As a fly fisherman, any type of travel always seems to have a day or two added in just for wetting a line. There are trips that are solely for the purpose of getting one’s feet wet and there are others where sneaking a rod in the luggage pays off. Most of our family traveling seems to include a day without dad as I sneak off to fish somewhere nearby.
As one travels, it’s nice to make new fishing friends along the way. With all of the technology surrounding us it’s easier to send out a late night note that says “hey, I’m headed your way. Let’s fish” to a long lost pal.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to connect with my old friend Steve Wascher up on Lake Erie. You may know him as the world renowned fly tier. I know him as “that other big loud guy.” I was visiting family and told him I was stranded with no vehicle but was free to fish; what a mooch! He told me not to worry and we’d figure it out. After an all-night drive up to Erie, PA, I grabbed a few hours of sleep and was waiting in my in-laws driveway with 4 layers of clothes on. Hey, it’s a big change going from 100-degree days in Washington to 55-degee mornings up north!
After an education on trolling motors, (hey, I’m a trout guy, I know nothing) we were off to the lake. We didn’t get far before we started seeing fish on the surface. We cast and cast to a giant school of spotted gar (I insisted they were bass) for a while until Steve started hooking Sheepheads! Having cut my teeth fishing Midwest rivers with my father, I knew that this beautiful fish was in fact a prized sport fish. Many a fly angler has hunted the elusive Sheepsheads for hours on end, only to return home having brought none to their net. Steve wasn’t so sure about their prize-worthy-ness and for the next couple of hours I hooked and lost a few while Steve continued to haul in slabs of zebra-muscle-encrusted-gold. I was pretty jealous but I eventually got mine when a school of white bass busted around us. I could still catch fish! Whew. Not to be outdone by some kid in the back of HIS boat, Steve put me to shame with a double on his dropper rig.
It was a great morning spent telling jokes and burning my, normally wader covered, legs and feet out on the waters of Lake Erie. I returned home to receive the same lecture I get every time I hang out with Steve regarding the use of sunscreen. I can’t wait till my next trip up north to connect with my fishing buddies to hear about all the adventures they’ve had this summer. Hopefully it’ll be before steelhead season. Thanks for taking me fishing Steve!
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
Just when I thought the show season was over, it’s time to pack up and head to my old stomping grounds at NJ’s Hacklebarney Trout Unlimited meeting. This Thursday night, we’ll be there talking about fishing The Big Gunpowder Falls and telling all sorts of lies. I hope you can make it if you’re in the area. I’m really looking forward to it!
I owe a big thanks to everyone who came out to Lefty’s Tie Fest last weekend and especially to everyone who came to hear my talk at the show. I couldn’t have asked for a better reception! It was great to see so many kids at Tie Fest. While it makes me feel old, I’m excited to see what the future holds for the world of fly tying. If you’ve got kids who are interested in tying, it’s a must attend event to put on the list for next year.
Hey, it’s still cold but the stoneflies are coming. we’ve got some new stuff in the works so keep checking in!
Keep your tip on the water,
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!
This weekend is the 36th Anual Angling Show assembled by NCC-TU. It’s a neat show with a good handful of folks presenting on topics like small stream trout, bass/smallies and the like. It’s only $10 to get in and, like any of the shows, it’s a good chance to catch up with old friends and familiar faces.
Get yourself signed up for a casting clinic and maybe bring your kids by the tying tables and get them tying flies for you and for their own boxes. I’m on the list to help out for a few hours so it will surely be fun!