As we bid farewell to 2015 and prepare to ring in 2016 our thoughts turn to the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season. So many things are happening (or still need to happen) at this time of year. As soon as Thanksgiving is over the onslaught commences. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas lights, trees, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, (I hope my mom makes my favorite this year...hint #1) planing family get together's, etc, etc, etc. Sometimes I do believe, as a society, we may have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas, giving back. Well, here at Irish Flies I would like to help with a few of these challenges. While I can't help with the dis-functionality of family gatherings, and if my mom does make my favorite Christmas cookies this year (hint #2) you won't be getting any, as I haven't had any for THREE YEARS I can help in a few areas.
What to get the person that has everything????
A good friend of mine once said "At this point in my life I really don't need any more fly fishing gear, I am going to spend my money on fly fishing experiences". Well Dale, I think that is a great idea, at least until I go into a well inventoried fly shop! In all seriousness, my friends statement holds a lot of truth. In today's day and age, expendable money, money you can spend on something other than bills can be a rare commodity. How many times have you spent your hard earned greenbacks on the latest and greatest piece of gear only to have it fade into obscurity shortly after you bought it? Well, if you are interested in a way to get more bang for your buck and possibly knock out some Christmas shopping, read on...
Give a man a fish...
I am putting together a class schedule for 2016. Building off of the success of "Shad Fishing 101" I am hopeful to fill 5 classes starting in January. All classes will be held at the Christiana Cabelas store in the conference room. The exact dates for each class is TBT at this point, I will say I am shooting for the 3rd or 4th weekend of the month, it all depends on when each class fills up and when the room is available. Here is the schedule and a brief summary of each class...
January; Nymph Fishing 101. The holy grail of fly fishing is taking Trout that are feeding on top. I love it as much as the next guy. Problem is this only happened about 20% of the time. If you want to be consistently successful on the Trout river, you better learn to fish under the surface. This class will cover the three most popular methods of Nymphing; High Stick (or tight lining), indicator, and dry and dropper fishing. After the "class room" portion of the presentation we will then tie several of my favorite nymph patterns.
February; Basic Entomology. One of the most intimidating things in our sport seems to be "What pattern do I fish and when do I fish it?" I have always said you don't need to be a certified Entomologist to be successful at fly fishing. You do need a basic understanding of the bugs we have in our area and how to apply that knowledge to a fishing scenario. This class will give you that basic knowledge as well as several patterns to fill your boxes.
March; Introduction to Fly Fishing. As great as this sport is getting started can be a daunting task. In this class we will discuss all of the basics needed to get started down the road to become a successful fly fisher. Gear set-up, casting, knots, reading the water, and rigging will all be a part of this class. My goal with this class is for you to gain the knowledge to start putting the odds in your favor so you can start to have successful days on the river.
April; Shad fishing 101. Do to the success of this class last year very little will change. Check out the blog post from last years class here.
May; Local Bronze, a guide to catching Smallmouth. I have always said if I could only fish for one fish ever again it would be Smallmouth Bass. Pound for pound there is no "true" freshwater fish that pulls harder than a Smallie. We have several Blue Ribbon Smallmouth rivers right in our back yard to take advantage of. This class will give you the information you need to take advantage of this great, summer fishery. After the presentation we will tie several of my favorite Bronzeback patterns. I believe this will be my favorite class!
All classes will follow the same basic format. A Power Point presentation lasting approximately 1 hour will be followed by (I hope) a spirited question and answer session. After a break for lunch we will then sit down and tie several flies (excluding the beginner class). Irish Flies will provide the presentation, all of the tying materials, and lunch at the Brandywine Grille. You are asked to provide a tying vise, bobbin, bodkin, scissors, thread, and an open mind. (participants of the Shad Class will need to provide additional gear as we will actually go to the river to fish in this class). Cost for each class is $125.00. As mentioned, all classes will be held at the Christiana, Delaware Cabala's store located in the Christiana Mall complex. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have.
Well, I hope you will find something interesting in this selection of classes. Perhaps you may use them to cross an item or two off of your Christmas list. Don't you think one of these classes would make a great gift idea? I do. And, not to loose sight of the true meaning of Christmas, anyone registering for a 2016 Irish Flies seminar before December 25th will receive an additional 20% off of the price. Pick a class, any class and you get all this for a hundred bucks! There aren't too many better ways to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Remember...Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, give a man a Irish Flies seminar and he will think you are the best friend they have ever had. That is an Irish Flies guarantee! Till next time...
BTW mom...remember these????????
Well, all of the excitement of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all over as I type this. I hope everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. If you chose to go out to the stores on Black Friday (you are crazy) I hope you found what you were looking for, and if you were shopping online today when you should have been working, I hope you didn't get caught. We had a great holiday in the Irish Flies household. I had a great dinner with my wife on Thursday, got caught up on some work, and even got out on the water a couple of times. Before we talk about the fishing lets talk about the progress on my Winter fly tying project.
My new Tacky Fly Fishing Day Pack is now full and I will be posting more of the fly recipes in the coming weeks. Tonight I am going to share a new Olive Nymph I have been working on and an old standby.
A few years ago Hareline Dubbin came out with a product called Synthetic Quill Body Wrap. I believe this was originally designed to be used for dry fly bodies. Well, it makes a great nymph body also. I tie this pattern with and without a hot spot (although I am gravitating toward the hot spot as a favorite) A dead ringer for the small Baetis nymphs that are a staple in the winter diets of our local Trout, this fly will quickly become a go to pattern. Here is the recipe...
Hook; TMC2499SP-BL #16
Bead; Tungsten Black 3/32
Tail; Coq De Leon Light Speckled
Abdomen; Hareline Synthetic Quill Body Wrap BWO (SQB28)
Hot Spot; UTC florescent orange thread (optional)
Thorax; Senyo's Laser dub Sculpin Olive
The second pattern I would like to share is a pattern I have been fishing for a long time. I really don't know if it has a name or the origin of the fly, I have seen versions of this pattern everywhere. Basically a buggy, dark nymph this fly can represent a plethora of aquatic insects. The biggest fly in my winter box. The buggy, dubbed abdomen and thorax on this pattern make it easy to hide a under body of lead. I will often use this as an anchor fly in a triple nymph rig.
Hook; Dohiku #302 size 14
Bead; Black Tungsten 7/64
Under body; 10 wraps of .015 LEAD wire
Tail; Coq De Leon Light Speckled
Abdomen; SLF Fox Squirrel Thorax dubbing
Rib; Lateral Line Flashabou
Thorax; SLF Dragonfly Dark dubbing
As mentioned I got to get out on the water a few times this past weekend. On Sunday my buddy Ed and I headed to our favorite wild Brown Trout tail water. We arrived at around 10:30 and fished till just about dark. It was a great day on the water with several fish landed. I fished a "tight line" rig the entire day. I had a Rainbow Warrior on as a point fly, and a Cinnamon Toast and the Hot Spot BWO as droppers. (I will highlight the Rainbow Warrior and Cinnamon Toast in my next post in this series) I guess I must have guessed correctly, because I landed several fish on each of the three flies.
Now is the time to get your Winter boxes in order. I just looked at the extended forecast for December and it looks like we will have mild weather at least until the first of the year. Winter fishing can be some of the "hottest" fishing of the year. Till Next time...
If you are interested of any of the patterns in this post custom orders are available. Please use the links at the bottom of the page to call or contact me.