Waiting Lists.

I had contacted Larry Kenney in 2012 about purchasing one of his rods and he explained to me that he didn’t make a lot of rods anymore but still did so on his own schedule. When you’re as good as Larry you can do that. Mr. Kenney was hired by Harry Wilson in 1975 as the first employee at Scott fly rods. He continued with Scott until 1996 and his years of experience are evident in his tapers and aesthetics. His rods exude an understated classiness. I lined this 8’6″ 6wt with a Rio Grand 6 and walked down to the river. One cast and I had an ear to ear smile on my face. It’s a strong rod with a lot of power but it’s also delicate. A rod that I could just cast for a long time without even thinking about fishing. Here are a few pictures…enjoy.

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Thanks for reading.

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June 19, 2013

I recently heard a phrase that has stuck with me somewhat, “the days are long but the years are short.”  I thought of it again this morning as I headed out into the Highlands and realized that Summer begins this Friday at 5:04 a.m.  It seems to me like it was April just last week.

The Stream.

The Stream.

I threw my gear in the truck and headed to a “local” stream that got a good rain the day before. I was a little disappointed to see a car parked in my spot which is well up off of the main road. Oh well, what can you do?

Lil' native.

Lil’ native.

The first pool I stopped at produced a little brook trout on a black ant almost immediately. Seeing as the hole was spooked I hiked on upstream. I settled into my next spot which involved some crawling to remain undetected. Hearing a noise behind me I wheeled around to find two employees of the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. It turns out I was about to fish a pool directly adjacent to a Louisiana Waterthrush nest. Then one of the birders sloshed right through the pool to show me the nest, which was burrowed into the stream bank. They then asked if I could wait a few minutes so they could record some info. For what it’s worth I really do enjoy birds, however, I just smiled and said it was nice to have met them and moved on.

Perfect little chute.

Perfect little chute.

Moving on proved beneficial and I got into a few more fish before heading back to my truck. I was back in the city by 1:00 p.m.

Quick pic and then back into the pool.

Quick pic and then back into the pool.

Thanks for reading.

What a difference…

…365 days make. The hat on the left is my fishing lid from 2012. The one on the right is the one I’ve been wearing in 2013. No contest. I’ve barely gotten out this year and I couldn’t be happier about it. A newborn WILL cut into your time on the water but as my friend Coty reminded me, “fishing will always be there, these moments won’t.”  So there it is. A brief post to maintain a little relevance and a reminder to enjoy your kids. And most of all, happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there.

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Take care.

F.H. Paddock “The One”

Before Sage ever came out with it’s series of One fly rods, maker and builder Fred Paddock had cooked up a taper to supplement his already stellar lineup of fiberglass rods. This is the abbreviated and unofficial story but Sage eventually contacted Paddock and asked him to relinquish the use of “The One” on his then new blank. Shortly thereafter Mr. Paddock made an announcement that he was getting out of the rod making business. Fortunately I jumped on the chance to purchase one of these  remaining 7’10” 4/5wt blanks as he was clearing out his remaining inventory. This is more or less a photo dump of my finished build on Fred’s blank.

The real One.

The real One.

You might notice a few scratches here and there. That’s because I fished it last weekend and it casts quite well. I would call it a progressive action and it handles a dry fly remarkably. Very tight loops are the norm and it’ll even handle a bit of wind within reason.

Intletted slim cork and a gorgeous spalted maple spacer from Mike McCoy at Snake Brand Guides.

Intletted slim cork and a gorgeous spalted maple spacer from Mike McCoy at Snake Brand Guides.

I used bronze original Snake Brand guides and a tip top to match. The bronzed agate stripping guide came from Golden Witch and I used a cinnamon YLI 50 silk for the wraps tipped with brown YLI 100.

Agate.

Agate.

I still haven’t figured out how to properly inscribe a rod but I’m getting better. Next time I’ll nail it.

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Cinnamon wraps over bronze.

Cinnamon wraps over bronze.

Twenty inch mark.

Twenty inch mark.

Thanks for reading.

Brachycentrus americanus

A few pictures from a quick hitter central Pennsylvania trip for the grannom emergence.

Beautiful morning on my favorite river.

Beautiful morning on my favorite river.

Waves of caddis fly upstream all day. So thick that I pulled my hood up over my head for awhile to keep them out of my shirt.

It looks like a little toy but that is an 8' rod.

It looks like a little toy but that is an 8′ rod.

Bigger water is nice because it allows for longer casts. Pick a spot and you can cast to risers in all directions. It gives you a chance to test out your limits…of which I have many.

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With so many aquatic insects in the water I always check my waders and boots when I finish fishing for the day.

Hitchhiker.

Hitchhiker.

A few seasons ago I bought a furled leader for fishing dry flies. A buddy of mine uses one so I decided to give it a go. It does make my loops look great, turns flies over effortlessly, and I say that with modesty. The only downside that I noticed was that the leader seemed a little more wind resistant and it would “stick” a bit in the current at the end of my drift making it harder to lift. I’m going to keep using it for the year and see how I like it.

"Is that a furled leader!?"

“Is that a furled leader!?”

An added bonus of road tripping to central PA is that I get to drive past Clem’s. Everyone has their favorites but this is the best BBQ that I’ve had. Plus my wife loves it so it makes it easier to tell her (read ask her) that I’m going fishing and “I’ll stop at Clem’s on the way home, whaddya want.”

Do yourself a favor try it.

Do yourself a favor try it.

Thanks for checking me out.

 

Fontinalis Fin

I’m not really sure which version of the “fin” flies that this is but I think it most closely resembles the Fontinalis Fin…although there may be a grey throat/collar instead of the furnace that I used. This was my first married wing wet and it was very tedious. I set and reset the wings until they fell apart so I cut new slips and tried it again. It’s all about the pinch wrap, and good quality duck quills too. The real master of the winged wet fly is Pennsylvania’s own Don Bastian. Check his work out at http://wp.me/PtVo and see what they’re really supposed to look like.

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Thanks for reading.

Florida

If a situation ever arises that would force me to choose between driving 2 hours to Erie to fish for steelhead or fly 2 and a half hours to Florida to fish for tarpon, specks, bonefish, jacks, ‘cuda, snook, etc, etc, I’m taking Florida. I’ve never been a beach person but it’s not even a contest.

A1A...beachfront avenue.

A1A…beachfront avenue.

This was my first trip to fish Florida and after mining metric tons of internet info on the subject I was dizzy. A 9wt with an intermediate tip line and a small box of basic flies would have to do. I’ve become quite fond of saltwater flies and there are quite a few that I’d like to tie but stainless steel hooks aren’t cheap.

Clouser's, deceivers, schminnows, and seaducers.

Clouser’s, deceivers, schminnows, and seaducers.

The beach is funny at 6:30 AM. There are drunks laying around with half finished Coronas, garbage, and a tide’s worth of seaweed washed up on the shore…all conveniently swept away by city employees before the lifeguards open their towers at 10:00 AM and subsequently the masses arrive to stake their rectangles of beach front real estate for the day.

I think Bimini is out there somewhere.

I think Bimini is out there somewhere.

I’ve fished with enough skilled guys to know that my casting needs work. A steady 15 to 20 MPH (or was it knots? what’s the difference, it was damn windy) breeze out of the south for two days reinforced this notion. Facing east and casting right handed put a fly in the collar of my shirt and another one into my right forearm. A size 2 Mustad in your arm is a good reason to remember to pinch down those barbs. Fortunately my cast had collapsed and the hook didn’t give me too much trouble. I ended up casting back handed the rest of the day.

I'm convinced that there isn't a fish that won't eat a chartreuse over white Clouser minnow.

I’m convinced that there isn’t a fish that won’t eat a chartreuse over white Clouser minnow.

So again, I’m new at this. I don’t know anything for certain. I was just going off of any internet info I could dredge up but a repetetive theme was that you can catch snook off of the beach in summer. Snook will winter over in the back bays, rivers, and canals and then move towards the salt as summer sets in and water temps rise. They’ll spawn and then move toward the beach for the summer where they ambush baitfish caught in the wash. They can get so shallow that their backs come out of the water as they run down prey up on the sand. I really think I was about a month and a half early for this but I got lucky anyhow.

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So in conclusion, snook are awesome. They readily crush flies, they fight like crazy, and they can get damn big. A large one could really put a hem in your dress. And if anyone finds a pair of discontinued polarized Smith sunglassed rolling around in the Atlantic, those are mine.