Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Wikipedia submission, gone bad!!!

Some of you have heard of me speaking ill of my enemy, the Snagasaurus*. I continue to speak ill of said pain in the ass and developed "Stage II" in my war against it.  "Stage I" was me bitching about it to anyone who would listen when I talked or wrote about it while sharing a fishing story. 

"Stage II" is launching a Public Awareness Campaign to educate and inform the public so that they know what and who this evil doer is through the use of our greatest on-line reference of the 21st century, Wikipedia.  I would like to give a special thanks to my Editorial Staff and Public Relations Consultant for this campaign, Mrs. Critter, who assisted with all the English mumbo jumbo formatting.

THE PROBLEM:  You will not be able to see it on Wikipedia as our submission was deleted within minutes of posting it.  The reason given was that "the information was unverifiable...and...can not use...for personal inventions."  I call Bullsh@#!!  I know many who have met this evil doer who have had terrible personal encounters.  Now that we know that the evil Snagasaurus has an insider at Wikipedia on it's payroll, I will have to find other means to disseminate information to the masses.  And for the record, Mrs. Critter is very upset with the henchman at Wikipedia after all her effort to figure out diphthongs (whatever those are) that she had included in the submission.

Mark my wordsssss Snagasaurus...bewarrrrre.

* the truncated and much less embellished definition from what Jen and I had before we were deleted: Snagasaurus is the entity below a water surface that causes one who is fishing to get hung-up on or even lose their fly or fishing lure. Usually there is no indication of its presence as it resides outside the victims (i.e. fisherman) field of vision. Frequent snagasaurus encounters can result in frustrating outdoors experiences as well as increasing the expenses incurred during and following the fishing endeavors.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Skinny Nelson

The Skinny Nelson

Hook: TMC 200R #20
Body: Black 8/0 thread
Rib: silver wire (small)
Thorax: two strands of peacock herl
Shell back: Pheasant tail
Tail: Pheasant tail

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Griffiths Gnats

Tonight I noticed that I only had bigger Griffiths gnats that survived last trout season, so I tied up a dozen size 22's to fill that void.

Hook: TMC 100 size 22
Thread: 8/0 Black Uni-thread
Body: Ice Dub Peacock black
Hackle: Grizzley
Post: Black 'Float-Vis' (a high float material to help see the little bugger at dusk)

Christmas Unwrapped

This Christmas was a great one as far as a fly fisherman and fly tier goes.  I was fortunate to have received many nice presents that will be used for many years to come.  I also received (from my grandmother who passed away earlier this year) a nice family heirloom. 

Because of the weather, plans were changed and we decided to stay at my parents home for the weekend instead of traveling to see Jen's family like we had planned.  It was good time, we ate homemade Christmas goodies (Jen especially appreciated the rum balls and the truffles), I tied some flies for both dad and myself, football was on in the background, and the frozen lake was pretty to look at while the snow continuously fell. 

Our new goal now is to see Jen's family next weekend, even though there won't be as many there, I am sure it will be as festive and just as meaningful.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Craft" project

So for lack of a better title, I have been working on a "craft" project the past couple of nights.  With inspiration from a previous post showing a picture I had taken of a fly I tied, it hit me that I could do better.  And since I had all the camera equipment to make that possible, I set out to see what others do.

I surfed and surfed and saw some themes of how people set up to take good pictures of flies and I built my own "portable studio."  The total cost of this project for me was $0.00.  I just happen to have all the crap crafty stuff I needed around the house to make this thing.

I grabbed a mid sized cardboard box and mutilated it with a razor.  The idea was that the object inside the box would be lit up by lights outside the box, hence the holes on the opposite sides and the top.

Then, I added the "deluxe" option to this project which was adding a piece of Velcro to the back of the box and to the back of various colored file folders.

To the bottom of the box I taped in some white ink jet glossy photo paper to reflect light back up to the bottom side of the fly.

I re-enforced the box with packaging tape and then covered the openings with two layers of that gifty tissue paper stuff.  Here now, is the set up.  The camera is a good distance away because the lense I am using is the Nikkor 70-300 with the Macro option.  So, unlike a normal macro lense, I needed a little distance before the vise and fly where in focus.

The other thing you will notice is the vice is in front of the box instead of inside it.  After a couple of hours of messing around with different positions of the flash and trying to get it to work with the slave flash, I had to change tactics.  I wasn't getting good lighting, or when I did a huge shadow would be cast upon the background making for a serious distraction.

Once I brought it out in front of the box, the shadow issue disappeared and I could adequately light the fly enough for a descent picture that could go along with a pattern description.  It's obvious that I'm no Jim Schollmeyer, but I have to start somewhere.

So here are some of the pictures that I did while playing around with this project.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

A good weekend

Friday night Jen and I had a dinner date with Ben and Amy at a little Russian Restaurant called Moscow on the Hill.  It was pretty fun, the foods were good, the staff was fast, and several vodka shots tastings were had.  They had more choices of vodkas and specialty drinks then there are pine needles on a tree.  My main entree was a pork dish with apples and almonds inside it, and it was very flavorful.  Jen ordered a salmon fillet with dumplings on the side.  She raved about the dumplings.  I tasted the salmon and thought it was the best I'd ever had in the Midwest.  The appetizer was very good as well, it was a smorgasbord of things, and surprisingly, we all were digging the beat salad the most.  I' would definitely do it again.

Saturday morning Jen and I ran around picking up the house a little, wrapping presents, and last minute shopping.  Ben stopped over after his shopping was done for the day, and we set up to tie flies around the kitchen table for the next four hours.  We did take a brief break with a quick visit to the Fly Angler down the road, as I needed some more hooks and beads for the pattern I was tying.  We just plain enjoyed the day, a couple of cocktails (our friends bourbon, spiced rum, and crown paid us a visit), tied a few flies, had Christmas music on in the background.  Later on in the evening I did some consolidating of my many random post it notes listing flies to tie and made a consolidated list that was more manageable to read then my various chicken scratches on yellow squares.  Overall, I'd call that a good day.

Sunday we didn't leave the house.  I made a hearty breakfast, we paid some bills, spent some time  on both the wisflyboard and then on the Flytyingforum websites, opened our stocking stuffer gifts to each other, and then I was back to the fly tying bench with football on in the background and VH1's top 40 videos of the year.  Inspired by a fly pattern I saw online today and by the theme of the flies I'd been tying the past week or so, I came up with a neat pattern.

Hook:  TMC 3761 #12
Thread: 8/0 Olive Uni-Thread
Tail/shuck: 2 strands of pearl accent flashabou
Body: Ultra-wire green (size brassie) and Ultra-wire copper (size medium)
Thorax: Black UV Ice Dubbing
Hackle: Hen English soft hackle

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Cold Tuesday Night.

I made it up to the Fly Angler tonight for their first Open Tying night of the winter.  Several of us showed up and we pulled up a chair and our sense of humor upstairs in the middle of the rod shop.  We had a variety of flies being manufactured from Gotcha's, to soft hackles, to the Ultimate Meat Whistle Fly.

Some of us ordered delivery from Jimmy Johns, and they delivered speedy-quick!  I did my part to support the night by purchasing some 8/0 red thread as mine kept breaking a little to easily and must have been a bad spool.  Oh, and I bought a fly rod on my dad's behalf for this coming year.  I had two choices for the price range he was looking at, and I of course, I got the more expensive of the two.  But I won't tell him that and only charge him what he thought he wanted to spend.  He is getting a 9' 4-piece 5-weight Ross Essence FS fly rod with a soft case and rod tube.  I thought it was a fair deal, and added that to my spool of thread.

Later this week or next I will double check the extra 5wt fly line I have, and if it is good I will spool it on one of my former Orvis reels.  I just need to remember he is a south paw and to have it spooled backwards for him.  I think he will like the set up.

We tied from 6pm to 8pm and it was a great way to spend a winter night.  Tying with buddies (and The Jen who showed up with her glamorous haircut, fresh coloring, and big curls), terrible karaoke to the radio, and talking about future fishing trips (real and fantasy) to come.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I know I've been slow on the posts lately, but I've been busy with the holiday activities as I am sure many of you have been.  I came across this article that may be of interest and thought I would share it.  The name of the article is "Waters quiet but deep for Montana angling icon- so the Lilly legend goes" and it was found on-line at

Enjoy, and maybe I can take some pictures of the flies I've been tying to post here in the next couple of weeks.