It’s been busy over at Knee Deep Headquarters for the past few months. We’ve added a second intern here at the “office” and the buildup kept us pretty busy for a while. Now that there are two interns here, we’re having a ball cleaning up spills and changing diapers.
It was great to see everyone at the NJ Fly Fishing Show. Thanks to everyone who asked to see baby pictures and brought me coffee! I was lucky enough to sit with my old pal Matt Grobert. We rarely get to see each other outside of show season but it’s like it was last week every time we catch up. He’s been a good role model of mine since I was a kid (he’s not that old) and nobody enjoys sharing the art of fly tying and fishing more than Matt. I can’t wait to see everyone again at Lancaster!
Hey, you East coasters, there’s a new book out by Tom Gilmore just for us and I’m IN IT! I can’t believe it either. Tom must not have been thinking straight when he asked for some input on The Big Gunpowder; I’m grateful for his lapse in judgment. Call your local shop and ask them to get you a copy…then plan a road trip to some new water. It’s got all the info you need on the how and where andsome great extras like real maps! (imagine a guide book with usable maps!)
I’m in a book!
We’ll see you at Tie fest and Lancaster soon!
-Micah and the expanding crew
Lets talk streamers this year!
The International Fly Tying Symposium is this coming weekend and you need to get yourself there. If you’ve never tied a fly but want to learn, this is the place to see the world’s best tiers and talk to them about technique as well as pick up a few flies for your box along the way. If you’ve already got the bug and have been thinking about making the trip to ‘Jersey for the show, you owe it to yourself. There’s no better place to pick up hard to find materials and spend some time talking to the people who raise the birds and dye the fur.
I’ll be there, sharing a table with my good pal Ken Walrath. Stop by and say “Hi”. If you don’t already follow Knee Deep on Facebook and Twitter, this is a good time to connect. We’ll let you know what isle we’re in and post some pics for the folks who can’t attend.
See you at the show!
Ok, so he’s not there yet but Luke is going to make a fine fly tier some day. I can spot ’em! Maybe I’ll ask the good folks over at Dr. Slick if they have any plans for a “Safety Scissor”. If you made it to the Fly Show up in Somerset, you may have seen me working with a new set of “Razor” scissors. I’ve been holding them hostage since the show and I love them. Honestly, they’re so sharp that I don’t have to close them to snip my 6/0 thread. Luke is definitely not ready for those. He’d be more like Luke Skywalker with those in his hands. The Dr. Slick team is helping me put together a new arsenal of tools for this spring and I’m looking forward to all the new ways to apply bandages to my fingers. I can’t wait.
Spring is coming. I swear. It happens every year. Just when you can’t take it any more, the sun shines again and it’s time to fish. After all these fishing expos and today’s run down to the Maryland DNR offices to renew my guide’s license just this morning, I’ve got cabin fever bad. I’m looking forward to some upcoming shows like the big Fly Fishing Show up in Lancaster, PA and Lefty’s Tie Fest. Both are great opportunities to keep spirits high and get your fishing fix. Both the “fly show” and CCA/Tie Fest have facebook pages where you can stay up to date of what’s going to be at the shows. While we’re at it, have you “liked” OUR PAGE? Tie fest is a hardcore tying event and packed with some of the best tiers and a few shops selling materials (even a few rod companies). I think it’s a great chance to get up close and personal with the tiers and really learn a few tricks. Get yourself to both shows and you won’t regret it.
Keep cranking them out. Longer days are coming!
The Fly Fishing Show is coming to Somerset, NJ January 24th, 25th and 26th. It’s the biggest thing in fly fishing and you need to go!
Not only will you have a chance to see the latest in fly fishing gear, you’ll get to sit in on free seminars and lectures by fly fishing’s greatest minds. Oh and don’t forget, rows and rows of the worlds best fly tiers showing you how it’s done and telling some of the biggest “fish stories” if you’re willing to listen. If you need a new rod, this is the place to cast them (go see our friend’s at Mystic) and if you need tying materials, this is the place to find it all (maybe you need a new vise from Peak?).
We’ll be there (maybe just me) and I can’t wait to see you all and hear how your season’s wrapped up and your plans for 2014. Be sure and stop by to say Hello. If you’ve never been, you should score a hotel room nearby and load up a car full of fishing buddies to make the trip with you. You won’t regret it; depending on your carpool buddies.
See you at The Show!
What are you doing next weekend? You’re loading up the car and heading to New Jersey for the International Fly Tying Symposium. Not a tier? You will be after the world’s best fly tiers show you what you can do with a little thread and a hook. It’s a chance to meet the celebritieslike Baltz, Popovics and Clouser as well as learn a few speed tricks from the commercial tiers like Ken Walrath, Anthony Giaquinto, and Mike Schmidt.
Every year the “Tying show”, as many folks call it, puts on the best expo devoted to fly tying. Knee Deep Fly Fishing will be in the house and I’ll be showing off flies that tease up tight lipped browns from the depths of the Gunpowder and telling big fish stories. For 20 years I’ve been attending but it’s the first time I’ll be tying at the show. Be sure to swing by and say hello! It sounds like I’ll be sharing a table with my friend and tying hero Matt Grobert (a hometown ‘Jersey boy). Hopefully he’s got his earplugs and can handle my noise; I’ll buy him some coffee for putting up with me.
From classic salmon flies and crazy bass bugs to the flies of hard working guides, there’s a hook to be wrapped for everyone. Get yourself to “the tying show”!
Keep your tip on the water,
Micah & The Knee Deep Team
I tried hard to show off that fly but the fish were a little too hungry!
Armed with a new fly pattern, I set out to get a picture of it hanging from the corner of a fish’s mouth. I was sure it would work but who really knows when it comes to new flies. There were plenty of fish willing to hook themselves but nearly every one was hooked in a manner that wouldn’t allow for a photo of the fly. One large fish even broke off, stealing the fly I was trying to get shots of. It was laughable. How could I be angry that the fish were taking my fly? Years ago someone told me “you can fish, or take pictures, but it’s hard to do both.” That same person told me the old photographer’s joke “…if you want to take better pictures, get better looking friends.”
Of course, there were only 4 flies tied and that’s never enough if it’s the one that’s working. With 2 in the trees or on the bottom, and 1 in a fish, the rest of the afternoon was spent casting with less boldness. You can bet a dozen or two will get turned out at the vise this week. As for the photos, I may just have to settle for a picture of it in the vise.
Let’s go fishing!
Micah & The Knee Deep Team
The banks of the Big Gunpowder look a little different after the high water.
After Hurricane Sandy and the nearly 3,000cfs spike in flows, the banks of the Big gunpowder look a little different. While the high water changes the look of a river and can be hard on its aquatic life, these too-frequent epic-high-water events are a good chance to study the life of the river. Those of us who spend a lot of time on the water are familiar with its banks and the contours of its runs. There’s nothing like walking and wading your favorite stretches and discovering new runs and log-jams if you’ve been bitten hard by the fishing bug.
Some insect sampling revealed lots of caddis and mayflies holding tight to the rocks and a few midges. One thing we discovered is a lot of olive mayflies. We’ve always fished dark brown and olive Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ears and treating yourself to an olive hare’s mask would be $5 well spent if you tie your own. The midges that were netted were more cream and green than any of the red or black varieties. Super tiny and active in a sampling bin, they were hard to photograph. We shot a few through some stacked lenses and will think skinnier and longer in the future. A size 16 curved hook with tan thread will be in the box this winter.
We netted a few midges and quite a few snails!
Headed out this week? Think deep and set the hook every time your strike indicator stalls even for a moment.
Keep your boots clean,
The Knee Deep Team
Got ants in your pants? Maybe you hadn’t noticed but ants are everywhere this time of year. Sure, beetles and hoppers are cool and get lots of attention but ants are small and, when you find them, you find lots of them.
Last week I found myself and a guest fishing on the Big Gunpowder Falls hunting fish in the shade of overhanging trees. We had one of those “Cast it in there like this” moments and as the fly hit the water it was crashed by a nice brown trout that was watching for food in the trees.
As necessity breeds creation, I’ve come up with a fast and durable foam ant pattern that I can tie lots of in a short time. You can get a PDF with step by step tying instructions HERE. I recommend tying a good number of them so the trees can have a few without it ruining your day.
Put some ants in your pocket!
While the water is high and may get higher today, there are sunny skies in the future forecast. Here at Knee Deep Headquarters, we’ve got a day off the water tying Pheasant Tail nymphs and spinners for when things return to normal.
The prior week was filled with great fishing on The Big Gunpowder Falls. Sulfur emergers, wets, and dry + dropper combinations proved deadly right up until the latest front rolled through, when things slowed down.
If you’re headed out this week, be sure to check the river gauges before you head out. At close to 300 CFS the water is mighty fast. Fishing heavy streamers in the eddies is a great way to stay on the banks and hook up with some big fish. Don’t let stained water scare you away. If you can cast around the rapidly growing vegetation on the banks, you’ll find fish holding on the edges. By late this week, things should calm down.
The Knee Deep Team