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July 26, 2014
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The Complete Tangler

And the answers are...

After a telephone conversation with Mr. Wayne Grauer, I do not think I will be called upon to give away any poorly tied flies this year. Wayne is a purveyor of both new and used bamboo fly rods and knows quite a bit regarding fly fishing history. Mr. Grauer complained that the quiz this year was really tough. Some of you may simply need a few extra hours of batting practice.  Read more

Quiz time

The time has come when the crack of the bat on ball, the smack of the line drive hitting the shortstop’s glove is echoing throughout the land. A small coterie of millionaires is again playing a game that once belonged to the boys of summer. Therefore, it is time for me to warm up my venerable right arm. I am once again hoping to send you young whippersnappers back to the bench, dragging your bats behind you. Just to falsely build your confidence, the first pitch will be a batting practice fastball, waist high, right down the middle at 85 miles an hour. Step up, batter.  Read more

Exposed or hidden

In recent weeks, I have been playing the role of fly-tying instructor for those new to the art. Ah yes, I realize some might say that this was akin to the lame leading the blind. So be it. In fact, at both classes, before I even put thread to the hook shank, the words of the lead instructors in charge indicated there was a flaw in my technique. They had told the students to place the hook in the vice with the hook point exposed. Ooops! I could only hope that no one would notice that I had placed my hook in the vice with the hook point concealed.  Read more

The case of the vanishing key

Let us go back in time to August 21, 2010. Due to the generosity of Mr. Gibson McKean, my fishing buddy Dr. Oliver Herz, DVM, and I were to have an opportunity to fish Cliff Lake. Mr. McKean owns the land surrounding the lake and also has the key to unlock the gate guarding the premises. We were to meet Mr. McKean at noon so that he could guide us through the maze of dirt roads that lead to the lake and also unlock the gate for us.  Read more

A long day’s journey into paradise

The uppermost wellspring of this river of time burst from the ground in 1948. I had borrowed a book from the Kingsbridge branch of the New York public library system titled “Trout,” by Ray Bergman. To a plug-casting bass fisherman, the hundreds of delicate flies shown in this book, painted by Dr. Edgar Burke, seemed too pretty to possibly catch fish. These flies came in every shade and color imaginable. Also, they had wonderful, magical names, such as the Queen of the Waters, Rio Grande King, Parmachenie Belle, Kingfisher, Light Edson Tiger and the Black Ghost.  Read more

Trout hunting

As a young boy, I always enjoyed taking exploratory hikes into forested hills and valleys far off the beaten path. My curiosity would urge me to seek whatever mysteries lay in the valley just over the next hill. When I am on a trout stream, the current pushes me along until I discover what lies around the next bend. Sometimes this curiosity leads to difficulties. My aging legs remind me that I am no youngster. Yet my curiosity suggests that the unknown and beautiful lies only a bit further on.  Read more

A small gesture

It can be surprising how the smallest gesture can have a lasting impact.  Read more

The rainiest season

Within a few days, Barb and I will be packing up to return to Texas. Our time in the Northeast has flown by. It is now time for us to be, as Willy Nelson sings, “on the road again.” For the two of us, this has been a most disappointing fishing season. It was often disrupted by a number of trips downstate for various doctor tests and appointments. Further difficulties were encountered due to frequent high and dirty water in the local streams. There was just too much water running downhill.  Read more

An apology

On the 9th, 10th and 11th of September, Barb and I enjoyed the opportunity to attend the annual Bamboo Rod Makers Gathering at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center. Rod makers from 24 states plus Japan and Canada came to the gathering. A total of 134 men and women were in attendance. Seminars ranged from a talk on “George Halstead and his rods and ferrules,” by Jed Dempsey and John Feldenzer, to Tim Abbott on bamboo fly rod tapers and how to develop them, to the advantages and disadvantages of various glues used in the making of bamboo rods by a panel of Jed Dempsey, Tim Abbott and John Zimny.  Read more

‘Big Wind from Winnetka’

While August 26th was a beautiful blue sky day the forecast for the following days were six to eight inches of rain with winds up to 75 miles an hour. If Barbara and I were to go fishing, it was Friday or forget about it for at least a week. We headed for the Willowemoc late that afternoon. Upon reaching the stream, we found a pleasant surprise. Instead of a very low flow, the creek was running at mid-May levels with a temperature of 66 degrees.  Read more

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