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December 29, 2014
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The Complete Tangler

How long is long?

Last column I mentioned I was experimenting with one of the ideas put forth by Rene Harrop in his book, “Learning from the Water.” This is a book to read and then reread. A number of Mr. Harrop’s observations will cause the reader to stop and think. One such instance is his chapter on leaders. I usually tie my leaders to be nine or 10 feet in length. Both Bonnie and Rene Harrop use leaders from 14 to 18 feet in length. He suggests that at first you try a leader 14 feet in length.  Read more

Trials and tribulations

On my most recent trip to the lower West Branch of the Delaware, I fished in the company of a Mr. Blair Williams. It was a tough night, with very few flies hatching. Of course, this meant that rising fish were scarce. The high point of my night occurred when my legs suddenly went numb and I went for a swim in water barely up to my knees.  Read more

Trials & tribulations

On my most recent trip to the lower West Branch of the Delaware, I fished in the company of a Mr. Blair Williams. It was a tough night, with very few flies hatching. Of course, this meant that rising fish were scarce. The high point of my night occurred when my legs suddenly went numb and I went for a swim in water barely up to my knees.  Read more

An absent-minded professor

At a recent meeting of the “Bamboo Gang,” Roger Menard showed off a pretty rod that had a very curious history. As Roger explained it, while fishing he had met a fellow angler whose father had worked for Jim Payne. This fellow noticed Roger’s bamboo rod and asked if Roger had ever put rods together. When Roger answered “yes,” this fellow said he would send him some glued-up sticks for a seven-and-one-half-foot rod. These sticks would already have the ferrules attached.  Read more

The winner and the collector

Wednesday evening, July 18, I played the part of a fishing buddy for young Arnon Goldberg. Arnon is trying to master the mysteries of fly fishing while attending the Trout Unlimited “Fish Camp.” As is the case with all beginners, it will take a while. Arnon seems to have the proper degree of determination and inquisitiveness.  Read more

True words

Norman MacLean once wrote, “No one can tell what a spot of time is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and then the fish is gone.”  Read more

Tenkara?

Tenkara fly fishing is the method Japanese fly fishers use when fishing their mountainous, fast flowing, small trout streams. It is a markedly different technique from our western style of fly fishing. A Tenkara fly rod ranges from 10 to 14 feet in length. No reel is ever used on this rod. The line is attached to the tip of the rod, which has a thin one-and-one-half-inch-long woven line permanently attached to it. This short piece of line is called a “lilian.” A length of fluorcarbon or nylon monofilament is tied to the lilian. This is the casting line.  Read more

The bird whisperer

Plunk! Something had just struck one of the windows that look out on our back porch. Being curious, I went out onto the porch to see what had caused the noise. To my chagrin, I found one of our little wrens lying unconscious on the deck.  Read more

Rats!

In the past two weeks, one thing and another has prevented me from going trout hunting. First, doctors and dentist appointments, then an afternoon spent with Misako Ishimura, which gave Barb and me each the opportunity to say good-bye to Mark Romero by dropping a handful of his ashes into Stewart Brook. Thus, Mark’s remains were started on a slow journey down the Catskill waters that he loved. He was a long time member of Theodore Gordon Flyfishers and served for many years on their conservation committee.  Read more

Happiness, then sorrow

As our trip north came to an end, our first stop was Peck’s Market, and then on to the post office at Hankins, NY. There was a surprise waiting for me there. I had thought that my assortment of curves and fastballs had shut down anyone stepping into the batters’ box. However, a fellow named Robert Moase from Sweet Valley, PA, swings a fast bat. He whacked that batting practice fastball into right for a clean single. Hmm, I’d better pitch this fellow carefully.  Read more