Archive for August, 2012

And of course we must try to net everything in the house too!

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What do you think? Does it look like the fly tying book?

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My wife’s Facebook status from last night:

“My husband and my baby just got in a fight over the new Cabela’s catalog. Lord help me!”

That’s my girl!

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I’ve been fishing a lot of dry flies lately… so why not tie one right?

This is the Adams Dry fly… a pretty basic pattern. I love throwing this a bluegills when they are feeding on the top. Nothing like watching bluegills strike the surface with their ferocious little bite!


I tie my Adams flies in a few different variations, depending on the look I am going for. I am using deer hair for the tail (for extra buoyancy), saddle hackle for the collar, saddle hackle tips for the wings, and super dry dubbing for the body.


Step 1:

Tie on thread.

Step 2:

Tie in the tail of deer hair.

Step 3:

Wrap on dubbing.

Step 4 and 5:

Wrap dubbing forward. Tie in saddle hackle wings ahead dubbing.

Step 6:

Tie in saddle hackle feather for collar.

Step 7:

Wrap hackle forward.

Step 8:

Whip finish.

Step 9:

Go fishing!

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Moments in fly fishing…

From this weekend: Nothing like the scattered fly line to show how fierce the fight was… and a fish breaking the surface to show you won…

The only thing better then catching a fish on a fly your tied yourself?

Letting him go…

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Okay, so pun is the lowest form of comedy… But it was a good day on the lake!

I have been hammering Bowling Lake lately… it is the closest lake that requires the least amount of effort to get out on. Important factors when you have a 2 year old at home. It was raining today (I have already written about how I feel about fishing in the rain), so I definitely wanted to get out on the water. I broke out the belly boat, strapped on it’s fish finder, tied on a Clouser Minnow, and shoved off on the water. Yes, the belly boat has a fish finder… more on that in a future post…

Almost immediately after the first fly hit the water, I had my first hit…

My favorite part of catching crappie in Bowling Lake??? You are not supposed to be able to catch crappie in Bowling Lake… At least they are not listed as a species that is suppose to be in the lake.

From the Nebraska Game and Parks 2011-2012 Fishing Guide:

Bowling Lake (Lancaster) – 12 acres, Lincoln – NW 48th Street and W. Cuming
Street (Airpark). BLG, CCF, LMB, RBT. Largemouth bass — 21-inch minimum length. Concrete boat ramp, electric motor or nonpowered boats allowed. Lincoln City lake. Rainbow trout stocked seasonally in south pond.

As in Bluegill (BLG), Channel Catfish (CCF), Largemouth Bass (LMB), and Rainbow Trout (RBT).

How did they get there? Who knows… Upstream from Bowling Lake is Branched Oak Lake where they could have migrated down from. Maybe it was from someone who illegally introduced them to the lake. I really hope not.

In any case, the Crappie in Bowling Lake are getting pretty nice!

After the first crappie, I hooked up with a largemouth bass that put up a pretty awesome fight. He went airborne twice before he threw the fly and got away.

I was a little upset that the bass got away, but two hook ups right off the bat was a good sign! That is, until I had a very close call.

The bass left the line and the fly across my body to the left… since I cast with my right hand, that meant that when I picked my line off the water it had to fly right in front of me. Very close to me… so close that I actually hit myself in the temple with a clouser minnow as if flew by. It was just a half inch from my eye. I have never caught myself with a fly… I am sure it will happen eventually… but I don’t want to start with a fly in the eye!

It didn’t take long for me to pick up steam again though… Over shallow water I got a hard strike. The fish pulled hard for a split second, then dove into a jungle’s worth of weeds. I thought I had lost the fish in the snag. I had to saw through the weeds with my kick fin to free my fly. I am sure that it would have been an interesting sight; seeing my belly boat rock back and forth as I despriately tried to saw with my foot. But when the line came free I still had the fish on the hook!

After I pulled all the “lettuce” off him, I got a couple pictures of one of the nicest crappies I have ever caught!

After this, the bass starting biting too!

Another little crappie…

Then for fun, I switched up my flies! I fished some shallow weedy areas with a tiny popper fly. And this guy turned over on my top water popper (pardon the bad picture)…

And yes, I did catch a couple bluegills too…

But oddly, today I caught more bass and crappie then I did bluegill. That is extremely odd for me, as I am normally shaking bluegills off my flies as I target bass and crappie.

Final Score:

Me: 3 Bass (and 1 that got away), 4 Crappie, 2 Bluegills

Bowling Lake: 2 flies

Pretty good day on the water indeed…

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I guess every fly fisherman who writes about fly fishing eventually writes about this topic… I think this particular rant must be a kind of “right of passage” for fly fishing writers…

Since I have started fly fishing, one thing that I have noticed is that even though a fairly small number of people actually fly fish, it is instantly recognizable. At least a fairly small number of people in Nebraska. People walking by while I am fishing may have no previous experience what so ever with the sport, but can still lean to their friend when they whisper what is he doing and respond “he’s fly fishing…”

I can even tell people in a conversation that I am a fly fisherman. And they instantly have an image of a person majestically waving a fly line in the air…

The only problem? They always come up with the same image… of A River Runs Through It…

Yes, fly fishing is most renowned as a method for taking trout in mountain streams. But for some reason people think that since that movie took place in the mountains of Montana, that is the only place you can go fly fishing.

I get asked constantly, “Don’t you have to go to the mountains to do that?”, “So you must travel to Colorado a lot?”, and my personal favorite “You can do that in Nebraska?”

It’s almost mind blowing for people that, yes, fly fishing works in warm, still water. And works well. It works well enough that I rarely ever touch any other type of tackle. In fact, I will only get the spinning rod out if I am fishing with Little E, or my dad.

I was aware of a River Runs Through It before I started fly fishing, but I had never seen it before I picked up my first fly rod. After saying several times that I fly fished and having people respond “like on a River Runs Through It?”, I had to check it out.

It was a good movie. I did enjoy the movie. There were great shots of Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer fly fishing in a river. The movie has several memorable frames; whose images last with people.

That’s great.

But I fail to see how people think that because the movie takes place in mountain streams, that is the only place you can ever do it.

That is like someone saying “I like to drive”; and me saying “Like on Days of Thunder?”. And following that up with “But I thought you could only drive in the Daytona 500???”

It doesn’t make any sense to me.

(Okay, that example might be a bit extreme…)

I realize that there is not a lot of popular media covering fly fishing. That is part of the reason why I full expect that this blog will never become a commercial success. While people recognize the act of fly fishing, they do not know a lot about it… and therefore it may be valid to question whether or not it is possible out of their only frame of reference.

I think what bothers me the most is how people will ask me those questions; like I don’t know what I am doing. As if everyone else knows that fly fishing doesn’t work in Nebraska, and nobody has bothered to tell me…

I guess the only thing to do is submit and keep fighting the good fight. Maybe if I talk about fly fishing long enough I might be able to turn the tide on this question… so I will keep answering the way I always do…

“Yes, you can fly fish anywhere there is water and fish!”

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