Monday, December 13, 2010

Fly Tying with the Afton Angler


This past Sunday in the wonderful winter wonderland, I had the privilege to pick the brain of the one and only Brad Bohen. For those who don't know who Brad is, you should read his blog as well (http://zero2hero-aftonangler.blogspot.com/). He doesn't post much, but when he does, it matters.

Brad is a successful muskie guide in the territory of the Midwest known as Musky Country. What makes Brad stand out from the rest is his ability to fool these toothy critters with nothing more then feathers, hair, and some flash. His company Musky Country Outfitters had a few guides working the waters this past season which combined put over 350 muskie in the boat. This is unheard of for such an elusive species. Now Brad and I have been talking here and there through email for about a year now. I've always had the intention of getting up there and having Brad do what he does best, but I haven't had the chance. Sunday was an opportunity I couldn't pass up and was extremely excited about.

I got to One More Cast in Countryside a little before 11:00 am on a frigid day and was nervous to what I was walking into. From my previous posts, you may be able to tell I have the desire to be a pro fly fisherman (when I get out), but I don't have the experience. Joseph, the owner of the shop, was extremely nice and a great guy to chat with all day. He actually looked over my fly tying skills (which are very novice at best) and instructed me on what I was doing wrong and such. Once Brad walked in, it was time to get moving. We ate some homemade Mexican food made by Joseph and started talking. Brad brought another guide down with him named Tim - another fly fisher who really knows what he is doing on the water.

The fly we were going to learn to tie was Brad's Hangtime. The fly is designed to be fished with sinking tip line and stripped in sporadically while the rod tip is in the water. The fly pictured above is my attempt at tying this fly. It is quite an easy fly to tie consisting of deer hair, long feathers, and flash. Add these three layers and then add eyes. Brad showed us how to apply the eyes, but none of the other tiers actually added them.

Here is a link to Brad's instructions to tie this fly: http://hatchesmagazine.com/magazine/pdf/HangTime.pdf
Needless to say, I met some great people that I'll be in touch with in the future. I have a chance to hit the spring creeks of Southwest Wisconsin with a guide and of course getting out with Brad.

Signing off...here is a trailer for a movie coming out featuring the guys at Musky Country Outfitters. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tradition Passed On...


In my last blog I announced that I'll be having my first baby in the middle of April. For all you fathers out there you know the thoughts I'm going through. I'm not scared or nervous like I was in the beginning and starting to get really excited and impatient.

My girlfriend and I were laying in bed the other night and I asked if I could read before going to sleep. She didn't mind and asked if I could read to the baby. I told her it was Muskie on the Fly and not the book we bought to read to the baby. We both agreed it didn't matter, and I read about streamers for muskie and the color variations and hook sizes. When I closed the book and turned the light off to sleep, it hit me. I realized at that moment that not only will I be able to take my child fishing (we decided not to find out what we are having), but that I'll be able to pass down all the traditions that I've learned throughout my time out in nature. Most of you that fish know that everyone has there methods of fishing and I'm not talking about fly to spin gear. I'm talking how you fish when you fish. We've all seen people out there throwing corn and bread for carp. Hell, I've done it and it's a good way to hook into a big fighting fish that a child can hold without harm or fear. Or the people that throw a bobber out with a worm on a hook and leave it there. Again, nothing wrong with it, I've done it and will continue to do it under the right circumstances. My thoughts that night when I drifted to sleep were that I'm going to have a child to teach everything I know about fishing to. A little fishing buddy that can fish however he or she wants, but I'll never stop teaching. If we want to throw some worms in the local pond, so be it, but I'll be teaching and showing him or her about different lures and how they work, different areas on the pond and what type of fish it may hold, and lastly I'll let my child use whatever he or she wants out of my tackle box. If the kid is half as curious as I was when I was young, I'll be buying the most ridiculous lures just so it can be tried out.

This is one of the many things I look forward to, passing tradition on...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Long Overdue


It has been way too long since I have posted. I would love to be able to use the excuse that I was too busy out in search of new water and catching new species of fish, but that was not the case. Instead I was only able to get out a handful of times when life allowed it. I will probably never go into detail about the few trips I took these past few months; however, I do look forward to getting out soon. Future "plans" are to hit up the Driftless Area in Iowa with my good friend Mike sometime this winter. The season never closes and it would be fun to find a hatch going on in the winter and catch some wild trout. I really would like to get into fly tying more. I do it once every few months and at that rate, I'll never get good at it. I also have a few books I would like to read (or finish reading.) I am currently reading Muskie on the Fly by Robert S. Tomes and it has really inspired me to chase these toothy critters this coming spring. With my first baby due in the middle of April, I will be wishing for a quick winter so I can get out as much as I can in the early spring. Maybe hook into a few new species on the fly rod and have a few good stories to talk about. I will probably search for carp at the water treatment plant on the Fox this winter. The water is always favorably warm and the carp just sit and suck up bugs. I need to do a better job of reading the hatch at that time and try to mimic it as much as possible.

Sorry again for the lack of writing. It is something that I love to do, but always put it off. That will be changing.

I see an adventure on the horizon...and I look forward to writing about it.