Wednesday, October 31, 2012

End of the Season

As I'm sitting here writing this, the date is October 31st, 2012. The Giants just won the World Series and I'm waiting to hand out candy to trick or treeters. Although this day is just Halloween for most, those that fly fish in the Central Valley of California know this day also as the last day of the season. The decimated population of local salmon that call these rivers home is the reason for this. In the fall these fish are called back to the river in which they were born to spawn and then die. This is a good closure and allows these salmon to not be disturbed, albeit tough for those who fish these rivers frequently. This two month break allows us to spend some time at the vise, restock the fly boxes, and check out other fishing opportunities. It is also a time to reflect and look back on the year. I, along with those I fished with, had a remarkable season on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers. The trout fishing was excellent and we were even met with a few river stripers. It was also a definite big fish year with many fish at or above the proverbial 20" mark. Still looking for Hog Johnson though! I know I'll find him one of these days on one of these rivers. Anyway, I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story from this year! Hopefully next year can match the one we had this year!
Dead Salmon
Rainbow Face
Bob fighting a fish
The Raft
Greg's nice bow
Striper Head
San Juan Fighter
Rainbow Head
Tim with a bent rod
Nice Streamer Grabber
Greg with a bow in the boat
The Release
On the swing

Monday, October 1, 2012

The GSF Fly Tying Series Vol. 2 - The Tickler

This one goes out to all the swingers! Well.....those that swing the FLY to be specific. With this edition of our Fly Tying Series we decided to go with a pattern for anadromous oncorhynchus mykiss. Yes, that means steelhead! I've become hooked on swinging for steelhead (and trout for that matter) this past year and wanted to highlight a pattern for the swing. After coming across Rich Zellman's Tickler, I knew I had found a pattern I wanted to do for this series. The Tickler is an intruder-style fly, but utilizes some different materials and techniques that I had never seen used in this capacity. It's a fun fly to tie, albeit complex, but definitely worth it! This fly has met many winter steelhead face-to-face and elicited a grab. The color scheme in the original pattern is a black/blue/pink combo, but can easily be changed to suit any tyer's desire. I tied a black/chartreuse combo that I think looks absolutely killer too. Anyway, hope everyone enjoys this video! Thanks for watching! Tie up a few ticklers and swing them this winter! I know I will.

Stay Fly,



Shank: Waddington Shank, size 35mm or Salmon/Steelhead hook (like Tiemco 7999 or Alec Jackson), size 2/0 cut and straightened

Hook: Owner SSW, size 2

Connection: Econoflex Craft & Beading Wire, 20lb, midnight black

Thread: Black

Butt: Ice Dub UV fluorescent hot pink dubbing ball

Rear collar: Black turkey flat

Tail: Black ostrich herl

Body: Fluorescent cerise Krystal Flash for the rear 3/4 and STS Trilobal Kingfisher blue dubbing ball for the front 1/4

Hackle: Black pheasant tail, stripped off of the stem and palmered

Shoulder: Fluorescent blue ostrich herl over fluorescent blue turkey flat

Collar: Fluorescent blue guinea

Wing: Pair of fluorescent blue grizzly saddle tips

Topping flash: Light blue Flashabou #6915

Eyes: Large lead eye dumbbells

Head Cement: Clear Cure Goo Thin