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September 23, 2014
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The Complete Tangler

An astonished deer

On August 8, after the meeting of the “Bamboo Gang,” I fished at one of my favorite spots on the East Branch of the Delaware. As I walked past where a small tributary runs under Route 30, I was surprised to hear the sounds of running water.  Read more

Summerfest and the Hardy Brothers Cup

Saturday, August 6 found the Tangler and friends wandering through the various stands of vendors exhibiting their wares at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center’s Summerfest weekend. Wow, bargains galore. I picked up a number of Mustad hooks at a price of $6 a hundred. They were the old-style Mustad hooks but at that price, a steal of a deal. There were excellent prices on fly-tying materials and hardcover books that are often hard to find. Dennis Menscer, the bamboo rod builder from Hancock, NY, delivered my new eight-foot, five-weight rod.  Read more

The next generation

The fourth State of New York Trout Unlimited (TU) Fish Camp was held from July 17 through July 22. Fourteen teenagers, 11 boys and three girls, were in attendance. At each of these camps a number of TU men and women have been privileged to instruct these youngsters on the arts and mysteries of fishing with a fly rod. It should be noted that this camp would not exist without the time and energy expended by Kurt Nelson of the Al Hazzard Chapter of TU. He seems always able to surmount the countless problems that are involved in an operation of this size.  Read more

Difficult times

In baseball when a batter fails to hit well over a period of time, it is said the batter is in a hitting slump. As a fly fisher I have been in a season-long fish-catching slump. While those that I usually fish with have not exactly been wearing out the trout, my results have been very disappointing. Of course, my time on the streams has been greatly curtailed. Heavy and frequent rains have turned the rivers into raging chocolate-colored rapids. On those days when I have been able to go fishing, I return home without even a tale of the big one that eluded me.  Read more

The television star

Six weeks ago, I received an unusual request from our friend Misako Ishimura. Misako is a member of the Japanese Women’s Fly Fishing Organization. She wanted me to participate in the making of a fly fishing film that would be sponsored by the Shimano Tackle Company of Japan, the tentative title being “Fly Fishing in the Catskill Mountains of America.” The show is to be shown on Japanese television. Misako, or “Misa” as she prefers to be called, is such a wonderful, bubbly little lady it was impossible to refuse her plea.  Read more

Frustration

We are in early June, and Barb and I can count on one hand the number of times we have fished. Long periods of rain, often with real downpours, have kept the rivers running high and dirty. In May, when we had a brief period without rain, my best fishing partner suggested we try the lower Beaverkill at the Trout Brook access. She felt the river might be warmer there, possibly bringing on a good hatch of flies. Off we went. We did find a large number of caddis flies in the air indicating there had already been a strong hatch.  Read more

Those sweet grass rods

In June 2004, I began the fishing column that I write for The River Reporter with this sentence: “I’m in love again, head over heels in love again.” Readers were momentarily startled by this seemingly public confession of being unfaithful. As they read further they found my new love was seven and one half feet tall and weighed only four ounces. I had gone back to casting an old, long-unused, five-strip bamboo fly rod made by that maverick among rod makers, Nat Uslan. The sweet feeling of casting that rod made me wonder why on earth I had forsaken bamboo for graphite these many years.  Read more

At last

Friday, May 6 will be the first day of fishing for the Tangler. My silk line has been dressed with Red Label Mucilin, the ferrules on the bamboo rod checked, various fly boxes have been stowed away in my fishing shirt. My reel has been cleaned and greased. I am set to go. The Graham brothers and I will be heading for the Willowemoc right after lunch. We are all hoping to find the Hendrickson mayfly hatching. This is the insect that usually causes the trout to lose their winter sluggishness and go on the feed voraciously.  Read more

Another season

By the time you read this article, another Northeast trout season will have begun. Also the cry of “Play ball!” and the “POP” of a fastball entering a catcher’s mitt will have echoed throughout the land. Therefore it is time for another “Clem’s Quiz.”

My fastball has lost a bit of its hop, but I shall try to fool some of you young batters with some off speed junk. So step into the batter’s box while I go into my windup.  Read more

Sad news

Several friends contacted me in February to say that Richard Talleur had passed away. Next, the newsletter of the Pike-Wayne chapter of Trout Unlimited arrived with the news that Fredrick Eck had died. Mr. Eck had operated fly fishing shops in the Honesdale, Scranton and Starlight areas. His then wife, Patti, had been an excellent ambassador of good will at his stores. She had an uncanny knack of remembering the names of even those who were only sometimes customers. Rick also gave freely of his time to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum.  Read more