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taking walks and

enjoying a casting-fishing-free environment, playing around with the iPhone’s camera, deeply inhaling the colours.

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fairground pooch at rest
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part of a prison Catherine De Medici gave to the city i live in
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cobra spit !
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trailings
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very big sneakers with flags
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blending in
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wired
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anti-stroboscopic

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didn’t originally plan on going geek today but a little research on what this visual effect might be called shows that “The stroboscopic effect is a visual phenomenon caused by aliasing that occurs when continuous motion is represented by a series of short or instantaneous samples. It occurs when the view of a moving object is represented by a series of short samples as distinct from a continuous view, and the moving object is in rotational or other cyclic motion at a rate close to the sampling rate.”
in other words, like dancers at a disco, the subject should be moving in one way or another for us to get the out-of-sync effect whereas the gif above and others i’ve shared here of similar concept; several otherwise static images from a single original photo edited differently and giffed as one seem stroboscopic but aren’t since nothing is actually moving. there are three images in this gif, the colour original, a HDR filter colour version and a black and white version. what appears to be moving is just the eye/mind’s out-of-sync reaction to the different edits.

now, stroboscopic doesn’t have an antonym and i’m not even sure the term would apply anyhow so all i’m left with is a throbbing headache from researching all this whilst this damned landscape of a Pyrenean valley i photographed yesterday keeps on blinking… and i’ll have to leave the title at that. i still hope you like the image, even if it hurts.

‘I want to believe’

i’ve always found that to be somewhat of a strange statement. it seems to me like we have three options; either we believe or we don’t and instead of wanting, it might be more reasonable to say ‘I’m open to believing’ but that makes for a dull poster. wanting, specially when it concerns alien sheep, already tips the scales towards belief but i never wanted to believe in alien sheep, they wanted me to believe in them.photographed last spring along a stream that holds surprisingly large brown trout in northern England just a few days before the Brexit referendum, i’ve been wondering ever since if there might be a connection but then, it just might be something I’d like to believe.

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How fish would see insects

if they had laser-scanning microscopic vision but perhaps luckily enough for us, they don’t, or otherwise they’d never be so easily fooled by our silly little flies…😉

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midge pupae

“If you’ve ever wondered how a diving beetle swims through the water or manages to rest just on the surface, the answer is in part because its foot is infinitely more complicated than your own… The photos are made with a confocal laser-scanning microscope capable of “seeing” vast amounts of detail beyond what you might capture with a traditional lens-based microscope.”   trés groovy. for more absolutely amazing-mind-bending close-up bug imagery by Igor Siwanowicz click either pic above. enjoy !

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diving beetle a.k.a, our little friend the singing penis.
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‘a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the inspired and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object, or not’

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bit of clichéd title there but i like corny. besides, doublethinking‘s fun.

about the colours of beauty

be warned, this is amazingly beautiful. one of those natural wonders that keep us wondering. as for the colours, just let them seep in. enjoy !

be sure to visit myLapse‘s page for more filming excellence

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the little guy takes the cake

was out streamside seeing things that aren’t really there,

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when out of the corner of the eye i saw this beautiful little puff look up in my direction and continue towards me picking up wee morsels along the way, chomping them down quickly.
the main camera and tripod where precariously balanced on a pointy boulder so i grabbed a few images of Mr. Mouse with the phone. its not the smallest of phones but i can only imagine that it probably must have seemed as a wall to him but that was neither here nor there for this guy, he was on a mission, a straight-line mission.mr mouse 1

here he is bottom-right pushing against the phone to get through !😆
take care Mr. Mouse, you made my day.

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‘Small things amuse small minds’

the quote’s from Doris Lessing, i guess that kinda makes me a dummy and that’s ok.

so, you’ve accidentally caught a bird and not the fish. now what ?

that’s maybe not so far-fetched as it might seem at first as it’s hard to think of a place where we fish that isn’t also inhabited by birds and these birds will more often than not want to eat the very same things the fish do.
so far, i’ve managed to not hook any but a bat caught my fly on my back cast once and since i was fishing/casting upstream, by the time i first realized what happened and then brought it back to me it had drowned. sad moment.

in the video we’ll see an unfortunate fish-chasing gull who gets out of this predicament seemingly just fine, yay !
i can’t help but remember all the countless times i’ve had to yank out a fly during a drift when it was approached by ducks. this brings grrrrrs but a few grrrrs are a million times better than accidentally catching a creature that will probably fly off…

as noted, if this happens to you stay calm, be gentle yet firm and try to wrap the bird in a towel, t-shirt or something just as you’d wrap up a wounded cat or other animal. if you can, cover their eyes. being wrapped and temporarily blinded usually immobilizes them, giving you a better opportunity to get rid of that hook. speaking of hooks, it’s obvious once again that a barbless hook will a lot easier to remove if it already hasn’t come off as you retrieved the animal.

this isn’t an enjoy ! post but something to keep in the back of the mind. enjoy anyway.

 

 

Sticky, stretchy, waterproof, the stuff that holds it all together.

cased caddis housings are simply fascinating. used for protecting their fragile abdomens, to conceal themselves among all the stream bed debris and as ballast, these seemingly simple-minded creatures are pretty ingenious to say the least. the documentary footage is excellent, explanations simple. interesting for fishers and nature lovers of all ages, be sure to share this with your little ones, specially if they’re into creepy-crawly bugs, enjoy !

Fly Fishing Knots- Steve Huff’s Double Figure-Eight Loop Knot

a super-great find via Steve Dally for all the knot freaks out there. as noted in The Japanese Figure 8 knot any knot with that magical 8 number immediately gets my attention: ‘the figure of 8 knot in itself is widely recognised and used as a stopper knot in any rope activity. it doesn’t slip or roll, its the kind of knot you can trust your life with. now, those who study knots know that not all knots are compatible between ropes and fishing monofilament but this one is.’
by ‘you can trust your life with it’ means exactly that; i used the figure 8 in one form or another daily when i worked with ropes as a tree surgeon. with things like that it’s not a matter of aesthetics or personal taste but one of complete trust.

so, and as we’ll see below, this knot is basically two stopper knots that slide up snug to each other leaving a straight inline open loop for the fly to swivel around. what’s not to like ?

for a pretty comprehensive selection of fishing knots previously posted on TLC click HERE

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hookless fly-fishing

here’s a little something different from Lee Spencer, way different.

i can relate to Lee’s story as i used to live right next to a wee stream in the french Pyrenees that apart from making lovely gurgling noises, had a very healthy population of gorgeous native brown trout. they weren’t of course, but these where ‘my’ trout if you see what i mean. i’d go look at them every day to see how they where doing, dream off into that dream place that being streamside takes one and of course learned a lot about how they lived, behaved and interacted socially, some of them even had names.

by wee i mean that at this level the stream was often no more than one metre wide. being completely wild and untouched by man and with lush vegetation abound, the stream itself was more often than not a green tunnel with a flow. once the obstacles of actually getting an imitation into their feeding spots where figured out, this being a Bow and Arrow cast nine.nine times out of ten because that was the only possible solution, getting these beauties to take a fly was relatively simple, they didn’t know anything about fishing pressure and in their world things that look like food generally are food but hooking up quickly became a problem, something the Bow and Arrow cast only tactic might have alluded to; there was no room to move the rod up, across or down to fight and land the fish. at this point i was already getting into the ‘it’s more about the strike than the fight and land‘ frame of mind so, the idea of cutting off the whole hook bend of a completed fly came to mind and was perfect for this particular situation.
i got my strike thrill, the little fishies i loved so much never really knew what was going on and remained where they’re supposed to be and i could do all this without breaking any more rod tips…

of course, i’m not expecting a lot of other anglers to go fishing without hooks but it’s a little something to think about. like mentioned earlier, it’s different, enjoy !


“Back in 1998 Lee Spencer did two things that changed his relationship with the big steelhead of the North Umpqua River.
He agreed to become the first full-time FishWatch guardian of the Big Bend Pool on Steamboat Creek, where as many as 400 large steelhead spend the summer in startlingly plain sight after swimming up the North Umpqua to spawn.
And he started cutting the points off the hooks on his flies… “

actually, just the points:

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“Everybody thought I was crazy, To me the whole peak of everything is the strike or the boil. Everything after that is downhill. Especially if you have to wait a long time to land the fish.
When you get a fish on, you get a run and a jump and at the jump it will throw the hook. That was satisfying enough for me.”

-click the image for the complete article on Deseret News-

Stewards Of The River Or Pillagers ?

reproduced in full with Mac Brown‘s kind permission, here’s a rant but it’s a good thought-provoking rant.

aimed at certain professionals in the fly fishing industry and other, as Mac calls them, profiteers, it’s about fishery welfare in the warmer months where water temps are simply too high and oxygen depraved to responsibly fish species such as salmonids that are poorly equipped to deal with the situation in it’s natural state and even less when they’ve had to also deal with having been caught.

now, most experienced anglers will know that once the water temps reach 68°F/20°C its time to back off but that’s not always the case. for local fishers who live in warmer climes and care to know, it’s a given but what about the well-intentioned novice or not-so-well-informed fishers or, traveling anglers ?
as an example, when i lived in Sweden the concept was completely unheard of as water temps tend to always stay cool enough even when air temps can be quite -actually downright- hot, and i’m guessing the same example can be equally valid for anglers in other parts of the world and all that leads us to the ‘Stewardship‘ part which is everyone’s responsibility. in my opinion it’s not just about setting professionals and profiteers right (actually, shaming sounds better… ), but also of sharing this information with those who don’t know. experience has taught me that if we take a minute, explain things simply with a good positive attitude, nine times out of the ten the message gets through and it’s readily accepted and everyone’s happy, specially the fish.

thanks again, Mac. keepem’ coming.


This short piece is my attempt to increase awareness about problems facing many of our trout waters, in my region as well as many around the globe. In our hemisphere, high summer water temperatures stress the local trout fisheries, and should be a sign to concerned anglers that it is time to leave the stream for another day.

Independent guides and fly shops who book trips should be ardent advocates for keeping streams healthy. But often they’re not. Conflicts arise because the summer tourist season occurs when most of our trout streams become stressed. July and August for trout fishing in Western NC is the off season! When the early morning water temps approach 70 F, it is best to look for something else.

Warm water fishing for smallmouth bass, perch, bluegill, is a better choice. Carp is one of my favorite species to target during summer.

Shops and outfitters who tell you different are profiteers, not stewards of the resource. They look at the short-term, since even they know that trout caught in 70+ F water have a very dicey chance of survival.

These profiteers actually hurt the resources they claim to love and protect! This becomes an ethical decision for those customers that are hell bent on trying to catch a mountain trout during the wrong season!

If you want to trout fish in July or August for vacation then head to Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, or Colorado! Fly fishing has more appeal in recent years, and now vacationers throw it into the mix of rafting, horseback riding, zip-lining, mountain biking, hiking, and many other great activities the Smoky Mountains area offers. The difference with angling when it is too warm is that in no way can it be good for fish or angler!

Shops and profiteer guides should be offering clients a change of species during the hot summer months. Guides can teach learning to read water, casting, rigging, stream-side techniques, and a host of other aspects of the sport.

This might provide opportunities like targeting Chub for learning nymphing techniques through the middle of the day. Chub provide plenty of subtle strikes just like trout! Here is a trophy from a few days ago on one of my favorite streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with my 10-year-old son.

Excessive fishing pressure is an increasing problem on many delayed harvest trout streams, due mostly to the increasing number of new fly fishers as well as an excess of fishing guides and outfitters. There is a big difference between how much room to leave fellow anglers on a Delayed Harvest stream versus a wild stream. The wild stream requires perhaps a mile or more out of sight. On the Delayed Harvest stream that may be only a 30 feet. Delayed harvest waters receive many numbers of trout that tend to stay together when they are first stocked.

Often, local guides work when and where they can, through shops or other outfitters. Part of the issue is that these guides’ experience levels are all over the place. In my region, The Smoky Mountains, there are too many fishing guides. An Ozark term my grandfather used to say is “the market is glutted.” Many shops and outfitters just look for bodies to fill slots on their books, regardless of experience and knowledge of the area. In my area, guide prices range from $80 to well over $500 for the same trip on the same water.

The difference of what you come away with learning and also catching is quite obvious if you really do your homework first. In fly fishing especially, you get what you pay for.

Most area tourists would hope the local shop will give them credible information. And this is typically true in the Western states for the hundreds of reputable shops.

But, in my opinion, the Southeast is a circus show, with the exception of a few quality shops. People pay hard-earned money for a quality trip. The older I get, the more twisted our sport seems to be growing.

And it’s happening all over the globe. Social media — like advertising on Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram — can enable anyone to compete for clients in their region or create a website or blog by paying SEO experts for internet exposure! I am sure you have all heard that if it is on the internet “it must be true”!

The important question folks should be asking is can the instructor teach casting and line control to provide a drag-free float? Can they teach techniques that will stay with you for a lifetime of enjoyment fly fishing? Will your trip have guides that are enablers to improve your overall skill set on the stream? Will it be a mundane afternoon of bobber lobbing with hearing only the words “mend it, mend it again, mend it” rather than adjusting to the rigging and tactic appropriate for the moment?

Another important question –, regardless of skill, teaching ability, qualifications, certifications, does it even matter to the client? Is it only about who is the cheapest price overall? So this Disney approach to the sport is something that will take me a while to get my head around since I have pushed hard for very high quality trips for close to thirty years now.

It seems to me that down the road this has to “Make America Dumb Again” in regards to tourism fly fishing mayhem.

Mac Brown

no fish, no seas, no rivers,

but the basic element is there and it always takes us to another place making us in turn… liquid.

film by Rimantas Lukavicius

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Fly Tying- Like Jim Said

as promised, here’s a special-guest fly tying nugget via buddy Tim Trengrove from Wellington, North Island New Zealand.

Wellington happens to be as far away on the other side of the globe from me as possible, any further and he would have to come from space !, and i know this because i have an app on my phone that once leveled, shows what’s on the other side of our beautiful planet as if we where looking straight through it. it looks like this. cool, huh ?

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hmmm, spelling isn’t all that but i still think this is really cool…

ok, now that i’m finished with my pointless interjection… today’s topic is about traditional influences in contemporary fly tying and durability and more specifically, hackle durability by using the Reversed Hackling method. Tim’s explanation is straightforward and should suffice in itself but if it isn’t i’ll include the link to previously posted video in the comment section that explains it well. enjoy !

thanks for your contribution Tim, it’s greatly appreciated. i know your trout season’s about to start and i hope it’s a grand one !


Like Jim said
Tiny caddis were already crawling up my back when the first trout began rising. In the Southern Hemisphere summer, no rain for some weeks meant the flow was much lower for the post-Christmas period. Perhaps that and the extra hot day brought the caddis on as daytime hatches in this river were an unusual sight.

My normal fly choice would have been a caddis pupa but, having tied up some Partridge and Yellow spiders, I was keen to use them instead. The results were astounding, but unfortunately not for all the right reasons.

Browns and rainbows up to 3.5 pounds grabbed the fly and tore off down the pool. Some cartwheeling across the surface, others leaping high. There were break-offs and other midstream releases. What upset me way more than losing fish was the sight of seeing some of my flies unravelling. Flies that looked pretty in the box, but now were not surviving these fish. My spider tying technique was rubbish.

Later, after reading The North Country Fly by Robert L Smith, I adopted the traditional tying method for spiders. This made for much more robust flies and I’ve been waiting for another daytime caddis rise since then.

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Photo by Paul Slaney

The whole “robust” thing got me thinking about fly construction. There will always be a place in my fly box for North Country fly designs like this Woodcock and Hare’s Ear.

The hackle is tied using the traditional tip-first method then wound once the body is constructed.

What I wanted was a fuller-bodied fly which was as strong as or stronger than the umbrella-shaped spider.

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Photo by Paul Slaney

Starling with hare’s mask on a Kamasan B160 #16. Something along the lines of a Stewart’s Spider but not as unruly in appearance. This led me to reading how Jim Leisenring constructed his flies in The Art of Tying The Wet Fly & Fishing The Flymph. Jim typically used the reverse hackle tie-in for his soft hackle wet flies and instead of making a narrow collar of hackle, he spiralled the hackle rearward. The tying thread was then wound forward through the hackle to the tie- off position. This gave the hackle a fuller appearance and helped make the fly incredibly strong. I took those ideas and incorporated them into spiders.

If you can see differences in hackle construction looking at the two photos, your eyesight is very good! When both flies are moved about in the water together, the differences are seen more clearly. I tie these in #16 for slow, clear water and #14 for faster water. In the last season this pattern accounted for brown trout in slower rivers near my home in Wellington and the Mataura in the South Island, and rainbows in the fast flowing Tongariro. So long as I tie a decent knot and work on not being stupid after hooking fish, most of these flies make it back home. That is a big improvement on my first spiders.

When it comes to tying wingless wet flies, I like to tie the hackle in a similar way.
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As Jim Leisenring has been such an inspiration, I will leave the last words to him.

“The art of tying the wet fly rests upon a knowledge of trout-stream insect life, a knowledge of materials used for imitating the insect life, and an ability to select, prepare, blend, and use the proper materials to create neat, durable, and lifelike imitations of the natural insects”.
(The Art of Tying The Wet Fly & Fishing The Flymph by James E. Leisenring and Vernon S. Hidy, 1971, page 34)

Tim Trengrove, New Zealand