On October 8th, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the Orvis Store in Bethesda, MD during their “Orvis Days” event. I was flattered to have a great crowd of folks turn out to hear me talk about the Big Gunpowder Falls and show off some of my photography with a presentation following the seasons on the river.
Also presenting during the event was Trent Jones, who schooled us on fishing in DC on the Tidal Potomac River, all while we were entertained for most of the day by jazz guitarist Bart Stringham. Joe from the shop brouth in Sandwiches from PotBelly and other snacks and refreshments. Except for being on the water, what else could a fly-fisher want?
I couldn’t have asked for a better reception and I’m grateful for all the kind feedback I’ve received. Thank you to everyone who turned out and to Orvis for having me at the shop!
If you missed you missed the Orvis Days promotions last weekend there’s a chance to save at the store coming up the week of October 21st through Oct. 30th with a Care For Kids Card from the folks at the Children’s National Medical Center. The cards are $50 and get you 20% discounts on regularly priced merchandise. It’s perfect if you’ve had your eye on new boots and waders or a new rod for under the tree not to mention the long list of first class merchants who’re participating! I’ll even be working at the store Sunday the 23rd if you want to come and say hello.
Wet or dry...have it your way
Nothing is new about fishing wet flies but I thought I’d share my go-to wet/dry sulphur pattern. Fishing the Gunpowder Falls anglers are treated to some great hatches of sulphurs and caddis. I think there are more caddis in the river but feel free to debate it with me. In any case, I fish this fly both dry and wet. I even fish a combo of it with just the wings dried off by a powdered fly drying agent. There’s nothing fancy about it except maybe the snowshoe-hares foot wing. The more fish you catch the worse it looks and the better it seems to work. I don’t leave the house without a full compartment of this fly if I’m taking other people along. As the season goes by I tie it smaller and smaller and even with a dun colored wing. I credit an old friend for turning me onto the snowshoe hare years ago and I put it in everything.
Wet flies are one of those things you just can’t get in your local fly shop (unless you have a great local shop…if so get in there and buy some flies and other stuff from them and keep them open) and when I hear people say “It’s not worth tying my own flies” I think of this one. They’re becoming a lost art. There are dozens of patterns that you just can’t pick up everywhere. Many tiers are picky about little details and swear by minor adjustments of old patterns. I’m definitely one of those folks; for me it’s the little tweaks that give flies the “life” that some store bought flies are lacking. Spending a few hours at the vise refining and learning can pay off on the stream. There’s nothing more rewarding than learning to tie your own flies and hitting the water and CATHCHING FISH with something you made!
Get out there while it’s still spring! And get on some of those sulphurs. Maybe call your favorite local fishing guide (hint, hint!) and ask about some fly tying lessons. It’s a sure-fire cure for cabin feaver when winter comes around again.
Almost Ice Fishing
Some years winter really drags on. Living in Washington, DC it can seem like winter is canceled one week and back at work the next. It’s what makes cabin fever soar over 103 degrees. I get the fever pretty bad every year and, after spending a LOT of time hibernating, have to find ways to get out. Sometimes the timing isn’t always perfect and, more often than not, the weather is at its worst. One such trip last month was exactly that.
The wind was blowing 15-20mph steady with gusts up to 40mph and there were a few inches of snow on the ground. It was definitely winter. A serious blow out in my waders cut my day short and made me happy I was only a mile from the truck and a bag full of spare clothes. We found a good post-fishing homestyle Mexican place on the way home and the day was saved.
Sometimes you have to get out no matter what the Weatherman says. In a few more weeks we’ll be sporting short sleeves tossing caddis and mayflies. I can’t wait!