While there are certainly a number of things going on in the Pre-Christmas craze to keep us all a little busy, to say the least, this time of year usually sees me sitting at my fly tying vise. It's time to fill the fly boxes back up with all the ol' regular patterns, plus, a few new ones that you came across that uses that new fly tying material just introduced down at the fly shop. Yes, we can jump over to Cameron Mortenson at The Fiberglass Manifesto and play along with his terrific Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaways that he has so masterfully put together for all of us fly fishing folk.
There are a number of other fly fishing related companies who are having snazzy Christmas Giveaways also of their own kind. What I am really trying to say here is that fly fishing opportunities will be slim and none for awhile in Northern Colorado for me. So, with that in mind, I have decided to take on another task that I have been meaning to get too for awhile now. I am taking the time over a period of several weeks to browse back through my old picture library (before digital and computers became so common), and, will be scanning some of these old pictures into the new format. With that said, I figured I could put together a short series of posts over the next few months talking about my fly fishing journey and some pictures from life's other side. I hope you will enjoy my posts and some of the pictures that I will share with you during these winter weeks. So here are a few shots from some time ago. Please remember this was primarily from the years 1975-1995 or so. First off, let me start with something that was very close too me during that time. No, not a fly rod or reel, but, my well worn ol' fishing hat.
Now, this western style straw hat was what I wore for many, many years. Please note the fleece lined head band on the hat filled with Wooly Buggers, Mohair Leeches, Stayner Ducktails, and a few smaller nymph patterns. I kept it loaded and ready to fish with. I was even known to give away a few that I had stuck in my hat if I had the "hot" pattern of the day. Usually, in my fishing at the time, I could pretty much fish one of the patterns on this hat and could count on being successful for the day.
The old round float tube. This one was one of the early dinosaur models back in the day made by a fellow angler out of Nampa, Idaho, Wayne "Tex" Meeks. One always wondered if we tipped the tube back too far, would it tip over. You probably could, but, it would have to be a violent jerk backwards for that too happen. I caught many, many fish over a number of years out of this tube with no problem at all. It was almost too comfortable on a hot day (taking a nap) once in awhile would be interrupted by the electrifying jerk of a trout on the other end of the line. Also, please note the hat in place. I was kind of a Merle Haggard look alike back in the day.............
Here is a picture of yours truly with my fish-mobile of that day and age. That old Dodge pickup and me put 350,000 miles on each other traveling all over the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, etc. etc. chasing stillwater trout. Oh, the stories I could tell you all. But, alas, those days are gone and faded pictures is all I have for memories. I hope to have recaptured some of the moments with this post and a few future posts like this as I get the time. If I don't get another chance, may you all have a wonderful upcoming Holiday season.......
P.S. - My friend and long time BlogBuddy, Michael Agneta at Troutrageous, gets a pat on the back and a Colorado handshake for helping me out with some editing on these ol' pictures.
Thanks, Mike, could not have done it without your support....
Well, here it is, December 1st, 2014. My how time passes by. Turkey and Football gives way too shiny lights and Christmas trees. While I am not a fan of commercialized Christmas events and treasure special moments with my family and homemade Christmas gifts that bring bring smiles and hugs from those you love the most, I do enjoy listening to Christ;mas music during the next few weeks.
A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this video tonight, and, I knew right away that it was time to begin the celebration of Christmas. Hope you enjoy this video.......................................
For all of you who have wondered what happened to Mel and his blog, I need to let you know a few things............................
Between some family needs, some health concerns, and, some time on the
road, I have not fished my local ponds since late October. Then it
snowed and got down around (-10) degrees at night. Winter season is
here in Colorado, too!
Note: I did not take this picture, but, sure appreciate who did. This is a cold morning overlooking the South Shore of Lake Loveland. Cold and beautiful.............................
That being said, let me take this moment to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving with your families and friends. I pray that none of you ate so much that you won't be able to cast a line again until next Spring............ Now, myself, I am into winter tackle maintenance and re-filling my tackle boxes with lures, jigs, and, the occasional fly, too. Until then, I will just have to dream along with these two guys...
Ok, Ok, something else must be up here. Until next time........................................
Waiting for all the neighborhood kids and my Grandkids to converge on the Pond Stalker Headquartersfor some Trick or Treating goodies. Actually, my wife has warned me to stay out of the goodies and make sure there is some left for all the ghouls, goblins, witches, and, robust power rangers this evening.
I spent some time looking back at some ol' fly tying pictures I have hung on to for some reason. No, no pretty flies here. Just a few memories. Like this one.
Man, that was a long time ago. I was doing a fly tying rehearsal just prior to the start of the Eastern Idaho Fly Tying Expo. What a fun time back in the day.............................
Or, like this one. Again, no pretty flies, just me, my vise, and some Jack Daniels..............
This was a late night tying session in a lodge I was staying in prior to fishing the Green River below Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Which way did the trout go?..............................................
Anyway, I have really enjoyed tying flies now for around (35) years. Nothing pretty, just simple fishing fun........................
With that in mind, and beings it is Halloween, spent some time today tying up some spooky looking flies that probably won't catch a darn thing. Just some fun with Halloween and a belly full of candy................
Trick Or Treat Hopper
Beadhead Trick Or Treat Nymph
Beadhead Trick Or Treat Leech
Well, anyway, enough of the fun. I better nap before the doorbell starts ringing. Have a
Thought I would write this post and see how many Bottom Feeders read my blog? Well, let me see........
I figured I would have to add "Something Fishy" to this post in order to catch anyone's attention.
What I was wondering, really, was how many of my BlogBuddy's actually visit other blogs and take the time to see what all is included on the main page of the Blog? Do you just click in and scan or read the most current post or do you visit the Blogs other pages or check out the other Gadgets on a fellow bloggers blog?
As an example, I have moved some of my blog's gadgets to the bottom of my page. There may be some worthwhile information there for you to check out. For example, if you are so inclined, you will find my Followers who follow me over on Google's Social Network. Or, you can click to... "Join This Site" which is the old Blogger Follow button. I just put it back up on my blog, so come on folks, I know I should have more than just 2 Followers......................... Also, there are visual buttons there for clicking to link to the Outdoor Blogger Network , and, to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. I have proudly been a supporter of both of these organizations for quite a while now and encourage you to check them out. Yes, the Outdoor Blogger Network is still functioning to some extent. Just thought I would add that bit of information at this time..................... Down on the bottom of my page, you will also find, my blog archives. Every post that I have written since the Pond Stalker blog was started. In addition, is a List of Topics that I have written about that might help you out if you are looking for something in specific. I know that this is just general information, but, it is worth your time if you need to check anything out.
I have, also, added a Form that you may use if would want to ask a question to me privately or wish to make any other suggestion about my blog. This is all done through Email and I welcome all input..............
To wrap up, I will also be adding more to the bottom section of my blog as we go along, so I encourage you to not only be a reader here, but, check out the Bottom Feeder at the bottom of my page.
If you have read this long, I thought I would let you know that I am taking my fly tying vise out of my tying bag and getting my desk set up for some Winter fly tying. More to come..................
Every picture tells a story...........................
(Please double click to see enlarged picture)
10/15/2014: Spent (2 and a 1/2 hours) on the water this morning....... I was interested in Stalking some Bass.................. They were not interested in me.................. Research and Development required...............
The "Fall" season has always been my favorite time of year here in Colorado. Now, Colorado is a beautiful state year round, but, something about Fall being in the air in Colorado seems to bring out the best that nature has to offer all of us who are lucky enough to be here during this time. Now I love this time of year for various reasons. This guy and our team being one of the main things I can't wait until each Fall season comes around. Go, Bronco's!
However, I want to focus on the things that make the Colorado Fall season just as spectacular and meaningful too me, as is my love for the Bronco's.
Brown Trout have always had a place in my heart. From a beautiful small stream Brown like this one to gargantuan size Browns in other areas of Colorado. Brown Trout have my attention come Fall. There are some beautiful spots on the Big Thompson River that I like to go to challenge a Brown Trout when I can.
Hello, Estes Park, Colorado. Is this not a beautiful setting for the Fall season. The wildlife, the outdoors, the waters, surround you. Take it all in. You won't for get it. While you are out and about in the Estes Park or Rocky Mountain National Park nearby, be sure and listen for another of my favorite Fall wildlife friends.
This big guy coming ashore after a refreshing time in the water made for a great camera opportunity. Fishing can wait.....................
Here is another big guy who is out for a morning stroll. Make sure you stay focused on the road while driving and maintain a cautious speed. This is up close and personal enough!
If you have never heard the "Call" of the Elk, you are truly missing one of Colorado's wildlife treasures. I listen in awe! I can't explain it in words, you just have to be here to know what I am talking about.
The colors of Fall be they, Yellow, Gold, Red, Green, Blue are spectacular. Fall foliage is spectacular, too! Sorry, I did not take pictures for this post to show. Maybe, more to come.......
As a final note here, be aware that just because you live in one of Colorado's Front Range communities, doesn't mean that the wildlife don't come to pay a visit this time of year. They make their way around to handle their life needs. Be cautious. Here are a couple of pictures from my close neighborhood in Loveland just this Fall.
"Looks like it is about time for me to s-c-a-t-"
This fella' wandered into my apartment complex while headed to the Big Thompson River beds
***Just want to do the obligatory reminder here that all of my pictures posted here are easily viewed and easier to see when double clicked for a closer view.
Thanks for allowing me to share Nature's exhibit here in a typical Colorado Fall.....................
Well, since it is Thursday, and I had a few items on my mind, thought I would put up another Thumbs Up Thursday post. Thumbs Up Thursday's may not occur every Thursday, but, I will use this as a theme for when they do................... Thumbs Up Thursday's will be used to give a shout out or a Thumbs Up to a few of my BlogBuddies for recent work on their blogs, plus, to make note of other stuff I run across while perusing the internet looking for fishy goodness!
So, to cut the blabbering and get to the point, let me begin by giving a Thumbs Up to my Blogbuddy Jeremy over at Troutings. Jeremy lives in a part of Colorado that I have not had the opportunity to explore for fishing purposes. Visiting and reading some of his blog posts certainly whets the appetite to make sure I have a chance someday. Here is a link to a recent post that Jeremy has up on his blog about fishing the Grand Mesa. Now, if that doesn't get your fish ticker going then I don't know what would. Thank you, Jeremy, for making this ol' guy have Grand Mesa fish in his dreams. Another BlogBuddy that I have followed for a long time, (you will see why) writes about his time on Utah Waters. Justin's blog, the Utah Water Log, is always crammed full of beautiful pictures of gorgeous Utah and many, many great fish that his waters offer. Here is a link to a recent post titled "All Over The Place"
Enough already, Jeremy and Justin, you two guys have convinced me that you both have wonderful waters to fish and some awesome fish stories to tell. Well worth a fishing blogger to follow both these blogs and keep up on what is shaking the fishing dreams tail this week.
I could not finish this post without saying thank you to all my blogging friends who have re-connected with my blogging efforts in the past week or so. You can and do make a difference in this ol' geezers life..................................
Well, here is hoping that all my blogging friends have not thrown the Pond Stalker overboard yet for being the most dysfunctional Blogger on the boat. If you have already, here is hoping that you threw me a life preserver and are willing to give me another chance at this blogging stuff. For, I cannot swim a lick and would quickly sink to the deepest part of depths unknown.
You see, in a fit of disgust with myself and my blogging skills, I have been all over the place of late. Blogging about Fly Fishing, Spin Fishing, and other non-sensical matter. Heck, I even thought I wanted to be a "Dot Com" guy with my own neat web address. You see that was my first mistake. No sense trying to be a fancy blogger with your own web address. I am too old for all that, especially when it comes to remembering technical jargon and how to be in complete control of your own site. Oh, I did move my blog over to Wordpress and set it all up and immediately became a blogger there. I will say this, it is a more complicated system over there. I struggled with it. My blog hits went way down. Less readers means less feel of community! Some of my favorite followers of my blog struggled to get their posts through a tricky spam system there so that they could even post on my blog. In the end, I did what I felt was the right thing and kicked that blog system to the curb.
I thought that I had blogged my last word. Retired Blogger was my new title. That lasted just a few days and I could not just pack it in, so, here I am back at Blogger with my new blog site and look. Blogging on Blogger is just way more fun and Blogger has a great community of bloggers to share with. So, if you find your way here and want to be a Follower of my blog writings still, then I will most appreciate it. If you came and you don't like what you see or are tired of following my words and nonsense of following me all over the internet from one corner to another, I completely understand that too! If you decide to link me up on your Blogroll you will need to use this link: http:pondstalker.blogspot.com Hope to see you back in touch with me here and long live the Pond Stalker, My BlogBuddies, and, the Pond Stalker Community. With that said, I think I will go fishing and not worry about it anymore! Mel
Well, here it is August, and, July is gone! Colorado had some definite rains come during the month so fishing was hit and miss for me. A couple of hours here, a couple more hours there, and so it went. Trying to get out in the best time of day for fishing the ponds is tough enough, but, when you are fighting the thunder storms and lightening strikes, that is whole other thing all together.
Anyway, time for me to give a salute to another of my BlogBuddy friends who make this blog a fun place for me to hang out when I am not fishing. Say hello to Dave from Fishn' Dave.
I have been an avid reader of Dave's blog for quite awhile now and have really spent some quality time on his site reading and learning more about warm water fly fishing. I have commented on Dave's blog regularly, and he in return, has been very willing to share information on fly gear, fly patterns, and fish species, or whatever questions I may have. I have never met Dave personally, but, think I would sure like too. We have a lot in common as far as our approach to warm water fly fishing. Dave's blog focuses on the fish and waters/ponds of Iowa that hold Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish etc.
Enough already, right! Dave certainly had had a great season of warm water fly fishing to this point in time. It is easy to see how Dave's has become one I look to reading as soon as he publishes a new post. Dave is also a fine fly tyer also. I have picked his brain on fly patterns for awhile. From Streamers for Crappie and Bass, too, Poppers for surface fishing for Bass and Bluegill. Here are a couple of patterns I have picked Dave's brain about.
Let me wrap up this post by saying I am proud to feature Dave as my
Next time that you are checking out other blogs stop on over to Dave's Blog and let him know that the Pond Stalker sent you his way. If you like warm water fly fishing you won't be disappointed.
One of the benefits of living in Loveland, Colorado, is its close vicinity to the Big Thompson River canyon, Estes Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. A short drive puts you into some of the most awesome country an outdoors enthusiast could want. I am not going to go into promoting this any more in this post, that has been well done by other writers and bloggers for quite some time.
What I would like to share with this post is the day to day adventure that comes in our local neighborhood when someone new comes too town. Or, even when someone comes to tour your neighborhood in hopes of becoming a new tenant. On Wednesday evening, Diane and I, went our for our normal evening walk. It is a routine we follow most every evening and also in the morning right after our first cup of coffee. Anyway, our route in our neighborhood is always the same. Like clockwork, we have a certain distance we walk to meet our health needs.
Well, on this particular evening we were surprised to meet a prospective new neighbor just as we started out our walk.
Note: Don't forget to double click on the picture to enlarge
How many new prospective neighbors let you take a picture of them right when you first meet them? How many prospective new neighbors let you ooh and ahh at them and their values of what they bring to the neighborhood and don't talk back too you? How many new neighbors leave you alone as long as you don't irritate them or stick your nose in their business? The new neighbor allowed us to do all of the above and then sauntered on down the sidewalk crossed the street and ventured off into the trees in the direction of another neighborhood. Keep in mind that I don't live in a really rural area. We live just south of the middle of downtown Loveland! Amazing where new neighbors will go and to what extent to check out the life in the neighborhood where you live.................... Such is life in "Happy Valley", U.S.A.
Recently, I wrote a blog post on "Budget Minded Fly Fishing Tackle - Fiberglass Rods" . I am very thankful for all the great comments that were left pertaining to the subject at hand. True, "Glass Is Not Dead", and is becoming more and more evident as the days and weeks pass in the fly fishing scene. Many fly fishers are in the process of trying the new generation fiberglass rodsand tracking down models from yesteryear at auction sites, estate sales, and yard sales. Other fly fishers have already made a complete change and fish only fiberglass rods at this point in time. I would place myself in the group that is "curious" about all this fiberglass rod stuff. I have picked up a few on the very low budget end and have been learning to use them.
However, clearly I am not ready to adapt to strictly just the use of fiberglass rods. To be fair, most all of my experience has been with graphite rods, in my thirty some year fly fishing career. From expensive Sage, G. Loomis, Orvis brand rodsto moderately priced rods like Lamiglas, St. Croix, and, TFO fly rods. I have owned and fished graphite models from each. They all had my attention at one time or another. What I would like to do with this post is take a look at some Budget Minded Fly Rods on the graphite side of the seen. Again, there are some nice ones available at a price that most any of us could get into without breaking the bank, so to speak. Again, as a senior citizen on a fixed income, I am always looking for good quality at the best price for what my budget limits are. Below are a few that have been well received and offer fly fishers an opportunity to enjoy the sport of fly fishing with a fly rod that doesn't cause you to take out a second mortgage.
This rod is a 4 piece rod only (Great for the traveling angler) Comes with a Lifetime Warranty
This series was designed by Tim Rajeff with the plan to be able to get more people out fly fishing. I think mission accomplished from all that I have seen.
Now all of these are fine budget minded fly rods, however, they are not the only ones that are available at a budget offering. Other fly rod company's have gotten into the scene with their offerings also. St. Croix, Ross, Allen, and a number of other companies have gotten on the bandwagon lately. Truth be told, there are other Cabela's, Redington's, TFO's, and Echo fly rods that are priced at another step up, yet, they also fit within the budget minded fly fishers approach. Just to be clear, I have independently chosen the $200. price or below for inclusion in my fly rod options.
I hope I have balanced my views on what is available for both the graphite and fiberglass fly rod leaners in this series on budget minded fly rods. You might be surprised at what spending a little "less" money will do when you shop for your next rod.
Beginning with the 2014 Blogging and Fishing season, I have decided to include a page of some of the flies that I am currently tying from my vise. Certainly, won't be posting pictures of every fly I tie, but, thought I would post pictures of some of them that are new and/or interesting. Tell me what you think on these patterns. Don't hesitate to comment below or you can send an email if you would like. I am not a Video person, so more than likely will post materials and directions if that is what folks want to see. I will have to determine what I would prefer to make it the easiest for my readers and users of anything my flies might encourage.
**Note: For enhanced (larger) view double click on fly picture
I.D. Olive Soft Hackle
Fly Type:Wet, Target Species:Panfish, Recommended Region:Northwest US, Imitation:Caddis Flies, Material List: Body Olive Ice Dubbing Hackle Dyed Olive Partridge Head Olive Glass Bead Hook Size 14, 12, 10 Hook Type Tiemco 200r Rib Copper Wire, Gold Wire, Or Tail None Tying Instructions: Tying Instructions 1. Using a Tiemco 200R style hook, or, similar style hook. Tied in sizes 10 -14. Begin by inserting a small olive colored glass bead on the hook and bringing it up to the eye of the hook. Make a few wraps with your thread behind the plastic bead to keep bead from sliding back on hook. 2. Move thread to rear of hook near barb. Tie in your wire rib. 3. At the point of barb on hook, form a dubbing loop with your thread. Place a small amount of Olive Ice Dubbing in your loop and twist or spin loop to form the dubbing noodle. 4. Wrap your dubbing noodle forward to 3/4 point on hook shank. Tie off and trim remainder of dubbing loop if necessary. 5. Size and tie in a Dyed Olive Partridge feather pointing rearward (wet fly) style. Wrap feather a couple of times and tie off. Move your thread to front of feather and make a wrap or two rearward with thread to further set the feather in a rearward style. 6. Now using the standard dubbing method (Non-Loop) apply a bit more Olive Ice Dubbing to your thread and wrap a few times in front of feather to area where bead sets on hook. 7. Whip Finish and have fun fishing this fun style of fly.
Presentation Tips: Fishing Instructions Used on a floating line while stream fishing, on ponds for panfish, I prefer to use a floating line and longer leader or if the fish are down a few feet an Intermediate sinking line would do well.
Anyone who has hung around the fly fishing scene, rather it be the local fly shop, online fly tackle retailers, or online fly fishing forums have been made aware of the re-energized interest in the market of Fiberglass Fly Rods. Cameron Mortenson over at The Fiberglass Manifesto deserves a lot of credit for the growing interest in Fiberglass Rods, too!
Yesterday, when I was young, I started out fishing Fenwick Fiberglass Rods. I remember paying $35.00 for a new Fenwick back then and thought I was on top of the fly fishing world at the time. Well, as we probably all know, Graphite production came along and most all of the normal fly fishing crowd went to Graphite rods for easier casting and more power for distance etc. etc. Though some remained with the Fiberglass or Bamboo scene, Graphite rods became the in thing. So, I went Graphite Fly Rods. Fast forward a significant number of years, through Sage, G. Loomis, Orvis, etc. days. Now cometh, the resurgence of the Fiberglass Fly Rods. Like a lot of things in life, it seems things can come 360 degrees ever so often.
Currently, I own Graphite Fly Rods and Fiberglass Fly Rods. However, due to my fixed income and senior citizen lifestyle, I have to focus on budget minded fly fishing tackle! With that in mine, my current Fiberglass Fly Rod selection consists of an Eagle Claw Featherlight $35.00, and, a yard sale purchase of an old Berkley that cost me $5.00.
While I enjoy fishing these two rods, I have began to look at some of the new Fiberglass Fly Rods that are hitting the market at what I consider to be a budget minded price level. Let me skim over some of them in this post.
Green Caddis Outfitters
Ruby River Fiberglass Fly Rods
The early reviews on these rods have been positive and I look forward to further investigating these rods.
Echo Fiberglass Fly Rods
Again, very good early reviews on these rods. Already available in some local fly shops. These are superb rods for the budget minded fly angler!
Now comes the soon to be released new Cabela's CGR Series Fiberglass Rods.
These rods are being updated and released in the Fall of this year. The original CGR Series rods were received very favorably by many of my blogging friends. Cabela's stopped production on the original series, but, listened to the demands of the fly fishing crowd and will be putting these on the market soon.
So, budget minded fly fishing tackle folks, rather you fish with an inexpensive Eagle Claw Featherlight model, a yard sale find, or one of the new wave of budget minded fly rods, you certainly deserve to see if Fiberglass is for you. Yup, "Glass Is Not Dead".