Monday, March 31, 2014

Getting your "Foot in the Door" and Flies in the water!

After recently commenting about knocking on doors as a great way to gain access to private, posted, or remote stretches of river I have received a lot of questions. Here is what I have learned.

#1: Knocking on doors is absolutely a game of numbers and rejection. Get used to doors slammed in your face but don't get discouraged. Just like Baseball, a .300 batting average will land you in the hall of fame, and fatten your wallet as a guide!

#2: Consider the time and day of the week you choose to approach a new homeowner. Try to approach your "target" on the weekend or sometime when he/she is otherwise unoccupied. Nobody wants to come home from a long days work to find a begging angler on their doorstep.

#3: All humans are creatures of habit. With this in mind, give the homeowner some kind of incentive to let you fish. Offer to do some yard work once or twice a month, or to wash their car before you fish. Always have something to offer, otherwise the homeowner will feel as if they are on the wrong end of the deal.

#4: Lastly, make sure to establish good consistent relationships with the homeowners who do allow you to fish. Remember, they are doing you the favor not the other way around. If you blow one relationship, there is a good chance that the homeowner will tell his/her neighbors (also river dwellers) about the bad experience, creating a potential domino effect. 
Tight Lines!

Tips for Tying: The "Stoned Baetis"

Longer days and increasing water temperatures have gotten the bugs up and moving on the Eagle River. The fish are hungry and eating like crazy! But with so many different bugs moving around getting ready to hatch you may find yourself staring at your fly box wondering which fly will match the hatch. With so many different bugs on the trout's menu right now, what we see in the air may not be what the trout are eating. So, instead of trying to match a specific hatch or imitate a specific nymph (which can be very challenging/frustrating) try using a pattern that has characteristics of various bugs in the water. This will allow you to use one fly that is close enough to imitate what the fish are eating during different parts of the day/hatch cycle. Below are the steps to tying one of my favorite "attractor" nymph patterns.


1.) Tie in your thread and wrap it down about 2/3 of the way down the shank.

2.) Pluck about 8 fibers from a Turkey or Pheasant feather for your tail material. Use a pinch wrap to tie in the tail fibers and wrap down to the gap of the hook, then wrap back up to where you tied in and cut the tag end. the tail should be about the length of the hook shank.

3.) Tie in a piece of yellow Turkey or Goose Biot at the 2/3 point with the pointy side toward the eye of the hook. 

4.) While holding the biot against the side of the hook shank, wrap your thread back over the biot until it meets the tail. Wrap your thread back up the hook leaving space behind the eye of the hook.

5.) Wrap the biot up the hook shank all the way to your thread and use a pinch wrap to secure the biot. Once secure, cut the tag end of the biot.

6.) Tie in a strip of "golden stone" colored Thin Skin on the top of the shank and pointing toward the gap of the hook.

7.) Make a dubbing noodle (cream or light yellow) and wrap toward the eye of the hook, making sure to leave a little room.

8.) Fold the Thin Skin back forward over the dubbing towards the eye and secure it with a couple of tight pinch wraps.

9.) Make sure the wing case is nice and straight, and not crowding the eye. Trim the tag end and throw in a couple of whip finishes or half hitches. The fly is complete!