Posts tagged #fly 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.

House of Hardy – 1969 Catalogue

The House of Hardy - Anglers Catalogue 1969

The House of Hardy - Anglers Catalogue 1969

Found this gem in Macleod's Books, Vancouver. What a wonderful book shop, there are piles of seemingly unorganized books to rifle through. This catalogue came from its depths; a real fishing time capsule, one to study and drool over. I uploaded a whole bunch of catalogue pages here. Check out the "Anglers and Sportsman's Pipe."

The House of Hardy - Mark 1969

The House of Hardy - Mark 1969

The imagery in this catalogue is pure fishing gold but I especially love their logo - thick lines and great colours.

Posted on November 6, 2013 and filed under Books, History.

Fish On

The stunning Phillips River

The stunning Phillips River

It finally happened, I caught my first real fish on a fly. All it took was a trip to British Columbia, a day on the magnificent Phillips river, an awesome guide, a honeymoon, and a very patient Mrs. VHD.

Pink Salmon

Pink Salmon

Not the striper I'd been hunting but a beautiful wild pink salmon. Known here in the States as the humpback salmon in Canada they are called pinks, allegedly for their attraction to pink lures. This beauty fell prey to a pink woolly bugger. I also pulled in a couple more pinks and a decent sized cut-throat trout, all on the fly. Amazing.

Bean School of Fly Fishing Button

Bean School of Fly Fishing Button

As tradition dictates I'm finally able to rotate my LL.Bean outdoor school pin the right way up and wear it with pride. Big thanks to our guide Kyle who put us on the fish.

Posted on September 9, 2013 and filed under VHD.

First fish of the season

First fish of the season

First fish of the season

Here we have it, I pulled in my first fish of the season, an 18" striped bass caught from Casco Bay. 2013 is going to be my "Year of the Fly" - I took a two day fly fishing course at L.L Bean a month ago and I'm now hooked (excuse the pun.) However, on this particular day fly conditions were tricky and this fish was eventually pulled in on my spinning rod with my favourite lure.

L.L Bean button, still upside down

L.L Bean button, still upside down

Saltwater fishing is geographically a lot more accessible for me but fly fishing in the sea certainly posses its own unique set of challenges. Rest assured when I pull in my first fish on a fly you will be the first to know and, as tradition dictates I will finally be allowed flip my "L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School" button the right way up.