Posts filed under Fishing

Farewell Stripers

 Seasons End 2014

Seasons End 2014

In the past few weeks the last of the striped bass have left my local waters and continued on their annual journey South. Just like the retirees and holiday makers, they are heading for warmer climates after a summer gorging on Maine's seafood.

It was by far my most successful year of fishing, early in the season I made a pact with myself and only fished with flies and only ones I tied myself. This was, at times, highly frustrating, especially when fumbling double halls, battling winds and getting drenched while wading in the pitch black. I'm really glad I stuck with it, there were even moments out there when I felt like I got it;  when the sun was slowly rising over mirrored waters and I was making perfect tight loops, targeting fleeting shadows beneath the water. I cannot wait for their return.

Until next season, I shall leave you with this, from Mark Kingwell's wonderful book "Catch and Release"

Fishing teaches us to dream, to find apertures of possibility in the edifice of daily life; to act by contemplating and contemplate as a way of acting. To angle is to live in hope. And just as surely, hope’s contours are revealed by angling calmness.
— Mark Kingwell - Catch And Release, 2003
Posted on October 27, 2014 and filed under Fishing.

On the Fly

 First fish of 2014 on a fly

First fish of 2014 on a fly

As far as evenings go, it looked unpromising. A thick low cloud clung to the coast, the surf was big and an abnormally high tide had pushed a mountain of water up into the river. As the tide gradually switched from slack to outgoing, the river picked up pace and began to empty back into the sea.

Having fished this river often I knew there was only a few feet of wading room before the drop-off so I gingerly edged forward into the frigid Maine waters in the evening gloom. As I began to throw my rookie double hauls into the current, I had already resigned myself to another skunked striper session.

Today, however, it happened - twice. They were far from monsters but heavy-weights in significance. My first stripers on a fly, and one I tied no less.

Posted on June 11, 2014 and filed under Fishing.

Tying

  Olive Woolly Bugger

Olive Woolly Bugger

As many of you may know I recently entered the wonderful world of fly fishing. Living here in Maine it's pretty much mandatory; like wearing Bean boots and sporting facial hair. Like a lot of newcomers I'm overwhelmed by all the different types of flies – dry flies, wet flies, streamers, emergers, deceivers, poppers, nymphs, just to name a few. To better understand them all and how/when to use them  I was advised to start tying own, and now that the Maine fishing season is dying down I can get properly stuck in.

Fly tying is extremely satisfying, and extremely frustrating. I've bought a few how-to books but by far the best instructions I've found are from Tightline Productions. Tightline makes videos for a few companies, including Orvis, and they are incredibly well put together -  easy to follow, well shot and most importantly the flies come out fantastically.

Olive Woolly Bugger from Tightline Productions

This video makes a bombproof woolly bugger, the best pattern I have seen. Their full set of instructional videos can be found here. If you already tie flies or are interested in trying it, check them out.

Posted on November 21, 2013 and filed under Fishing.

Chris Yates – The Lost Diary

Chris Yates talking about his lost diary

UPDATE: The book has been successfully funded so keep an eye out in the coming months!

I have spoken about Mr Yates in past posts - he is one of my favorite fishermen; he is beloved by nearly every British angler as an author, photographer and staunch advocate for vintage fishing gear and methods. Over the last few months, in anticipation for Maine's fishing season, I read a few of his books - each one is a masterpiece. I knew through Yates' reputation and his previous works that I would love these books, but as each one unfolded I became further charmed and impressed by Yates; his philosophies, his love for the outdoors, nature and, of course, tea. All of which resonate with me and my beliefs.

When I came to the end of "Nightwalk", Yates' magical and lyrical book about walking through nighttime British countryside, I was keen to find out what he was up to next. It was in this search that I came across his intended crowd funded next publication. Entitled "The Lost Diaries" the book is exactly that, a  book of his recently rediscovered fishing diaries dating from the 1980s, including "the last days Chris spent fishing at Redmire after his record catch and the early days of the Golden Scale Club." 

 How to Fish and On Fishing at Sea

How to Fish and On Fishing at Sea

So for my sake, and for the sake of all those that love and cherish nature,  the outdoors and Yates' writing, take a look at this video and perhaps consider donating to this book. Funding is being sourced through unbound.co.uk which is very much like kick-starter. For a minimum donation of GBP10 you will receive a copy of the book and also have your name published in the back.

So far I have read "How to Fish", "Nightwalk" and "On Fishing at Sea " these are still readily available and I cannot speak highly enough of them.

Posted on April 18, 2013 and filed under Books, Fishing, Hero.