening tour regarding the concerns of anglers, scientists, and policy makers. There are two short reports from people who spoke at the Baltimore meeting that you should read: The first is from SOLer Charles Witek's blog, One Angler's Voyage. I hope admin will leave the link intact. If not, you can find it with a simple search. The second is from Tony Friedrich, Policy Director of the ASGA. Ditto the link; it's on the ASGA blog page on their site. This quote comes from Tony, who wrote: "Here’s one more thing to ponder. The American Saltwater Guides Association isn’t even a year old and we had a seat at the table for an event sponsored by the Chairman of Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. Let that sink in folks. Profound change doesn’t happen overnight. You have a work and grind at it every day. That’s what we have done from the start at ASGA. We have already won and lost a few. This goes into the “W” column." Steve Culton
  15. I'm using a combination of felt and studs. I wouldn't dare try it with plain rubber. Steve Culton
  16. Again, I say: And I'm not alone. Check out response #13 in the thread from none other than Ray Bondorew. Have fun! Steve Culton
  17. Glad you like the new stick. The trout will be there all winter and ready for you come spring. Heal up fast! Steve Culton
  18. As always, choosing a line is part of the answer to the question, "What do you want the fly to do?" Sometimes that answer includes using a full sink line or tip. I find them relatively simple to cast and manage (yes to using a shooting basket). On the Farmington, they are no more of a bottom problem than any nymph rig. Farmington River brown taken on a full sink integrated line. Steve Culton
  19. I use a Teeney integrated full sink tip line for the Farmington. UpCountry will very likely have your answer. :-) Steve Culton
  20. Briefly (I hope): "profile" is not a unique characteristic of flatwings; you can achieve a certain profile with any number of templates. Unlike many other fly styles, flatwings can swim and breathe and pulse like a natural (even when at rest), present a larger profile that isn't opaque, and doesn't cast like a wet sock (these last two because of the materials used and how they are tied). I tie some flatwings to resemble large, fat baitfish and others to resemble pencil-thin sand eels. Second, as always the question is, "What do you want the fly to do?" I may want it suspended in the water column. I may want it dangling near the surface. I may want it moving down and across current in full profile to a bass holding on station. You get the idea. So for me, the flatwing style is all about presentation. Flatwings are presentation flies. As Ken wrote, "I always wanted my flies to swim and look alive just like the baitfish did...I wanted a fly that would consistently catch fish without having to be pulled, yanked, stripped or tweaked in any way..." Hope that helps, and it's great to see people interested in flatwings. Steve Culton Striped bass are also interested in flatwings. :-)
  21. Check out post #8 in this thread: Hope that helps! Steve Culton Re your online name: my middle son plays at Salisbury School. :-)
  22. That's a shame. Like you, I tend to put the screws to fish. Many years ago on Block I discovered that once I got into the double-digits pounds mark, some -- not all -- of the EC 253 1/0s would begin to open. I never lost a fish because of it, but I did take notice and now I only use the 253 in 3/0 if think there's a big fish opportunity. No issues with that hook over the years with many larger bass up to 30 pounds. Sometimes I'll go to a 4/0 for bigger herring and bunker patterns. I'm not familiar with the Owner Aki. I like the short shank, but it looks like a heavy hook, and that's not something I would tie a flatwing with. If you're happy with it, that's all that matters. If anyone is interested in hook choice theory for flatwings, I'd suggest picking up a copy of Ken Abrames' A Perfect Fish or Ray Bondorew's Stripers and Streamers. Hope that helps, Steve Culton
  23. The ASMFC will decide on the Striped Bass Addendum VI options tomorrow, Wednesday October 30 beginning at 2:45pm. The meeting will be broadcast online. To register to listen in, visit Now, to our voices. The ASMFC received 5,500 public responses. 4,500 of those were form letters. Absolutely useless! What a waste. Could we not have taken 15 more minutes to compose an original thought to try to save our stripers? Nearly 900 people attended hearings in ASMFC states. (Thanks to all who came out!) The most telling stat is that of nearly 1,000 individual comments, too many people did not take a specific stand on the primary or sub options. Very disappointing. Apathy and positionless responses do us little good. But, I try to be optimistic: of the individual responses and public hearing comments, the vast majority -- decisively -- voted for Primary Option 2, equal % reductions. The vast majority -- decisively -- voted for 2A1, 1@35". The vast majority -- decisively -- voted for 2B-1, 1@18" Chesapeake. I did notice a lot of SOLers in the group that made specific option votes. Nice job, people! So now it's in the hands of the ASMFC. Will they take a leadership position? Or will it be business as usual? We'll know tomorrow. For those keeping score: Steve Culton
  24. Hi Quonnie, Good to hear you've been poking around. See if you can find some Eagle Claw 253 hooks, the classic hook for this classic template. You could absolutely do the same thing with flatwings as you're doing with your SCs. The best way to learn how to use them is to go out and do it. The stripers will tell you when you get it right. :-) Always happy to help and answer questions. Here's one of my own heavily influenced by Ken and Ray and Jack. Steve Culton