Friday, March 25, 2016

Wishing you a blessed Good Friday and Easter

Today I am remembering the death of Jesus Christ.  With the growing crescendos of the ideologies of violence and hatred, today I am remembering the source of the problem and God's gracious solution.  All the violence and hatred around us everyday are just the symptoms of a deeper disease that you and I carry, sin.  That sin drives my anger, my selfishness, the rampant greed that enslaves people and rapes the landscape for fuel to feed that greed, it is the source of the "religions" of hate and violence, and it is the source of all the great inhumanities of mankind through the ages.

Today I am remembering that God entered into this mess, lived a life that was free of sin and then stood in my place and bore God's wrath that His perfect justice required for my sin.  The injustice and inhumanity of the crucifixion of Christ, an innocent man, just reminds me of the depth and ugliness of my condition.  I can not plan, buy, build, elect, legislate, medicate or educate my way out of the problem, I need to be rescued from it. Christ's death is my only hope for freedom from my bondage if I will acknowledge my sin and embrace His work done on my behalf.  Today I will remember that He finished that work on the cross as He cries "It is finished" and then on Easter morning I will celebrate what was accomplished on the cross was acceptable to God, as Christ is raised from death never to taste death again.  In His resurrection, I have a confident hope that when death comes to me, I will be raised to new life as well.

God bless you all this Good Friday and Easter!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hendrickson soft hackle

Here's one of my favorite soft hackles.  It's a general "platform" that can be improvised on with different materials to vary color and look.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thoughts of Brussels and Belgium

With the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, the world's thoughts and prayers are with the Belgian people.  I had the opportunity to travel through the airport and metro just a few years ago and today I am recalling those fond memories of a beautiful country, now marred with violence...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Last day of winter 2016

That bright red adipose fin tells you this brown is wild
I spent a cold morning and early afternoon of the last day of this winter out fishing a small stream. There was no interest in the dry today, even in the warmer part of the day.  A small caddis puppa fished slow in the deep runs accounted for a few pretty wild browns.

Good bye winter, hello spring!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring days are here

Saturday morning I was up early before the sun.  It was still cold and the temperature had not broken the freezing mark as indicated by the still frozen bird bath in the backyard.  I had a couple of early hours to myself so I stayed close to home and visited a local trout management area to work on honing my nymphing technique.  Earlier rains had spread the fish out a bit and I was able to find a mix of rainbows, browns, and brookies away from the usual stocking points.  

The first fish of the day was a bit of a surprise.  The take was solid and the pull strong as the fish stayed deep.  For a moment I thought I had found a good sized breeder brown but the first roll indicated otherwise and I soon realized I had found a big sucker.  I have to say that it was the first sucker I had caught in this particular stream and later in the morning I tied into another!  Apparently they were on the prowl for nymphs early and took a liking to the ones I was drifting.

While Saturday’s outing was brief and cold; Sunday afternoon was pleasant contrast.  The afternoon was warm, the first day that I have fished comfortably in a long sleeve shirt and no jacket.  Sunday would be a day to chase wild trout.  Fishing over stocked fish can hone your skills to a point but I much prefer wild fish and the out-of-the-way places where they can be found.

This particular stream is one of the larger wild trout streams I fish, though still small by most people’s definition.  It is protected by gauntlet of briers and thorns that leaves most people to question the sanity of venturing into the fray.  It’s places like this that I grew up fishing in PA as a boy so they have a nostalgic connection for me even if it means a few scratches.

While the air was warm, the water was still cold so a bright nymph was fished most of the afternoon.  I experimented with the odd dry fly but it was largely ignored except for one fall fish.  It was so nice to see wild trout again in the usual holding spots and the stream enjoying a healthy flow after a long dry spell last summer.  On my way downstream I spooked a trout lying in the middle of a long riffle and mentally made note of the spot for the trip back.  After releasing a couple healthy brook trout and a few more brief hookups, I headed back to the car.  

Slowly easing into the riffle that had held a trout earlier in the day, I sent the nymph on its the way.  About midway down the riffle the line went tight and I could tell I was into a good sized fish.  I had mixed feelings when the first flashes of pink were visible.  It was a very large rainbow for this small stream, a closer look revealed the tell-tale signs of a recently stocked fish.  The frayed dorsal fin was bent and the odd hump in the back indicated that this fish had been recently swimming in a raceway somewhere.  I really don’t know why the state of CT stocks fish in close proximity to a stream known to hold wild browns and brook trout.  I’ve seen rainbows migrate a long distance up into brook trout dominated headwaters in the Adirondacks and the result is rarely neutral on the brook trout population.  Hopefully, this was an odd occurrence and had it not been illegal to take fish from this area for good reason, I would have preferred to introduced the rainbow to my family’s dinner table.

It was a pleasant, if not slightly bloody afternoon full of bird song and the forest floor erupting with the first harbingers of spring, the early shoots of sunk cabbage.  I can’t think of a better way to spend Sunday then pondering the glory of God in worship and then out in the laboratory of creation.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hendrickson Comparadun

We've been enjoying some spring like weather here this past week.  The Hyacinth are starting to poke through the ground and my thoughts are to the first hatches of spring.  The Hendrickson hatch is one of my favorites because they are big and usually the first hatch to really get the fish looking up.  I get some playful ribbing around my house when I start mentioning the Hendricksons as someone usually starts repeating the "Hendricksons are coming! The Hendricksons are coming!"

 I like tying this one with Delaware River club spectrumized dubbing.  For those of you unfamiliar with spectrumized dubbing, it is a blend a multiple colors to produce a "blended" dubbing with the correct overall color impression.  I use spectrumized dubbing for the sulfurs, olives, and isonychia patterns I tie as well.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Royal Wulff video

Here a video for tying another of my favorite small stream flies, the Royal Wulff!  Enjoy

I did get out this morning to get in some tight line nymphing practice on one of the recently stocked TMAs (trout managment areas).  From now until April, these are the only areas open to trout fishing.  It was a cold morning and after a couple of hours the toes had lost their feeling but it was good to get out and sharpen up the skill set.  A small black pheasant tail and bright flashy caddis puppa accounted for embarrassing number of cookie cutter brookies, browns, and bows.

On the way back to the car, I noticed a pretty large group of people with a few large vans full of gear.  When I asked what they were up to they said they were  Fairfield University students who were filming for a movie.  From the costumes I guess it was set in the medieval period but who knows how the guy in the lab coat factors into the plot?