Angler Safety- Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

its nasty, scary stuff that’s just around any angler’s corner: the possibility of drowning.

geared towards children but equally valid for water goers of all ages, Mario Vittone’s most excellent article gleaned from many years of experience gives us the hows, whys and clues to look for.
this is something every single one of us should study and always keep in the back of the mind when near the water.

“How did this captain know—from 50 feet away—what the father couldn’t recognize from just 10? Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew know what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound… “

here’s what it looks like in real…

click HERE for the complete article and take care out there.

Strange Things Fround Inside Fish *

i have a bream

 

ok, but what’s in it ?

as a fisher who doesn’t kill fish its not a question i regularly ask myself but its indeed an interesting topic. i’ve always heard of weird things like license plates, beer cans and whatnot showing up in shark bellies but it seems like our slimy friends have a diverse appetite that goes far beyond the typical insect or smaller fish.
 
“A friend of mine was trolling in Loch Long, and hooked a seithe. An enormous cod seized the seithe, and paid the penalty by being brought into the boat himself. His girth seemed unnaturally large, and, upon opening him, a brown paper packet of sandwiches, enough for luncheon for a pretty large party, was taken out. They could not have been less injured, mustard and all, had the cod’s stomach been a sandwich-box.

No-one knows whether they ate the sandwiches or not. The fish can consider itself lucky it didn’t meet Colquhoun himself – bloodthirsty old rascal, he would probably have shot it. Cod are the dustbins of the sea and will eat almost anything, accounting for how, in his 1895 Sea Fishing, John Bickerdyke remembered how a captain called Hill accidentally dropped a bunch of keys over the side in the North Sea and thought them lost for good, only to recover them several weeks later in the belly of a cod he trawled up many miles distant – but I guess in those days cod were so abundant that the idea of a dropped set of keys not ending up inside one must have seemed fairly ludicrous. Then there is Dr. Day’s story of a seven inch candle found inside a cod which may have been in search of enlightenment; and others said to have swallowed guillemots, partridges, turnips and even whole hares. The mind boggles at how or where a cod would come across a hare, but then again…”

click here for the complete gastro-piscatorial article on Thefishingmuseum online. enjoy !

* yes, Fround…

Fly Fishing Life-Hacks- A small, sturdy and inexpensive Waterproof Box

as fishers, water is our best friend but that doesn’t go for everything we take with us when out having fun and whether we like it or not, that fun means sometimes getting thoroughly soaked in one manner or an other. first on the list of things that don’t like to get wet are phones, wallets, electronic car keys, smokables, cameras and the list can go on and on depending on every individual and what they like or need to bring along.

the little ‘fly fishing hack’ below does the trick really well, is completely waterproof and even submersible. i haven’t tested it deeper but no water goes in even at arm’s length underwater. as i’ve noticed over the years, when i fall in my torso tends to stay near the surface and the box stays in the backpack part of my chestpack so depth and its inherent pressure isn’t a problem.
it floats when fully packed, sometimes not very high on the water depending on what’s inside but at least we can retrieve it without having to dive for it should it fall in. the little split-ring can connect to a tether so it can’t possibly get away.
i don’t throw things around to see how strong they are and try not to fall off cliffs but after several years of use it doesn’t have a single crack.

WP Box 1its one of those C&F fly box ripoffs that sell for about 10€, this one was given to me by a friend years ago. the slotted fly holding inserts and swing leaf where really crap and never really did what they where supposed to do: hold flies.
now, being a gift from a good friend i couldn’t just throw this thing away because that’s really bad friend mojo but a minor alteration and few minutes of easy work turned it into something very serviceable and the friend mojo is still strong.

alteration is really easy, just rip out the foam inserts and clean up the residual glue with WD-40 and finish by washing with dish soap to get rid of the WD-4’s residue and smell. done.
once re-glued to a board to keep them straight, the inserts make for pretty nifty temporary fly holders/driers at the tying bench.

the serious do-it-yourselfer will probably have found that quite boring and unchallenging but the result is a very cheap box that does what its supposed to do and does it better than roll-top bags and other lots-more-expensive cases. i like easy, cheap and good.

tip- as with any waterproof housings for phones, cameras and whatnot, testing its waterproofness should be done beforehand at home. place some paper inside, close well and put it at the bottom of a bucket with a stone on top to hold it submersed.
go eat some chocolate, come back and remove the case from the bucket and wipe down the outside. once opened, the paper should be dry. if not, check the rubber seal and replace if cracked. a little food-grade silicone grease once in a while keeps the joint in good-as-new shape.

WP Box 2

in a snap, and maybe mostly for those of us who don’t do a lot big-big streamer fishing and don’t have dedicated boxes for them, the box gets dumped of its valuables and the big fluff takes its place. of course, this means those valuables are no longer protected from water and bumps. the circle is complete… WP Box 3

a clip-on fly body.

absofrigginlutely brilliant !
clip-on fly TLC 14-11-13

the actual fly is tied on the B-C stem and then it seems to be clipped on to the hook once the silk tippet is tied in.
of a completely different concept but closely resembling the hook-changing possibilities we have with tube flies this is bloody ingenious and something the creative tier might want to experiment with.  since we’re mostly using modern hooks with eyes, my thoughts are we needn’t bother with making clips as the stem can be simply tied in fore and aft and easily trimmed off later if needed. this also brings up ideas of being able to quickly change foam bodies or other softy materials that easily get munched to bits after a few fish but i’m sure we can think of a lot of other uses.
a little research hasn’t shown whether Upton’s patent was a lucrative one or not but this deserves some special attention. be sure to pass on his name if you give this style a go.

(more HERE on the history of hook eyes and the beginnings of the tying vise) 

’round and round with Davie

in a wonderful example that a fly tier can have ADHD (or be drunk and confused) and still manage to make a wonderful fly, Davie’s two-versioned tutorial of the same generalised imitation where wings and thorax get interchanged shows us some fine, yet-so-easy fly tuning that simple rearrangements can produce. more than just a groovy example of mixing and matching, this fly thing  seems to be just the ticket as a really good searching pattern or when there’s several types of bugs on the water. mayflies, caddis, hawthorn, crickets and you name it. it looks buggy as bug and’ll leave a lot for the fish to see below, in the surface film and above the water. that’s a lot of good points for a fly to have.  enjoy !

The Swift Manifesto, or HOW TO FLY FISH AND NOT MAKE US ALL LOOK BAD

from Carl McNeil – Swift Performance Fly Fishing

rather harsh ? nope, spot on.

  • Stop holding that rod butt in your teeth – you look like an idiot.
  • Fly fishing is not an extreme sport – if you somehow think it is, you need to get a life or get out more (probably both)
  • Welded loops are for little kids – learn to tie a nail knot. (Ok, they can be handy in the salt)
  • Loose that ‘grin n grip’ – Holding your fish out at the camera is just a projection of your extremely small penis. The ‘grin n grip’ while holding the rod in your teeth clearly states “Idiot with Small Penis”
  • Pictures of fish in the water are extremely  cool.
  • Nothing will make you look like more of a doofus than being all gear and no cast. Work on your fly casting – it will do more for your fly fishing than anything else you could do.
  • Stop being a tight arse and buy some decent gear – start at the pointy end and work back.
  • A stiff rod will not make you a better caster.
  • An expensive rod will not make you a better caster.
  • My fly line will not make you a better caster.
  • A lesson will make you a better caster.
  • My fly casting DVD’s will make you a better caster.
  • Practice will make you a better caster.
  • A Gin and Tonic will make you feel like you are a better caster.
  • Fast and stiff describe two different things – learn ‘em.
  • Understand what a standard weight forward line is and that it is ABSOLUTELY USELESS for casting distance.
  • “Todays modern fast action rods” Do not need a line that is half a line weight heavier in order to load the rod.
  • The correct advertising blurb for “weight and a half lines” should be “Buy this line, it will make you seem like a better caster than you actually are”
    OR
    “Buy this line, it will make our ridiculously stiff fly rod actually bend”
  • The secret to fly casting is knowing how to bend the fly rod correctly. Honestly
  • Be aware that weight and a half lines are for little kids. You’re a big kid and are being fed marketing crap – you’re better than that.
  • “Designed in (insert country here)” – means made in China.
  • If we all put as much effort into actually looking after the places we fish that we put into talking about our sport,  the world would be in much better shape. Please, don’t just be a talker – Have some balls, be a doer.

post note-
i’m not quite sure how the ladies that do “The ‘grin n grip’ while holding the rod in your teeth” will deal with the small penis bit but i guess they’ll just have to work that out for themselves and find a proper equivalent…

want a tight loop ?

well, here you go !
Tom Syversen ‘SuperRattus‘, is always up there with the best (but quite discreetly) in showing us causes and effects in fly casting. demonstrating here what might be the smallest  loop possible.
at the beginning of the film we’ll notice that the fly and rod legs are so close they actually touch (or skim might be a better word) before opening up again just before turnover. awesome !
this, of course is not a tailing loop as there is tension in both legs and the fly leg doesn’t swoop below and cross the rod leg twice. enjoy !

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“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies—all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From dry fly purists to Euronymphers, every fly fishing group is a society of island universes.”

~ Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Fly Fishing Perception

BC island

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fly fishing literature
never alone

Understanding fly tying thread diameters – denier, aughts, resistance and lady’s tights

a lot of good info here and i’m all for this thready revolution. saying ‘aught’ when having to depict thread diameters makes me feel stupid and somewhat dirty. maybe it’s the shotgun-shell connotation or maybe because it sounds like it might be swedish, i don’t know but whatever it is, i don’t like it.
what i do like however is this informative article, here’s a preview.

USING DENIER TO STANDARDIZE FLY TYING THREAD 

By  Christopher Helm

“In the late 1930’s, the Chenille Company created the “aught”( 3/0,6/0, 8/0, etc.)

system to indicate the size of thread. This was based on a system where the

number or “aught” was the base point and as the thread became smaller additional

zeros were added indicating that the thread was finer. As an example, a thread

with six zeros ( 000000) translated to a 6/0 thread. As other thread distributors

were born after the early 1960’s, they followed the same system which was

assigning a standard that does not provide as accurate a measurement for the fly

tier as denier.

In 1988, Tom Schmucker of WAPSI Fly, Inc. in Mountain Home, Arkansas

introduced a nylon thread simply called 70 UTC and 140 UTC based on denier,

which is the method of measuring thread. This is the system that the garment

industry uses for thread to sew clothing. Denier is defined as the weight in grams

of 9000 meters of nylon, polyester, rayon thread, etc. There is a correlation

between denier and breaking strength of nylon and polyester thread, the smaller

the denier number the lower pound/ounce breaking strength of the thread.”

click the link above for the complete file. enjoy !

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Tak’s Baetis Emerger

“any fish that wouldn’t find this sexy just doesn’t deserve to be caught”

taks_baetis_emerger i overheard that quote stream-side years ago but it’s hard to find a better use for it than with this fly designed by Rick Takahashi.

Takahashi

here’s a sweet  version of Rick’s pattern in this great tutorial  from INTHERIFFLE.COM

don’t let this fly’s name fool you (at least the baetis part) as a little color and size tweaking will turn it into an equally effective whatever-mayfly.
for the original recipe on Hans Weilenmann’s Danica.com click the pic at the top of the page.
Tak’s image courtesy of AlpineAnglers

fitting into tight spaces

by Lee Cummings

over the last few years and among a whole lot of other things, Lee’s been doing a lot of research on shooting heads and more particularly, short, mini and micro heads to be used in the tightest of areas where other lines can’t deliver (pun intended), such as this little seatrout stream in northern England. Lee C's tiny seatrout stream

sure, the need for these is situation-dependant but it does give us the possibility to fish in areas we might generally pass. (and if we pass them there’s a good chance other anglers do it as well, meaning that fish who aren’t comfortable in high-pressure areas will happily congregate there)

without going into the micro-short, the set up below directly inspired by the Skagit school is a very good example of out of the box thinking even though it actually comes straight of a box without any cutting up, weighing, measuring or other fancy finagling. taking the Skagit concept and scaling it all down gives this, and that’s a good this !

“This awesome little set up is handy for fishing the tightest of the tight when it comes to available casting space.
The head in this example comprises of a 5ft Rio floating Skagit cheater coupled with the 1.5″ per second 15ft sink tip that came with the Rio Skagit system.
The running line is simple mono so as to offer minimum resistance and maximum range to this super short and deadly fishing shooting head.”

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fly casting
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“Going fishing without being able to Spey Cast is like making love with your clothes on – you will achieve only half the pleasure”.

~ Mike Daunt

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and if he goes about it the same way he casts there’s bound to be a few knots involved as well… 😆

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How to start a fire with pee-pee.

we’d recently seen Cell phone Emergency Calls- How to get through and to continue with this new series of vital Outdoor Skills for the Fly Angler today’s featured video shows us how to make fire without the usual gadgets

far more important than base uses such as keeping warm, preparing pasta, chasing away zombies or using it to signal your presence when lost, fire,

the second most important element to the fly angler (after water) is there for us to stare at and conjure up images of enormous leaping trout (or insert your favorite fish here) and keep the dream alive when we’re not actually fishing. one of the most important aspects in survival situations is to keep the hope and as such, these joyful images we all long for and dream about wil keep us going and going and going when the going gets rough !the title may at first seem a little contradictory and we’ll notice that lady fire-starters will have to show a bit of ingenuity for this to work but it works, it’s fun, messy and will for sure bring up an enormous “Ah-Ha ! I did it !!!” afterglow when achieved, all the elements that make for a great day on the water. enjoy !