Friday, July 25, 2014

Prospective New Neighbor............

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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Budget Minded Fly Fishing Tackle - Graphite Rods

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 rods and 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 rods to 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.

Let's begin with 

$69 - $79  (Even less when on sale)
These rods are a great way to have a decent set up for under $100.
They come in 2 or 4 piece models with out the case.
One year limited warranty
Have had excellent reviews on this rod.

Another option

$69 - $89
Redington offers these nice rods to fit in the under $100 price range,  too.
They come in 2 or 4 piece models with out the case.
One Year warranty
I own this rod and have been very pleased with it and its responsiveness.
Or, how about a

They come in a 2 piece rod with out the case 
Warrantied for the life of the original registered owner with shipping and handling fee paid by user.
Lefty is a fly fishing legend.  His expertise has made these rods a welcome addition
Again, I own this rod and I believe it is a delight to fish with.
Or a

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.

Happy hook ups!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pond Stalker's Featured Fly Pattern - I.D. Olive Soft Hackle

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
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.
Move thread to rear of hook near barb. Tie in your wire rib.
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.
Wrap your dubbing noodle forward to 3/4 point on hook shank. Tie off and trim remainder of dubbing loop if necessary.
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.
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.
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.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Budget Minded Fly Fishing Tackle - Fiberglass Rods

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".

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Featured BlogBuddy - Alan From Small Stream Reflections

Spending some time giving a new look to my blog with some different features.  One of the features I am going to kick off with is a Featured BlogBuddy series.

It is my intent to share the work of as many of my BlogBuddies as I can with this series.  They all work hard and spend considerable time on their own blogs in writing about, primarily, their takes on fishing and other matters in their area of life that they enjoy.  I know that whatever success I have had on my blog, and, the motivation to keep writing my blog, comes from the great support I have had from these BlogBuddies.  Their continuing visits and willingness to leave comments on my posts and share their insights with me are invaluable. I am all about making Pond Stalker Blog a place that feels like community and sharing the loves of my fellow BlogBuddies.   I hope that you take the time to visit all the blogs listed on my Blogroll as you have time, but especially, the featured BlogBuddy and their blogsite.  I wouldn't mind if you let them know that the ol' Pond Stalker said hello!

Alright, let's kick off this series by featuring a BlogBuddy that has one of the best blogs going in the blogging world today.  My thanks, to Alan at Small Stream Reflections, is long overdue! 

Alan's blog is one that many of you may have already visited and read many times.  I know I have and loved every minute of it.  If you haven't allow me to say "SHAME ON YOU"!  
Alan writes about the beautiful area and waters of our great Northeast.  Preferring to fish small streams is Alan's forteit.  Chasing the beautiful Brook Trout, and occasional, Brown Trout with Drys, Nymphs, Streamers, and Soft Hackle.  Alan does it all.  His readers are blessed with beautiful pictures of the area, beautiful colored fish, and, as much information as you would need to fish these waters.  You are only left feeling envious and wishing you go on stream with Alan to enjoy the experience.  His blog is also a model for any blogger to look at when it comes to the "community" concept.  His blog posts are often commented on by many others expressing themselves on his current post.  That is how comfortable it is to know and love this blog.

Alan, also, enjoys some preparing of food and tasty meals.  Here is an example:

Just kidding here, Alan, if you are hungry you had better eat before you see some of Alan's work or you are going to be hungry real quick.

Before I forget, and certainly a fine accomplishment, Alan, also is an author and offers his great book on fishing those "Thin Blue Lines"

'Nuff said, get on over to Alan's blog and say hello from the ol' Pondstalker.