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!