Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SELECTIVITY ANTHOLOGY SNIPPETS-Vol.1_HISTORY

In the two year editing/4 year writing process of "Selectivity- the book, over 80,000 words were edited out/entire chapters, to allow for more photography, more fly patterns and recipes .


 On a weekly bases in a series of volumes, I will share some of the post-clips/excerpts as hopefully interesting and enjoyable reading as opposed to a 'Selectivity II' sequel , which would be more profitable-oh well!-, but money isn't everything eh! 
When Al Caucci , who did the forward  based on the original uncut/unedited version he was a tad disappointed and sad when he received the final book, as other forward contributors did since so much was edited by the publishers,  as the master of  'Hatches' and the Delaware said, "they cut out all the good juicy stuff !"- here is my attempt top make it right! ( besides, I'm working on another huge project!)

For those always seeking more knowledge and insight into the fascinating cerebral world of  chasing trout, salmon and steelhead and the thinking, analytical fly fisher that results from pursuing such amazingingly fussy quarry  ....enjoy!...BTW-BY GOD?...please stop the rain!!!!!-I'm on vacation for Christ's sake and want to fish!!!!!- not BLOG!

THE SELECTIVE FLY FISHER- A HISTORY OF THEORY AND OBSERVATION
Ever since the first known and documented episode of an elite Roman author in 200 A.D.  witnessing fishing for trout with a fly, theoretical and empirical postulating over the behavior and  abilities for the salmonid to take the fly, have created an anthology of excellent writings and unique thoughts about the subject.
Macedonia and the former Yugoslavia are loaded with amazing chalk stream spring creeks full of wild and large brown trout. These rivers are home to some unique strains of Brown trout -- particularly the beautiful and cunning “salmo macedonicus”-the Macedonian brown trout.  Claudius Aelianus was a Roman author that spoke the local dialects of the region. On his travels and observations of wildlife along the trout rich Astralus River, he documents the first selective trout encounters by the local Macedonian fishermen:
                                          “they fastened red wool round a hook, and fit on to the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, in which and color are like wax. Their rod is 6 feet long, and their line is the same length. Then they throw their snare, and the fish, attracted and maddened by the color, comes straight at it, thinking from the pretty sight to gain a dainty mouthful; when, however, it opens its jaws, is caught by the hook, and enjoys a bitter repast, a captive.”
Could this be the first known documentation of the selective process by a wise Brown trout and the”per say” fly fisher, actually eliciting a strike response appropriate for the condition?-it appears so. Aelianus’s other writings around this time seemed to be centered in the autumn of the year. As we know, the fall is “pre- spawn or spawning time”for the Brown trout.  Sexual maturity and optic nerve color preference go hand - in-hand.  So what a more perfect fly to entice the aggressive/active spawning mode of a territorial Brown trout than a red fly. Here chance and selectivity come into a perfect bond simply by coincidence.

As credited with the first book of fly fishing, Dame Juliana Berners in 1495 of the 15th century, wrote “TREATISE OF FYSSHYNGE WITH AN ANGLE’, in the Book of St. Albans., A series of eight books dealing with hawking, hunting, and herding.  In her book, she can be credited with being the first angler to identify leaders made from horsehair and how to dye them in various hues- from green to brown to yellow-based on the season and water color. Juliana was the first”selective”leader/tippit identifier to come along and realize the effectiveness of stealth presentations to wary trout and salmon. Her very detailed coloring of horsehair by season shows for experience with the selective nature of the salmonid. She also learned to discern Salmonid species specific behavior which her theories still apply today.
“The salmon does not bite on the bottom, but at the float. You may sometimes take him, but it happens very seldom, and with an artificial fly when he is leaping, in the same way as you take trout or grayling”
“We shall speak next of the trout, because he is a very dainty fish and also a very greedy biter. He is in season from March to Michaelmas. He is found on clean gravel bottom and a running stream. You may angle for him at all times with a running or lying ground line: except in leaping time, when you use an artificial fly”

In the last passage, Berners already understands the difference between nymphing (ground line) and dry fly opportunities during a hatch. Selectivity was already a driving force back in the 1490s.

When Izzaak Walton came out with the “Complete Angler”, in 1653, fishing with fly and bait was becoming a very technical artform. Walton, himself proclaimed expert on bait fishing, knew little about the fly, having a good acquaintance Thomas Burke. He did comprehend the complexity of it and stated, “Angling may be said so like the mathematics that it can never be fully learned”. Through the 17 and 1800’s, fly fishing gained in popularity throughout England and Scotland. Stewart, who published the”Practical Angler”, developed the art of the wet fly swing. In Scotland, lake or “loch” fishing with a trio of wets became the norm and the first fly fishing competitions started on these lakes. In the U.S., the Revolutionary War had British officers finding the colonies to be loaded with Brook trout and salmon, and fish for them ardently. Early officers- sportsmen like Sir William Johnson and Joseph Banks were the first known writers and proponents of the art of the fly, primarily fishing for salmon in Qu├ębec/upstate New York regions, where the Salmon River of New York had wild indigenous populations since extirpated. Landlocked salmon found their way up the Saranac River and were also pursued. George Gibson was the first known documented fly angler in the 1700s who fished the Cumberland Valley limestone spring creeks and made incredible selective observations of trout feeding behavior to hatches and seasonal angling complexities.




Monday, June 22, 2015

TROUT HATCHES, SUMMER STEELHEAD UPDATE

Depending on what today's severe weather does to the rivers, we have great water flows and excellent river temps on western Michigan rivers.
                                                                     Isonychia-JGM

 The Muskegon is at the peak of the Isonychia, still a zillion gray drakes, steno Cahill's, sulphers,  caddis, midges, with the planters getting very heavy. The larger browns are targeting salmon and steelhead fry, hatches and crayfish next to shore now that the sucker spawn is over ( now is the time for the meat slinging streamer addicts!!!)
                                                                   Hexagenia and Lithro-JGM

 Hexagenia is starting slowly with water and weather delays up north and almost winding down south- but weather has kept them hatching on small streams like Coldwater/Rogue/SW Michigan stream- the heavy rains, cold nights have delayed the hatches significantly

SUMMER SKAMANIA STEELHEAD
                   ( Christine LaRocca from New Jersey with a 18 lb summer steelhead last summer 2014 on the St Joe on a Skamania beetle- dry line)


Some summer steelhead are being caught off the Michigan City and St. Joseph pier heads with a few in the rivers and creeks. With the cold winter and spring, the run will be long and heavy with some large fish being caught trolling in northern waters of Lake Michigan...along with Atlantic salmon strays from Lake Huron. Brian Breidert from the Indiana DNR just sent me another picture of an Atlantic salmon caught by a young boy off the Indiana coast. 

NOTE: I will begin guiding for summer Skamania steelhead July 10 thru early September- still have some good slots available for guided trips. If you are in PA/OH/IN/WI ...or Chicago bound, the St. Joe and Indiana tribs are very close.If you have caught winter strain steelhead and never experienced these amazing fish, you owe it to yourself.  With my new Stealthcraft, I will be able to cover more water and smaller waters than ever before. 

All indications are that the reduction in Chinook /Coho forage feeding on baitfish will greatly improve the summer steelhead fishery and size of fish since they will have the bait fish spoils. Last year we landed 9 fish in the 17-19 pound range and I expect more. If you are into streamers, dry line nymphing or swinging these magnificent fish are for you...NO LEAD CHUCKING!!!!
(B. Breidert IDNR biologist sent me this image of a boy with an Atlantic caught off the Indiana coast just the other day)

video


video


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

YEP!..SUMMER CHROME STEELHEAD TIME!

YUP!...time to start thinking about summer steelhead chrome...cottonwoods are falling!- with the Arctic cold water temps of Lake Michigan from our global warming winter and cool tributaries with good flows, this summer run will be insane and very little run staging off the piers- bonus for river fly fishers!

booking dates now!...will be my 18th year guiding for them...they are truly an amazing fish of a lifetime!!!!...hope to see you

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

MY NEW SOFA PILLOW GRAY DRAKE RECIPE -GRAY DRAKE CLINIC THIS WEEKEND-6/13/14

                                                               ( Gray Drake sp. Sofa Pillow)
By popular request, here is the exact recipe for my new deadly gray drake sofa pillow: 
THREAD: UNI BIG FLY BLACK
HOOK:DAIICHI 1270#10
TAIL AND BODY/SEGMENTATION : A THICK BARRED GADWALL FEATHER- TIE IN TIPS FOR TAIL AND HOLD FEATHER OVER HOOK EMBEDDING/COVERING HOOK SHANK THROUGH THE FEATHER LIKE YOU WOULD BE TYING A DEER HAIR BODY MAYFLY. TAKE UNI THREAD AND MAKE EVENLY SPACED SINGLE PALMER BANDING SEGMENTATIONS
WING: LOWER;SENYO'S/HARELINE CLEAR PREDATOR WRAP- UPPER: PEARL KRYSTAL FLASH
THROAT: HARELINE UV PEACOCK ICE DUB
HACKLE:HUNGARIAN PARTRIDGE SOFT HACKLE
HEAD:HARELINE SLOTTED TUNGSTEN BEADS -BLACK-3/32

NOTES: THE IMITATION IS ABSOLUTELY DEADLY BEFORE AND AFTER THE SPINNER FALL- AND EVEN DURING IT FOR THOSE ULTRA SELECTIVE /REFLECTIVE BIGGER BROWNS AND BOWS THAT REFUSE A NATURAL LOOKING SPINNER. FISH HEAVY TIPPETS WITH THIS FLY BECAUSE THE STRIKES ARE HARD AND HEAVY. CAN BE FISHED WITH A DOWN AND ACROSS WET FLY SWING/ DEAD DRIFTED , OR WITH CONSTANT UPSTREAM MENDS/DRIFT PAUSE AND REPEAT MENDS- LONG TWITCHS ON HANG TIME DOWNSTREAM. THE COMBINATION OF THE PREDATOR TRANSLUCENCY, TINY FLASH FROM KRYSTAL PEARL, THE SOFT HACKLE PULSING AND THE DEADLY UV PEACOCK ICE DUB/SOFT HACKLE MIX MAKES THIS FLY A CONTENDER FOR A 'ONE FLY COMPETITION"- CAN BE TIED IN ALL SIZES.

FOR IMITATING HEXAGENIA/POTAMANTHUS/ BROWN/GREEN DRAKES/MARCH BROWNS/ISONYCHIA ETC. JUST USE MALLARD FLANKS IN YELLOW NATURAL WOOD DUCK TAN AND GOLD, BROWN- ALL AVAILABLE FROM HARELINE ETC- VARY THREAD TO DARK BROWN OR DARK GREEN. IF YOU WANT TO FISH IT HIGHER NEARER THE SURFACE, TAKE THE BLACK TUNGSTEN BEAD OFF- GREASE UP WINGS BUT NOT SOFT HACKLE- FOR MORE SINK AND SEGMENTATION, YOU CAN USE COPPER WIRE WITH THREAD....

GOOD LUCK!

STILL HAVE A FEW SPOTS FOR THIS WEEKEND's CLINIC- COUPLES WELCOME!



GRAY DRAKE SELECTIVITY CLINIC AGENDA
JUNE 12-14
( for those that want to stay away from the weekends and want more individual attention, we offer one day evening mini gray drake selectivity P.M. clinics for 295.00 one- 395.00 for two
Come learn the intricacies and mystery of the gray drakes and the super hatches of the caddis , sulphers and Isonychia- how the masking hatch and emerger/spinner sequence can cause a ton of confusion if you dont pay attention to rise forms and feeding profiles- also meat slinging streamer chuckers welcomed and encouraged!
(plus bring your appetite!- we have been known to serve up some good eats!)

FRIDAY-12TH- 
CHECK IN AT OWN LEISURE- LIBATIONS/FIRE PIT/VIDEOS/SLIDE SHOWS/TALL TALES/LIES ! ( FRIDAY NIGHT LODGING AND GOURMET BREAKFAST 'FREE" AND COMPLIMENTARY)

SATURDAY 13TH-FULL DAY
 EARLY BREAKFAST- GUIDED FLY FISHING FOR MORNING GRAY DRAKE SPINNER FALL AND CADDIS HATCH UNTIL 1;00 PM
LUNCH AT LODGE
THAN POWERPOINT/DVD PRESENTATION ON THE HATCHES/SELECTIVITY

FLY TYING BENCH FOR SPECIALITY PATTERNS( BRING YOUR FLY TYING KITS!
REST PERIOD-NAP/WALK
P,M- EVENING GUIDED HATCH MATCHING FOR SULPHERS, ISONYCHIA AND GRAY DRAKES
MIDNIGHT- FIRE PIT/HOT TUB LIBATIONS AND TALKING ALL THINGS FLY FISHING/POLITICS AND ANY BS THAT COMES UP!
SUNDAY AM-
 GOURMET BREAKFAST- THAN EVERYONE ON OWN FOR CATCHING MORNING SPINNER FALLS IN GRAY DRAKE RIFFLES OR OTHER NEARBY SMALL SPRING CREEKS 
AWESOME SINGLE PRICE- ALL INCLUSIVE- $475.00 !!!!!
SPECIAL COUPLES PRICE OR TWO PERSON PARTY- $650.00
email us at 
matt@graydrake.com
or call us 
231-250-2845
231-250-2846
Ps.' and yes we saw fresh steelhead yesterday still coming into the river!- go figure!)


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