Sunday, February 24, 2019

Picket Pin

Bead head and orange head versions
It's a rainy late February day outside so I've been meaning to tie a few "winter flies" for those late winter days when you need a nymph/wet fly/streamer to get down to where the fish are and keep it there.

I first learned about the Picket Pin from my good friend Alan (Small Stream Reflections).  It's not a well known fly, probably because it is an older pattern but if you are looking for a versatile fly for the winter, this one is it.  I've fished it as a nymph, swung it like a wet fly, and with a slow retrieve like a mini streamer.

I tie them with two strands of peacock herl for the body, brown hen hackle, palmered from eye to bend and then caught and counter wrapped with gold wire for added durability.  The wing is natural squirrel tail finished off with a couple turns of peacock herl in front of the wing. I typically tie with them with and without a tungsten bead.  For the unweighted version, I thought I would finish these off with a fire orange thread head hardened with some UV fly finish.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The beauty of winter

I see a few posts here and there bemoaning winter and longing for spring.  While I certainly understand those sentiments, I actually enjoy winter.  For me winter is a time to get out and explore and the Adirondacks streams are iced in and the fishing season is closed anyway.  I often take my camera along with me cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling.

Winter reminds me of the necessity of quite and rest.  If you've ever spent any time in a hemlock forest in the winter then you know what silence feels like.  In this fast paced world we all live in,  quite reflection is a lost art and frankly it's not a good thing.

Here are some winter scenes that I hope encourage you to get outside and listen to the sounds of winter

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Shenandoah National Park

Dark Hollow Falls
When I think of waterfalls, my mind is drawn to Shenandoah National Park.

I first discovered the park on  my drives to Memphis while by daughter was a student.  As someone who has fished mountain brooks in the Adirondacks and New England, I really had no idea what to expect in Southern Appalachia but I was struct by the ruggedness of the gorges and hollows in the park.  The streams are high-gradient mountain streams very similar in character to the types of streams I love fishing in the northeast. 

I fell in love with the park on that very first visit and have had the opportunity to camp and fish there a few times.  I hope these pictures will encourage you to explore this national treasure.  You will notice that almost all of the shots are rotated vertical to fully capture the waterfalls 

White Oak Canyon Falls in autumn

Rose River Falls
Lower Falls in Dark Hollow
We owe a debt of thanks to those who had the foresight to set up our national park system to preserve the diversity of our national landscape!

Beautiful Southern Appalachian brook trout call these waters home