Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Update On Howard

UPDATED:  Tuesday, Mid-Day 12/31/13  2:35 P.M.
From his wife, Pam: Some help needed!
Howard got moved out of ICU today but continues to have some concerning cognitive problems. If you or anyone attending the convention can be in touch with me that may be able to visit with him, it would be much appreciated. I had my laptop at the hospital today thinking he would be able to check Facebook and other sites, and he could not remember passwords and had a difficult time using the keyboard. I have to work this week and if anyone has time to stop in, or call to say hi, that would be great. At this point, his physical health appears on track, but they are not wanting to send him home with cognitive issues. He is currently in room 327 at the Boulder Community Hospital. He does have a phone in his room and his number is 303-938-3327. If he doesn't recognize who you are, he may need a gentle reminder.


UPDATED: Monday Mid-Day 12/30/3013 12:51 P.M.
From his wife, Pam:
More good news on Howard! He is doing better and will be moved out of ICU tomorrow! His cognitive abilities have improved greatly and he is coming back! He should be coming home on Tuesday or Wednesday. Thank you to all who have sent positive thoughts and prayers on his behalf. It really does make a difference! Will let you know tomorrow what day he will be home.

"Pam & Howard"

UPDATED: Saturday Evening 12/28/2013 10:32 P.M.
From his wife, Pam:
Howard is doing much better today! They got him up walking, he recognized me, and told his brother to "get me out of here"! He is talking more, still a little confused but MUCH better! I look for him to get out of the ICU real soon which means he is days away from coming home! Tomorrow I'm going to bring him the latest fishing magazine that came in the mail and a fishing book that he was recently reading. Things are definitely looking up! So we can all take a deep breath and know that he'll be back on line soon and he will be telling some war stories!

Thanks, I'll check in with you tomorrow!

UPDATED: Friday Afternoon 12/27/2013 4:54 P.M.
From his brother, Stewart:
Visiting with brother Howard. He recognizes us but is still unable to verbalize. He's sitting up and maybe tomorrow they can get him walking. His cardiologist said his heart was only functioning at 15% when he drove himself in while having a heart attack. We're lucky to have him with us today.

UPDATED: Friday afternoon 12/27/2013 4:37 P.M.
I have been in communication with Stewart Levett, Howard's brother, a few times in the last 24 hours or so.  Stewart was happy to let us know that they were able to take the Breathing Tube out and Howard is currently breathing on his own.  Still struggling though because of lungs giving him a battle.  Howard is still showing agitation and they are keeping him pretty sedated at the time.
As Stewart says, "He is not quite back to reality yet.  Still talking about or too family members that have been deceased for at least (30) years or so."

I will update as I know more.  Stewart has provided me with the name of the hospital and the mailing address if anyone wants to send get well cards etc.  Please email me if that is what you might want to do and I will send along the information to you.

Just wanted to take a quick moment and give my BlogBuddies and other readers a heads up on how Howard is doing following his Emergency Heart Surgery on Christmas Eve day.

First a response last night via email through Cam at The Fiberglass Manifesto from Howard's wife, Pam.
I had so many cell calls yesterday and got mixed up on who's number belonged to who, so thought I would email you. Howard had a setback this morning. They wanted to take the breathing tube out and tried to unsedate him and he got very agitated. (The nurse called him a wild man!, we can use that one later!)They needed to sedate him again to keep him calm. So right now he is still on the ventilator and is still unconscious. He evidently is having problems breathing due to lung problems (too many years of smoking). So for now they are leaving him alone until tomorrow. He is stable and they changed him from morphine to Dilantin, as they didn't think the morphine was working. The drugs were still in his system from the cath procedure. They were able to get the balloon pump out with no problems. The hope is tomorrow they will be able to take the tube out and will have him sitting up. His chest looks good and he has color in his face. Hopefully after another restful night his body will be able to take over.

Please pass this on to the fellow bloggers and tell them thanks for all the calls and good wishes! Will keep in touch!

Hope your Christmas was blessed!


In addition, heard from Howard's brother, Stewart Levett, just a bit ago.  Here is the very latest that I know:
Stewart wrote: "Thursday Morning Update: Howard did open his eyes briefly this morning. Doctors are hopeful they'll get the tube out. Surgery went well and his heart is functioning fine as are his kidneys but his lungs they're having some difficulty with. They hope to have him awake and sitting up by the end of the day… here's hoping."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Pond Stalkers Merry Christmas

My Granddaughter dug this ol' picture out of the archives and wanted me to show everybody what the Pond Stalker does for Christmas fun.  Since it's Christmas Eve and I am feeling in a loving mood, I obliged her.

Hope that all my readers and fellow BlogBuddies have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

P.S. I ask that we all say a Prayer for my Geezer Brother, Howard over at Windknots and Tangled Lines.  Howard underwent emergency Heart surgery in a Boulder, Colorado hospital this morning. 
Lots of major work required.  He is currently out of surgery and under care in the ICU at the hospital.  Please keep him in your thoughts on this Holiday season!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Use and Abuse Coming Up!!

In a recent post, I acknowledged that I had been one of the lucky numbers drawn by Rebecca Garlock over on the OBN for a new pair of Chippewa boots.  As Rebecca said in her post on the contest, "The winners selected will receive this new pair of boots from Chippewa to use and abuse over the next several months in the outdoors.  Theirs to keep, in exchange for a review to be posted on the OBN."  

Actually, the Review will be written on my blog here and linked too from the OBN when I have completed it for all my fellow BlogBuddies to read.  Just wanted to let everyone know that the boots arrived today in the mail and I have officially began the Use and Abuse period.

First day impression: Looks like a very solid boot.  Happy they shipped in 1/2 sizes.  My 9 1/2's fit perfectly.  Felt quite comfortable even though they did "not" get any "Pond Stalkin" in today.  I guarantee that I will put them to use and put them through some abuse before I offer a final review on them.  Winter is here so I will be getting them wet and my feet cold.  So we will see....................

I suspect that the final review with more product detail will show up some time this summer 2014.  

Thanks again to  Rebecca at the OBN and the folks at Chippewa Boots for this opportunity to own, use and review this pair of boots.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fly Fishing Goodness From My BlogBuddies!

'Tis the season for sharing Love, Kindness, and Peace.  Wanted to do a quick BlogBuddies shout out and the Thumbs Up award for some things they are doing over on their blog sites for the Christmas season and Blogging goals.
First off, Mike over at Dub The Thorax, has been giving in the Spirit for the past few days and continues for a few more.  Mike is celebrating (3) years on the blogging scene and has gathered some nice fly fishing related items for giveaways.  Still have time left to get over and join the fun. Here is a picture of what is being given today.  Updated 12/7/13 Hey, one never has enough good looking t-shirts to wear in warmer times. Plus, a cool new hat from Eat My Fly Outfitters!

In addition, Cameron and The Fiberglass Manifesto, is back again with his great (12) days of Christmas giveaways.  Cameron, as usual, has gone to great work to bring together some great fly fishing related companies to share the the Christmas goodness with us all.  Don't miss out on all the fun.
This great Celebration begins on Monday, December 9th.  Be sure and check out then how you can become a winner in the (12) Days of Christmas.

I will be leaving this post up a bit on the blog so if I have any other BlogBuddies that I missed that are having similar Giveaways on their blogs be sure and give me a shout and I will edit this post so as to make it current.

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Time To Salute Some Friends Of The Pond Stalker

Things are a rush this time of year!  So much is happening with my BlogBuddies and other fly fishing resources that I thought I would take a moment today to give them a Salute from the Pond Stalker.  Let me first begin by addressing the fact that fellow BlogBuddies, fly fishing retailers, etc. seem to go out of their way to make the Christmas season a fun and exciting time.  

I want to take care of some happenings that have been going on with myself and the Pond Stalker blog to begin with.  I have been fortunate lately and I would like to say thanks a bunch to the folks at Rocky Mountain Anglers Fly Shop and also the good folks at & H Outfitters for their efforts in having drawings that I was lucky enough to win.  A great new fishing cap from Rocky Mountain Anglers and a classy new t-shirt from H & H Outfitters.  Here is a picture that I hope does justice to both.
My new favorite hat
(Note: The Hat Patch with the flies
is another gadget I will get too in just 
a bit)
My newest Fly Fishing related T-shirt
Love the color!
Also, recently had a nice surprise in the mail from the folks at Nature Boy Designs.  They had read my previous post on "Do I need a lanyard" here on the blog.  They had sent me the 
NBD 225 Lanyard to use.
In addition, they sent along the Hat(ch) Patch to wear on my hat and give them some feedback.
Now look back at the previous picture of my hat with some flies loaded and ready for use.  This is a neat new product and I think will be an item that anyone who uses a ball cap when fishing will appreciate.  Just clips on and holds flies securely.  Want to change hats.  Just pull off the Hat(ch) Patch and put on another hat.  Simple, and, very useful.

It is also about time that Rebecca Garlock over at the OBN received the Thumbs up Award from the Pond Stalker.  If you are an outdoor blogger at all, I am sure that you have heard of or otherwise participate in activity over on that great site.  If not, go right now! Join, participate, share, it's Blogging Heaven!  Recently, the OBN and Chippewa Boots linked up to provide an opportunity for lucky outdoor bloggers to have a chance to be chosen to receive a pair of Chippewa boots to use and then review on their blog.  Actually, (5) outdoor bloggers got that opportunity.
I am very excited to let everyone know that I was chosen to receive a pair of these great boots to use and abuse for awhile while in the outdoors.  I will do just that and am more than happy to do a review on my blog.  Thanks, Chippewa!

Not to leave off here some of my fellow BlogBuddies who have also been in the spirit of giving during the holidays.  I will do a follow up post to address all the goodies and opportunities they have going on.  So don't forget to check back.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks "Giving" Time

Giving thanks is something that has tried to become a lost art in this old world we live in.  It is up to us, one and all, to spread the word of thanks and support to all whom we come in contact with on this holiday.  

It's important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring thoughts and loving prayer right now. Please do not hesitate to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my BlogBuddies.  Thanks for making this Blog an enjoyable place for me to spend my time!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Re-Visiting The Nasty Nylon Nymph

It is a "Happening" time of year! Veteran's Day has passed.  Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away,  This morning a good snow storm greeted me as I pulled the blinds to peek outside to meet my day"Brr..... cold is here, I said to myself."  Any fly fishing time I get for awhile might be in the way of a few fly fishing or fly tying videos and a warm cup of Hot Chocolate or something.

Speaking of fly tying, this is the time of year that I spend a good share of my time focusing on tying and filling my fly boxes so that I am ready to go next time I am on some water and the weather cooperates with me.  I, usually, will take some time to "organize" my fly tying bench.  Meaning, putting everything back in it's original spot so that I can start to mess it all up again as I do, inevitably, when I set down for a Winter's tying season.  I have the usual list of fly patterns that I want to tie up that I fish regularly.  I, also, have a few new patterns picked out that I want to try.  Maybe they will find a way to become part of my regular stock in my fly boxes.  Besides watching videos about fly tying, there are also many fly shops in Northern Colorado that offer free winter tying demonstrations with some of the areas well know fly tyers.  These sessions are a lot of fun and there is so much to learn if the fly fisher wants to learn about new patterns or what patterns are the most effective in the area.  If you don't tie flies, but would like to learn, the shops also offer fly tying classes for beginners for a reasonable fee.  Check out the shops in your area.  There is a wealth of information to gain if you take advantage of it.

A number of years ago, I offered a beginning fly tying class through my local fly fishing club.  I would like to share a scenario that happened on one of those class nights.  I hope you will enjoy this little story.  Winter tying season always brings back this memory.  I regard it as the "Coming of the Fly Tying Season.  Let me introduce you to "The Nasty Nylon Nymph".

I know I still chuckle every time my memory drifts back to the moment in time.
Before I stray off subject, I had better focus on the story I am trying to tell here.  One of the things that a die-hard fly fisherman often times does is to learn to tie his own fly for casting to his favorite fish.  Over time I became fairly decent at tying my own flies.  Enough so that I ended up teaching fly tying at schools and various public settings.  This post is about a “funny” incident that occurred one night while teaching fly tying at the local high school.  I know your waiting to find out what “Nasty Nylons” has got to do with tying flies and teaching others to tie flies.  Well, I am about to tell you.
Let’s first address the nylons.  You know those things are everywhere when not being worn by your wife or favorite lady friend.  They cling to everything in the laundry if you are not careful.  Their rolled up in your gym socks, their knotted around your pants legs, there everywhere except nicely laid out for the next time my wife wants to wear a pair.  Now comes my calamity!
I was, once again, teaching fly tying to a group of adults, both male and female at the local high school.  These were beginning fly tying students so I had some flexibility with this calamity and I am not sure they ever really caught it at the moment how embarrassed I was. 
We were going to tie a basic nymph pattern that night.  Students gathered around my desk so as to see the demonstration of what they then would try to duplicate back at their desks in the classroom.  In order, the hook was placed in the position in the vise jaws so as to be held sturdy while tying other materials on to the hook.  My thread was attached to the hook and the tail material added.  Now I was ready for the body material that was supposed to be some pheasant tail fibers.  However, as I started to reach into my fly tying box for the pheasant tail fibers, there I saw it! 
One of my wife’s nylons coming out the sleeve of my shirt near my tying hand.  Oh, No!  To this day I still don’t how the brain works and how it works so quickly.  In a heart beat, and, without hesitating for a moment, I pulled the nylon from my shirt sleeve and cut a rectangular piece from it with my scissors.  I think the students were shocked, but, they looked on anxious to see what I was going to do next.  I attached the “nylon strip” to the back of the hook with my thread.  I was going to use it to make the body of my fly with.  Knowing that nylon is super fragile (you know runs, runs, runs), I knew that I would have to use some wire to reinforce the body of the fly or it would fall apart before it ever hit the water.  Thankfully I had intended on using some fine copper wire that evening anyway.  So I tied some on to the back of the hook.  I proceeded very carefully to wind the “nasty nylon” around the hook up towards the eye of the hook and then reverse wrapped the copper wire so as to reinforce the nylon body material. 
In short order, I had a fly body of reinforced nylon from my wife and some basic dubbing wrapped around the front of the hook at the eye.  Simple little pattern and easy to tie.  Besides I had lots of nylon stocking left for my students to cut up and use that evening as they practiced tying their own “Nasty Nylon Nymph”.  Believe it or not, I hear they even fished this fly on our local river and landed some trout with it.  It became a common request as I taught other classes to show other how to tie the nylon nymph.  I used it to break the ice at several tying classes to create a little humor and help new fly tying students relax. 

Fly tying fun is what you make of it!

Friday, November 8, 2013

8th of November

This is the 8th of November.  It is Veterans Day long weekend.  Most of my posts are written for others to enjoy (hopefully).  This post and perhaps another one this weekend is posted for me! And, all my Viet Nam buddies.  God bless each and every one of them.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Trout Lake Musings And A New Book To Read

I walked into my headquarters for the Pond Stalker this evening with the idea that I would attempt to organize the mess on my fly tying bench.  However, in my left hand I was carrying the new issue of Fly Fisherman magazine I had just plucked from the mailman.  My intention was to lay it on my bench after organizing it. Then perhaps take a browse through before I went to bed.  Nothing wrong with fish on the brain as you try to sleep, right?

Well, that is where things went astray and I never did get to organize my fly tying bench.  Cop out? Sounds like it too me.  Anyway, I looked at the cover of Fly Fisherman one more time and admired the the beautiful BC Dean River Steelhead on the cover.  Actually, noticed the beautiful Andrea Charlton holding this beautiful fish for the "Dream Shot".

After coming out of my trance after a minute or two, I opened the back cover of the magazine to read the featured "Seasonable Angler"  It quickly caught my eye.  It was titled, Trout Lake.  Could it be the Trout Lake I am thinking of?  That beautiful small lake nestled near a major highway in Yellowstone Park.  The one with the short, but better be in good condition, hike uphill for a short period before you descend down into the lake.  The one I had fished myself.  The one I knew had big fish in it.  Ones that I tried to fool, but, came away empty handed.  Yup, it was the one.

This article, as it turns out, was an excerpt from the book Troutsmith by Kevin Searock.
This new book was published in the Spring of 2013 and is available at several places online.  Perhaps in some of the Fly Shops also.  Anyway, Kevin detailed his trip to Trout Lake for the day.  Very well written and descriptive.  He talked of stalking a couple of huge Rainbow Trout.  The kind of writing that makes you feel you were standing along side him as he cast.  How did he do? Well, over time he was able to hook both fish.  Both were perhaps in the (10) pound range!  For the rest of the story you will have to grab a copy of Fly Fisherman magazine.  Or, perhaps better yet, is to search out a copy of his new book and read more about not only this tale, but, others far and wide.  I found his article very interesting and the fish tale accurate.  I know, I have been to Trout Lake!

Ok, readers this ol' Blogger has just introduced very large Rainbow Trout and a new book to read this winter to a Warm Water Fly Fishing Blog!

Hope you enjoy.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Do I Need A Lanyard?

So I have been considering the use of a Fly Fishing Lanyard as another way of helping me be organized and functionally lighten the load as I stalk the ponds of Northern Colorado.  With that comes the loving statement from my wife, "Don't you already have one of those things?".

Well, yes I did, but this was back when Fly Fishing Lanyards came on the market.  Like anything else in fly fishing, those manufacturers of Fly Fishing Lanyards have gone through trial and error, some have came and went, and others are new to the market.  What I can say is this.  Some of the originals, back in the day, left something to be desired.  Therefore, I parted with the original model I had owned, long ago.   However, nowadays, when I take a look around the 'net and fly shops, these Fly Fishing Lanyards are everywhere.  They catch your eye!  Seem to be much better thought out in design also.  There seem to be many manufacturers also.  Some folks have even made their own.  With that I assume, they must be popular and useful.  But, before I invest in one, thought I would seek out my BlogBuddies and see what you guys think.  

Here are a few examples of what I looked at, of the many, that are on the 'net.  Take a look at these pictures and websites if you are so inclined. 

Exquisitely designed by a small company
doing it right.
Also, well done. Has lots of good swivels to put "Goodies" on.
Now this one caught my eye, especially, because it is what
they refer to as a "Half Brother" to a standard fishing lanyard 
in that it can be clipped to your belt, a fanny pack, or what have you, 
and always be handy when you need it.  

Well, I could go on and on with various ones I have looked at, but these (3) companies seem to represent  a good variety in cost, style, and material used to make the Fly Fishing Lanyard.

Keeping in mind that I am the Pond Stalker and fish ponds, usually on foot, but sometimes, from a float tube.  I only carry a selection of flies that I know work or want to try in a few homemade fly boxes from Altoid cans in my pocket.  What say you my BlogBuddies?  BTW, my wife is just smiling!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Effective Fly Patterns For Mr. Whiskers

Catfish, ala Mr. Whiskers, can be caught on a fly rod! They can be challenging, strong during battle, and, just plain fun to wrestle with if you are so inclined. Let alone good eating if you decide to fillet up some Catfish for a tasty meal. In my previous post, Fly Fishing For Cats, you were able to see a video, that with some effort and the right fly patterns, that Catfish could indeed be approachable with a fly rod on your local pond or stillwater fishery.  I ended that post by stating that I would share with you some effective fly patterns for fly fishing for Catfish.  I will be posting three well done videos here for you to consider when fly fishing for Catfish tempts you.  I might add that all three patterns are also extremely useful when fishing for Trout, Bass, and Carp! So they are Streamer patterns you should consider anyway for your fly boxes.  You can pick out one or two or all of them to watch if you would like.  Kind of like pick your poison!  Even if you don't buy into the fact that you will go fly fishing for Catfish, these patterns are well worth having around.  Let's begin with the video from In The Riffle that instructs how to tie John Barr's very successful Meat Whistle Streamer.
  Next up, let's take a look at Jay Zimmerman's very popular Backstabber pattern!
Finally, I would like to share my favorite personal Streamer pattern for the Catfish I have caught on a fly rod. This is a video done by Curtis Fry. Let me introduce you to the Stayner Ducktail!  

What a great way to start for Fly Fishing for Catfish. Let me just say that I know there are other Streamer patterns that will work. Muddler Minnows, Wooly Buggers, and their endless variety should also do just fine. Have fun and let me know if you decide to go Fly Fishing for Catfish, and, try some of these great patterns, just how you did!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fly Fishing For Cats

As I was pondering what I wanted to talk about in this post, my mind kept drifting back to another day and time.  Time when I lived in Southwestern Idaho.  I kept thinking about a couple of unusual fly fishing experiences I had back then.  At the time, they were very unusual, in my mind anyway. What experiences I am talking about here is that of Fly Fishing For Cats!

No, not this kind of Cat you silly fool!
Nor, this one either!
Must give credit here where credit is due.  These fine looking Catfish were borrowed here from the good folks at Moldy Chum 
Back to fly fishing in Idaho.  I had on two different occasions while fishing for other fish, stumbled upon the fact, that I could catch Catfish on a fly rod.  More than one fish also each time so I had to figure that it could be done.  Complete surprise and lack of new camera technology didn't allow me to have pictures to show you so I will quickly identify with just a short note on the fishing experience.  
My first experience came while out float tubing  a lake that was filled with downed trees on a fairly shallow end of a reservoir.  I had targeted this area with some friends in attempting to find schooled Crappie.  Me like Crappie!  However, in tubing into the shallow water preparing to cast to Crappie, I viewed several Catfish lurking around.  Well, the rest of that story is that I landed several Catfish on streamer patterns that were intended for Crappie.  I was duly impressed.
Next story: I am floating a section of the Snake River down below Parma, Idaho, with a friend.  This time from a small boat.  We were targeting some Smallmouth Bass.  As we floated along preparing to fish nymphs,  fish were spotted rising in some calm water off to my right.  I am thinking Smallmouth on a dry fly now.  Off comes the nymph, and, quickly comes a Parachute Adams in a size #14.  Rest of the story: No Smallmouth, these were Catfish actually rising to take my Parachute Adams.  We had a blast fishing the slack water that midday.  I kid you not, we could not find anyone to believe our story.  But, I have the memory!
Now, that I am a Colorado resident and am focusing on writing my blog about WarmWater species of fly fishing for the most part, Catfish seem to be on my mind again.  Can Catfish be caught on a fly rod? 
You might know these two fellows if you hang around fly fishing much.  Plus, this is home for me now so I have to share this video with you all.

Thanks to, Jay Zimmerman and Brian Schmidt for the use of their video here.

On my next post, we will review a few Catfish flies and talk about tying them up if you are interested in Fly Fishing For Catfish!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N "Never say never"

So it seems I and others have become fixated with all the missed opportunities that the Flood of 2013 brought.  Missed opportunities at fishing that is.  High dirty water, flushed out roads, swamped entrances, and ponds that look like lakes now seem to be what we are faced with.

Or, so it seems, however, I am tired of my own whining and misfortunes.  It could have been much worse and I know we will live to see beauty return to our trout streams and our ponds will be fish havens again.

A couple of days ago, I came across this picture from The Hatch Magazine over on Facebook.   It  hit me in the heart, you might say.  Then and there, I knew it was time to suck it up and push onward and "Never Say Never" when thinking about fishing opportunities available for meWhat an incredible picture! Do you think this ol' guy wants to be pitied? Hell, no! He just wants to be on the water and casting that fly rod and can't hardly wait for the anticipated tug on the end of the line.  Had I been on that stretch of water at the same time, I think I would have stopped doing what I was doing and just watched this ol' guy for awhile.  He's my new hero!

Then I thought, you know what, lets not forget the great organization that is PHWFF  or in longer form, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.  This incredible organization is: Dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.
You may or may not have had the opportunity to see some of their actions and activities up close.  Let me share a few pictures with you.  While you are looking at them, think about it! It takes "Determination and a Never Say Never"  attitude.  I think I will "Buck Up" and go fishing!!

             I got this one, no problem, Bro'!

          Some dry fly therapy is just what I needed!

          Match This Hatch, America!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blogging & Fly Fishing: A Sense Of Community

Psst, Pond Stalker, wake up! This is supposed to be a blog about fly fishing for Bluegilll, Bass, the occasional Crappie, or a big bad Carp!  What is that you say, Pond Stalker?  You thought we were closed!
No, Pond Stalker, you big dummy! That's our Federal Government that is closed.  You know they can't figure out how to get out of the way of a disaster, so, they shut the door and are waiting for the Big Bad Wolf to come a knockin'.  

You, Pond Stalker, can go fishing! Forget about the flood.  That is the past.  Presently, the effort being applied by all those who have gave time and money into helping assist with the clean up mess and the do-overs in Northern Colorado is well on its way.  We as Coloradans will rise again! Let there be time and we will see sparkling waters, beautiful trout, ponds filled with Bluegill and Bass.   Those, big ol' Carp, ain't going nowhere we can't find one with a little effort.

You know having lived through the Flood of 2013 in Colorado, and, seeing the relief efforts that are in place brings forth with pride the great Sense of Community that we have here where I live.  It is truly remarkable!  

With that being said, I would like to direct this post to the Sense of Community that we all share in the blogging world with our blogs, and, with our individual fly fishing interests whatever they may be.

I have been a Blog writer for many years now, and while I in no way consider myself to be an expert at anything, I do have lots of experience and thoughts about the concept of Sense of Community via blogging.   Good blogs have to have regular content.  Good blogs must be able to capture the reader with information that they can use and apply in their own life experience.  Good blogs must draw the reader back in the future wanting to read more about what you have to share with them.  

The Sense of Community on a blog begins with the post, acquiring some readers, readers being willing to post a comment in regards to the post, and finally, the blog author taking the time to respond to those comments given by his or her readers.  Pictures, videos, Blogrolls of your favorite blogs etc, all bring about a sense of community to a blog.

As an example, on the Pond Stalker Blog, down the right sidebar you will see Picture Links that take you to just a few of the many blogs I enjoy from other fly fishing or outdoor oriented blogs.  In this case, I have linked up to the most reliable group of folks who have been long term supporters of my blog writing.  They visit often, they comment often, offer wit and advice, and give me the feeling that they enjoy being a part of this community.  This particular group of bloggers have followed me all over the road map of blogging for at least (5) years that I know of, probably more.  I am willing to add others there also as the Pond Stalker blog grows, since this is a newer blog, as supporters come forward to share in the Sense of Community.

Note also that I have decided to go forth with a Facebook page for the Pond Stalker.  Lots of stuff over there that you won't see here,  So make sure you hit the the Facebook "Like" button and see what is going on on the Pond Stalker Facebook page!

I realize I am getting a little long winded here, but, the Sense of Community is just that.  I read dozens and dozens of well written blogs every week and leave comments on those blogs on a majority of the posts I read.  Let me wrap this up by saying how frustrating it is too me to leave a comment on another fishing blog, wanting to be a part of that community, only to "never" have the blog author respond to not only mine, but, any of the comments left by other readers.  It happens way more than you think! There are those that respond to comments on their blog and always make you feel  welcome,  Those are not the ones I am talking about here.  I am just asking that you do a little self evaluation of your blog.  Do you respond to your readers? Do you provide them a Sense of Community?  If not, you might find that the Sense of Community is the very reason your blog is getting less views or maybe just less comments being provided.

Hope you all stayed with me through this ramble!  I like the Sense of Community!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fly Fishing With Mother Nature

Since Mother Nature intervened with the all the rain and the "so called 1000 year flood", fly fishing any water in Northern Colorado has been put on a serious hold.  It may be quite some time before she releases her hold and all the damages can be assessed to life, home, family, animals, etc.  

That being said, I have already began to wonder what Mother Nature's fly fishing plan has in store for me and my local ponds that I love to fish so much.  Include in The Big Thompson River locally, let alone that which flows through the washed out canyon, and, it does look pretty bleak for those of us who love to fly fish and fish local waters in Northern Colorado.

The picture shown above is an aerial view shot that I came across that shows what used to be an area for several ponds that I like to fish for Bluegill, Bass, Carp, etc.  Note that I said used to be!  The area is now one flooded looking piece of water that more resembles one pretty good sized body of water instead of some home water for the PondStalker.

The Big Thompson River I love to fish in the canyon or down lower near my home looks like this before the flooding. 
The Big Thompson River looked like this a day or so ago.  Where to begin to assess the problems?

Set me to pondering what happens when Mother Nature takes over, and if you will, moves the fish where she wants them to be.  What happens to the fish in the ponds?  Will they be there when the waters recede and the damages are assessed?  Or, will the ponds have different fish in them?  For example, a top notch pond for bigger bass, will those bass now be gone or spread out to who knows where? What about structures and other holding areas for the pond fish?  Are they all gone, or, do they remain? 

Another concern I have is the warm water ponds are in close proximity to the Big Thompson River in the lower stretches.  Will we see Walleye, Catfish, Bass, and other Panfish, now reside in the Big Thompson river as a result of being washed there via the floods?  Having never been through a major catastrophe like this before, I am pretty much clueless as too what we may find when the waters recede and calmer days are brought to us.  I am sure the rest of 2013 near my home is not going to offer much, if any, fly fishing opportunities.  What will 2014 bring?  Any of my readers want to ponder this situation and provide comments?  Sure hope you do.  I have lots of time to read blog comments.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Colorado Flooding? If You Have (15) Minutes.....

I would appreciate your time.  Please take a look at my hometown Loveland, Colorado.  We need your Prayers and Support!

This video is a long one and taken by a local.  It runs about (15) minutes or so.  So if you have a cup of coffee and (15) minutes to spare, please take a look!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Colorado Flood Perspective

Depending on what part of the United States you happen to live in, you may not have been inundated with video from the massive floods that have wrecked Northern Colorado in the past few days. Thought I would post a couple of videos from near my home in Loveland, Colorado, near the banks of what is (was) The Big Thompson River.  Just needing to take in it all, and somehow, have a perspective that I live here and fish here often.  Just not in the last few days!  If you haven't seen these on You Tube already, here are a couple of borrowed ones.  Pond Stalker Headquarters appreciate those who took their time to shoot the videos.

 First video is from not too far from town as one would begin travel up Big Thompson Canyon.

 The second video is from about a mile from my home where I have spent lots of time with my family enjoying The Big Thompson water.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

So What Was In The Box?

My last post alluded to a package being sent to me in the mail from a blogging friend.  I asked the question, "I wonder what it could be?"  If you read through the comments on the post you will see that several of my blogging friends had suggestions on what it could be.

Everything from  a new fly tying vise with a built in light, left over cookies from Howard, carved or stuffed fish, a "Leg" lamp, fresh trout caught last week for dinner the day they arrive, something Italian that may or may not be ticking, a glass plaque to commemorate the sense of the outdoor blogging community, and, I am sure a few ideas that never got posted on the blog.

Well, yesterday the package came.  I was excited to see what was in the box.
 Certainly "fragile", all right.  Lots of bubble pack air package to keep things from moving around much.
Ok, buried in the box somewhere it says "RD's Special Cookies".  Yes, I am the Cookie Monster, and, I am going to dig them out, now!
Oh, how I like Cookies! Neatly wrapped in colorful paper with ribbon that could be used for Flashback Nymphs, were Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, and Snickerdoodles.  Emily, graciously, had sent enough for me and my wife, plus, all my grandchildren.  I was more than happy to give them the taste test and deliver a package to each pod of grandchildren I have.
 RD's Special Cookies get the "Thumbs Up" Award from the folks here at Pond Stalker Headquarters.
 RD, thank you so much for your time and effort and demonstrating to us all the sense of community amongst us Outdoor Bloggers.  Be sure and take care of you for me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I wonder What It Could Be?

Ok, blogging friends of the Pond Stalker, I need your help here.  You see I was sent this picture this morning from a dear friend I have never met.  It is suppose to arrive in a few days and I am wondering what in the tarnation could it be.  It's a surprise!

I noticed the word "Fragile" marked on a couple of spots on the package in the picture.  Fragile means something that might break if smashed.  Boy, am I excited, however, I am not sure what in the world it could be.

I am sure that it must have something to do with Fly Fishing since that is how I made the connection with this dear friend.  I like Fly Fishing "stuff".  My wife says I have too much fly fishing stuff already.  She's wrong!

But, fragile, come on now.  I need some help trying to determine what fly fishing "stuff" could be regarded as fragile.  I have ruled out a fly rod.  Don't think it fits in a square box like that.  Can't be a fly reel because they are not meant to be treated so fragile.  New hats, new flies, I have pondered them.  But, Fragile!

 So, I turn to you my readers and ask, "Wonder what it could be?"  I would be interested in knowing what you think might be headed my way that is fragile and for fly fishing.  Let's get some ideas going here before it arrives.  I can't wait!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cicadas, Locusts, Ponds, and, Buyers Remorse!

Some unexpected family health issues has had my wife and I on the road over the past week.  The wife's father has been moved into a Kansas nursing home and is not doing very well at this time.  We have returned home to Happy Valley with him on our mind and realize that another trip back seems to be in the near future perhaps.

Anyway, just wanted to share with my readers here on my blog that, although we had other thoughts, fishing thoughts never leave your mind.  Except we did not plan on 100 degree days and stifling humidity.  That was a bit of environmental shock for us.  I guess the locals get used too it.  I would not be able to handle that at all.

Anyway, thought I would share some insight on our trip that doesn't dwell on medical issues.  First off, ran into some of these guys just outside the nursing home on the street and sidewalks.
Big ol' rotund Magicada Cicadas.  I don't know that I have ever seen anything quite like these in my travels fishing.  This picture doesn't do justice to the size of the ones I saw.  I have to admit that my fishing mind drifted to what it would be like to put ones of these on a hook, or better yet, tie a large Cicada pattern and just toss it out on my local pond and wait for the explosion from a Largemouth Bass!  I imagine that all hell would break loose.

 In addition, not as unexpected, was the evening call of the Kansas Locust.  They were everywhere you went once you ventured outside.  I commented then that if you let your mind wander that it was like hallucinating that you were surrounded by Martians from some strange far away place.

 Now, just outside the nursing home and still on the property lies a pond.  A pond that looks very fishy too me.  But, alas, I wasn't their to fish anyway and had no gear with me.  However, I did talk with a gentleman that said that he fished the pond the morning we ran into each other.  He said fishing was pretty good and that he had landed about (25) or so Largemouth Bass.  He did say that none of them were bigger fish, but, well worth his time.  Oh, and, Wooly Bugger caught.  That served to satisfy my fishing mind for the time.  Those giant Cicadas enter my thought process again.
As we headed back home from our trip to Kansas, my wife mentioned that a trip to Cabela's was in order.  Well, two points that I would like to make here.  First of never disagree with the wife and secondly, you cannot travel through Nebraska without stopping at Cabela's, can you?  I reasoned that it would be a nice break from the driving and that I could handle the stop without spending a lot of what little money Senior Citizens have.  

Wrong, again!  It could have been a lot worse, I suppose.  However, with a blink of an eye and a twitch of my wrist I was handing the clerk $200 or so.  Now, not all was more fishing gear, but, most of it fit that category.  More stuff, I just had to have.  New fly reel, line and backing loaded with a new leader, Cabela's Advanced Angler Fanny Pack, and, two new fly boxes.  

All the way home as I road the white lines of the highway, I had buyers remorse!  Why, oh why, did I let my wife talk me into shopping at Cabelas.  I could have gotten by without the new fly reel and new line, new fanny pack, and, who needs more fly boxes anyhow!

The remorse only lasted until I got home and spread my new goodies out on my tying table.  Immediately, my thoughts went to OH, BOY!